Becoming Better Newsletter - September 18, 2021
To subscribe, or not to subscribe, that is the question…
💡 This is a free weekly newsletter for curious ones (and those who don’t want to read my long, boring articles).
🧘 You might become a better version of yourself (not guaranteed).
🤗 You won’t regret joining (or you might).
☀️ The newsletter will wait for you in your inbox every Saturday morning (I live in Florida, so it’s going to be my morning).
👻 It’s going to be fun and education (or at least one out of two).
✍🏼 It’s not easy to come up with a great newsletter.
💃 Ecstatic dance is truly magical.
🐧 Penguins have their own secrets.
Quote of the Week
“You never know what you can do until you try, and very few try unless they have to.” –C.S. Lewis
Does It Still Make Sense to Start a New Newsletter?
I was thinking about it a lot before I decided to give it a try. I’m not saying that my newsletter will save the world but in general, I feel like this is such an unexplored creative medium. So I’m here to explore and connect with you, reader!
This is going to be a weekly newsletter that will patiently wait for you every Saturday. Just like my Medium publication, this newsletter is aimed at people who want to become better at everything they do. The main topics I cover usually include programming, creativity, books, learning, and self-development. Be warned: I write about something I’m personally passionate about so you never know what you are going to get. Most of my content is educational so I’ll try to make it less boring by including music I’m currently listening to, an amazing quote, and some random fact. Each newsletter will be devoted to one topic. This one is devoted to newsletters (duh).
Since I’m not the best writer in the world (and I don't mind admitting it), each newsletter will also have a further reading section. There, you can find quality articles, books, videos, podcasts created by other writers. Usually, it’s the stuff related to my articles, things I read myself, or something I would love to read in the nearest future.
Hopefully, this newsletter will evolve and get better (pun intended) over time. However, I won’t be able to improve it without knowing what works and what doesn’t. So don’t hesitate to leave a comment and share your feedback.
My Top 5 Articles:
An overview of the best and the worst free programming courses you can take online right now.
Not all programming books are boring. These ones are not.
YouTube is a great teacher.
Become a better developer with these free tools.
Good notes can justify the time and efforts you spent taking that online course or talking to a potential client.
What I’m Listening To:
Why Do Some Newsletters Thrive While Others Die?
For a few weeks, I was trying my best to answer this question. I went to Substack to look at free newsletters and newsletters offered at the price of a burrito; I looked at the most popular newsletters and not-so-popular ones; I even subscribed to a few newsletters myself. I searched on Google and YouTube. I was bugging people on Quora and Reddit (yes, this is how annoying I can be). I’ve read a few Medium articles.
The biggest mystery for me was why would anyone subscribe to a newsletter in the first place? And even pay for it? My inbox is so crowded that the last thing I want to see there is another letter, really.
In today’s fast-paced environment, people want to get their information quickly and in easy to consume format. That’s partially why Twitter thrives while book writers are struggling. Slowly, I started to write down all things people are looking for when subscribing to a newsletter.
What Makes a Good Newsletter:
it’s a local newsletter with relevant, up-to-date information or a big newsletter with exclusive, hard to find content
it’s a chance to connect and support a favorite writer, blogger, company, etc.
it looks nice and it’s fun
it’s quirky (but not too quirky)
readers trust the writer and his sources
it gets to the point immediately making the copy readable and simple
it’s focused on one topic
it’s released regularly
it’s not annoying (even though different people defined annoying differently)
it brings value
It was already something, but still not enough. Eventually, I realized that:
a) most people are not sure what they want until they see it
b) we all define the same concepts differently. What you define as “long and boring” might be “fun and entertaining” for someone else who is genuinely interested in this topic.
Apparently, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But looking at the content that most expensive Substack Newsletters produce, all of them are just a mix of pictures and text. Nothing fancy. It’s the same blog post; it’s just delivered straight to your door (well, inbox).
A Few Newsletters I Really Like:
Mindf*ck Monthly by Mark Manson. Not because of its formatting (there is virtually no formatting) but because of its content. Mark is a wizard when it comes to putting words together so even he starts writing on cereal boxes, I’ll buy those too. Even though I hate cereal.
Technically because they have really simple explanations and a lot of cute pictures.
Tim Ferris’s “5-Bullet Friday”. Short and sweet!
Read the full article here to learn more about types of newsletter design, paid newsletters, marketing tips, newsletter success stories, and more…
What I’m Currently Reading:
Malcolm is an amazing storyteller. This book made me think about how wrong we are when it comes to defining who is smart and who is not…
Penguins have knees. Seriously, google it!