The golden rule: Make sure your topic is valuable to your readers
Ask yourself these key questions before diving into your first draft:
- Who is this for?
- What value does it bring them?
Put yourself in the shoes of your reader (or even better, ask them!) and drill down on their pain points: what’s stopping them from succeeding with whatever goal they have? What do they want to read about? What do they need guidance on?
Does your chosen topic address their needs? If so, perfect. If not, it might be time to pivot to a topic that bears more relevance (better now than after you’ve spent hours on a draft!).
The next thing is to figure out where your audience is in relation to your topic. It’s inevitable that there will be some variation between your readers in how familiar they are with the subject, but try to gauge the ballpark you’re aiming for. Tip: it’s safer (and more inclusive) not to assume your reader is an expert in that specific subject (unless you’re writing a newsletter for experts!).
Once you know where they’re at, decide where you want to take them. This may be different depending on the goal of your newsletter, and the type of content you provide. Maybe you want to get them to a point where they want to become paying members of your newsletter community. Maybe you want them to understand a particular concept before building on it in your next issue. Maybe you’ve received a specific question in your inbox (“How do I pick topics for my newsletter issues?”) and you want to answer that question to the best of your ability (hi!).
That gap between where they are now and the destination is a great way to measure the value you’re providing.