Exploring Content Type
We're going to look now at content types great this is the need here in the meat of the email there are a lot of choices and you may come up with things that I haven't thought of, which is awesome as well and this is your permission to experiment you may not know immediately what's best for your business as faras the type of content that you're choosing and so you might send something out to your three hundred subscribers in the beginning like I did and one week it looks one way and three weeks later it looks a different way and that's okay in the beginning when you're trying to figure it out, you can try different things and sort of see what you enjoy and what they seem to enjoy and it's okay to experiment you also want to settle on something over time that's going to be reasonable, right? Like if you're going to commit to writing a thousand word piece on a weekly basis, that might be reasonable but it also might not be reasonable. So you want to be able to pick something that's going...
to be reasonable knowing you're in this for the long haul um and what your subscribers like the best and and what fulfills your why so we're going to look at a bunch of different types um one type that does well I find an email newsletters our recommendations okay, so this is something you're going to be linking out too, so not to your product you're recommending other things recommendations khun b grates people love tio get a recommendation for something for someone who knows a lot about that thing there's a lot of choices the internet is huge and there's so much and it is hard to know what's best which is why how many of you read amazon reviews before you buy a book or a thing or whatever and it right because you want the recommendation you read yell before you go to a restaurant, you go to trip adviser before you book the hotel like why is that compelling? Why don't you just booked the hotel without going to trip adviser? Because you want the recommendation you might even ask on facebook, I'm going to san francisco does anyone know of a good restaurant a good place to stay? What should I d'oh? Because those recommendations air really valuable, so a couple of ideas of recommendations what I do is a lynx round up, which is great, and I subscribe to a bunch of newsletters that two links round ups. If you're a big reader and you read a lot on the web uh, you, you know, click around a lot if you're just naturally inclined to do that, you can send out a list too on on a weekly basis or you know, whenever you're sending out your newsletter of here's three things there not miss on the web this week related to your wife, you know, three articles you can recommend all kinds of things you can recommend podcasts. Um, you could recommend instagram feeds, you know, people don't know who to follow on instagram if you d'oh. So you know who do I follow on instagram that you about? Who do you follow that you love books that you've read? If you're a big reader, these air books, the best craft books, the best business books, the best books related to whatever your why is, um, aps people love to know what aps to get if you are a person who loves aps um, one of the uh um, I'm gonna talk about topics from industry experts that one there s o I subscribed to a newsletter from the podcast sound exploder hey, her hairbrush cash her way is the guy who makes an exploder and song exploiter and it's ah, really great podcast that they take a piece of music and the person who composed that piece of music breaks down how they composed it and tells you all about it while they play the piece of music behind, and so you get a real inside a group of like how that piece of music was composed and had amazing people on their, um and what he does for his newsletter. So what do you do for a newsletter, fats? Your podcast? Ok, so every friday sends out three songs that you should listen tio this week, and they're picked by industry experts, so he pay has musicians, different musicians pick a song to recommend you're really into music. That is the best thing ever, right? So his his site is called song exploder? Yeah. It's a great podcast. You like podcasts also great news letter, if you like newsletters and it's just a great way to sort of see how somebody does something that's related to their why, but yeah. So what if you, as a knitwear designer had, you know, if you're friends with lots of people in the in the knitwear industry, hod three knitwear designers pick a pattern from revelry, rivalries. Gigantic. It is impossible to wade through ravell race. So some patterns you know, pick three sock patterns that are interesting for some reason and just write a sentence or two saying why they picked that sock pattern their favorite one. And then you have three really well known designers with their top stock patterns. Senators would love that newsletter I have long thought that should be in your life, that somebody could do that cause that's a really good news letter. So I mean there's, just a lot of media. So if you can wade through media or have industry experts help, you wade through media and then they get their name, lengthen your newsletter so it helps them, um, you know, that's a good so that's. A good tip. Sales and coupons ever unloved the save money, everybody. So if you can send out a round up of sales and coupons from the week that is useful sara lawson from so sweetness that's what she does if you subscribe to so sweetness is newsletter every friday, you get a round up of the weekend sales for fabric, so she knows all the different, you know, online fabric shop owners, and they send her here's my fail. You know it's fifteen percent off that quarters for the weekend or whatever, and she'll tell you the name, the link on what the deal is so