Writing a weekly newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with your prospects and your customers. You can let people know what’s happening in your life, add articles and information that only subscribers get (exclusivity), and let them know about any special offers you have.
But, here’s the thing… it always seems like a good idea when you start, but creating a weekly newsletter can turn into a huge time-suck if you’re not careful with how you do it. In fact, you can even get – dare I say it – bored with creating your newsletter! And when you get bored it shows and your readers will notice it too.
The trick is to keep yourself motivated so that you can honour your commitment to your readers to send them something fresh every week. Here are four tips for creating a weekly newsletter that will have you sending you a great product, and still not take up all your time.
Tip #1 – Simplify Your Structure
Sometimes when we get frustrated with creating a newsletter, it’s because we’re trying to do too much. Chances are that if you’re overwhelmed with the amount of content you’re putting in your newsletter, your readers will be feeling overwhelmed with it too.
Are you open to changing the format in order to simplify what you’re sending out each week?
Here’s a few ideas:
If you normally publish two articles in your newsletter, could you reduce that to one?
Or replace the articles with your weekly blog post? (Of course, if you’ve promised your subscribers exclusive content won’t work.)
What about sections? How many do you have? If you always have five or six sections in your newsletter could you simplify that down to two or three and still achieve your newsletter goals?
For example, if you’re publishing a health and fitness newsletter, could you send only one article and one recipe in each issue, instead of two articles and two recipes. You’d have more room for adding exercise tips or product reviews and still be sharing quality information.
If you review your goals, you may find that you have things in your newsletter that aren’t really serving your purpose, and that makes it easy to pare down.
Tip #2 – Outsource
I’ll admit, I’m really bad at outsourcing, especially when it comes to my newsletters. But you don’t have to follow my bad example.
If you already have a virtual assistant, are there tasks you can hand off to them to do? What about having them manage the whole project?
The cool thing about having your own business is that you get to decide what parts you want to work on. Maybe you like creating the content but hate all the set up and formatting stuff that goes with creating a newsletter. Having an assistant or a project manager means you get to focus on the parts you’re best at and that make your heart happy, and let someone else handle the details.
Tip #3 Practice Good Time Management Skills
One of the best ways to create a weekly newsletter is to carefully plan every issue well in advance. If you’ve done your structure planning, it’s easy to sit down and decide what you want to include in each issue, right down to the article title, bullet points, goals, and resources.
You can block off time to write all of the content for the month, quarter, or even the year. You can also create a monthly task list and have a ghost writer or virtual assistant simply follow your directions.
If you’re open to sharing your space, you can also consider having guest writers for a few issues. It’s a great way to reach new audiences, and can also free up some of your time.
Or, you can use this final tip…
Tip #4 – Use Done-For-You Content
Using done-for-you content is the ultimate time saver for creating a weekly newsletter. The heavy lifting as in the research and writing of the content is already done so that all you have to do is edit the material to add your own voice.
High quality done-for-you newsletters will usually be pre-formatted as well, so that all you have left to do is add your own promotions and branding before adding it to your autoresponder and sending to your list.
If you want to see a really good example of what I mean, Alice at List Magnets has released a set of done-for-you newsletters in the health and fitness niche. Her package includes:
- 4 Ready-to-Go Newsletters (.doc): You get a ready-to-go newsletter (.doc format you can turn into a PDF) with 3 attractive designs to choose from. You can customize the newsletters with your logo, photo and other branding elements. There is space for product promotions, so you can monetize your newsletters. You can send the newsletter as is or swap out with the other content we’ve made available in the package.
- 16 Articles (.txt): Each newsletter already comes with 2 articles inside, but they’ve included a total of 16 articles, so you can choose different articles if you prefer. You can also use the content to create additional issues, post it to your blog, add it to social media or publish it wherever you’d like.
- 10 Healthy Recipes (.txt): The newsletter comes with 2 recipes inside, but they’ve included a total of 10 recipes, so you can choose different recipes if you prefer.
- 1 Lead-Generating Opt-in Page: To help you grow your list with this content, they’ve included the opt-in copy and the WordPress-ready code. They even host the images!
You can get your done-for-you newsletters by clicking on the image below:
So there you have it… four tips for creating a weekly newsletter that keeps you in touch with your audience on a regular basis, without the overwhelm and frustration. Take advantage of these ideas and you’ll be able to focus on doing more of what makes you happy in your business, while still providing awesome information and resources to your readers.