what could you do with a newsletter?

what could you do with a newsletter?

Newsletters. Also known as email lists. Also known as a “must have” for bloggers, writers, businesses, and non-profits. We’ve shared some ideas about newsletters you should subscribe to, but after reading Jeff Goins’ post on building your email list, I realize we need to spend some time on this topic.

Of course, there are countless articles available on WHY you need an email list. There are articles telling you how to set up your email list. Both Erin and I are big fans of researching a topic. In other words, we Google everything! And we recommend you do as well.  Some articles to start with include How to Write an Author Newsletter from Author Media and WordPress MailChimp Powered Newsletter Setup from Matthew Hooper.

Here’s the thing, though, once you get that fancy newsletter set up on MailChimp {which Design by Insight uses} or whichever service you’ve selected, there is still work to do.

Remember, a newsletter is a step more than just someone receiving your blog posts via email. Newsletters need to offer something more. So, what can you offer beyond your blog posts?

Let me use myself as an example.  In addition to blogging and offering social media coaching, I speak several times a year to women’s groups in churches.  I’ve been doing this for the past six years and have had the opportunity to share with over 2000 women. In the next three months, I have four speaking events scheduled.

But guess what? I don’t have a newsletter. 

I’ve missed the opportunity to continue connecting with over 2000 women in the past six years. In that time, I’ve self-published three books and made several Bible studies and devotionals available for Kindle. I’ve spoken in four states and we’ve moved.  I’ve developed new talks and gained expertise in different areas. My husband and I are doing events together. In other words, for those women who first heard me speak six years ago, I have much more to offer than I did then.

Not having a newsletter has been a huge mistake! {One I am in the process of rectifying before my next event on February 1.} As I’ve been working on developing my newsletter, here are some of the types of information I will be including:

  • More details about my daily spiritual habits.
  • Book recommendations. {I do some of this on my blog, but I will offer more through my newsletter.}
  • Information about speaking events and new resources I’m developing.
  • Family information, a little more personal than what I share on my blog.
  • Links to articles and books I have found especially helpful in my quest to live well.

Because the people who will be signing up for my newsletter are likely to be people who have heard me speak, I want to continue to develop the sense of a personal relationship I strive to build when I share with a group.

What you have to offer in your newsletter may be very different. A great place to start is by reviewing the newsletters you subscribe to and figuring out why you like reading them. Do you enjoy the tidbits of personal information? Maybe you like the additional resources they provide? Perhaps you enjoy the glimpses into areas of their lives they don’t usually write about on their blogs?

One of my favorite newsletters is Amy Andrews‘ useletter.  Each week she provides great information on topics relating to blogging and time management. But she also includes links to interesting things she has read and a recap of the topics she has covered on her blog. I always feel like I know her a little bit better after I read the useletter.

Think about it, what could you do with a newsletter?