Expert Interview: Tyler Benedict on newsletter strategies

Expert Interview: Tyler Benedict on Newsletter Strategies

Recently, we interviewed Tyler Benedict of BikeRumor.com on newsletter strategies.

If you’d like to watch the full interview, you can check out the video below.

Shelby:

Hi everybody. We’ve got Tyler Benedict here to share a little bit about a couple of different newsletters that he runs. Tyler to kind of kick us off, can you share a little bit about your background and the newsletters?

Tyler:

Yeah, sure. So the two I’m going to share with you are the one for my cycling website called Bike Rumor, which is the world’s largest cycling tech blog. And we’ve been doing a weekly newsletter on that for years now. And the second one is for my personal kind of content marketing. I don’t even know what you call it, side business consulting, whatever I’ve put on a conference about it too. And, so there are two totally separate things. One of them is to promote content on a site. The other one is kind of just a build, I don’t know, like my expertness, I guess, just sort of, you know, to put information out there that people brands can use to learn from. So really two different goals. And I, I’m going to explain like, why you choose done the way it is when we get into it.

Shelby:

Yeah. I’m, I’m interested to know how you kind of settled on the format for each of them because they’re both pretty different. Yeah,

Tyler:

Definitely. Cool.

I can start with that. I mean, so with the bike and rewind and if you want, maybe I can just screen-share that one, so you can see what I’m talking about on talking about it. So if you’re, are you seeing that? Yes. Cool. Okay. So this is this week’s bike room newsletter. I send both of them out on Thursdays, which kind of no rhyme or reason to that other than I’m usually too busy early in the week to get to it. And I’m really bad about scheduling in advance. And so the biker one, one of my main guys does, and I’ll just kind of come through it real fast and then we’ll go back and like pick it apart. So as you can see, there’s like, there’s kind of two sections bookended by, or like both sessions in an ad.

Tyler :

So there’s the ad at the bottom. You’ve got some little bits with kind of a big feature ad in the middle little bits and the big feature. And so my guy Corey puts this together and basically what he does is he goes in and looks at the analytics for our w our posts from that week. There are the prior week. So basically anything from like the Thursday prior after we send a newsletter out all the way through to right before we send this newsletter out. And some of it’s a judgment call. Cause obviously the stuff we’ve posted right before this, like if we post something Thursday morning, it’s not going to have a lot of data behind how many, how popular that post is. So some of it’s still a judgment call as to what should be included, but by and large, what we’re putting in here is the stuff that had the most interest in whether that’s like just straight up pages or like really high comment counts, because obviously this is the stuff people are interested in.

Tyler:

So why not throw fuel on that fire? In the past, we’ve tried to take an article that we thought was good or something we really liked and put it in there and the click through is not there. So what we figured out real quick is it’s best to just kind of promote the stuff that people are already really interested in, because those are the things that are going to get more clicks and then more shares and more comments, more licensed. So it really just it’s in our best interest to promote the stuff that’s already doing well on our site. And if there’s a particularly busy week where there’s a lot of like super moms are, so we could have six of these little ones or a big feature in wine, we could have 10 of them if we wanted to. But what is cool is that it’s each, you know, there’s kind of like formatting guidelines here.

Tyler:

I don’t know if you can see my little cursor movement, but you know, like each little image, the text lines up with with that. And that’s kind of, one of the formatting things is like, we could make that paragraph on the side super long. It would look were if you had a little image and then like a long bit of text and a bunch of white space. So for us, it’s keeping it super clean. Like you can see down here, this Nuke-proof line is like just a little bit under and like, that’s not ideal, but it’s not terrible. So for us, it’s visually it has to be pleasing as well as read super quick. And so the whole point of this is to lure people into wanting to click. And so the picture has to be someone interesting, but it’s just little, the headline here should be catchy enough.

Tyler :

And I mean, somebody sees a mountain bike, then they see this. They’re like, Oh yeah, cool. I want to learn more about that. And they click through the link to it. And so we try and be as clever as we can within that tiny bit of space to pull people in. And then the ads here it’s one brand gets both ad spots. And so we kind of separated here just so we have that call out a sponsored by. So people know that it’s, that is paid content, so to speak. And then they can run different ads. Obviously you’re talking bottom, but it’s only for one brand. So we try and keep it kind of like you get that reinforcement when you see the second ad for the same brand, even if the creative is a little bit different for them. And so really the goal for this is just to promote our best content and bring people back to our site.

