You may not realize but you’re sitting on a mountain of great, established content that could be quickly turned into a trove of powerful newsletter emails. As they say: “the money is in the list” but what we, bloggers and business owners, are left wondering is what to actually say in our newsletters.
This post will take you through a few different ways to take your established content to build a powerful email newsletter along with some real-world examples of how I use this tactic on my own blogs.
Mining the Content Mountain
As I’ve mentioned, you’re currently sitting on a mountain of great content that can be used as part of your email newsletter. Remember that not every one of your site’s visitors will have read every piece of content (it’s very rare) and even your most loyal member of your community has barely scratched the surface of what you’ve previously covered; for this reason, you’ll be able to mine your content in the following ways:
- Dig through the Archives – Go back through your archives or pay close attention to which of your posts/articles have received the most amount of action (social media, traffic, etc). Look at which content pieces have worked before and which that has been passed over by your community (that you wish they read). Compile a list of your ‘best of’ and export your content to its own folder which you’ll later use to build upon your email newsletter.
- Find Synchronization – Look at your content and see what syncs with one another; try to find common ground between topics which can easily become a chain of great emails for your subscribers. You get bonus points, in my book, if you’ve already created a series of posts.
- Find those frequently asked questions – Don’t forget to look through your comments and replies from your previous posts because they too may hold many great ideas for your email newsletter. Pick out great responses from yourself and your commenter’s which can be used as a base for your emails.
- Expand on the Alternatives – Consider creating videos or audio recordings of your content (these give a fresh approach to each piece as you get to add little rifts and rants about each topic). Private Label Rights (PLR) content can also be used as a foundation if you don’t have much time to work on your newsletter regularly. You may compile lists and roundups such as resources, tutorials or interview questions; the possibilities are endless once you are aware of this mountain of content.
For a chunk of my own newsletters on a flagship blog, I use past posts that synchronize to create an entire series that takes the subscriber from the very basics of a hobby to the advanced levels. Keep your mind open about how you can use each, previous post as the foundation of your newsletter emails.
Craft your Content for Email
With newsletters, you have two choices: text and html. Within each formats, you can include additional links for multimedia but for the most part you’re going to be using text (duh). Your blog content may be formatted in a way that doesn’t quite fit that of emails; people are very busy and email can quickly turn to junk if they are too lengthy or unorganized.
Here are some quick tips for building effective emails with existing content:
- Headlines that stick – Work intently on your headline; it’s the most important item in emails. Without a great headline, your emails aren’t going to be opened. Use the best of your ability to create witty, informative or quips that spark curiosity of the recipient.
- K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple (Stupid), don’t overload your reader with lengthy memoirs and ramblings; keep it short and to the point, don’t have your readers guessing what you’re talking about.
- Structure matters – Break up your existing content into sections much like how you most likely have them now with headings but edit down to the very basic information. Structure your emails so people can skim and jump around.
- Lead out – Always include a call-to-action (like in sales copy) to let people know what you want them to do after reading your email. Your call-to-action doesn’t have to be anything big or send people through loops but utilize your contact with the other person to at least get them to share the content with others or click on one of your links.
- Don’t forget the P.S.! – People often jump right to the bottom as they scan your email; don’t forget to craft a great P.S. that’s equivalent of everything you’ve talked about in your email all bundled into one sentence (or two).
The good thing is that your blog posts have been created (hopefully) in a manner where you can pick and splice each section into emails that work together. For example: Turn a gigantic tutorial into multiple emails that is delivered once a day until it’s complete. Simple, right?
Learn, Test, Optimize, Repeat
Like anything you try: test, test, test. Don’t be afraid to try out something new with your email newsletter; if you know your existing content went over well than you’ve already built a good chance of it being received well from your subscribers.
Learn from your mistakes. Learn what people like and don’t like. Repeat the type of content that people enjoy and cut out ones that don’t matter.
Optimize your email to get people through each topic without any hiccups. Get right into the meat of the email, optimize your email copy so it resonates and creates a fire for them to open the next. Repeat your testing, learning and optimization over and over again until you’ve build a solid foundation for a great email newsletter.
A Real-World Example
As I promised, I wanted to give you a quick rundown of how I took my own existing content on a flagship blog of mine to create a successful email newsletter (which I have used in my most recent ventures as well!):
- I dug through my archives to see what people enjoyed reading, researched into the natural progression of others when entering the hobby niche and where I wanted to eventually take them (from beginner to pro).
- I used my blog content as a foundation for my emails but took the time to edit each so they were sleek and to the point. I cut out large chunks where I went off rambling and worked in call-to-actions that got people active and excited for the next.
- I wrote 40+ emails that take the subscriber from the very basics up to the point where they’re on their own (not because I can’t teach them anymore but rather that they actually have to dive in to go any further).
- I included a few products that greatly help people learn the ropes about the hobby which I’ve previously bought and thoroughly enjoyed (this let me easily write about the products).
- I tracked the open rates and click through of my emails to find out what types work the best so I could then use them as one-off’s for future emails (this can greatly explode your profitability with an email list).
I could write an epic saga of how everything was set up and went down with my email list but the most important thing of it all was to taking action.
Getting Un-Stuck and Moving Forward
If you’re feeling stuck on where to get started with your email newsletter than consider digging through your existing content to give yourself a spark of motivation and inspiration. Consider the alternatives that are available out there on the web. Treat your newsletter as a direct extension of your blog (and in many ways, almost more important).
People have told you they want what you have to offer; give it to them by sharing the best of the best.
Have you used a similar strategy for your own newsletter? Still stuck on getting started? Share your experience in the comments below and with others.