Last week, I moved From the Aisle Seat from ConvertKit to Substack.
If you’re new around here, you may not be familiar with From the Aisle Seat. It’s the weekly newsletter I write as part of this blog.
It has taken years of experimentation to figure out my purposes in this space. (Note: if you also create and you’re trying to figure this out about your own work, it takes however long it takes. Lean into the process. Trust your creativity. The results are beautiful.),
I realize now that I want this website to be more focused on information. Travel guides, itineraries, travel tips, book lists, the occasional recipe, vegan restaurant lists. Things like that.
In its new and improved version, From the Aisle Seat features an essay each week at the top and my books column, “What’s on My Tray Table,” at the bottom. It finally feels right. You can see more on its Substack home and about pages.
Since summer 2020, I’ve written almost 100 issues of From the Aisle Seat on ConvertKit. You can see them all on my newsletter archive page here on the blog. It was heavily pushed by affiliate marketers in online entrepreneur spaces and seemed like a great fit for me. And it was, at the time.
From the Aisle Seat was very different then, though. I used to focus more on travel news segments than on the human aspect of the Journey to 197. I’m grateful for what it was, but I’m more grateful for what it is now.
And the 2022 version of this newsletter fit more into Substack than it ever would into ConvertKit.
If you’re considering a newsletter for your own writing, I recommend ConvertKit for:
- Emailing for ecommerce (especially if you create and then sell things to your audience)
- Simple, basic templates or designing a custom HTML template (which is what I did)
- Dividing your audience into groups and sending them different things
I do not recommend it in lieu of Substack if you write like me. If you prefer to send essays as a supplement to your blog, or simply to take everything you write, divide it up, and send some of those posts via email: Substack is better for you, in my opinion.
Since the change, I’ve gained subscribers who found me through the Substack website. From the Aisle Seat’s open rate was 58% last week, one of the highest it’s ever had. I’m also considering a paid tier where I read each essay to you out loud in podcast format. If there’s enough demand for it, I’ll make that happen. Every day, I feel more sure Substack was the right choice.
Above all, moving From the Aisle Seat was my way of growing not only as a writer, but in my optimism. I have decided to change the narrative on my success. Moving the subscriber list when it was still small is my way of telling myself there will be more of you as I keep going. And believing in my own work enough to make that call? That’s new for me. New, necessary, and one day, normal.
Thanks for reading. Tell me your thoughts on email newsletters, if you have any. And don’t forget to subscribe. 😉