For hundreds of years, newsletters have been a source of information, entertainment and communication.

Even in the 1700’s, Ben Franklin produced what we would refer to as a newsletter.

In the modern sense, newsletter content has rivaled some of the most targeted and most useful information found anywhere.

But with that, there also comes a lot of demand to produce a relevant, highly targeted publication.

So your newsletter needs to be intriguing with significantly more value than your subscribers can get elsewhere.

Newsletter Content Ideas – the What and Where

Starting a newsletter can be one of the most lucrative, yet challenging endeavors you will ever undertake.

The word challenging is in there because it can be a real challenge to come up with irresistible content ideas, produce the content and format it all correctly.

Having produced newsletters, both online and offline since 2002, my content ideas are never ending, but only because I know what to look for and where to look.

Here are 7 of the best sources for newsletter content ideas:

1. Look at your business. The first place to look is your own niche. Your niche may be narrow and focused, but there are still many facets to it.

So, here’s what you do… take a note pad out and write down your niche at the top, then write down all the parts of it on the lines below.
Every aspect can be translated into a newsletter topic. If you can come up 12 topics, then that’s a whole year’s worth of newsletter topics. My newsletter goes out weekly, so I break it down even further.

2. Forums. In marketing, this is one of the go-to resources people talk about all the time… “try forum marketing to increase your traffic”, “use forum marketing to reach your audience.” But here’s a little secret to using forums another way – look at the topics that have people talking.

In the Internet Marketing niche, lots of people talk about how to get started online. Just that area alone generates a ton of comments and questions –

Instead of browsing forums and spending half your day reading, pick a couple of the hot threads. Then use that question as a jumping off point to answer in your own newsletter.

3. Google alerts. Google alerts is absolutely amazing for ideas on your topic. Go to http://www.google.com/alerts and enter in some topics in your niche – use quotes around the phrase for results with specifically those words. You can set it to email you once a day or however often you’d like the ideas to hit your inbox. Keep a notepad handy for content that you can use in your own newsletter.

4. Social media. Social media is such a hot spot for ideas, you could easily break down every single network and search for hours. But instead of getting caught up in the mess, keep a focused eye on specifically newsletter content.

Look at some of the groups and see what gets people talking. Even ask a specific question and use the answers in your content production.

5. Photos. Images are a great conversation starter. Even if you don’t publish images in your actual newsletter, use them as an idea generator.

For instance, there are so many great images with quotes – those quotes can be turned into a whole article or message focused on overcoming the problem or staying motivated (whatever the quote is about).

6. PLR. Private label rights articles are an ideas goldmine. Just a quick browse through my favorite PLR store gives me tons of ideas for content. And even better move is to just purchase the articles and use them in your newsletter. If you get quality PLR, a few tweaks is all you need to produce a great article in your newsletter.

7. Ask your subscribers. This is probably the simplest thing to do. Send a survey with some areas of focus. Get their feedback on what areas concern them most and then create content fulfilling that need. Just asking sometimes produces the best results because you can tailor the articles as Q and A’s or an answering subscriber questions section.

And One More Bonus

Use guest posters in your newsletter. Guest contributors are great for not only producing the content for you, but also for giving your audience another perspective. It’s a win/win/win for you, your subscribers and the guest author.

Ultimately, your newsletter should be a rewarding project. A revenue generating project. But if the stresses of just getting the content produced are making it more work than fun, then these resources will help keep your notebook full of ideas.

And if you’d like to see some ideas in action, my free, Sweet Spot Email Copywriting Newsletter is where I give my best stuff out.