Starting an email newsletter

This week saw the first SharePoint Weekly email newsletter go out. After listening to lots of success stories of email newsletters on Mixergy and speaking to Peter Cooper about the Ruby Weekly and Javascript Weekly email newsletters he has running I wanted to get something up and going for SharePoint. There is so much content written about SharePoint each week by Microsoft and bloggers it’s difficult to stay up with what’s important. Dan Usher was the holder of www.sharepointweekly.com although he wasn’t doing anything with the domain name. Dan was nice enough to donate the url to the new project.

Last week I put up a couple of pages, a simple page allowing people to sign up and a sample page of SharePoint Weekly #1 which didn’t actually go out, but gave people a good taster.

Just mentioning the newsletter a couple of times on Twitter and asking people to re-tweet it has managed to grab 170 signups. From just a few tweets and no other marketing I think this is a good indication that people want a SharePoint newsletter.

What has worked really well is using the Click To Tweet service. When people signed up for the newsletter they were directed to a simple page that said ‘thank you’, but adding a link to Click To Tweet asking them to let their Twitter friends to know about SharePoint Weekly has helped people mention the newsletter on Twitter and go a little viral.

Next week I’m going to ask a few bloggers to mention the newsletter and hopefully get a new batch of subscribers. Putting together the newsletter should only take a couple of hours each week, and doing it helps me keep on top of what’s going on in the SharePoint world. The end game is tohopefully make a little side money from non-intrusive adverts in the emails, but we’ll see how that goes as the subscribed number increases.

How Come That Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not?

Also this week I quickly finished the book How Come That Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not? It was an impulse buy while shopping last weekend, which is unusual as I usually only get books recommended by others and after checking Amazon reviews.

The reviews and comments on Amazon for the book are a real mixed bag. I sped through the book which is a good sign, and although it doesn’t offer too many original ideas – it’s good to read them again. I’ve taken quite a few notes from the book and have put it on the read again shelf, so don’t be put off by the ratings and comments on Amazon. Never judge a book by its cover 🙂

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