And how is it different from a blog?
Alright; so I’m struggling with similar issues here. I have things to say. I have a newsletter. I won’t even tell you how many subscribers I have because the number is embarrassing low. But the ones who subscribe tell me they love them. I think my voice has gotten more honed after doing this for a bit.
But no one new is coming, and I don’t really know how to get people reading. I don’t have much to offer people aside from my words (my debut book is searching for an agent & publisher and my articles/blog posts are in varying realms) and I just don’t know where to get readers. You strike me as someone who balks at the idea of sounding too salesy, so tell me - how is it that you gain subscribers?
Hi Ramona. Your post reminds me of eating grapefruit Alaska... sweet meringue and French vanilla ice cream followed by a juicy, tart bite of grapefruit. It's one of my favorites. I savored your thoughts on the difference between a newsletter and a blog, then felt that puckering sensation as you described your thoughts on 'bad form'! Thoughts of my newsletter format!
I love that there are so many writers on so many topics. So many styles. So many formats. I feel like the newsletter as we knew it is morphing. I'm willing to experiment to see what sticks.
You have a lot more experience in this theater, and I will definitely say that I appreciate your tone. You're engaging. It's like talking face to face. It's easy to slip into formal writing, but I have the most fun when I am having a conversation with my readers. And, from the feedback I get, they like it better that way, too.
I'm still working on my voice. Some weeks I feel better about my writing than others, but I've decided it's important (for me, at least) to keep putting myself out there. If people subscribe or unsubscribe... it won't matter in 100 years.
To me, the main difference between a blog and newsletter is that the latter generally has a distribution network behind it. Even if you're "just" using a service like MailChimp, the infrastructure is largely handled before you even start typing.
As for the difference between a newsletter and, say, Medium; I'd say a newsletter lets you go deeper on specific things. People are there for-and want to hear from- you.
I definitely agree that a newsletter, at least on Substack, is more casual and friendly, and my newsletter’s writing reflects that. No need to be stuffy when you’re amongst friends, right? (Well, unless you’re naturally stuffy).
Can’t say I agree about the formatting, though. I use the fancy headers and block quotes, but that’s more me taking pride in my work and wanting it to look nice.
I do agree with breaking up those extra long paragraphs, though!
I started my Substack by adding my entire mailing list to the free subscribers list, which was about 4000 emails. These are all people in my industry who have been getting email promotions from me for years, so receiving new original content from me was an attractive prospect
I love this! Friends talking to friends. Exactly!
This is so helpful. I have been blogging for almost 10 years, first on Blogger and then on Wordpress.com and then on Wordpress.org. It was my "workshop" and I have so much writing in those places. When I decided to turn my blog into a travel podcast with a better potential to monetize, Substack appeared to be the best option. I love the community here. I love the changes they are making every week to make the experience better for readers and creators. And now I have to figure out how to convinced my podcasting partner for another podcast to make the move to bring all of our podcast material and expansion over here as well. Any advice for how to get more subscribers when you are also working a full time job? (I'm a high school English teacher.)