Sourcing Newsletter Content On The Internet (4)

 

Foreword By The Author

This is the fourth (and final) article in a series of where the focus is on sourcing newsletter content on the Internet. The full sequence of articles is as follows:

  1. Copyright Issues
  2. Help and Guidance Resources
  3. Subject Research
  4. Content Providers

Mike Alexander
For all your content needs go to ClipCopy Content Solutions

Types of Providers

Individual Suppliers

Writers, artists and other creators of original works such as experts in particular fields, are well represented on the Internet. In a quest for articles covering obscure topics, this can often prove a most fruitful area. Searching by subject will usually turn up a host of such individuals, many of whom may have works available for download. Those that don’t may be willing to make some previously or privately published work available to you for a consideration, such as a small payment or even just a promise to include their byline (which should go without saying anyway). Some authors, artists and photographers display samples of their work on their own web sites and free material is often made available as a means of publicity—or even out of sheer philanthropy.

Co-operatives

There are a number of ‘exchanges’ on the Internet, some in the form of websites and some being ezines (electronic newsletters), that are set up to allow creators of original works and publishers to interact. Publishers use these facilities to find material and to post messages about their copy needs. Producers use them to display specific works with inherent reprint permissions provided their byline is included. The ‘exchange’ relates to the mutual benefit derived from such an arrangement.

Similarly, there are websites and ezines that are set up as ‘showcases’ or galleries, where writers or artists can post samples of their work for perusal or download, sometimes together with their resumes. As might be expected, though, most of the people using such facilities to display work either have a commercial interest (i.e. they are pushing a product or service) or they are new (i.e. unpublished) and many of the sites themselves are the creations of ‘wannabe’ authors.

Press Release Services

Use of the Internet by journalists and the media is expanding faster than practically any other area of activity on the net. Press Release Services are at the forefront of this phenomenon and the services on offer are growing more comprehensive by the day. Material on some sites is restricted to bona-fide journalists who must produce credentials to verify their right of access but many are open to anyone who may wish to use them. Some are ‘private’ sites available only to members (usually for a fee) but most offer some, if not all, of their services at no charge.

Syndication Services

For the purposes of this article, the term ‘syndication’ covers any collection of ready-made copy that is put together for publishing under license, usually through a third party. Such collections may be packaged by subject, type, author or by any other grouping imaginable, but the commonality is that the syndication service provider manages all transactions between creator and user. Some services specialize in certain areas or types of copy whereas others cover the whole gamut of content provision. Most Internet syndication services concentrate more on content for websites than for newsletters but they can still offer a valuable service to newsletter publishers who need to contract for bulk content. Having said that there are one or two that do specialize in newsletter copy.

Types of Content

Many of the links in this article point to resources that encompass various forms of electronic publishing, but the focus in this series is on content in relation to newsletter publishing, whether hard or soft copy. The links included in this article are meant to give you some idea of the range of resources available and some less well known sites have been deliberately intermingled with better known ones. Also, the various ‘types of providers’ mentioned above are covered where possible. The links themselves are a very small representation of the ever-growing number of resources available on the Internet.

Articles

From the point of view of newsletter publishing, the most sought-after form of content is probably articles that cover the topics of greatest interest to the newsletter’s readers. Fortunately, there are many providers of articles on the Internet. Whether they cover topics of interest to your readers, however, is another matter. If your newsletter covers online marketing, for example, you will find a ready abundance of providers of such material. On the other hand, if the main subject of your publication is very tightly ‘niche-specific’, particularly if it’s a somewhat obscure interest, you may find that suitable copy is much harder to find. Having said that, however, there are thousands of potential sources and many ways to search out what you need.

A great many articles suitable for newsletter content are available on the Internet at no charge provided that the rules of accreditation are observed. On the other hand, there is also a lot that is for sale or available under license. The much-quoted adage “you get what you pay for” may no longer be quite as true as it once was but nonetheless care must be exercised if you want information, especially text-based data, of a certain quality and lucidity.

There are an awful lot of people on the Internet who seem to have persuaded themselves that they are experts in fields in which they are really learners. There are others who, though they might well have expertise in their subject, have difficulty expressing themselves clearly through the written word. Price, or the lack of it, just as in the ‘real’ world, can sometimes be a very rough guide as to what to expect. It can only be a rough guide though. Excellent quality original copy is often provided at no charge on the Internet as a way of ‘showcasing’ a creator’s work. Here are a few examples of websites and ezines that offer articles for publication:

ClipCopy Content Solutions

Hundreds of newsletter articles of all sorts, and other resources for desktop publishers, are in the ClipCopy collection. Particularly good for newsletter producers or anyone who wants to break into the field. Slanted towards home-based and self-employed businesses publishing for profit or non-profit but also appropriate for hobbyists etc.
http://www.clipcopy.com/

Articles Archives

A free, easy-to-use email group service. Articles found on this site are submitted by members, for members to use on their websites or newsletters.
http://www.yahoogroups.com/subscribe/articles_archives

MediaPeak

Serious webmasters, listmasters, entrepreneurs and investors build great businesses. Our members embody the spirit of those innovators who started in their garage and created successful, world-class enterprises.
http://www.mediapeak.com/

NetPower Publishing

‘How-to’ Internet Marketing Articles from Earl B. Hall. Free professional content – yours for the taking… These articles were written to assist online business owners. You are invited to use them in your publication or on your website. The only requirement is the inclusion of the short resource box after each article.
http://www.powerpub.com/articles.htm

