Here’s a tip: Try to keep your imminent death out of mind or else you’ll never get any blogging done.
Because people have asked: here are 3 lessons I’ve learned from doing a weekly newsletter.
1. Send out a newsletter you’d actually read.
This should be obvious. Check your inbox and you’ll discover it isn’t.
Lots of people start newsletters because it’s one more box to tick on their Content Checklist™. Please don’t be one of these people.
I mean, sure, you can start a newsletter for crass self-promotional reasons, but if you want people to actually care, you’ve got to put a little love in it. It’s hard for people to love things that are made without love.
Oh, and before you hit send, consult The “So What?” Test.
2. Pick a repeatable format.
Everything good takes time to take off. If you’re going to stick with it, it helps to make your process as simple as possible.
Dig through my archives and you’ll find that my weekly emails mostly follow the same template. Every Thursday afternoon, I make a copy of last week’s newsletter, plug in new stuff, and schedule it to send out on Friday.
Having a repeatable format also has the pleasant side effect of consistency. People like to know what they’re in for — otherwise, they tend to hit “mark as spam.”
3. Turn off unsubscribe notifications.
Every time I send out a newsletter, at least 50 people unsubscribe immediately. That’s just the way it goes.
Analytics can get depressing — why not arrange the numbers so you’re only getting good news? Makes things a lot more fun.
MailChimp has a box where people can type in their reasons for unsubscribing. I recommend ignoring these reports.
“I don’t mind women leaving,” Richard Pryor once joked, “but they always want to tell you why!”
Later, scrubs! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
You can subscribe to my newsletter here.