Business Tips – Celebrating You and Your Business This Year

 

January, February, March, April … oh my!  Does it ever seem that the months just keep racing by and you’ll still back in holiday mode?  I hear you.  January can be a great month for businesses because well people get back to work after the holidays and they are all pumped up!  They are ready to spend money to invest in your products and services, and they are ready to make it the best year yet!!  Too bad come January 15th, their excitement dies down and it can get back to the same ole, same ole.

I always say no matter what month it is take time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. A new month is a great time to see everything as a new beginning.  And a time to be proud of everything you’ve done, even the small things.

If you know me well, you know one of the things I do a lot of is CELEBRATING!  Not the dance on the table with a lamp shade celebrating, but more the “Yeah, my pitch worked and I got my client in that major magazine she wanted.”  Or after months of trying, I finally landed that client that I really wanted and knew I could help.  “Bring out the bubbly, we are going to party!”

And for years you’ve heard me say, celebrate it all … the big wins, the small feel good moments. Why? Because when you celebrate and take the time to think about your accomplishments, you feel better about yourself and your business.  Not many will take time out of their day to congratulate you—so you should do it.  I once worked for a very big and very successful law firm.  One of the attorneys would put a “gold star” on our work when we did an exceptional job. (Like beating the clock in transcribing a pleading so it could get to the courthouse that day and avoid default proceedings.)  Now, he only did it occasionally, so it wasn’t a common occurrence.  That would have taken all the fun out of it.  But when you got that gold star, you felt special! You felt appreciated.  And best of all, you felt validated that you were doing a great job.  We are talking years and years later; I can still remember that feeling when I got that star.

Now, I’m not saying go out and get a bunch of gold stars, (well if you do get multi-colored for fun!) but what I am saying is take the time to enjoy your business and feel your accomplishments. Large or small, pat yourself on the back and feel the win.  If you journal, write it down.  Slow down a tad.  You will discover that you truly love this feeling and therefore you do more of the things that allow you to feel that way on a regular basis.

You will remember why you love being an entrepreneur.  How exciting it is to work with different clients.  And best of all, the joy of being the best you, you can be.

I don’t care how long you’ve been in business, months, years, decades, centuries (oh wait, that’s not possible), but you get my drift.  For me it’s been decades.  And in those years, there have been incredible highs and some gut-wrenching lows.  I’ve had family challenges (losing my brother last year,) and business challenges (months where my bank account wasn’t where it should be) as well. But one thing always remained constant.  ME!

I’m a “The glass is never half empty, but that glass is waiting to be filled.”  I’m a “today might not have rocked, but tomorrow is another day.”  And I’m a firm believer in believing in me and the importance of that.

So this month, put the focus back on you.  Put the focus back on having fun and enjoying every day.  Put the focus back on growing your business, but also appreciating it right where it is today.  You might also want to add in some personal goals.  Not the I’ll lose 50 lbs. by March, but more the, “I’m going to do more walking and here’s the time I have scheduled to do it.” You can so change your life by doing simple yet effective steps.

Believe … Dream … Explore … And Most of All .. Commit to a Better Life. You can do it!  I believe in you.

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Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She’s the author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought after VA  Feel free to pass this article along as long as the author’s block is included.

 

 

Changes you can make now to increase your 2017 profits.

 

It’s here.  No denying it now.  The new year is upon us  … a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.  A time to see everything as a new beginning.  And a time to be proud of everything you’ve done, even the small things.

If you know me well, you know one of the things I do a lot of is CELEBRATING!  Not the dance on the table with a lamp shade celebrating, but more the “Yeah, my pitch worked and I got my client in Inc Magazine.  Or after months of trying, I finally landed that client.  Bring out the bubbly, we are going to party!  I always try to celebrate the big wins and the little wins. Why? Because then when I have a “bad” day, I can reflect on the better days ahead.

