Overcome writers block

The surefire solution to blog or newsletter writer’s block

Do you struggle to come up with content for your company Blog, eNews or print newsletter? You’re not alone. Whether you produce your newsletter weekly, monthly, quarterly or occasionally, the most common complaint amongst newsletter compilers is finding inspiration or knowing what to ‘fill it up with’.

Are you guilty of simply grabbing whatever you can find at the last minute, throwing it together and just sending the newsletter out? Unfortunately, this often results in boring your customers with meaningless drivel, or worse still, with customers seeing your newsletter as irrelevant and not even reading it – which is probably not the outcome you were hoping for!

Don’t despair! There’s one secret weapon most professionals use to ensure they always have a choice of quality information ready to use in each and every newsletter…. it’s… THE SWIPE FILE!

What’s a swipe file, I hear you ask? Well, it can be an actual folder or a folder on your computer, where you keep copies of articles from magazines, newspapers and website,s as well as story ideas, pictures or any information which may inspire a future article for your newsletter. Naturally, it goes without saying that if you wish to reproduce another person’s writing, you need to check on copyright issues. You’ll find most people are happy to have their work reproduced if you include their name, a bio/snippet of info about them (often found at the base of their original article) and a link back to their site or the location of the original article, but you need to get their permission to reproduce their work first.

If you’re confident in your own writing ability, you might prefer to take one aspect of the snipped article and expand upon that point in your own article. You can quote from the first article to reinforce your point.

Providing quality articles which are of interest to your customers helps to establish trust and builds your profile in their eyes. Make Writer’s Block a thing of the past… Start your swipe file today – I’m confident it will be a big help when you compile your next newsletter. If you’re already using a swipe file – share your tips and hints with us by leaving a reply in the comment box below.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

Lyndall has a strong background in Real Estate and is a specialist Property Copywriter. She happily works with clients all round Australia. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

7 quick & easy tips for successful eNewsletters

Producing a successful eNewsletter is easier than you think. Following are 7 key components successful newsletters have in common.

  • WHO are you actually writing your eNewsletter for? Who is your one ideal customer? You need to write your eNewsletter in a way that appeals to her and makes her feel as though you’re writing directly to her, one-on-one. It may help you to write a profile of your ideal customer, including a list of her likes and dislikes, product requirements, etc. – and give her a name.
  • Great headings capture attention. Some writers claim they spend 80% of their time writing the heading and only 20% writing the content of the article. Numbers and lists can be useful, as busy people want quick tips and checklists to solve their problems.
  • Know the purpose of your newsletter. What are you trying to achieve? Most business produce an eNewsletter to build authority and trust, keep regular contact with customers and/or provide information about their new products and services. eNewsletters are a great tool if you want to truly connect with your tribe – regular bulletins can help them to know, like and trust you.
  • Share your stories. People love to hear stories – this helps them connect with you and your business. Tell them about other customers’ experiences (with their permission of course), staff stories – especially good news, awards, travel, adventures, anything that you think they’ll be interested in, that’s topical, newsworthy, useful or that somehow relates back to your business. It’s a good idea to encourage feedback, questions and ask readers to share their stories, as this builds a sense of community and helps build further trust.
  • Watch your tone. The tone of your writing will depend on your target audience, but most readers prefer a positive, friendly, conversational tone. Your business eNewsletter is not the place to vent your anger or express negative feelings about customers, products or your spouse! (Yes, I’ve seen people do it… and you have to ask yourself, ‘What kind of impression does that make?’). Comments on industry news or an article of interst are fine.
  • Balance information and selling. There’s a variety of theories, but it seems to be generally accepted that you should provide 75% information and no more than 25% selling.  When you do include a sales offer, make sure you include a call to action, a reason to respond now, a place to find more information (if necessary)and a link to click when they’re ready to order.
  • How regular are you? If it’s not too personal a question, how often do you … send out your eNewsletter? Yes, we’ve all been guilty of letting it slide and the weeks turn into months and years. Weekly or monthly is preferable, as regularity is important! You might want to survey your readers to see what their preference is for regularity and content.

One more thing… please ensure you include your contact details. So many companies send out an eNewsletter without their logo, email address or contact phone numbers. The contact information you include may vary depending on whether your business is online or a shopfront, but you need to provide customers with an easy way to get in touch with you. Who knows, they may even want to buy something from you! ;-D

Best wishes for the success of your eNewsletter.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send them to me at info@professionalwriter.com.au. I look forward to hearing from you.  Thanks!