December and January are good months to publish articles that sum up the past year and preface the new one. If your newsletters (or blog posts) are informational, this can be a good strategy for several reasons:
- Website traffic is increased by directing your readers to past newsletter issues or blog posts.
- Readers are reminded of what they’ve learned which strengthens the learning process. It also reminds them of the value you’ve provided.
- You are reminded of what you’ve already covered. A review of your past articles will always prompt more ideas for future articles - I guarantee it!
- It also gives you the chance to critique your work. You’re more objective after time has passed.
- You can use it as an opportunity to update recommendations or opinions based on new learning or changes to your strategy.
- You get a sense of accomplishment!
Here are 5 ideas for ending the year:
- Top 5, Top 10, Best of... your own 'stuff': You can be the jury or report based on statistics.
- Top 5, Top 10, Best of... other people’s 'stuff': You be the judge and critic.
- Wrap-up: Group articles that are similar in topic. Write an article that summarizes and links to each past article.
- Recap: Use point form or a visual graphic to review what you've covered this past year, what has happened in your industry, the development of a new product, your business’ evolution... you get the idea.
- Feedback: You can encourage interaction by inviting readers to vote on your best articles.
And here are some ideas for starting the new year:
- Outline what you'll cover in the next year: This forces you to do some planning!
- Share your business plans
- Predictions: These can be serious or fun.
- Gather ideas: Ask readers for topic suggestions.