The New Year is a great time to starting thinking about building your business.  Funny how January has that power.  Everyone is in the “grow” mode.  So with that, here are my top tips to increase your profits in 2017.
Tips to Increase Your Profits in 2017:

  • Do a website review – while you are changing that footer on your site from 2016 to 2017, spend some time and do a quick review of your site.  Read over it like you just put it up, and check those links, contact forms, etc.  Review the SEO and keywords to ensure you are still good to go. Review the services or products page.  Can you improve upon that?  Does it still represent all you do today?  Is it easy to purchase your products? Remember making it easy for your customers to order, will allow them to purchase more.  Now check your website on your phone.  Is it mobile-friendly or do you get a few sentences per screen?  Do whatever it takes to represent you in the best way possible.
  • Conduct a social media review – Devote a week each month in January, to reviewing your social media and make changes.  One week focus on Facebook.  The next week on Twitter.  Then LinkedIn, etc.  Now naturally you want to keep all your social media efforts going throughout the month, but if you focus on one each week, hopefully you can accomplish so much more.  You know the usuals, add more content, etc., but what you want to do is plan out 2017.  Use that week to come up with a 3 month plan.  At the end of the three months you can review, and broken down into 3 months segments help.
  • Create passive income streams– Take some time and consider what you can do to get some passive income in each month.  Can you convert that webinar into a product you can sell?  How close are you to writing a new ebook?  Can you connect with those you have associated in your industry and see what they are offering?  Sign up for affiliates.  Just see what you can do to bring in income that doesn’t require you to do it.

Get marketing and make 2017 the best year yet. And remember you don’t have to do it alone.  There are those out there who specialize in PR and marketing who can help.  The most important thing is to do it, have some fun, and welcome the New Year with open arms.

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Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She’s the  author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA  Feel free to pass this article along as long as the author’s block is included.

Money Management Tips for Virtual Assistants & Small Business Owners

Money management is one of those topics many virtual assistants and small business owners routinely put off and hope for the best. It’s front and center on the mind on April 1st in anticipation of the April 15th tax deadline, but then it goes straight to the back burner for the rest of the year. Bookkeeping and money management are best practiced year-round. When done this way, it gives you rewards of more money, more peace of mind, and above all else, a happy IRS!

Smart business owners know the importance of good money management and apply tactics in their business to actually help them. The following tips are sure to help.

Best Money Management Tips For Your Virtual Assistant Business

Be Smart And Continually Learn More – Learn as much as you can from the get go. It’s often said it’s not how much money you earn, but what you do with it that counts. Totally applies to business decisions regarding money management and budgeting. Follow those you know on social media who offer business and money tips. Read all you can and know that especially in March and April many will be posting more business tips. When you see a tip you like, keep it and see how it can apply to your own business.

Track Your Income and Expenses – Seems silly to state the obvious here, but you’d be surprised at the number of business owners who haven’t got a clue about their operating costs, net income/loss, cash flow—none of it. It’s easy to see all of the income and expenses you incur on a regular basis if you keep records and write everything down. Don’t close your eyes (and your Quickbooks file) and hope things works out. By writing everything down or entering it into accounting software, you are well aware of your business status and can then plan business finances and make smart decisions on a regular basis.

If you don’t have accounting software that’s okay… log it all in a binder or Excel spreadsheet. For large purchases (anything over $100) include item description, use in business, date purchased, what you paid, and any model or serial numbers. Then you have an accurate accounting of items for tax purposes, an insurance record, and for software user licenses.

Budget for The Year Ahead & Start Making Good Choices – Create a budget and stick with it as best you can. Be honest and know that each year you will get better at this. Put away money for taxes. Save for expenses. And don’t buy things you can’t afford. Review this budget throughout the year. Honestly nothing beats looking at your budget and realizing how well you are doing.

Also, know that with your virtual assistant business, income might differ month to month. On those rock’n months, put extra away to compensate for any slower months or invest it back into your business.

