IN THIS ISSUE
- From the Editor’s Desk: You have to decide to keep going
- On The Wordling: What is the three-act structure in storytelling?
- News & Views: Fashion newsletters are hot in 2024
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
I heard from someone recently who created a productivity cheat sheet as a way of getting people to join her email list, and is now losing heart because only two people signed up.
She’s written one Instagram post mentioning this cheat sheet.
I want to tell you that I’ve been blogging or sending newsletters three or four times a week since 2002. For many years, especially in the beginning, I wrote and posted daily (you can find the archives here.)
I wrote my blog posts and newsletters as though I were speaking to thousands and today, I do. In fact, I write today as though I’m talking to millions and one day, I will.
While you can build momentum fast online and it’s not impossible to hit numbers quickly, building a writing career and an audience is primarily a long game.
Those who get discouraged easily don’t last.
There will be plenty of days when no one responds to what you write.
There will be plenty of weeks when you don’t get a single assignment or commission.
There will be plenty of months when you wonder if there’s a point to any of it.
You will always have the opportunity to tell yourself stories.
To decide you’re a failure.
To moan about how they had it easier.
To quit because it’s just not working for you.
You have to decide to keep going.
You have to love the work more than you hate the discomfort.
You have to hit send even when no one responds.
You have to be relentless and unapologetic about getting to where you want to go, even when no one cares, no one gets it, no one responds, and no one buys.
You have to keep showing up.
Because it’s the only way they will.
And if you want help, support, and guidance as you do, check out Wordling Plus. We’ll provide the education, the resources, the tools, and the kick up the arse to not only get you into action, but keep you going until you get the results you want. Here’s what we offer and testimonials from many happy students.
Enjoy the issue!
Natasha Khullar Relph
Editor, The Wordling
NEW ON THE WORDLING
How understanding this classic framework can change your storytelling.
The three-act structure is a popular framework used in storytelling, particularly in creative writing, playwriting, novel writing, and Hollywood filmmaking. It divides a narrative into three distinct sections or acts, each serving a specific purpose in the overall story arc.
DEAL OF THE WEEK
Sign up for the ANNUAL subscription of Wordling Plus before next week’s newsletter and:
You’ll get a complimentary 45-minute coaching session with Natasha!
NEWS & VIEWS:
How fashion newsletters are redefining style reporting
The Substack fashion community is hot, hot, hot, and it’s not just about serious long reads anymore. According to Substack, the Fashion & Beauty category subscriptions are sizzling with an 80% year-on-year surge, bringing the party straight to readers’ inboxes.
The numbers tell a compelling story of success, with newsletters in this category witnessing a remarkable 375% increase in annual recurring revenue and a substantial 213% rise in paid subscriptions each year. This surge signifies a paradigm shift in how fashion content is disseminated, embracing the dynamic and personalized approach of newsletters.
“The more successful newsletters circulating right now are often penned by former editors and fashion insiders,” writes Nina Miyashita in Vogue. “Notable mentions include former Vogue writer Liana Satenstein’s #NEVERWORN, Becky Malinsky’s 5 Things You Should Buy and the oft-controversial Leandra Medine’s The Cereal Aisle—who are using newsletters to get conversational and casual with their content, garrisoned by their professional insights and experience.”
Until recently, finding the perfect pair of jeans meant navigating physical stores or flipping through glossy fashion magazines. The landscape shifted with blogging, then Instagram turned bloggers into influencers. Now Substack is redefining how fashion-savvy individuals shop.
With social media platforms saturated with glossy and, sometimes disingenuous, content, Substack emerges as a haven for authenticity. Former editors and stylists act as virtual personal shoppers, offering genuine recommendations, styling tips, and even answering subscriber queries. It’s a shift towards sincerity in fashion advice, away from the polished and toward a more trustworthy community.
“Editors are gravitating toward Substack because they want a place to publish their work, explore their creative interests and give space to their own voices, as opposed to a voice that, for many years, was hidden behind the brands they were and are paid to edit, Farrah Storr, head of Substack partnerships in the UK and the former editor-in-chief of Elle UK told Fashionista.
Laura Reilly, formerly of InStyle, who now publishes the fashion and beauty newsletter Magasin, notes in the same article: “People just want something that feels a little cozier, like the pastoral version of social media. It’s just an innocent little email that’s reaching your inbox and you can open it or not, but you know it’s not being thrust at you by an algorithm.”
There are three primary ways in which fashion newsletters make money:
- Affiliate links
Success stories include Michael Williams of the menswear blog, A Continuous Lean, with an annual income $110,000 and Blackbird Spyplane’s Johan Weiner and Erin Wylie, who have seen paid subscriptions increase by over 65 percent in a single year. Weiner told the Business of Fashion that the revenue from the newsletter is far more than his earnings as a freelance journalist.
INDIA: “[In November], Kobo announced a raft of new devices to be available in India to complement its still very much inchoate Kobo India platform. Kobo digital books are of course available worldwide through the Kobo international store, but the Kobo India store offers, alongside the usual ocean of English and European language titles, a limited range of localised content in English and a handful of Indian languages, in the Indian currency, although a quick glance suggests most books are just reflecting US prices converted to rupees – a sure way to not get many sales.”
EL SALVADOR: “According to Portillo, one of the motivations for creating this podcast is to counteract the attacks on the Salvadoran press and for ‘the audience to see that beyond the character who investigates, beyond the character who does the reporting, there is a person who has a history of life and who suffers the consequences of wanting to do the right thing.’ The Association of Journalists of El Salvador has denounced that under the current government of President Nayib Bukele, the journalistic profession has been criminalized in that country.”
FRANCE: “The move made by the French government against the novel Bien trop peitit (Far Too Small) in July 2023─that book being part of the 15-title Collection L’Ardeur─marked a rare decision in France. Not only was the government’s decree troubling for the national publishing community but it also had the unintended effect of helping to give the book new visibility in the marketplace.”
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Find enough clever things to say, and you’re a Prime Minister; write them down and you’re a Shakespeare.”
– George Bernard Shaw
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