Both LinkedIn and Forbes have launched newsletter options where people create their own newsletters and build up their subscriber base.
From old standbys like Mailchimp to new paid newsletter options like Patreon and Substack, there seems to be something of a newsletter rebirth.
In fact, I’ve signed up for more newsletters in the past two months than I have in the past three years. And, I read them!
These newsletters share great insights into the business of freelancing or content marketing in quick, digestible bits.
You’d think it was 2010 again.
As author Stephen King says, “Sooner or later, everything old is new again.”
It turns out, newsletters bridge the gap between social media meet-and-greets and money in your bank account.
That’s right. Newsletters are a great way to build trust and stay in touch with prospects and clients. Plus, since they’re less reliant on changing algorithms, your subscribers are more likely to see your newsletter in their inbox. Seeing your name in your inbox is a way to build trust and remind people of what you do.
Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, what would I put in a newsletter? You’re not alone. I used to think this too. In fact, I took a break from mine for several months while I dealt with some personal issues, but I rebooted it this month.
It feels great to reconnect with past clients and workshop attendees! I’ve received emails in response from readers welcoming me “back” and hinting at work to come.
So, let’s tackle the giant elephant in the room.
Newsletter Content: What Will You Write About?
For many a freelancer, this is what holds you back.
Chances are, you get tripped up by feelings of “imposter syndrome” and “I don’t know what to write-itis.”
Let’s take you out of the equation for a moment.
Instead, let’s think about your potential reader.
What do they want to know? What do they need to know?
After all, every great newsletter focuses on the reader and their interests.
Here’s an Example…
Imagine for a moment you’re the unofficial family genealogist. You spend hours scouring archives to piece together your family’s history, and you decide to share your findings with interested family members.
A newsletter format is ideal for sharing the stories with other family members. You send out an email asking your family members to sign up to receive these stories in their inbox.
Then, every month (or whatever time frame you choose), you send your newsletter containing bits of family lore to your subscribers. Your stories bring the family tree to life and connect you a little more with your relatives.
I think you’ll agree, that’s a different newsletter than the one you’ll send to your clients.
Yet, it’s still a newsletter.
To attract people who may need your freelance writing services, you’ll want to cover topics of interest to them.
Your client-attracting newsletter could include:
- Industry news
- Recent “wins”
- Helpful tips
- Links to blog posts
It doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t even have to write it. That’s right. You can send a freelance newsletter without writing it!
1. Share “Roundups” of Industry News
For example, suppose you’re an SEO copywriter. In that case, you could send a weekly email sharing three links from the Search Engine Journal and other industry sources. You can kick it up a notch by summarizing each article in 2-3 sentences and sharing your take. That positions you as someone who keeps up with the industry and is generous with sharing knowledge.
2. Share a “Win”
Received a glowing new testimonial? Share what you did for the client to inspire your readers. If you wrote their web copy and helped them bring in new business within three weeks, sing it from the rooftops!
This helps your newsletter readers “see” how you may be able to help them.
3. Share Helpful Tips
As a freelance writer and business owner, you’re always learning. Share some of what you’ve learned in digestible tidbits.
For example, if you’ve completed a project, read a PDF, watched a webinar or video, what did you learn? Write down three to five bullet points that inspired a new perspective or something you want to learn more about. Share those with your newsletter subscribers.
4. Share Blog Links
I receive a weekly newsletter from a writer who posts a portion of her blog content in her newsletter. Want to read the rest? Click the link. It’s an easy way to bring traffic to her blog from the people who want to read her material.
You can do this too.
It’s easy to cut and paste your introduction into your newsletter format with a link to the rest. You could also share links to recently published material. That’s a great credibility booster!
Are you feeling even a tiny bit inspired? Great! Here’s a quick exercise for you.
Your Simple Newsletter Action Plan
Jot down five or six ideas for topics or specific resources you can cover.
Got broad topics like “SEO” or “Content Marketing?” Okay, that’s a good start. How can you narrow those down? What about “content marketing for human resources” or “SEO for financial planners?” If you already have a niche or two, you can see how this helps you focus your thoughts (and content).
Then, you can mine industry publications for content ideas. For example, if you’re interested in financial technology (Fintech), google “Fintech publications.” You’ll find a wealth of industry publications.
Maybe you decide your mission is to highlight the best of the best and share links to them in your newsletter.
Once you think about your prospective reader, it’s much easier to come up with topics. Narrow your focus and keep it simple, and you may be surprised by how easy it is to start and maintain a newsletter.
What do you think? Do you have a newsletter? Or are you inspired to create one now?