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How to create an email newsletter from scratch.



I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.







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Last month, I wrote all about why you, as a writer, need a newsletter. A newsletter is a productive way to develop your voice, get good practice in, be accountable to a writing habit, and grow a lasting, connected readership. 

Not to mention, my newsletter is one of my favorite elements of my writing career. I love showing up in people’s inboxes to inspire, motivate, and remind them of just how capable they are. 

But the question is: how? How do you create a newsletter? 

Today I am taking you from zero to 100 and laying out all the elements that come with building a power-packed newsletter that arrives in your readers’ inboxes on a consistent basis. 

Grab the notebook. It’s about to get nitty-gritty. 

Start with a concept.

What is a problem you want to help solve? All good products and services exist because they offer a solution to something. They provide value. The same should go for newsletters. It’s one thing to send out a random newsletter with random writing in it, it’s another thing to have a theme and mission to what you’re doing.

Girls Night In is an email newsletter with over 150,000 subscribers. Their mission: to provide weekly inspiration for the ones who’d rather stay in than go out. The mission is clear and, as a result, the target audience gets clearer. If you’re someone who dreads facials, bubble baths, and movie nights then this newsletter is probably not for you.

Having a mission will help keep you on track but it will also give other people a reason to sign up for what you’re offering.

Dig deep: what’s on your heart? What do you wish existed that doesn’t right now? Maybe you’re meant to create it.

Eight years ago, I wanted a pep talk on Monday mornings to remind me of how capable and powerful I was. I wanted reminders that God was with me and a reminder that this week would serve a purpose if I walked into it boldly. 

That didn’t exist at the time and so I decided to create it.

I came up with a simple idea for a weekly newsletter. I called it the “Monday Club.”

My mission was to create a newsletter that would prepare people for the week ahead with a power-packed pep talk. I was sick of demonizing Monday, and setting ourselves up for failure before the week even began, and wanted to do something about it.

I never could have imagined the explosive potential of the Monday Morning Email. How it would evolve into one of the most awesome elements of my brand, triple my readership, and become the launching pad for the books I’ve gone on to publish. 

Really make it your own.

Sadly, copycats are a huge thing on the Internet. Too many people see someone doing something well and they decide to hijack the entire process. They mimic rather than taking the time to be original. 

Copying someone else’s ideas is never going to serve you. It might inspire you at the moment (and inspiration is amazing) but you want to be known for creating things that are set apart and original.

Originality is birthed out of getting alone, in your own creative space, and daring to dream outside the box. 

How do you want your newsletter to be different?

What are some fun things you can incorporate into the language or the look and feel?

As you plan out your newsletter, take some time to dream up the culture of the newsletter. The camaraderie. The brand of the newsletter because yes, it will take on its own life and personality.

Have fun with this part and PLEASE do this creative brainstorming in an unplugged setting. It is okay to admire the work of other people but there is also a time and place to get alone and do the work to make your creations your very own. 

Pick an email marketing service.

I am asked all the time: what newsletter provider should I use?

There are plenty of good ones out there and I’ve done my fair share of research on most of them. I’m someone who used Mailchimp for 8+ years but, to be honest, I spent a lot of those years unhappy with the look and feel of my emails. 

There’s a huge learning curve with Mailchimp and I spent a lot of time looking for another email subscriber service that would help save me money without needing a robust background in coding to create a beautiful email.

As my email lists grew, so did my monthly bill with Mailchimp. I was, of course, thankful for my expanding audience but I also dreaded the growth because it was getting more expensive week after week, with each new subscriber. I felt like I was being punished for my growth and I needed a solution.

Enter FloDesk.

I cannot even begin to tell you the ways in which FloDesk has absolutely transformed by emails, my business, and has saved me so much money. Sending out weekly emails used to be something I dreaded because I hated the way they looked. I spent hours trying to improve them and never felt like I made much progress. But FloDesk not only has a beautiful interface that makes me feel organized when I’m working inside of it, but it also has gorgeous templates that don’t require any kind of coding experience. From day one, I was creating the kinds of emails I’d always wanted to create.

Some email list servers will keep their services free until you hit x amount of subscribers. I recommend paying for FloDesk from the very start because the price is so manageable and they never make you pay for the growth of your audience.

Want a trial period? Use my link to get 50% off your FloDesk subscription. It knocks the price from $38 a month to $19 (it’s honestly a rate that is unheard of when it comes to email marketing)!

Draft a plan.

So you have a concept. A mission. A micro-brand. An email subscriber service.

Now what?

