2021-04-09 15:39:00 +07:00 by Mark Smith
I started the newsletter back in November 2020, and I’ve published an edition every week since. That’s 21 editions so far!
In the beginning, I would extract the best links from the linkblog, prepend them with a short single paragraph intro section, usually a bit about what I had been up to that week, and that was it.
However It was apparent to me that 20-30 links in an email was quite a lot to parse through, so to draw attention to some of the links that had made an impression on me that week, I started to link to them from the intro. This worked well, though over time, the collection of links grew in size, and so did the intro section.
Eventually, though the content remained high quality, the intro section became a bit unwieldy in length and had a ‘wall of text’ problem. Readers commented that it was difficult to parse and find the content they were interested in. Since the intro was turning into a sort of meta index to the links, I added some subheadings, a few re-occurring ones and a news section that changes based on the latest trends.
Ideally I would link internally from the intro section to the relevant link further down the page, but Substack doesn’t yet have a way to do internal linking. I contacted their support to ask if it was possible, they have passed on the suggestion to the product team.
In the interim all the intro links are to the relevant post on the linkblog, which contains any comments I made when I posted it, and the link to the article. By looking at the surrounding links you can also get a sense for the ‘context’ when that link was posted.
It’s a work in progress, I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions via email or in social media comments.