Reflections on applying Ship 30 for 30 principles to my newsletter content

As I mentioned last week, I’m currently taking Ship 30 for 30 (my essays can be found here).

I’m learning a lot in this cohort-based course–there’s way more material than I had expected going into it.

Some of the things I’ve learned so far include:

  • It’s important to write for a super-specific audience. It’s almost like you should be writing for a single individual. Because of the scale of the internet, many people will relate to that individual. But by writing to that specific individual, you allow your reader to feel like you’re writing specifically to them.
  • It’s important to know what you want your reader to take away (and tell them that in the headline). People are more likely to read your stuff if they see the value they will get from reading it in advance. Some ways to provide value include explaining how to do something, providing a new perspective, motivating the reader to do something, or explaining the why behind something.
  • It’s important to establish your credibility with the reader. If you’re borrowing credibility from other experts, people will read to get the perspectives from those other experts. But if you’re using your credibility, people need to know why your experience with this topic will be valuable to them. If you don’t establish some form of credibility, people aren’t likely to invest the time to read your writing.

I’ve seen how these ideas work well for essays and threads on Twitter. So I started thinking about applying these to my newsletters.

And I had very mixed feelings towards this thought.

Part of me is concerned that I’m too black-and-white with my writing.

The principles from Ship 30 for 30 are designed for publishing on Twitter. When you’re writing on Twitter, many of your readers are strangers. They don’t know who you are or what you write about.

This isn’t the same case with my newsletter. Almost all of my subscribers know (of) either me or my writing. If you aren’t interested in what or how I write, I assume you’d unsubscribe.

But at the same time, part of me wonders if something is interesting here?

I like many of the suggestions they make in Ship 30 for 30. I’m assuming many other people like them, given the popularity of many of the atomic essays and threads produced during and after the course.

So maybe there are some things I can adopt into my newsletters?

One thing I’m still reflecting on with regards to this is content.

Many of my newsletters are very experiential/stream-of-consciousness regarding what I’ve been learning and thinking about throughout the week. I don’t know if there’s a place for that type of content in the Ship 30 for 30 framework?

But maybe that type of writing is better reserved for my notes in Obsidian? 🤔

If you have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them! ❤️

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