There was a short window of time Tuesday when the wifi and the air conditioner were both working at our fixer-upper fishing camp.
Maybe 45 minutes?
During that moment, we didn’t realize we should appreciate it.
All we knew was that we were officially set up for me to work remotely.
And that Sal would begin staining the 31 9-foot wood ceiling planks we’d hauled out of a hardware store the night before.
We’d driven 2 hours that morning with boards bouncing dramatically between us because we’d had to stack them on the center console.
It was supposed to be the first of 4 days of a workcation while the girls are at their grandparents.
An escape to Walden Pond of sorts.
But a storm the week before had knocked out the wifi and Tuesday was the first day a technician could repair it.
We’d actually spent the weekend there with the girls and enjoyed an Internet-free holiday weekend with nice, cool AC.
The wifi repair felt like a triumph, but just as I began to work, I noticed the air felt… warm.
When we bought the place back in October, the inspection had shown the indoor unit (and “probably” the outdoor unit) would need to be replaced, so we’d negotiated and had the previous owner pay for a new indoor unit.
We’d theorized that if the outdoor unit needed to be replaced, we’d do it when the situation became dire.
Of course that moment was just as we started our little getaway.
But, that’s life, right?
And a very first world problem.
I’m super aware of that.
Bummer I have to go back to my regular house instead of spending a lovely time on the lake in an investment property.
But definitely not actually dire in the more severe sense of the word.
So… I’m sending this from my normal locale, but maybe the weekend was enough of a waterside retreat to draw out some Thoreau-esque truisms about newslettering:
If you’re having trouble with your newsletter concept, publishing at a regular cadence, or achieving a desired goal like signups or monetization, look for ways to simplify.
The solution is rarely to make things more complicated.
Cut a section.
Choose a format that is easier for you to create regularly.
Decide on one monetization goal and focus on one micro goal to hit to test viability.
And, above all, make 100% sure that you enjoy publishing.
If working on the newsletter feels more like a burden than a retreat, take a step back, fix what’s broken, and get back to the good part.
Issues & Possible Solutions
- Recently publishers gathered at Digiday’s Commerce Week to discuss how to best reach post-pandemic consumers. Sara Jerde compiled 5 key takeaways here.
- Struggling with retention? These 6 strategies from Richard E. Brown might help you to sustain your subscriber base.
- What font are you using for your newsletter (please don’t say papyrus)? Dávid Tvrdon explains how plain language and fonts affect readability here.
- In this WNIP article, Esther Kezia Thorpe shares how Tortoise, an “audio-first publisher,” is attracting new (younger) audiences with podcast subscriptions.
- Is “posh news for posh people” a viable funding model? Bron Maher shares a panel discussion on the topic here.
How To Add A Social Share Image For Your Newsletter That Looks Great Wherever It’s Shared
Did you know you can customize the image that’s shown when you (or your readers) share any link to your newsletter on a social platform?
In Curated, this is called a social share image and you can add one to your newsletter by going to your publication’s settings, clicking on Logo and Favicon, and uploading a Social Share Image.
Some social media platforms, like Twitter, crop social share images to a square shape, so here’s a few tips to make sure your newsletter’s social share image looks great everywhere it’s shared:
- The best image size is 1200x630 pixels, which is a landscape orientation and is big enough to not look pixelated.
- Use an image that will look good even if it’s cropped down to a square shape (imagine a center square in the rectangle).
- Keep the most important elements of the image in the center so that if it gets cropped it will still look good.
Above is an example of a social share image for the newsletter Opt In Weekly. The white dotted line indicates how it would look if it was cropped to a square.
If you have any questions about setting up your social share image, let me know!