The Future of Accessibility Weekly

After the new year, I started Accessibility Weekly back up.

It feels good to be writing and curating again. Since starting back up on January 10, I’ve only missed one issue due to travel.

Keeping a newsletter going on a regular basis turned out harder than I thought. It takes time to convert the excitement of a new project into an everyday reflex. I’ve hit that point though, and am thinking about the future of the newsletter.

Right now, Accessibility Weekly has 872 subscribers, a 56 percent open rate and a 22 percent click-through rate. It’s not bad, but the subscriber base remains small. They seem engaged though, and I’ve received good feedback thus far.

I’m thinking about a few goals for the rest of the year:

Think through changes in format, if necessary. Lately, I haven’t included many news links because those have been harder to come by. Plus, I’m more interested in resources, tools and tutorial links. They center on teaching and learning, which is one of the reasons why I started this in the first place.

Explore advertising and revenue possibilities. I’m not looking to make money from the newsletter. I would like to cover costs though. Especially when I eventually will need to start paying for Mailchimp once I hit a certain number of subscribers. I don’t really want to traditional ads, so I’m thinking either:

  1. Monthly sponsorships. Just one featured sponsor section in the newsletter, running monthly.
  2. Patreon. Since I don’t need a ton of money to cover the costs of Mailchimp and any other miscellaneous expenses, a donation platform might work.

Setting up a site to catalog the resources. I thought about publishing the resources on a site initially, and integrating with Mailchimp’s automated RSS publishing feature. I decided not to do it because it wasn’t the minimum viable product. I wanted a way to let people into the world of accessibility and educate. A newsletter did all that. Plus, sites like WebAIM, A11y Project and A11y Buzz do a good job of educating via a site. But lately, I wish I had a more reliable way to know exactly what I’ve featured before without searching individually through issues. I’m undecided here.

Running a survey. I’d like to know more about what my readers want. So I’m considering a short survey to help answer the above questions.

I’ve loved watching the newsletter grow organically. I get a rush when I see people subscribing with domain names I recognize, like IBM, Google, Microsoft and others. And It’s always thrilling when people you admire recommend your work. Mostly, I’m looking forward into making this thing a continued go-to resource for diving into accessibility!

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