Essential Tips For Newsletter Writers
Ernest Hemingway said this, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is, sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” On the other hand, those of us who write know that ‘bleeding’ isn’t easy. Anyway, newsletters are an integral part of most special interest groups, colleges and even families. Drafting a newsletter can be fun, and here are some tips that I think will be useful.
The Zen of writing
Unless you are a hipster with a typewriter in the park or an octogenarian with India ink and a quill, there is a good chance that you’d be drafting the newsletter on a computer. Most of us have a cluttered desktop, so cluttered that it can be called a modern art masterpiece. That needs to go! Productivity increases with a cleaner layout and there are studies to support this claim. There are text editors for both Windows and OS X with simple layouts and colors that are easy on the eyes. These editors, along with a well organized desktop can help you write better.
A newsletter is generally circulated among a closed group and in most cases you’d know your readers. For this reason, it is essential to keep it simple (unless it is a literary critics group) and rather than performing intellectual acrobatics, try to convey what has to be conveyed.
A wire frame
Newsletters usually talk about past events, developments within the group and other information that might be useful to its subscribers. So, before you draft a newsletter, make a sketch of what has to be written and improvise on it. Trust me; if you start writing without a plan in mind, you’d be hitting the Backspace and Delete keys a lot.
Format and design
These days, newsletters are circulated as a soft copy through mailing lists, but some clubs and organizations prefer printing. So it is an advantage if you are a wee bit familiar with markup languages and desktop publications. This is not as hard as you might imagine, Pages for example, has beautiful templates built-in and using them would give your newsletter a professional touch.
Writers have an affinity for stock images and these days, it is rare to see a newsletter without a picture of a blushing dude with a phone in one hand and coffee mug in the other -this has to go! If you feel that your article is better with a picture, then add one that was shot or is relevant to the club or organization that you are writing for.
The bohemianism and status quo
If you are writing for a reputed group, you have two choices, follow the old style or give a dash of your own. On the other hand, if it is a class or family newsletter, you can be informal and write in the style you’re most comfortable with.
I hope these suggestions (or tips) were helpful for those of you who are writing or planning to write newsletters. Whatever it is, make sure that your readers are comfortable with what you write and if you are criticized have a positive approach and make changes to the subsequent issues.
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