Why a newsletter?

So, I’ve decided to try something out here at asthejoeflies. I’ve been “blogging” for almost eight years now, and I put that words in quotes because I’m actually not a very good blogger, which should surprise no one. I may or may not be a decent writer and I do have lots of thoughts, but the blogging part of things I’ve just never loved or been good at. I don’t think I ever had dreams of making it big or anything, but at this point I pretty much know I won’t.

Which is great! I’ve decided to take things in a different direction and to try just posting some random thoughts and musings via a newsletter which you can sign up for here. What do I plan to write about in the newsletter?

Anything I want, just like I do on this blog. But unlike the blog, I’m not gonna worry about SEO keywords, formatting, or even pictures. I’ll just think and write – the part I enjoy the most. I often have a lot of random thoughts I want to ramble about in terms of the miles and points blogosphere, why family travel simultaneously rules and sucks, why there are a million podcasts these days (Spotify buying Ringer wtf???), and other miscellanea. <- I don’t think that’s a real word.

Bottom line, I’m trying this out because I want to write more, not less. It also gives me a chance to just connect directly with people (I think?), which feels more personal to me than the blog. My initial plan is to just post my newsletters here on the blog as is (all text, no pictures) – so technically the blog still exists, but we’ll see how things go. Anyway, subscribe in the form below and then keep scrolling for my first newsletter!

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Blogging vs. Writing

I said I’m not a very good blogger and I meant it. For reference, friends like Miles to Memories and Trips with Tykes started around the same time as me (eight years ago give or take) and through hard work and diligence are two incredibly successful bloggers in two different corners of the internet (with some overlap). That’s because they both put in the work that it takes to blog as opposed to just write as a hobby. (Why yes, I did strategically bug both of them to work on podcasts with me, thanks for asking.)

So for people who’ve never gone to far down the blogging rabbit hole, it’s way more than just writing. Sure having good content matters but in today’s internet you need at least a few of the following:

  • Good search engine optimization (SEO) – an entire industry is built on teaching people how to get to the top of Google search rankings which is a huge driver of traffic
  • Good images – yes, having images is obvious, but the physical act of editing and placing images in your blog posts is actually a lot of work
  • Social media – promoting your work is a lot of work in and of itself. See – Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
  • Curating posts – it’s important to go back and update your work, delete old posts, curate, stuff like that
  • Consistency – until you have a big audience, you have to really work at it all the time. Helps with SEO, too
  • Monetizing – regardless of how a blogger decides to monetize, the actual act of monetization is a lot of work

I probably missed a bunch of other stuff. But it’s stuff like that which people sometimes don’t realize. One can spend thirty minutes writing a post but then will need to spend another thirty minutes getting it ready for the internet. That’s what makes those few bloggers who just type and hit send all the more impressive. Sure great content can bring you a loyal and large readership without any of that other blogging stuff, but that’s the exception.

Well one of the reasons I’m bad at all of the above is because I really don’t enjoy all of the above. But I do enjoy the writing. And if you enjoy writing and think you might enjoy all that other stuff I still think you could start a blog and hit it big in this day and age. A lot of my favorite stuff comes from some of the newer people in the space.

But like I said, I don’t love the blogging stuff, so I’m just gonna focus on writing for awhile and see how it goes. So – hit that subscribe button and hopefully you’ll get some good #content in your inbox! πŸ™‚

Just an average joe trying to fly his family for less

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