I started this newsletter in mid-2021 and I’ve sent out 124 email issues since then, below I’ll share what I’ve learned from this:
What Worked and Lessons Learned:
- I started out sending the newsletter on a weekly basis, then increased the frequency of sending to 3 emails per week, didn’t lose any subscribers and received zero complaints.
- Yes, there were normal rates of unsubscribes but nothing that spiked and looked out of ordinary.
- The access to newsletter marketplaces to cross-promote other relevant email newsletters helped me generate my first dollar of revenue from this newsletter without too much work.
- Tired of paying for too many software (SaaS) subscriptions? Each year I review what I’m paying for and whether I still need it, I also keep an eye out for new tools that help consolidate or replace at a lower cost the functions I need, this year I will be able to cut out some SaaS subscriptions based upon news available tools (I’ll be sharing that in the new year). But this is a good exercise to go through each year to ensure you’re paying for things you don’t need, it’s easy to forget about them.
- Newsletter discovery sites & services. There’s a number of newsletter discovery sites that came out and they can work quite well. Some sites take time to get listed, but once you get listed, I can see it drive subscribers. Don’t expect a waterfall, but a nice evergreen trickle.
- I started sending my newsletter via SendFox, but found it’s just too limiting. So, I switched back to MailerLite which is a great way to start for free (I’m not a fan of Mailchimp). I’ve been happy with MailerLite so far.
- Being consistent in sending out an email newsletter is HARD. I probably missed 2-3 newsletter sends over the last 124 issues. But I stuck it out and didn’t beat myself up too much over it.
What Didn’t Work
- I tried to get some reply engagement from my readers, but I understand most (~80%) will remain “lurkers”. It might be my content isn’t resonating enough for some, although my unsubscribes don’t indicate that. Will keep working at this.
- I’ve been hemming & hawing about creating a course for course creators, but seeing so many out on the market, I didn’t want to offer just another course on creating course. I have a lot to share about the topic, but want to do it in a way that is helpful to you, yet I’m not a big fan of cohort-based courses. Stay tuned to what happens.
- I love(d) Twitter, but I stopped Tweeting completely in the summer. Mostly because I took the summer offer to spend time with my son. But then never got back into it.
And then the takeover by Elon Musk kind of put Twitter in a tailspin, but I believe they’ll stabilize. At least, I don’t believe Twitter will go away anytime soon.
I still read posts from others but I had stopped posting for awhile as I regroup and figure out how I want to approach Twitter. I realized my Twitter feed will be a different audience to my LinkedIn feed, so I have to figure out my strategy for both while keeping in mind, my audience will be different for both platforms.
Plans for the Future Based Upon This Year’s Lessons
- My newsletter subscriber growth has been purely organic, no paid ads or even reaching out to potential partners. I’m looking to accelerate this in the new year.
- My newsletter signup doesn’t offer any kind of lead magnet, so I’ll be looking to add that to incentivize signups in the new year.
- I’m still interested in doing more video content, but have yet to figure out a good system and process that works for me. I have some tools to help convert my content to video, but need to set aside time to do this. Hopefully 2023 will see that happen.
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