Miles Burke

Startups, digital marketing, small business & more.

Category: Writing Page 1 of 11

curated newsletter on growth hacking

The How & Why Behind Weekly Curated Newsletter, Growth Email

At the start of this year, I kicked off a side project to send a weekly curated newsletter on growth marketing, called growth.email. Basically, I read a ton of articles, choose the ten best and send a weekly email to over 1,600 subscribers.

I’ve had a number of questions since I started on how I put these emails together, so here’s the workflow I use to create each weekly issue.

Curate a number of feeds
I use Feedly to bring in many RSS feeds, and categorise them by topic. Each week, as part of my process, I add and remove feeds, to get the best content into my reading list.

I will scour Reddit, Twitter and Facebook for new interesting articles and typically skim a few other articles on the same site, then add the feed to my Feedly.

Feedly screen

Feedly screen

Read a huge list of articles
I try my best to have a variety of topics and sources in each issue. For example, I’ll only include 1-2 social media marketing articles in any one week, as well as avoid choosing the same source for more than 1 or 2 articles in an issue. The last anyone wants to read in a curated newsletter are 10 articles in one week all on a specific growth area, or from the same source.

I try to read a couple of articles every evening. I start by skimming the article, ensuring it is useful and not just an advertisement for a product, has actionable advice and is at least 500 or more words. If it meets these criteria, I will then go through and read the article properly, ensuring that it is quality content, and will appeal to my audience.

Save it to my newsletter library
The great thing about my chosen curated newsletter tool, Goodbits, is that they have a Chrome plugin, which allows me to save the very best articles as candidates for inclusion. I just click the plugin button, rewrite the title and summary if required, and it then gets saved into the content library, along with thumbnail images.

Goodbits chrome plugin

Goodbits chrome plugin

Build the newsletter
When I decide I have enough articles in my library, I then go into Goodbits, review my content library, and drag and drop the articles I wish to include in this weeks curated newsletter.

I will then add the overall email introduction and footer text, add that issues sponsor link, and send myself a copy to check and review.

Goodbits

Goodbits

Schedule to send
I send every issue of growth.email at the very same time each week. Because I’m in Perth, Western Australia, and most of the subscribers are in the USA or UK, I schedule it for 8.30pm Wednesdays local time, which is 1.30pm in London, or 8.30am on the east coast of the US.

Whilst I realise it may be late night on the east coast of Australia, or very early morning elsewhere, it is more about the consistency than the actual local time. People get in the habit of expecting my curated newsletter at a particular time of their local day.

Homeslice showing time zones

Homeslice showing time zones

Add to my content spreadsheet
I use a Google Sheet to track all my previous shared articles, to check I don’t double up, as well as use this list to create articles such as my last blog post, as well as export for easy sharing on social media.

Google sheet of content

Google sheet of content

Answer queries from readers and sponsors
I am very lucky to have so far attracted all sponsors organically, and haven’t had to go looking for sponsors. People and brands approach me by email, and it’s a case of sharing the rate and next available dates.

I’m sure that one day I will have to go hunting for sponsors, however I am enjoying spending my effort on finding quality content, and not on chasing money to pay for it at this stage.

I tend to also receive a couple of emails each week, with feedback either on the entire newsletter or a specific article. I sometimes get content suggestions by email or social as well.

Curated newsletters can be work
Curating a quality content newsletter is a manual and sometimes long task, however the alternatives are all automated and quality can’t be maintained. The point of a curated newsletter, is ensuring content is high quality and on topic, hence why readers will subscribe.

Running growth.email overall is an enjoyable experience, I get to read a lot, and I receive regular great feedback from readers, such as below.

Curated newsletter feedback

Curated newsletter feedback

If you are considering starting a curated email newsletter, then I highly recommend you give it a go. The enjoyment of sharing something you are passionate about, and getting great reader feedback if it all goes well, is very motivating.

If you haven’t yet, don’t let all my hard efforts above go to waste – sign up to growth.email and get 10 great articles in your inbox every week. Thanks!

