Advice on Starting a Newsletter

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Today someone messaged me on Facebook asking for advice about starting a newsletter (sign up for MY weekly newsletter). I ended up writing way too much so I thought I’d share it here too.

Here’s what I said…

I do my newsletter every week, however I know for a lot of people it makes more sense to do it every month. For me, it has helped to follow a few newsletters of people I look up to.

Austin Kleon is THE BEST. His blog and newsletter have been an inspiration.

I love the way he talks about daily blogging. He says it helps him be a better writer and makes writing books a lot easier. If he blogs every day for 3 months and then looks back over all he's written, he might notice 10 blogs all on the same subject. If you put them all together, that could be a chapter in a book! So he just uses it to pay attention to what he's paying attention to.

Every week in his newsletter he has 10 things he thinks are worth sharing. It might be stuff that he's written or stuff other people have made that are influencing him.

I also just subscribed to Ann Friedman’s weekly newsletter. I really like how she structures hers. I tried doing mine a little bit like hers.

I think if you’re not a known personality a lot of people will want to follow, it’s probably best to pick some topic or theme you can keep people informed about. Obviously you want people to look at you as an expert in your field so they use you as a resource. Maybe the newsletter can be a way to share resources with them. Stuff you’ve made or podcasts, articles, books, quotes that can you’ve found helpful in your own research.

Also, I’m writing this I’m realizing I’m not following my own advice. I should probably be more focused in my newsletter too.

I use mailchimp. It’s really easy and the free version is good enough to start with. I think once you start growing your audience, it’ll make sense to start paying for it.

A lot of people will have some free offer as an incentive for signing up for the newsletter. Is there something you can give people who sign up?

There’s a whole movement around newsletters these days. Social media is garbage and we have no control over who sees our posts. With newsletters you’re guaranteed to be in their inbox. It’s more intimate. It’s more reliable.

Stay Connected

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You ever have a friend that you THOUGHT you were doing a good job keeping up with on social media but suddenly you realize you haven’t seen a post from them in a while and when you go check you see, like, they have 3 babies and they moved to another country?

Social media is the worst. There’s no way to control who we see in our feed and it’s so easy to lose people you want to follow.

I’ve got a lot coming out this year and I really want to make sure the people who are interested in are able to see when big things are happening.

I’m writing a book that’ll HOPEFULLY come out this year.

I’ve got a big cool announcement for Texas churches that’ll I’ll HOPEFULLY get to make here soon.

If you want to stay connected and see what’s happening the best way to do that is through my newsletter. Every monday morning I send an email to around 800 people about what I’m up to, links to things I’ve written, and recommendations to other things I think you’ll enjoy.

It’s free. It’s fun. Everyone’s doing it.

Sign up

A newsletter is better than social media

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Sign up to get this stinkin' newsletter


Social media is the worst way to stay connected with people. Algorithms screw up your time line and show you 5 week old posts from complete strangers before you get to see anything from people you actually wanted to follow.

I try to post any time I have a new announcement/project/video/juggling tutorial (I know the demand is high for this right now) but there's no way people are seeing everything.

If you like me or what I do and you REALLY want to stay connected, sign up for my newsletter.

You'll get a new hot fresh free email in your inbox every single Tuesday until I die.

I try to keep it funny/entertaining/enlightening/educational/emotional/inspiring/transcendent/eco-friendly/gluten free/safe for grandmas

You'll get updates on what I'm doing, links to things I've made/written, links to things I think you'll find funny, and MORE.

Don't rely on social media. You might not ever hear from me again. What if I get beat up by wild geese and there's a hilarious video of the attack but it gets lost in your timeline and you never see it?! Why take that risk?! You might miss out completely on the new podcast I'm working on. You could miss out on new videos, free stuff, weird projects, and more. What if I meet a ghost?

Sign up for the newsletter.