Tyler :

Because I mean, while we do sell ads on this, to be totally honest, a lot of times those ads are kind of like something we include with a bigger package for the brands that are doing a really big ad package with us. And they’re just not that expensive. So it’s actually a super formal way for brand to reach. I think we’re up at like almost 7,000 subscribers for this newsletter now. So the main thing for us is to drive people back to their site because that’s where we make the real money. The advertising dollars from the site is really like our core revenue for biker Mer. So that’s kinda that in a nutshell, and you can tell too, like if you go to our site, you’ll notice this theme, white background, a little bit of gray bar gray kind of accent colors, and then the black and orange, or depending on the backgrounds on white and orange logo.

Tyler :

So the color, the branding and all that stays true to our website. And you know, w we make sure that you can click on either image or the link within there, because it’s, we just want to make it as easy as possible for people to click through. And then honestly, like, I don’t know if anybody actually reads this down here, but depending on what’s going on in the industry or like events coming up and stuff, we’ll, we’ll put some shout outs down here for things, but they click through on these. So abysmally low it’s really people are getting this to see what’s cool in the bike space.

Shelby:

Yeah, those are some really great tips. I mean, the, you know, you’d, like you said, it’s so clean and it’s consistent with the brand. And I think how you mentioned about only promoting the most popular content, that’s really important because I think intuitively if, if you’ve got content that isn’t doing as well, you’re kind of thinking like, well, what are some ways to get in front of more eyes? Or what are some ways to kind of get some traffic to it, but, yeah, like you mentioned, it’s, if it’s not going to perform well by itself, then in the newsletter, it’s probably also not going to perform as well.

Tyler:

Yeah. And that’s, you know, like really, that’s just taking kind of the cue from what people say about Facebook marketing, right. If you’re going to boost a post on Facebook, don’t boost something that is getting super low engagement, because it’s pretty obvious. Nobody wants to see it, you know, boost the stuff. That’s getting a ton of engagement because it’s just gonna, it’s like amplifying the effort. Yeah.

Shelby:

Right. Do you want to dive into your other newsletter?

Tyler:

Yeah, let’s do that. So go back to the screen, share here, find it. There we go. Okay. So this is the one I sent out to day. Can you see that? Yes. Okay. So I keep a consistent, this little bite sized content strategy header up here. That’s consistent on all of them. And then there’s hello. Content creators is consistent. So there’s all like for me, I wanted to create, it’s almost like the bike room or one, right? Like the bike room reload is always the top followed by the big picture of our top story with this one. I just, I feel like if you’re changing the format and the look of it, it would be like going to your favorite website and every single time you go, the layout’s completely different. You know, the logo somewhere else, you know, it’s just, it becomes confusing.

Tyler:

And there should be a sense of familiarity. That’s comfort of coming in, like, you know, what to expect. And so that’s why we haven’t changed that layout of the biker rewind for years because it’s people kind of just, you become used to it. And you almost like don’t want to disrupt that. You want people to know. So they’re not focusing on that mental bandwidth of like, wait, what just happened? They’re like, okay, what do I want to look at? What’s what’s cool to click on and stuff. And so the same here, like, even though this is a relatively new newsletter for me, I think I’ve been doing it for like, I don’t know, four or five months now. It’s, it’s broken into three parts, so let’s just go through real quick. So you got this part. One is kind of like my story for the week of just sort of like a thought, like a strategy tip, an example of content marketing and an example.

Tyler:

I mean, like something I’m talking about. And then, so this recent content this year is like, usually something that I’ve worked on either. It was like kind of a paid content type thing we did on Bike Rumor, or just some kind of cool story wanted to do for my crewman every once in a while. Like for example, this week, it’s something else that’s happened that just got a lot of traction. And I think shows what could be done if a brand were to take that and apply that sort of creativity or thinking to theirs. And so if you haven’t seen this Lincoln, Nebraska city council meeting thing, it’s just Google Lincoln city council, a public comment, and it’s the most ridiculous thing it’s hilarious. And then the bottom is just cool stuff I found because I didn’t want it to be like all serious and all work.