Review Your Books Monthly. How much did you make? How much did you spend? Were these smart decisions or are there ways you can improve. While many business owners review their accounts monthly, they don’t spend time looking for ways to improve. That’s where the magic happens. By reviewing and analyzing them you also see if you need to make major business adjustments and also can identify trends so you can plan accordingly for upcoming years.

This cannot only save you money, it will also allow you to see if there are any mistakes. Yes, mistakes happen. For example, were any automatic payments taken out that shouldn’t have and more? While you are reviewing these, take a minute to consider if you are fully utilizing the services you are paying for. Is there a cheaper alternative that can still give you similar results?

Pay Yearly When Possible – If you know you have ongoing expenses, whenever possible pay for the year instead of making monthly payments. This can save you a considerable amount of money as normally businesses give discounts for annual payments. Web hosting is a good example of this. Look for other cost saving tips as well.

Make Money by Being an Affiliate – For those services you use on a regular basis, consider signing up as an affiliate. Refer colleagues to this service you know, like and trust so they can reap the same benefits in their business. As a result, you can earn affiliate commission to help offset your costs for using the product or service.

Put Money Away – We hear you, who has extra to do this? But once it becomes a habit you will find you don’t even miss the money. Set up a schedule that works for you. Start small if you need to with the main goal of simply getting into the habit of saving. Put it in a savings account. This can be your emergency fund for when your computer gives you the blue screen of death or your accountant says you owe more than you thought.

Good money management helps you get—and stay—excited about your business. Done right, it will enable you to save more money and invest wisely, in the right areas. When you have a good handle on your money matters it will directly result in a more successful and satisfying experience as a small business owner. Ultimately, knowing what the bottom line is will enable you to better focus on the right areas of your business. Or, you’ll have peace of mind that you’ve got things under control.
Diana Ennen and Kelly Poelker are the co-authors of Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA. Stop by their site for complete information on starting your own VA business http://www.va-theseries.com. Connect with them on Twitter at @learntobeava or at facebook.com/becomeava

PR and Marketing Firm, Virtual Word Publishing Rebrands Adding VIP Days, PR Packages and More

Here’s our latest press release about our rebranding.  Love your thoughts!

PR and Marketing Firm, Virtual Word Publishing Rebrands Adding VIP Days, PR Packages and More

MARGATE, FL (May 2014):  Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com has rebranded and is back better than ever.  In business since 1985 and offering PR and marketing services and PR Coaching and Classes to authors, speakers, entrepreneurs, coaches and more, Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing has been working on the rebranding process for over a year.

Ennen knows the right branding and marketing draws business in, rather than wastes countless hours chasing business down, and has been specializing in just that for clients, getting the right people to notice.  Through years of perfecting PR and marketing, Virtual Word Publishing has become the one-stop shop for those wanting to grow their business and get more sales and specializes in book marketing and getting media attention.  Ennen is also the author of several books including the best-selling Virtual Assistant the Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA.

One of the newest additions to go along with the rebranding has been the addition of PR and Virtual Assistant packages. A long time in coming for Ennen and often requested from clients and potential clients, Ennen is pleased to now offer new programs and many of her PR services and coaching programs are now packaged together.

Ennen is especially proud of these new programs including:

  • PR and Marketing Packages – Book marketing, pitching the media,   press release or article marketing campaigns, editing and proofing, social  media, etc., are just a few of the new PR packages.
  • VIP Days – Virtual days working one-on-one with Ennen where  businesses can either plan out an entire media campaign, write those press releases and articles, create pitches and secure databases to pitch to or grow their business by working together on what needs to be done.
  • Coaching – Now introducing six-month programs in addition to monthly  plans.  It takes time to grow a  business and nothing can help more than working side by side with a coach who knows exactly what is needed. Ennen is also opening this up for Virtual Assistant teams or Corporations as well.

The new branding of the website was done by the extraordinarily talented web designer, Nancy Seeger of Arts Assistance.  The key to an effective rebranding and new web design is when the web designer is able to capture the vision of the site and make that vision come to life, while adding in all the necessary website components including being mobile friendly.   Another key factor is designing the site to match the audience (target audience design) so when potential clients come to the site, they immediately feel at home.  Seeger did just that and so much more.

