Ezine Publishing: Formatting Your Ezine and Where to Find Free Content; Part 2

In Part 1 of this series we discussed how to start your own
newsletter. Now we move on to the nitty gritty: Formatting and
finding content.


Text ezines versus HTML format is a highly debatable subject.
At this time, most ezine publishers stick with text, and I
strongly recommend you follow suit. Many
people are still using email clients that cannot read HTML
messages – others prefer the speed, ease and security
of receiving their ezines in text format. It is safer
to use the format that is compatible with the largest
number of users.

But there are other readers who appreciate the design
quality and visual appeal of an HTML newsletter.
So what can you do to please both sides?

You can always
publish a text version and include a link to an HTML version
online. This is what I do and it seems to make the majority
of my subscribers happy. It does call for twice the amount
of work since you’ll have to make two versions of your ezine,
but in my opinion it’s well worth the extra effort.

So what is a text ezine? Basically, it’s just an email with
some special formatting applied to make sure it’s readable
by everyone, no matter what email client they may be using.
You’ll want to stick to a fixed width font like
courier or Monaco, and you’ll need a plain text editor like
Notepad or Textpad. One drawback with Notepad is it
has no built-in spell checker, so I’d advise you to
download Textpad or something similar. Many free text editors
can be found at http://www.Download.com.

You’ll need to set up a template for your ezine so its look
will be consistent, issue after issue. This should
include your ezine name, date, and issue number at the very top,
by a table of contents. If you’re not sure on how it should
look, you can obtain some free ezine templates by sending
mailto:[email protected] .

At the very end of your newsletter template
you’ll want to include a paragraph on how to subscribe and
unsubscribe, copyright information, and advertising information.
It’s vital that you include unsubscribe
information in each and every issue. Do not hold people
“hostage” by making it next to impossible to get off your list,
it won’t be appreciated and is not only considered unprofessional,
but it could get you into real trouble with Spamcop.

When typing in your text you need to keep your line length at
65 characters per line and hit a hard return at the end of each
and every line. This is imperative. If you allow the words to
wrap automatically, the ezine your readers receive may have lines
chopped off mid sentence and will look terrible. By using the hard
return you’ll be ensuring that your newsletter will be readable
and attractive in the majority of email clients. Never
type your ezine in all caps as this is equivalent to screaming.


I highly recommend you write at least one original article
a month for your newsletter; more if you can. It’s OK to
include work by others on an occasional basis or for filler,
but your ezine will carry more weight if you take the time
to write your own material.

When you do need outside content, here are some excellent

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