How to improve your newsletter content in 5 simple steps

content newsletters Jul 10, 2019

How often do you sit down to whip out your newsletter and then get frustrated because what's in your mind isn't translating on your screen?

Maybe you don't know what to write about, can't locate your brand assets or photos, have trouble finding the right words, the formatting is giving you fits, or you can't believe it takes so much time to write a few measly paragraphs. As a result, you may feel stuck, stupid, flustered, or a combo of all three—and if you do, please know you're not alone.

Here's the truth: creating good content is hard—even for professionals who do it for a living. But you can make creating content easier by taking the right steps: defining your goals, narrowing your audience, setting yourself up for success, scheduling your work, and getting comfortable with discomfort.

Let's dive in, shall we?

Define your goals

When your newsletter aligns with your business goals, you do three things that deliver better results—focus, budget, and measure.

But defining your goals also guides the content you create. For example, if your goal is to build your reputation as a local authority, generic content about Anytown, USA is not a good option for your newsletter. Your content must showcase people, places, and things in your area. Or put a local spin on regional or national issues.

Any goal you set will eliminate and establish content options. And that makes creating it easier!

Narrow your audience

If your newsletter is a source of stress, narrowing down your audience will be a welcome change. Having a specific audience makes communicating with them, crafting content for them, and connecting with them more simple and straight-forward.

Imagine creating a newsletter that will appeal to your Realtor peers and out-of-town buyers. Pretty difficult, right? But, building on the example above, if your goal is to establish your local authority and you narrow your audience to out-of-town buyers, your brain will flood with content ideas—all because you simplified things.

See how that works?

Set yourself up for success

Creating content doesn't have to be stressful. Keep your content tools and information handy so you don't have to scramble to find or remember it.

A brand style guide is a living document that describes, defines, and presents examples of what your brand looks and sounds like.

This guide makes it easy for you—and anyone to whom you delegate—to keep your business on-brand and make your marketing cohesive and consistently fabulous. It helps strengthen and differentiate your brand, create integrated content across channels, ensures your content is sensitive to and resonates with your readers, and provides a reference when you need it.

A brand style guide contains useful information, like the following:

  • branding guidelines and links to your brand assets (I like using Dropbox)
  • voice, tone, and style guide to keep your writing on-point.
  • list of words you like, dislike, misspell, confuse—keep them all in one place!
  • editorial and content calendars
  • accounts, login credentials
  • detailed descriptions of your processes

Being prepared ensures that the limited bandwidth I have during crunch time is spent executing my marketing—not searching for marketing assets, trying to remember passwords, or being unable to ask for help when I need it most.

I know many Realtors who are incredibly busy but can't grow their business because their process isn't documented and their assets are disorganized. That means stopping and explaining the ins and outs of your business to the person who's trying to help you. Who has time for that?

Schedule your work

If you don't add something to your calendar, it won't get done. Period. And that's especially true when it comes to creating content for your newsletter—writer's block grows as your timeline compresses and pressure mounts.

I recommend scheduling the date you want to publish your newsletter and then scheduling a block of time at least a week or two in advance to work on your content.

If you have a 12-month content plan—and I recommend that you create one—this process will be even more straight-forward. Then you're merely writing during the blocked time, not deciding what to write about.

However, if you don't have a content plan, add an extra block of time to sauce out your content for the specific campaign you're working on. Deciding what to write about will make writing it much more manageable. Promise.

Get comfortable with discomfort

Even when you're fully prepared to write (goals ✔️audience ✔️brand style guide ✔️schedule ✔️content plan ✔️), you still have to do the writing. And let's face it, that's not comfortable.

Don't wait for motivation to show up—start writing. It may not be pretty, at first, but getting started is the hardest part.

When you spend more time writing, you'll become better at it. It's unreasonable to expect perfection from something you don't practice on the regular—so be gentle with yourself!

And here's another truth nugget: even when you have a daily writing practice, you'll discover that it's a grind. Kinda like the gym. Consistently showing up and doing the work creates results. But it's not comfortable.

Embracing discomfort is all about replacing instant gratification with long-term satisfaction. And that's how you move from where you are now to where you want to be in the future.

You may not create excellent newsletter content now, but with consistent practice, you absolutely will in the future.

Now what?!

Don't beat yourself up if creating newsletter content leaves you feeling stuck, stupid, flustered, or a combo of all three. It's unbelievably hard to sit down and rip out solid material on a dime, especially against the clock.

The very best thing you can do is make the writing process less frustrating and more straight-forward by taking the right steps.

And if you need a hand, I'm here for you.

 
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