Ennen states, “I am so proud of the work I have done with clients in the past: getting them national media attention, growing their business, and more, but I’m so looking forward to the upcoming year and new programs.  Our focus remains the same—helping those grow their business, but we have perfected our methods to have even more success.”

Stop by http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com and let’s see how we can work together.  Also, be sure to sign up for Ennen’s PR tips and not only get our PR informational package, but PR tips regularly. For media interviews contact Ennen at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com

About:  Virtual Word Publishing has been in business since 1985 and specializes in PR and marketing and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching and Classes.

PR Classes Offers Proven Methods to Learn How to Do Your Own Marketing – Classes Starting Soon

Our latest press release on the PR Success Classes starting December 3rd.  Hope you can join us!

PR Classes Offers Proven Methods to Learn How to Do Your Own Marketing – Classes Starting Soon

Margate, FL (November, 2013) Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com a leading PR and marketing firm in business for over 27 years has announced the re-launch of their highly successful online training series, “The Publicity Success Series.” Designed for speakers, coaches, entrepreneurs, virtual assistants, and other professionals this program takes businesses step-by-step into PR methods that work, covering five critical aspects of successful marketing. Ennen provides publicity assistance to clients regularly and these tips are some of the same strategies utilized regularly.

Continue reading

Do it Yourself Marketing – Learn How with The Publicity Success Series

pr success series 1 (2) Do it Yourself Marketing – Learn How with The Publicity Success Series

Margate, FL (April, 2013) Getting publicity for your business can be challenging? Between writing press releases, article marketing, social media and more, it all seems too much. But it doesn’t have to be. Wouldn’t you love to know how to do your own PR or be able to make better decisions with working with a publicist or your publicity virtual assistant? Well now you can. Introducing the PR Success Series – www.prsuccessseries.com. All you need to know to get more out of all your marketing efforts.

The PR Success series is intended to help entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, coaches and more master their PR. Presented by Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, a PR and Marketing firm for over 27 years, it will take you step by step into PR methods that work. Insider secrets will be revealed on how to write effective articles and press releases, best ways to pitch the media, how to go full circle in your PR efforts to get the most from all you do, mastering social media and more. The classes will be held weekly starting May 23rd and all classes are recorded so you can download and listen at your convenience.

Ennen walks the walk and talks the talk getting her and her clients in major media that have resulted in not only getting one of her clients #1 status on iBookstore, but major media mentions including USA Today, Woman’s World, Fox News, CNN Radio, Reader’s Digest, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and so many more.
A breakdown of the classes are as follows: Session #1 – You need a marketing plan; Session #2 – Discover the secrets to writing press releases and articles; Session #3 – Pitching the Media; Session #4 – Social Media Magic, Session #5 – PR Secrets

Ennen states, “I am thrilled to be offering this class again. No matter if you want to do your own PR or if you want to just be able to understand the PR process, these classes will help. Also, I know many virtual assistants who want to specialize in publicity and this is exactly the tools you need to be able to do that.

The Publicity Success Series got rave reviews when it was offered previously. In fact Ruth Martin stated, “I was really impressed with the Publicity VA Course and Diana’s great help and knowledge. Hearing her firsthand success stories and learning from her experiences shaves so much time off the learning curve, it’s like having your very own coach guiding you through the hurdles towards the ultimate goal. I’d highly recommend this publicity course to anyone wanting to broaden their publicity efforts on the Internet or offline.”

If you need help with your PR campaigns and want to write a killer press release, article, blog, etc., then sign up now at http://www.prsuccessseries.com. Early bird rates apply. For more information contact or media interviews contact Ennen at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com.