Tyler:

And just to refresh and you know, like, I mean, I don’t know, maybe if you a student, maybe not the click throughs okay. On these links. And so it’s basically just every week, it’s three weeks or three different things. And I try and keep them sort of related some weeks. So this way it’s all kind of like health and fitness stuff, just sort of self care, like massage and fitness stuff. And then just a little short description about it and now let’s get back and I’ll, I’ll break it down. So one of the things I’ve found and we apply this same strategy to thethe articles on Bike Rumor is very, very short little bits of text. And in each, each sentence paragraph should really make you want to read the next one. And then the next one, the next one, and what it does is these little bits pulled down.

Tyler:

And I wish I could remember who said this, but one of the best tips I’ve heard for writing is short sentences, get read medium sentences, or paragraphs gets skimmed long paragraphs get skipped. And so the longer it is, the more likely somebody is not even going to read it at all. They’re just going to flip through. And so the more you can break it up in these tiny little bits and, and make it end with something like. And then that the thought, and so the people are like, well, and then what, and they want to go through. That was a terrible example, but I think you get the point. And so like with here, you’ve got super short, you know, this one’s a question, you know, here’s like some examples and stuff, just little bits and then, you know, the headline, right? Like the headline, my real concern is, well, what’s my real concern again, it’s just trying to like lead people down question, you know, so people have to read and so on and so on.

Tyler:

They’re all short, like this to me, this is, this one is almost too long of a paragraph, this one here, but it’s all just short bits. So it’s easy. You kind of like, as you and the other thing too, is like, you notice, right? Like, Hey, I’m here, there’s a headline here. As soon as I’m about to get that out of screen, there’s another headline. So there’s this big thing that pulls the eye down another one, another one. Right. And so it’s, it’s continually pulling the eye down. So even if I think the way I’ve seen most feel read as they’re like, they’re almost like this kind of constant scroll while they’re reading. And instead of like, I’m not reading top all the way down to the bottom and then like scrolling that, right. Like most of us are kind of like scrolling every couple of sentences or paragraphs, I think.

Tyler:

And so every time you do that and you pull it up, Oh, a picture. And so maybe your eyes going to jump down and you’re going to like, see, Oh, what was this about? Same thing you kind of get here. And then the next thing comes into view and that’s great strategy, whether you’re doing blog content or newsletters, whatever is, especially if you have a lot of texts, it’s like this first section here, I usually have at least one photo for there. I just didn’t this week because, for a lot of reasons, but basically like, I, I didn’t want to just grab a photo from a brand’s website and use without their permission when I’m maybe not talking to you Kylie about the brand. I didn’t think they’d like that. Plus, you need to pay attention to the copyright and all that stuff.

Tyler:

So for this one, I didn’t, but usually I do have at least one photo in this top section as well. And so that one is kind of like, like I said, like again, these segments that people can get used to, so they know when they open this email, maybe they only want to see my content example. They can go down, they can just kind of jump to the second site. And so it’s even different headlines. Like this is an H two or an H three think, whatever it is, this is a smaller headline than this. No, it’s barely noticeable now that I’m looking at it, so it’s kind of like subheadings and then okay. Big headlines. So, you know, this is the next big section, super short, just kind of analysis of whatever content project it was. And there’s, there’s always some kind of actionable thing, right?

Tyler:

Like, so if you see this ends with this one, I was kind of talking about meal kits for some reason. But the point is like, you don’t have to sell meal kits to get something out of this, but if somebody has gotten that far and they’re like, well, okay, great. But we’re not in the milk of business. Okay. Well, yeah. I know most of you are not here’s this tip that, here’s why this makes sense. Like, what’s the point? What is the benefit? I think with anything, if you want people to keep reading, there’s, there’s always like three reasons anybody’s reading anything. They either want to be entertained, informed or educated. And so you need to make sure they see that that’s coming. Whether you’re teasing it up at the top saying, Hey, you know, here’s all I’m going to talk about this. And then I’ll tell you why it matters.

