So You Want to Launch a Newsletter? Here’s How!
“The goal of effective communication should be for listeners to say ‘Me too!’ versus ‘So what?” – Jim Rohn
Right now, there is something you are passionate about and want to tell others. Have you ever thought about publishing a newsletter?
For the majority of you, this may seem like a daunting task.
Below, we will peal back the false façade of impossibility to tell you exactly how to do it.
Below, I will cover my personal weekly newsletter process, why consistency is key to getting people to read it, and how I write my newsletter by dividing and conquering its different parts.
Take a deep breath and read on!
My Newsletter Process
I think of my newsletter topic during the week. By Wed, I have the topic. By Thursday or Friday, I have sketched out my three main points, by Friday or Saturday, I have finished a very good draft. Then I put the newsletter aside for a day. By Saturday or Sunday morning, I have finalized the newsletter.
My next step is to post the newsletter to my blog. This could be done in several ways. You could have your website company post it in HTML to your website blog page. If you know HTML, you could translate it into HTML yourself and then post it to your blog.
What I do is translate the free text of my newsletter into HTML for my blog and publish the blog. This requires administration rights to my web site pages, so I can get to the HTML pages. I want to emphasize I do not know how to program in HTML, I just followed what my web site host company did on previous blogs. I then publish the blog to my web site. It works like a dream!
I then post the blog link with a few teaser introductory words to LinkedIn and Facebook. I also publish the newsletter as an article in LinkedIn.
Then I put a link to the pertinent blog in my e-mail marketing system e-mail message. I use Constant Contact. I use the same teaser words I use in the LinkedIn and Facebook posts. I then schedule the newsletter to be sent by e-mail every Sunday at 8:00 p.m. to the people on my list.
That’s my newsletter process creation and posting process. Try it a few times and then adapt it to your particular situation.
Posting a newsletter to the Internet is a challenge if you do not have a process!
However, a process used just some weeks and not others will cause you frustration. You will look at the process as a burden if not done regularly.
You need to establish “muscle memory” in your mind by establishing the weekly newsletter habit. Why is this consistently key to repeating benefits?
Consistency is Key
One piece of advice I have heard over and over again from many public speaking and marketing business experts is to be consistent in the delivery of your content. That content could be a newsletter, blog, vlog, podcast, YouTube video, etc.
By consistency I mean posting your content on a schedule. The reason for this is when your audience knows you are posting content on a regular schedule, they will be anticipating your next content according on the schedule you have established. An anticipating audience is a good thing. It is very advantageous to your speaking business for your audience to be actively looking for your content.
As previously mentioned, the sweet spot for frequency of your content is every week. I know this may seem daunting at first. I did also. But once you get into a routine of doing it every week, the creation of your newsletter will become easier.
Make your goal of posting a newsletter once a week. Start out with once a month for a few months. Then go to once every two weeks for, again, a few months. Then make the commitment and act on it to create a newsletter every week and just do it.
Remember, a job begun is half done!
I’ve talked about my newsletter process and why consistency is key. What I haven’t talked about are the details of what format I use, what I write first and last in my newsletters, and how to find newsletter topics.
Divide and Conquer
The format I use for my newsletters is:
Beginning speaking quote
A few introductory paragraphs that introduce the newsletter subject
Three main points (I learned this from Toastmasters a long time ago) with 2 – 4 paragraphs for each main point including transitions to the next main point at the end of the first two main points
A few closing paragraphs summarizing your three main points
A call to action taken from the three main points. This call to action should be concrete items the newsletter audience can do immediately
Ending speaking quote
I had a neighbor, Bob, for a number of years. He told me a story about when he helped a company in Germany with solving a really tough information technology (IT) problem.
Bob’s customer asked how they could ever solved the problem. Bob asked them, “How do you eat an elephant?” You eat an elephant one bite at a time. That is how Bob and his customer solved the IT problem. His customer was forever grateful.
About a month later, a large truck rolled up to Bob’s house and delivered a large stone elephant. It was a token of thanks from Bob’s customer.
This is exactly how you should write your newsletter. Create the parts of your newsletter one at a time. Eventually, in a surprisingly short time, the newsletter is done.
I always start writing the paragraphs on my three main points first before I create the other parts of my newsletter. One of the reasons I do this is that sometimes the main points and their order change when I am writing them.
Because of this, it just makes sense to leave the introductory and closing paragraphs that introduce and summarize my three main points to the end. If I wrote them first, I very well may be wasting time. I might have to change these paragraphs if my three main points change.
I also leave the three Call to Action bullets to the end. These Call to Action bullets simply reflect how to apply my three main points. Again, if my three main points change as I am writing them, I would have to rewrite the Call to Action bullets.
Another way I find my newsletters topics is from the conversations during the week. For instance, I have a friend at my day job, Carl, who is the President of the local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution organization.
Carl knows I write and publish my newsletter on presentation skills which includes speaking virtually. He started a conversation with me about a recent meeting in his organization that was done live and virtually at the same time. So, being the inquisitive soul I am, I asked Carl, what were the challenges of having a simultaneous hybrid meeting and he told me. What he said became the three main points of my recent “Is Hybrid Speaking in Your Future?” newsletter.
I also troll the Internet for articles about public speaking. I get a lot of material there and I, of course, attribute where I get the information.
In this newsletter, I have covered my newsletter process, why consistency is key to getting people to read it, and writing my newsletter by dividing and conquering the different parts.
It may sound like a lot of work, but the return on investment is great!
Expressing yourself and knowing others are reading what you write is very self-assuring.
Try your hand at newsletter writing and publishing. It is not as hard as you may think.
Isn’t one of our key needs as a human being to be heard!
Call to Action
Establish a process to create your newsletter and then apply that process, make plans to use that process, and then actually work your process
Create and distribute your newsletter first on a monthly basis, then a bi-weekly basis and then a weekly basis – create “muscle memory” to sustain the weekly pace
Use the “Divide and Conquer” method to create your newsletter.
“The royal road to a man’s heart is to talk to him about the things he
treasures most.” – Dale Carnegie
DiBartolomeo Consulting International’s (DCI) mission is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence.
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