Basically, this is why. If you’re a blogger yourself, you may have seen this article, and I gotta tell ya: it made a whole lot of sense to me. I had already been batting around some ideas for how to approach my newsletter differently, because I just wasn’t feeling solid about it. And then this post came out and helped me really nail down why it all felt weird and how things could be improved.
There are a lot of good points in the article (for bloggers, the whole site is a great resource), but here are the main ideas I took away:
1. Content you’d write for your newsletter should go on your blog–there shouldn’t be a separation of “newsletter content” and “blog content,” and a blog could even be considered a collection of public newsletters.
2. If you’re intent on growing your readership, it doesn’t make sense to put forth the effort of producing quality content for your newsletter only for it to be hidden in inboxes and difficult for readers to share (they could forward it to a friend or two via email, or they could spread your message through social media channels with a much larger audience–their network–via your blog).
3. The old newsletter format is outdated (as mentioned, sharing isn’t easy, plus, as Jon says in his post, “People recognize mass emails for what they are…”), and newsletters should really just be email updates, alerting subscribers of new content on the blog.
After reading this and doing a quick assessment of Alternative Badassery’s practices, I outlined my own specific reasons for making a change:
1. It Will Lead to More Personal Posts
I don’t really have a problem being raw and authentic in my writing, but I’ve saved a lot of the really deep stuff for my newsletter, mostly because I didn’t know what else I was supposed to be sending to people’s inboxes and thought the heavy material made sense for a more private channel. But now, I’ll just post that crap for the whole world to see! It’s like when I go back to Indiana to visit my family and walk around the house in a thong and they all just slowly shake their heads and wonder where this one came from. #noshame
2. It Will Lead to More Behind-the-Scenes Posts
I thought it might be boring to discuss business or admin-related topics in blog posts, but y’all said you liked it. And really, I’m just here to make you happy and give you what you want. So we’ll do some more of that stuff, yeah?
3. The Whole Newsletter Thing Has Always Felt Awkward to Me Anyway
Like I said, I never really got what I was supposed to be doing with it. Sending you some shit I wrote? Why not put it on the blog? Asking your opinion about something? Why not ask you via social media? I have this huge list of post ideas with a few newsletter ideas sprinkled in, and that always seemed odd to me–what’s the difference?
4. I Already Wanted to Move the Discussion Out of Email
Some of you subscribers have replied to my newsletters with, just, fucking brilliance. You have great advice. It feels dumb that I’m the only one who gets to hear it. Not only that, but also, it usually takes me a while to respond to individual emails. So what could be a lively and helpful discussion among several interested people for whom the subject resonates becomes a stale exchange between two parties who’ve since moved on from the emotion the topic originally stirred up.
5. It’s More Work
Look, I don’t get enough writing done as it is. Writing a lot of unique content for the newsletter means writing less for the blog or guest posts on other sites. If it were worth it, it’d be worth it. But as we see above, it’s not worth it. Ya know?
So What’s the Format Going Forward?
When I write a new post, I’ll send you an email with a little intro to the article so you can decide if it’s worth your time or not, and a link to it. That’s it. And the stuff you’ve been seeing in the newsletters will now go on the blog (which I’m linking to in the emails… whoa! Still with me?).
Can We Still Exchange Private Emails?
YEAH! Of course, of course! Email me anytime! I get that not everyone prances around in their undies/wants to discuss everything publicly. We can totally still have one-on-one convos via email–you’ll just be the instigator of them now.
What’s your take on newsletters? Love? Hate? Subscribed to a ton or never subscribe? Favorite format?
Did you like this post? You did??!! Then, maybe, sign up for email updates, yeah? Thankee.