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How to start a newsletter business and make big đź’µ

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Daily Writer

March 3 · Issue #11 · View online
Helping you become a better writer every day.

What you’ll find in this week’s issue:
1. How to start a newsletter business
2. Some good reading
3. Writing prompt for a better bio
You probably noticed this already, but I am now sending this newsletter weekly instead of daily. This allows me to put more work into each issue and ensure you get as much value as possible. Thanks for reading Daily Writer!
HOW TO START A NEWSLETTER BUSINESS
You probably heard of the sudden revival of newsletters and the new hype around “entrepreneurial journalism.” Entrepreneurial journalism and newsletters are intertwined because the latter is one of several ways journalists can build a stable income.
The business model
Often, the newsletters are based on a “freemium” model: the basic tier is free, and readers can subscribe to a paid - premium - tier to receive anything from exclusive issues to unreleased essays, monthly consultations, or access to a private community hosted on Facebook or Discord.
Other ways to monetize
Sadly, having a paid tier is rarely enough to make ends meet. Only about 10% of your total audience will become paid subscribers, and if your price is set to $5 per month, you’ll need a huge audience to make a sustainable income.
Let’s say you have 3,000 subscribers and 10% of them go paid - which is, honestly, pretty optimistic - it means you’ll be making $1,500 per month. It’s barely enough to pay rent in New York City. However, if you have 10,000 subscribers, you’ll make $5,000 per month. Not bad!
Most writers do not have that type of audience, and even though you have thousands of paid subscribers (lucky you) you should still explore other monetization opportunities to increase your income even further.

  • Offering ad spots to brands
The “easiest” way to monetize is to offer ad spots to other writers or brands. Prices vary, but to give you an example, Josh Spector from For The Interested (12,000 subscribers) charges $80 per 150-word ad. It’s not much, however, he keeps increasing the prices on a regular basis. I bet he will still find customers even if he charges $150.

  • Selling products to your audience
Whether it’s merch, an online course, or a book - it’s likely that your audience will be interested in what you have to offer.
How to grow your audience
Spoiler: consistency is the key.
There are several ways to grow your audience, but if you’re not being extra consistent, it won’t work. That being said, you can also:
  • Submit your newsletter to directories. This amazing tool will do it for you.
  • Cross-promote. Once you have a decent audience, you can cross-promote with other writers. Basically, they will write an issue for you and you will write an issue for them. CrowdMagnet allows you to connect with other writers who have similar subscriber counts, subject matter, and target audiences so you can cross-promote and grow together.
  • Advertise. You can buy ads in other newsletters for a pretty affordable rate. Usually, just find a newsletter you’d like to advertise in and negotiate directly with the writer.
  • Write blog posts. Writing viral blog posts will help you build a strong audience, and it’s probably the best way to grow quickly. I recommend writing on Medium if you don’t have your own blog, so you will benefit from the platform’s organic traffic.
  • Publish threads on Twitter. And don’t forget to provide a link to your newsletter in your Twitter bio.

Newsletter tools
Choose the best platform: Substack vs. Revue; Sender; Letterdrop; Mailchimp
Find sponsors: Sponsorgap, Who Sponsors Stuff
Analytics: Stacksearch Checkup is a free tool that analyzes your newsletter to provide helpful insights and suggestions (for Substack writers only).
Some good reading
There are no limits to what creators can achieve with an audience. Audiences are the wind of the Internet Ocean. Leverage them, and you can sail anywhere.
Entertainers, artists, journalists, influencers… boundaries are starting to shrink.
What if the sun began to die, and surviving humans traveled to another dimension to survive?
Writing prompt
List 15 fun (or not) facts about you. This will come in handy if you want to write a bio, whether it’s a LinkedIn bio or an “About Me” story on Medium.
If you send your list to me, I’ll send mine to you. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up becoming friends.
Thanks again for reading Daily Writer!
– Alicia
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