3 early lessons from building this newsletter

And one major change I'm already making

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The Daily Creator is a little over a month old.

Many of you are building newsletters — or want to build newsletters — so I thought it’d be helpful to share a few things I’ve learned so far in building this newsletter.

Here are 3 lessons from the first month of The Daily Creator.

1. All the insights come after you start

I came up with The Daily Creator concept on November 30 last year.

The next day, I:

  • set up the publication on beehiiv

  • designed a simple logo

  • wrote a Welcome Email

  • announced the project on Twitter and LinkedIn

  • started collecting subscribers

I did all of this in about 90 minutes.

I didn’t have everything figured out and made some mistakes.

But the important lesson is I went from idea to executing and collecting subscribers in less than 24 hours.

Once I was “live” publicly, I started getting feedback and picking up insights. None of that would have happened had I kept thinking about the idea without launching.

If you want to launch your own newsletter, I’d encourage you to give yourself one day and launch the thing.

Don’t overthink names, logos, what you’ll write about … nothing.

Everything can be changed along the way.

2. Have a vision and then test it with different topics

My vision for The Daily Creator was that this newsletter would be valuable to people who want to build audiences online and build businesses around those audiences.

While I believe that’s still true, my vision has evolved.

Now my vision for The Daily Creator is it’s a newsletter for anyone who wants to be a better writer. Not just those who want to build online audiences.

How did this vision evolve?

By trying different topics and seeing what feedback I received.

I’ve written about:

Plus many other topics.

These are all mini tests to see what people respond to.

So far, what has received the most feedback are tactical posts that help people be better communicators.

This tells me what’s resonating isn’t just for “creators,” but for people who use writing and communication skills for a professional purpose just as much as for building their personal brand online.

I’ll keep this top of mind going forward (and continue to test this hypothesis).

3. Don’t be afraid to change

I started The Daily Creator as a Monday-Friday newsletter.

One of the analytics I’ve been monitoring closely is daily open rate.

“Will people open this email every day?” I wondered.

Here’s what I’ve found so far:

Our average current open rate is 42%.

Not bad for a new daily newsletter.

However, I’ve noticed that “strong” days (based on open rate) are often followed by “weaker” days, then another “strong” day.

I have two hypotheses based on that:

(1) Because this newsletter is still new, we haven’t yet developed a daily habit with our audience

(2) Because this newsletter is evergreen content and not news-based content, maybe the best format is not daily.

So, I am going to test the second hypothesis.

Starting next week, The Daily Creator will publish 3x per week instead of 5x. Our new cadence will be Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.

I want to see how that impacts open rate of each issue and what feedback I get.

If it helps, we’ll stick with that cadence. If it doesn’t, we’ll go back to every weekday or try another approach.

And that’s the lesson here: don’t be afraid to change post-launch based on what you learn.

Newsletters are startup businesses. It’s natural to make many iterations before finding “product market fit.”

As always, my goal is to make The Daily Creator as valuable as possible for those of you who want to become better writers.

I’ll keep testing and listening to your feedback along the way.

Action Item

Start your newsletter!

If you are thinking about it and haven’t started yet, make this the week you go from idea to execution.

Work with Teddy

  • Personal Brand Consulting: I have 5 consulting spots open for entrepreneurs, executives and business owners who want to build their personal brands online. I’ll work with you 1:1. If you're interested, please reply to this email with "consulting."

  • Sponsorship: We'll soon be opening applications for presenting sponsors of The Daily Creator newsletter. If you're interested in sponsoring this newsletter, please reply to this email with "sponsor."

Thank you!

Helpful Resources

  • If you need a newsletter platform, I recommend Beehiiv

  • If you need a LinkedIn analytics tool, I recommend Shield

  • If you need a social publishing platform, I recommend Hypefury

Thanks for reading.

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