April 6, 2024

My Secret To Writing a (Great) Newsletter in 45 Minutes

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“Here’s my situation. Should I start a newsletter?”

This is one of the most common questions people ask me.

Gives me flashbacks to working on my first two newsletters. (Yes, this is my third try.)

I’d stare at the screen, struggling to frame my thoughts in an orderly fashion, taking hours to produce a single issue. I felt frustrated, and eventually I gave up.


Then in 2022 I launched this newsletter - the one you’re reading now. But this time around, I used my failed experiments to create a more efficient process. I designed a simple, 4-step formula that reduced my newsletter process from two+ hours of writing down to 45 minutes of writing - and sometimes less.

Not only is this formula faster, but now I’m never staring at a blank screen. And I have an outline to write in a way that compels my readers to finish my newsletters.

So today I'm excited to share my formula with you.

Whether you need to improve your newsletter writing process, or you’re just thinking about launching a newsletter — my formula will help you be efficient, so you can actually enjoy the process and reap the benefits of publishing a newsletter regularly.

Let’s dive in.

Sourcing Ideas

To start, you need an idea to focus on.

And for me, coming up with the weekly idea can be the hardest part about writing newsletters. But it doesn’t have to be.

Instead of giving yourself the daunting task of sitting down to figure out your topic all at once, you can look around for ideas a little bit everyday. Eat the elephant one bite at a time.

Carve out 15 minutes on your calendar each day to start building out your idea bank:

Monday: Check out YouTubers in your niche, and sort for their most popular videos. Jot down two ideas.

Tuesday: Review your previous week’s social media content, and find two pieces that resonated most with your audience. Write those ideas down.

Wednesday: Scroll the newsletters you receive from other people. Identify two ideas that you could put your spin on. Jot those down.

Thursday: Use TweetHunter X or Taplio to see trending subject matter from people in your niche on X or LinkedIn. Write down two ideas.

Friday: Jot down two challenges you had this week and note those as ideas you might write about.

By spending 15 minutes a day looking for inspiration, you now have ten newsletter ideas. Pick the one you’re most excited to write about. Because feeling excited about your topic makes the whole process a lot more fun.

And once you have your idea, the formula becomes pretty simple.

My 4-Step Formula for Fast, Compelling Newsletters

Step 1: Identify the Challenge You'll Help Readers Solve

Start by clearly stating the specific problem or challenge your newsletter issue will address. It should be a problem that you know your audience faces. Something that you’ve been able to overcome.

For example: "In today's newsletter, we'll tackle the challenge of creating a productive morning routine that sets you up for success."

This tells your reader what to expect if they read on, and it lets them skip the issue if the subject matter is not important to them.

Note: Some people believe you should try to hook every reader in on every topic you write about. But I disagree. Do your readers a favor and respect their time by letting them know, upfront, what you’re writing about.

Step 2: Explain Why It's Important to Solve the Challenge

Next, move on to highlight the benefits of overcoming the challenge and the consequences of not taking care of it.

By announcing your topic, you get the right people to continue reading. And then, by highlighting the consequences, you make it even more likely that they read to completion.

Here’s an example:

"A solid morning routine can boost your energy, focus, and productivity throughout the day, which is crucial to achieving your goals faster. Without one, you may find yourself feeling scattered, overwhelmed, and unaccomplished. That’s a recipe for a low-performance day."

Much like my PASTOR copywriting method, amplifying pain makes it deeper and more personal for your reader.

Step 3: Discuss Common Solutions and Why They Fail

Now that you’ve shared the consequences, you can address the typical approaches you see people taking to solve the challenge — and why they usually fall short.

"Many people try to create a morning routine by setting their alarm earlier and forcing themselves to adopt new habits overnight. But this approach usually leads to burnout, inconsistency, and a quick return to old patterns."

When you touch on common mistakes, you show your reader that you understand them and the problem they’re facing. You know what they’ve probably tried and why it’s not working.

When readers go through this part of your newsletter, they should be nodding their head in agreement.

Step 4: Share Your Approach and Why It's Better

Lastly, present your unique solution or strategy for tackling the challenge.

Break it down into clear, actionable steps, emphasize the advantages of your method, and toss in a brief story or testimonial to drive your point home.

"Instead of trying to overhaul your entire morning at once, start by implementing one small, sustainable habit at a time. For example, begin by drinking a glass of water with a pinch of sea salt first thing in the morning for a week to hydrate.

Once that becomes a habit, add in five minutes of stretching.

After one week of that, continue gradually building on your routine, one step at a time, and you'll be more likely to stick with it long-term.

One of my readers, Matt, Added a quarter mile of running post stretch, each week, until he was running 6 miles every morning. A huge change to his routine."

By making your solution simple and digestible, you’re giving your reader a much better chance of actually being successful. Remember - telling people what to do and having them do it are two very different things.

I promise that if you follow this simple formula, your newsletters will not only provide more value to your subscribers, but also position you as a trusted authority and go-to resource in your niche.


  • Find 2 new ideas per day using different method
  • Identify the challenge you'll help the reader solve
  • Explain the importance of solving that challenge
  • Discuss common solutions and why they fail
  • Share your approach and why it's better

Want to Dive Deeper?

If you're ready to take your newsletters and content to the next level and create a loyal, engaged subscriber base, consider checking out The Content OS.

This 90-minute course shows you how to brainstorm more ideas, do quick research to back up your newsletter, use a template to write, learn how to promote those newsletters to gain subscribers, and create content that continuously leads your social media followers back to you website to read them (and buy your stuff).

Join 10,000+ students who rate it 4.96 out of 5 stars.

Your Next Steps

Ready to start writing a better newsletter?

Here's what to do next:

  1. Choose one specific challenge your audience faces that you can help them solve
  2. Write your next newsletter using the 4-step formula outlined above
  3. Publish and pay attention to your open rate, engagement, and feedback
  4. Adjust your approach based on your results and subscriber responses

The key to creating compelling newsletters is to consistently deliver valuable, relevant content that addresses your audience's biggest challenges.

If you can do that, you'll build a deep bond with your subscribers that will help you achieve your business and networking goals a heckuva lot faster.

I hope you’ll give this a try!

See you next week.

Whenever you're ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

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3. The Content Operating System​:  Join 10,000 students in my multi-step content creation system. Learn to create a high-quality newsletter and 6-12 pieces of high-performance social media content each week.

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