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Start Thinking

Before you can do anything, identify who you are and what you want to deliver to your readers. What do you find to be fun and/or interesting? That is to say, what topic or topics do you want your e-zine to cover? The world is your oyster, and if you want to publish a newsletter on oysters of the world, be my guest. If you have a fascination with paper airplanes, then why not write about them? Nobody's stopping you, and nobody should stop you. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing your subject matter:

  • Am I excited about my topic? If not, don't even start. Even those of us with passions find it frustrating to continue at times. When passion isn't there to begin with, those frustrations are only intensified.

  • Do other resources cover my topic? How many? A quick search on Google will let you know about the competition. If the space is flooded, think about how you can make your resource different.

  • Are those other resources doing a good job at covering my topic? Can I do better? Think about what's missing, then do your best to fill that void.

  • How much information is out there (online) on my topic? Can I create new content? Unless you plan on being nothing more than a digital parrot, consider how you are going to present your information in a unique fashion.

  • How many Web sites relate to my topic? Think about what you don't like about them, then create your own portal based on fixing those frustrations.

  • How big an audience could I potentially attract with this topic? If you're tackling a niche, tackle it well. Think about percentages, not necessarily hard numbers.

  • Is the information on my topic easily accessible?

  • Do I know enough about my topic? If not, find others to complement your vision.

  • How often do I want to publish? You can always change your mind down the road, but be realistic. If you don't have much time to devote to the project, that's fine—just make sure your audience knows how often you intend to publish new content.

  • Who is my target audience? Are you aiming to appease novices or experts?

  • What are my short-term goals for this e-publication? Long-term goals?



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