When I started my weekly newsletter, I needed ideas and nothing was really flowing. It was so frustrating.
Thankfully I found a tremendous amount of inspiration and direction online.
I am happy to share some things that have worked for me. I hope you find them useful.
How to Find Ideas:
- Search for list ideas on the internet. There are an unlimited amount of blogs and websites that have long lists of newsletter and blog post writing prompts. Not all of them will apply but they are sure to spark some ideas and help you think outside of the box. CLICK HERE for an example.
- Start with a catchy title or phrase. Sometimes it's better to work backwards, finding a current event, headline, phrase or saying and then crafting your piece around that.
- Go back and look through old work. I have found a lot of inspiration looking through my past work. There might be a project I forgot about or some process or outcome that was unexpected. Sharing your progress and growth can be fun too.
- Share your favorite things. This can be really anything, as I believe that all of our experiences and preferences apply to our art. How have your favorite things inspired your creative process?
- Look at Holidays and Special Events. Keeping a calendar of upcoming holidays can help generate post ideas. On the flip side, you can share about different aspects of personal special events.
Based on research, below are some suggestions to keep in mind when crafting your newsletter and blog posts.
- Keep it brief. I think this might be the most important tip of all. Your readers are busy. Super busy. Give the information in a brief format or they will move on.
- Keep it simple. Narrow your focus instead of trying to cover too much material in one issue. Maybe spread out your ideas over several issues or posts.
- Don't overthink it. It's so easy to get caught in the trap of complicating things or to think that we are not enough. Someone will benefit from what you have to say. Stay focused on the act of sharing instead of the possible outcome.
- Edit yourself. More is not always better. After you write your piece, step away and then come back to it later. That can really help you see the parts that are not absolutely necessary. Delete those and even re-work what's left to condense and abbreviate.
- Proof everything multiple times! This cannot be stressed enough. Read it, reread it and then read it again. If you can, have another set of eyes read it as well.
How to organize and store your ideas:
Chances are that awesome ideas will hit you at odd times and in unexpected locations. You might think you will remember them when it comes time to sit down and write but most likely you won't. Below are some suggested tools and ideas for capturing your brilliant thoughts while on the go.
One Note - I recently started using this app/program but really like it so far. You can create folders and.access it on many devices which makes it easy to quickly store ideas and keep them organized. Right now, this is my go-to option.
Evernote - I know this app is very popular and has a lot of features, however they made some big changes not too long ago and now I don't care for it. It was what I used before discovering One Note but since their changes I have had a few bad experiences, including loosing a bunch of work I had just completed. They also started charging for some of their services that had previously been free. With that being said, I do think it's worth checking out and deciding for yourself.
Portable notepad - Go old school and keep a small notebook in your bag, next to your bed, in your car, etc… this is great for jotting quick notes and ideas but for me, I tend to forget where I wrote things. Also, loose pages don't work for me as I misplace them easily!
Binders - Creating an actual binder can be a good way to stay organized with your ideas. When I have little scraps of paper with random notes, I can throw them in there so I don't loose them and have a batter chance of actually accessing them. This binder is also a great place to store any other details relating to your newsletter or blog, like colors or fonts that you use, passwords, upcoming holidays or special events, etc…
Emailing yourself - This is my last resort and actually now that I have One Note I am not sure why I would need to do this but it is an option and has served me in the past. I include the words blog post or NL (newsletter) in the subject line of the email so I can easily search for them in my extremely full inbox. Sometimes I just save the email as a draft.
So, there you have some of my favorite newsletter and blog post tips.
CLICK HERE to subscribe to my weekly newsletter!
Do you have tips or tricks for creating or storing content?
Until next week,