Monday morning my 12-year old daughter woke up upset.
She was trying to hide it but I could tell.
I felt like a detective.
She should have been in a decent mood.
Although I had work (from home, as always), they were out of school. They had both Good Friday and Easter Monday off. So the funk she was in—very much an on-the-edge-of-tears existence for a good 15-20 minutes—shook me.
It was more akin to when she’d realized last minute that an assignment was due THAT DAY, a moment I did not want to relive.
So, of course I prodded, assuming that if some big school project needed to be tackled I’d better know.
Or if some personal issue needed extra love and mama coaching.
I needed to know the problem so I could empower her to solve it.
Eventually she spilled:
SHE WAS UPSET THAT IT WASN’T EASTER DAY ANYMORE.
And suddenly I remembered she’d done this after Christmas Day, too.
Y’all, as tough as this girl is (and I say that mostly because her sister is known to be more emotional while she holds it all in), she has a soft spot for the passing of special moments.
We talked about how, in addition to the loss of people, we also mourn times that were special to us.
I don’t always feel this way about holidays just as they’ve ended, but I can relate when it comes to finishing a good book. Saying goodbye to anything that evokes strong feelings can be difficult.
For her, it is especially hard to let go of the excitement of yesterday when yesterday involved family time and candy (I think there’s a correlation there).
This start to my week—the anxiety, then the discovery of what was actually happening, and the mama instincts that told her it was ok to be sad all passed in less than a half hour—but what’s sticking with me is whether we newsletter creators can apply this to our process.
What can we learn from mourning the special moments?
Does hitting send each issue feel like relief, or do we simultaneously miss the build up?
And what does experiencing our newsletters feel like to subscribers?
Should we read each issue thinking, “I’d like the reader to be a little sad when they’re done reading this?” Not because the topic makes them sad, but because the moment you just created for them is over?
I know, one can go back and reread a thing, but it’s never the same as the first time.
If your goal is to stir some sort of emotion and connection, is it also to create something good enough to mourn?
So good, in fact, that with each issue your subscriber remembers the way you made them feel and does not hesitate to open and see if this one also delivers?
All About Audience Needs
If publishers ask themselves one question it should be this: “how can I better meet the needs of my audience?” This week’s publishing insights focus on what others are doing (and failing to do) to effectively answer this question.
- Recently, Shannan Bowen reported that the Minneapolis Star Tribune transitioned from prioritizing print to creating a digital-first workflow. Why? To meet the needs of their audience.
- Another local publisher, The Chattanooga Times Free Press, recently conducted mini-experiments to attract younger readers. Shay Totten reported they learned they can’t keep doing things the way they always have.
- If you offer subscriptions, it might be a good idea to pay attention to lifetime metrics. Thomas Baekdal breaks down 7 of them here.
- We’ve seen how people have strong opinions about big tech, and Cory Doctorow is sharing his here: “Big Tech is the problem with the news. It’s not the solution.”
- Substack’s growing, but growth often brings challenges, too. Tiffany Hsu writes about some of Substack’s downsides in this article.
- When it comes to media companies, is it wise to launch as a nonprofit? This issue of A Media Operator doesn’t think so and offers examples to prove the point.
- What’s next for publisher email? In this episode of Media Voices, participants discuss optimizing in-email ads, maintaining audience trust, monetization, privacy, and more.
How To Set Default Category Header Styles And Justifications
Hey, everyone. Seth with Curated Success here.
Customizing the look and feel of your categories in Curated is a great way to make your newsletter look professional and complement your brand style. In Curated, you can set a default style for each new category you create and set its justification.
Here’s how you can do this:
- Go to your publication’s settings.
- In the Issue Content section, click on Look & Feel.
- Open the drop-down under Header Style to select your default header style
- Open the drop-downs under Item Justification and Header Justification to set their justifications.
Once you set the default header style, each new category you create in the Categories settings page will default to that header style. You’ll still be able to change the header style for individual categories in the Categories page.
You can also test the look of the different justification options by setting an Item or Header justification, clicking Save at the bottom of the page, then previewing a draft issue or viewing your publication site if you have published issues.
If you have any questions on any of this, let me know!