I’ve been using Substack for the past few months to send out a monthly How to Japanese newsletter. It’s basically a mini version of my Japan Times column, a little something on beer or booze, and a collection of links/thoughts at the bottom. You can see more about my thinking behind the newsletter in the first issue.
I’m not familiar with Constant Contact or MailChimp or other newsletter services, so I don’t have anything in the way of comparison, but I do like Substack’s features and the way it looks. It took me a second to figure out how to edit the url slug (a feature which I think they’ve added in the past few months; it’s in the “Settings” down near the “Publish” button), but other than that, the only feature I wish they’d add is a template feature. I solved this issue by creating a template draft and just always keep it as a draft.
When I start a new month I just copy and paste the template over into the next month’s issue.
I spent this summer working on a podcast project that just wrapped up in November. You can see all 10 episodes here or over on the blog:
It was a fun process! I got to figure out all the technical stuff (and make a few consumer purchases), but putting together the content, creating a replicable system to put that content into the world, and kind of sculpting it all into something meaningful was the most fulfilling part.
Life has been busy the last two months (I finished up the bulk of the podcast work by September and really just had to piece together the episodes once I launched), but I’m already starting to think about a second season. I wish it was something I could commit to every week, but things are just too busy for that, unfortunately. And I think there is something to be said for creating more concentrated doses of content. It definitely helps build anticipation. Hopefully with 10 episodes in the bag, the second season will not only be better but easier to put together. This first season is pretty, pretty good if I do say so myself!
If you’re looking to start your own podcast, I’d recommend checking out Podcastage, specifically this post about equipment. There are a lot of really good recommendations. It doesn’t have to be all that expensive.