You can’t make Stilton in Stilton

The European Union is famous for its rules.

Some of its diktats make sense.

But many others are simply crazy.

In order to protect the local heritage of some foods, such as Champagne, Parma ham and a Spanish chili pepper called Asado del Bierzo, the European Union says they can only be called Champagne, Parma ham or Asado del Bierzo if they are actually made in Champagne, Parma or Bierzo.

But Stilton, it seems, is a different case.

There is a village in England called Stilton.

But it’s not allowed to make Stilton cheese.

That honor goes to other parts of the Sceptred Isle.  Cheesemakers elsewhere raised a stink (heh) and complained that they were the ones who had been making Stiltoncheese for years.

The villagers of Stilton are (understandably) slightly perturbed, as is the English way.

They want to make Stilton cheese…in Stilton. Tourists, at the very least, demand it. They wonder where’s the cheese factory.

It’s stories like these – the ones that make you scratch your head – that work well in newsletters.

That’s because most snoozeletters are boring. You’ve read the articles inside many times already in many places. They contain nothing new. Nothing that makes you go huh. Nothing to encourage you to read again next month.

Indeed, some snoozeletters contain articles that were harvested from all over the net…or were written by content-writing machines (such things exist – it’s called spinning, and it’s terrible.)

Instead, if you want people to like your newsletter, make it a head-scratcher. Put in articles and facts that make people think. Content that respects their intelligence.

Be a little different.

And be brave.

That’s what we try to do with our newsletters. Frances, our editor, who commissions our stories, loves being a little quirky and challenging assumptions.

We think your readers will appreciate that and love you for it.