Thursday, March 17, 2011

Everyone's An Artist!

Alright, I know you probably don't feel like an artist sometimes, but you are.

If you're anything like me, every week or month or quarter, when it's newsletter time, you look at that blank newsletter template with a little (or a lot) of trepidation.  What will you write?  How will you know if your customers will find it beneficial?  As the deadline draws nearer, and the stress of the task at hand builds up more and more, it can seem harder and harder to come up with ideas.  What to do?

Perhaps something as simple as a change in perspective is all that's needed.  Instead of looking at the computer screen as your nemesis, think of it as a fresh canvas, just waiting for your magical brush (or in this case, keyboard) strokes.  If you're tuned in to your customer base, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to content, there are only suggestions.

Always be in "Newsletter Mode".  Any good artist is constantly on the lookout for inspiring subject matter.  So should you be.  When something strikes you, write it down!  Maybe a content folder somewhere on your computer would be helpful.  See.  Write.  File.  Publish when appropriate.

Stats may be boring, but results are not.  What inside your previous newsletters has gotten a reaction from your customers?  Look at what they're clicking.  If there are an overwhelming number of clicks on any certain article from the past, perhaps it would be valuable to revisit and expand on that subject.

Phone a friend.  This life-line isn't limited to that oh-so-popular television game show.  Like any artist, we can all get stuck in a rut. Sometimes, a new voice in the form of a guest author can freshen up your newsletter. 

Keep it real.  There's a reason that reality television shows have found such a niche in our society.  People want to see the failures and successes of those around them.  Draw upon and write about your past experiences.  Let your readership know what has worked for you and what hasn't and why.

Try to remember though, that variety really is the spice of life.  Don't limit yourself to article after boring article.  Add some pizazz to the newsletter in the form of things like educational content (think "Word of the Week"), Top Ten lists, surveys, event recommendations, links to resources that would be beneficial to your audience, funny or inspirational anecdotes, and the list goes on.  As the artiste, you ultimately have the final say in what your audience will see.  However, it's important to remember that people will only look at art that they find appealing.

Now is the time to get started on your next masterpiece!

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