3 Questions That Could Transform Your Art Newsletter (and Your Life)
By Thea Fiore-Bloom, Ph.D.
One of the most terrifying things to learn to do when you write anything, including your art newsletter, is to just say what’s in your heart.
Why is this so hard?
Well, we humans who write, tend to type circles around ourselves before we get to the goods.
This is unfortunate though because readers respond to heart-based art writing.
Do veteran writers hide their hearts inside piles of meaningless words in their art writing too?
(Can you see me holding my hand up over here and waving it about like a madwoman?)
To tell you the truth the “obscuring-what- you- are- trying- to- say-in-your -writing” thing — never exactly ends.
But the good news is, once you cotton on to the fact that you do this in your art newsletter you’ll be able to catch it early; like in your first or second draft.
You’ll still feel embarrassed.
You may even quietly facepalm yourself.
But then I bet you’ll take a deep breath, straighten out your metaphorical tie and start writing about what is important to you and your readers.
‘But Thea,’ you may ask, ‘What if I’m not sure what my heart wants to say in my art newsletter in the first place?’
Good point. I’ve been there too.
One solution that worked wonders for me was journaling on the following three questions (which I heard mentioned by Darren Rowse of Problogger) that I adapted to help art writers like myself. Doing this journaling will:
Help you identify what’s in your heart that wants to come out on the page of your art newsletter.
Let you know if a topic (or entire category of topics) your musing about writing will be a good fit.
And strengthen your ability to listen to your own soul’s whispered voice; which comes in mighty handy in life as well as in your art newsletter.
Ready to take your art newsletter to the next level?
3 Questions That Could Transform Your Art Newsletter or Art Blog
1. Reader’s Journey Question for Art Newsletter Writers:
Exactly what kind of journey are you intending to take your reader on if they stay subscribed to your art newsletter or art blog for twelve months?
In other words, instead of just focusing on selling, ask yourself:
‘What would a subscriber to my art newsletter/blog ideally learn, do, be or feel as a result of reading it for say — a year?’
Rowse advises we think of our blogs as trains and our readers as temporary passengers.
So what will your art newsletter reader get on your newsletter train initially thinking or feeling?
Can you name the pain points they are coming on board with? How will the material you write help them address their problems?
And what do you want your art newsletter reader to get off your train knowing?
For instance, is there a certain creative skill they’ll pick up or improve on over that year?
Don’t stop at: ‘I want my audience to get better at watercolor.’ That’s a start. But you need to take it further if you want a great art newsletter.
Instead, try something like, ‘Over the course of a year I want my readers to be able to use the following 5 types of brushes with confidence:
Mop and Oval
Presto! In just five minutes of journaling, you have what SEO experts would say are five great cornerstone topics for your blog or art newsletter.
But what if your art newsletter has nothing to do with how to make or do things? What if it’s more about supporting a certain kind of well being in your reader?
Then you’ll need to focus on what emotional value or soul expansion you’ll be adding to your reader’s life over that year-long train journey.
For example, I see many subscribers to The Charmed Studio joining the blog worried they are doing things all wrong when it comes to their art business.
Lots of us, myself included, have been discouraged by experts from trusting our intuition when it comes to our art practice and art business.
So I try to expose my subscribers over the course of a year to the lives of at least six famous, weirdo, artists I love who succeeded because they bucked art selling rules from on high.
I also add posts to my blog mix on how to Write Better, Sell Better and Feel Better to support my reader’s intuition and their art business — from the inside out.
Okay, now that you’ve worked out how you want your art newsletter to expand your readers’ wings, let’s look at fluffing up your own.
2. Personal Journey Question for Your Art Newsletter
Now it’s time to ask yourself, ‘How will I, in turn, be transformed by helping my readers?
Journal for a bit on how you envision yourself changing as a result of designing or revamping your art newsletter writing journey with your readers.
Maybe by writing a soul-based art newsletter you’ll explode open your art practice?
Perhaps you’ll show up to your studio more often now that you have a lovely, interested audience to share your internal space flights with?
Perhaps you’ll acquire more self-confidence as a writer?
Or could your re-visioned art newsletter or blog get you to try or share something you’ve always wanted to try or share that is related to your art? Something like bee-keeping, glass blowing, marine animal rescue, or tiny house living?
After all, what’s the point of creating a blog or art newsletter if you don’t get to grow along with your readers?
Don’t forget, art newsletters and blogs end up forcing us to learn how to do nifty techy things that grow our art business. We may figure out how to teach online, how to add email sign up forms to our social media, finally delegate work out to bookkeepers or virtual assistants, or even master Holistic SEO.
Now let’s answer the final question that will put the pearlescent icing on your new art newsletter cake.
3. Art Newsletter Addition/ Subtraction Question
What can I add or subtract from my blog or newsletter to support the new writing vision I’ve just uncovered?
Now that you know the answers to the two questions above you will be able to see your art blog or newsletter through sparkly new heat-sensing vision goggles.
These improved lenses will reveal to you what content is hot and matches your vision and what content is frozen and should be kicked off a cliff.
For example, going through my blog after journaling on the three questions was like watching that Sesame Street segment, “One of These Things is not Like the Others.”
The first frozen thing I spotted and cringed over with my new heat-seeking goggles was my old “About” page.
It did not read like it was written by an artist or a writer.
It read like it was written by a 1950s, Palm Beach real estate salesman who was overexposed to Dale Carnegie.
So I re-wrote it from my heart.
I was terrified to publish it and sat on it for a bit. But when I finally did post it I was pleasantly surprised to see my subscriber rates went up, not down.
And whenever you write from the heart, I bet your subscriber rates will go up not down too.
(If you want to read me trying to sound like a heart-centered writer (as opposed to a realtor abducted by Dale Carnegie) you can check out my “About” page here.)
The Payoff to Answering All 3 Art Newsletter Questions
If you ask yourself these 3 questions annually you’ll be gifting yourself with a free Geiger-counter-like contraption for your art newsletter that will buzz frantically when you start trying to be a plaid suited 50’s businessman, instead of the cool, heart-centered artist (and writer) you already are.
Give it a whirl and go get ’em.