you can shop and get discounts for the weekend. Respectable people if you can send out sales and coupons. So it sort of depends on what you like doing, but those air some really good ways to incorporate recommendations. Aah into your newsletter high, all right, articles um links the articles are good you can also write articles one of the newsletters they recommend on my list that you can download is from kim worker who also is a creative life instructor and her she's a great writer really like funny and kind of off the cuff sort of writer and she writes a little personal narrative as her she is a tiny letter and she sent it out on fridays friday afternoon and she sends you like a little personal narrative about her creative creative work that week sometimes she's like totally not motivated and did nothing but she liked writes it to you in a way that you're like I've had days like that you know it's really relatable on dh she'd like to get hired as a writer so it meets her y eso personal narrative can be nice you can also write a whole essay on their tio there are people who really used the newsletters like a blood post and they write a whole faa you can do a little editorial and now afis I include that in mind um you could link to articles that are inspirational or write an article that's inspirational as well so those air some sort of article tape ideas high behind the scenes rate a lot people love to know what it looks like in an artist's studio or I'm maker studio my studio is in our master bedroom it's a table in the corner on an ironing board and some shelves but if you take a picture the right way it looks like a studio so you'll feed me in there there's pictures of me on line of that and that's where if you turn around there's a bed and looked like a studio but that's fine eso people people do want to know what it looks like what your process looks like they're fascinated by that s o you can show them a little peek behind the curtain and works in progress or good you know people want to see your sketches for new a new fall line how did you put it together? Maybe you have a color story you're pulling from photos and swatches and that sort of thing that you're putting together um studio photos sketches some people have like process videos people take little you know with their smart phone just a little video stop motion video of like things in process you khun if you like creating little videos like that you can do that and it's really about what you enjoy doing and I do think it's nice to include some things that you don't include elsewhere so um some photos that are exclusive yeah, I have a question I don't want to get that it's a little bit off topic about you archive of all your news letters on your web site I do have an archive and I think it appears a top of the newsletter itself if you open the newsletter on the web there's a link at the top so you have to subscribe you have to subscribe although it might be a good idea for me to put like a place for people to go back and click through I think that that archive could be a valuable thing but yeah archives they're important that's good yeah ok, so so behind the scenes is a good a good thing for sure I can't personally post just so you know, I can't post works in progress because once I post it in my mind the project is complete and I will never go back to it I learned the hard way that I'll be like us could cut out all this stuff and I'm gonna be making an owl and then once I photograph it and I put it up, I'm like I'm done I don't have to make it any more because it's like the motivation to finish it is posting and so if I post too early yeah, so you'll never see works in progress from may. But yes, a quick question from the chat room did you do you tell the people that you are sending people tio that you were kind of promoting within your own email that you've done that? Do you got quite right them and say, hey, I just featured you that's a good question if you're going to use someone's photo, you absolutely need to get permission first so you know, just like when you're writing a block post, you're not going to go and take somebody's photo off their site without giving blood in them no and asking them if it's okay, so I definitely don't do that um at all I mean, I don't I just don't include other people's photos, but if I am gonna link somebody else, sometimes I will say I'm going to put this in the newsletter, so I get a lot of links from twitter, you know, like a little of twitter, some on twitter somebody will link to something and I'm like that's need on I'll tweet back and be like, oh, I'm going to put in the newsletter on wednesday and some people ignore that and some people will be like, oh, let me and bill bright to me and tell me exactly what the projects all about and make sure I understand it fully before a link to it, which is really nice so people kind of take it seriously, we're don't sometimes they don't tell people sometimes tell him after the fact and they'd be like, oh, no wonder I got so many hidden you know says something because hard to trace like, where is the traffic coming from but the answer the short answer is no I don't like alert every no that would take forever and I don't think it's necessary I think if you're linking to somebody else's content just a link it's okay don't do that without permission so you also want to make sure like we talked about a little while back that you linked to things that you have toe offers so people want to support you and it's confusing and frustrating to them if they can't figure out how you're making money like what is this for and they want to know even if they're not going to buy something now or next week or next month they want to know like this is a business and if they can't get to