Paid newsletters are exploding in popularity. A lot of writers are making a ton of revenue writing them.
Build tools for the newsletter space
Can't write? Build tools for people that do. Examples:
Substack vs. Ghost
Both support having free/paid subscribers
Ghost is a standalone website so you get to own your distribution channel
Substack can promote your publication to other readers
Substack takes 10% of your revenue as fees, ghost 0% #pain-point
Ghost can be cloud-hosted or self-hosted
There's room to build a better platform than Substack #idea
- They don't have a strong moat around them
Build a product in a "saturated" market
- There's always room for innovation, even in a "saturated" market.
- Go niche, super specific
- Newsletter product for tech companies to send emails to their employees #idea
- Newsletter product for churches to send emails to their congregations #idea
- Be strongly opinionated
- If you think emails should be < 400 words or should be written in markdown only - make that a product #idea
Be first to a new trend
It pays to be the first to jump on new trends. There's often less tools, less resources, open ground.
Your chance to learn, teach others, and charge money. #idea
- Instead of charging an annual fee, try shortening the length of commitment. $20 a month rather than $240 a year.
- Reduces sticker shock, more feedback from churn. Otherwise you have to wait a year to figure out what to change
- Pricing as a forcing function to build better features
- Always be thinking about increasing the price. If you think the product doesn't deliver enough value to justify the product, figure out what will
- Aim to build out that feature set so you can increase the price.
Build in steps
- Very easy to get overwhelmed with what I should do: should I build a community, should I build an audience, should I build this that
- Take small steps over and time
Curation vs. Creation
- Curation is underrated
- As the size of the internet grows, it gets harder and harder to find the information you need with a reasonable time and effort
- Curation solves that and in turn creates value that people will pay for
- Example: The Browser - Finds the 1% of 1% blogs on the internet
- Example: This webpage - Curating the knowledge on business podcasts
- Scope down to a niche topic rather than a generic one, e.g., Casual gardening for people living in the city vs Gardening.
- Use RSS feeds to organize data that you can then filter each item in or out easily
Build a business you can grow with
- If there is a subject you want to be an expert on, build a product that curates and delivers the highest quality information on that topic to others
- By putting yourself in the middle of your customer and information, you are forcing yourself to learn more. Your growth = better product = more customers and increased revenue.
- For example, if you had a newsletter for gardeners, the quality of the newsletter will get better as you learn more about the ways of gardening
How frequently should you send email newsletters?
Depends on the type of message you're delivering:
Actionable: Can be less frequent because tons of value to implement for the reader. They need time to let everything sink in. ~ every week or longer.
Entertainment value: Much more frequent to stay top of mind. ~ every day.
Iteration on newsletters
Very low risk
Once you send out a newsletter, you are back to a blank page
Great way to try out different newsletter formats, content types and see what works the best
Do a 12 newsletters in 12 months challenge #idea
Provide more value with Building in Public
Don't just share stats, share more the behind-the-scenes
Shaan Puri did an extreme version where he said I will take 3 businesses to 1 M and show you exactly the steps I will take every day
This gives out more value to your audience
There's a ton of good content on the Internet on starting businesses. Almost too much. I sift through and pull out the gems for you in a 5-minute read.
All credit goes to the original speakers.Didn't find this guide useful? Let me know