I’ve started a weekly newsletter

by Scott Taylor
16th June 2019
Comments 0

TL;DR: I’ve started a weekly newsletter “Digital Coffee”, sent on Sunday evenings; it covers technology, artificial intelligence, startups, fund raising, personal development, economics and whatever else I find interesting.

I’m going to make a prediction and guess that each day you’re probably being bombarded by companies (and people) asking you to subscribe to their newsletters. And, probably more so recently.

Why’s that?

The communication medium is going through somewhat of a renaissance. And it’s understandable. In an increasingly noisy arena, such as the internet, content creators want a direct channel to you.

The internet, websites, apps, etc. are all geared toward getting your attention. Attention for status. Attention to sell your data. Attention to sell you a product. Reminds me of that saying “if it’s free, you are the product”.

What makes content created and distributed via email any better than stuff that’s drafted and published on a blog, a facebook group, or wherever else? And who’s it better for? The creator or the consumer?

  1. Newsletters are usually pretty targeted. (Good) Mailing lists are double opt-in, meaning you had to enter your email into a form online, then you had to go to your email and actually confirm that you did in fact subscribe. This is good for content creators for a whole host of reasons. Primarily, though, that you have an engaged and willing audience.
  2. Push rather than pull. Creators don’t want to leave it to chance that you’ll visit their website regularly. They want to be able to push you content whenever they want, maximising the chances you read it. They’re betting on you being forgetful. Email is a distribution platform that says “here’s some content, check it out when you get a minute — and btw, you double opted-into this, so it’s relevant to your interests”. If creators push too often, the consumer gets the option, every time, to unsubscribe.
  3. It’s less competitive. Why publish on Medium, or HackerNews, or whatever other syndication service? By building up a community of devoted readers, you don’t need to focus on the syndication. Build up a loyal enough following and one of your readers will do it for you. You simply focus on writing the best content you can.
  4. It’s focused. Sick of pop-ups, banner ads, websites taking 5 minutes to load because of all the embedded trackers? Simply set your email settings to not download images, and you’ve become (mostly) anonymous. By having the content sent to an app where you create the rules & filtering — you can tackle and digest the content whenever and wherever you want. There’s no need to worry about formatting or readability.
  5. Communities are strong. I’ve alluded to it above, but one of the most satisfying aspects of a good newsletter is the sense of community — for both the readers and the author. Focusing on the author, they get thousands of people that are ready and willing to listen. That’s pretty powerful.

With all that said, don’t forget to give my newsletter a chance. Go subscribe now!