You have launched your newsletter with a lot of enthusiasm but all of a sudden you are stuck – you can’t think of anything meaningful to include in it. While sometimes good ideas just pour all over, at other times even the most creative individual is absolutely helpless. This is normal and probably every newsletter manager/owner has experienced it at least once in their lifetime. Here are some tips where you could look for inspiration.
Your site is the first and most obvious place to get ideas from but it frequently is the last one to come to your mind. If you are doing roundups, your site is the most logical place to look at – after all, newsletters frequently include roundups and a roundup includes reference to all the important stuff you have already published on site.
If you aren’t doing roundups yet and you do have frequently updated onsite content, maybe now is the time to start including a roundup section in your newsletter. You don’t have to include every single article on your site in the roundup – 3 or 4 new pieces you have published after the previous roundup are enough. Roundups are useful because they prompt users to visit your site. For instance, if a user has missed a post or an announcement, when he or she sees it mentioned in the roundup (with a link to the original resource, of course), he or she will rush to read the complete story and after that chances are will browse even more pages from your site.
Your Competitors’ Newsletters
A roundup is just one section in a newsletter and you still need ideas for the other sections. News about your company and promotions are another standard part of any newsletter but still even after you include them, it is quite possible that you have more space left.
You can use this place for special articles – i.e. articles you publish exclusively in the newsletter. If you are wondering what topics to write about, your competitors’ newsletters can provide you with the answer. Subscribe to the newsletters of your major competitors and check what they publish. I think it goes without saying but still let me remind you that borrowing ideas is very different from copycatting. Never ever copy articles or other stuff from anybody, especially from your competitors because this can not only ruin your reputation but it can get you into legal trouble.
Other Leading Newsletters
If the newsletters of your competitors aren’t a good source of inspiration, you can hunt for ideas elsewhere, for instance in the newsletter of other leading companies or individuals, preferably in the same niche as yours. You can watch what these newsletters deem important and write about the same things, or use them as a foundation and go one step further. For instance, if a leading newsletter publishes an article about 5 ways to deal with something, you can publish in your newsletter 5 other ways to approach the same problem.
A newsletter is a great way to communicate with users, provided you give them ways to send their feedback. Many newsletter articles have been inspired by user questions and user suggestions, so give your users ways to voice their thoughts and you will get really valuable ideas. One of the best things about user input is that the points they suggest are presumably of interest to other users of yours, which means the stuff you will be including in your newsletter will be useful to your readers.
Finally, one more place where you can get ideas from are niche forums. Browse through the discussions there, see what problems people have, and offer the solution. For instance, if you write an article you will include in your newsletter, you can also publish this article on your site (or somewhere else where people can read it without the need to become subscribers) and post a link to it in the forum.
You might be tempted to post a link to your newsletter subscription form (“Want to know the answer? Subscribe to my newsletter and you will find it there!”) but since this will be considered as a blatant form of advertisement, most likely the forum master won’t allow it. But a link to the place where the article is published also works because you can place a subscription form there. If users find the article useful, they will be more willing to subscribe to your newsletter.
Good ideas come at times when you least expect them. Sometimes a great idea strikes you all of a sudden, while at other times your creative attempts are fruitless. When you are stuck, just read these tips and follow them and most likely in no time at all, a few good ideas what to include in your newsletter will come to you.
Author Bio: Ada is the Blogger Relations Manager at WinkPress, which is a web resource about leveraging WordPress, its themes, and plugins to create versatile and unusual websites. Visit the site to learn more about WordPress newsletter plugins.