If you have a newsletter or blog, you’ve probably experienced the following scenario: Your self-imposed deadline for publication is quickly approaching. At the same time, you’re slammed with work (or life!) and haven’t gotten to it. The pressure is building.
So you ask yourself, “Should I skip this one?”
Unfortunately, skipping a newsletter issue or blog post is a slippery slope. Missing a self-imposed deadline once makes it easier to miss the next one. And so on and so on, until you’re completely off your publication schedule.
Of course, the unexpected happens in work and life. Fortunately, you can take proactive steps to ensure that the unexpected doesn’t send your content completely off track (more on this in a moment).
In the meantime, you can get yourself out of this jam with these five newsletter articles that are relatively quick and simple to write.
1. A Quick Tip Article
A quick tip article provides brief, useful instruction that relates to a single issue or problem.
It can cover almost any topic that might interest your prospects, for example:
- What to look for in a writer
- How to interview a client
- Which social media platforms to choose.
The beauty of a quick tip article is that it’s short!
It also doesn’t have to be mind blowing. Keep it simple! Choose something that you already know how to do well but your readers are less familiar with.
2. A FAQs Article
A FAQ article answers a common question that prospects and clients ask. The question can relate to your work process or any other areas of your expertise.
- What is your process for developing newsletter content?
- What happens if clients want to make changes to the copy?
- Who retains the copyright?
- How much time will you need from clients?
If one person has a question, you can bet others have the same one. Not only does a FAQ post save you from having to answer the same questions again and again, it’s quick to write because you already know the answer.
3. Conference Recaps and Training Takeaways Articles
Is your publication date creeping up on you because you’ve been at a conference or taking some training? First, pat yourself on the back for investing in yourself and your business! Second, get even more value from your professional development by using it as fodder for your newsletter or blog.
For example, if you attend an industry conference, you can write about:
- Favorite sessions
- Top speakers
- Top takeaways
- Event recap.
Similarly, if you’ve taken a course or workshop, you can share insights such as:
- What you learned
- What surprised you most
- What you disagreed with
- What warrants further investigation.
These posts are quick to write because they’re based on your personal experience. They also help solidify what you learned.
They’re a great way to continue your engagement with fellow conference attendees or classmates and (possibly) add them to your subscriber list.
They also illustrate your expertise to readers, as well as your initiative and willingness to invest in yourself and your business.
4. Personal Experience Articles
This topic ties something that you experienced to your work.
It can relate to almost anything, such as:
- A conversation with a friend
- A movie you saw last week
- Something that happened during your vacation
- Something personal that ties to your work.
This topic demonstrates your ability to take lessons learned and apply them to your work. And they’re easy to write because they’re based on personal experiences—no research required!
5. “Best of” Articles
Basically, “best of” articles compile your top-commented-on posts/articles along with an update or two. You don’t want to reproduce the posts in full, of course, but simply include links to the top three or four and provide some context.
“Best of” articles are the secret weapons of under-the-gun writers. You’ll find an example you may recognize here.
How to Avoid Last Minute Scrambling for Topics
Naturally, you don’t want to rely too heavily on these “quick-to-write” topics. Ideally, you want to have a process that keeps you well stocked in ideas so you’re never left scrambling.
This process should consist of two parts: (1) capture topic ideas when they come up and (2) proactively generate ideas.
Capture Topic Ideas
Article topics are all around us. They come to us when we’re walking the dog or reading the paper or doing client research.
The secret is to look for them and write them down when they come. Then, you periodically dump them into a “article ideas” swipe file you can consult when you’re ready to write.
Proactively Generate Topic Ideas
In addition, you need a process to proactively generate ideas. This process can include things such as:
- Setting up Google Alerts for terms related to your market
- Signing up for newsletters related to your work and your clients’ work
- Scrolling through online trade journals
- Looking through social media posts from experts in your field.
Again, as you generate new ideas, you add them to your swipe file.
Don’t Give Up on Your Newsletter!
The value of having an email newsletter is indisputable—so don’t let these bumps in the road put you off.
Instead, use one of these five topics to get you out of this jam. And then put in a process to prevent it from happening again.