A wakeup call: crafting a better newsletter

Honest feedback and higher impact writing

This newsletter has made the cardinal sin.

Maybe even more than one.

I was called out for it by Kieran Drew this week when he roasted this post in his masterclass webinar (excuse the French):

Do you see it?

I didn’t until he pointed it out, and I immediately heard myself groan and shrink to the size of a peanut in my chair…

As I’ve stated before, I really had no idea what I was doing when I started it April of last year.

After over 40 issues, I’m beginning to see a pattern and a direction as well.

The vast majority of you who subscribed did so because we’ve been connected by TwiX, and we’ve engaged with each other’s content or had conversations over DM or calls.

Half of you are still opening and reading.

Thank you for being here for so long.

I truly want to make it worth your while so my transparency with what I’m doing here is very important to me.

It has been a week of reflection for me.

Consider this issue an apology to you and gratitude for your patience.

These are my confessions…

The anatomy of yum

Week after week, I’ve been sharing my thoughts and ideas with you.

However, my format and presentation sucked.

You don’t have to be kind. Admit it, some issues were hard to read.

I’ve been re-reading them for inspiration for my long-form endeavors on Medium, and I cringed HARD on each.

Here’s how I would describe a yum-yum dish:

  • Irresistible aroma

  • Attractive presentation

  • Flavorful content

  • Delightfully seasoned

  • Made to order

  • Singular style

  • Unforgettable taste

In case I hadn’t mentioned in previous issues, I love cooking and am very passionate about it…more than I ever wanted to admit before, but I digress…

Here what these 7 bullet points are for great writing:

  1. Powerful hook

  2. Slippery slope formatting

  3. Focused content

  4. Approachable delivery

  5. Reader-focused

  6. Specific writing

  7. Powerful takeaway point

This is probably the single most valuable issue I’m trying to write, and it’s based on all the feedback that I’ve received as well as all the materials that I’ve consumed over the past few months.

Feel free to rate me on each of these, but the one that I’ve been dismally neglecting based on Kieran was…number 5.

Here’s the post again:

See it now?

Yeah. I didn’t make it about the reader at the end…just the last little defense that I am still figuring out a lot without acknowledging that someone was reading all the way to bottom.

Basically leaving you sitting there with an appetizer and no entrée or dessert.

I’ve done the same thing here.

Tasteless to be sure.

I’ve been writing more about MY THOUGHTS and MY IDEAS and MY ACTIONS without turning it back to you every few paragraphs.

I’ve only been doing it at the very end…and even I got tired of my own writing about a third of the way down when I was reading.

Moving forward, I’ll be going through this checklist each time I write regardless of whether it’s short-form or long-form.

I’m going to up my game here and restructure everything.

Shorter format. Punchier style. Satisfying consumption.

Consider this issue the introduction to the next 7-part series that is going to cover each of these points individually.

I hope you’ll stick around for it.

Closing thoughts

This year, this newsletter is going to be specifically for sharing the anatomy of quality content creation:

  • sharing my discoveries on great writing

  • sharing my discoveries on creating great visuals

  • sharing my discoveries on producing great videos

It’s all going to be from a context of sustainable presence of course. I’m not veering away from my values. I want to provide valuable information to you regardless of whether or not you are a creator like me.

Awareness of good content can save huge gobs of time so you’re consuming less nothing burgers.


P.S. There was an Usher reference in this issue…