When I was 14, in 8th grade, I faced what felt like a crushing blow to my identity:

I didn’t make the 9th grade (junior varsity) cheerleading squad.

It shook me.


Because, and I say this confidently because I know it’s true: I was definitely good.

I’d been on the junior high squad for 2 years and was co-captain during 7th grade.

I could tumble.

I was… really good at cheerleading.

But that didn’t save me.

The way the judging worked:

There were 8 girls trying out for 6 spots.

We learned a group routine and had to have an individual routine.

We were to try out for a panel of judges, who would eliminate / advance girls based on skill.

And then we were to try out in front of the school, who would vote based on skill / who they liked.

I got top scores with the judges (so I’m not being delusional when I say I knew I was good). But the judges did eliminate 1 girl, so that left 7 trying out in front of the school for 6 spots.

In years past, we’d been allowed to do tumbling passes to enter the gym/stage/whatever and try out individually.

Typically, if you could tumble, that earned you votes. But, for some reason, they’d decided that wasn’t allowed this year. So, there was less chance to standout in that way.

We all did our thing. Votes were collected. And at the end of the day the new squad was announced over the loudspeaker. I had to hold it together for 30 minutes afterwards when it everyone BUT ME made the squad.

It hurt in a way I hadn’t really felt hurt in life.

Because it felt completely unfair.

And it stung to realize I was unpopular.

But, obviously, life went on.

I found distractions in 9th grade. Tried out and got roles in a few plays. Existed without being a cheerleader.

And when tryouts for the varsity squad started next spring, I had to decide if I wanted to take the risk all over again.

I wasn’t sure.

I loved cheerleading. But I didn’t really want to be judged by my peers and be crushed again.

The cheer sponsor had a meeting with me:

“Here’s the deal: No more school tryouts. I want you on the squad.”

I went on to decide to return to an activity I’d previously loved.

I learned to love it again and was captain my senior year.

My emotional knee-scrape was part of a policy change. No one else would have to experience that exact pain.

The newsletter (and life) tie-in?

There are going to be times when you assess and consider if you want to keep sending issues.

You may decide you don’t love it enough.

You may decide it’s not profitable enough.

You may decide the risks aren’t worth the reward.

You’ll have to find your own path.

In this issue’s Money Matters, I’ve included a piece about deciding if it’s time to throw in the towel by Simon Owens. Everyone has their own threshold.

Ashley Guttuso  

Newsletter Tips





What Are You Exchanging?

Publishing at its core is an exchange.

  • Information for readership
  • Personality for loyalty
  • Content for profit.

The key is creating balance in the exchange. This week’s Publishing Insights might help.


Money Matters

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You Can Now See Who Clicked What In Your Analytics

Hey, everyone. Seth with Curated Success here.

You can now drill down into your click statistics to see which subscribers clicked a specific link in one of your issues. Here’s how you can view this improved click report:

  • In Curated, click the Statistics button to open the drop down menu
  • Select Click Statistics
  • Scroll down and click an issue’s number in the left column
  • Choose a link you want to drill into and click the number to the right of it under the “Total” column
  • Here you’ll see the list of subscribers who clicked this link

This improved report also shows the subscriber’s medium (email or web), referer, and the date/time that they clicked.

This is a great way to get an even better understanding of your subscribers’ interaction with your newsletter. You can use this in conjunction with the most engaged subscribers per issue report to see which links your engaged subscribers are clicking on and what medium they’re using.

If you have any questions about this feature, let me know!


New to Curated? Make a copy of this Getting Started with Curated Checklist to help launch your newsletter (public, private, or paid).


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Like this newsletter?

Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at], or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.

Happy newslettering,

Ashley Guttuso