the bottom of who's behind it and why it makes money wide exist is really annoying to people it's frustrating so you want to say like at least if you have a book out put an image of the book and an amazon link doesn't have to be fancy if you have you know a pattern if you have a product if you're going to be performing in a concert or whatever, give them a link so they can buy a ticket if you know so that they know what you're selling right because you wouldn't be sending this unless you were selling something so what is it you're selling this make it clear without you know just have to be like over the top but just put it there so excerpts of old block off kat block content old and new you can do old too people often joan read talking about archives they don't read you through your blawg archives have had people who are like I read all ten years of your blawg yesterday I'm like why but there are people who will do that but but most people like your blob archives kind of get buried even if they're well organized and you have drop down menus to people confined things by you know searching by different topics or whatever it's still hard to pull up something that's interesting so maybe wrote are like a really evergreen post that's still relevant or maybe it it's ah holidays coming up and you have a tutorial for that holiday you know you already wrote a christmas tutorial two years ago you could link back teo you know the christmas your own christmas stocking tutorial this christmas a lot of people won't even know you ever had that tutorial so for them it's new and you can say like you know this is this is something I made a while back but it's still awesome post new picture and revive it that way and and so if you have old content bring it bring it forward in a newsletter in the new content as well so I have three posts a week on my blood, and I just select too, of the three to harley in the newsletter, so I don't select all of it because the other thing is you're in this for the long haul, so you don't need to pick one hundred things tio feature, you know, just pick a few things so it's not so long and overwhelming on, and then you want your social media banks and there, too, because most like then, you know all of them, but most likely you're trying to build a following somewhere, maybe you're super an instagram, maybe you're super into facebook or something else, so you want to, you know, put those things there so people can find you if pinterest is your thing, and you're really working on pinterest where you could put all of them, but put them there, it makes it easy for people to share your newsletter ah, and it makes me sick makes it easy for them to click on and follow you elsewhere, so you just want to make sure you're including those things. Yeah, a question, should the recommendation round up? He used just in the in the newsletter or do double duty with the blawg post with the blurb in the newsletter is one better than the other, so you're not putting that those that round up on your block, I'm not putting that round upon my blogged and I do feel it's nice to have some exclusive content for the newsletter subscribers that they're getting that nobody else was getting so for me that's the link round up, you might have something different that's exclusive, but I do think it's nice to have something that is exclusive it doesn't have to be that, but I do get a few blocks that teo link round up like every friday or every sunday, and I always think to myself they should just make kind of news slider and not put it on the block because if they're doing it anyway, I think that's a missed opportunity, I think they should shift it, but that's just me about that much my opinion, I think they've been they'd be better off shifting and having either no block post that day or just posting something different. Yeah, but it doesn't sound like roundup doesn't have to be the exclusive content, but some exclusive content is nice. Yeah, because again these are the people this is about somebody clicked over from contrasting his like where's my free tutorial they just want to see, you know one little thing or whatever these air like the people who love you and want to be with you, so you want to give them something riel you know, treat them right for sure yeah, and I think that we forget that the whole thing here is that where do people do love us and that's kind of this constant theme is that those people who have signed up for it do you want to get that content that email is a gift? Yeah, so I love that we didn't do a couple more questions yeah way no if you have any here in the studio audience so elizabeth ferguson asked, what are your thoughts regarding offered offering paid spots in your newsletter to feature brands that want exposure tacky or a good way to add revenue? That is a great question so let's say one of the newsletters I think I recommend in the list that you can download is by meg cox and she does tio paid sponsorships that she includes in the newsletter and you know it's a good question so what? Your list is big enough you could sell ads just like he cell block ads sidebar ads for your plug or I sell podcast sponsorship for my podcast the podcast can get monetize you can monetize the newsletter by selling ads on dh you know that I also touches on this idea of pitches so want your audience is large enough, people will pitch a cz well so they'll contact me and say, well, you include my thing in your newsletter like they want they have an upcoming events, they have a new product or whatever, and they wanted included, you have to sort of be prepared. How am I going to handle it if, you know, drive a policy, um, for both of them, and I think everyone is going to make a different decision when you start selling ads, you're