ProloguePrologue

Ever watched The Godfather Trilogy?

You know how at the end of each film all the storylines get wrapped up at once?

Sal (my husband) and I refer to these endings at moments in life when everything seems to be coming together at once.

That was my life this week.

If you recall, our family made a big move from Florida to Mississippi (Sal and I grew up here) in June.

We immediately listed our Florida house for sale, enrolled the girls in summer activities in a state that seems to think Covid-19 is a nuisance, nothing more, and spent a few months with Sal driving back and forth to Florida to move our stuff out of the house.

There was an offer that fell through. Unpacking to do here. And an upstairs air conditioner that wasn’t up to actually working in the Mississippi heat.

In other words: life happened.

But, somehow, we made it to the first week of school for our daughters, who started 6th and 4th grades this Monday.

And we closed on selling the house to buyers who did not fall through (also on Monday).

And a part finally came in to fix the downstairs air conditioner just as the motor began to moan its death song (Saturday).

If you’ve watched The Godfather Trilogy, besides recognizing Fredo’s unwarranted confidence in his mob leader aptitude in my email subject, you know that the neatly tied up ending of one movie quickly unfolds with the beginning of another.

Our next narratives:

How long will it take for both daughters to retest into the gifted program? We came with very impressive paperwork, but the state requires they go through its testing process to be in the program. This involves me being “that mom” who is filling out forms and doing whatever it takes to expedite the process. Let’s hope it’s not too long.

Why aren’t girls here encouraged to participate in STEM courses? My 6th grader managed to get her schedule changed so she can take robotics and she’ll be one of two girls in the program. I realize I could be making a generalization, but I hope she doesn’t have to do this every step of the way. I was the only girl in my AP Calculus and Physics classes so this frustration is a bit induced by the loneliness I experienced in feeling like an oddball for wanting to take them. High school haunts me.

Will we be able to travel to England for a metal detecting holiday next month? It’s a hobby Sal turned into a career and I’m eager to hop the pond and find really old stuff. So far, it looks like we’ll get to go, but I won’t believe it until we’re on a plane. And, by the way, where the heck is my passport? Moving is so disorienting.

What about you? Do you tie off storylines and open more loops?

Do you share them in your newsletter?

Even if you’re not sharing quite as much personal information as I do, your audience likely craves episodic content.

Make sure you’re building a narrative that warrants opening the next issue.

And if you’re hoping to launch a newsletter, check out Curated News because I’m launching a challenge next week for a small cohort of creators.

Now, let’s talk newsletters.

Ashley Guttuso  

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Publishing

Putting The Newsletter In News

There’s so much newsletter-related (and newsletter-adjacent) news this week for publishers, I had to condense it into a bulleted list.

  • Is print actually dying? USA Today is shifting to a digital subscription model in what could be the end of an era. This article breaks down the why, how, and paywall future of news.
  • Axios reports that The New York Times is doubling down on newsletters with at least 18 news and existing newsletters available only to subscribers starting August 16.
  • Quartz refocuses subscription program on email newsletters—they now have 11—, citing email newsletters as the first step in getting someone to convert to a paid subscription. They liken the approach to "a very modern take on a weekly magazine."
  • Turns out publishers are using newsletters to grow their number of paying members (shocking, I know). This article lists 9 ways news publishers are using email, including things like extra content for paid subscribers, free newsletters with links to paywalled articles, email as a service, and more. It’s worth a read.
  • Ryan Sneddon is “building a hyperlocal newsletter empire one city at a time” and is sharing how it’s done with Nathan Barry. He discusses motivation, interacting with your audience, assessing growth, and more newsletter tips you’ll appreciate.
  • Turns out people-centered still matters. Documented, a non-profit news site, used a “community-oriented approach” to grow their audience, improve site analytics, drive new visits, and create more content using a circular strategy. Check it out.
  • This Digiday research doesn’t bode well for Twitter. Twitter may be one of the most widely used social platforms, but it drives the fewest results for media companies.
 

Money Matters

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Join Me In A Newsletter Launch Challenge

The back story

Corrales Cachola, founder of Brand New Voices and champion of the creator economy is like the rest of us. He needs a little push to just do a thing he really wants to do:

Launch a Brand New Voices newsletter.

I think it’s going to be amazing and I told him I’d help however I can.

So we chatted and realized: this shouldn’t be just me helping him.

We should invite others who want to do the same thing.

Who need the same push.

Who need… TO BE CHALLENGED.

So we’re doing this out in the open: A Newsletter Launch Challenge

The goal is to get you from idea to sent in 3 weeks.

We're planning to meet live twice a week (starting next week, at 6 p.m. Eastern on Mondays and Wednesdays).

We'll provide a checklist and resources, form a community, and support each other as we brainstorm, strategize, build, and test. Yes, I have a side hustle newsletter I want to launch, too, and will use this challenge to build it.

And because his calling is to support the creator economy, we’ll make sure to help you think through and plan not only content strategy and audience growth but also consider revenue models and where your newsletter (paid? sponsored? free?) fits into your unique creation mix.

Week 1: Ideation and Positioning

Week 2: Creation

Week 3: Soft Launch and Test

Who’s ready to win the inbox?

Let me know if you want in by replying to this email.

And don‘t forget, Curated has a free tier now + we don’t take any commission on paid newsletters.

 

ICYMI: You can always check our Curated Public Product Roadmap to catch up on recent releases and find out what’s up next.

 

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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.

Ashley Guttuso