My husband cannot stand when strangers strike up conversation.
Recently, on a flight, I caught him smirking as two strangers met and began an endless exchange.
I’m somewhat neutral about the endeavor.
Mainly because I recall occasionally meeting really interesting people that way. But (gasp!) those memories all predate social media and the ability for someone to look you up and ask you to be more than temporary friends.
So he’s obviously influenced me to save the “here’s who I am and what I do” for more structured scenarios, like attending Content Marketing World a few weeks back and intentionally interacting with people in my industry.
It was unexpectedly exciting, especially since COVID began, to have these sorts of in-person conversations.
And, of course, I’m going to tie this into newslettering. Ready?
One particular conversation was with a man who’d actually lived in the SAME EXACT Manhattan apartment building I’d lived in for 10 months during graduate school 17 years ago.
It took some ramp up conversation to get to this fact. Maybe 10 minutes?
And when we discovered it I experienced a flood of emotions and memories of that period of my life:
- The journalism courses I took and classmates I met
- The exhilarating freedom of living by myself (it’s the only time I’ve done that in my life)
- The way my long-distance boyfriend (now husband) and I would go see the same movies at the same time as long-distance dates
- The pizza (John’s on Bleeker, specifically)
Suddenly there was more than “here’s who I am and what I do” going on.
There was a deeper connection.
He’d lived in the building years after I did, but it held significance to both of us for different reasons.
I write (and talk) a lot about the value of being human in your newsletter.
Of being a little vulnerable, even.
What I want us to think about is what we can include that draws our readers in, makes them feel closer to us, and, just maybe, opens the floodgates of memories and emotions for them.
I get that injecting personal stories into a newsletter isn’t for everyone.
But it’s powerful for those who are comfortable doing so.
For everyone else, you’re welcome to smirk with my husband.
This week’s issue highlights creators who have some unique insights on how they connect, create, and stay consistent. Plus, it prompts you to ask if you indulge in pluralistic ignorance. Nod your head if you get it.
Level-up Your Brand’s Blog
Want to blog better? These 3 articles might help.
- Do you know what blogging content strategies are working (and which ones aren’t)? This Orbit Media article by Andy Crestodina offers insight.
- Ann Smarty with Content Marketing Institute explains the value of internal links when it comes to generating traffic here.
- Does SEO feel overwhelming at times? Kristopher Jones shares what experts say NOT to do in this Search Engine Journal article.
Time To Adapt? Here Are Publishing Strategies That Work
From paywall structures to news localization, this week’s publishing insights give you a little taste of strategies that you can try.
- Is philanthropy the next revenue stream for newsrooms? Kristen Hare explores the approach for Poynter here.
- Remember when Facebook went down? Well, Laura Hazard Owen with Nieman Lab discovered traffic to news sites went up.
- A local newsletter recently collapsed. The effect, according to Elaine Godfrey with The Atlantic? Increased feelings of loneliness.
- Mark Glaser shares how publishers are trying to stay local through creative ownership structures in this Knight Foundation article.
- Turns out The Atlantic wants newsletter writers and their subscribers. Peter Kafka explains in this Vox article.
- How much should you give away for free? Chris M. Sutcliffe breaks down paywall strategies here.
- Speaking of paywalls, dynamic paywalls are helping publishers connect with potential subscribers according to Faisal Kalim.
- Sarah Scire with Nieman Lab explains how you can help turn casual readers into paying subscribers.
Curated Crash Course At 4 Central Today
The next session of Curated Crash Course is today at 4 PM Central.
What’s Curated Crash Course?
The first 30 minutes is dedicated to Curated 101, which covers what you need to have set up to send your first issue in Curated. The next 30 minutes is your opportunity to ask any questions you have about Curated or newsletters.
Come and go as you please.
Register once here, and you'll be registered for each session we have in the future.