by John Eberhard

So you have an email newsletter. Or you have a blog. Now what? Does it matter how often you send out the newsletter, or how often you post something to the blog?

Yes it does matter. I have found that the optimum frequency for putting something on a blog is once a week or more often. If you also make sure to send out a ping to the blog search engines (using www.pingomatic.com) and post something once a week or more it will drive traffic to the blog and thus to your site. With a newsletter you have to find out the optimum frequency for you and your public. I send out my newsletter once a week and it definitely drives business for me.

So how do you come up with content? What topics do you write about? How do you come up with ideas? How can you possibly come up with a new article every week?

Well believe it or not, it can be done and it won’t kill you. I understand that if you’re not accustomed to writing, especially writing regularly, it can seem hard. That’s why I’m here to help.

  1. For topics, assuming that your newsletter or blog is there to support your business, you should write about topics related to your business and your industry. This may be a “duh” but I’m just making sure.
  1. I find that during the course of each week, something will often come up in dealing with a client or prospect that will make for a good topic for an article. Like a couple of weeks ago someone told me that a guy had walked into their office and promised them the #1 position on Google. Bang – article! Another time in talking to a prospect, I realized that it was not real to him that a blog could drive traffic to a site. Bang – another article! Each week in dealing with your business and your clients or customers, you deal with various issues that could be topics for interesting articles or blog posts.
  1. If I’m stuck for a topic when I’m writing for my own newsletter or when I’m ghost writing for one of my clients, I go to Google and enter words relating to the general topic, maybe including the word “article.” Then I find articles written by others in the same field, and that gives me ideas. It’s important not to plagiarize, meaning to just steal someone else’s writing. So minimally if you are going to write something using the topic someone else used in another article, then rewrite it using your own words.
  1. I think it can be helpful to get on some other newsletter mailing lists for other similar businesses in your industry. That way you can see what others are doing and it can give you ideas for content.
  1. If possible use some humor occasionally, even if it is dry humor such as that favored by yours truly.
  1. Especially for blog posts, they don’t have to be that long. You can make a blog post as short as 50-150 words. Most newsletter articles should be a bit longer, like at least 300 words. Most of mine are 500-700 words.
  1. One thing you can do on blogs is comment on something that is happening in your industry, or link to something written on another site with a short comment about the link. I sometimes post a YouTube video on my blogs, especially my political blogs.
  1. I recommend setting a schedule for yourself, whether it’s a newsletter or a blog, and always write something on that schedule. So if you decide to get out your newsletter every two weeks, then stick to that and get something out every two weeks.

Believe it or not, the more you write content, the easier it will get.