Open Thinkering


Tag: sponsorship

How to sponsor Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel newsletter

TL;DR: My weekly newsletter, Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel, goes out every Sunday morning (UK time). There’s 850+ subscribers and that’s growing every week. You can sponsor the newsletter by emailing me: [email protected]. It’s currently £400 per month, but this will increase in 2016.

A few years ago I started a newsletter called Things I Learned This Week. It was for my own benefit as I used it as a way to review what I’d come across that week. It started off small, but grew by word of mouth and people forwarding it to their friends.

Last year, I renamed it to Things We Learned This Week as I wanted to make it more inclusive. I’d envisioned people sending me links which I’d curate into something useful. That happened on occasion, but it became clear that people appreciate a clear voice.

So, this summer I rebranded my newsletter Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel. My good friend Bryan Mathers created a wonderful header image and I set up a page at My aim with Thought Shrapnel is to inform, entertain, and persuade. The current format is:

  • Sponsor message
  • Short introduction
  • Tweet of the week
  • Three main links (education, technology, productivity)
  • Six shorter links
  • GIF of the week
  • Quotation of the week

There’s two simple and straightforward reasons I’ve decided to allow limited, carefully chosen sponsorship. The first is that my newsletter takes time to create. It’s extra to my weekday commitments, taking me away from my wife and children. I need a justification for that. Second, it motivates me to create an issue during a week when I’d otherwise be lazy. There were plenty of issues of Things I Didn’t Learn This Week back in the day.

Sponsoring Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel gets your message in front of an engaged audience of educators, technologists and productivity enthusiasts. Sponsorship is exclusive: there’s only one sponsor per month.

Here’s how it looks at the top of the newsletter:

Sponsorship screenshot

There’s also a space for the sponsor’s logo at the bottom of the newsletter.

Check out previous issues of Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel using the link below. Note that until Issue #185 the newsletter was known under a different name:

Newsletter archive

If you’d like to make an enquiry, including requesting more detailed statistics, please email me at [email protected]. Multi-month sponsorships and dates further out than six months are also available.

Many thanks to Makers Academy, nCube, Think Associates, and C-Learning for being early adopters and supporting the newsletter over the last few months!

A short note on syndication

I’m delighted to announce that as of this Sunday, my regular series ‘Things I Learned This Week’ will also feature on the xplanation blog is a new section entitled Learning New Tricks. I’m hoping that the things I share here will be of use to the audience over there. I’m more than happy to syndicate my posts to other blogs and, indeed, guest post for people should they desire. 🙂

I’m considering – only considering – using John Gruber’s sponsorship model over at the excellent Daring Fireball. It would consist of a pre-approved, sponsored post in addition to my usual content each week. I’d love to hear from potential sponsors and readers who have views (either for or against) in the comments section below. If you’d like to contact me directly, use this form and I’ll get straight back to you. :-p

Image CC BY-SA Orin Zebest