How to create an engaging yoga email newsletter
Guest Post: Lori Snyder (read more about Lori below).
If you’re like most of us, the answer to question one is somewhere in the vicinity of “a lot,” and the answer to question two is probably closer to “not very many”.
Hm. Think about that, because the way you answered is probably also true for your yoga students, the people on your email list.
So how do you become one of the “not very many” emails that are read regularly?
As a yoga teacher, you’re probably already writing an email newsletter (and if you’re not, read Why Every Yoga Teacher Needs a Newsletter to understand why it’s important). You have all good intentions to write regularly…and yet, when you actually try, nothing comes to you. You don’t know how to get started. Or you’re not feeling inspired.
So what ends up happening is you tell yourself that it’s okay, no one cares if they don’t hear from you regularly, and besides, it’s probably annoying anyway…and then you go and do something else.
If writing a newsletter has become your nemesis, never fear. Over the years of helping yoga teachers like you write newsletters, I’ve come up with a few failsafe tips.
Follow these suggestions and watch your newsletters flow more easily, be more fun to write, and get far, far more engagement from your readers.
Once a week, set aside 10 minutes to transfer everything you’ve written or recorded to a list on your desktop. You can do this in a word processing program like Word or on a virtual corkboard like Trello.
Schedule this ten minutes into your week every week or it will never happen (yes, I speak from experience!). I do it every Friday afternoon when I’m a little burnt out from work and need to do something that requires less brainpower than editing a teacher training manual or working on my own writing.
Now you have a list of topics. Keep it going! Soon you’ll have more than you can possibly write, which means that whenever you’re ready to write a yoga email newsletter you’ll be able to pull up a topic that resonates with you in that moment.
Okay, well…THIS might actually be the most important tip. Think of the newsletters you get that you actually read. What do they have in common? Most likely, you feel like you know that person. They feel real to you. You like how they write.
The best way to connect with the people who will love you and what you have to offer, the people who will fill your studio classes and retreats and workshops and privates and trainings, is by being exactly who you are.
In my teacher training, we call this “yoga voice,” and it’s to be avoided at all costs. The moment you find yourself trying to sound like something or someone you’re not, you’ve lost your path.
So, if you are quiet and thoughtful, be that without trying to be witty. If you are earnest and sincere, be that. Or if you are funny and irreverent and love to swear, let it rip. And if you are intellectual, address the ideas you love without worrying people won’t dig it.
Whatever you are, be that. Write with words you actually use and say things you actually care about and believe. That alone will go a long way in making your newsletters a must-read.
When you first start to write your yoga email newsletter, skip over the introductory sentence or two and, instead, jump right into the story you’re telling or the information you’re sharing.
Most of us get so hung up trying to write the perfect opener that we never get to the fun part, the part where we actually say what we want to say.
Once you have that part written, then and only then go back and see if you need a beginning. The best writers all know that you usually can’t know the beginning you need until you’ve written the rest of the piece. And, you may be surprised to find that the “fun part” stands on its own and doesn’t need a beginning at all.
We live in a culture where the idea of originality is ingrained into our very pores. It’s so easy to see an article or post on the same topic we were thinking of addressing, and decide that it’s already been done (probably better!) so why should we bother?
The truth is, just as every single yoga teacher leads sun salutations with a different energy, intention, and wording, every single person writing about the same topic will do it differently, with a different sensibility.
If you follow steps 1 and 3 listed above, you’ll have a set of topics specific to how you think, and you’ll write about them in a way that only you can. That, in and of itself, makes it original and interesting.
So don’t worry if what you want to write about seems trite. Don’t wonder if you’re experienced/interesting/smart/different/old/young/anything enough to write on a topic.
As a last thought, don’t worry about how short or long your newsletters are. There are people who write amazing short newsletters and people who amazing long ones.
Make it work for you. Because when you create a newsletter that shows who you really are, and you do it consistently, your people will find you.
Guest Post: Lori Snyder
Lori is the creator of Yoga: edit, which offers writing and editing services to the yoga community. A writer, book editor, yoga teacher, and former yoga studio owner, Lori particularly loves helping yoga teachers hone in on their unique writing voice and write their books, blogs, and teacher training manuals.