I’ve been trying for a very long time to get an email list off the ground. In nearly a year I have only 30 subscribers to my Mailchimp email list and quite frankly, creating emails with Mailchimp is a real pain. I realize there is something missing there both at the early sign-on stage and in the delivery.
Regardless, I still wanted something more streamlined, something I could eventually monetize.
Enter, Substack, a blogging / email mash-up platform with more personal experience to offer my readers. Though my Mailchimp offers me a highly-customizable emailing experience, I need something a bit more user friendly for daily use. I like the clean, minimalist interface of the Substack option. I find that of all the newsletters and emails I receive, I most frequently open the Substack ones with the “continue reading” or “finish reading” button. Maybe this is true of others as well.
I finally created a Substack Newsletter. Here is today’s post:
So Begins the Search
Hello, my friends. Christina here with some thoughts, a bit of personal story, and a writing prompt... The Friday…
The newsletter is different. It functions like an email list in that I can create and send out an email to my followers. But it arrives as an email and looks more like a blog post. The post is then available on Substack for others who stumble upon it to read.
This means the information I send out is an open thing that can reach more people than just those who are on my email list. Like an open blog format. This is a big difference and one that I like.
Another difference is that I can have free subscribers and paying subscribers.
I put this at the bottom of my first post:
You are subscribed to Fiddleheads & Floss free newsletter. Content for this newsletter will always be FREE.
For a more full experience, I will soon be offering “The Poet’s Lair,” a very inexpensive paid membership offering more in-depth material, writing resources, and writing prompts. Stay-tuned!
Get your copy of “organic”
(benefits World Wildlife Foundation)
Sharing is caring 💗
In short, he Fiddleheads & Floss Newsletter, is a great way for me to:
- Reach out to my readers in a more personal way
- Potentially reach a bigger audience
- Send out a portion of my Medium articles with a “continue reading” button
- Separate posts into those that go to free subscribers and those that goes to paying subscribers
So what is the difference between the free version and the paying one?
The Newsletter will involve the following:
Fiddleheads & Floss brings you articles about writing, poetry, and living your best life.
Focus topics include:
- Inspiration / social issues / news
- Writing practices / prompts
- Marketing strategies
- Parenting, mental wellness
- Personal stories
- Medium stories, articles, poetry
- Blog updates
- Information about my available books and eBooks
- Book recommendations
The paying subscriber will get a more in-depth experience:
The Poet’s Lair is a more personal experience. In addition to all of the content of the Fiddleheads & Floss Newsletter, members of The Poet’s Lair will receive:
- Creative writing prompts for poets, fiction writers, and creative writers
- Writing articles and in-depth help to keep you inspired and in that creative sweet spot
- Poetry news, information about contests and literary journals for people who are working to get their poetry or short fiction published
- Advice and information to help poets and creative writers
- Inside vision and experiences of the poets’ life
- Poetry tutorials for various poetic forms
- Educational materials for poetic device and literary device to improve the depth of your writing
- Sneak peaks and discounts on my books and eBooks
- So much more — because these paying subscribers are both serious about their own work and big fans of mine.
- Hopefully mentoring and workshopping services or events for The Poet’s Lair members.
- A strong focus on inspiration, productivity, creativity, and mental wellness as it pertains to living the life of a creative and/or poet
I think it is clear how much more I can offer my readers with Substack in addition to my email list. I chose to go by the advice of Shaunta Grimes on not merely moving my email addresses over to the Newsletter. I agree with her that these email subscribers signed up for a specific thing and not to receive a Newsletter. I also agree with her that moving these email addresses over to a different platform is crossing an ethical line and I am uncomfortable with that.
I decided to allow the Newsletter to grow organically.
If I provide valued content, the subscribers will come.
Author’s note: The Poet’s Lair is not open yet but you are welcome to join the free Newsletter!
Christina Ward is a writer, blogger, poet, and author. She is a poetry educator and editor. Her first book is available on Amazon.
Christina is a columnist for the Observer News Enterprise newspaper. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Catawba College in Environmental Science, which greatly influences her work. She also studied creative writing and English at Catawba. Her poetry has been published in the Cameo literary magazine, the Arrowhead literary magazine, Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine, and in Wolff Poetry Literary Magazine. She lives in rural North Carolina with her family. Christina was the recipient of the Creative Writing Prose Award at Catawba College for a short piece entitled “Clarity.”