A newsletter (just the term we’ve got) can be many different things. There’s no One Way to do them. If there were, every newsletter would be a Goop-style jumpstation of artfully decorated links, because it’s so hugely successful. That is not for me. I dislike Goop for many reasons, not the least of which is that the newsletter has no actual content, only links out to their website. I still like a newsletter to be, in some form, a letter, which means there has to be significant fields of actual writing in it.
That said: I have ideal situations I want to work towards, and the thinking-this-through of it is why I started this blogchain in the first place, to get my thinking out in front of me where I can see it.
I daydream of the newsletter as small magazine. I’ve long been fascinated by the phenomenon of writers who run journals. Also, I like the idea of not having to write every damn thing in the newsletter every week. And when I look at this, the first thing I think of is Kieron Gillen running a contents list at the top of each of his newsletters:
It would give me pleasure to… have a logo, hahah. It would give me pleasure to be organised enough to start off with a short list of contents for a short magazine-like newsletter. Even though the newsletter, because it scrolls, presents as a single page – which also puts me in mind of a broadside sheet.
As previously noted – 22,000 readers. Also £200 a month in costs, likely to go up next year. I don’t have a war chest in place for such a thing, and newsletters are tough to tastefully monetise. I use Amazon Affiliate links, which knocks out maybe a quarter of the associated costs, and I’m even conflicted about them. But I daydream. And it leads me to think about the various moving parts of the newsletter.