I know you hate writing your newsletter. You didn’t even want to do it in the first place. Someone said, “Hey, would you mind helping out with our newsletter?” and you thought that saying “Yes!” would be a great way to showcase your enthusiasm and work ethic and maybe help you get a promotion. Then you found out how much work it is, and you went back to the person who asked you in the first place and said, “Hey, you tricked me.” And they said, “Yep. Totally. You made it too easy.”
Fortunately for you, I know a few tricks to help your newsletter not be a giant painful festering lesion in your otherwise lovely day. You ready?
Ask Your Colleagues to Write Something! Remember how you got tricked into writing the newsletter in the first place? Well two can play that game! Ask everyone you work with to contribute something – a personal story, a business success, a piece of advice for new employees – anything they can think of. If even a few of them do it, you’ll have plenty to share. And then, the next time you’re putting together your newsletter, you can go to all those slackers who didn’t give you anything the first time and say, “Hey, was wondering if you might help out with this month’s newsletter or if you want to once again be outdone by (names of people who helped the first time).” That ought to shame at least a few more into helping. Hurray for guilt!
Use Content From Your Fans! Did someone send a nice tweet about business or write some positive feedback on your Facebook page? No reason not to make that stuff an entire column on your next newsletter. This will give you something that every newsletter should have – a column of stuff! Everyone likes columns. It’s because of their ability to build columns that the Greeks and Romans were able to rule the world for as long as they did. You can rule the world too!
Share Something Hilarious! The reason people don’t get wildly excited about newsletters is that most of them are as entertaining as a blood clot (and if you’ve ever watched TV then you know that blood clots only pop up in TV dramas, not the comedies). Share a funny customer story, or steal a work-themed comic from the Internet (Corporate Misdaventures is a great one, and freely steal-able)and plop it in there. If people get into the habit of expecting something entertaining in your newsletter, they will be far more likely to open it.
Ask Other Content-Providers To Steal Their Stuff! I suppose technically that’s not stealing, but since you won’t be paying them it’s awfully close to stealing. Fortunately for you, though, plenty of bloggers would be happy to have their content posted in your newsletter as long as you’re willing to include a link to their own website, which you should definitely do. I mean, they’re giving you free stuff. They’re not even asking for a donut or a coffee gift card or anything. It’s literally – I mean literally – the least you can do. And voila! One more way to not have to write anything yourself!
Bottom line – writing a newsletter doesn’t have to be painful, as long as you don’t mind asking people to help you and enjoy trolling through Internet pages looking for a few things that might be relevant to your industry. I’ll even get you started – check out my blog and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to use one! We’ve got articles on a ton of things, and we’d be happy to help your newsletter. Just put a link back to our website in there, or else we’ll find out where you live and hunt you down.