It was a post by Greg Swann at Bloodhound on Zinepal that got me to playing with it. From the Zinepal blog it appears that post got several other agents doing the same thing. I would have said REALTORS(copyright thingy here) except I get tired of writing that out so I say agents.
Terri L was the one that brought it to Gregg’s attention. I started using it a week or so later. This was several month ago. Greg did a follow-up post to Frank Worsley the author of Zinepal with a wish list of 10 items. I think most of those have been addressed by Frank.
Zinepal.com has grown and improved greatly since those early days. Lots of new features and the ability to edit your posts once imported into Zinepal is HUGE.
You Wrote it, Use It
I did a few test newsletters. Then three months ago I started using Zinepal to create a monthly newsletter made of of some of my posts from the month. Each month as I go back to create the next newsletter Frank has added more functionality to the site. Image handling is better and you can add additional images, text routing is better and you now have formatting options, the preview is great.
Setting up the Feed
I found the easiest way to get all the posts for the month was to go into feedburner and create a new feed with the past 50 posts in it. This is the feed I point Zinepal to when I want to create a new newsletter. Once the feed is imported Zinepal checks the first 5 posts and give you the opportunity to select additional posts for your newsletter. You can uncheck any of the 5 post automatically selected. (You will be able to change the order in the next step.
I’m Done Create My Zine
Here is where Frank could make the process a little clearer. You aren’t really done, done. You are done selecting content, once the Zine is generated you have the options to rearrange the posts, edit the posts, create a custom header for the zine. There are a lot of options. Maybe the button should say “Let Get To It – Create My Zine!”
Once you press that button, you really get to the nuts and bolts of putting yoru newsletter together. Rearrange the posts. Edit them, Change the formatting. Change the Font and size if you want. Add text color for emphasis.
Don’t miss the options below to create a custom header image, insert keywords and ads if you need them for your newsletter.
There’s a lot more features and you can find them on your own, besides I’m sure Frank will have added more by the time this post is published.
Preview as often as you want. When you are ready generate you finished newsletter. Zinepal will send you an email with a link to the newsletter or you can download it and host it yourself. If you are into the Apple Kindle there is a Kindle version created as well.
Expand your Readership and Influence
As I said above, you wrote the posts why not expand their readership. Our monthly newsletter goes on the blog as a link. The newsletter generated is a PDF file. We also send out an email with the link attached to several HR dept. around town. They in turn download the newsletter and make it available for their employees.
We send an email to our sphere each month outlining the content of the newsletter and including the link.
Here is the revelation for all you web savvy realtors agents; There are still a lot of people that find it more convenient to read something from a piece of paper than from a computer screen. (I’m one of them). I often print out articles and post I want to read at breakfast. I don’t drag a laptop along (Besides McDs doesn’t have free WIFI). I do take a book, the daily newspaper and any printouts I want to read and make notes about.
A lot of people at work, don’t have access to a computer, (Yeah, I know and I’m not kidding). But they do have a lunch hour and having something to read is always a good thing. You can get people to read a newsletter at lunch they wouldn’t even bother opening at home.
We are getting great exposure around the community and in a lot of businesses with this newsletter.
But I’ll be honest, without Zinepal.com I wouldn’t take the time to put this thing together each month. With Zinepal it takes me about 30 minutes to create the custom header image for each edition and put it together to appear the way I want it. It would take me hours to do the same thing in Publisher. Time I don’t have, time I’m not willing to spend.
Zinepal is a great GREAT tool for turning blog posts into a newsletters. Some posts I now write specifically with the newsletter in mind. Here is the link to our June 2009 Newsletter created with Zinepal.
Looking for a way to get more exposure for the content you have already taken the time to write? Put Zinepal in your RE business toolbox.