Crabapple Communiqués August 2021 Newsletter
Usually for my newsletter blog, I put a screen grab of my newsletter in because there are lots of different sections. This time I did something a bit different so I've just put the text below.
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You might notice that this newsletter has a slightly different format to usual. This is for a few reasons.
This is my twelfth consecutive newsletter and I thought I’d celebrate a year of sending out newsletters by doing something a bit different. I'm pretty proud of myself for this consistency. We'll see how well I stick to it in the coming years.
I’m re-evaluating the content I’m putting out to see if it still reflects what I want do and who I want to work for. I feel like my business has evolved a lot since I launched in January 2020 and I'm sure there are still surprises in store.
I’ve slacked off with blogs recently so there’s not much content.
I thought now was a good time to reflect on my own content marketing journey a bit. I believe content marketing is important in modern marketing and something that I do on a daily basis for clients, but doing it for myself is different - it's harder! I find it easier to see my clients' businesses and marketing needs clearly than I do my own sometimes.
I wanted to share some of these lessons with you because I know it can be hard for small businesses to keep creating high quality, varied content consistently. It requires stamina and ways of keeping it interesting. It can feel hard, because it is hard.
Lessons I’ve learned from my blogging and newsletter
Having self-imposed deadlines and regular things to do helps keep me accountable. I enjoy structure and it gives me that.
Coming up consistently with new content ideas is tough. Being creative on-demand is challenging and a skill to be cultivated. It’s particularly hard under pressure and with distractions. To come up with something good I need to turn off emails, put on music and just get down to it. I have to commit.
It also requires me to cultivate some head space to keep things fresh and interesting for myself. Sometimes, I have to go for a quick walk, or make myself meditate, or just mess around on Instagram for five minutes - anything to clear my head and get those creative juices flowing. The way I see it, if I’m bored by what I’m doing, you are probably going to be bored reading it!
However, frustratingly, I often find my best ideas come from my subconscious at completely random times - they won't be forced. Ideas often come to me in the shower, or on a run and I can tell that I've been ruminating on them for a while and something just clicks. Often it's sparked by something unrelated that inspires me, so I'm always on the lookout for inspiration! I try to read, watch and listen widely because you never know what will trigger genius.
Planning ahead is a lifesaver. Practicing what I preach in terms of putting together an editorial calendar and listing out topics in advance is hugely helpful so I don’t get to the next blog I need to write and have the terror of the blank page.
Conversely, I have found there is only so much planning I can stand. I was advised by a business coach to prepare my newsletters a couple of months ahead of time. That is a good idea…but… I never do it. Inevitably, I put my newsletters together at the end of the month. I justify it by claiming that it makes them more timely, but the truth is I like the extra push that comes from a bit of urgency.
Those are some of the things I've learned about myself over the last year of doing this newsletter. Hopefully, you've found them interesting and maybe some of them chime with you if you too are creating content consistently. I see you, creators!
Thank you for reading these newsletters so far and I'd love to hear if there's anything in particular you'd like me to cover in future editions!
This back-to-school season I'm also planning a new content endeavor. I'm not going to reveal what it is yet, because it isn't fleshed out properly, but this will see me collaborating with someone and using a different medium. Watch this space!