In my opinion, many newsletters 'out there' are published just by cutting-and-pasting free content into the newsletter.
Here is something I wrote that will help newsletter publishers to publish a more professional, quality newsletter.
Please feel free to comments about this ...
The main task of a newsletter publisher is to select and
package quality content of direct, practical relevance to
its specific readership audience.
This might sound quick and easy, but it is not.
Publishing a quality newsletter is more than just cutting
and pasting quality content into your newsletter. A quality
newsletter is more than just the sum of its parts. The more
the different sections in a newsletter support each other,
the more benefits subscribers can get from it.
A quality newsletter makes sense out of the Internet chaos.
A good newsletter editor understands the Internet big
picture and is able to pick out relevant information which
is packaged into one newsletter issue in a way that makes
sense for its readers.
A poor quality newsletter is easily produced in less than
15 minutes of cutting and pasting quality content text. One
issue of a good quality newsletter takes one day to produce
- it might also select from the same content pool as the
poor quality newsletter - but it takes more time in
selecting the right combination of available free content
for each issue.
Extremely high quality content, randomly aggregated into a
newsletter makes a poor quality newsletter. Somewhat lower
quality content, expertly packaged and organized make a
high quality newsletter. Your editorial note (that
introduces each newsletter issue), shows how much
understanding and effort you put into this critically
Publishing a quality newsletter is a creative process. It
does not involve following three easy steps. Good editors
will find this article packed with value, others will
consider this article useless.
Quality newsletters gets edited by the most senior,
experienced people in an organization, not on a rotational
basis by anyone with some free time on their hands.
The following are some concepts that help a good newsletter
editor in his or her task:
Integration: combine the value content of several experts
in their fields into one newsletter issue. Each of these
experts can only contribute expertise on their topics.
However, when these standalone expert contributions are
combined into one newsletter issue, all their contributions
grow in value because it is part of a larger solution. Your
newsletter subscribers can possibly get all your newsletter
content easily elsewhere, but come to you because of the
way you package and present it to them.
Position: by publishing a newsletter, you position yourself
as the central point where they go to get quality Internet
content, nicely packaged to address their exact needs.
Team: your newsletter will be more valuable if its content
is produced by a team of people. This team of people
consists of: guest article authors, contributors of tips,
subscribers that provide questions and software products
authors that ask you to review their software.
Benefits: your newsletter is only about providing benefits
to its subscribers. The more value content you have the
more benefits your subscribers get from you. Value content
like: feature articles, guest articles, questions and
answers, link to value resources, product reviews, your
editorial comments, tips.
To summarize: you, as newsletter editor and publisher, use
your newsletter to combine the content of your team of
contributors into a logically-arranged, benefit-rich
newsletter for your subscribers.
Your newsletter is benefit-rich when it is packed with
useful, practical content that is directly relevant to the
needs of your readers.
A newsletter is not benefit-rich only if it contains
detailed, step-by-step articles.
A newsletter that helps its readers understand the bigger-
picture meanings and implications of the Internet on a more
philosophical level also has benefits. Such a newsletter
should focus on educating its readership on how to apply
their insight practically and on a daily basis to their
A newsletter that focus exclusively on step-by-step
articles makes its readers work harder.
A newsletter that focus exclusively on philosophical,
Internet bigger-picture visions make its readers think
In my opinion, a combination of these approaches is best.
Such a combination will make your readers work hard -
There are two main (opposite) approaches to packaging a
quality content newsletter:
Your write all the content yourself ... very time-consuming.
You select and package content created by others ... the
more practical and realistic approach.
Most editors choose a middle road where they contribute
some original content and get the remainder of their
content from other contributors.
Read through some of your comments, here are my thoughts:
- While most good things come to those who wait, I don't believe it's impossible to put together a helpful, useful newsletter in a short amount of time.
- You nailed it with the newsletter and how the sections within are relative to each other - the idea in each section is to make the reader want to read the next one.
- I'm not sure how many newsletters copy and paste like that. I think it's more along the lines of them publishing articles full of cliches and lots of obvious tips, or simply syndicated material.