A Newsletter Writer’s Guide for the Monsters, Seers and Immortal Beings of Ancient Greece.
The bad news?
Personal blogs are totally and completely out.
In 2010, when personal blogs were having their moment, monster blogs like Happy Harpy Hedwig had a major following. All Hedwig had to do was pose in various hats gleaned from her many victims, post the pictures on her blog and write, “Tuesday hat day! It’s so hard to choose, but I think I like the second one best. Which one is your favorite?” Within a hour her post would have tons of comments and at least a dozen shares.
But those days are over, the era of the personal blog killed off by Instagram, Twitter & co.
The good news?
Newsletters are in!
What reader are craving is in-depth, quality content delivered straight from the writer to their inbox. Cut out the media outlet middleman and move away from bombarding your followers with endless shallow selfies (although admittedly, this is still working well for Narcissus)!
Before getting started on your newsletter, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Know how to grow your audience
To grow your audience, you need to find the perfect balance between content that is specific, but will still appeal to a larger target group.
If you’re the Oracle of Delphi, everyone already knows you’re chock full of prophecies, which will be a great way to quickly attract a large number of subscribers.
However, only focusing on prophecies that will inspire a single hero to embark on a quest is too narrow to appeal to a wider audience.
Try to keep your content relevant, useful and smartly targeted at all times.
Since your foresight is so vast and varied, you may want to consider different price point subscription tiers.
For example, you could have the prophecies for economic and world domination tier, for which politicians/dark lords would be willing to pay a pretty penny.
(Will pay top dollar for insight into how-to plans for global domination!)
In your mid-range tier, you could offer insightful forecasts on the stock market for day traders (and many of these subscribers can definitely be upgraded to the dark overlord tier if you give them the divination they seek!).
(Secretly wishes to impress the ladies with facts about the history of clowning and spoilers about the impending apocalypse!)
Your low cost fun future facts tier could be targeted to potential subscribers who just want to know who’s walking away with an Oscar this year to impress their friends. If you go about carefully structuring your newsletter and cleverly targeting your content, you’ll be earning six figures in no time at all!
Find your niche
No matter how many monsters, seers and immortal creatures are out there writing columns, articles and newsletters, your story is still uniquely yours!
If you’re Echidna and you hear the gods only allow your monstrous brood to live so that they will grow up as something “challenging to kill” for future heroes, how do you feel?
Readers will want to know!
In this case, a perfect niche would be a parenting and motherhood newsletter where you share the trials and, yes, joys of raising abhorrent children.
Share with your readers the discrimination you’ve faced as a half-snake, half-woman mom–no you are not “hideous” and “full of poison,” thank you very much, you’re just not afraid to speak your mind!
(Gruesome and evil, or simply shy and misunderstood? Let the readers decide!)
Instead of putting your newsletter behind a paywall, you may want to consider providing exclusively free content which can be cleverly used as a marketing tool for your new online business where you sell pacifiers which can withstand poison-tinged saliva and fiery hiccups, blankets strong enough to swaddle the Nemean Lion and many collared leashes for customers who have many-headed hyperactive children, like dear, sweet Cerberus.
Surprise your readers
Sure, everyone knows Perseus was a great hero who saved the beautiful Andromeda from being devoured by an evil sea monster, blah, blah, blah. But would you feel that way if you were one of the immortal Gorgon sisters?
In your newsletter, tell the real story of that pompous, cowardly jerk who snuck into your cave and cut of your mortal sister Medusa’s head while she was asleep for god’s sake!
Telling your story will be an eye-opening experience for your subscribers.
For these types of newsletters, it’s also a great idea to include guest posts from other writers.
For example, Persephone could write a piece where she fesses up that she paid that shepherd boy to tell helicopter mom Demeter that her fiancé Hades, God of the Underworld, had “abducted” her in hopes that she would let it go and leave poor Persephone in peace.
When that didn’t work, and Demeter threatened to cover the mortal world in eternal freezing darkness if Persephone wasn’t returned, Hades–who is a fantastic, super supportive husband by the way–said, “Come on, give her a break. She misses you.”
(Like, sorry mom! I totally didn’t know that was going to happen!)
Opps, mom, looks like I “accidentally” ate a pomegranate seed, which means I’m sadly not allowed to spend as much time with you as I’d like to.
Still can’t believe she bought that one, lmao.
Be honest with yourself and regroup when necessary
When you work really, really hard on a painstakingly researched newsletter on the disaster you’ve foreseen for the tender-footed pygmy grass mouse of Patagonia–extinction looms!–and no one subscribes, it may be tempting to go all Cassandra and say to yourself, “I speak the truth and yet people refuse to listen, as usual!”
(Alas, the future does not look bright for Dear Miss Plimpy!)
But be honest with yourself:
Although your content may still be stellar and brilliantly written, this doesn’t mean much if no one is interested in reading it.
Instead of giving up, try first to regroup and approach things differently. For example, use a keyword tool to research what type of catastrophic prophesies readers are most interested in and go from there. This will give you a better sense for which sort of gloom and doom to hone in on!
(Tip: Major oil spills, nuclear fallout and volcanic eruptions are always on trend!)
One last bit of advice: make sure to post frequently!