It can be difficult to write enough content to fill a newsletter regularly – especially if your newsletter is doing its job by bringing in some leads.
Nevertheless, there exist a few tips that’ll help you minimize the time it takes to create each newsletter. The sooner you implement these tips when setting up your newsletter, the better.
Set up help for your newsletter
One of the easiest options, especially if you’re not primarily a writer, is to hire another freelancer to put together the newsletters you send out.
Of course, you’ll have to spend some money (unless you can find another freelancer who needs your skills as much as you do theirs), but you’ll be just as surprised at what the prices look like as some of your clients will end up paying off.
There are many freelance writers out there dealing with email newsletters. Their prices are well worth the cost provided they write email newsletters that get you into constant payments work.
You will often find freelancers who take care of the entire newsletter process and prepare individual articles at the same time. It’s just a matter of which option is easiest to work with and what makes sense for your budget.
If you are comfortable with creating your newsletter but need to speed up the whole process, consider discussing the matter with a virtual assistant.
Many VAs do their jobs like creating a newsletter to be published by email software, finding photos, and handling other small details of managing an email newsletter.
Accept guest articles and other contributions
As with a blog, you can post articles written by other people who have an interest in reaching your target audience.
You probably won’t want to do this too often just because your email newsletter is meant to promote you and your freelance business more than anyone else. However, having the occasional run of an article by someone else can make it a lot easier.
Running an email newsletter through a blog has an added benefit. While search engines may penalize a website that republishes content that has already appeared elsewhere, search engines will not index newsletters.
If you have permission to run an article that has already been published on a blog or website, you have the option to do so.
You may not want to publish articles that your readers have likely already seen. However, if you’re guest posting for another blog, or if a friend of yours is writing something really big, there is no reason why such articles can’t do double duty.
To ensure that all content written by others is in line with the general sentiment you get with your email newsletter, you should create guidelines to help authors plan good posts or adjust existing posts to suit your needs. Give them guidance on the following topics:
- Length of the article
- The pictures you expect from them
- Audience demographics
- Which articles are a good fit for your audience?
- The style guide you want to follow
You can write down these guidelines beforehand and just send a copy to anyone who considers submitting an article to your newsletter.
There are also some websites that offer free articles that newsletter publishers can browse and republish at will. It is generally not a great option – the articles on such websites tend to be of poor quality and advertise the author excessively.
Focus on articles that are easy to write
Some types of articles are always easier to write than others. Putting together a reader-friendly version of an interview is much faster than searching through a large list of resources, which in turn is faster than writing and testing an in-depth tutorial for a new tool.
While you care about bringing quality material to your readers, you can choose the format, and, at least if time is short, you should choose options that are easier to do.
When creating the editorial calendar for your email newsletter, take the time to review the format of each article.
As you develop the editorial calendar for your email newsletter, take the time to review what format you want each article to be in.
What kind of research do you need to do? Do you need to schedule an interview? Do you need to read some books? Mix things up to get the full benefits that come with different types of items.
Every writer has some preferences about the types of articles they prefer to put together. And since your email newsletter is an essential piece of your business, you can be picky. But take quality to heart.
Use your own talents
You may be shaking your head at this point because you didn’t come from a writing background, much less an editing background. Chances are you have other skills that are critical to sharing information.
While an email newsletter is usually about written content, you can make other types of information an important part of your editorial calendar.
Depending on your e-mail service provider, you can set up HTML e-mails that allow images to be embedded. This offers a lot more options for designers, photographers, and illustrators who send out email newsletters.
Large infographics, for example, can prove to be ideal content for some audiences. Embedding videos is more difficult, but you always have the option to reference external content in an email newsletter.
It is an added benefit when you can also demonstrate the specific skills that you are selling. If your readers can see how awesome the infographics you’ve designed are, chances are they’ll turn to you if they need to redesign their businesses.
It’s not guaranteed, but if you can play to your strengths, you can offer your audience much better content, which in turn helps convince them that you really know what you are talking about.
Stay ahead and stay ahead
When you publish an email newsletter, you have to invest time in the process – there is no getting around it. However, you can decide when to use that time so that you don’t try to pull out an issue of your newsletter the night you need to complete a large project for a client.
In order to regularly manage the publication of an email newsletter, you should write early. That way, by the time you’re ready to start promoting your newsletter, you already know what you’re going to be posting for a while.
You can focus on putting a great marketing team together by getting the right people on board while you concentrate on doing the client’s job.
However, once you are in front, it’s important to always stay in front. Get an idea of how much time you need to put each newsletter together. Of course, as you get more practice, you’ll likely get faster, but be pessimistic in the short term.
When you have at least three newsletters in front of you, it gives you some room for maneuver – unless you are so ambitious that you have decided to publish more often than weekly. But if you can go any further, it’s worth it.
As a freelancer, you know the problems that can crop up: an illness, a large project, or something else can crash your work schedule altogether if you let it.
It’s possible to juggle, produce a top-notch newsletter, and have a thriving freelance career, especially when the two are complementary. It’s just a matter of using the right strategies to make sure you get all of the work done.
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