NEWSLETTER MINISERIES — EPISODE 2

Newsletter — Building The Deep Connection

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

A quick RECAP

In the last episode, we highlighted the conventional way of building connections through profile follows, shoutouts and engagement, and we discussed why it was insufficient in the new media era. In this episode, I want to discuss the impetus to build an email following and the challenges of growing it organically here on Medium.

The impetus of building a deep connection with your followers

Under the new relational media that CEO Medium has advocated, the rules for writing on Medium has changed. The reality has shown there are too many writers fighting for a limited pool of paying readers. The competition is fierce and the only way to stand out in the crowd is to develop a channel that can get your articles directly to your readers instead of depending on the platform to distribute them for you.

Two types of email following

There are two types of email following. One is an email notification and the other is the email newsletter. When you write on Medium and you do not have a personal publication, the only feature available to you is building an email notification list in which your subscribers would receive an email with a preview to your latest post to notify them of your new post. If you want a newsletter feature, then you must set up your own publication which will come with the feature for you to send out newsletters.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The drawback of email notification

The email notification funnel requires a 2 step process before you can earn from it. First, your reader must click open the email, second, your reader needs to be convinced by the email preview to click and read the article on the platform. Most of your readers have already read your preview and have a rough idea of your posts but because they didn’t click the follow-through, you actually get zero views and earn nothing.

Because of this, I would rather build a newsletter following than a notification following.

The challenge

There were 2 issues that I have faced when trying to build a newsletter following on Medium.

  1. Most Mediumites don’t know the difference between subscribing to an email notification versus an email newsletter, they ended up subscribing to your email notification thinking they have subscribed to your newsletter.
  2. There is no way to import email subscribers from your Medium email notification over to your Medium email newsletter.

I was able to build an email notification list, unfortunately, nobody was reading my newsletter.

The feature I wish Medium newsletter had

The key issue about Medium’s newsletter that bothered me deeply is the lack of the following key feature.

  • The ability to set up your own subscription model for the exclusive newsletter in addition to Medium’s basic subscription. This is key for building a primary and stable income source.

The solution

If you want to develop an income for your exclusive newsletter, the only way currently, is to host it off Medium, on platforms such as Substack and Revue.

The solution is not a perfect one, as it requires duplicate effort to build your following on two different platforms, but on the positive side, this is a way to spread your eggs in two different baskets.

The benefit of hosting it on a separate platform

When I first move Coffee Times Newsletter over to Substack, I was able to combine both my email notification list and my email newsletter list and start with a base of thirty plus subscribers. But because I was still doing my newsletter on Medium during the transition, my subscribers on substack were not moving, followers don't see the need as they are still on the same platform, but soon as I announced I am uprooting over to Substack by end of the month I see my email subscribers climb.

Coffee Times on Substack

The need to spread your eggs in different baskets

If you are not convinced of the need to spread your eggs, I do recommend you to read the following two recent articles by Benny Lim and Mary Holman explaining why a slight change in Medium’s direction has resulted in a significant impact for big earners to the extent that some are calling it quits. This could be you in the near future.

If you are into building newsletters, I will be discussing the way to do a successful newsletter in my next article. Formats, templates, and contents etc.

So remember to stay tuned and meanwhile please subscribe to my email newsletter.

If you do not have a Medium account. You can follow this link to subscribe for one. Your subscription through this link will help to support Coffee Times and also gain you unlimited access to all the articles on Medium.

Do follow us at Coffee Times on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Substack and buymeacoffee.

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I cannot change the world, but I can change my world