Special for those that stop by my blog …  $99.00 — but you must email me at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com by May 6th to recieve. Can’t wait to see you there.  Also, discounts for teams/

Business Success Tips – Six Summertime Survival Tips For Work-at-Home Moms

Summer is one of the most difficult seasons for entrepreneur moms. Juggling work with kids who need extra attention and outside playtime can make for some stressful days. You want to have fun, but you also know that the demands of business require your attention. Here are a few tips that will help you get through the summer and stay sane in the process.

1. Look For Ways To Add Passive Income. Spend the time to create that ebook or program that runs without you. Another way to create passive income is to get more involved in affiliate programs. Find programs that fit your audience and then offer these great products to them. They’ll thank you for it and you’ll make a little extra cash.

2. Enjoy Your Freedom. In this day and age you can work almost anywhere. So, this summer don’t stay inside – hit the park and bring your laptop. Head to the beach and write or proof documents there. Be sure to keep a running list of documents that you’ll need access to or take advantage of an online document service such as Google Docs so that your files can be reached from wherever you are.

3. Keep Marketing. The summertime can make you want to kick your feet up and relax, but don’t get lazy – and don’t believe the hype. Yes, it can be slower in the summer, but it doesn’t have to be. You can be out there marketing and growing your business while others lose ground.

4. Prepare for Summer Storms. Make sure you have back-ups of everything. Consider an online back-up system such as Carbonite or Mozy in addition to flash drives. If you live in a state that is prone to storms (such as Florida), consider a generator in case you are without power. Make sure you print out important contact information such as client information, passwords, etc.

5. Balance Your Schedule And Rely On Your To-do List. Prioritize the work that needs to be done. Keep in mind as many work-at-home moms, your kids will be around more and even if they are older kids, this can difficult and you can lose your focus. But proper planning can help. So, start the summer off right by scheduling out your days – allowing some flexibility – and getting things done.

6. Treat Yourself To Training. Summer is a great time to get the jump on extra training or attending networking events to grow your business. Since many businesses do slow down in the summer, many offer incentives and discounts. Find a program that fits your budget and schedule and go for it!

These tips will help you enjoy your summer and get things done.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Jill Hart and Diana Ennen are the co-authors of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom. Jill is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms www.CWAHM.com and loves to help women find success from home. Diana Ennen is the President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com. Diana has worked from home for over 25 years and is passionate about PR, Publicity and Marketing & helping others start their own virtual assistant business. Article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.

Learn to Master Press Release Writing and PR Distribution at Upcoming Teleseminar

Learn to Master Press Release Writing and PR Distribution at Upcoming Teleseminar

St Louis, Missouri (June, 2011) The press release, once used primarily as a tool for reporting large-scale announcements and world events, is now considered an essential part of any successful sales and marketing strategy. In today’s Web-driven world, an aggressive online press release campaign can be one of the most powerful and proven tools in a company’s marketing arsenal.

Press release campaigns are like most ventures; their success begins with good planning; and in this case, good writing. With that in mind, the Academy of Virtual Professionals at http://www.academyvp.com has teamed up with Virtual Word Publishing http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com to present a powerful and informative teleseminar on writing and distributing professional press releases. The 90-minute session, entitled “Mastering Press Release Writing and Distribution” will be conducted by Diana Ennen, president of Virtual Word Publishing and a leader in the PR world.

The class, geared towards businesses, entrepreneurs and other independent professionals is scheduled to take place on June 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm EST, and will provide listeners with everything they need to know about writing and distributing professional press releases.

The teleclass will cover such topics as:

· Importance of regular press release distribution
· Key points to include in a press release
· Secret to making a press release rock
· Common press release writing mistakes and how to avoid them
· Best ways to distribute press releases
· Keys to repurposing your press release for multiple things
· Results you can achieve from your press release campaign
· Importance of including press release distribution in your marketing plan

Kelly Poelker, the president of the Academy of Virtual Professionals, as well as a colleague and co-author of Ennen’s, had this to say: “Diana and I are very excited to present this teleseminar to help businesses who may be considering launching a press release campaign, but aren’t sure how to start, or are struggling with a current campaign that simply isn’t getting the results they’re after. At the close of the 90 minutes, listeners will take away the tools they need to create and launch a successful press release campaign for their business.”