Tyler:

And then you go through and you do that. If you’re not providing that and people would just get lost. And I can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, they’re gone. Right. And if you get too many emails like that, they’re going to probably unsubscribe. So I do try and provide kind of like wrap it up with like, here’s, here’s what you could do. Or here’s something to think about when you’re creating your content marketing for your brand. And then the same here, it’s kind of like, here’s this example. And here’s like, at the end, it wraps up was just like, here’s some food for thought of like how you can apply this particular whatever to your brand. Then this one, there’s just no point to it other than sharing some cool stuff I’ve found. Cause people like gear and cool stuff. And then it kind of closes out. I think you do a great job formatting this—

Shelby:

With it being, so text-heavy the use of, you know, all the full text and the headers, and even like using italics and I saw you threw an emoji in there too. I feel like that, I think really helps when you’ve got, a lot of texts and an email and you are a hundred percent correct. As you were scrolling down. I was trying to envision the email without those segmented hatters, the folded ones. And if I were looking at an email, without those, I would definitely just see a bunch of texts and not want to read it, but you’re right. It does a great job of kind of breaking it down and kind of teasing your eye down. You shared a little bit earlier about sponsorships. Could you kind of elaborate more on how you incorporate advertising or affiliate links or any sort of sponsorships in your email newsletters?

Tyler:

Sure. Let me just realize my screen share was stolen with this one. So we’re sitting here looking at this, but yeah. So in most cases, at least two of the three of these are products which are affiliate links in this case to Amazon, it depends on where we have the thing. So like this one, the roll roller and the,  massage percussion tool are both going to Amazon, which have affiliate accounts with, this one’s not, this is just thinking to her YouTube channel and stuff, but so, yeah, so for this one, I’m not selling any space, but there is affiliate links. And then it’s, so if you scroll down to the bottom, I wanted to point this out. You have to mention that that these are so like, it says you, like, I don’t sell this space, but some of the links might be affiliate links would serves me small commission.

Tyler:

So you have to disclose that stuff. And then Bike Rumor, it’s pretty obvious it’s oops, I was jumping. But you remember from the back one, like it had the ads that says newsletter, this newsletter sponsored by and it’s, so it’s very clear that this is an ad and it even has like the home rule, like the lines on top and bottom of the ads to really separate it out. But the nice thing is it’s also like a visual kind of like there creates a little space above and below. So that, that ad has more visual impact than if it were like tightly crammed in with all the other stuff. Cause we want our advertisers to see value in it. And if, you know, if you scroll and you scroll past so fast, because it’s, there’s no kind of visual cue that this is sort of like a little stopping point, then we feel like we’re not delivering value to them. And it’s not really fair to them if they’re not getting anything out of it. So

Shelby:

Yeah, definitely it definitely has to be a two way benefit on both party or both parts. Can you share a little bit about how you track metrics like open rate or click through rates or even if you track them at all? Or what other ways are you tracking performance for your newsletters?

Tyler:

Yeah. There’s definitely a lot more we could be doing, but the, so we use two different servers and it’s, if you want to use them great. I’m not promoting either one of these and there’s, there’s things I like and dislike about. So for the Bike Rumor one, we use MadMimi and for the, my content one, I use CIN Fox and I actually, I do recommend sandbox if you’re just like a content person, it’s pretty simple. There’s some limitations to it for sure. But it’s, it’s super simple to use. The MadMimi one and it’s also, I should say, it’s also, you can start for free and it’s dirt cheap. MadMimi is like all the other ones, like right now we’re paying a hundred and some dollars a month because of our subscriber count, which to me seems ridiculous to send out emails, but I’m totally spacing on what your question was, sorry.

Tyler:

How you track your metrics. Yes. Thank you. Okay. So, so mad Mimi. I actually like it’ll show you like open rates, but I actually really don’t care for their back end in terms of like click throughs. It’s really, they lump it all in with like an aggregate of all of the emails. So it’s really hard unless I’m missing something that’s really hard to see like individuals with sandbox, you can look and you can see like the number you sent, how many were delivered, how many balanced, how many unsubscribed and then clicks. And then if you click on that, you can actually see like for every link in that email, you can see which like the percent clicks or number of clicks for each link in there. So you can really kind of track that pretty tightly with simple acts. And so I look at those numbers sometimes just cause I want to see what people are clicking on.

