How to Start a Newsletter as a Creator
Newsletters are rapidly becoming a choice means for you to connect with your audience and market your products.
Even where you don’t have any products or services, writing newsletters would help you engage with your community on a more intimate level, and build a better connection with them. This could become an advantage when you’re ready to sell products or promote services to the members of your community.
These and many other such benefits are why people are looking for how to start a newsletter.
In this article, we’ll be looking at how to start a newsletter as a creator and going over six tips that will help you as you embark on your journey. We’ll also be answering questions like:
- How often should you send a newsletter?
- What should you write about in your newsletter?
Keep reading to find the answers to your questions!
When Should You Start a Newsletter?
This is a tricky question as there is no best time to start a newsletter. In fact, you can start one whenever you feel like it. But to enjoy the benefits that come with having a newsletter, there are several background questions to ask before starting.
One of the most important questions is to know whether you can truly commit to the task. Starting a newsletter requires a substantial amount of time, effort, and dedication. So if you’re not sure about your level of commitment, it’s better to put off your plans until you are ready.
Even more, as a creator, there are several things dragging your attention. From interacting with your audience to learning from other creators, creating your own content, and even turning your knowledge into a digital product, you have your schedule packed up for you.
So if you want to add a newsletter to the list, the one thing you want to do is build a schedule around it. This includes creating time to write the newsletter, researching what content you should share, scheduling, and even promotion.
This helps you to allocate specific time to the various tasks that you have to do, and ensure you have enough time to write your newsletter.
What to Know Before Starting a Newsletter
Starting a newsletter can be exciting and rewarding, but it requires careful planning and consideration of various factors.
Here are a few things to know before starting your newsletter
Essentially, this means how often you intend to send your newsletter. This decision will depend on your specific audience, the type of content you want to share, and your overall goals. Posting frequency can range from daily to monthly, and each option has its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, daily newsletters may be too frequent for some readers, while monthly newsletters may not provide enough regular content. So find a balance between what your audience wants from you and how much of you they want to see regularly. The last thing you want to do is end up in Spam even before you started.
While it may be tempting to keep things broad to appeal to a wider range of readers, this approach is not recommended. As a content creator, find a specific niche that your newsletter will focus on. It can be anything from your content niche to topics you find generally interesting and have knowledge about. This will help you set audience expectations and build a reputation around your chosen topic. Additionally, having a defined niche will make it easier to come up with ideas for content and ensure that your newsletter is consistently engaging and relevant to your readers
The Generalize and then Specialise formula
A good formula to consider when finding your niche would be to generalize and then specialize. For example, if you love food and want your newsletter to be about cooking, cooking is quite a broad topic. Thus, finding your niche in that case would involve looking into smaller areas within the cooking field that have their audience, like restaurant hunting in Lagos, or fusion meals. By specializing in a particular area, you will be able to cater to a more specific audience and create content that is both unique and valuable to your subscribers.
How to Start a Newsletter
After steeling your resolve and considering some factors, you can now follow these tips with confidence to start your newsletter.
1. Define your objectives
You may have heard the saying, “A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.” It is a saying that applies to any endeavor you want to undertake, including newsletters. So, before starting, setting goals should be your top priority.
Your goals guide the actions and decisions you make as an individual and starting a newsletter should not be an exception. Questions like:
- What should you write about in your newsletter?
- Who should you partner with?
- How often should you promote your products and services?
And others get exponentially harder without clear goals in mind. As such, it’s important to be clear on the value you offer, your niche, and what you want to achieve.
A rule of thumb when setting goals is to set SMART goals. Meaning your goals must be Specific Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. This way you can measure your efforts against the results you intend to get.
For instance, if your goal is to reach 5000 subscribers by the end of the year, you can focus on implementing some growth strategies, such as promoting your newsletter on social media, collaborating with other publishers in your niche, or running targeted ad campaigns to attract new subscribers.
Additionally, if you’re looking to monetize your newsletter you can explore various monetization strategies, such as selling ad space, partnering with sponsors, offering tiered subscription plans, or creating and selling digital products that align with your audience’s interests.
Overall, setting specific and measurable goals and taking action towards achieving themcan increase your chances of success and building a thriving platform that delivers value to your audience.
2. Choose a good email marketing platform
It’s not enough that you cook a good meal, you have to serve it on clean plates to stimulate your appetite. Similarly when looking to start a newsletter, to get the best results, you need to be weary about the email marketing platform you use.
Email marketing is a key component of any successful digital marketing strategy, allowing creators and businesses to communicate with their target audience, build brand awareness, and drive conversions. However, choosing the right email marketing platform is critical to the success of your campaigns.
Sending emails to your subscribers is not as simple as it may seem. A number of factors can impact the deliverability of your emails, including email authentication, the content of your emails, and your sending reputation.
For example, if your emails are marked as spam, your subscribers may never see them, which can negatively impact your open and click-through rates.
A good email marketing platform can help you overcome these challenges by providing tools and features that improve your email deliverability.
For example, some platforms offer email authentication services that ensure your emails are sent from a verified domain. In contrast, others provide spam testing tools that allow you to see how different email providers will filter your emails.
Here are some examples to consider;
It is important to know that not all email marketing platforms are created equal. Each service has its own unique features and limitations, which can make it challenging to choose the right one for your business.
Some of the factors you should consider when selecting an email marketing platform include the size of your email list, your budget, the level of automation you require, and the types of campaigns you plan to run.
