Here’s the latest edition of the newsletter. While I post much of the newsletter here, some updates are exclusively available to subscribers. Sign up now to make sure you receive it.
A question that comes up a lot when I catch up in person with readers of this newsletter is how I’m able to publish this weekly.
I get it. I was daunted to try to do this on a regular basis. That’s why when I launched the newsletter, I called it the Serially Sporadic newsletter.
I had no idea when it would come out. My goal was roughly monthly. I met that goal. Roughly. It was true to its name. It could appear on any day, at any time of day.
Then, last summer, I was ready to rethink everything. I redesigned my website as I resumed consulting and explored what was ahead. I launched the Serial Marketers group on Slack. And then, I started thinking more about what to do with the newsletter.
Inspiration struck from a likely source (everyone is supposed to say it comes from somewhere surprising, but no, this was more predictable). It was Heidi Cohen, who writes the Actionable Marketing Guide newsletter and accompanying blog.
Heidi’s one of the first people I’ve met in the industry who I stayed in touch with ever since. She wrote a newsletter last July where she talked about the great roster of Sunday newsletters she received from various industry luminaries and how much she enjoyed them. The moral of her story is that consistency is king.
People would come to look for the Sunday newsletters, and then they’d look forward to them.
Part of me was a little jealous. Sometimes, when I see such roundups, I think, “I wish I was included in a group like this.” Clearly, with my sporadic schedule, I wasn’t even a contender in the first place. But it made me think about how when others would write such lists in the future, it would be fun to at least be in the running for an honorable mention.
I had caught up with Heidi right around then in person to get yet another reminder of how damn smart she is. And that might have helped me pay even more attention to what she wrote.
That one newsletter of Heidi’s did two things for me:
1) It made me turn this into a weekly newsletter. Even this January 2, right after the holiday, I’m able to keep at it.
2) It made me want to do the opposite of everyone else who published on Sunday. I didn’t care if open rates might be better. I didn’t want to run tests and analyze the data. I chose Wednesdays for publishing in large part because Heidi said everyone else picked Sunday, so Wednesday seemed like a day that was less cluttered by others (even if it meant less alliteration for a Serially Sunday edition).
Also, I like to save weekends for me, including my family. The newsletter may be a labor of love, but it’s work, and realistically most of the work for a newsletter happens the day or two before it’s out. So, Wednesday won. As a bonus, it avoids holidays based around long weekends, so consistency is even easier.
As I started publishing weekly, some amazing things started happening. People started responding to the newsletter more often. It got easier to publish it on a weekly basis, as I was always thinking about what to put in it, rather than putting off thinking about it. And every week, more people subscribe. This isn’t the most massive audience, but it has grown at a much faster rate since it became a weekly endeavor.
It’s a story that couldn’t be more perfect to share as we get in gear for the year. It was a New Year’s Resolution that I happened to make in July. And six months later, I can proudly say I kept it.
We don’t have a good holiday or tradition for that, do we – one to celebrate what we set out to do? What if every year on April 11 – a day that’s 100 days after January 1 and coincidentally a good day for sharing information (see the 4/11 date as 411, which used to be what we’d dial for information) – we all checked in with each other and shared how we’re doing with those resolutions? Anyone can make a resolution, but do we ever keep track of who keeps them, or if we even keep our own?
Fortunately, my goal was consistency, not brevity. I try to make resolutions I have a shot at keeping.
What are your resolutions? What are your plans for the start of the year? If you resolve to share what you’re making of yourself (with just me, not for publication in the newsletter), I’d love to hear it.
Thanks for joining for another year.
May this be a fulfilling and healthy and peaceful and rewarding year for you and your loved ones.
LEARN. TRY. SHARE.
HOW BLOCKCHAIN ELIMINATES ONLINE FRAUD
Donny Dvorin wrote an excellent piece for marketers trying to learn more about blockchain and the tangible value it provides in this profile of Brave / Basic Attention Token, Lucidity, and other companies. For anyone who says blockchain isn’t a fit for the ad industry, maybe this will make you think again.
HOW MUCH OF THE INTERNET IS FAKE?
A lot. Like, all of it. The ads. The people. The content. The URLs. Pretty much everything except this newsletter, which is real, if not spectacular.
IS THE AGENCY OF THE FUTURE PURELY AI?
Serial Marketers member Eli Mandelbaum has a new edition of his podcast out where he interviews the CEO of Tailor Brands, Yali Saar. Saar runs a low-cost, AI-powered brand-building shop for SMBs. A friend of mine recently got his logo made from Tailor, and it’s a good alternative to options like Fiverr. I also added it to the list of 100+ tech recommendations.
Want to include your event below? Just reply with the details.
FIXING OUR BROKEN ONLINE AD ECOSYSTEM
What broken ad ecosystem? What a crazy premise. But if it’s not so crazy, John Battelle will set us all straight. I was at one of these events in this series recently, and it’s fantastic.
Need your Gritty fix? You better. Because Grittycon is coming. I mentioned #Grittycon on Twitter in connection with the aforementioned Adweek article. Then Caroline McCarthy said she would keynote. And now she’s co-chairing it, and keynoting. Don Steele chimed in with his own contribution; he’s co-chairing too. Dates coming soon. This is happening. Sign up for more info.
ANA BRAND MASTERS
February 27-March 1
Submissions: globally through February 20
Event: April 5, Venice, Italy
The Crowdsourcing Week BOLD Awards, showcasing innovative businesses and individuals, will be a rewarding event for amazing projects, individuals and companies. After submitting your project, our team will review it within 1 week. If your project is accepted, it will appear online and votes will start on Jan 10th. Submissions are open and will be closed on February 20, 2019. Submitting a project will be completely free until January 1st, 2019.