selling eyeballs, right? So instead of selling a product, you're selling an audience and earning money from the audience, you just have to decide if you want to make that shift for me. I want the audience to buy my product at this time, I could change my mind, but this time I don't want them. I don't want to sell the eyeballs. I'd rather sell the product that I'm creating, um, atleast for the newsletter, but that is not the case for the podcast, so, you know, I think everybody is going to make a different decision there, but having a having a position, and sometimes you can't develop a position until you try it, like fact, another thing I've I've learned, I sell ads on my block. I had a period of time when I did sell ads on my blogged, and I tried it, and I sort of didn't like it for a number of different reasons, primarily because I I wanted my blood content to be editorially independent so that I wasn't gonna disappoint advertisers that by critiques from segment of the selling industry and so I decided to keep it completely independent so there are no ads there so it's not monetizing that way on ly mon ties through people buying products but I leave money on the table during that so you know it's a lot of this is just sort of trying it and being like uh oh I don't think I like it this way so yeah so you just you mentioned your podcast several times and so people are asking where can they go back to your podcast called while she now yeah it's called while she naps and you can see the archive of gas on my block glow yeah ok one more question about this content types are there some things that you have seen that don't work very well of things you've tried that don't work well I did in the beginning when I was in my experimental phase I did customer profiles I thought that would be interesting like here's somebody who's bought a lot of my patterns so in a lot of toys from them and it's selling those toys sort of like a little profile photo and a little bit about them their business and some of the things that they had sown I wasn't loving it for somebody I don't know I did it three times fine, but I didn't know it wasn't super excited about it so I stopped doing that but I think you know I could maybe bring it back a complaint um things that don't work that's a good question I think what it's too long and doesn't work I think sort of shove everything in there is too much you guys have any ones that you subscribe to? I think once that are overly fell the or to frequent sometimes they'll work um that come three times a week it's like uh underlay shells a uh before with yeah like what is the point of this newsletter? Yeah, that there you know, doing something right and its other ones that are just like a turnoff on content to say positive att the toymaker I don't know if you've seen her web site she's wonderful she does beautiful illustrations and she actually has um things that you can download their paper but they're interactive and stuff that you can actually download for free and social send out news there saying, oh, here I've got this for you now and and then she promotes she may be under promotes her stuff that she sells but you provide these beautiful little free things yeah that you could just print up and make and it's really lovely to talk about a gift it is a wonderful gift I'm excited every time I get a newsletter that speaks speaks for itself. Yeah. So I actually subscribe to the newsletter yesterday on dh. When it came, it was so hideous that I unsubscribed yeah, I mean, it was just like, visually so horror was cluttered or do I wait? Cluttered? It was like hideous colors and it's actually, people I really like and would like to subscribe to their newsletter, but it was just like, oh, my god, that is horrible! Yeah, I think I think it can be when the font is too small or there's just too much there or cast like an ortho block backgrounds. Leather is something that was a red background and red background hard to read hard too click right has been turned off and mother and turn on that anything and they're kind of selling a higher and product so I was really surprised it kind of just felt almost like a slap in the face. You know, I really that's what you think your customer? Yes. Yeah. That's a good point. Absolutely. If you it's got a match, the price point of your product as well. It's okay, hire somebody to do some of this stuff for you. If you're not a graphic designer, I'm not a graphic designer do not pretend to be a graphic designer, so I mean you see my logo there at the bottom I hired somebody to make that logo for me on choose that bonds and the colors in the brook background that you see here is a brick background on my website somebody made that for me I did not do all of that and I think one of the things that I didn't understand when I first started business is that I don't understand people hired other people to do things for them I thought if you couldn't do everything yourself and you couldn't do it on and I just didn't realize that, you know, people who design sewing patterns hire a pattern grader who grades the pattern for all the sizes zero through twelve zero through sixteen or whatever they don't grade the pat means some people grade the pattern themselves, but many people hire a pattern greater and a designer to make a little girl on the cover who's wearing the trust and you know, people hire other people to do things and it is okay. You know, tio use some of your income or to make just an upfront capital investment to get those things up and running so that you feel good about it and you look professional so you don't have that problem where you're getting new subscribers who are under describing immediately because it's so bad looking yeah, you don't have to do it all yourself