6 Great Newsletter Ideas--When You're Out of Ideas!
Author: James Palmer
For marketers, publishing your own electronic newsletter can be challenging. Between project deadlines and other things, you've already got a lot on your plate. Then you also have a newsletter to get out every week, month, or quarter. Then it happens . . .
You've run completely out of ideas.
What do you do?
Well, first of all, don't panic. Panicking will just make it worse. Secondly, follow these five guidelines and you'll find yourself coming up with more fresh ideas than you can fit into a dozen newsletters.
1. Think Timely
Is there something going on the world that you can tie back in to your business? Keep an eye on the local and national news, especially business trends. Is there something there you can use as a springboard for an article about your business?
2. Relate Your Subject to Something Else
Even a subject that has nothing to do with the focus of your newsletter can be fodder for an article. In a recent issue of DM News, copywriter Bob Bly wrote a copywriting article entitled: "Harry Potter and the Irresistible Offer", in which he talks about an interview that J.K. Rowling did recently where she mentioned having written the final chapter of the last Harry Potter book over 15 years ago. That way, she would know how the series ends and be able to tie everything that came before into that final chapter.
Bob deftly tied this into direct mail copywriting, stating how you can follow Rowling's advice by creating the offer first and then writing the other direct mail elements. Genius! Not only is it a great idea, but Bob was able to connect to something from popular culture-and what's more popular right now than Harry Potter?-into an informative, helpful article about direct mail. Now you try!
3. Answer Reader Questions
If you get a lot of questions from your readers, this can make for great articles.
4. "Invite" a "Guest" Author
I did this a couple months back in my own newsletter, when I posted an article by Ezine Queen Alexandria K. Brown. Many ezine writers put permission to reprint at the end of their articles. All you have to do is include their fully intact bio and contact information at the end. It's free, viral marketing for them, and a free article for you. So if you're stumped one month, just look back at the other newsletters you've received. Is there an article that you particularly enjoyed or identified with? Something that would be a good fit for your readers? Grab it and send it out. Just make sure you've gotten permission, or done whatever is required by the author for you to use their work legally.
5. "Classic" Reprints
If your newsletter has been around a while, try reprinting a "classic" article from your archives. New subscribers probably haven't seen it, and your longtime readers would likely enjoy a refresher course. Just don't make a habit of it.
6. Interview an Expert
In your business, you've doubtless made contact with other business people in fields complementary to yours. Why not interview them for your next newsletter article? People love talking about themselves and their businesses, especially if it means free advertising for them! Include their bio and website link at the end. You never know, it could lead to some joint venture opportunities!
I know it may not seem likely, but as any writer will tell you, coming up with ideas is easy, it's the writing that's hard! Ideas are all around us, but sometimes you just have to do a little digging to dredge them up. For example, my lack of ideas gave me the idea for this article! So just look around and take what you need from the world around you. Your next newsletter will go out on time, and will be a killer success!
About the author: James Palmer is a freelance copywriter and co-author of the books Networking Like a Pro! and How to Overachieve W/O Overcommitting. He creates business-building ads, press releases, website copy and sales letters for a variety of clients. For a free, no-obligation copy quote, or to sign up for his free newsletter The Write Stuff, visit http://www.jamesmpalmer.com.
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