The Current State of Micro-Chop: An Update as I Begin Year Five of This Crazy Journey


During the summer of 2016 I decided to give a career in writing a serious go. I was 32 at the time, about to turn 33 in August. I started Micro-Chop as a way to organize my self-published work as a music journalist.

As I grew my name and my resume bit by bit, I published pieces with sites like HipHopDX, Passion of the Weiss, and UndergroundHipHop.com. At the same time, I noticed that Micro-Chop was turning into a main draw for my writing instead of a casual side project. It become a thing.

I interviewed Easy Mo Bee. People from Red Bull Music Academy discovered me through my Micro-Chop pieces. I connected with producers and music enthusiasts from all over the world. I built an amazing community on Twitter that continues to grow every day. I also switched Micro-Chop’s main platform, moving from Medium to Substack in July of 2019 after a series of financial disasters left me in need of more sources of income.

When I started my Substack newsletter I committed to writing three articles every single week. In the beginning it felt like the sky was the limit and my free and paid subscriber lists grew consistently. I saw a modest but steady stream of money coming in from my work.

Right before the pandemic hit, the growth started to flatline and open rates for my newsletter weren’t quite so high. Six months later and my growth still isn’t great and neither are the open rates. There are still some pieces that seem to draw people in, but it feels like the three pieces per week model ran its course in terms of effectiveness. The reasons for this are likely varied and complicated, but the numbers don’t lie—some kind of change is needed.

I turned 37 on August 16th and it felt like a good time to pause and reflect. I also realized some additional reflection would be a good thing for the long-term health of Micro-Chop.

Having said that, here’s the plan moving forward.

  • First, immense gratitude and thanks to anyone who has taken the time to read any of my work or subscribe to this newsletter. Your support means the world to me and I’m so grateful for it.

  • Second, I’m taking the less is more approach for the next little while. I will publish one article per week for the foreseeable future. Some weeks I will publish two article if time permits. I’m returning to school as a full-time teacher soon and I need to make sure I’m 100% emotionally and mentally available to support my students in what will no doubt be a uniquely challenging year.

  • Third, I will invest more time in the coming months in my writing for places like Ableton, Reverb, Roland, and other venues. I hope this increased exposure on bigger platforms can boost my name a bit more and help Micro-Chop grow in new and exciting ways.

  • Fourth, I understand if this change of pace may be frustrating for people who signed up as a paid subscriber expecting three articles per week. I’m hoping the change will provide greater quality even if the quantity is less.

  • And fifth, I will take some of this additional time to reflect on what is and isn’t working with Micro-Chop. A pivot or change of direction might be necessary to keep things fresh and keep people engaged. I’m exploring some options and will use this time to assess what makes the most sense moving forward.

Thank you so much for your continued kind words and support. Hopefully I can keep this thing going for another year and beyond.


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