The Perfect Content Cocktail: Newsletter Curation & Creation

Organizing and sending out a newsletter involves more than just grabbing random pieces of information and sticking them into a Mailchimp template. Newsletters are a great way for a publisher to give subscribers new information about your titles or the press. As the publicity manager, one of my tasks is to send out quarterly newsletters. But getting people to read them is another story. That’s why I decided to change up how we do our newsletters while simultaneously giving some love to our backlist titles.

Sales-only newsletters do not do much in terms of creating excitement about your newsletter. They can often turn people off from reading because they are overly pushy. It’s okay to want to sell books through your newsletter, and you should. However, there should also be other content inside the newsletter your readers may find interesting or engaging. In short, you need to create the perfect content cocktail. This “cocktail” of content should strike a balance between created content, curated content, and sales materials.

So, what exactly is curated content? According to Stevie Snow, content curation “is the process of finding relevant content from external sources and sharing it with your audience.” It is important to consider that your audience may not always want to hear from your brand all the time. They will appreciate the occasional article or social post showing something else they may be interested in that’s still similar to your brand or company.

Original Content:

Content you or your team have created.

Original content includes blog posts, social media posts, images, etc.

Curated Content:

Content from external sources.

When using curated content, keep in mind these five simple rules created by Curata in 2016.

  1. Only use a small portion of the original article.
  2. Always give credit to the original creator and try to guide visitors to the original publication.
  3. Retitle the content you use.
  4. Add your own creativity and voice to the content you curate.
  5. Try to make sure your notes and ideas are longer than the excerpt you are reposting.

Need help finding relevant curated content? Here are a few sites that provide articles and posts you can save and share with your audience:

Pocket

Scoop.it

Feedly

Content curation is used to help with the creation of newsletters. Coming up with fresh, new content for every newsletter may be difficult. The content curation strategy assists with “putting time back in your day, filling up your content calendar, making a good impression, and staying relevant.”

Sales Content:

Any materials promoting your books and pushing people to buy them.

While putting together a newsletter from scratch may seem daunting, the process speeds up when you learn how to make the perfect content cocktail using 65 percent original content, 25 percent curated content, and 10 percent sales content. With all the information available at our fingertips, it is vital to make it easy for readers to engage with useful content. Creating a mix of content allows you to become a reliable source of information your audience will (hopefully) engage with and enjoy.

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