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Newsletter Stalled? Five Great Ways to Get it Moving

By Jessica Albon

Two years ago, the 8 x 10 storage shed in my backyard was a problem. It blocked a window, wasn’t very convenient to use, and was taking up space that would have made a great patio.

But, I couldn’t move it myself and wasn’t quite sure how to go about *getting* it moved. And so it sat in its inconvenient spot for over a year.

Sometimes, big projects, whether a storage shed relocation or newsletter issue get put on the back burner because we’re not sure how to move forward. And sometimes, we put them on hold because we can’t give them the attention they need.

In my case, a quick call to my dad, a couple weeks of planning, and the shed was relocated completely in two days. In your case, let’s take a look at 5 great ways to get your newsletter back on track in a lot less time.

Brainstorm Possibilities

If your newsletter feels like too much work, it probably is. Brainstorm alternatives. Ask other people how they do their newsletters and what they’ve done to make them easier.

When a new client tells me they’ve been procrastinating about publishing their newsletter, it’s consistently because they’ve assumed they had to do things the hard way. For you, the “hard way” might be your belief that each issue must be 2000+ words, or that you need to conduct 2 interviews per article. Or, perhaps, you’re finding the content you usually share boring because you feel like you keep repeating yourself.

In the case of my storage shed, the original plan was to move it out to the far side of the back yard. Since my yard is a half acre, that back corner is *really* far away, and up a hill. Deciding to keep the shed a lot closer to the house is not only easier and more practical, but it also resulted in a private patio space.

Enlist an Expert

It can be hard to get perspective on our own. We consider the same possibilities again and again. That’s why it can be really useful to get help from an expert.

In my case, I asked a neighbor (whose garden I admire) for their thoughts on what to do with the shed. In your case, you could hire me for a one-on-one session, or talk to a colleague about how they handle content.

Exchange Support

Moving a backyard shed isn’t the only time extra hands come in handy–your newsletter is another project where having some help can make a big difference. By contacting a like-minded publisher about a content collaboration, you can accomplish a lot more with a lot less effort.

You might share articles with another publisher (one month you write both newsletters, the next month your partner does), offer to edit your partner’s newsletter (in exchange for their doing the same for you), or simply ask for feedback and encouragement on your newsletter from your mastermind group. Having support with your newsletter can make a world of difference.

Outsource Bits and Pieces

If you find it a challenge to get help, start small. Start by working with a proofreader. You don’t have to dive right in and hire someone to handle the entire project–you can get great results by starting small.

If you’re going to outsource part of your newsletter, make sure you leave enough time to get the help you’re looking for. (That’s the reason outsourcing the shed didn’t work–no one could help soon enough!) If it’s at all possible, don’t use short time frames as an excuse to do it all yourself–push back the publishing date a bit so you can get the support you need.

Just Publish *Something*

Sometimes, expecting to create a full newsletter issue is just too much. Consider whether you might be able to publish a newsletter alternative for this issue–whether that’s a great photo or applicable quote, or a short article by someone else, or a challenge for your readers. There are lots of ways to publish without sending a full- fledged newsletter, and there’s no reason not to take advantage of these alternatives from time to time.

Of course, once you start getting that publishing momentum going, you may feel like we did about moving the shed. (“Why would we stop with it half-way done… Let’s get it exactly in place!”) And continuing to publish, even when you don’t have time, or are feeling stuck, can keep that flywheel going so that you don’t start to slip backwards.

By trying out these options with your own newsletter, I think you’ll find you’re able to make the same sort of amazing progress we made with that shed. And, just like moving the shed opened up new possibilities (and views), using these exercises with your newsletter will do the same for you.

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