I shared a special moment with my oldest daughter over the Fourth of July weekend.
No. It wasn’t watching fireworks.
Although, that was nice.
And it wasn’t seeing hot air balloons.
That was cool, too.
It was, instead, during a family meal as we discussed the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner.
My husband was explaining that the reason we shoot fireworks was to remember the battle for freedom, “You know, like in the song. Oh say can you see?”
At this point, I remembered what I ALWAYS remember when this song is sung:
That Ramona Quimby (beloved Beverly Cleary book character) thought that the next line of the song, By the dawn’s early light was actually by the dawnzer lee light.
When I mentioned this, my daughter had a lovely moment of respect for the fact that I actually remembered something I must have read when I was around her age.
Plus, it felt like a shared secret.
Dad and sister just didn’t “get it.”
Although I enjoyed reading aloud to my daughters before they could read themselves, I take great joy in the concept that when we’ve each read something individually, we’ve shared an experience.
Writers have the ability to create communities of readers that don’t need Facebook groups or Slack chats to know they belong to each other. All they really need to do is speak in code, using a term or phrase from the world that the writer built, realize they are members of that community, and bond over the excitement of the shared mental experience of reading that particular book or series.
I tend to gravitate toward friends who have overlapping reading tastes with my own. At times, it feels snobbish, but I can sometimes catch myself thinking, “If you haven’t read X, you probably don’t get me.” It’s a strange phenomenon.
Does your newsletter create this sense of mental community for your subscribers?
There’s a bit of chatter about community lately and the value of creating one (which I don’t discount), but I think some of the best communities are the ones built by sharing experiences that trigger almost sentimental memories.
Powerful writing, disruptive ideas, anything that sticks with others forms this sort of community. The experience of consuming the same content creates the bond.
A newsletter can BE community.
It’s a powerful thing, the dawnzer lee light.
Today’s issue offers ideas for preparing for Apple Mail’s upcoming privacy changes, a prompt to discuss what makes a newsletter “need to have,” and tips for enjoying the process of publishing.
A Breakdown Of Apple’s Plans And How They’ll Impact Your Marketing
Meet the most thorough guide to Apple’s recently announced plans (+ the way they impact marketing) I’ve seen so far. It’s basically your new tech change navigation roadmap.
Alex Bauer’s breakdown includes the major updates that will impact email marketing—like Mail Privacy Protection and Hide My Email—as well as others like App Clip Enhancements and iCloud+.
The best part? He goes beyond clearly describing Apple’s plans and explains how each will impact mobile growth.
How Well Do You Rank For Brand-Driven Search?
Have you Googled your company lately? I love a good how-to article and this one by Ann Smarty for Moz seems like a pretty comprehensive approach to creating a branded search optimization strategy.
Why go to the trouble?
Smarty says that ranking well is crucial because brand-driven search:
- Is usually high-intent
- Reveals which issues your current or future customers may be experiencing
- Is important for understanding online sentiment
- Influences buying decisions
She details out a technical step-by-step process that you can implement starting with researching branded search queries, moving into optimizing for branded search, and ending with interlinking and monitoring.
Discovered via theCLIKK.
Nominate An Amazing Woman Content Marketer
Do you know any amazing female content marketers?! I do. And I try to bring their voices into this newsletter as often as possible.
Nominations for this year’s Women in Content Marketing Awards are due July 12. Award categories include:
- Content Marketer of the Year
- Rising Star
- Freelance Excellence
Psst! I’m speaking at Content Marketing World this year with Dennis Shiao and I’m pretty excited to meet some of these superstars. If you want to attend in person or online, here’s the sign up link. Use my personal code GUTTUSO100 for $100 off.
Does Newsletter Writing Bring You Joy?
David Bauer thinks we might need a little therapy session when it comes to newsletter writing. In this piece he provides a list of ways to improve your relationship with your newsletter, including
- Writing it for yourself
- Muting unsubscribers
- And not comparing yourself to others
The best part?
“The year is 2021. You have a newsletter, obviously. Now how do you make it successful? Wrong question.”
I find it refreshing that his focus is on the joy of creating and not another newsletter monetization guide (see Money Matters for that sort of advice).
Discovered via Inbox Reads.
Creation vs. Curation. What’s The Goal?
In this high-level article, Angelina Eillott introduces creation vs. curation and offers some solid pointers about the curation process.
However, she ends with this and I’d have to disagree:
"Remember that the overall goal is to produce leads, whether you focus entirely on content development, content curation, or a combination of the two–if qualified prospects are coming to you as a result of your content strategy, you’re on the right track!"
I’d counter that while curation can play a role in acquisition, its main goals are establishing credibility and strengthening relationships. Curated newsletters are especially great for maintaining customer relationships.
Could Texting Build Audience Engagement?
Publishers looking for new ways to engage and grow audiences might want to consider texting, k?
Last winter when the storms in Texas hit, the Texas Tribune started sending texts about lack of power, internet outages, and conserving phone battery. They promoted the sign-up via their web and social media accounts. After the storms, texting continued as a way to help readers, build loyalty, and increase engagement.
In this article, Michelle Ailport explains that texting could be a new way to meet people right where they are: on their phones. She also includes practical considerations for publishers who plan to adopt this strategy.
Could texting (breaking news) coexist with your newsletter (daily digest)? Something to think about.
Discovered via The Media Roundup.
Could These Newsletters’ Monetization Strategies Work For You?
You know those articles that you have to really spend some time with to fully absorb their value? This is one of them.
Glen Allsopp examines over 15 different newsletters, explains why their business models work, and breaks down how he’d monetize in different situations.
Bookmark this link for when you’re ready to spend time discovering if these models could work for you.
Related: Hoping to go pro as a creator? John Gannon is sharing tips. Discovered via Publisher Weekly.
How To Control The Privacy of Your Curated Newsletter
In this quick tutorial video, Seth walks you through the settings in Curated that you can use to make your newsletter private. Learn how to turn off the publication site, limit signups, and create a subscription wall.
Note, these features are part of our Paid Newsletters release. Let us know if you’ve kicked the tires on that yet and if you have feedback. We’ve got even more exciting news to announce in the coming weeks.
ICYMI: You can always check our Curated Public Product Roadmap to catch up on recent releases and find out what’s up next.
Opt In Challenge
Use This Video To Help Grow Your Email List
This video is brimming with ideas for list growth (think: Facebook Groups, etc.). This week your challenge is two-fold: 1. Watch the video and 2. Implement at least one of the ideas.
Discovered via For the Interested.
Like this newsletter?
Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at]optinweekly.com, or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.
Also, I’d appreciate it if you shared it with fellow email newsletter creators. All archived issues will be available on OptInWeekly.com, so you can send them the link to check it out.
Have a great week sending, y’all.