Just couple of weeks ago I launched my personal blog, where I write about my side-projects and general thoughts and feelings about different topics from the fields of design and tech. My newest blog post is all about creativerly. Creativerly is a weekly digest about apps, tools, software, resources, articles, podcasts, which help you boosting your creativity and productivity. Everything started back in March 2019. I wanted to build something for the creative community. As a side-effect I was also thinking about building up my own community of engaging creative people. The perfect medium for that has to be email. So I decided to set up a weekly newsletter where I share different stuff which helped me building up a solid creative workflow. But it should also focus on new findings in the design/tech field and blog posts, books, and podcast to grow and learn. When I launched the newsletter I set myself the goal of reaching 100 Subscribers within 12 months. The first 6 months I mainly focused on improving the content of the newsletter. No bigger marketing measures were taken. Well now I have four months left to reach my goal. Currently the newsletter has 44 subscribers. At the beginning of October I decided to focus more on marketing and gaining news subscribers. Here is a short summary of what has worked out during one month of focusing on marketing.
First and foremost one of my tactics was to be more active in design communities on reddit and twitter. I engaged with users on twitter, leaving relevant comments. That brought some attention to my profile, which led to some new followers. On Reddit I was mainly active in subreddits like UI/UX Design, Learn Design, Graphic Design, etc. I found a lot of posts from design students and people who were thinking of switching careers into the design field. I always wanted to share my knowledge with others who want to get started. Since I finished my bachelors degree recently I had to share some thoughts and feelings about going to university and studying design. I've made some comments, which were over 500 words, on different postings. So I really took my time to make a relevant comment which should help the user. When it suited the initial topic, I also mentioned my weekly newsletter Creativerly. It was subtle self-promotion. And it worked out. Throughout of Ocotber I have made like 6 comments on Reddit, which were all over 500 words, with a load of useful information and a link to the website of Creativerly. On Twitter I also engaged with different product-makers, founders, indie hackers. With this strategy I gained 11 new subscribers in one month. In the first place, this might not seem that great. But since the comments I have made did not take that much of my time, it is a great outcome for me. It motivates me to know that I have some marketing measures which really led to new subscribers. So if I scale up the amount of comments I made in one month, it might be possible to also gain more subscribers.
On the other Hand I also started to write blog posts on my personal blog, but also on Indie Hackers. I did not share my blog posts anywhere on social media. Somehow I already had some nice organic traffic on my website (although it is just my portfolio website, but I was really active over some time posting designs every day on instagram I might have to get back to this). So I wanted to see if some of this traffic also reaches my blog posts and therefore generates some new subscribers for my newsletter. I usually write about my side-projects but also about general thoughts and feelings about design and tech related topics. At the end of my blog posts you will find a small signup form with a little introduction of my newsletter. I did got some engagement from my blog posts but not as much as from reddit and twitter.
So ultimately what has worked out great for me so far, is just being active in communities, delivering value, knowledge and insights. Whenever I can I insert a plug to my newsletter. I did not want to simply spam a lot of posts with some shameless self-promotion. I wanted to give value first and then just use the chance to indicate potential readers to my newsletter, since I think it also gives great value to designers, makers, and creative minds.
If you want to read the blog post correlating to this post, you can do so here: Growing my newsletter to 100 subscribers – my journey so far.
What has worked out for you in gaining new subscribers? Let me know. 😊🙌