in Things I think I think

Newsletters and maintaining shippability

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I started a newsletter for my Oklahoma State sports blog. I’ve never really believed in newsletters — I always thought they were a little trashy. Not trashy in a Miley Cyrus kind of way but trashy in a “I’m just going to send that straight to my digital wastebasket” kind of way.

I’ve legitimately enjoyed writing this one though. It feels like a secret society of sorts. I can send these superfans (of my blog or me or OSU or whatever they’re superfans of) some behind-the-scenes thoughts and idea. Extra links. Goodies. The best stuff.

It’s something I’ve come to look forward to.

Which is why it terrifies me.

Because I produce a lot of content for the web daily I don’t often think about it being high quality. That’s the conundrum, right? Somebody who writes one thing a month for one outlet pores over the quality and obsesses over the syntax.

I don’t have that luxury, but I do have to maintain shippability — a level at which folks will keep coming back for more even if “more” is mostly driven by the topic they’re interested in and not necessarily by my writing.

The folks I read consistently are the ones who surprise me and make me laugh and are interested (not necessarily interesting). Maybe they aren’t elite writers but they’re certainly elite shippers and elite guiders.

They navigate the web expertly and don’t take days off in their work. I feel that once you establish a level of excellence in whatever it is you do online it only takes one time of mailing it in for folks to bail on you. Of course you’ll have duds — but they should be because you miscalculated something and not because you didn’t give great effort.

That’s the terrifying part but it’s also the encouraging part because you know the bar you have to clear on a daily basis.

It’s also the fun part. If you like the grind.