Books - Reports - Websites

The One Word You Must Know
That Puts The Money in Your List

There are a lot of books, reports, websites and courses devoted to teaching how to build a list. Quite right too - list building is one of the most important skills an Internet marketer can learn. But here's the thing...barely one in a hundred people who bother to collect more than two emails together in an autoresponder have the first idea of what to do with them.

List building is only the beginning of a process that can bring you in a fortune, or can leave you frustrated and convinced that all Internet marketing is a waste of time. This article is the first in a short series that gives my take on how to make sure the old saying 'the money is in the list' applies to you and your list.

What makes me so qualified to tell you my ideas?

I've been publishing my ezine for over 845 issues at the time of writing, and it is amazingly responsive. Indeed, I make a good full-time living by writing to my little list of 5000 or so keen readers.

The secret to having a responsive, profitable list can be summed up in one word: PROSE.

Wikipedia defines prose like this: "Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to the patterns of everyday speech. The word prose comes from the Latin prosa, meaning straightforward."

It is a good definition, but writing an ezine or newsletter is concerned, it isn't quite specific enough. I prefer to consider PROSE as a acronym:

P stands for personal. People like to read about people, so tell stories, engage with your readers by sharing details about your life. Of course your newsletter will, and should, have an underlying theme about whatever your specific niche subject is, but being too focused on topic can get dry and dull very fast.

R is for real. Way too many writers, especially those who are just starting out, write like English grammar teachers. They sound like textbooks, or worse, robots. School, and later business, teaches people to write in a strange formal, stilted form of language that's quite hard to read and completely out of place when writing an ezine or newsletter.

Keep your words simple, your sentences short and your grammar loose. Just like real people talk.

O means often. New writers of newsletters and ezines fear they will overload their readers and so start out publishing once a month or less. That's a big mistake. On the Internet a month might as well be forever. In a month your readers will have completely forgotten who you are and will have stopped caring about what you've got to say.

My newsletter is published three times a week and the only complaints about frequency I get are when I have to skip an issue.

Follow my PROSE rules and your readers will look forward to hearing from you however often you send your ezine out.

S equals solo. Although your newsletter may have many subscribers - hundreds or even thousands of them - when you sit down to write, you only have one. If you speak to a crowd your tone will be very different to when you speak to one person. Your message may be the same, but the personal way you deliver it will change subtly.

The very best ezines are the ones where you feel the author is speaking directly to you. You connect.

When you write, picture one person who you are having a friendly chat with. Like I'm doing with you now.

E is the most important part of the formula. E stands for ethical. In the UK, where I live, advertising is judged by three words: legal, decent and honest. Your writing should meet up to those three requirements as well. Don't ever lie to your readers - not just because you'll one day get found out (you almost certainly will), but because that isn't how a trusted friend behaves.

And that, my friend, is what you should be to your readers.

The moment you learn to write good prose, as a real trusted friend, the money really will be in the list.

Martin Avis publishes Kickstart Today 3 times a week. It is an eclectic mix of inspiration, motivation, business ideas, Internet marketing and personal development. With a bit of fun thrown in for good measure! Find out how he applies the PROSE principles to write to some of the most loyal readers online at

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