Like many people, I decided to launch a newsletter. I read a lot about “best practices” and tried to follow advice in resources like the GNI Startups Playbook. The first thing to do, of course, was to figure out what the hell I was going to write about. After considering climate change (too much competition), I decided what the world really, really needed was a newsletter about the failures of the mental healthcare system. Obviously, I know how to have fun.

The next step was deciding on a platform. Do you think that was easy? No, that was not easy. There’s so many. Substack, Ghost, Beehiiv. Those are just a few. I could even use this platform for newsletters, I guess, but I really don’t know how to do that yet. Anyway, I started with Beehiiv, but all their good features cost dolares. So, no, I’m not going to take the risk. Substack, I decided, would be my platform. Which was all fine and good until it was revealed that Nazis were profiting off of it.

Thing is, I don’t know what upsets me more: That the fascists were able to monetize an audience and that I haven’t or that Substack was allowing this to happen. Of course, we all know batshit lunacy sells in the American marketplace of toxic ideas.

Eight months later, I’m still at it. The newsletter, if you want to subscribe, is called The Receptor. It’s kind of an experiment to see if I can learn how to build an audience. It’s also a way to keep doing some journalism. Maybe I’ll make a few bucks so that I can start a college fund for my daughters.

If I was smart, I would turn this into a how-to article about what to do to create a successful newsletter. But I have not yet created a successful newsletter. It’s not as easy as you might think! Also, everyone seems to want create a newsletter these days. It’s like blogging, except I get to send the blog posts to inboxes when I publish them. Yeah, it’s annoying. Because a gazillion other people are sending email newsletters to inboxes.

(And, yes, I realize that being on Substack may be seen some as an implicit endorsement of their platforming of unsavory characters, but it really is not. I just have not figured out which platform to switch to yet).

#newsletters #media #mentalhealth