Note: This is the final installment of this 3-part series on how to publish your newsletter in 2012.
You’ve heard this phrase many times in your life: It all starts with an idea. A business, a new service offering … and yes, even a newsletter article. That little idea is an “inspirational spark” that helps you publish your newsletter on a regular basis.
The two biggest reasons businesses give for why their newsletter isn’t published on a consistent basis are: no time and no ideas.
Here’s one way to conquer the “no ideas” issue. Start an ideas file.
I capture my ideas in three steps:
I read A LOT! To illustrate this first-hand, I took a picture of my reading pile (err … it actually morphed into a reading pile mess in the last few months). Reading magazines, books and blogs are the main ways I get ideas for my newsletter and blog (I also discover some amazing ideas for my clients, too.).
I file my ideas in one spot. When an idea strikes me, I write it down, and I file them in one spot – an expandable file folder appropriately named, “Newsletter & Blog Ideas” (original, I know). When an idea hits me, I make note of it right away on an index card or piece of paper. Any ideas I see in magazines, I tear out and file in the folder, too (with a notation of a possible article angle). Others prefer to file their ideas electronically. They have either a Word document or a Notepad file open at all times and when an article idea hits, they type it in. Either method is fine. What’s important is that you file your ideas one spot!
I cruise the ‘net. This goes along with the first two point, but my way of filing items found online is different. I use Evernote to capture those items. Evernote allows me to capture anything – ideas, emails received, products seen in a store (by way of my camera phone) and things I read online. All in one place. What makes Evernote wicked cool is that you can also access it from anywhere – from computer, phone or tablet – so I can save an article using Evernote on my tablet, and it is automatically synced to be available on all other devices. It has helped me tremendously with filing away ideas for later.
Ideas for your newsletter don’t just magically appear when it is time to write your newsletter (not even for me). So when an idea hits you, you need to capture it immediately – so it isn’t lost – and then file it in a safe place. Having an “ideas file” ensures that you always have something to write about.
Part I: Content Ideas Worksheet