You’ve poured your heart and soul into your writing, and now you’re ready to build a bigger community around it.
You’ve heard that a newsletter is a powerful tool to connect with readers and build a loyal fanbase, but…
With all the email people get these days, how do you make your newsletter stand out?
How do you get your readers to open your newsletter—let alone read it and take action on it?
In this post, we’ll go beyond the basics and provide you with practical tips and strategies to make your high-value newsletter a success.
Let’s get started.
Start at Ground Zero With Your Personal Brand
It all starts with your personal brand—the key that sets you apart from the crowd and makes your newsletter desirable.
Think of your personal brand as the unique voice that resonates with your target audience.
It’s what tells readers that you understand their innermost wants and needs, and it’s the incentive that keeps them coming back for more.
So take a moment to reflect on your writing style, your genre, and your target audience.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What makes my writing unique?
- What topics do I like to write about?
- What type of readers do I want to attract?
The answers are the building blocks of your personal brand.
Additionally, you can showcase your brand through your author bio and author photo.
Your author bio should be a snapshot of your writing persona, written in a conversational tone that reflects your brand’s voice.
Show off your quirks, your passions, and what makes you tick as a writer.
(And don’t forget to include a professional author photo.)
Incorporate your personal brand across all your online platforms, including your website, social media profiles, and, of course, your author newsletter.
Use consistent branding elements, such as:
…to create a cohesive look and feel that reinforces your brand identity.
But remember: building a personal brand isn’t just about aesthetics.
It’s about building trust and rapport with your readers.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, as long as your brand voice resonates with your target audience.
It’s the compass that guides you, the spark that ignites your readers’ curiosity, and the glue that binds your newsletter together.
So build your brand, and wow your readers with your amazing author newsletter.
Try This Nonfiction Author Newsletter Template
Hook Readers With A Strategic Subject Line
The subject line is arguably the most important component of your author newsletter—it’s the difference between an opened email and an ignored one.
So how do you ensure your hook lands with your readers?
The answer: Align your subject line with your readers’ wants, needs, and pain points.
An effective hook is one that’s built with your target audience in mind.
Make it relevant to your nonfiction genre and content, and be creative with your wording.
Remember, you’re competing for attention in a crowded inbox, so make sure your readers can’t pass up on what you’re offering.
Think about this: How do you grab your reader’s attention, while also talking about something they want?
Set the Stage
In your introduction, set the stage for what’s to come in your newsletter.
I would recommend using the “open loop” process to keep readers engaged throughout the entire email.
Start by sharing a personal anecdote, relevant quote, or thought-provoking question to pique your readers’ curiosity.
But don’t finish the thought right away.
Instead, move on to the content that makes up the meat of your newsletter.
Use a conversational tone to establish your authenticity and guide readers smoothly from one point to the next.
Then, when you’re ready to sign off, “close the loop” by finishing the thought or anecdote from your opening.
This will give your newsletter a circular ending and help to succinctly convey your message to readers.
Setting the stage could also be a client case study or something that demonstrates your expertise.
Share Your Expertise
This is the meat of your newsletter where you share valuable content that showcases your expertise as a nonfiction author.
It could be an excerpt from your latest book, a behind-the-scenes look at your writing process, or a deep dive into a topic related to your nonfiction genre.
Keep it informative, engaging, and share-worthy.
Include a Powerful Call-to-Action
Don’t forget to include a call-to-action (CTA) in your newsletter.
It could be a request for readers to leave a review, sign up for your upcoming webinar, or pre-order your next book—the point is to drive readers toward the next step in your funnel.
Use active, creative language with your CTA to drive readers where you want them to go.
Use Your Personal Touch to Connect with Your Readers
Give your newsletter a personal touch.
Share a personal update, express gratitude for your readers’ support, or ask for feedback.
This is your opportunity to connect with your readers on a deeper level and foster a sense of community.
Seal it with Your Brand
End your newsletter with a signature that reflects your personal brand.
It could be a personalized sign-off, a quote that resonates with your writing, or a simple catchphrase.
Use your personal brand voice to leave a lasting impression on your readers.
So there you have it: a nonfiction author newsletter template to captivate your audience and build a loyal fanbase.
Now, what kind of content is necessary for a high-value newsletter?
5 High-Converting Content Ideas for Your Author Newsletter
Now that we have our nonfiction author newsletter template, it’s time to brainstorm some high-converting content ideas that will keep your readers hooked and coming back for more.
1. Exclusive Sneak Peeks
Who doesn’t love a sneak peek into a writer’s world?
Your readers are itching to get a glimpse behind the curtain and see what you’re working on.
So, share exclusive excerpts from your upcoming book, behind-the-scenes glimpses of your writing process, or deleted scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut.
But there’s more.
Not only do exclusive sneak peeks give your readers something to look forward to, but they can also be a powerful marketing tool.
As readers become more invested in your writing, they become likely to share it with their friends, family, and social media followers, leading to an even broader audience.
With just a few glimpses, you can build a devoted following and create a buzz that will leave your readers eager to get their hands on your next project.
2. Author Q&A
Reveal your answers to reader questions in your newsletter to connect with your audience on a personal level.
