One of the most frequent questions that we get when discussing webzines is ‘how often should we publish?” With today’s overloaded email boxes people are very conscious about not getting caught up in the online version of proverbial ‘file 13’ better known as the delete key. To avoid this fate it is critical to determine the right frequency so that your readers view you information as bringing them value and not as an intrusion. Overwhelming your readers could result in many of them unsubscribing or worse just not reading your webzine.
Let’s look at some of the key considerations. First of all, is your news or information perishable? If your information is date sensitive or must be acted on quickly then sending it next week will not serve any purpose. Accordingly ‘time sensitive’ information needs to be sent in short intervals. An example would be if your webzine deals with travel discounts and a major airline announces it has a three day sale on tickets from New York to London. You need to get that information out today so your readers can receive value from the information. On the other hand if you website focus is ‘quotable quotes’ it is not likely that it has the same sense of urgency for publishing the information.
Another key consideration is resources and their utilization. Needless to say to produce a daily webzine requires more commitment of resources and their time then produce a quarterly webzine. Consider the following:
Daily – Someone on your staff will have to commit time daily to finding information, articles, etc., setting up the webzine, proofreading and editing, set up for delivery, etc. every day. Depending on the nature, content and length of your webzine this could range from a couple of hours to all day. Congratulations besides your core business you have just gotten into the publishing business on a full time basis.
Weekly – Similar to the daily scenario someone will have to spend time on those same activities at least once a week. This could easily consume the equivalent of a day or more a week. Do you have the resources to dedicate to this activity? How much time will finding or creating content take? Remember the more frequently you publish the more information you need.
Bi-Weekly – The time management issues and staff time commitment ease up a bit with this timing, however, you still have to decide is this timing sufficient to meet your audiences needs. If weekly is too much for you to handle and too much for your readership to be interested, but monthly is too far out than this could be a viable option even though it is still resource intense.
Monthly –The time management issues and staff time commitments get much better because the responsible person can spread the required activities out over the course of the month which from a workload viewpoint makes it easier to accomplish while maintaining other duties. Note I am assuming you are not dedicating a staff member to creating a webzine.
Quarterly – The above points regarding time management and staff time even get better with this frequency, however, a major question has to be while this is bettor for you from a resource utilization viewpoint, will it meet your marketing goals in doing the webzine in the first place. You certainly will not be able to cover time sensitive material, special offers, highlight any short term product announcements, etc. Also a fundamental question has to be does a quarterly publication keep your firm on peoples minds or do they forget about you? You have to closely examine your goals and purpose of doing the webzine to see if this meets them. Very few webzines are published on a quarterly basis.
Our intent was to give you some key considerations regarding deciding the frequency to publish your webzine and armed with this information you should be able to decide which frequency best fits your business requirements and the goals of your webzine. Choosing the right frequency will have a direct baring on the success of your webzine and its contribution to your overall marketing effort. Good luck.
If you would like help with publishing your webzine please contact me at email@example.com. We publish The Background Buzz as a private brand webzine for clients (taking out the advertisements, competitive information, etc.). We create a unique header and template for your webzine that fits with your company’s image and marketing strategies.