Have you included a site search facility and a visitors feedback form on your web site? They make the site easier for visitors to use, and more professional in appearance - but they can also provide you with free content for your ezine.
How? When people complete the feedback form on your page, take the time to see what topics they want your site to cover. When you get your weekly and monthly site search statistics, check what their most frequent search requests have been.
Now, it’s time to create the next issue of your ezine - and you have a ready-made column or article. I call mine Reader Feedback, and include two sections - *What you’ve searched for this month* and *Topics you want included on the FSB site*.
This makes visitors and readers feel that they are part of the site community, that they can interact with the person running the site, and that I’m not some vague, far-off corporation who’s ignoring their requests. Including the word you in the title reinforces that feeling of community and involvement.
The trick, of course, is to make sure that you DO take notice of their requests. Add relevant items that people are searching for, even if it’s just a short paragraph followed by links to more information. If you plan to add the topic in the future, or want to research it before adding it, say so in your article.
Be sure your ezine article includes the web address (URL) of the page where you’ve added the information - this will encourage readers to visit or re-visit, and add to the stickiness of your site.
If you haven’t got a feedback form or a site search facility on your site yet, they can be added quite easily. I didn’t want to create my own feedback form, so I’ve signed up for Freedback’s free service at http://Freedback.com. I also use a free site search utility, from FreeFind at http://www.freefind.com, which can spider your site on request.
You’ll find several free feedback and site search providers if you search the web. Once you’ve added them to your site, you’ll not only be able to make it more attractive to visitors, but you’ll be able to add unique free content to your ezine as well!
Dianne Reuby is author of the ebook “Creating a Web Site with Free Software”, published by the Newbie Club. Dianne created and runs the Free Site Builder web site and ezine, dedicated to helping newbies create web sites with free tools and resources. http://www.freesitebuilder.co.uk/ or subscribe at firstname.lastname@example.org
(c) Copyright 2001 by Dianne Reuby, All Rights Reserved