About a year ago I came up with a brilliant idea. I was going to write an advice column for twentysomethings and every newspaper and magazine was going to want my column in their publication. With my newfound career as a columnist, I just knew I was going to be able to lay back and make a killing by writing my world-renowned column. I did my research on how to submit a column, wrote my query and six sample articles and after sending it to two papers and getting turned down because of budget reasons, I became discouraged. I don’t have much patience (what twentysomething does?). Then I got my new issue of WritersWeekly.com and read the success story, I Am the Publisher by Pamela White who started a food ezine. I began to think: Why should I wait for the papers to realize my column is a great idea? To heck with them, I’ll do it myself. That is when Twentity.com was born.
At first I wasn’t sure I could really pull it off. Who was I really kidding? Me, an editor and publisher? Even though I had my doubts, I bought Angela’s ebook Profitable Email Publishing. I read each page with excitement and heeded the advice and started formalizing a plan. Within a week I had come up with the sections, decided on the frequency of issues and written a press release. I remembered the ebook stated if someone is doing the same thing as you, just slant it. I thought about how I could make my ezine different from my competition. I studied the competition and noticed that they don’t list activities and events for twentysomethings to do. I created a section called Out & About, which features cheap and free events in CT, NY and NJ and added it to my tagline – Twentity.com, the free biweekly ezine for twentysomethings featuring cheap and free events ó and slapped it on my personal e-mail addresses as an e-signature.
Now that I had the concept and the content, I had to decide on a web hosting service and design. I found one that allows me to design the site myself and I gave it a shot. One word, yuck! It was the most hideous thing I’d ever created. So I found a web designer within my budget and trusted his expertise to design the site. Finally, in July, Twentity.com launched.
I’ve never been so excited and so afraid in all my life. Now I am out there, not just for my town, county and state to see but for the whole world to see. I am the one in charge and there is no one else to blame if something goes wrong but me.
Although I already have a daytime freelance gig, I have no problem coming home and putting in another eight hours at ‘the office.’ I am hoping that one day I will be able to make money off of the site, but for now I am just impressed that I am actually able to make deadlines for myself and follow through.
And even though my column is not world-renowned, yet, I have been gaining subscribers and even managed to get one of my columns syndicated in a local publication. So I’m almost there. It’s hard work but I am very pleased with the outcome.
ChaChanna Simpson is the publisher and editor of Twentity.com, the free ezine for twentysomethings, featuring cheap and free events. Subscribe at: http://www.twentity.com.