Opt In Weekly - ✨ Are you treasure hunting?

Newsletter creator Q&A | Creators as a one-person business | Email marketing blogs to follow | Common copywriting mistakes | 6 monetization avenues

Opt In Weekly




Do you ever stop to think about what life was like 2,000 years ago?

Like, was it very Game of Thrones minus the magic or more The Croods?

These are the kinds of thoughts I have whenever I’m metal detecting in England… and that’s what I’m doing this week: spending 12 hours a day walking farm fields, swinging a detector, listening for the right kinds of beeps, and digging holes in search of lost objects that hold stories of the past.

So often the targets we dig are the less glamorous parts of the story; little blobs of lead or bits of copper.

But sometimes, they are the more exciting bits:

Things once treasured.

And today (I’m writing this Wednesday so by the time you read it it will technically be yesterday), as I bent down to uncover what I assumed would be another blob of lead, I was surprised by the unmistakable shimmer of gold.

I found my very first Celtic gold coin.

It dates back to sometime between 17 and 35 AD.

And it is tiny.

And shiny.

And more than I expected to uncover when I went out searching.

Are you using the process of creating and publishing your newsletter to do the same?

I’m not talking about metal detecting anymore.

I’m referencing the process of seeking something that holds a story you know your readers will treasure.

Each week, we try to do that with Opt In Weekly’s Newsletter Tips as we scour the web for the latest newsletter advice and insights.

In preparation for my being gone, though, I reached out to some of my favorite newsletter publishers to ask them a question:

What's one thing you've learned from publishing a newsletter?

Their answers (below), are treasures in themselves.

Thank you to Seth and Samantha for holding down the fort with this week’s curated content while I’m seeking other treasures.

Ashley Guttuso  Permalink


  Newsletter Tips  


Q&A Roundup: What’s one thing you’ve learned from publishing a newsletter?

Josh Spector, For The Interested:

“I've learned that a newsletter is the single best way to attract your ideal audience, build a relationship with them, identify their problems, and ultimately build enough trust with them that you can convert them into customers or lead them to take a specific action. My newsletter has become the engine of my entire business - both as a consultant and a media company.”

Alex Bauer, Branch:

“Having an authentic opinion of your own is incredibly important. People can get news and updates from anywhere, so you have to give them some added value from choosing to spend time with you.”

Dennis Shiao, Content Corner:

“We often obsess over the Subject line, trying to craft the perfect words to get our subscribers to open. We might even do A/B testing to see what works best. I learned to go the other way on this -- optimize for the From line, not the Subject line. If you build a deep and trusted relationship with subscribers, they’ll open and open no matter what the Subject line says.”

Ann Handley, Total Annarchy:

“11 things I’ve learned from publishing a newsletter

  1. ‘I'll write only when I have something to say’ doesn’t work. It’ll instead just give you an excuse NOT to publish.
  2. Set a schedule you can manage. Stick to it. Do not break the chain. You've got this.
  3. Focus on the Letter, not the News. Your newsletter is a relationship-builder... not a distribution strategy.
  4. Your From line matters more than your Subject Line.
  5. Writing matters. Obsess about craft.
  6. Obsess about voice. It's the one thing no one else can copy.
  7. Do unscalable things. Because over time, unscalable scales.
  8. Your newsletter needs an emcee. (Even you looking at me with that side-eye, Ms B2B-Solution-Brand.)
  9. Your first issue will be awkward and self-conscious and not good.
  10. Make up your own metrics based on your own goals. Example: I track my RR (Resubscribe Rate) and OWB (Open to Write Back rate).
  11. You will get more out of your newsletter than you give: You will become a better writer, you’ll know your audience more deeply, you’ll understand the value you provide at almost a cellular level, and you will become more attractive with 8-pack abs and a tighter peach. 🍑 (That last one is aspirational maybe. But why not.)

You asked for only ONE thing I learned from publishing a newsletter. Which leads me to my final point:

12. Always deliver more value than an audience would reasonably expect.

If you're not subscribed to the newsletters from these amazing creators, I highly suggest you check each one out and subscribe for quality inspiration. Massive thanks to everyone who took time to pass on your learnings!