Poelker is discounting the cost of the teleclass to just $39 until Monday, June 20 at midnight. Along with that offer, Ennen is offering 20 minutes of one-on-one coaching to all participants who register within that same timeframe. In addition, one of the leading online PR submission sites, OnlinePRNews.com has come forward to offer a special discount to all attendees.

A solid press release campaign can do wonders to promote a business, a book, a product or a service. The key is knowing how to write a good press release and get maximum distribution. To learn more or to register for the teleseminar, visit 
http://www.academyvp.com/mastering-press-release-writing-distribution/.

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About:
Kelly Poelker is president of the Academy of Virtual Professionals, LLC (http://www.AcademyVP.com) and a recognized leader in the VA industry. Kelly shares her knowledge and expertise in the virtual assistant industry as a coach through the Academy of Virtual Professionals, through Twitter and Facebook, and as an industry speaker. She is also an accomplished author, having co-authored several books, including Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA, which she co-authored with Diana Ennen.

Diana Ennen is president of Virtual Word Publishing (http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com) specializing in PR and marketing. She’s also the co-author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA, which she co-authored with Kelly Poelker. In business since 1985, she knows what it takes to get great PR results and has been featured in or got her clients mentioned in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Readers Digest, Entrepreneur, AOL WalletPop, Woman’s World Magazine, Smart Money, Fox News, CNN Radio, CBS4 News, Homekeepers TV, and so many more.

Book Marketing Success is Achieved with the Right Publicity Virtual

Newest release! See it on WorldBook and News

Self-publishers and published authors alike often need assistance with the most vital aspect of their book journey, marketing and publicity. Successful authors know that to sell books, you need to do PR. And even more importantly, you need to do a lot of PR. You can’t just put your book on Amazon and send out a press release or two and hope for the masses to come. You need do an aggressive marketing campaign and get out there and promote your hard work. Fortunately, with the help of a Publicity Virtual Assistant it has never been easier.

Publicity Virtual Assistants are virtual assistants who specialize in publicity and marketing. Publicity Virtual Assistants utilize all their expert talents and superb writing abilities for book marketing and promotions, thereby helping authors achieve the success they deserve by providing extensive marketing solutions, innovative publicity campaigns, proofing and editing capabilities, extensive research, administrative support, and so much more. They can handle everything from writing and distributing press releases and articles to creating entire media campaigns and book blog tours.

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing,http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com states, “Today’s Internet has opened the doors to successful book marketing by Publicity Virtual Assistants. Being able to send press releases and articles to a targeted group is priceless and knowing how to effectively research to find that group is even more beneficial. The virtual assistant is already well versed on the Internet and well aware of how to find the right connections. Plus, with the increase in social networking, the virtual assistant is able to make their client known in the right places. It’s a matter of knowing what to do and where to do it that sets us apart.”

Publicity virtual assistants are especially beneficial for those many first-time authors who are overwhelmed with the publishing process. However, their expertise can be used by authors with numerous books as well and what’s beneficial is they can get more exposure for all their books. By partnering with a Publicity Virtual Assistant, the stress of having to know it all is drastically reduced and the author can rely on their PVA to take over and implement much of the publicity campaign.

If you are in need of a Publicity Virtual Assistant, stop by today at http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com for additional information. Also, if you are interested in learning more about becoming a publicity virtual assistant, contact Ennen directly at diana(at)virtualwordpublishing(dot)com.

Surefire Ways to Pack a Punch With Your Ezines & Newsletters

On my facebook page, someone asked about tips for writing a newsletter.  I wrote this several years ago and thought it might help.  What’s the most important thing to consider when writing a newsletter, scheduling it into your business to do the same as you do client work.  That’s what I’m trying to do.  My newsletter just continues to take the back burner. 

Hope you find this beneficial.

