In the inaugural episode of the Newsletterers series, I interviewed Chris Short who publishes the weekly DevOps’ish newsletter.
Due to his military background Chris was a voracious consumer of information about foreign policy, intelligence, communications standards, and so on.
When he got out his focus switched more to tech news. Chris figured he was reading all this information anyways, why not make it useful for other people. Over the last 2+ years he has “lowered the barrier to entry to devops” by publishing DevOps’ish.
Over the course of our conversation we talked about:
- Why weekly? It takes work; probably not paid enough.
- Your newsletter has to fit your personality. Chris likes dynamism, but likes having structure behind it.
- How no one will subscribe but your friends at first.
- Finding an audience (hint: your existing network is a great place to start)
- “A newsletter is what you make it”…Making the shape of your newsletter match the intent with the simplest possible structure.
- How to pick the publishing time (7am UTC)
- What about other languages than your native one?
- Chris’s workflow: Pocket (source of truth) -> IFTTTT -> Bitly -> Tumbler queuing system to distribute 37 articles a day -> Socials -> Most clicks makes newsletter
- The value of a growth strategy (e.g. paid advertising)
- How changes in personal circumstances can affect your newsletter, the consequences, and recovering
- The importance of bringing people up with you.
- How running a newsletter opened the door to being a CNCF ambassador after loosing a job
- And more!
If you aren’t already, please consider subscribing to both this podcast and my newsletter. I also have the twitter, and would love to talk to you about this episode there.