Oooh, doesn’t that sound good?
I know how it is. You want to create a newsletter and send it out to your community. You really do. But…
But what? What stops you?
Here’s one of the biggest fears small business owners have: “Once I send a newsletter I’ll have to keep sending it out on a regular basis. And what will I say?! How will I keep it up?”
Yep, when you’re just starting a newsletter, one of the biggest worries is the fear of producing quality content on a consistent basis.
You wonder where you’ll get ideas for your articles.
You can’t imagine knowing what to write about on a regular basis.
I hear you. And I’ve got good news for you!
There are many ways and places to get quality (and relevant) ideas for your newsletter content.
Here are a few sources for content, just to get you started:
1. The Mock Interview
When someone who is really interested in you asks what you do, are you at a loss for words? Likely not. Oh no, most likely you’re able to passionately describe the ways you help people, who you help and how you do it. When someone gets you started I’ll bet you could talk at length about your business and why you just can’t imagine doing anything else.
Ah, but here’s the rub. When you sit down to write an article about an aspect of your business or your journey, the words don’t flow quite so easily. All the sudden you don’t have anything to say.
Not to worry. Here’s a little trick to help you get those ideas and words flowing. Think back to some of the questions people have asked and write out your answers to them. If talking is easier than writing for you, get a friend to ask you those questions while you answer them. Record this conversation (you can probably use your phone for this) and then transcribe it (or hire someone to do it for you.)
Voila! Each question could become a short article or blog post. It could be the theme for a series you write. Or maybe it’s the topic of a personal note included in your newsletter. You might even combine related questions into a longer piece.
There are lots of ideas that can spring from having someone interview you. Give it a try and see what happens.
This one is easy-peasy. Ready? Create a brief survey or questionnaire on Survey Monkey or Google Drive. You could even create a poll on Facebook or LinkedIn. Ask what people struggle with when it comes to your area of expertise, what questions they have about your area, what holds them back from getting help and how their life would be if that particular problem was solved, or anything else that comes to mind. The answers and comments you receive will be great source material for your article topics.
You could create a survey every month and never run out of topics and issues to write about. Bonus: the newsletter articles you create from survey and questionnaire topics are particularly relevant to your audience because they gave the topics to you!
3. Online Forums
There are many people online right now and they’re asking questions you could help them with. Think about that for just a minute. Pretty amazing source of content, yes?
So get online and visit places where these questions are being asked, such as Yahoo Answers or Quora. Enter your keywords and see what people are actually asking. Then write articles as if you were answering the person who asked. For trending topics, Alltop is a good source. Find something related to what you do and then write an article with your own unique spin added to it.
4. Social Media
You may or may not be someone who hangs out online. Not to worry. You don’t have to use all of the social media channels for this source to work. You don’t even have to spend oodles of time on social media. There is an endless supply of current issues, opinions, and discussions available to you 24/7.
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be wonderful places to check in with and see what topics people are mentioning or discussing. And if you’ve joined any groups related to what you do within Facebook or LinkedIn, they’re great sources for current topics, as well.
5. Your Own Life
When you’re at a networking event or even just out and about, pay attention to what people talk about. Carry a small notebook to jot down ideas for articles as they occur to you. Think back to times you were struggling; what you were going through and how you overcame it will help your audience when they go through similar challenges. Also write about your successes and how you achieved them — this will inspire your readers and show them their dreams are possible.
Consider letting your audience have a glimpse into your journey, your daily life, and your business workings. Write about what’s happening with you now. This day. This week. Or this month. Your readers will appreciate getting to know you.
Here’s the bottom line: You simply need to start. Don’t get bogged down by what happens next.
Don’t let the worry about creating the next newsletter keep you from creating the first one.
Once you get started, you’ll find there are endless sources of ideas for your articles. Once you begin writing and publishing, you’ll receive comments and feedback from your readers. That bolsters your confidence and will provide you with even more ideas future content!