Write a Newsletter Friends Will Want to Read

By on November 11, 2011

The only Christmas gift more maligned than a Christmas newsletter is a fruitcake. Sending a newsletter costs you both time and money, so make sure that your newsletter will be welcomed by its recipients.

Your newsletter is a gift. Just as you would not crochet a shoddy afghan with strings and gaping holes in it to give as a present, you should not send a slipshod newsletter either. Make the effort to create a quality newsletter; your reader’s time is valuable, don’t waste it. Few writers create good work in a hurry, so start early. Throughout the year, jot down important events and thoughts that you may want to include. By October or November at the latest, you should be composing your rough draft. Yes, I said rough draft.

Use technology

Computers make editing easy, edit your letter multiple times and have at least one other person edit it as well. Always let the letter sit for at least a day, and then when you look at it later you will see needed changes that were not obvious before. Reading the letter aloud will help you spot errors as well. Allow the people who you are writing about (typically your husband and children) to have the opportunity to read and veto or add to what you say about them. Newsletters should never embarrass or hurt the feelings of someone you care about.

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Be real, no one wants to read a year’s worth of bragging. By the same token, people don’t want to be dragged down by all your problems either. If you are going through a tough time when you are writing your letter, take the time to stop and jot down all the blessings in your life before you start writing.

Nothing is more daunting to the reader than an entire page of text in small font. Use pictures to illustrate your points. Always label photos; what is so obvious to you, maybe unfamiliar to your reader. A Christmas newsletter is not the place for a college.

Be creative

If you cannot afford to print a color newsletter with pictures, at least organize your letter into categories with titles, and print it on Christmas-themed stationery. Rather than a litany of your children and grandchildren’s accomplishments, consider using cute quotes. What are the high points of your year? What are the low points? What is an average day like for you? Have you tried something new this year? Are there any major changes?

It is best to limit your newsletter to one page. Be brief and concise, no one wants to know what you had for dinner yesterday. Never send more than two pages. Take advantage of templates on your computer to help you organize your letter. If you must do two pages, consider setting it up brochure style. Above all, always add a handwritten note with your signature. If someone is not important enough for you to add a personalized note, don’t send them your newsletter, just send a card.

Take the time to do quality work, be real, and feel free to use your creativity and humor so that your newsletter will be more welcome than a fruitcake.

Carol Lovegren Miller lives, writes, and is a substitute teacher in Oakland Oregon, population 950. Carol and her husband Kyle, of 27 years, have three children. She mails her Christmas newsletter each year on December 1st.

About Carol Lovegren-Miller

Carol Lovegren Miller has been married to Kyle for 32 years and has three grown children. She bakes, cans, organizes church events, and substitute teaches in between her adventures and writing." Carol can be reached at [email protected]

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Write a Newsletter Friends Will Want to Read