Plans. Are. Everything. Too often, we fly by the seat of our pants and that works until… well… until it doesn’t anymore. 

It’s perfectly normal to be excited and inspired at the start but I can promise you that the work will become monotonous and stale at some point. For those days and weeks, you need a plan.

Here are some starter questions to consider:

Who are you targeting?

How often do you want to send out your newsletter?

What day and time will you send it out?

Pull out the calendar and start making some plans! 

It might seem a little strange to be scheduling things on the calendar for yourself but it has been the gamechanger in my own business. Whenever I am using my calendar to plan out newsletter content, I feel accomplished and organized. Those two feelings are huge dictators of how I go about my day.

Simple tasks like scheduling emails in advance make all the difference in how smoothly my newsletter shows up in the world. 

Batch some content.

You don’t have to know everything you’re going to write about for the next year. I always recommend that people a) create a plan and b) create some content in advance because it will make launching your newsletter that much easier and more enjoyable for you. When you launch something into the world and then, all of a sudden, have to cultivate a discipline of writing consistently week after week, pressure will start to build. It’s a lot of maintenance. It’s hard to keep up with a standard of discipline you hadn’t previously held yourself to. 

I recommend launching with 4-5 pieces of content that are ready to go in the weeks ahead. I want you to enjoy the momentum of your launch without the extra pressure to create the night before your email is due to go out to your readers.

One thing I’ve learned over the years of writing every Monday (or at least getting pretty dang close): People value consistency.

Consistency compounds. It establishes trust between you and your readers. I look at my commitment to the Monday Morning Email in the same way I look at all my other commitments to my people in life: If I say I am going to be there then I’ll be there. Rain or shine. 

Trust me, some days you are going to hate that accountability but it will make you a better writer and human being in the long run.

Build a clean sign-up form.

After you’ve signed up for an email service provider, you’re going to want to create a sign-up form for your newsletter. This will allow you to collect people’s email addresses and give them the chance to opt-in.

Your sign-up form should be clear, concise, and ultimately for the benefit of the reader. When it comes to writing the copy, you should show up to solve problems and offer solutions. It’s easy to want to make the sign-up form all about you but the real impact comes from serving your readers and making them feel valued. 

Here’s a sample image of what my sign-up form for the Monday Club looks like in the footer of my website!

You want to keep this sign-up form as a prominent page on your website or as a clear link in your profile so people can access it. And you’re going to want to point people to it again and again. 

I know “promotion” can feel cringe but here’s what I remind myself every time I share about the Monday Club:

There are some new readers around here. And some old ones. Some of these people don’t even know that the Monday Club exists. This might be the wisdom and the content they’re searching for. Be proud of the hard work you’ve done. Trust that other people want to experience it. Put yourself out there, girl. People can’t access what you offer if they don’t even know you offer it.

Blast off (!!!)

Ready… set… launch! 

You’ve signed up for a subscriber service, you’ve created the template for your newsletter, you’ve pressed “SEND” on the very first letter. 

And now it’s time to build and grow and develop. 

It’s okay if you only have a small pocket of people signed up for your newsletter. That number is going to grow and evolve over time. Remember: people are not numbers, they’re living breathing humans. Whether it is 1 person signed up or 100– those are individuals who are investing in your work and that is huge!

Repeat after me: slow growth matters. Slow. Growth. Matters.

We all want to launch something new into the world and experience explosive growth but there’s so much value in cultivating your readership daily, person by person. 

Enjoy the process. Enjoy the growth. Enjoy the new people who hop into your inbox each week. One day, you’re going to look back and wish you savored it. 

The start of something new is exciting and such a learning experience. Remember this place: where you are right now as you’re reading this. I hope you look back on this moment one day and say to yourself: that was the moment I decided to start… I finally scrapped the excuses and just decided to go for it. And that is when my life truly, truly changed.

Want beautiful emails?

Take 50% off your subscription when you sign up to try FloDesk today. I promise you, you’re going to fall in love.


  1. Kris says:

    Love this, Hannah! I’m currently sending out a newsletter (albeit inconsistently…) but I feel like I’m trying to squeeze in too much. I’m leaving a note, showing my latest Instagram posts, and sharing my latest blog post all in the same newsletter. Would you mind shedding a light on how you share your blog posts when you have a newsletter that isn’t tied to them? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    • Hi Kris- I would send out blog posts to that email list but separately! That helps drive traffic to the website! Each piece deserves its own spotlight!

      • Kris says:

        Love that! Just got your email today with a new post and I totally see what you mean. Thanks so much for the helpful info! I appreciate it!

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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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