Stars at Night

How to Regularly Promote Your Content in No Time at All

Sharing your content on social media is a surefire way to increase traffic to your blog or website, and help you promote your content. The problem is, most people post once, and then move on with their next article – therefore missing an awesome opportunity to continue to re-promote their still very relevant (evergreen) content.

In this post, I break down the absolutely easiest way to continually share your previous content, in a method that can take as little as five minutes a month, and bring your thousands of new visitors and shares.

Ingredients
You will need a few things before we get started.
A Buffer account
Plenty of non-time sensitive content
Wordpress (optional step)

The super-fast WordPress method
An absolutely quick way of exporting the titles and URL’s of every article you’ve ever written is the free plugin, List URLs, available for WordPress. It takes around 30 seconds to install, and then export a CSV file.

Simple exporting in WordPress

Simple exporting in WordPress

Collect all of your content
To promote your content, you will want to start by having a spreadsheet, with a column for the post title, the full URL, and related hashtags. Go through the sheet, and make sure all the encoding is right, and there are no strange characters.

Make sure this content is your best work, and is not time relevant. There is no point in promoting a blog post from two years ago, if it refers to something specific for that year, or is very out of date advice or knowledge.

For example, below is a sheet with most of the articles we’ve written for employee survey startup, 6Q. We have literally posted hundreds of articles over the last few years and most are great examples of evergreen content.

Your content spreadsheet

Your content spreadsheet

Choose the best hashtags
Hashtags, especially on Twitter, are a great way to encourage people to discover your tweets, and is a perfect method to promote your content. Tens of thousands of Twitter users every day search topics by hashtag, to find tweets and content worth engaging with.

So how do you know the best hashtags to use? I am a huge fan of Hashtagify, which makes finding appropriate hashtags very easy. You literally enter a seed keyword (in the example below, I used #contentmarketing) and then it uncovers other related hashtags that may suit.

Hashtagify

Hashtagify

So, we have now got a sheet with blog title, the full URL and a hashtag or two. Be careful to ensure the title and hashtags aren’t really long, as the old 140 character limit on Twitter may catch you out. Buffer will truncate the URL using your chosen URL shortener, so we can get away with lengthier lines at this point.

Prepare the file for use
Now export this sheet as a CSV (Most programs let you choose ‘Save as CSV’). You will now need to open this file in a text editor, and do two quick search and replace rules. First, remove the comma between the title and URL, and replace with a space. Next, replace the comma between the URL and hashtag, with another character space.

Save the file again, and you should end up looking something similar to the below.

CSV file of content links

CSV file of content links

Adding to Buffer in bulk
Now comes the best bit. Simply go to Bulk Buffer, connect to your Buffer account, and then upload the file. This will add these links to the end of your current schedule, so feel free to hit the Buffer shuffle button afterwards, to mix things up a bit, and promote your content along with your other content sharing.

Uploading using Bulk Buffer

Uploading using Bulk Buffer

Influencer engagement tip
If you have a file of other related articles that you’ve read and like, you can do the steps above, and append by @[username] to share their content. I’ve done this with all of the links I have shared in my growth marketing newsletter, as a second method of uncovering great content.

By sharing other peoples content, you are raising awareness with them that you exist too – before you know it, you may end up engaging with these influencers.

Here is an example tweet, where I’ve shared other content, which appeared in my growth.email newsletter, using my own personal Twitter account.

Example tweet using this method

Example tweet using this method

Regularly promote your content
In a few minutes a month, I have shown you how to promote your content over and over, with little effort and for free. Add to the CSV over time, and keep using Bulk Buffer to re-upload and top up your schedule every month.

Find this article useful? If you want to show appreciation, here’s a CSV file of a handful of my articles (including this one), which I’d appreciate you using the above method to share.

NY Ground Zero 10th Anniversary

Top 25 Articles That Resonated Most with Readers

Since 2006, I’ve been penning my thoughts here on this blog. A whopping 280 articles over the last decade. I like to look back each year, and see what articles resonated most with my audience, and this can help my understand the direction I need to take with future posts.

