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When the idea of starting one's own newsletter comes to mind, there are many questions on how to get started. The obvious place to start is with a good idea. Once you have a subject matter in mind, check out what's already out there. If there are a lot of other newsletters covering the same topic, you might want to start over with another idea. But, if you are willing to stick to your original idea, be ready for the work it takes to get your newsletter noticed.

First and foremost, decide what your newsletter will be about. Have a clear plan before you even try to announce it. Break it down into when you will publish, what exactly you will feature, if you will be paying contributors, what special areas you will have, et cetera.

Next, choose a name. When choosing a name, keep several key points in mind.

* Has it been used before?

* Does it demand attention?

* Does it even relate to your topic?

* Will you always like it?

Always conduct a thorough search to make sure the name has not been used before, especially in a newsletter. Although titles are not copyrighted, it still causes too much confusion AND if it steps on the toes of trademarks, one could be in serious financial trouble.

Starting a newsletter might sound like fun but a lot of hard work must go into it to make it a success. One cannot simply start a newsletter without having subscribers - for what purpose would it serve? Marketing is 85% of the work.

Start with a place to advertise. Set up a web site for free. Geocities and Homestead are only a few places that have free accounts where one can easily build a site. From there, once can advertise the newsletter and have subscribers sign on. Publishers will want to make sure the site pertains to the newsletter, of course. And one can always do vice-versa advertising in the newsletter to gain visitors to the site in the event that there is something to be sold from there.

Trading ads with other small publications is common practice and helps save advertising dollars. Read other newsletters and contact their publishers to set up arrangements for ad swaps. This can be highly effective in gaining new subscribers.

Never stop advertising. One can never market a newsletter enough, especially when the publication is unknown to begin with. Small publications can easily be overlooked in the huge world of publishing so one must make them known.

Finally, to cover local standards on running such a business (as publishing a newsletter may count as such in some cities or states), make sure to contact local business and/or tax offices to find out what one needs to do to make sure all legal grounds are covered.

Being the publisher of a newsletter can be exciting and very rewarding but one must make sure they are ready to take on such a demanding project first. There's a lot more to newsletter publishing than having a good idea.