10 Unconventional (+ 1 Cliche But True) Lessons I Learned Publishing 100 Newsletter Issues
Growth hacks are great. But the most impactful lessons about building a successful creative platform are more easily overlooked. Here are 10 of them.
Just over two years ago, on April 12, 2020, I sent out the first issue of my newsletter, Creative Wayfinding.
I’d attempted to write several newsletters in the past, but they had always fizzled after a few months at most.
Something about this one felt different, however, and now, 100 issues later, it seems that hunch was true.
Over those 100 issues, the newsletter has nearly tripled in size, growing from 700 to 2,000 subscribers, almost all of that growth coming in the past 12 months, and I’ve learned a lot about creating and growing creative projects like newsletters, podcasts, and more.
And while a lot of what I’ve learned corresponds with the standard audience growth advice you can find all over Twitter, I wanted to share 10 of the more unconventional learnings I wish I’d known at the start, several of which fly in the face of standard audience building advice.
Let’s jump in.
1 // Feed Yourself First
We’re often told to serve our audience above all else.
But in my experience, creative projects have a much higher chance of succeeding when the act of creating them gets us something personally before anyone else ever interacts with them.
Ironically (or maybe not), this was the topic of the very first issue of this newsletter, which I titled, Focus on What Fuels You.
Feeding yourself first is about structuring your projects in a way that first & foremost scratches an itch you have. Then, finding a way to adapt & package it in a way that overlaps with an existing audience’s interests & desires.