Publishing a newsletter every week for one year
Being a voracious reader, I would share my interesting findings with friends and colleagues through email. Eventually, one politely asked that I save his inbox the stress and just send a single email aggregating all of the interesting links I had gathered over the week. Matt's Newsletter was born.
That was the first try. It is hard to keep interested in something when no one is paying attention. I stopped publishing after a few weeks of no feedback and no subscribers.
I never lost my appetite for reading and sharing my knowledge though. I started to collect and publish my writings on a write.as blog. When I learned about the newsletter service Substack, I wondered if I could combine my writing with a newsletter sharing the best news stories I had read over the previous week? Matt's Newsletter was re-born.
52 weeks later, and a name change, it's still going.
Welcome to the Threats Without Borders Newsletter – Issue ONE YEAR!
So what have I learned after publishing a newsletter every week for one year?
1) People are stingy with their email addresses. Subscribers are hard to get and you have to work for each one. The newsletter receives many more visits to the website every week than emails that go out to subscribers. The conversation usually goes like this:
I love your newsletter. Thanks, Do you subscribe? No, I just read it online. Can you please subscribe, it helps me with the Substack promotion algorithm? Oh, um, I don't like to clog up my email, I’ll just read it on the web. Ok, thanks for being a reader.
2) Readers appreciate my personal writing more than the shared links.
3) The cool tools are the most clicked links. By Far. The news articles get somewhere around a 4 to 16% click rate but the tools usually get at a click from at least 60% of readers. The jobs get high click rates too. One link for a job with Tesla had a 90% click rate.
4) Readers like snark.
The newsletter will continue to be offered completely free of charge and I will never include a sponsored link. I promise to not sell your email address or spam your inbox. I’ll continue to release one issue per week.
I plan to include much more free-form writing to share my thoughts, observations, and experiences as a cyber-financial crime investigator and security practitioner.
How can you help?
SUBSCRIBE and SHARE. Please. I fell a little short of having 500 subscribers by the end of year one. Please subscribe and share with your colleagues. I know that is an audacious request, but the only way to grow the newsletter is through reaching new people.
When you do subscribe, please check your junk mailbox and make sure the newsletter isn't landing there.
Feel free to give feedback. You can reply to the newsletter email or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for reading. I hope to see you in another 52 weeks!