Getting smart about your editorial choices—what subjects you cover and how you frame them—can be the difference between an organic, self-sustaining growth curve and a flat line. Editorial strategy is critical to grow your newsletter from 1,000 readers to 10,000.
Here are three editorial strategies to consider.
Before you send a newsletter, ask yourself, "Why is it important that I write this newsletter today?" By timing a post with a news event, you can increase its relevancy, SEO, and shares. For example, if you write about business, time your posts to coincide with major market events: IPOs, earnings reports, product releases. Before Apple's Keynote is a great time to write about Apple. The S-1 Club does this exceptionally well. By leveraging existing buzz around an IPO, and publishing the morning a stock lists, Mario Gabriele ensures his newsletter posts will perform well. But this strategy is not exclusive to the stock market. If you write about fashion, time your posts to prominent runway shows. If you write about movies, time your posts with blockbuster releases.
The strategy: Create a calendar for your posts and work backward to plan your coverage around major events. And never miss an opportunity to resurface existing content when opportunity strikes.
2. First Person.
Don't be afraid to write in the first person. Writing about your personal experiences can strengthen relationships with your readers and develop your writing voice. Also, first person pieces, even when anonymous, have a knack for going viral. We're all curious about what other people's internal lives are like.
The strategy: Try one of these headlines. Remember, the framing matters as much as the topic. These examples can be altered across any subject or niche.
"I bought XYZ cryptocurrency this week—here's why"
"I followed a keto diet for two months—here's what happened"
"Why I'm never going back to the office again"
"Here's how I spent every dollar in April 2021"
To stand out from the crowd, consider making an investment in a longform piece. Even just one longform piece can offer a big ROI if it solidifies your reputation as an expert. For example, Julie Young wrote over 3,000 words on Sea Limited, a Southeast Asian Internet company overlooked by U.S. investors. If anyone questions her credentials as an investor, she can just direct them toward the piece. Matthew Ball, a former executive at Amazon Studios, is also known for his exceptionally thorough blog posts.
The strategy: Write one long, detailed report that serves as the definitive "must-read" article about a particular subject. Choose something that conveys a strong signal of what the rest of your newsletter will cover. Longform writing provides credibility, establishes your expertise, and let's readers know: You are willing to invest as much time as they are.