Tips, Resources, And Updates In Oshinsky’s April Edition

Dan Oshinsky’s at it again with another great edition of “Not a Newsletter.” A few of my favorites from this month include:

  • How to manage a portfolio of newsletters
  • Suggestions on the types of data to measure with email
  • Subject line best practices
  • Ideas on how SMS and email could work together

Check out the full issue here (quick reminder that it’s a Google Doc).

inboxcollective.com  Permalink


Advice From A Full-Time Creator

Gergely Orosz is an engineering manager turned full-time newsletter creator and is offering this advice:

“Instead of ‘creator’ think ‘one-person business’.”

Find out more here.

Discovered via For The Interested.

pragmaticengineer.com  Permalink




Are You Following These Email Marketing Blogs?

Email marketing is constantly changing, but following the right email marketing blogs can help. This Email on Acid article lists 19 blogs that you should check out.

Discovered via Really Good Emails.

emailonacid.com  Permalink


Four Strategies To Incorporate Word-Of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is cost-effective and impactful, but how can it be incorporated into your content? Kate Winkler lists four strategies in this article, starting with “Feature relevant user-generated content.”

Discovered via Smartbrief on Social Business.

contentmarketinginstitute.com  Permalink


How To Be A Great Email Marketer

According to Kasey Steinbrinck’s research of Inbox Insights 2022, great email marketers:

  1. Believe in email
  2. Are engaging
  3. Pursue personalization
  4. Use dynamic content
  5. Drive conversations with email

How many of these describe you?

Discovered via Really Good Emails.

mailjet.com  Permalink




Don’t Make These 10 Copywriting Mistakes

Have you ever read copy that just makes you cringe? Me too. Miranda Miller has put together a list of 10 copywriting mistakes to avoid so you aren’t cringy, too!

Discovered via theCLIKK.

searchenginejournal.com  Permalink


Is Your Grammar Causing Issues?

How important is good grammar in your newsletter?

“If your reader has to constantly pause to reread what you’ve written because of grammar issues, they’ll get bored and may give up entirely.”

I don’t want people giving up, and I bet you don’t either. Learn how to fix these mistakes in this article from The Write Life.

thewritelife.com  Permalink




What Should Publishers Pursue?

NFTs. The Metaverse. Paywalls. Should publishers be trying to do it all? This week’s Publishing Insights balance the possibilities with the truth.



  Money Matters  


Expand Your Monetization Avenues

Alternative revenue streams are out there for creators looking to expand beyond content creation. This ConvertKit article offers 6 avenues of monetization to consider.

Discovered via Ghost Newsletter.

convertkit.com  Permalink


Should You Put Up A Paywall?

It’s a continued theme (and debate) to look at paywalls for your newsletter. Jack Marshall with Toolkits lists the pros and cons out for you here.

Discovered via The Rebooting.

toolkits.com  Permalink

Curated News

  Curated News   


How To Add Additional Links To Your Footer

Hey, everyone. Seth with Curated Success here.

Did you know you can add additional links to the footer of your Curated newsletter?

This is a great way to give your readers a link to more of your content, reach out to you, or easily navigate to your sponsorship page.

You can add additional links to your footer by following these steps:

  • Open your Curated publication’s settings
  • In the Publication section, click Header and Footer
  • Scroll down to the Footer section
  • Add additional text and links in the Additional footer text text box using markdown

If you add multiple links, you can separate them by using the “|” character.

These additional links will show in your publication’s footer next to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy links.

Check out iOS Dev Weekly to see a great example of how to utilize these additional footer links.

If you have any questions on setting these up, let me know!



Curated Crash Course Today At 4 PM Central

Curated Crash Course is today at 4 PM CT!

As usual, the first 30 minutes include a tutorial on getting started with Curated followed by a Q&A session that begins at 4:30.

This is built to be a come-and-go Zoom call, so feel free to hop in whenever you can and leave when you have to.

If you have any questions about Curated or newsletters, we created a Google Form where you can submit them.

Seth will answer them live at Curated Crash Course during the Q&A segment of the session, but if you can't make it, he’ll send you a recording so you can see your questions answered.

zoom.us  Permalink


New to Curated? Make a copy of this Getting Started with Curated Checklist to help launch your newsletter (public, private, or paid).



Like this newsletter?

Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at]optinweekly.com, or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.

Happy newslettering,

Ashley Guttuso & the OIW team  Permalink

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