Usually, I just keep it to myself, however on reflecting 2016, I thought it worth posting a list of the top 25 articles determined by traffic, which is a good indicator of interest, and provides new readers with a good ‘go to’ list to start with exploring my writing.

The following articles cover everything from startups to business, travel to humour. I trust you enjoy them.

Top 25 Articles for 2016 (by Visits)

Life of a Startup Founder, Explained in GIFs
This is a tongue in cheek look at the life of an early stage startup founder, told in animated GIF format.

It’s Never Too Early to Think Startup Growth
This is possibly the most shared article on social media in the last week, and is a quick guide to things to consider when putting together a startup, prior to launch.

Perth Web Design a trademark?
Written back in 2011, this article covers a move by a local business to trademark the term ‘Perth web design’ which, at the time, was a highly competitive keyword in SEO circles.

Some Unsolicited Dreaming on That WA Innovation Fund
My quick thoughts on how the Western Australian state government could spend their recently announced innovation fund.

50 Australian Startup Twitter Accounts Worth Following
I’m a big user of Twitter (I just recently hit the 10 year milestone), and as a salute to fellow innovators on the platform, I collated a list of 50 accounts worth following.

The TOC hack to finding topics for content marketing
We all get stuck for topic ideas from time to time. This article explains my Table of Contents method of finding new topics to write about.

Promoting Perth Startups
The announcement of the curated Twitter account, @StartupPerth, which I launched in late 2015 (and is still running!).

The Web2.0 colours of 2007
This was meant to be a very tongue in cheek look at the rise of ‘Web2.0’ as it was called back in 2007, when I wrote this post.

Public Speaking Tips and Templates
I enjoy public speaking, having delivered over 100 talks now, however it isn’t as easy for most people. I cover some tips and ideas on how to take the stage.

Seven Tips to Make Debtors Pay
My take on methods many businesses can take, to ensure that they get paid on time. Originally written for Sitepoint.

The Web 2.0 Secret Weapon
This was the fun post I wrote which kicked off a flurry of writing on Web2.0 by me. All in jest, of course.

Do You Have Five Minutes?
This article covers how, as a service business, we were able to recoup many hours per month which were previously unbillable. Originally written for Sitepoint.

70 Graffiti Colours of 2006
A side creative pursuit of mine back in 2006 was collecting interesting colour palettes. I made this with graffiti art I photographed in Western Australia.

Book promotion on the web
My book, The Principles of Successful Freelancing, came out back in 2009. This post in 2008 are my thoughts on book promotion using digital marketing.

Marketing your book online
This article is a follow up to the one above, promoting your book using digital marketing.

We’re back from Ubud, Bali (again!)
My favourite travel destination is Ubud, Bali which I have visited more than two dozen times now. This is a quick post about the trip from 2010.

Manage Your Money
This article covers various online accounting packages, useful for small business. Originally written for Sitepoint in 2011.

The Two Faces of Bali
Another Bali travel post, this time about the differences in tourism to the Island. Written back in 2012, I feel the difference is even wider now in 2017.

18 ways to being a better employee
As an employer for 15 years, and manager of people for a further 5 or so years prior to that, I have a few pet peeves and loves when it comes to employees. I share them in this article from 2006.

Secrets to a Great Sales Proposal
I cover some of the tricks I have learned in writing sales proposals. Originally written for Sitepoint in 2009.

Setting SMART Goals
An article on how to set goals that work, using the SMART acronym. Originally written for Sitepoint in 2010.

19 Tips for Public Speaking
As per the previous articles on public speaking, this covers 19 tips to consider when speaking to an audience.

Interview with Dave Greiner of Freshview
A great founder I’ve known for quite some time, I interview Dave Greiner from Campaign Monitor. Originally written for Sitepoint.

Reply to Your Emails!
A short rant about businesses not responding to their email enquiries. Originally written for Sitepoint.

I hope you find the above 25 articles useful for your business, travels, content marketing or startup. Please subscribe to my alerts when new articles get published – see the form in the right hand column.

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© 2005-2019. Miles Burke.