The Power of Newsletters: Building Your Own Platform

The Power of Newsletters: Building Your Own Platform


I persuade you to build your own email newsletter and show your work

In a world driven by digital content and social media, the concept of newsletters might seem a bit old-school. However, the wisdom behind them is more relevant than ever. Allow me to introduce you to the fascinating world of newsletters and how they can empower you to share your work and ideas effectively.

A while ago, I stumbled upon a series of books by Austin Kleon, aptly titled "Show Your Work." These books, which I reviewed, delve into the art of sharing your creative journey online. Whether you're crafting a cozy treehouse, coding a groundbreaking website, experimenting with UI/UX designs, or crafting captivating stories, the core message remains the same: share your progress. But how do you do that? Enter newsletters.

E-mail newsletters probably predate the idea of subscription services, and these days, people choose to deliver through this method using or personalized websites. Either way, they provide a direct channel for creators to communicate with their audience, sharing insights, progress updates, and even exclusive content. Without being at the mercy of some social media feed.

Somebody whose content I consumed, but can't quite remember who it was, advocates for creators to migrate their content away from the tumultuous landscapes of social media platforms and onto their own platforms, specifically, their personal websites. Their reasoning makes sense: social media algorithms and even app functionalities can change overnight, leaving creators at the mercy of unpredictability. By maintaining your own website, you retain control and longevity, as long as you keep up with your domain (the address you bought) payments. Think about the times your YouTube subscription list inexplicably shrunk. YouTube periodically purges your subscription list if you don't engage with certain channels frequently enough. While YouTube offers a dopamine-filled experience, it can leave you disillusioned as familiar faces disappear. Imagine if those creators had your email; they could directly share their content links via email newsletters, ensuring you never miss a beat.

Now, here's a caveat. I'm not saying to delete all social media and just tell every single person to go to your website. That would be weird. That'd be like going to a party, meeting people, and then telling them to leave the party and come to your house because you have a better party, even though all the people they know are at the party that's not at your house. Sure some people could be interested but you'd need to butter them up by providing valuable content first and put the newsletter as a footnote so it doesn't come off spammy.

In a digital landscape that's this volatile, newsletters provide a stable and dependable way for creators to grow their community. You're not at the mercy of algorithms or sudden platform shifts; you're in the driver's seat. So, the next time you embark on a creative journey, consider setting up your own newsletter but with the consideration of the caveat. It's more than just an email; it's a direct line of connection, an anchor in the ever-changing tides of online content delivery.

✍️ Quote of the Week

In a crowded sea of sponsored posts and paid ads, truly valuable free content stands out in the best way possible. When I create a piece of content for my brands, I try to give the goods. I don’t hold back. Forget fluff; forget teaser pieces. I only deliver truly helpful and generous free content. People know value when they see it, and they are drawn to it like a magnet.

From How to Get Paid for What You Know by Graham Cochrane. Resurfaced using Readwise.