Newsletter Dos & Donts

So you want to write and publish a newsletter? Based on my admittedly limited experience (when compared to the torrent of newsletter out there), it seems that the first 100 subscribers is a battle of attrition. Having said that, it is also the single greatest thing I have done online since coming online. In every respect I wish that I had started my letter 10 years ago (when I had the original idea). So here are 5 dos and 5 donts for those thinking or at the start of their journey:


  1. Do have a clear overarching theme you want to talk about, week after week, month after month. The time between newsletters creeps on you surprisingly quickly.
  2. Do have a schedule. If you’ve never done this, start with once per month. Then ramp it up to twice. Only when you know you have the process under control, switch to weekly if you dare.
  3. Do remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint.
  4. Do have an opinion. People are there for your voice and your thoughts. Developing this will take time. Embrace it.
  5. Do enjoy the process. You’re more likely to last.


  1. Don’t be afraid to start.
  2. Don’t be discouraged when days, weeks and sometimes months pass and you get no new subscribers.
  3. Don’t get discouraged when someone unsubscribes.
  4. Don’t be discouraged when nobody forwards your email on - this rarely happens. I don’t think anyone has ever forwarded on my newsletter.
  5. Don’t worry about the final look. Email design is an exercise in futility. You could try but there will always be cases when the shit breaks in the worst possible way. Keep it simple, text based, with a few images probably is best.