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Newsletter Retro 🔥 Content Hell

Alan Wanders
Alan Wanders
Hi everyone!
It’s been a little while. I skipped the last newsletter on purpose.
Just like a 15-year-old goth first stepping into public for the first time, I was looking for a reaction. And just like the goth, no one said anything.
But this is good! I don’t expect people to care about the when/where/how of this email, just that it turns up in their inbox occasionally and is a good read.
And that means I don’t feel bad about sending this out every month (instead of every other week). I need to focus on speaking to founders as I flog my new content offering, Greenhouse.
I thought for this week I’ll do a lil retro on mistakes made when I kicked the newsletter off, vs what’s going on now.

Just some goths off for a nice picnic
Just some goths off for a nice picnic
How it started
I started this newsletter as a way to send people content ideas they wouldn’t have heard of before.
Here’s the launch email I sent to people I know to get some early subscribers. The explainer seems pretty ok but there are a lot of dodgy assumptions within.
After a few issues I ran out of good ideas (how did I not see that coming?) - but more importantly, I realised the format wasn’t working.
This is why:
  1. Great ideas have context. It was a bit arrogant of me to think that people would be falling over themselves to try an idea I hadn’t even tested in the wild.
  2. I hooked onto an anti-boring B2B campaign angle, thinking it was unique. It definitely wasn’t, lots of people were talking about this already. (Shoulda done my research.)
  3. ‘Promoting a newsletter’ is not interesting. Promoting the content within it is way more interesting. The delivery mechanism isn’t the hook!
  4. People don’t care much about your concepts. They care about what’s directly in front of them and how it helps them in that moment.
  5. B2B marketing is and always will be about problem solving. Finding novel and creative ways to entertain is a big pull, but unless it’s angled at solving a problem that advances someone’s career, you’re competing with Netflix so good luck to you.
Then what?
As soon as I realised all of this, I lost direction. But I was enjoying writing so I’d put out whatever I felt like that week, including a short story for Christmas.
To hell with the format, I just wanted to keep momentum up and produce something good every other week.
Welcome to the present day
I reigned it in some after that. Now I’m up for writing about anything at all (related to B2B SaaS content - so hardly anything) as long as it roughly follows these guidelines:
  1. I’ve never read about it anywhere else. If someone does share the same experience/opinion that’s fine, I just don’t want to be talking about obvious stuff that everyone already knows.
  2. It’s firmly grounded in personal experience. Otherwise I’m not the right person to try to tell you about it.
  3. It feels like something I would have fun writing about it. Mostly selfish, this one.
👉 Over to you
Anyway, that’s me for the month. Thanks for reading! Now you’re done there are two ways you can help. Either would be amazing.
  1. Forward it on to someone who you think would like it
  2. Reply and let me know what you thought of it
Now go enjoy your extra-long bank holiday weekend!*
*UK only
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Alan Wanders
Alan Wanders

Content hits + misses for B2B SaaS folk. Sent every month.

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