In a recent blog post, the well known blogger and content creator, Matt Birchler, wants to understand why so many people are opting for emails (newsletters) over the web. I want to give my perspective on each of his questions.
What about writing in a newsletter is more enjoyable than writing for a blog?
My Numeric Citizen Introspection newsletter is a monthly one. I start writing the next issue at the beginning of each month. I hit “Publish and send” at the very end of each month. It gives me four weeks to nurture its content. When the end of the month approaches, the newsletter content is mostly complete and I like how it evolved from the beginning. It is a satisfying process. Then, I take a pause and look forward to start the next one. I like the regular beat of all this process. I wouldn’t do a weekly newsletter, though, as it requires much more time to do.
Are newsletter audiences more engaged than blog subscribers?
I’m not sure about this one in general. For me, it is too early to tell. My gut feeling is that people are more or less engaged the same way as they are with blogs. I’d like to be wrong, though, and have people engage more with newsletters.
As a reader, do you prefer reading in your email app to an RSS app (or just the web in general)?
I use Substack to build and send my newsletters. Each of them are also available via an RSS feed. Depending of the client used, the reading experience can be enjoyable on both type of clients. Personally, I do subscribe to Hey and reading newsletters with their client is really nice and provides a nice clipping feature which is very handy.
Do you not miss things like link posts and “going viral” which are much harder, if impossible to do with emails?
Link posts can be done in newsletters and they won’t go viral for sure. But, I’m not really looking for this kind of fame to be honest.
Is it easier to get people to sign up for a paid subscription compared to the web?
I’m still building this stuff and my newsletter is free for now. I get new subscribers regularly but not as much as I would like. I guess I still have to get the word out and be more “famous”.