A few weeks ago a reader reached out to me for advice on creating a tech tips newsletter for her staff. Specifically, she wanted to know if she should create a blog and then email the posts to staff or if just a newsletter would be enough. It was a question that I was happy to answer. These are the thoughts that I shared with her and some additional ideas about newsletters compared to blogs and social media.
Does Your Whole School Want More Email From You?
The first question to consider is does everyone in your school want your tech tips sent to them every week or day? The answer, unfortunately, is probably not. So while you think you’re being helpful, the reality is that those who don’t want to read your newsletter every week will just be trashing your email before they even read it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write it, it just means that you should consider other ways to distribute it.
One of the ways to distribute your newsletter is to simply ask people if they want to get it. You can do this with a simple Google Form or Microsoft Form and then add those people who say yes to a contact group in your email account. Another option is to use a tool like ConvertKit that lets you create a sign-up form and automatically add those who sign-up to your mailing list. I shared details on how to use ConvertKit in this April blog post.
Create a Blog or Simple Website
Again, just because not everyone in your school wants you to email them every week doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write a weekly tech tips newsletter. You’re going to produce some great information that everyone in your school is going to want or need at some point. If you’re only using email, you’re going to have to dig through your email to find the tip that you wrote in September to share with someone who needs the information in April.
Write the content of your newsletter on a simple blogging platform like WordPress or Blogger then take that content and email it to those who do want to be a part of your weekly mailing. Then when someone who is not on your mailing list asks you for help, you can simply send them to your blog where they can search or you can send them a link to a specific blog post.
What About Social Media?
Yes, there is an archive of your social media postings, but good luck searching through that archive in an efficient manner when someone asks you a question in March that was addressed by the tip you posted in late August.
So if you enjoy the process of making social media posts, go ahead and post your tips on your favorite social media platform. But if you’re trying to specifically reach the people in your school, that’s not how I’d spend my time. (Full disclosure: I’m rather burnt out on social media and slowly breaking up with it).