Newsletters: Worth Considering? (Plus Giveaway)

Yes, I’ve had a newsletter. Twice. Each time, it became too unwieldy to manage. Too much content. When I switched from newsletter to blog (which seemed sensible at the time), I deleted the newsletter address list, after I invited everyone over to the blog.

That left me with, umm, no announcement or contact list. Sure, the blog mentions my classes, but if you ask “Really? Where? ” you aren’t alone. The Workshops page on this blog is often overlooked. And updating it often happens only after I announce something on the blog. (See my upcoming demos at Arizona Art Supply).

newspaper-stackI can’t really expect people who are waiting for me to announce the poetry-writing class to read the blog every day to see when it will run (Late July, early August start) or to check the Workshop page. A newsletter would be a great way to do that.  I am grateful to everyone who is signed up to the blog, and to everyone who tells me they start their day reading the blog. Realistically, though, a lot of people check in once a week, Or once a month.

So here is the question: Should I start a once-every-two-week newsletter? Or are newsletters passe? (I don’t want to create a business Facebook page. Yet)

More information:

  • The newsletter would list my classes and demos, in person and online, local to me or local to you.
  • It could contain a few other items not in this blog–a link to a clever tutorial (not necessarily mine), a book suggestion (creativity-related, including books I quit reading or didn’t enjoy), or a creative-life tip or quote from my reading.  It would be short (not like my blogs, I know).
  • You’d be able to subscribe and unsubscribe anytime you wanted (you’ll have to unsubscribe from the same email you subscribed with). No questions asked.
  • I’ll start small, just an email list I handle myself. No cookies, no tracking, no selling or renting your name. I have enough trouble managing my time.

Leave a comment if you have ideas, suggestions, or thoughts about a newsletter.


Oh, and of course there will be a drawing for leaving a comment and taking the poll:  a copy of Creating Time, by Marney  Makridakis. The subtitle is “Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life.” You can read my earlier review here.

Note: Thanks for the 76 percent of readers who would read a newsletter. Another 11 percent said “It depends if I like it.”  So, it looks like I’ll be starting a newsletter soon. Stay tuned–I have to create a space to sign up and get the first copy together. Thanks for voting!  Barbara I is the winner of Marney’s book!

Quinn McDonald is curious, again.

18 thoughts on “Newsletters: Worth Considering? (Plus Giveaway)

    • Thanks for that link. It is right on and exactly right–which is why I am doing a newsletter. I am not quitting the blog. I am not getting off social media. A newsletter is really a way for people who miss a class or workshop announcement on my blog to get the information. For old reasons of etiquette, I simply cannot mention my class in Madeline Island more than once a month on my blog and once on social media, which means it’s easily missed. My blog followers are about one-third European, Australian, British, South American and East Asian. Which means all my location workshops do not inspire them to invite me to their country (what a wish!), but rather irritate them. So, the newsletter will be about on-line and in-person class announcements and a few extras for people who sign up to the newsletter. and give the people who want to concentrate more on writing and art that choice.

  1. If a newsletter means more of Quinn then I say a resounding ‘Yes’ to that! Of course if you are announcing classes close to home (ie in the US) then I will be very jealous a lot of the time as I can’t come to them and would really love to, but….. I suspect there will more than just class announcements and I love your writing and ideas.

  2. All e-marketing courses say “The money is on the list”. Conversion rates are 3 to 6%. That is around 4 persons in each 100 will buy from you. People here love you and will suscribe. That is thrilling but you want hundreds of persons opening your newsletter and reading about what you have to offer.
    Guess who´s been taking a class or a dozen about blogging, Facebooking and marketing? 😉

  3. Unless you go global with workshops and classes, I probably wouldn’t subscribe to a newsletter because I’m a regular here at the blog. It’s the start to my day with a morning coffee . . . unless there’s granddaughters leaping into my bed in the early hours that is! Cuddles, deep and meaning ful chats and stories will always win out then and I’ve just had a long weekend of them!

