032: My Complete Weekly Email Content Creation Process

One of the pillars of a successful email marketing plan is Keeping In Consistent Touch with your audience - by sending them regular emails.

Of course, how often you email your list will be based on the stage you are in your business and the frequency that is best suited for your audience.

Whether you email your list once a week, once a month or twice a month, you need to have consistent content going out.

Sometimes just sending a headsup to your email list that your new blog post is out, works.

But at other times, it will not work.

Sometimes your blog posts simply don’t translate naturally into newsletter ideas.

Take a look at this example from my own business:

Recently I created a blog post about how to import lists from Mailchimp to ConvertKit. Because I know that many of my current subscribers are already on ConvertKit, I don’t want to send them an email telling them how to do it. This blog post is for those on my list who are in the first phase of the process — (If that’s you, check out the complete 23 page free Guide here).

So sending an email to my list about that new blog post would not serve them all. It may even turn them off.

Instead, I send them something more relevant across the board regardless of whether they are starting out or already a few steps ahead.
 

But how do you come up with newsletter ideas week after week? Especially, if you've already got a full load of content for your blog posts laid out.

There is a way you can take care of this conundrum. And I would like to share with you my exact process for coming up with email topics so that I keep my list well informed with useful content. I am sharing this with you hoping that it will help you do the same in your business.
 

Email Content Creating Process -
A Complete Step-By-Step Guide for Planning, Creating and Scheduling Your Emails All In Advance. 

 
 

Seriously, it is not easy to have refreshing content each week. And I am utterly tired of having to get into the creative thinking space on a deadline. As you may know yourself, there are some things that benefit from a hard deadline. But for others, you need a better system in place — a habit system which benefits from a hard deadline but is not entirely dependent on it.

This is what I mean:

What if you could have enough new content for your audience planned, created, and scheduled in advance? What if you created that content while you are in a creative phase, well in advance of when it is to be scheduled? What if the hard deadlines help you to schedule things at certain dates but are not there to create pressure and stress?

Well, then, I’d like to introduce you to my newsletter content creation process. This entire process is to be done only once at the end of each months. So essentially, you do this 12 times a year.

Here is how it works:

Step 1. Set aside 2 days for the Planning Process
Step 2. Begin Planning Process - Brainstorm - Day 1
Step 3. Check how many weeks there are next month - Day 1
Step 4. Circle the best topics - Day 1
Step 5. Write the emails - Day 2
Step 6. Schedule them in ConvertKit - Day 2
Step 7. Set aside 2 days for the next Planning Process - Day 2
Step 8.  Enjoy an afternoon off (very very important) - Next Day
 

Step 1. Set aside 2 days for the Planning Process

 

It's great to batch process content and the ideal is to have all your emails ready for the next quarter before the quarter begins.

But we can begin with the first goal:

Goal: To have all emails ready before the start of the next month.

I think this is a bit more feasible as a first step. 

So at the middle of the month before the emails are to go out, block out a two day time slot for the Planning Process. 

For example, for getting all my emails ready for November, I've set aside two planning days in October. 

This is a page from my Bullet Journal where you can see my two Email Content Planning Days: Oct 16th and 17th.

 
Email Content Creation Process Scheduled in Freedcamp, my project management tool of choice. You can see Day 1: Oct 15th is for brainstorming and Day 2: Oct 16th is for writing the emails out.

Email Content Creation Process Scheduled in Freedcamp, my project management tool of choice. You can see Day 1: Oct 15th is for brainstorming and Day 2: Oct 16th is for writing the emails out.

 

This step is exactly like step 7. Essentially, you are blocking of days for the next month as soon as you are at the end of Day 2 of each Planning Process.

Step 2. Begin Planning Process - Brainstorm - Day 1

Brainstorm ideas for what you want to email your list. Here you think of possible email content to send your list.

You can begin with taking a look at your upcoming blog posts, podcasts or YouTube content as a starting point. 

Think of any announcements that are coming up in the next month.

Just write down any ideas that come up. At this phase, you are just letting the ideas flow. No need to screen or censor them right now. 

In this post, I lay out for you some questions that can help you think of potential content along with a worksheet.

Step 3. Check how many weeks there are next month -Day 1

This one is simple. All you are doing is seeing how many weeks there are in the upcoming month. This tells you how many email topics you need to select.

This applies to those of you who are sending out your content weekly. If you have a different sending frequency, just total up what that number is for the next month.

In November, there are 5 weeks. Since I email each week, I will need to shortlist 5 email topics.

Step 4. Circle the best topics - Day 1

Now look at all the ideas you came up with in your brainstorming session. And begin circling the best ones for next month.

In my example, I will need 5 topics for November. So I will go ahead and circle 5 topics.

I will now list them out in a document on Pages. (You can also use Google Docs, Asana or Basecamp*). This will be my starting point when I sit down to write these emails out in Day 2 of the Planning Process.

Mini-step: After I've selected the best 5 email topics, I also note in my calendar which email topic will go out on which date.
 

*affiliate link

Step 5. Write the emails - Day 2

The next step is to simply write out the emails. 

It may seem that one day for 5 emails is not a lot. I think it is really the other way around.

Writing just one email takes a whole day. But when I am writing so many emails in one go, I think it gets done way faster.

Plus, the key is to start really early in the morning and make writing the first thing you do when you get to work.

I've found that doing any kind of work, especially creating work in the mornign hours, gets done faster and the result is far better than writing in the afternoons or evenings. 

But hey, do what works. The main thing is that you get the emails done nicely.

Step 6. Schedule them in ConvertKit - Day 2

ConvertKit is a placeholder for your email marketing platform.

The task is to take the text of each of your emails and bring them into ConvertKit as broadcasts.

Send out test emails to see that everything looks good. Make any changes needed.

And wrap it all up by scheduling them according to your email sending schedule. 

Step 7. Set aside 2 days for the Planning Process - Day 2

This is essentially Step 1, but you do it at the end of each Email Content Planning Process.

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So as you can see, this is essentially a batch process to get all your emails out a month in advance.

The next step would be to get more of these emails done before each quarter begins. How cool would it be if by December 2017, you had all emails written out for the firstquarter of 2018? That is going to be my new goal for my weekly newsletter!

You can employ a similar process for creating blogs but you will need the added component of social media (creating thumbnails, sharing on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, etc).

Oh and I almost forgot step 8: 

Step 8. Enjoy an afternoon off (very very important) - Next Day

This is so important. So often we are in the 'doing' mode, we forget to be in the 'being' mode. We are all human beings after all, not human doings! Well, at least not all the time! ;-)

May be the next day after the planning process, you can the afternoon off with your loved one - be in human, animal or a book!

Share with me:
How do you think this Email Content Planning Process can help save you a bit of the overwhelm and pressures that come from just having deadlines?

Share with me in the comments! Also, I'd love to know if you've got any questions.

Warmly,
Sophia


Want a more in-depth view of how I do this?
Join me for a Live walkthrough of my entire
Email Content Planning Process. 


Sophia Ojha

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