So…. What if you want to create curated-style newsletters?
One of my Inbox Besties, Jen Williams of Jen Williams Agency wanted to know how to create curated-style newsletters that people actually look forward to reading.
What Are Curated-Style Newsletters Anyway?
A curated-style newsletter is a weekly digest or magazine-style email newsletters that covers a range of topics. What makes curated-style newsletters different than other email newsletters is that there isn’t one specific CTA (or call to action). Intead, there are multiple links for your readers to click including videos, blog posts, live streams and more.
Curated newsletters are a good solution for people who struggle with only having one goal or call to action for your emails. Also, if you’re struggling with what to email your list each week, a curated newsletter may be the answer you’ve been looking for.
If you decide that curated-style newsletters are right for you and your audience, you can still send out solo emails covering a specific CTA or to make an announcement. There’s no reason to box yourself in to only one type of email format. After all, it’s your email list and your audience so you get to do what you want to do!
The Anatomy Curated Newsletters
When planning out your weekly newsletters, the first thing to keep in mind is to have fun. When you are having a good time finding content and information to inspire and motivate your audience, it shows. If you’re dragging your feet and dreading doing the work, that shows too. If you’re not excited about sharing your best resources and tips, why should they be excited about opening and reading your newsletters?
The second step is to decide on “content buckets”. Content buckets are a list of 4-5 subjects that your people are interested in. These include topics that your list struggles with, technology they need to reach their goals, inspiration, motivation… you get the point.
Jen’s business is all about streamlining business operations so the content buckets for her newsletters may look like:
- Lead generation
- Goal setting
Every business (and every list) is unique – there is no “one size fits all” so take a few minutes and figure out what content buckets work best for your audience. You can always change and evolve as your business does the same so don’t overthink it too much.
Another thing to consider when creating your curated newsletters are your people. What do they struggle with? What are their “yea, buts”? By helping your audience overcome their biggest struggles and face their biggest fears instead of just putting out content for the sake of it, you’ll have your list looking forward to your newsletter each week instead of it sliding right into the trash folder.
A popular format for curated-style newsletters is the “DO – ASK – READ – WATCH” format. Give them something to do to move closer to their goals, ask them a question about what they are struggling with, give them something inspirational or motivational to read and then share a video or livestream for them to watch.
You can also include a “Tool of the Week” section in your newsletters. People love tools and tech. Whether it’s project management software or your favorite bullet journal or the best vegetable chopper you’ve ever used, sharing the tools and tech that you recommend is a great way to get your list to take action (plus, you most tools & tech have affiliate options too so you can earn extra income – YAY!)
Naming Your Newsletter
When you have curated-style email newsletters, you want to come up with a name for it that conveys to your subscribers what they are getting. For example, Tim Ferris has his “5-Bullet Friday” newsletter that includes 5 things he’s been “loving, using, and reading”.
Ideally your newsletter’s name should have the day of the week as well as calling out you ideal client. For example, if your newsletters caters to busy CEOs who to keep up with the latest trends in yiour niche, you might call it the “CEO Digest”. If you need a litte more help with naming your newsletter, check out this “Name Your Thing” blog post for more tips.
Finding Content for Your Newsletters
We all struggle with writer’s block when it comes to writing emails and your curated newsletters are no different. To get your gears turning, ask yourself these questions:
- What do you find yourself recommending to your clients over and over again?
- What are the questions you hear the most when it comes to your niche or business?
- What were your biggest struggles when you got started?
- What advice would you give a stranger if they asked about the problem that you help your clients with?
Still stuck? Try Answer the Public or Buzz Sumo for content research. Answer the Public is an amazing resource where all you have to do is type in your niche and it comes up with the most common questions people have in that area. For example, if you type in “starting a business”, it populates 118 common questions people have. It’s like a content generator with questions in a “who, what, when, why, how” format.
The main thing to keep in mind is to keep your curated newsletter content in bite-sized chunks that your audience can read in one sitting. You’re not writing a blog post or e-book.
Of course, your newsletter readers always want to know what’s going on in your life. Sharing something personal, whether it’s a vacation you’re planning or a new development in your business, is always a winner. People love behind-the-scenes content so the more you share, the better (within reason, of course).
Another great resource for coming up with content for your newsletters is an Inbox Besties episode I did with Elna Cain from Twins Mommy on how to get tons of traffic with viral content. Although you’re not looking for “traffic” with your newsletters, the concepts for content are exactly the same.
Don’t overthink your content too much. When you’re sticking to your content buckets, you’re going to connect with your audience. Your newsletters don’t have to be cute or clever. They just needs to answer questions and solve problems your people are facing.
Make sure you keep the images in your newsletters to a minimum to increase your deliverability (so your newsletters don’t end up in the dreaded spam folder) and to use different headline sizes and colors to keep it visually interesting.
And remember to have FUN. That is the number ONE most important thing to do because it shows.