Greg Landry Health Articles

Author, speaker and exercise physiologist, Greg has been helping people to lose weight, tone-up, and have more energy for over ten years. His emphasis is on achieving healthy, permanent results through his unique ‘Metabolism System™ For Weight Loss & Muscle Tone’. NO weight loss pills, powders, or potions! He makes a number of excellent articles on the above topics available for free download for publication.
http://www.landry.com/

World Wide Information Outlet

You are invited to take one or more free articles from World Wide Information Outlet for use on your web page, web site or in your e-mail newsletter. Select from categories such as business, health, pets, travel, religion, life and sports to name a few. Visit often to get fresh and ever changing free content for your web site or e-mail newsletters. Our talented writers offer their articles to you in a gesture of giving something back to the Internet.

Web-Source

Free content: articles for publication in your ezine, newsletter or on your website.
http://www.web-source.net/free_articles.htm

Fillers From Press Releases

Short articles gleaned from press releases can prove very useful because they are so subject-specific. Two major advantages to newsletter publishers is that they are free and that it is normal practice to allow editing without fear of violating copyright (the proviso being, of course, that the core message remains clear and that contact details, if any, remain essentially intact). They are often ideal for sidebars, for instance, or for any occasion where a short piece of text might be called for to augment an original story. Here are a few places on the Internet where they issue such media releases:

Xpress Press

Wacky, offbeat news, weird news, unusual business stories and holiday story ideas sent to journalists and news producers by e-mail.
http://www.xpresspress.com/

COMTEX News Network

The dynamic infomediary that brings together a critical mass of quality real-time content, adds refining data and redistributes specialized, targeted content to the Internet, Wall Street and corporate reseller markets. COMTEX delivers value-added news and information by connecting global publishers with online and corporate distributors. That is an infomediary and that is COMTEX. Over 10,000-information sources guarantee we have the content your audience wants. Our 1100+ clients agree.
http://www.comtex.com/

Internet News Bureau

Premium value Press Release services for businesses and journalists.
http://www.newsbureau.com/

Newsletter Fillers and Features

Two other items that can be used to enhance most newsletters are ‘scatter’ fillers (such as quotations, jokes etc) and regular features (such as crosswords, quizzes, horoscopes, and so on). They have an important part to play in most popular newsletters so don’t make the mistake of undervaluing or dismissing them as trivial or irrelevant. They can be a valuable help in ’rounding out’ a newsletter and are often a real hit with readers. Here are a few samples of online offerings in this area:

ClipCopy Content Solutions

Hundreds of newsletter fillers of all sorts (articles, jokes, crosswords, quotations, etc) and other resources for desktop publishers from the ClipCopy collection. Particularly good for newsletter producers or anyone who wants to break into the field. Slanted towards home-based and self-employed businesses publishing for profit or non-profit but also appropriate for hobbyists etc.
http://www.clipcopy.com/

Quoteland

This site will help you find quotes from silly to inspiring to bolster an opinion, make your members laugh, or just add some class to your list.
http://www.quoteland.com/

HUMORMALL.COM

Resources for comedians, humorists, speakers; includes comedy how-to techniques, insider tips and comedy club backstage secrets. Learn how to write comedy, how to create humor, how to deliver humor, how to add humor to a speech and how to become a comedian. Free jokes for presentations, free jokes for speeches, comedy how-to techniques, plus Free Jokes Weekly, a webzine with ‘copy & paste’ content, cartoons etc.
http://www.humormall.com/

Illustrations

Clipart is not an ‘online’ phenomenon; many of us were clipping and pasting ready-made line art long before the Internet was first thought of. Nevertheless, newcomers to publishing (and the net) might be forgiven for thinking it is. There are literally thousands of clipart sites in cyberspace and some of them are huge, with tens of thousands of pictures available for download. There are also many more sites that concentrate on other types of graphics such as cartoons, photographs, ‘fine’ art etc. Here is a tiny, but fairly broad selection, to give you an idea of what cyberspace has to offer in this field:

Cartoon Bank

Add impact to periodicals, brochures, web sites, and presentations by licensing a New Yorker cartoon. This is the land of cartoons, 85,000 of them, brought to you by the cartoon editor of the New Yorker magazine. You can license the images for advertising or personal use, order framed prints, and buy some of the original artwork through the site.
http://www.cartoonbank.com/

Free Christian Images

At FCI we make free contemporary Christian graphics. Each image has a different design and message. They can be used on webpages, in newsletters, in presentations in letters, etc. Free for non-profit use.

VenturNet

Free for all, clip art with no limit on usage, no charges, no hidden hooks. Feel free to use our clip art as you wish in your personal or business site.

Hagen Cartoons

A collection of single-panel cartoons available for publication. For commercial use of any of these cartoons in your newsletter, magazine, newspaper or web-pages, all you have to do is pay a (very) small fee for non-exclusive reproduction rights. The price will depend on many parameters, so do not hesitate to contact me (it could even be free for small-companies or club newsletters).

http://members.tripod.com/~Christophe_Granet/

Clipart Place

The Clipart Place features 1000′s of free clipart, animations, icons, and backgrounds.

ArtToday

The largest collection of clipart, photos, fonts and sounds on the internet. Instant access and unlimited downloads for as little as $29.95 a year.
http://www.arttoday.com/

© 2000 Mike Alexander (Revised 2009), All Rights Reserved

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