Discover more from The Hybrid Hacker
First 3 Months of The Hybrid Hacker
Some numbers about the newsletter and some more insights.
It has already been three months since I started writing The Hybrid Hacker newsletter. So, today, instead of my regular essay about leadership, productivity, or engineering, I wanted to share some juicy details about the newsletter with you.
If you are only interested in the free gift, don't worry - I understand, and you can just scroll down to find it. 🙂
🚀 We just Hit 200+ Subscribers!
A few days ago, this newsletter reached a milestone of 200 subscribers with an impressive open rate ranging from 48% to 52%. While these numbers may seem insignificant, especially when comparing to more famous newsletters that I am subscribed to, reaching this milestone has been an achievement that I am proud of.
Numbers aren't everything, and I tend to value the quality of my audience over quantity. Along with many readers from smaller companies whom I find valuable, The Hybrid Hacker is currently being read by individuals from major companies such as Meta, Google, Amazon, and Automattic.
✍️ How Everything Started
When I started this newsletter in January, to be honest, it was just something impulsive that was mainly driven by:
💪 Self Improvement: one of my New Year's resolutions for 2023 was to write more, and I saw this as a good opportunity to do so.
👥 Share more: once upon a time, I was very active on social networks and had a good niche of followers. However, in recent years, I have totally disappeared, and recently I have started feeling the desire to share more about my job and the knowledge I have built over the years.
So one day, while exploring Substack, I thought:
"I've failed at writing so many blogs that failing with a newsletter won't hurt me much more."
And so I’ve setup an account and started writing.
📝 The Format
When I started writing The Hybrid Hacker newsletter, my main objective was to create content that was easy to write and accessible for readers. If you compare the first few newsletter issues with the current ones, you'll notice the difference:
Initially, I curated articles, resources, and tips about leadership, productivity, and remote work written by others. However, it began to feel like I wasn't adding much value.
I then attempted to write my first essay, The Strategic Value of Misdirection in Leadership which marked a turning point in my writing style. From that point on, I focused on writing a main essay centered on leadership, productivity or engineering topics, in every newsletter issue. Some of the recent topics I've written about include:
Currently, my entire focus is on delivering a well-written essay every week for my readers. I still have a lot to learn and improve, but I’m fully committed to get there.
🏆 Challenges and Rewards
Writing a newsletter, especially if you want to deliver original content, can be quite challenging. There are several factors that can influence this, and in my case, the major ones were:
⏱️ Time: I have a full-time job that demands most of my time during the day, and I also have a family with two kids. Juggling all these responsibilities and still carving out time to write proved to be a challenge.
💡 SOLUTION: I decided to remove a few side-projects from my daily routine and use that time for the newsletter. I also stopped watching Netflix for couple of nights a week.
💯 Overcoming Perfectionism: As a non-professional writer, delivering something that will be read by many people can be daunting, and the desire to achieve perfection can slow you down. This is even more true if you write in a language that is not your native one.
💡 SOLUTION: I forced myself to publish my essays also if I wasn’t 100% happy with them. I also use ChatGPT to proofread at least parts of my articles where I don’t feel confident enough.
📚 Find your Niche: In my case, I have varied interests (not to say I’m a “Jack of all trades”) and would love to write about many different topics each week. However, it's essential to define your niche and focus on delivering value in that area.
💡 SOLUTION: I reduced the number of topics covered in the newsletter and decided to concentrate on Leadership, Productivity, and Engineering - topics where I can add value.
Despite the challenges, I've been rewarded in many ways during these past three months, which goes a long way in giving me the motivation to keep writing. Some of the rewards include:
👥 Making new connections, meeting other newsletter writers and increasing my social presence.
✍️ I improved my writing skills. The more you write, the more you improve your writing skills.
🧠 Thinking more deeply about concepts that I always took for granted.
📝 Enhancing my note-taking skills. Writing a newsletter, forces you to read more and when I read more, as a consequence, I take more notes.
📈 How I Grew my Audience
Well, I didn't really...
Over the last three months, I didn't spend much time marketing this newsletter. The only thing I did was post it on on ProductHunt. Despite the fact that the launch was done in just 30 minutes without any planning, it gave me a good boost (as you can see from the graph).
For now, I don't have big plans. My priorities are twofold:
Write valuable content that could be useful to other professionals
Write for myself to encourage reflection and enhance my writing style
📣 I Need your Input
So what’s next for The Hybrid Hacker? As mentioned earlier, I'd like to focus more on writing insightful essays about Leadership, Productivity, and Engineering topics. However, I am interested in hearing more from my readers about what you'd like to see more of on this newsletter.
While I have received useful feedback in the past, it has been from only a few readers. This is understandable as everyone has a busy schedule. For this reason, I have decided to create a poll to collect your opinions. It will take only a single click and provide me with valuable information about the topics you're interested in.
By gathering this information, I'll be in a better position to tailor my content to meet your needs, and ensure that each essay truly resonates with my readers.
Thank you in advance for your support and engagement with The Hybrid Hacker!
✌️ That’s all folks
That's all for today! As always, I would love to hear from my readers (and if you've made it this far, you're definitely one of the bravest). Please don't hesitate to connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter and send a message. I always respond to everyone!