“This image shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago, with many more galaxies in front of and behind the cluster.”—NASA
If you’ve not caught yourself in awe of the James Webb Space Telescope images released in recent days, I assume you must have more important things going on.
Meanwhile, my jaw is permanently dropped, as distant galaxies come into sharp focus.
As we look back at… the bit after the beginning?
NASA reports state that the galaxy cluster images we are seeing show us somewhere within a billion years after the big bang.
Use this sort of language and I am immediately transported to a childhood memory of being snuggled in bed reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle, who encouraged young minds like mine to imagine space / time travel. She taught me the universe was ever expanding. But she also taught me that the love of one young girl could save it from darkness.
Last night I watched a red super moon rise over the Atlantic Ocean, mesmerizing clusters of people gathered at the oceanfront to catch a glimpse, as if its gravitational force brought us together.
My daughters insisted on photo sessions that captured them cupping it in their hands.
They held the moon.
It held their attention.
And the expanding universe felt both small and infinite at the same time.
What newsletter lesson does this cosmic ramble arrive at, though?
I think it is the idea that you (and your newsletter) can be 2 or more things at once:
Pulled by a strong gravitational force with your bare feet in lush green grass and also part of an expanding universe that we can somehow collect billion-year-old images of and study.
None of us is really just one thing.
The advice of niching down is smart, unless it feels unbearably restrictive.
You (and your brand) are the intersection of many experiences, emotions, and opinions.
Find ways to weave those into what you create.
Be “both and” without worrying you shouldn’t.
Create gravitational pull through your writing, and by what you choose to share.
Take pictures of a past no one has ever seen.
Dare others to imagine that they can achieve their dreams.
Help them hold the moon by delivering an experience they opt in to receive.
Good Content About Content Marketing
Some of my favorite content marketers are dropping truth bombs on LinkedIn left and right. If you don’t follow these guys (unintentionally collected links from just the men folk this week, y’all), you probably should, especially if you want your content marketing to move the needle in today’s market.
- Chris Walker told us that measuring the ROI of a single piece of content is “a huge waste of time.” He details what you should do instead.
- Ross Simmonds pointed out that research is the key to content success. He defines 8 types of research that may help here.
- “This is the ultimate goal –– to make the search unnecessary within your niche.” John Bonini explains what your content needs to do to become the go-to in your field.
- What makes a channel valuable? Shiv Narayanan warns against becoming obsessed with tracking to the point of neglecting other opportunities.
Is It Time To Change The Status Quo?
Do you ever do something just because that’s the way it’s always been done? This week’s Publishing Insights reveal that more and more the status quo is no longer working. Here are a few ways to change it up.
- A recent report from Reuters devoted a full chapter to understanding opportunities in newsletters and Peter Houston compiled a summary and key takeaways here.
- Evergreen pop-up newsletters are becoming more and more popular, and Sydney Lewis spent time learning how to best create one. She details her process in this RJI article.
- Here’s Amanda Ripley’s secret: “I’ve been actively avoiding the news for years.” Her Washington Post article seeks to discover why people (her included) are done with traditional news.
- Are you contributing to your comments? In this issue of Trusting News, Lynn Walsh explains how adding to the conversation on your posts builds trusts with your readers.
- Why are some publishing powerhouses excelling while others are on the decline? Esther Kezia Thorpe compares and contrasts the NYT to The Washington Post here.
- Do you know what a “journo-influencer” is? David Tvrdon defines the term and offers insights into the relationships between journalists and influencers in this article for The Fix.
Drive Signups With A Page Focused On Subscribing
Hey, everyone. Seth with Curated Success here.
Did you know you can customize the front page of your Curated newsletter publication site (aka newsletter home page) to feature only your newsletter name, description, and subscription form?
This is a good option for publishers who want to streamline their home page design and focus on converting visitors to subscribers. Think of it as a very simple landing page you’d send someone to from a source where they’ve learned enough to know they’re interested in subscribing.
You can provide a link to your latest issue for visitors to check out. From there, they’ll have the option to subscribe at the top or bottom of the page.
Here’s how to set it up:
- Go to your publication’s Settings
- Scroll down to the Hosting, Subscriptions and Publishing section
- Select Web
- Under Publication Website, uncheck the box beside Include latest issue on site home page
- Under Navigation Menu, check the box beside Show “Latest Issue” menu option
A great example of a Curated newsletter that implements this design is Wright Society (image above). This newsletter has a beautiful home page, a succinct description, and menu options to view the latest issue or past archives.
If you have any questions about setting this up, let me know!