It’s a common saying over the Internet: Content is King! You read it from Google’s Matt Cutts, from various article marketers and SEO experts, and even from random bloggers floating around on free services. Most of the time, they are pertaining to web content, but the amazing thing is that it applies even to newsletters. One of the most important parts of a newsletter is valuable content. But how can you tell if your newsletter content is valuable? There are a number of ways:
1. If People Are Sharing It – People have this innate need to share things that they like to their friends and loved ones, especially nowadays as social media has made the act of sharing content a point of pride. Newsletters with really good content are particularly conducive to sharing, because it has this air of exclusivity to it – readers feel like they’re the only one with access to the newsletter because they access it through their personal mail reader. So once they find something that really grabbed their attention, they feel compelled to show it to everyone else. You do need to make it easier for them, though – so make sure your newsletters have “Share This” links or CTAs.
2. If Your Reputation Improves – The thing about newsletters is that the industry is full of charlatans and seedy marketers, so people get desensitized to your average newsletter writers. Average quality content just gets buried under the noise, but if your content is valuable, people will remember your name and will start to trust you with regard to your niche or field. Over time, your name may become an authority on certain topics, because what you have written about it was valuable (or had benefits) for a lot of readers.
3. If You Have a Very Low Unsubscribe Rate – This one should be self-explanatory. If your newsletter doesn’t have anything interesting or useful by way of content, people are going to unsubscribe fast, but if they find something in it that is useful or at least entertaining, they’re going to keep coming back for more and that Unsubscribe link will be perpetually ignored.
So, What Do You Do If Your Content Isn’t Valuable?
Technically, the answer is “write better content,” but we’re aware that if it was that simple, you wouldn’t even be reading this article in the first place. While it’s not feasible to write a generic guide on how to write valuable content (simply because it depends on context, and the specific niche that the newsletter owner is in), there are a few things you can do in order to help you produce more valuable content, or at least steer you away from useless ones.
First things first is that you have to start by tightening your focus a bit. If you’ve been pumping out way too many newsletters on various topics at breakneck pace, then that could be your problem. You’re probably spreading yourself way too thin to produce decent text. You should first streamline your operations. Either winnow down your newsletters to a single regular one, or organize their schedule so that your attention won’t overlap between different letters.
Next is that you have to take into account your target demographic when writing content. If you don’t have a profile of your target readers already, then that’s another problem that you need to address. Build a profile for the reader that you want, or ask for feedback from existing ones, then take all of those into account when deciding on what to write about next.
Lastly, read more. Subscribe to other people’s newsletters, read stuff related to your niche over the Internet. You don’t need to copy anything (in fact, you should avoid plagiarizing things) but simply being exposed to quality content will inspire and subconsciously ingrain things into your head, so that you’ll have some basic idea of what kind of quality content to write about the next time you sit down in front of your PC and stare at a word processor.