In your opinion, what makes a great website? Think about it. Why do you keep going back to certain sites on a regular basis? What is it that draws you in and makes you feel compelled to return again and again?
Why do some newsletters always get read? I mean, every single issue, from top to bottom, and then stored safely in special file to be read again later. How come others are simply deleted as soon as they hit the inbox, assuming they manage to maneuver their way through the aggressive filtering systems, designed and implemented to capture "SPAM-BOMBS" and turn them immediately to dust and charcoal? Why are some e-zines not considered a priority read and are instantly stored away for later, as in, after I die, my son can sort through this bunch of junk, if he's up to that monumental task.
What makes the difference? Just what makes a great website and newsletter?
For me, the ultimate answer is: 60% content. (Relevant, interesting and creatively presented) and 40% Personality. (Trusted, likable entertaining and believable.)
O.K., so what does that mean to YOU!
Well, assuming that there's more than just a small handful of other discerning readers out there, who also prefer relevant, interesting and creatively presented content supplied by an editor that is trust worthy, likable, entertaining and believable, A LOT!!!
I believe it's finally time for Website owners, particularly those who offer the "Almighty Newsletter," in order to enlighten (Sell) and entertain (Promote) their loyal (I bought this list) and dedicated (why doesn't anyone ever respond) readers, to truly look inside and assess their strengths.
I mean, really, truly look deeply into their hearts to determine whether they, in fact, have the natural insight and instinct, the true gifts and talents, to effectively and efficiently perform all the duties and tasks that go into creating a quality website and newsletter.
Many great entrepreneurs have the marketing savvy and business experience to know exactly how to throw together a killer deal that will sell like hotcakes over the net. Actually, I've only bought hotcakes over the net twice, and both times they were served up undercooked, cold, two dimensional and rather tasteless, but you get the point.
Great. Now does being a business genius automatically qualify you to be a great editor? I think we all know the answer to that question. There are just certain personality characteristics and innate skills and passions that make people shine at one position and really suck eggs at another.
My Dad is an electronic engineer. He creates things that make airplanes and rockets, including the Space Shuttle fly (I swear, that wasn't his fault!) People always use the cliché's about having or not having to be a rocket scientist to do something, well… my dad "IS" a Rocket Scientist.
So who do you think had to go through his reports to the "Big Wigs" to make sure they came across clear, concise, and to the point; with interest. Well, let's just say, it wasn't my dad. He had all the amazing scientific genius to astound the industry and change the way things were done, but he needed a writer to make it all come across in one, organized, interesting, clear package. My Dad's a smart man!
I can write, edit, and create like a whirlwind, however, if the alternator goes out on my car, I'm a dead man! Hey, I can change the oil, but then Jiffy Lube is so much better at it, and faster. We all need to assess our strengths and weaknesses, and then get experts to fill in the holes where we find ourselves wanting.
Website Proprietors and newsletter Editors, lend me your ear, you must honestly take the time to determine whether you have the expertise to go it alone. Not everyone has equal skill at every job in life. Some of you will instantly quintuple (That means increase by 5 :-0 ) your profits from your site and e-zine, by just finding yourself a great writer to help keep it readable, interesting, entertaining, perhaps even fun, for your readers.
If you don't have that organizational flair, and an artistic eye for quality appearance and presentation, then by all means, do yourself and your poor subscribers a huge favor, and grab yourself a good editor. He or she will increase your subscription numbers by veritable leaps and bounds, once word of mouth starts getting around. Face it, there’s nothing worse for a reader, than getting hooked into an article and then every other paragraph, stopping dead in your tracks, for some inanely crafted, annoying little ad, that has nothing to do with the topic of the article, or even that particular ezine, for that matter. Yikes, come on people!
Lastly, don't forget personality. Think about it. There's a reason Magazines like People, Rolling Stone, Cosmo, yes-even Playboy and the like, are still the top sellers year after year. They have personality plus. Controversial, interesting, provocative, and with some off the wall attitude that gets occasionally downright sassy, that's what people seek out. It's real, true human interest 101, and though many won't openly admit it, they absolutely love it!
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying toss in a bunch of silly stories about who's sleeping with who, how to seduce a rich corporate executive, what's the secret hidden meaning behind the lyrics to the latest hit song on the radio, or get some half dressed model to grace the center pages of your electronic periodical. I'm saying, learn from the truth, that people thrive on personality and real human interest, and then skillfully apply that truth, by eloquently weaving it into your particular niche.
Please, just give us some real, down to earth, no holds bared, personality. Someone with a sense of humor, someone who can openly express that they are seriously annoyed with things that are truly wrong! I want someone who is upbeat and funny, a voice that is thought provoking, mysterious, off the wall, and just as real as the people sitting across from me at my local coffee shop. Actually, even more real than that would be appreciated! Present us with a living, breathing, moving, thinking, expressive human voice, a cognizant perspective, someone who I might consider having as a friend, that's what's needed to make a web site and e-zine stand out as being remarkable and comfortable. Give us value and "GET REAL!"
If you can't provide that to your projects, in abundance and with consistency, do yourself and the rest of us a huge favor, and go out and find someone who can!
You'll make a lot more money, you'll make a lot more long-term customers, and you'll make a lot more friends!
Larry L. Nichols
When Only the Right Words will do,
It’s Right for You- Right Now!
Web Design and Radio Production
Custom Created, with a Servant’s Heart.