As I write this, I’ve just released the 190th consecutive weekly edition of the Webdancers Newsletter. I don’t think I’ve skipped a week since May of 2015, although I’ll admit that I didn’t check the archives closely enough to verify this. Let’s just say that I’ve been doing this for a while now and it seems like a good time to review.
Who is this newsletter for?
Primarily, people who own and operate websites. Most website owners are occupied by running their business or organization, not keeping track of trends and updates in the way the internet functions. Because I do pay attention to such things, I thought that presenting a selection of them in small chunks would be of some value.
What do I write about?
At any given time, I manage 50-55 websites, of all different types. When it comes time to write a newsletter, I usually think back over what I’ve been doing for the past week and pick something that I’ve done for a client or myself. It may be technical, to provide a better understanding of how your website works within the internet at large. Or it may be creative, to promote better communication between you and your site visitors. And occasionally, when I’m pressed for time, I’ll reach back into the archives and republish something that would be worth reading again.
I write about things that I think website owners will find genuinely useful. A new feature from Google, how to manage domain registration, stupid WordPress tricks (my specialty), how to write a catchy headline, anything that I can describe in 500-800 words. I try to keep it short because nobody wants to have a novel land in their inbox every Friday morning.
What’s in it for me?
When I started this newsletter, conventional wisdom was that every business should have one. A mailing list provides direct communication with people who have explicitly said that they want to hear from you. It’s good for business, so they said. I don’t know that I’ve ever gotten any website development jobs directly from a newsletter reader but I enjoy writing them (for the most part) and I do get nice feedback from regular readers. I also believe that in a world of adtech and social media algorithms, direct communication with your market (in the Cluetrain Manifesto sense) is more important than ever.
This list is small – 68 subscribers as of this week – and I wouldn’t mind if it grew larger. You can help by forwarding this link to a friend who you think might find it useful. Give them some words of encouragement, as no one is looking to increase the amount of junk mail that they receive. Speaking of which, I have to share with you the first paragraph of my favorite cold email from last week, as a striking example of how to do it wrong.
Punctuation? We don’t need no stinking punctuation!