    • That does sound like an excellent way to start the day! I’m hoping to grow into classes overseas–I’d love to teach in Australia and England, Germany and The Netherlands. I know people there–but it will have to come about on its own. And remember, I will start to teach online, too. But it’s true, you can always check the tab on the site that says, “Classs, demos and workshops” and see what’s going on!

  4. I think doing a sample newsletter is a good idea. If a newsletter would be anything like your blog, then the newsletter would go over nicely (and don’t forget to include “Ask Quinn A Question About Medium/Collage” column).

  5. Quinn – As you already know, I start my day, every day, with your blog. And I would definitely subscribe to your newsletter. I would love more detail about classes/workshops (in case I miss it on your blog). Make it the easiest on yourself that you can but count me in!

    • It’s not going to be a fancy newsletter–it’s going to be a list of classes and demos, online and in person, and tip or book recommendation, a link or a question answered (see Ms. Lilypad’s comment.)

  6. Quinn, I follow your blog through WordPress feed reader and I get your email notifications when you do a post- but I’d still like and would subscribe to a newsletter, simply because I wouldn’t want to miss anything!

    • That’s the thing–you got it exactly right. I will mention a class I am gong to teach once on the blog. You’d have to dig for it to find it. But there are people who want to know what I am teaching and where, and grab a tip and the newsletter is great for doing that.

  7. I think the newsletter would be helpful in announcing your workshops/classes etc. — stand out from the blog for those that don’t read it every day (however, why they might not is beyond me!). I would say, give it a whirl and see what happens. You could always try it and if it didn’t seem to serve its purpose then just stop creating it. I guess the question you need to answer is whether it is worth your time in creating it and sending it out. Is the return as great as your investment? That will be the info you need to gather to see if it is worthwhile. I’d love to win Marney’s book. Thanks for the chance!

  8. Just a couple thoughts:
    – maybe “Quinn’s Workshops” is a title that doesn’t stand out enough, and “workshops” doesn’t mean “classes” for everybody.
    – having your tab headings (“Home, Copyright, etc”) above your banner graphic makes them visually merge with the title. They might stand out better (and be more noticed and used) if you move them below the graphic.
    – the tabs themselves could perhaps be more compelling. Something like:
    Blog – Classes – Coaching – Books – Shop – About Quinn
    – there’s an “Email subscription” link right at the top of the page, I thought that WAS a newsletter! I think it implies you already have an email list of 646 addresses.
    – instead of a newsletter, which would be (1) another thing for you to fit into your schedule, (2) email, which if it isn’t universally despised is at least not anybody’s favorite, why don’t you start a magazine? Electronic only, distributed in the iTunes Newsstand. Charge for it (maybe $1.99 per month). If it gets off the ground, it becomes self-funding and you can pay contributors. Oh, and include a “calendar” section where you can list classes you — and others? — have coming up.

    • Good suggestions. The “email subscriptions” is run by WordPress, and I have no idea who subscribes or who doesn’t. It simply means every new post gets emailed to people who want it. It’s the update to RSS feed. Aren’t magazines much harder to produce than an email? The online ‘zines I’ve seen look like the real thing, and you can “page” through them. The people who have them say they take about two hours a day for two weeks to produce them. And really? Email is despised? Wow, am I the wrong demographic!

      • Yes, it would probably be more work. Not necessarily enormously more work; at the moment it’s a bit more geeky than producing a pdf, but that’s only because the tools are still quite new and unpolished. I dunno; it’s just a thought. Inspired by “The Magazine”, which seems to be doing pretty well.

        Yes, email is despised. I work for a corporation, remember.

        • I’ll check out The Magazine, I think it may be a second step, instead of the eBooks I was planning. And not every two weeks. I see its value, it’s just different than the newsletter, which is really just to put my classes out to interested people. Ahhh, despised emails and corporations. Maybe it’s the content.

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