CN#25. The Hustle: 7 best curation tactics every newsletter publisher should employ

Curation is the secret weapon of email newsletters and The Hustle was one of the first to adopt a "no bullshit" approach.

The skills required are relevant subject matter selection, analysis and summarising, tighter, zappier writing, interest hooks, entertainment and use of graphics.

In this issue we breakdown 7 main editorial curation techniques used by The Hustle that you can use in your website or newsletter.

1. Curated Journalism

I can get over-enthusiastic about best practice newsletter writing and editing, but The Big Idea section of The Hustle is a curation masterpiece.

It's got insight and nuance, yet it's made to look quick and easy to create (tip, it isn't).

How it's done: Take a subject of interest to your audience (in this case the sports trading card and collectibles industry), Google the hell out of it and craft 400 words of tight analysis and summary.

You're doing the serious leg work for the reader, spending the time and energy that they can't afford, plus providing more value with links to the sources.

No tiresome and laborious original interviews to conduct and write up, and the outcome is richer thanks to the multiple sourcing.

With so many sources, there's no suggestion that this can be seen as plagiarism.

What's more, source publications get high quality traffic.

2. Rewrite A Story, Better

How it's done: First, use discovery skills and tools to find a great story.

Social media will tell you what's trending.

But this neat little paragraph and its funky emoji does 2 other things.

It encapsulates the story well enough to make water cooler retelling easy and potentially humorous too, lining up workplace brownie points.

And if the reader's still curious, and wants to tell a longer version, they can read more from the link.

3. Snippetise Hard News

Who wants to face 500-600 words for each piece of important news?

The Hustle readers get the important articles of the day in one sentence per story, and get wry irreverent comments as a bonus.

How it's done: It's hard news and leader column boiled down, where the writers can call out Elon Musk and poke the aspirational rich as well as delivering the news.

4. Make A Graphic From Other People's Data

With credit to Turo and The Wall Street Journal who published the data, this original and attention-grabbing image created by the newsletter is a neat way of transferring insightful information in a single picture.

5. Lift Intriguing Copy

How it's done: The entire 5 sentence section, and even the title, has been lifted from social media.

It's entertainment and a break from longer form articles.

Readers are invited to be curious and intrigued, which is just what Reddit wants to generate traffic, so there should be no comeback.

The Hustle owner Hubspot is a tech provider for small businesses, and has a vast library of business related content.

How it's done: This feature links to Hubspot's YouTube channel (27,000 followers) and is a significant traffic and revenue generator.

7. The Fun Teaser

How it's done: This is another light-hearted section, with entries driven by curiosity hooks. It's frivolous viral-type stuff that counterbalances the serious.

There are 5 chances to pique your interest here and for The Hustle to earn its place in your psyche as a dopamine provider.

Click one that will make you laugh and you'll be back for more.


Editorial curation is more than just choosing the right articles.

It's about how the content is flagged, highlighted, packaged and ultimately sold to the reader.

Whilst these tactics are established in newsletter role models such as The Hustle, Morning Brew and The Daily Skimm, the approach is yet to be adopted more widely, and rarely in publisher newsletters.

But it will have to be.

Every modern reader is time poor and the ability to deliver must-have and interesting information quickly and with more fun is becoming paramount.

Publishers need to work ever harder to make a case why it's worth investing the time.



TYPE: Professional, Engagement


SUBSCRIBERS: 2 million


SENT FROM: The Hustle <> No named writer or editor

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