I’ve been celebrating the 20th anniversary of BrentOzar.com, but it just so happens that this year marks another fun anniversary.
Ten years ago, way back in 2011, I wrote:
You’re overworked. You don’t have the time to sit around reading blogs, keeping up on the latest industry news, and reading web comics.
That’s where we come in. To stay on top of our game, we have to spend a couple days per week honing our skills. We’ve started a weekly email recapping the best stuff we’ve found in the community this week.
You can read the very first one we sent, complete with our original Brent Ozar PLF branding featuring me, Jeremiah, Kendra, and Tim:
The look has changed a lot since then, but the idea is still the same: share the best links from a week of web surfing. There’s always database stuff, but also generally interesting stuff, too.
When we decided to launch a newsletter, we did not want it to be about our own content. If you want to read the stuff we’ve written, that’s what the blog is for. It didn’t make sense to craft new content and then keep it hidden behind a newsletter subscription.
Instead, we wanted to share the best stuff that other folks have written – things that you might not otherwise find. Ten years ago, the blog was already really popular in the database industry, so we knew that if we launched a newsletter, we’d get a lot of subscribers quickly. (It worked: we’ve had over 100K subscribers for quite a while.) We wanted to help other bloggers in our industry by bringing them thousands of fresh readers.
I know firsthand how hard it is to start a blog. You toil away writing a really helpful post – only to have it disappear into the ether, apparently with no readers and no comments at all. Our newsletter tries to fix that by spotlighting the good stuff – no matter whether it’s an established blogger, or someone who’s brand spankin’ new. My favorite moments are when new bloggers say excitedly, “holy smokes, you brought a lot of readers to my blog!” I look at the newsletter as a service to both the readers and to bloggers in our industry.
And it’s worked that exact same way every Monday for a decade.