Years ago I published a weekly ham radio newsletter, something I toiled at for nearly a year before pulling the plug. The rigors of writing regularly and against a deadline were sufficient to convince me I might not be suited for the task.
(Blogging is easy by comparison. Write what you want, when you want, as infrequently as you want, and hit the button)
Understanding the effort and commitment required for success in that sort of endeavor has made me really admire the work of N8GNJ with his Zero Retries Newsletter. When Steve first launched his weekly letter I wondered if it might be a short-lived venture.
Now that ZR has entered a second year of publication it’s obvious I was wrong about that. His work and success has encouraged me to consider a second foray into that medium. I’ve got this idea, not yet formed enough to make an announcement, but I have been comparing potential platform options. Steve uses Substack for Zero Retries and that seems to have become the mother of all letter publishing platforms, but there are other options.
Revue, Ghost, Buttondown, etc. Tinyletter was what I used with my newsletter and it’s still around. The problem with all of them is that they want to be that friendly small company solution right now, with high hopes of selling out to a much larger company later making it impossible to know who a newsletter author will end up in bed with a few years down the road.
I could handle the subscription and distribution via mailman or some such tool running on my own server, but that’s a lot of additional work and the kind of thing that could doom a newsletter before it ever had time to gain traction.
Still, choosing a suitable platform is the easy part.
Creating compelling content is the major component of any such enterprise as is the execution of getting it all assembled and out the door on a regular schedule. Not to mention this would be a not for profit work of passion with no reward other than the work.
Not exactly the kind of job description that draws a crowd.