How do you do preparation for newsletters?
Is it easy to prep?
Can anyone do this preparation?
Newsletters are not hard… well that is if you do preparation for them.
Would you believe me that all that huff and fluff about newsletters being hard is a bunch of bull hockey?
You see everyone who has complained about newsletters being hard are part of the “reactive” boat. They plan little or just do one when the feeling strikes them. Then they moan and groan about how it’s difficult to keep a regular cadence.
This is especially true for us procrastinators.
They put off planning in hopes it will go away. But that’s the worst thing that they can do when it comes to newsletters. For a well working newsletter is a well thought out plan done via preparation.
Without preparation we cannot plan. Without a plan means a inconsistent scheduled newsletter. It is through research that allows us to prep and then plan our newsletter to make it easy on ourselves.
When you start planning then you have transitioned over to the “proactive” boat. Which by the way is the boat with the most fun because it doesn’t have all the chaos happening on the other ship. No one likes the hair pulling nonsense that is happening over on the “reactive” boat.
So, how does one prepare for a newsletter?
If you guessed the first step is research then you get a gold star.
Yeah I know… I kind of hinted at that already. I reckon you’ll guess the next step is plan. However, let’s focus on the type of research one will need to do before you can start planning.
In my own experience research to me when it comes to newsletters is:
- Target Audience – Youth? YA? New Adult? Naughty?
- Genre – Fantasy? Romance? Sci-Fi?
- Fellow Author Newsletters – what are they doing?
- Newsletter Cadence – how often do you send it out?
- Time – do you have it?
Target Audience & Genre
If you’ve already written your book then you have your target audience and genre nailed down… I hope. You did do that right? If not then no worries we’ll cover that in the next few posts.
Fellow Author Newsletters
The next part is to subscribe to a few fellow author’s newsletters to see how they’re doing it. You’ll want to take a look at the layout, what they write and how often they offer goodies to their subscribers.
Once you have an idea of what you liked and didn’t like from those newsletters go ahead and write down your rules (and your reasons why). You know the ones that state what you will and will not do for your newsletter. Seriously, write it down. It’ll help jog your memory as to why you’re doing or not doing something later on down the road.
Then move on to your desired cadence — aka your newsletter schedule. Each genre is different and sometimes you’ll need to tweak your schedule to hit that sweet spot. Though, I will say that most fans will get annoyed if you decide to send them an email every day.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you because you will see your subscriber numbers drop dramatically if you try to email them daily. Not to mention it will raise the likelihood of your newsletter being marked as SPAM. * * shudder * * nobody wants that… not even MY enemies (not like I have enemies… <.<”)
Finally, you need determine how much time you have to dedicate to your newsletter. You have to factor in all your author-y duties, family commitments, work (if you still work) and other life stuff.
It would not be reasonable to say that you can do a weekly newsletter if you got tons of other stuff going on in your life. Weekly schedules can be done… I’ve seen it.
Such as a Mom of four that chauffeurs them to practice after she gets home from work, grocery shops, does chores and makes dinner. On top of that still plans out her weekly newsletters, gets the current scheduled and ready to go out the door.
It’s all about planning.
To start I recommend doing at the most a bi-weekly newsletter to get your toes wet then eventually increasing it to the bi-weekly to weekly newsletter. I must warn you that before you change up the schedule you have to let your subscribers know.
Any change to the newsletter cadence is definitely news worthy. You can always mention it in the previous newsletter before the new schedule goes into effect.
So, in essence preparation for a newsletter is research and planning. Once you have done your research then you are ready to start planning.
You have your cadence, genre, audience, format and allotted time figured out. Now is the moment to start puzzling these pieces together. Like what does one write in a newsletter?
There are tons of things that you can put in there. It can be genre related news, swaps, latest story that you’re working on or perhaps it could contain a new freebie for your adoring fans. Any of those things work because it’s your newsletter.
Yet, we’ll cover what to put in the newsletter a bit more in depth later on.
Before I go there’s a bit of homework for you to do to help figure out your audience or to get a better idea of your target audience…
Write down the one person that you are writing your story for (they can be fictitious if you want them to be):
- What is his/her name?
- Likes and/or dis-likes?
- Do they like reading?
- What is the one quality that makes them stand out?
If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to ask in the comments. We’re always happy to answer for we’re all in this together.
Thank you for reading Burning Embers’ Newsletters for Beginners Part 2 – Preparation.
Next post will be Newsletters for Beginners Part 3 – Audience & Genre