Do you ever sit down at your desk and think “Oh no, I’ve got to get that newsletter out tomorrow, better get started!” Not cool. You can create a newsletter on that type of schedule, but it’s not going to invigorate, compel, or engage your audience. It’s going to stink. Why spend time to do something poorly?
When I plan newsletter content I go through a process that fuels my creativity, and allows my mind some time to breathe. Here’s what I do.
1) I decide what I want this specific newsletter to accomplish. Get customers interested in coming to an open house? Foster trust with an organization? Now I know how to choose or angle content to help meet my goal.
2) I brainstorm ideas for at least double the content pieces I will need. I set my mind on the goal of my newsletter and I ruminate. Sometimes I spend two or three days brainstorming content ideas. I don’t sit at my desk for two to three days, I put this request on the “back burner” of my brain and let it work on it. When an idea hits me on a run or while cooking dinner I record it on my phone.
3) I choose the best ideas and create an editorial calendar. Meaning, I go with the best topics, and record on my calendar the days I will do research, interviews, writing, and proofing. I work backwards from the day I need to send my newsletter out. (If it’s a print newsletter give yourself extra time for getting something to the printer and mailing). Don’t forget to include ways you will share your newsletter in your editorial calendar like posting links on Twitter, LinkedIn, your company blog etc.
This process may seem cumbersome, but once you get used to it it’s invigorating! Organize your newsletter content like a pro and you’ll create content that will engage your readers instead of taking a quick dive into the trash bin. Yikes!