You know what’s not fun?

Knocking on 6 car doors of unsuspecting elementary school parents consecutively to ask them if they’d mind moving to the side to let you squeeze through to get to the early activities line at 6:40 a.m.

This was me last Friday, feeling ridiculous but at least glad I’d opted to put on a hoodie instead of a robe for my 5th-grader’s Leadership Academy drop off.

She normally rides the bus but it gets to her school at 7:10 and their meetings start at 7, so parents are advised to arrive early enough to get in an early activities line that wraps around the back of the school.

But the trick is this:

In order to get in the line you have to get to the school before the regular line is long enough to block the entrance.

Which means you need to be there between 6:30 and 6:40, so that you can get in the line then wait until they allow your child to get out of the car at 7.

I spend an hour from the time I leave my house to when I get back to drop off a child at a school that is 10 minutes away.

And, last week, for the first time, I was late.

So I swallowed my pride and started knocking on car windows.

Each parent was startled, then rolled down their window and shared a laugh with me about my mess up and agreed to pull aside once I’d spread the word.

They parted the waters.

Mischief managed.

And not nearly as stressful as trying to catch a cruise boat after a canceled flight.

But there’s a content / newslettering lesson here:

Some weeks you’re going to be behind and it’s going to take extra effort to publish on or close to schedule.

Achieving consistency is probably one of the most challenging parts of creating content or sending a newsletter.

Self-imposed deadlines are easy to punt, if you feel like it’s only you you’re letting down.

But if you’re building an audience and have set an expectation that you will be sending something really good at a regular cadence, the best way to keep earning their trust is to keep the commitment.

Figure out ways to hold yourself accountable.

Learn what helps you hit goals.

Figure out how to make it happen.

Enlist help if you need it.

I’ll be leaving 15 minutes earlier for activity drop off tomorrow.

I’ve figured out that’s what it’s going to take to avoid knocking on windows and being “that mom.”

But will I be perfect and never slip up again?

Probably not.

So, the other piece of this advice: come to peace with giving yourself the grace to fall short of an intention every so often.

Better yet: help your audience understand why it happened.

Use it to endear yourself to them.

If they’re following / subscribed to your content because they find it highly valuable, they’ll appreciate it when you’re willing to be vulnerable.

They’ll “pull aside” when you ask.

I hope you enjoy this week’s curated links.

Ashley Guttuso  

Newsletter Tips


Content Goal Chatter: Awareness, Affinity, And ROI

How do you know where to start, how to set goals, and if what you’re doing is even worth it?

The following is a contextualized roundup of recent advice from content marketers worth paying attention to (sorted by topic):


  • Is one of your content marketing goals brand awareness? Seth Richtsmeier identifies 6 strategies to implement in this Smart Brief article including understanding your audience, using multiple channels, and investing in analytics.
  • However, in her LinkedIn post, Alli Tunell explains why “brand awareness” as a goal isn’t specific or timely enough. Instead, she offers 3 examples of granular goals that help create dynamic results.
  • Taking it further, James Carbary advocates for affinity over awareness. In this 90-second video he asks, “how do you know if your content is good?” and concludes that it comes down to vetting. Who vets the quality of the content you create?



Why People Buy

Want to know what makes people commit? These insights could help:

“‘Benefits’ don’t sell people.” -Liz Willits

But CORE DESIRES, do, says Liz, who breaks down 8 core desires in this post. She explains how knowing what they are can help you create better content.

John McTigue came at it from a similar angle, identifying top motivations including:

  1. A fire is actually burning.
  2. They are told to, albeit indirectly.
  3. Because it’s the stairway to Heaven.
  4. Because it’s the right time.
  5. Because if you don’t…
  6. Because the neighbors…
  7. Because it’s the right thing to do.


Money Matters

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Like this newsletter?

Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at], or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.

Happy content marketing (and newslettering),

Ashley Guttuso