By carefully considering these factors, you can select an email marketing platform that meets your needs and helps you to achieve your marketing goals.
3. Design with accessibility in mind
As much as we hate to admit it, people tend to judge based on appearances. For this reason, it is important to prioritize the visual appeal of your newsletter design, as it can help you stand out from the crowd. However, it is equally important to ensure that your design is accessible to all, including those with disabilities.
Making your content accessible to people with visual, hearing, or cognitive impairments is essential as it not only expands your audience but also fosters a sense of customer loyalty, strengthens your brand image, and helps you avoid potential legal issues.
When designing your newsletter, consider taking practical accessibility steps to ensure that everyone can access and enjoy your content. This may include providing sufficient contrast between foreground and background for those who are color blind or visually impaired, using alt tags for screen readers, and many other accessibility features.
In addition, with over 55% of online traffic coming from mobile devices, your newsletter design must be accessible to mobile users. Responsive design is the way to go to ensure that your subscribers can read and enjoy your content regardless of the device they use.
4. Create your newsletter content
After setting the objectives of your newsletter, choosing a good platform to host it on, and making design choices that would accommodate a myriad of users, the next step would be to write the content.
Content is the most important element of your newsletter, and without it, your newsletter simply cannot exist. This means that you should pay great attention to the content of your newsletter.
There are three key things to pay attention to when writing content for a newsletter: Newsletter objectives, great ideas, and great editing.
Your Newsletter content should be in line with the goals you have slated for your newsletter, otherwise, subscribers may have a hard time connecting with your content.
For example, if the newsletter was designed to make sales announcements, and the people who have signed on are expecting that type of content, shifting the goalpost to another type of content could severely impact the engagement you get, and might even lead people to unsubscribe.
Remember: people will follow your newsletter for a reason, stick to it.
Ideas rule the world, and great ideas in your newsletter content can really make a difference, especially for a digital business. As a creator, you should learn how to gather and use inspiration effectively.
The world is so large and so many things exist that can find their way into your newsletter content, all you have to do is explore. Read books, listen to creators in the same field, and experiment in your daily life.
Don’t stop learning, because what you know would influence what you write about. Technology has also granted us access to tools like ChatGPT for idea generation, so be sure to take advantage of them.
Sometimes finding the right idea is not the issue. Rather, the time and space to execute. To help with this, make a habit of planning your newsletters in advance if possible. This would allow you to structure your letters and have enough space and time to properly structure your amazing ideas.
Believe it or not, the use of “Their” and “They’re” can be the determining factor in whether or not a person chooses to subscribe to your newsletter. Good editing is not a suggestion, rather it should be implemented religiously when drafting your newsletter content.
Technology has afforded us tools like Grammarly that help check grammar and other syntax errors. Take advantage of them. If you are unable to, feel free to have a friend or an editor proofread your newsletters before they are sent out. Afterall, two heads are better than one.
More than just grammar, ensure that your newsletters are properly formatted. Make use of headings, subheadings, lists, and bullet points to properly segment layers within the content. This will help your readers to connect with the information you are sharing easily!
5. Test before sending
After setting your goals, choosing a suitable platform, and designing your newsletter with accessibility in mind, the next step is to start adding your content. The content you create must be relevant and engaging to your audience and should also align with your brand message.
Once you have added your content, testing everything to ensure proper functioning is essential. To test your newsletter, you can send emails to yourself, friends, or family to verify deliverability and other factors like appearance on different devices. It is also advisable to check your links if you are promoting a product or service, as broken or malicious links would defeat the purpose of your promotion.
If there are any issues or problems that arise, you should tweak anything in need of tweaking and deal with the problems that arise. If it’s too technical for you to handle, don’t be afraid to contact the customer support of your email marketing platform. They’d be eager to help!
Once you have completed the tests, you can either send your newsletter immediately or schedule it to align with your and your audience’s needs. It is important to choose the right time to send your newsletter, as it will affect its effectiveness.
6. Analyze performance reports
Congratulations on sending out your first email campaign! However, your journey as a content creator is far from over. Consistently sending out emails is great, but it’s not enough. As a content creator, you should strive for continuous improvement, and analyzing your performance reports can help you achieve that.
A reliable email marketing service will provide you with email campaign metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, and others. Your role is to make data-driven decisions based on this information.
For example, if you find that your open rate drops when you change your content presentation, you can conclude that people prefer the old format. This information can then guide your future decisions.
Apart from analyzing email metrics, you should also ask for feedback from your subscribers and analyze their comments. Respond to their complaints and aim to reduce mistakes and improve feedback. By doing so, you can keep your newsletter improving and growing.
Once you have set in motion your plans to start a newsletter, the next challenge will be to keep the content engaging and relatable enough for people to keep coming back for more.
We have a series of articles that will help you become a professional Email marketer. Check them out below:
- Read this article to learn How to Grow your Email List from Scratch
- Read this to find the Best Email Marketing Strategies for Digital Creators to Boost Sales
- Read this to discover How to Make Your Newsletter More Engaging
- This one has tips on How to Promote Your Newsletter and Get More Subscribers
Starting a newsletter can be easy to begin but it gets harder down the road.. However, with the right mindset, an effective plan, and some useful tips, you can create a successful newsletter.
Although newsletters can be a source of income, generating revenue should not be your primary objective in the beginning. The most crucial aspect is to share something meaningful about yourself with your audience.
When you do, your readers will appreciate it, and it will also serve as a source of motivation for you during challenging times.