Seth is at it again flexing his video making skills and we’ve got our first promotional video for Newsletter Fest ready. We’re also working on a longer version (with speaker names).
Help us spread the word by sending all your favorite newsletter creators to NewsletterFest.com. The site is a work in progress, but we love bringing you along for the journey, so be sure to subscribe for updates (link under video) and register for workshops as they are announced.
And, yes, I know both Dan Oshinsky and Mary Ellen Slayter’s eyes are closed in this screenshot. I feel like it really sets the tone for the entire event. Click through to see them in action.
Note: If you have reached out to me about being a speaker, I promise I will be in touch. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks. People really love this idea!
In this interview, Peter Cooper walks us through the backstory of his newsletter business Cooperpress, which publishes 13 newsletter for developers, including Java Script Weekly, Ruby Weekly, and others.
We chatted through how he’s made decisions as a publisher, how he curates content, and which parts of the work delight him (hint: sometimes it’s picking the top graphic).
We also had a lovely conversation about newsletter sponsorships.
Thanks for joining me, Peter.
Esther Thorpe knows media. So, naturally, this media analyst and her podcast team at Media Voices launched a newsletter, The Media Roundup from Media Voices.
In this interview (filmed in December 2020), we discussed publishing trends, including the results of the report Media Moments 2020. Esther is well tuned into the tensions between publishers and big tech and the benefits of newsletters independent of social media platforms.
We also discussed the evolution of The Media Roundup, why they increased from weekly to daily, and why distilling the day’s media news into four stories has worked really well for them.
New phrase I’m loving that she uses in this chat: the splinternet. Brilliant.
What began as an email to remind people of upcoming meetings of his Meetup group for Bay Area content marketers has become a great way to connect with marketers around the world.
Psst! I’m joining him TODAY at 3 p.m. EST, Feb 4, 2021, to talk about newsletters.
In our interview, we discussed some really great ideas Dennis has for content marketers, especially how to strategically zig when others zag. He challenges all of us to speak to 52 customers in 2021. If you’re not officially a marketer but you market your newsletter, this includes readers and people you wish were readers.
He also wants you to consider sharing a competitor’s content with your audience. Are you up for that? I’m giving it a try.
Related: Learn more about the advantages of linking to your competitor’s content from Matt Bentley in Is it a Bad Idea to Link to Your Competitors on Social Media?
Codie Sanchez of Contrarian Thinking is serious about encouraging people to think critically and cash flow unconventionally. And she’s walked the walk by garnering a 100k subscription base in a year’s time.
How? She wasn’t lazy. That’s how.
Codie spoke with me about why she values curiosity and attributes her rapid growth to not being afraid to self promote. Seriously. She thinks people are too afraid to invite their existing following along for the ride when they launch a new venture. And bringing others on her journey is what her newsletter biz model is all about.
In this interview we talked about how she achieved growth, with an extra emphasis on why she thinks buying newsletters is a super strategic way to grow your lists. We discussed the dance that is newsletter valuation and what to do after you buy one.
Hint: Her plans are big but don’t include a whole bunch of increased content production.
In this interview, I talk to Dave Verwer of the iOS Dev Weekly newsletter which goes out to 46,000+ people weekly.
He’s now nearing his 500th issue. But back when Dave began, he developed tools to support his newsletter workflow and eventually decided to turn them into a solution others could use, too.
That became Curated.
This series typically steers clear of promoting our software (I interview more people not using it than those who do), but this conversation gives a unique optic on the process of a veteran newsletter creator.
We discussed some intriguing topics, including his stance on sponsorships (build an audience first) and how he’s made decisions along the journey. It’s one part founder interview (like how he designed the product to avoid Gmail clipping) and another part newsletter strategy chat (how he finds links to include, what he writes about them, audience growth, monetization, and more).
Ryan Sager of Montague Street Media and Email Revenue Solutions draws from his past experience at The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and Ladders as he consults with newsletter creators on growth strategy and revenue models.
In this interview, we discussed his (very hilarious) predictions for newsletters in 2021. They appeared in this December issue of Newspackr: For Media Makers.
We also walked through Newspackr and the decisions that have gone into launching and publishing it. Plus, we discuss the challenges and tactics involved in selling newsletter advertising.
Check out the video and subscribe to his monthly newsletter for more newsletter tips. Be sure to add your questions for Ryan in our YouTube comments.
Nicholas Scalice understands the value of testing. His agency Earnworthy helps clients build and test landing pages for optimal performance. It’s only fitting, then, that he’s continually testing his own newsletter sign up page.
In fact, he believes that launching a newsletter that serves a niche audience is a wonderful way to find out what they really want.
“If you build that audience right, and you build the rapport with that audience, the opportunities to monetize are going to reveal themselves,” he says.
This is why he encourages creators to launch without selling anything at first so they can test and see what’s going to work.
During this interview, he walks us through the decisions he’s made as he created the newsletter. We discuss why combining a curated newsletter pairs well with his podcasts to serve an audience hungry for growth marketing tactics. He also shares how his referral program works and why your welcome email should ask a question. Does yours?
Wade Sellers is the appiest person I know (pun intended). 🙄
Seriously. He has a unique energy and his newsletter, Apps Weekly, gives him a way to connect with an audience who can appreciate his passion for apps. And he’s completely ok with the fact that he’s still finding his path.
In this interview, he shows us how he creates Apps Weekly using Curated and Bublup.
Plus, he opens up and discusses the many emotions a newsletter creator might experience once they’ve begun the journey. He also explains why launching a curated newsletter on a niche topic is a far easier way to build an audience than starting a blog.
How do you welcome new subscribers to your newsletter?
Dan Oshinsky, who runs Inbox Collective, a consultancy that helps news organizations, non-profits, and brands get the most out of email, says a well-strategized welcome sequence can lay the groundwork for better relationships with your subscribers.
And he should know. He previously worked as the Director of Newsletters at both The New Yorker and BuzzFeed. He’s also the creator of Not a Newsletter, a monthly briefing with news, tips, and ideas about how to send better email. I link to his resources frequently in this newsletter.
In this video, he walks us through building out a successful welcome series, plus answers questions about his childhood ambitions to send millions of emails in his lifetime.
Note: I haven’t created an entire series of welcome emails yet for Opt In Weekly, but I am going to heed his advice now that we’re 12 issues in and update my welcome email to link to content new subscribers will find helpful.