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How to break out of a rut
👉 fresh ideas for emails and newsletters
If you’ve been writing a newsletter for a while you’ll know that inevitably at some point you’re going to find yourself in a bit of a rut.
You’re not inspired to write. You feel like you’ve done your topic to death. The things your audience need to know feel so “basic” and uninteresting.
We’ve all been there (or at least I have - many times).
But it’s always possible to get out - sometimes pretty quickly. And one good way to do it is to come at your topic from a different angle.
Mostly what we do is think “what do my readers need to know? What would be helpful for them? What problems and challenges do they have?”
But there are things other than problems and challenges that your readers are interested in that are still very much on topic and will boost your credibility if you write about them.
And for you, they’ll be interesting too as they’ll stretch you and maybe cause you to do a bit of research.
Here are some simple prompts that will kick-start you into new and interesting thinking:
What insights about your readers’ customers can you share?
For example - if you teach marketing for consultants as I used to do - what can you share about what their clients are looking for, how they like to buy, what they value? Is there published research or expertise on this you can summarise? Can you do your own research?
(And if your readers don’t work in customer-facing roles - think about their internal customers - if your readers are HR directors, what do CEOs want from them? What do line managers need?)
What insights can you share about what your readers’ competitors are doing? What are current and emerging industry best practices?
What are the big trends that will impact your readers? A PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental & Legal) analysis will help here.
Can you summarise a new book in your field for them? Or can you disagree with it and say why it’s wrong?
What are the typical barriers that stop them in their tracks? In other words, don’t write about a problem (which they probably already know about and you’ve written about many times before) - write about what holds them back from solving that problem.
Really, you’re just coming at your topic from a different angle - but that’s enough to make it fresh and interesting for you and your readers.
For some of those prompts, you might well have to do some research of your own first. But that’s a good thing I think - it’s all part of the freshening up process to get you out of the rut. It exposes you to new ideas that will then trigger your own new thinking.
And that will help you with more than just your newsletter.
PS Coffee helps too…
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