Tyler:

More for mine, for the bike room or mine. Like that’s kind of the, one of those ones where we could probably be doing a lot more, but I think we sort of know we’re already putting the content there that people are interested in and if it drives more clicks, great, you know, it’s pretty unscientific on that one. And I think most email providers have some kind of metrics like that. So we’re listening to podcasts on the way here. And one of the tricks I heard was using pixels and I guess, I mean by that like Facebook pixels, but there’s tracking pixel. So, if you were to take a Facebook pixel and I, I don’t even know exactly how to do this, I just know that you can, so let’s say in one of mine, I’m going to link to a blog that I wrote on my thing, right.

Tyler:

I’m going to say, Hey, if you want to read this again or share it, you know, here’s my blog, right? Somebody clicks, well, if I’ve got the Facebook pixel in there on that page somewhere then somewhere Facebook is storing all this information, what people have clicked on and it costs nothing to place these pixels there. But then like, let’s say you do this for a year or so. And you go back in now you want to sell, let’s just say, for example, I came up with an ebook on content marketing. I wanted to sell that. Well, if I’ve got this database that Facebook knows who’s clicked and who’s interested in my stuff, I can send retargeted ads to them for like pennies, like nothing. And it didn’t cost me anything all of this time to just be building that free database of consumer user data and all that.

Tyler:

Maybe my soul, but not actual money. Yeah. So setting up stuff like that in advance and just kind of, even if you don’t have a plan for it right away, there’s no downside to collecting that stuff now. And then you can use it later when you are going to put it out or try and sell something to them. So that was, I think, a super helpful tip. And I’m actually, I’ve got my little cheat sheet here and make sure I’m not forgetting something. Yeah, nothing else on that. I know we have some other topics we’re going to go over.

Shelby:

So the next question is,  what are some different email or a newsletter trends that you’ve been following or taking note of?

Tyler:

This one I thought was super interesting and I do have some email newsletters. I’ll, I’ll share with you that, that I read that I think are super fascinating. It kind of inspired some of the little tactics I use in ours, but this one was super, super interesting, even though like, it has nothing to do with what I’m doing, but I’ve noticed like over the past couple of months, I noticed that my confirmation emails from Amazon when I ordered something would just say, your order is confirmed. Your order is shipping and it stopped listing what it is. And I was like, forget it. I was like, or maybe my wife or my kids where it’s something, but I get the emails. I’m like, what did they order? And I was like, and then I heard this just like literally a couple of days ago or week that Amazon stopped putting the items that you ordered in those confirmation emails, because services like Gmail or other email hosts we’re scraping that data.

Tyler:

And so while Amazon has this massive database of what’s ordered and popular items and stuff, they had to do a lot of work to get that. Now these other email hosts can scrape that without doing any of the work and have this massively valuable database of consumer preferences. And, you know, what’s hot, what’s selling, what’s not right. And I was just like, yeah, it’s crazy. Right. So my kind of my takeaway for that is if you’re selling something or you’re putting out data that is valuable to you and your email, you might want to find a way to either take that information and present it as maybe like an image file or just make it so that it can’t be scraped somehow. And how you do that. Other than like an image file was beyond me. But it’s just, it’s something to think about. Like, it’s crazy what people come up with.

Shelby:

Yeah. That is so sneaky and something that, yeah, like you said, why would you ever really think about that? But people are out there doing it. So just a couple more questions. What strategies have been most successful for growing your newsletter following?

Tyler:

So for, I wouldn’t say I have much of a strategy other than occasionally I’ll post something on LinkedIn, like a teaser, like, Hey, you know, make sure you sign it. If you’re not signed up for a newsletter I’m this is cool story I’m sending out tomorrow and stuff. It’s. I mean, I guess it works a little bit it’s it’s growing. I think it’s well, I should show you. So there are, I guess I’m a little more strategic than that. Thank you. Now that, let’s see, where is that screen again? So if you look and this is, I feel like everyone does it, so it’s not super. And a lot of, lot of people will put this up at the top one. I’m about the shape. I do two of the, so under this section I have, did you get this email from a friend, “click here to subscribe”, right?

Tyler:

And then at the bottom I put, you know, Hey, before you hit the lead, can you forward this to a couple friends that might like it and just to get it to share and, and I’ll change the wording of this every few weeks just to kind of make it look a little bit different or keep it fresh and same up here. Like I’ll tweak that just a little bit. I don’t think it’s as important to change this one because if somebody is just getting it for the first time, they haven’t seen it before, but down here, you know, you want to kind of keep those people who have seen it 20 times or whatever, you know, after you see it two or three times, you kind of become blind to something. If you’re staying at the same time over and over. And then, also just like down here, like this, isn’t really a sharing.