Surefire Ways to Pack a Punch With Your Ezines & Newsletters

Newsletters, or ezines, can be extremely effective marketing tools for your business. They put your name in front of your potential clients, regular clients, and peers while showing your expertise and professionalism.  They are an excellent means to both market and grow your business and also show your existing clients your creative abilities. 

Now the only drawback is to ensure your newsletter is worthy of being read. I subscribe to a lot of newsletters, but find I regularly only read a few upon their arrival.  When I decided to create my own newsletter, one of the first things I did was to look at those newsletters I regularly read and determine what it was about them that made me want to read them. What sets them apart from the rest?

One of the most important things I discovered was that they provided me with valuable information to help me in my business and which in turn helped me make a greater profit. They often provided information I didn’t already know.  For example, some newsletters provided tips on search engine optimization, new affiliate programs, PR resources, or software shortcuts.  Since I’m always looking to grow my business, this information is valuable to me.  You normally have knowledge in a given field that others don’t.  When preparing your newsletter, think about what expert knowledge you have or can obtain that would interest your targeted market.  Now that’s what you want to add to your newsletter.

In writing your newsletter, keep the following points in mind:

Your Readers

  • Know your readers and what they want. 
  • Ask your readers for feedback and how to improve.
  • Talk to your readers.  Don’t just put information in your newsletter, think about that audience out there reading your newsletter.  How do they feel after reading what you’ve prepared? 

Your Writing Style

  • Use short, simple sentences; keeping paragraphs short.
  • Write clearly and avoid slang or profanity.
  • Use humor and keep a refreshing tone to your writing.
  • In keeping your tone friendly, also keep it professional. 
  • Have white space between the paragraphs. 
  • Use small graphics whenever applicable. 
  • Include your logo for business recognition.
  • Use plain text. (12-14 point)

Headings

  • Entice the reader with your heading to ensure they read the article.  Most people decide whether they will even read the article from the heading.
  • Headlines should be slightly larger than the other text.
  • Use bold or italics and a good font, but don’t use all caps.
  • Make sure that the heading and article talk about the same topic.  It’s great to have an awesome heading, but if your article is on something else, you lose the edge you just gained.

Content of Newsletter

  • Content is king!  Just like on your website, it’s vital to have your newsletter or ezine packed full of useful information. 
  • Provide articles written by you and other experts.
  • Provide any new services or features you’ve added to your business.
  • Provide links of relevant press releases, articles, other sites, etc.  This gives readers more information that they can review.
  • Provide case studies, facts not known, etc.  Sign up for Google News so that you can get information your clients might not have seen.
  • Provide a collection of valuable small business tips, testimonials, etc.
  • When providing your tips, list them such as this:  The top ten reasons to …
  • Provide a personal message from you.  Many enjoy hearing how you are doing and what’s new happening in their life and business.  Just don’t’ go overboard.
  • Provide humorous quotations or jokes.
  • Contests / Polls / Freebies / Quizzes / Games!!  Let the fun begin.  Why not include something that makes the reader look forward to taking a break from their busy day to read your newsletter?
  • If you want to make money with your newsletter – put in ads or Google Adsense. 

The Final Step — Proofing

§         Make sure everything is 100% accurate with no typos.

§         Make sure you have permission for any copyrighted material.

§         Make sure if you have sources, you have credited them correctly.

§         Make sure that what is about to go out reflects your business well.

Most ezines are “opt-in,” which means that everyone who receives it has actually registered to receive it—they want it already.  Now the only thing you need to do is provide them great information that keeps them wanting it every month.  And once you find a winning strategy stick with it.  No need to change every month.  Let your readers get used to your style and way of writing. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter at http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com

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Diana Ennen is the author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant: the Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA, Words From Home, Start, Run and Profit from a Home-Based Word Processing Business & the Home Office Recovery Plan.  She specializes in publicity and book marketing and is president of Virtual Word Publishing http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com and http://www.VirtualAssistantStartups.com  Articles are free to be reprinted as long as the author’s bio remains intact.