Wordbiz_report_logo_1For months now, my Web designer Sarah Lewis and I have been pondering how to make the production of my e-newsletter, WordBiz Report, more efficient, more powerful and more blog-like. Why?

Too much time

For the past five years I have created each HTML issue myself using a Dreamweaver template. Publishing an HTML newsletter this way takes hours. I compose or write the articles as I’m creating the issue. This takes even more time.

I fuss with the lay-out; change headlines and sub-heads; revise the copy, etc. Tsk, tsk. I can’t help it. That’s the way I write (and I know just enough HTML coding to be dangerous). 

An email is not interactive

In addition, the old email-only version of my e-newsletter is passive. It’s one way. Each issue is an orphan message dropped into readers’ cluttered inboxes. To offer feedback, readers can email me directly (and hope I see their message).

With this new blog format, readers can click through and leave Comments on individual articles, just as they would on a blog entry. That way their feedback is published and becomes part of the issue. Everyone can see what everyone else is writing.

New! Blog-letter? Blog-a-zine? Blog-gram?

My solution? Turn the HTML e-newsletter into a blog-letter. A blog-a-zine? A blog-gram? Whatever you want to call it, Sarah and I have finally created it. (I also send out a short text-only version of WordBiz Report.) Click here to learn more about how Sarah did it technically, using WordPress.

You can read the new version on your PDA

An interesting side benefit: the new HTML version of WordBiz Report (created through WordPress) renders perfectly on my Treo. Simpler code that’s PDA-compatible.

RSS or Web feed

And yes of course there is a new RSS feed specifically for WordBiz Report. Subscribe via FeedBurner.

You can still subscribe the old-fashioned way

Readers can still subscribe via email to WordBiz Report. In fact that’s the whole point.

Sign up here (you get a free Tips guide on How to Write an Effective Business Blog). The newsletter will be delivered to your inbox, just like a regular email. When you click through to Continue reading on each article, you’ll be on a blog page where you can add your two cents.

Try it here (takes you to an article in the current issue).

Current issue of WordBiz Report