Creating a newsletter was one of those things that sat on my to-do list forever. Because it seemed like such a daunting task, it was often put on the backburner while I instead focused on things like marketing my brand through social media, new content creation, etc. Then one day, I decided to stop pushing it to the bottom of my list and to just do it.
I had heard it a million times – branded newsletters can drive major traffic to your blog – and that’s great, but that didn’t even begin to tell me the first thing about creating one.
So overwhelmed AF, I set out researching everything there was to know – and you want to know what? After I was done, I was still overwhelmed AF; which is why I want to walk you through the most important parts of creating a successful newsletter in this post.
This is such an important question to ask yourself before you dive in, and it all starts with your audience. As a blogger, it’s important to look at successful newsletters that audiences similar to yours subscribe to.
What’s in them?
Would my audience be interested in this type of content too?
Does this type of successful content from other producers in my industry align with my personal brand?
If you answered yes to all of the above, then a newsletter is likely to benefit your brand!
Here’s why I recommend Mailchimp for newsletter newbies:
+ Cost / It’s free for up to 2,500 subscribers
+ Ease of use / You don’t need design experience to create something beautiful with pre-made templates and drag-and-drop features
+ Integration tools / Mailchimp is compatible with most platforms and makes finding new subscribers easy
+ Customization / Mailchimp supports outside templates along with customized code if you’re looking to create a design from scratch
Once you’ve decided on your platform, it’s time to think about your newsletter content.
I will be the first one to tell you how important aesthetic is when it comes to your newsletter. However, it’s more important to put your design on hold until you develop a solid content strategy.
What can you give your audience that you don’t already provide to them on your blog?
You have to cater to that exclusivity factor as a part of your marketing strategy – here’s what you’re getting out of this newsletter if you sign up that non-subscribers aren’t, and here’s why it’s awesome.
How will you organize your content within your newsletter?
Just as you house categories on your blog, think along the lines of categories in the form of content blocks within your newsletter.
How are you going to block out your content so that it makes sense, is easy to understand, flows well, and is not ‘too much’ all at once for your readers?
If you’re creating a general newsletter for your blog, focus on creating 2-4 sections of your newsletter that will become a familiar format for your subscribers.
For example, my blog newsletter follows the following format:
What’s great about waiting until the end to tackle your design process is that if you’ve taken the time to block out your content, you’ve already unknowingly done some of your design work.
When it comes to aesthetic, it’s okay to not know what you want. Now is the time to view other newsletters from bloggers within your niche, and make a list of the design elements you love most about each of them. Here's a recent example of my custom template I created.
If you get to this point and find that you know you want something pretty and cohesive, but also don’t want to spend the time creating your own template from scratch, Etsy is a great place to find the perfect newsletter template!
Keep in mind that you want your design to be eye-catching yet clean, with an easy-to-navigate format and multiple CTA (call to action) elements.
So now that you’ve put hours of work into creating your newsletter, it’s time to put more hours in to building a list of subscribers. Yay!
But wait – building subscribers doesn’t have to be as scary as it seems.
Here are a list of ways I recommend marketing your newsletter once your content and design is done:
So – where are you at in your newsletter creation process? Is it still sitting at the bottom of your to-do list or have you started the process but never finished? Let me know how I can help in the comments below! In the mean time, make sure you're signed up for my Blogger-only newsletters (check off blogging tips) and the Blogging Resource Library!
What topic do you want to see next?
Let me know in the comments below!