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Blog Tips

How To Use Your Newsletter To Test Potential Blog Post Ideas

By Jan 15, 2016 6 Comments

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When you’re sitting down to plan your editorial calendar, you have lots of strategies you can use to decide what blog post ideas to write about.

You can:

But I’ve been using another very simple method to test out what topics my readers are already interested in. It’s been super helpful to me in determining what to write about. I’m using my newsletter!

Did you know you can use your newsletter to find potential blog post ideas? Use this simple secret to fill up your editorial calendar today! | Blog Tips

How I Use My Newsletter To Test Potential Blog Post Ideas

I send out a weekly newsletter (here’s a sample) to my list. It’s evolved over time to include:

  • a personal introduction
  • a link and intro to each new blog post
  • a link to something I shared on Facebook or Instagram
  • an affiliate offer
  • 3 pins from my Pinterest boards

It’s this last item that I’m using to test out some topics.

I usually pick 1 or 2 of my own popular pins and then 1-2  pins from another blogger that is currently doing well on Pinterest. This week I discovered something really interesting.

Testing Blog Post Topics In Your Newsletter

I picked a pin by another blogger called “A Minimalist Guide to Budgeting”. Even though it was at the very bottom of the email, this pin ended up being the second most popular link in the entire newsletter! My readers clicked on it more than they did on 2 of the 3 blog posts I wrote.

You can imagine that I immediately put several budgeting posts into my editorial calendar!

I like using this method for a couple reasons:

  1. It gives my readers additional content I’ve already created (or someone else created). It’s no more work for me, but they get extra value.
  2. It helps to boost engagement on my Pinterest account. I love sending readers over to my Pinterest boards because so many of them come to me through Pinterest (currently 3,000-5,000 per day!). I know they love Pinterest. (Want to see how I design viral pins? Get a video tutorial here.)
  3. It may be more accurate than a reader survey. When you ask people what they want, they may not really know or they may tell you about one thing but have other, more pressing needs. When you give them a choice of pins like this, the links they click are a clear indication of their interests, and you have new blog post ideas. Easy peasy.

I’m still using the other methods I listed above to help me fill in my editorial calendar, but I really like this method for it’s ease of use and quick results. I usually have a clear winner or winners within 24 hours of sending a newsletter.

You can start using this method with your next newsletter!

Just drop images and links to a few pins in and see what your readers pick. They’ll tell you what blog post ideas they like!

What’s your favorite way to fill out your editorial calendar?

About Sarah Mueller

Sarah is a work-at-home mom to 4 rambunctious boys and the creator of Early Bird Mom, a popular mom blog focusing on organizing, budgeting, parenting, and more. She has a long history with the internet, starting out with a clunky webserver in 1995, a busy e-commerce site in 2003 and now pursuing her original passion - writing - on Early Bird Mom. She's married to her college sweetheart who she imported from Germany and thanks God every day for His grace and mercy. She loves to encourage other busy moms with simple, practical strategies and tips. Sarah lives in Pennsylvania but you can connect with her at Early Bird Mom, on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

6 Comments

  • Diane says:

    Thank you Sarah for all your super helpful tips. I’ve been dragging my feet on setting up a newsletter and not only have you given me that extra push… but you’ve given me an outline, too.

    Again, thank you so much!

  • Sarah this is a really easy and great idea for learn about what your readers want to see more of!
    I agree, frequently you can ask and receive an answer but this method is prue instinct!
    I can already think of other ways I can apply this method in my website & newsletter!

  • This is really great advice! I pin a lot of links, but I never thought to share them with my email list. I’ll have to give it a try in my next email!

  • […] How to Use Your Newsletter to Test Potential Blog Post Ideas – The SITS Girls […]

  • Wow…great tip! I have had a lot of trouble finding time to send out my newsletter regularly but it’s something that I’m really trying to get better about. I love how you’ve set up your content (mine only linked to my most recent posts) and I’m going to use yours as inspiration to improve my own!

    • So glad it was helpful, Lisa! Writing my newsletter takes extra time but I really want to invest in my subscriber list – they are much more loyal that the visitors who come and go after reading one post.