Author Q&A sessions aren’t just a great way to connect with your readers—they’re also a strategic tool for gathering feedback and insights.
Pay attention to the types of questions your readers are asking.
Are they interested in your writing process, your personal life, or your upcoming projects? Do they have questions about specific characters or plot points in your books?
Identifying these patterns allows you to better tailor your content to meet your readers’ interests and preferences.
Q&As can also help you identify areas where you may need to improve or clarify your writing.
On the other hand, if you’re not getting any questions about a particular aspect of your work, it could be an opportunity to explore new topics or themes that might interest your readers.
Author Q&A sessions are valuable two-way conversations between you and your readers. When you listen to their questions and feedback, you can improve your writing, build stronger connections with your audience, and ultimately grow your readership.
Let your readers ask you anything, from your writing inspirations to your favorite writing spot. Be authentic and candid in your responses, and watch your readers’ engagement soar.
3. Book Recommendations
As an author, it’s no secret that you’re also an avid reader.
So why not share your love of reading with your readers?
In your newsletter, you can offer book recommendations that have inspired you, influenced your writing, or captivated you.
Think about the books that have had the biggest impact on you as a writer or as a person. Which books have left you thinking about them long after you turned the final page?
Your readers will appreciate your insights and may discover new books to add to their reading list.
4. Tips and Tricks on your Field
Offer valuable tips and tricks in your newsletter to share your wisdom with readers.
This is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field and build a loyal following of writers who are eager to learn from you.
But remember, when it comes to tips and tricks, brevity is key.
Instead of overstaying your welcome, focus on delivering concise, actionable advice that your readers can put into practice right away.
5. Giveaways and Contests
Host giveaways, contests, or exclusive promotions in your newsletter to reward your loyal readers.
You could offer:
- A signed copy of your book
- Limited edition merchandise
- One-on-one virtual writing sessions
Get creative and experiment with different types of prizes and content to keep your readers entertained and eagerly anticipating your next newsletter.
How to Create an Author Newsletter From Scratch
1. Begin with the end in mind
First things first: you need to decide on the purpose of your newsletter.
Is it to promote your latest book, engage with your readers, or share valuable writing tips?
Determine what you want your readers to get out of your newsletter and structure your content around that goal.
Having a clear purpose will help you shape your content and connect with your target audience effectively.
2. Choose a Newsletter Platform
Next up, choose a newsletter platform that suits your needs.
There are plenty of options out there, from popular ones like
- Constant Contact
- Campaign Monitor
When evaluating newsletter programs, it’s important to consider the features they offer. Some common features to look for include:
- Email templates: Does the program offer pre-designed email templates, or do you need to design your own?
- List management: Can you easily import and manage your email list, including segmenting your subscribers?
- Automation: Can you set up automated email sequences based on subscriber behavior, such as welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, or re-engagement campaigns?
- Analytics: Does the program provide detailed analytics on open rates, click-through rates, and other important metrics?
Do your research, compare features, and pick the one that best fits your requirements.
3. Gather your target audience/email list
Building your author mailing list means growing your own literary community.
Get creative with opt-in forms, tantalizing lead magnets, and shameless self-promotion on social media.
But remember: it’s important to gather an email list filled with the right people.
If you want to have high conversion rates, then you need to focus on building an audience that has problems your content and services can actually fix.
Make sure your copy promoting your email list is tailored to attract the right audience.
If you gather the right list, you can make the right offers to stop them in their tracks and increase your sales exponentially.
4. Create Engaging Content
It’s time to fill your author newsletter template with engaging content.
Remember those content ideas we brainstormed earlier?
Now’s the time to put them into action.
Share your sneak peeks, host Q&A sessions, offer writing tips, and run giveaways.
Your newsletter content is the heart and soul of your communication with your readers, so:
Tailor it to their interests.
Craft subject lines, strategic headlines, and body content that are all built from your readers’ innermost wants and desires.
Bottom line: keep your content valuable to your readers.
5. Design Your Newsletter Template
Now comes the fun part: designing your newsletter template.
Choose a clean and visually appealing design that aligns with your personal brand.
First impressions count, so stay consistent with your author brand, choose a template that’s easy on the eyes, and optimize it for mobile.
Do what you must to ensure your readers have a smooth and visually pleasing experience.
6. Set a Consistent Publishing Schedule
Consistency is key to building a loyal audience.
Set a regular publishing schedule for your newsletter and stick to it.
Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly—deliver your newsletters on time. Your readers will appreciate the reliability and look forward to hearing from you regularly.
But for me, weekly works best.
It may seem daunting to create an author newsletter, but with a little planning and creativity, you’ll have a newsletter that’s sure to captivate your readers and grow your author brand.
Unlock the Power of Your Author Newsletter
It’s time to put what we’ve discussed into action and unlock the full potential of your author newsletter.
Keep in mind that consistency is key, so stay committed to your publishing schedule and keep delivering valuable content to your readers.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, get creative, and let your unique writing voice shine through in your newsletters.
Remember: the sky’s the limit.
With your writing prowess and a killer author newsletter, you’re destined for success.
Ready to unlock your full potential as an author? Check out my book “Publish. Promote. Profit.” for more tips and tricks on building a successful author brand!