6 Reasons I Love Being an E-newsletter Writer
I didn’t start out intending to specialize in e-newsletters. It was a happy accident.
Back in 2000, having just walked out the door of my corporate marketing job of 12 years, my plan was to help companies build websites (the hot new tool at the time).
But I was fascinated by email’s ability to reach anyone, anywhere in the world, for nearly zero cost (I still am).
So I began sending short, bulk emails to friends and colleagues who, like me, were interested in what was happening with this new thing called “The Internet.”
It didn’t take long before something fascinating and unexpected occurred: The people who received my emails began to interact with me.
They invited me to have lunch.
They invited me to speak to their organizations.
They referred me to people they knew.
In some happy instances, they hired me to create an e-newsletter for their business. Before long, I was off and running with my new specialty.
Today, all these years later, e-newsletters are still the sweet spot of my service offerings. Here are six reasons why I still love them …
#1. The Income Is Predictable
If you do “project” work, and particularly if you work as a solo, the jobs and associated income are very uneven.
One week you are sitting on your hands; the next week you are working late into the night trying to satisfy all the deadlines on your plate.
Since you never know when the next job will arrive, you feel the need to take anything that comes your way. The feast or famine cycle keeps repeating.
E-newsletters, on the other hand, are published over and over again on a predictable schedule.
Unlike the “one and done” nature of projects, these keep going until your client says “stop” (I’ve got three clients that I’ve been working with now for more than 15 years).
All of which means that your income is also steady and long-term.
#2. The Workload is Predictable
There’s no such thing as an “E-Newsletter Emergency.”
Sure, things go wrong occasionally (although rarely, once you get into the groove). But for the most part, and because everything happens on a predetermined schedule established by you and your clients, nothing is ever “on fire.”
That means no frantic client calls in the middle of the night, no unexpected work on the weekend, no disasters that need to be handled at a moment’s notice.
E-newsletters are a steady, always churning marketing machine with few surprises.
#3. You Get Paid For Results, Not Effort
I hate working by the hour. Not only does it require extra effort for me to track my time, there’s an inherent disconnect in hourly arrangements since “time spent” has little to do with “value provided.”
With newsletters, you can charge a flat fee per issue.
Clients prefer that — they like knowing how much it will cost up front and don’t really care how hard you work, anyway.
You prefer that — no more watching the clock, and the faster you work, the more money you make.
#4. You Don’t Need a Lot of Clients
If you sell “one-off” services, even if your clients love you and your work, when the project is done, you need to find another client or another project.
Newsletters, by contrast, happen over and over again.
So sure, some clients will naturally move on over time. But in general, month to month, they stick around.
Which means that once you’ve got your “stable” of steady clients, you don’t have to spend much time or energy looking for more of them.
#5. No Loose Ends
If you’ve ever worked on an “open-ended” writing project, whether that’s a website, white paper, special report, etc., you know that sometimes they can drag on for a long time.
Particularly with larger companies, where many people need to weigh in and sign off, it can go on and on until final approval mercifully arrives.
Newsletters, by their very nature, have a deadline. If the client’s newsletter is scheduled to go out the second Tuesday of the month (for example), all the input and approvals have to happen on time.
Everyone involved is aware of this, which means that things move along like clockwork. (As do your invoices.)
#6. Clients Love Newsletters
Initially, nearly every company that launches a newsletter does so in order to grow the business. Done well, that’s exactly what happens.
Over time, though — and I’ve seen this over and over again — clients begin to enjoy creating content (with your assistance) for its own sake.
They like getting their ideas out into the world.
They like the interaction with readers that naturally occurs.
They like the feeling of being seen as thought leaders in their profession.
Most of all, they understand and appreciate the fact that without your guidance and writing skill, none of that would be possible.
It’s a nice feeling to know you are the one responsible.
A Great, Great Tool
Over the past nearly 20 years, I’ve written thousands of newsletters for hundreds of clients.
I am happy to say that it’s still as exciting and enjoyable today as it was way back when.
As important, it’s a terrific way to put your writing skills to work while earning a steady, predictable income.
Do you have any questions about getting started as an e-newsletter writer? Please share them below so we can help.
Creating Email Newsletters for Professional Service Firms
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You helped me remember that I, also, wrote my first e-newsletter right around 2000, when my youngest was taking violin lessons and I was paid to write the monthly newsletter for the fiddlers group. Forgot all about that!
Great article! I have one newsletter client but she has only sent it out about twice a year. Where do you find clients who want newsletters? And what is the average fee you charge for a newsletter? Thanks!
Guest (Sherrie Negrea) –