Rejection. It’s a problem I’ve dealt with my whole life. It usually stems from my need to share voluminous amounts of detail with my audience.
I remember when, in grade school, I was supposed to write a short story. My dad and I sat in the living room one evening and wrote a hilarious story that went on and on and on. The next day, I stood before the class and read the story, but was sent to my seat before I finished sharing my masterpiece with the class. The teacher grew tired of the never-ending tale and quickly sent me–and my submission–to the rejection pile.
As much as I love to write, I love learning and teaching even more. Share my findings in 1200 words or less? It always seems impossible! There’s nothing I hate more than an article without substance. It’s like the cheese pizza I can’t stomach because it’s missing all the good stuff. Unfortunately, most editors fill their magazines and papers with cheesy articles that leave me hungry, making it difficult to break into traditional media.
Just as when I was a child, I continue to write meaty articles. I write what I want, and get paid to do so, because I have found my own niche. After losing my job as a regional marketing director one and a half years ago due to corporate restructuring, I decided it was time to stay at home with my kids. I knew I could put my experience to good use and chose to publish an e-newsletter for professionals in my field.
Media sales people, their research teams, their managers and production departments turn to my newsletter for in-depth information on various business categories. Each month, I select a topic, such as marketing furniture or marketing to women, and provide my audience with detailed information that helps them understand the trends, obstacles and opportunities that impact the marketing decisions their clients make. Armed with this information, the advertising account executives are able to make on-target recommendations that help their clients make more money.
And, while my subscribers still comment on the abundance of detail (a typical newsletter is 12 + magazine-style pages delivered in PDF format) they appreciate that someone has done the research that allows them to make money for themselves and their clients.
It’s great that others profit from my product, but what’s just as important is that I am able to make money myself. Three revenue streams that have worked for me include:
1) Paid subscriptions. The e-newsletter is available by subscription only. A $289 per year subscription provides distribution to all employees at a single office location. I am into my second year and just received $5000 in renewals today!
2) Advertising. This year, I will add my first sponsor to the newsletter. Ads are available within the newsletter, on the web site and within the teaser e-mail that goes out to prospects each month.
3) Related products. Public speaking, training workshops and tele-seminars on the topics I’ve already written about provide another way to use the information, and three more ways to turn a profit. I’ve also considered hiring a professional voice talent to read and record the newsletter so I can offer the same product in another format: a newsletter on CD!
My advice to anyone facing rejection: Change the rules! Write about what you love and publish it yourself. Who cares if you can’t find a traditional publisher? Create your own e-zine or self-publish your book. The Internet is a big place and like-minded people will find you!
Kim Peek publishes Ad Genius, a paid-subscription e-newsletter for media sales professionals, with the help of two pint-sized editorial assistants from her home in Olathe, KS. She is a contributing writer for CSP: Cable Sales Professional, and is proud to say that she has been “discovered.”