Just about everytime I send out one of my email newsletters I lose a few subscribers. I don’t know if that’s a result of repeated failed delivery attempts that some automated system finally caps out on and boots them or someone who got the email and thought “oh this guy’s worthless crap again why did I ever subscribe to this, I need to get off this list” or maybe even someone having such a negative reaction to something I write that they unsubscribe immediately. Or maybe it’s none of those, but the fact remains as soon as I hit send I know some people on the list are going to disappear. Over the next 24-48 hours I typically add several more subscribers probably from people telling their friends or something so at the end of the day, by the time I get ready to send out the next letter a few days later the list is larger than it was before the previous people took off. I mentioned some of this on twitter yesterday in a bit of a joke and some people commented that I was better off without the folks who left – which may be true, but is honestly not something I tend to care about. When I first started generating lots of content online and putting it out for people – late 90’s or so – I ran headlong into the “making content for readers” problem. I was constantly stressing about what the audience wanted and what would help up my numbers and traffic and how to make more people happy. Which is impossible and a huge waste of time, and also results in being stressed and miserable. And I gave up on that rather quickly, I much prefer to put out things I’m happy with and that are interesting to me and see who that attracts, and if that happens to be 10s of people, or 100s of people or in some cases 1000s of people that’s great, but since I’m not really a content generator for a living this isn’t something I really worry about much. I’d rather have 100 people who genuinely dig my approach than 1000 people who are potentially annoyed and disengaged because they want me to be doing something else, or worse 10000 people who into things that I’m not into but I talked about just to try and get more people to pay attention and agree with me.
I’ll probably expand on this is a later and longer post but wanted to get a little of it down while it was on my mind.