Daniel Vassallo gets 400 paid newsletter subscribers in 24 hours

For those that don't know, Daniel quit his £500k Amazon to go indie. In the past 18 months he has made $346,768 - a mixture of digital products, contracting and a slow growing SaaS.

Now he has his Profit & Loss newsletter to add into the mix.

But is it a newsletter, or a community? 🤯

On a practical note he is using Gumroad for subscriptions and Circle.so (a community tool) to share the information and build community.

In reality, it doesn't really matter how it is delivered. The important bit is people sharing valuable learning points and developing stronger networks whilst being able to make a living doing so.

I've been following Daniel's journey and love to see how he is evolving and how people like him can evolve naturally and profitably. What I'm excited by is that there is a very real human aspect to this. A focus on being human and delivering value over awkward marketing tactics.

Personally, I want to see more of this in 2021.

The newsletter world is a moving fast

I started a paid newsletter 6 months back and managed to reach $20k ARR. I feel even in this short space of time this world is quickly becoming a reality for many.

It is also changing fast. There is a lot of experimenting with pricing too, with newsletters generally ranging between $15-20. There have also been collaborations of newsletters too, with Everything probably being the first and best known for this.

Even Daniel himself has said on the IH Podcast that he wasn't keen on doing a newsletter:

You know, you mentioned newsletters. It’s something that I’ve talked about a lot, whether free newsletters or paid newsletters. Initially I thought I would enjoy writing a newsletter every week, but when I find myself trying to do that, I realize that I have nothing to say, nothing I want to talk about. I put content on a schedule. I can force myself to do that. So I chose not to do it, and I’m very likely missing out on many things in that case and in many other cases that I’m doing.

Basically, I think, to summarize the approach, is I try to optimize for enjoyment and things that I feel I would do anyway for the long sake, as soon as I can afford it, whenever I can afford it. There are definitely exceptions where I have to do something because it has to be done. But I try to, if I can, eliminate them or if I can, reduce them. I try to.

We're all allowed to change and keep open minds, as the world around us changes too. Writing regularly is hard. To run a newsletter or a community you have to be willing to show up regularly. It is not for everyone.

And to be honest, I think the worlds of newsletters and communities will merge and in many cases be hard to differentiate between them.

Twitter has served Daniel well, but he is protecting himself too

I've seen this happen over the years. People build on platforms that serve them really well, then something changes and all of a sudden people lose their income, following, clicks and traction.

The wise thing for Daniel to do is to protect himself and invest in his (paid) newsletter.

Everyone should do this. This is not new advice. People have been saying this for years. But I feel it is important to re-iterate as I feel like these days everyone is chasing a (Twitter) following over anything else.

The key is balance and having more control over your destiny. 🙌

  1. 2

    This newsletter thingy is a real thing. Looking at it from a SaaS perspective, building a niche free community (smaller Twitter), then provide tools for people to start paid channels inside can be an interesting angle. Personally going to explore it in Vietnam market where Twitter is relative to nothing.

  2. 2

    Paid newsletters are almost too good of a business not to try. You get to maintain ownership of your audience + engage them in reliably-trafficked channel (their inbox) + build trust through writing + earn subscription revenue. Plus people are just used to paying a premium for them at this point. They're like the opposite of mobile apps, where the norm is free or $1-2.

    The one downside is always being on the hook to write for another year each time you add a yearly subscriber… but even that's arguably an upside, because it forces you to commit and have a long-term focus.

  3. 2

    Any idea why it says 9,900$ total for 400 subscribers á 5$? @dvassallo

    1. 2

      The yearly option is $45 and I believe a majority went for that.

      1. 6

        Yes, currently:

        $5  MONTHLY      215 - 44%
        $25 EVERY 6 MO    63 - 13%
        $45 YEARLY       208 - 43%
                  TOTAL: 486
  4. 1

    Great article. I thought newsletters were dead and a thing of the past... but I guess I am going to have to reconsider!

  5. 1

    Newsletter Market is Growing, Twitter is Coming with Revue !!

  6. 1

    If anyone needs a customised newsletter website built with sendgrid and stripe - you can email me at [email protected]

  7. 1

    Is Everything built upon substack? How do they have multiple newsletters on one landing page like that ?
    Pretty cool idea.

  8. 1

    Twitter eventually becoming pay-to-play? My current organic reach is around 3-5%, so I guess it won't make much of a difference for me 😀

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