You should start a newsletter
As you might expect, I’m a big fan of newsletters. This year is the 20th anniversary of mine. Many years ago, I worked for a company in San Jose that specialized in corporate newsletters—back in the day when they were printed—so their value was baked into me when I became a freelancer in 2004.If you’ve resolved this year to communicate more with existing and potential clients and are looking for a cost-effective way to do it, I heartily endorse newsletters as the vehicle you should choose. Why? Here are three reasons.
- Remain top of mind. By reaching out occasionally to those you’ve worked with or met via networking if they’ve opted in, they’ll think of you when the opportunity comes up to do business with you.
- Solidify your position as an expert. By providing great information, your subscribers will look forward to receiving each issue.
- Enjoy low- or no-cost marketing. Using Mailchimp, Constant Contact or another provider won’t break the bank—and may even be free.
There are some things to be aware of before you get going, including:
- Be educational. We all get enough sales pitches in our email in-boxes; your newsletter should showcase your talents, product or service through copy that’s informative and helpful rather than asking for a sale.
- Be creative. Spend some time brainstorming ideas that relate to your industry/expertise so you have a list to draw from for each issue.
- Be realistic. You may want to start conservatively—maybe with a quarterly publication—to see how it goes before you commit to more frequent distribution.
- Follow through. Once you’ve decided on a schedule, stick to it; that will demonstrate your ability to be consistent and hit deadlines.
- Ask permission. Don’t just start sending your newsletter to all your contacts; it may take a while to build your subscriber list but you must ask people to opt in.
I’m so proud The Write Stuff has many loyal readers who provide me with invaluable feedback. As a matter of fact, I began this newsletter on a quarterly basis and decided to go monthly based on comments from folks who wanted to hear from me more often.Even after all these years, I still love getting compliments about the newsletter—and my wish for you if you decide to start one is that you secure your own base of adoring fans.
‘Tis the season
While we’re definitely past the holiday season we’re squarely in the midst of the winter season—although those of us in Southern California don’t face the challenges of those who live in less temperate climates. (As a native Chicagoan, I don’t miss the snow and cold at all!) Here are 10 seasonal words heard most often during the winter months: blizzard, avalanche, frost, snowball, igloo, hibernate, snowflake, sled, mittens and earmuffs. Bundle up, those of you who are in the clutches of Mother Nature’s icy wrath, and dream about the warmer days to come.
Blog versus blog post
A blog and a blog post are two different things. Blog, which is short for weblog, is defined as a frequently updated webpage used for personal commentary or business content, while blog post is defined as a piece of writing or other item of content posted on a blog. Thus, you send people to your blog to read your blog posts; it’s inaccurate to say “read the blog” when referring to a specific post. Count this as one of my pet peeves when people (frequently) get this wrong.