Is less more?
Recently, Josh Spector posted on social media (I think it was in his Newsletter Creators Facebook Group but I can’t seem to track it down) that he thinks we might all be making our newsletters too complicated.
His theory, which you can learn more about by watching our interview, stems from launching a short, daily version of his newsletter For the Interested and getting more engagement with the to-the-point, single-idea content he sends in it than his weekend digest version.
So he tested that theory in his longer newsletter and shortened that commentary, too, and my suspicion is he’s onto something.
Before you cringe, I want you to think about why considering “going short” may cause a bit of anxiety (mainly because I’m in the middle of this roller coaster of emotions myself and want to be transparent): IT’S BECAUSE WE ARE VERY EMOTIONALLY TIED TO ANYTHING WE CREATE.
No amount of “it’s just business” makes it feel better when an editor tells you to turn 5 paragraphs into one.
The phrase “It’s good, but I just don’t have time to read it,” burns.
So we tell ourselves we’re really writing for the people who read every word.
And then we make it easy to skim because we know some people might be skimming.
But, think about your own email reading habits.
How often do you slow down and read every word?
I have a few writers I bestow that honor to.
The rest I definitely skim.
So, this week, horror of horrors, I’ve decided to run my own test and minimize my commentary (but to keep my Prologue longish, because I’m still precious about it, ok?).
And I’d really love to know what you think.
If you make it to the end (please make it to the end), click yes or no to let me know if I should continue with this format or return to longer commentary.
Now, let’s dive into (or skim the surface of, actually) some relevant newsletter news and advice.
Do People Trust Your Brand?
In this Media Post article, Ray Shultz found consumers have less faith in brands than brands think they do.
Create A Blog Content Strategy In 6 Steps
Katy Mrvova and Ahrefs think you should follow these 6 steps to build a blog content strategy.
Note: since newsletters are basically the new blogs, this article can double up and guide both your blog and newsletter.
Additional Note: The article title says 7 steps, but I only see 6.
Free Content Marketing Tool Alert
MarketMuse released a free version of their AI and machine learning tool for content creation and optimization. Read about it in this SEJ article by Roger Montti.
Marketing Advice From LinkedIn (2 Posts)
Erin Balsa shared her process for optimizing existing content.
Camille Trent shared 6 growth marketing podcasts worth listening/subscribing to.
Tired Of Wimpy Writing? Try These 4 Tips
Ann Gynn shares 4 power-packed tips designed to improve your writing in this Content Marketing Institute article.
Forward-Thinking Publishing Insights To Keep You On Track
From social media engagement and publishing tools to the holidays and beyond, this week’s publishing insights run the gamut.
- Do publishers need dynamic paywalls? Jessica Vomiero with The Fix takes a look.
- No shock here, but the holidays are coming! However, Max Willens with Digiday has found that nearly 60% of publishers don’t offer holiday discounts on subscriptions. Note: it’s a Member's Only article.
- Wish Facebook would pay you for news content? AP Publisher reports they will for French publishers.
- Sarah Scire with Nieman Lab explores how Axios has launched a paid membership program for some of its local newsletters.
- Want to succeed in the next decade? Check out these 5 ideas from The Fix for What’s New in Publishing.
- In another WNIP article, a contributor breaks down 10 ways publishers can create engagement on social media.
User-first Models Key To Successful Subscription And Membership Programs
Samuel Ketch advises us to find out what readers value and will actually pay for. Here’s how.
Discovered via Editor and Publisher.
Insights Into A Successful Newsletter Ad Playbook
Want to write newsletter ads that convert? Learn how Bobby Durben drove millions in sales for The Hustle.
How One Newsletter Creator Doubled Profits
Nick Wolney started “launching,” (aka making offers to his readers) every month and doubled his annual revenue. Take a look.
Discovered via For the Interested.
Founder Story: How The Creator Of The Curious Bunch Newsletter Creator Began Monetizing
Vidya P. shares how she made $1,400 since May with her side-hustle newsletter The Curious Bunch in this article. Sponsorships and classified ads comprised $1,100 of her total newsletter income. Note: she's currently an intern at Swapstack, which pairs newsletter publishers with sponsors.
Reordering Newsletter Content Within Categories
If you’ve been subscribed for a while now, you might have read about my curation workflow and how I compare the quality of my best collected links and sort them to determine what stays and what gets cut.
I bring the articles, videos, podcasts, LinkedIn posts, etc. into my draft issue then start working my way through each category, reordering them from strongest to “least strong.” This week, Money Matters had some great contenders and, because I decided to do less commentary, I kept 4 links.
Seth created a GIF to show how easy that reordering process is.
Note: You can also quickly recategorize a collected item by dragging it into another category.
Reminder: Curated Crash Course Today At 4 PM Central
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.
ICYMI: You can always check our Curated Public Product Roadmap to catch up on recent releases and find out what’s up next.
Don’t want to click through? Our recent bigger releases include Paid Subscriptions (0% commission!) and a Free Tier.
Opt In Challenge
Get More Newsletter Attention With These 5 Tactics
This week your Opt In Challenge is to apply (at least) 1 of these easy newsletter promotion tactics by Liviu Tanase.
Discovered via Inbox Reads.
Like this newsletter? Or maybe not?
Time to let me know if the shorter commentary works or falls short of your expectations.
I’ve hidden the same extra resource behind each of the following links, so no need to click both.
🗳️ Please vote 🗳️
Yes, I like the shorter commentary.
No, please bring back all the lists and bullet points.
Thanks for reading and letting me know what you think.
Please hit reply if you want to tell me why you voted yes or no.