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Packaging Valuable Content

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. A newsletter editor is there to create a COHESIVE whole out of the varied bits of information he or she has gathered. A quality newsletter makes sense out of the information chaos. A good newsletter editor understands the 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. This involves formatting articles in a way that make them easy to read, organizing them so they tie together, and creating a meaningful flow from one topic to the next. The more the different sections in a newsletter SUPPORT each other, the more benefits subscribers can get from it.

While good content is important, planning and layout are even more valuable to readers. A poor quality newsletter is easily produced in less than 15 minutes of cutting and pasting quality content text, while one issue of a good quality newsletter takes one day to produce. The quality newsletter might also select from the same content pool as the poor quality newsletter -- but the editor takes more time in selecting the right combination of available free content for each issue. Extremely high quality content, RANDOMLY aggregated makes a poor quality newsletter. However, you can put together a newsletter using somewhat lower quality content -- but expertly PACKAGED and organized -- and come up with a much higher quality end product. Your editorial note (that introduces each newsletter issue), shows how much understanding and effort you put into this critically important step.

The highest quality newsletters combine the value content of several EXPERTS in their fields into one newsletter issue. Your newsletter will be more valuable if its content is produced by a full team of experts -- including guest article authors, contributors of tips, product reviewers, specialists who can answer subscriber questions, etc. Each of these experts can only contribute expertise on their topics. However, when these stand-alone expert contributions are COMBINED into one newsletter issue, all their contributions grow in value because it is part of a larger solution. As editor, you are providing a service by bringing together a disparate and varied collection of information into one cohesive whole -- creating a THEME where there was none before. Your newsletter subscribers might possibly be able to get your newsletter content elsewhere, but come to you because of the way you package and present it to them.

Your newsletter serves the sole purpose of providing benefits to its subscribers. Your newsletter is benefit-rich when it is packed with useful, PRACTICAL content that is directly RELEVANT to the needs of your readers. The more valuable content you have -- such as feature articles, guest articles, questions and answers, link to value resources, product reviews, your editorial comments, tips, etc. -- the more benefits your subscribers get from you.

A word of warning -- a newsletter is not benefit-rich only if it contains detailed “how-to” articles. A newsletter that helps its readers understand the bigger picture -- to look at the meanings and implications of the topic at hand on a more philosophical level -- also has benefits. A newsletter that focuses exclusively on step-by-step “here’s how you do it” articles makes its readers WORK harder -- while a newsletter that focus exclusively on theoretical visions make its readers THINK harder. The most effective combination is one which focuses on educating its readers on how to combine insight and action in a practical way and on a daily basis to improve their business or personal lives.

There are two main approaches to packaging a quality content newsletter: You can write all the content YOURSELF ... very time-consuming and difficult (especially if you don’t consider yourself a writer). Or, you can 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. Regardless of how you choose to proceed, having a regular newsletter is one of the best ways to stay in contact with your clients, potential customers, and colleagues. You not only provide a benefit to your readers, but you keep your name in front of their faces. So if writing the articles is keeping you from publishing a newsletter, now you have another solution!

If a good newsletter editor's main task is packaging value content, a good newsletter subscriber's task is to read, understand and ACT based on the insight the gain from this content. A good newsletter is your personalized to-do list for the week.


Alwyn Botha is also the author of a free, 10-day autoresponder course – “Your Beginner's Guide to Maximum Internet Success”. Visit his website at

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