Although these tips are geared towards writing a newsletter, they are certainly applicable to quality writing as well.
Do you have concerns like: How much of my time is this going to take up? How long should each email be and how many emails should I send out in total? What if I no longer have anything relevant to say? Can I keep up the quality of my newsletter over a certain length of time?
Put some thought into the best possible format for your emails. You will want a model that can be easily reproduced week after week. To make your job simpler, you can choose any one of the following newsletter writing tips as your standard format or you can combine them, whichever. The final choice is yours.
1. Tip of the Week
Come up with at least 24 tips on your main topic. You could brainstorm a specific topic and get enough content for at least 6 months of weekly newsletters. When you focus on your area of expertise this should not be a problem. You will find it best to do this by (a) explaining the problem and then (b) offering a tip that will solve the problem. The length of each email should be from 150-500 words.
2. Top Ten
This format is easy to create and it works. For example, if you are an expert in health and fitness you could give advice on the “Top Ten Health and Fitness Tips”,”Top Ten Tummy Flattening Techniques”, “Top Ten Weight Loss Tricks for 2007″. Be sure not to go over board with the word length, just a few sentences for each tip will be fine, not half the page.
3. Three Ways to…
Finding ten ways to do things can sometimes be a little challenging. A quick newsletter tip is to provide only three tips instead; it is much simpler and can be alternated with the “Top Ten” format.
4. Before and After
Just like the “Tip of the Week” format, this tip introduces a problem and then immediately provides a solution. The “before and after” format does however work better with case studies as this is one way of interacting directly with your clients.You can ask them to send in details of something in their possession that requires a makeover; such as a website page, an article, their wardrobe etc, and then you can present them with your solutions.
Or you can ask for “before and after” examples from your readers who have been able to do this themselves, and with their permission show them to your other subscribers. (If you are using text only format for your newsletter, then you can include a link to your website page which has the photos on it). This especially works well if your newsletter is related to health and fitness – the photos will motivate your readers when they see the changes of others through diet and exercise, even weight training.
Are you trying to learn something new? There is nothing quite like the checklist format to make sure that you do not leave out any steps along the way. Checklists can really save loads of time and your readers will appreciate getting one. All you will need to do is write a short introductory paragraph, make your list and then close with some final tips. You can base the whole of your newsletter on the checklist format, or you can just present one on occasion as a change from the regular newsletter format.
One final tip: You may want to set up a yahoo or gmail account just for your newsletters. Spend some time checking out websites related to your interests, and subscribe to their newsletters. Occasionally, check your emails and study what layout other editors are using. If you see a specific format that you like, print it out and put it in an “ideas” folder. Just unsubscribe from those that are only filled with never-ending sales pitches or junk.