Tyler:

This is more of a connect. If somebody wanted to follow me on whatever, they can do that. And then, so this is interesting one too. Like, so this is sin. Fox has this, and I know other providers have this too. You can get referrals. Like obviously I haven’t referred my own newsletter to anybody yet, so I’m kind of slacking, but they have a reward thing and I can do a better job with this. I could upload a photo of the prizes that I’m giving away for people to share. So, and then you can set the numbers. So I can say, Hey, if you, if you refer three new people into my thing, I’ll send you a pair of my cool story. We’ll defeat SOC, which is actually the price. So, if you want to get a pair of pretty awesome socks, just subscribe to my newsletter and share with three people.

Tyler:

And you can go to Tyler benedict.com and there’s a little form to get on this one and stuff. So that’s something that, I know several different email services have something like that that you can use too. So I that’s just the low hanging fruit is set and stuff like that up. Let’s see, I think on the bike room, there’s probably something similar. So again, for me, this one I think is just trying to provide really valuable content that people would like. And then just asking people to share a lot of times it’s like the old YouTube thing, right? I put say, Hey, if you liked this video, hit subscribe and like, or leave a comment, right? Like just asking half the time is all it takes. And then, so for the biker or wind, we don’t really put any kind of call out message in the, in the email itself.

Tyler:

But this is how we grow. That list is in fact, we don’t even have like a popup or slide over anything on our website. There is a little link at the top that says, Hey, join our newsletter. I’m trying to find something that’s slightly more aggressive, but I hate the popups. Like you get to a website and you’re about to look at something or click and join our like 10 seconds. And I’m like, I don’t even know you yet go stop. You know? And it’s so frustrating, but like literally every site doesn’t now you get the cookie popup, a pop site in bad banner ad that. And I’m finally like after two or three things, I’m like, Nope, done. I’m out of here. So I would actually, even though I guess they work or people would stop doing them. I would caution everyone to try and find a less obnoxious way to get people from your, to sign up for your newsletter.

Tyler:

There’s there’s got to be something. But so anyway, so bike, or what we do is we run survey contest. So a brand could sponsor a contest. Well, let’s just say a wheel company is going to give away a set of thousand-dollar wheels. What they do is they, can, they give us three questions or four questions to put into a survey. So our readers have to fill in that survey and answer those questions for the brand and or their email address. And then it says very clearly the rules and disclosures, all that, we’re going to take your email address and we get it for our lists. The brand gets it for their list. You can subscribe from any list at any time. And so that was usually add, you can kind of tell that it’s a lot of the same people entering all the contests because we’ll get like 2000 entries and it’ll add like 30 people or to our database for, to our email list.

Tyler:

But the one that worked really well was when we kind of did a cross promotion with a non-endemic meaning non cycling brand. We did one with bio light that it was the bigger contests that other media were doing and they were promoting on their site and their social and everything else. And so we ended up with that when we ended up adding like almost 10,000 subscribers to our email list and the drop off rates been super low. So that’s, I was worried, it would be like 10,000 and then like the next week we’d be down like 9,000 or something, but we’ve managed to keep almost all of them. So that kind of stuff, I think, creating, again, something of value for your audience where you just, you’re doing something for them and then you’re saying, Hey, but I’m going to add your email to my list and all that it’s worked well for us. And that’s really the only tool we’ve used to kind of grow that list other than like just the normal, organic growth of, we’ll get a few new subs every day or something then inevitably some people drop off too. So,

Shelby:

Right. I just have one more question for you and it’s, what are some newsletters that you subscribe to yourself?

Tyler:

Sure. There’s so much overlap in these, but I just like the writing style, like for me, I’m, I’m subscribing to the ones that I like the style of, because it kind of inspires me to do a little bit better with my own. So Hustle Morning, Brew, Scammed, New York Times. There’s a ton of cross over those. They each have their own little niche and angle, but like, I’ll read the same, a version of the same story, like four different times, some mornings. So those are super good just for kind of like daily, quick hits of whatever’s going on in news. And like, like one is more entrepreneurial ones, more business. One’s just general news. And the New York times is kind of the more professional of them. But even now one, if you’ve noticed, like if you subscribe to that, you’ll notice the, the tone is a lot more conversational than you think.

