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How to Nail Your Opening Line

Image via Pexels

I have a coworker who, prior to digital publishing, covered local politics for several years.

Every day, he would drive to the state courthouse, sit in the courtroom, and observe six hours of arguments and events. Then he'd write three or four stories and submit them to his editor to be included in the next day's print newspaper.

In those articles, he had to organize all his courtroom notes in a succinct way. He then had to construct his article opening so that it was as clear as possible as quickly as possible what had happened in the courtroom that day.

This type of article opening is called a news lead. And even if you never do any journalism, learning how to construct one will help you become a better writer. Here's a new post on how to write them.

🔗 News Lead Examples: How to Nail Your Opening Line

Takeaways From a Celebrity Newsletter Consultant

I was in Breckenridge, Colorado this week to meet with one of my fractional clients for a few days. I also did my Q4 quarterly planning in a retreat setting.

Part of this client intensive involved some kickoff work with a consultant who has launched several successful celebrity newsletter brands over the years. I learned so much about the newsletter business that I didn't know before.

Here were three takeaways from my notes I wanted to share.

No. 1: To crystallize your content, first crystallize your product

If you don't know what to write about, it's because your offer and the problem it solves aren't clear enough.

This kickoff intensive was two days, and was entirely about client avatar. We went very deep on feedback and psychology. We obsessed over this ideal reader, who they are, how they think, and what they want.

If you don't sell anything, you can still do this. Instead of an offer, your product is the newsletter or content itself, and making that so good you build an engaged audience that advertisers want.

No. 2: Be so good your readers are compelled to share your work

Open rates and click rates are fine and dandy, but there's a different metric celebrity newsletters focus on for rapid growth: Shares.

In this approach, the newsletter content is engineered to be highly shareable. The content is not only compelling enough to share; it's also easy to share. The newsletter is the source content.

Successful people love to read and love to learn. Give them something worth their time.

No. 3: Keep adding value to your network

My client Greg is someone who has been a client off and on for six, and whom I've known for over ten years.

And everyone at this intensive seemed to have a story like that. Continuing to feed your network over the years often led to unexpected, unforeseeable new opportunities and breakthroughs.

Keep adding value to your online network. Share others' content. Leave thoughtful comments. These little deposits in your network will eventually add up. ◆

A Free Conference for Canva Lovers

Image courtesy of Your Social Team

Manu Muraro's Your Social Team is one of the leading social media design firms in the market today. Their Instagram template shop, Your Template Club, blows everyone else out of the water.

Manu and team are hosting a free one-day virtual conference on Thursday, September 14th.

➡️ Register here.

Per their communications, The 3rd annual Your Social Team conference promises to be “an event that promises to transform the way you think about and create content.”

“It will include:

  • Top-Notch Speakers: Your Social Team gathered industry leaders and thought innovators to share their best tips on various aspects of content creation. Get ready to learn from some of the best in the business.
  • Actionable Insights: Say goodbye to vague advice. Each session is packed with actionable strategies you can implement immediately to level up your content game.
  • Exclusive Virtual Swag Bag: Your Social Team's Virtual Swag Bag has kind of become a cult favorite among Conference registrants. Trust us, you won't be disappointed.”

➡️ Register here.


(Disclosure: My blog is user-supported, and I only recommend products I use myself. This post contains affiliate links, for which I may earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full privacy policy here, and editorial disclosures here.)