Why Do I Have a Newsletter?

The expanded title for this post should really be Why do I have a newsletter and a blog? This question was posed to me by a new internet friend over email. He asked it without any intention other than to spark something for future discussion. His inquisitive prompt has been rattling around in my brain ever since. In fact, I can’t stop thinking about it, which usually means I should write about it. Do I write about it on the blog, or in the newsletter?

Since you’re reading this on the blog, I’ll say that this is the version I’m writing for the blog. I may or may not write something related for the newsletter. I guess that gets to my current thoughts on why I have both. I don’t automatically assume that people who read one would necessarily read the other. I purposely avoid (this topic excluded) overlapping content. The essays” that serve as the newsletter intros could easily be blog posts; however, I go into them thinking of them as a different thing. I have some ideas jotted down that could become either one or the other. Once they take shape, I usually know which of the two they’ll evolve into.

My newsletter follows a pretty rigid format. It’s 3 things I think are worth sharing with other humans, with a varying length essay at the beginning. The essay usually has some connection to the 3 things, but not always. The 3 things could be linkpost content on the blog, but for the same reason as the essay vs. blog post, I don’t repurpose them in either direction. Not overlapping the content means if they do choose both formats, there are no reruns. As a reader of other blogs and newsletters, that feels right. My newsletter isn’t just a blog digest”. There are enough tools out there that solve for that need if someone wants to roll content up that way. If someone really wants to read my blog posts in their inbox vs. on the blog or via RSS, at the bottom of each individual post page, there’s an option to subscribe by email.

In the end, I’ve landed on the reason I have both is that I want to have both; it’s not more complicated than that. My want to have both as the author connects to the possibility that readers of my words may want to read one or the other or both or neither… but since you’re reading these words, you’re in at least one of the first three groups for the moment.

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