Finding Hidden Profit In Your Email Newsletter — Lesson Four

Tobin Slaven
Apr 29, 2017 · 6 min read

How To Create Eager Readers — Part I

This is part FOUR of TWELVE lessons in the Finding Hidden Profit course on Skillshare. You will also find links to each of the 12 lessons in the video notes.

Please note: If you are NOT currently a Skillshare member, here is my link [I am an affiliate partner] for a free 30-day trial (more than enough to take the full FHP course and any of the other 15,000+ courses available) on

Why Find Great Content For Your Newsletter

In the last lesson we talked about some of the advantages for you, in using the curated newsletter format. Namely, you can create a newsletter very efficiently (less work) because you are piggy-backing off the best content from others, and not having to write everything from scratch.

With a great collection of curated content, you also build authority in your topic area because your readers see you as someone who is tapped into the best resources and latest news.

But that’s what is good for you…

Now let’s talk about how this benefits your audience and creates readers eager to see your next newsletter.

You see, when you curate a collection of great information on a topic, your readers feel like they are getting a buffet of different sources to look over and select from. The collection is more beneficial because they are getting all the best stuff, from many different sources — and not just the best stuff from one source.

And that is one of the biggest mistakes that most email marketers are still making. They do a lot of things right — but when you read their emails it is still all about them. One thing we have learned from social media is that consumers want to be part of the conversation — not just talked too.

I equate that to being back at that network or cocktail party event where you meet different people. Do you want to spend the time with a person who just drones on and on about themselves, or do you want to give your time and attention to the person who tells funny stories and seems to be informed on many of the same subjects that interest you?

The difference between the two is proven out in the open rates (4–5 times greater for curated newsletters) and higher click-though rates (2–3 times higher) when you make the conversation about your topic area, and not yourself.

How To Find The Great Content

In the Lesson Four video we talked about a number of ways you can tap into the news and content for your interest area — without creating an overload of work. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Blogs — you name a hobby or topic of interest and I will guarantee there is a slog of blogs specifically dedicated to that topic. All you have to do is pay attention to the best sources of information, and do a weekly recap of what everyone else is sharing. Think about the convenience. Your readers can get your newsletter with all the best stuff, and not have to subscribe to a dozen blog newsletters to get the same thing.
  2. Forums and Facebook Pages/Groups — again, for any interest there are collections of people who are gathering somewhere on the web, to discuss and share what they know. You probably already know some of these most informative groups. By bottling what you are learning there, you can take the time you spend doing something you love, and get paid when the newsletter gets monetized on Pillar C.
  3. Offline magazines and newspapers — sometimes I see a great article out in the real world (not online). But if you Google the headline, you will most likely find the same article on the web, which makes it that much easier to share with just a click. Just copy the url and many curated newsletter platforms (something we will talk about in a future lesson) will create a beautiful summary for you.
  4. News readers like Flipboard can also be a great way to look at the news of the day, and then save the best articles for inclusion in your newsletter. You will just need to add the keywords and topics to your account so it sources the best news each day.
  5. Lastly — I have found other newsletters in my interest areas to be a great source of ideas and inspiration. Sometimes I learn about new products or websites that I have never heard about before.

Wait… you might be thinking. If all this great content is available on the web or in other people’s newsletters, why wouldn’t my readers just go to those sources directly? Why do they need me?

And that is the beauty of curation. In my own personal newsletter, I jokingly tell people that I waste my time on the internet finding great stuff, so they don’t have to. And remember, if you have chosen a topic area that you feel passionately about — you are probably reading the news and interesting stuff about your hobby/career anyways.

Most people are too busy, or maybe they are just getting started and they don’t know what the good sources are yet. That is why having a guide is so valuable.

My Favorite Tool

To help collect and then save all these links that you discover, there are a number of different platforms you could use. Something as simple as Pinterest (great for images) could be a tool because it is very easy to save the URL to a specific board and now you have an archive you can go back to at anytime.

There are other applications like ContentGems where you can pick your topics and keywords, and they will send a round-up to you. But my favorite tool is called Feedly.

I like Feedly because I can create a feed for all the different blogs and websites in my industry/interest area, then when I find good chunks of content worth sharing, I can save them to a board. When it comes time to build my newsletter, all I have to do is go and review that board.

For a little bit of a deeper dive into how to use Feedly, here is a tutorial from their blog. But the most important thing here is not which tool you choose to help you find and save the content — but the ones that you LIKE using because the more you feel like you are playing (having fun) with the process the more you will search for great nuggets to share with your audience.

One More Thing…

One last thought before we get into the homework. Don’t underestimate the value of finding interesting stuff for your readers. You might think they would be able to find the same themselves, but content curation is every bit as distinct as personality.

When you really love a topic area (it feels like fun time for you) that genuine passion will ring thru in every thing you share. It is the content you share, plus your perspective about why it is interesting and worth someone’s time, that creates value for your readers.

In the next lesson, we will talk more about really getting to know your audience, and building your newsletter with them in mind, the same way you share the good stuff you learn about with friends and family.


Your homework for Lesson Four is to sign up for at least one curation tool (Feedly is my recommendation) and enter at least 6 keywords and 6 websites that are informative in your topic area — so you can start to see what it is like to get all those sources feeding into one place for a quick review.

This was part FOUR of TWELVE lessons in the Finding Hidden Profit course on Skillshare. You will also find links to each of the 12 lessons in the video notes.

Please note: If you are not currently a Skillshare member, here is my link [I am an affiliate partner] for a free 30-day trial (more than enough to take the full Finding Hidden Profit course and any of the other 15,000+ courses available) on

And if you would like to see an example of my own, personal-branded newsletter called [Tobin Today] you can subscribe here (sent each Thursday morning):

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