Tyler:

And I think they’ve realized that people want to feel like it’s a conversation. They want to feel like it’s a friend talking to a friend. And I think that’s what, I’m a lot of the emails. So another one that’s, even if you’re not in the content marketing, just maybe check out a couple of them to see the way she writes by Ann Handley does a really good job with hers. And then, another one that, and this is the one that kind of flies in the face of everything. I just say, cause there’s like no pictures, huge paragraphs of texts, but is really fascinating is a Mark Manson’s. And it’s a lot of, I don’t know if you’d call it psychology or psychotherapy or something, but super, super interesting. And so he’s the guy that wrote the book. Everything is EFT and, the follow-up to that, awesome books also I’d highly recommend those, but his emails are fantastic and it’s, I think they’re, they come up every Monday. I forget their called, but Mark Manson is worth reading for the entertainment value alone.

Shelby:

People are willing to read long paragraphs for some free therapy. Yeah,

Tyler:

I think so. It’s funny that as you read it and you can tell it’s like his therapy is writing them and then our therapy is reading them. It’s pretty fun. So like, like I mentioned it again, like I think formatting and consistency is key, right? Like just have a good format, like think about it. Like, this is the way I think about everything, right? Like I wouldn’t want to read my own stuff. Who in the world else is gonna want to read it. So like, if you’re, if you’re writing it or you’re laying it out, whatever, like you don’t have to be a graphic artist, just make it like not annoying to read. Right. Send it to a couple of friends, send it to your mom since your significant other, whatever. Right. Just like, Hey, what did you think? And if they’re like, okay, then you know, you got some work to do.

Tyler:

Right. They’re like, yeah, it was good. Like, and then I, I send my, like my wife proofreads my content when every week, just because she couldn’t care less about content marketing, but for me, it’s like, were you able to read through the end? And was it like, at least mildly interesting enough that you were able to get through the end? Without getting hung up on some detail, like a typing thing or something. Right. Like, and usually it’s, yes, she can get through. Or she makes a few constructive criticisms to help things read a little bit better and stuff like that. And that’s the point, right? Like you just want, if somebody who’s not even interested in, it can make it through to the end and you know, you’re on the right track. And the sections kind of breaks it up and they give us like, again, like consistently it gives people something to look forward to.

Tyler:

But I think the biggest one is, or the biggest too is so like, what’s the goal of doing this, right? Like if you’re just putting something out there because you feel like you should be doing a newsletter, chances are, it’s going to suck because if you don’t even know why you’re doing it, why, you know, and people don’t know why they’re going to read it. And so you need to understand very clearly why you’re doing this and what your goals are and understand once you understand what your goals are, then you have to think, okay, well, so if I’m going to, how do I achieve that? Right. Like, well, if I’m going to put this section in or I’m going to write it this way or talk about these things, do those three things all move me toward closer to my goal. And if not like jettison the ones that aren’t, because they’re a waste of time and then they just end up confusing the situation.

Tyler :

Right. Because if somebody is reading it and they’re like, okay, yeah, like I’m thinking I might hire this guy to do content marketing project for me. And then it’s probably like, at the end, like my three cool things, I’m ending with something that has nothing to do with it. So maybe I’m like losing people right away. Right. But, I guess each thing should probably be moving people closer to your goal or in some way. And then, the last one is, again, like the overarching thing of this is it’s got to provide value, right? Like if you’re, you could think this is moving you toward your goal and your goal might be to build an audience. But if you’re not providing the value to people and something they want to actually read or watch or whatever it is, even if it’s not news, it could be videos. if they’re not getting anything out of it, they’re going to leave real fast. Cause nobody’s got time to sit there and suffer through something. They’re not getting anything out of it anymore.

Shelby:

Yeah, definitely. Tyler, I want to thank you so much for taking your time and sharing your expertise. We’re going to be doing more of these interviews with you, so I’m excited to keep on doing more of these.

Tyler :

Yeah. Thanks ton for having me. I’m excited to do more of them. See you guys next month, I guess.

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