Over the last couple of months, after coming back from a hiatus over Lent, I’ve really poured my free time into Thought Shrapnel. My hope was that, by providing daily content, there would be a corresponding uptick in the number of people willing to become a supporter.
In fact, the opposite has happened, with almost 10% of supporters ending their backing of Thought Shrapnel over the past few weeks. Obviously, I’m doing something wrong here.
After some research and comparison with other creators, I think I’ve figured out what’s gone wrong:
Most people do not want more email. So if the only thing you have to offer them is, ‘Hey, subscribe to this newsletter and you’ll get some more email,’ that’s not that compelling. But if you can create a different value proposition where you can say, ‘Look, I’m creating the kind of writing that you can’t find anywhere else and I need you to be a part of this and to support this work if you value it,’ then I think that people get into that. And they want to get it four times a week, but it’s not necessarily the idea of getting it four times a week that is going to be the motivating factor.Judd Legum
Nobody asked me to send them more email. Not one of the supporters asked for ‘exclusive access’ to articles a week before everyone else. I just assumed.
With Thought Shrapnel, it’s not the money that drives me. After hosting costs, etc. I give away most of what I receive to support other creators and worthy causes. Rather, it’s the exchange of energy that’s important to me. Committing to even $1/month is different to just hitting ‘like’ or ‘retweet’.
So, going forward, I’m going to try a different approach. For everything I publish:
- Comments are on
- Three different types of post each week
- Everyone gets access at the same time
On Mondays I’ll publish an article-style post. On Wednesdays I’ll publish a post answering any questions that have come in, or a microcast. And then on Fridays I’ll publish a round-up post of interesting links.
I’m still aiming to share 30 links per week. The weekly newsletter will still be a digest of what’s gone on the open web. I just hope that trying things this way will both be more sustainable.
So, I have a couple of questions:
- Do you have any questions for me to answer in tomorrow’s post?
- Would you consider becoming a supporter of Thought Shrapnel?
Thanks in advance!