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Here's how I'm going to try to scale my tech newsletter from 0 subscribers to 10 000 subscribers

From 0 subscribers to 10 000

I'm launching today my tech newsletter Jalopinion at substack. (Ok that was self-promotion, but I hope that this will still be interesting for the Growth group.)

On my way from 0 subscribers to 10 000 subscribers, I'm planning on documenting the growth of the subscriptions as well as all the marketing activities and how well they worked within the newsletter. I'll update you guys weekly on how the growth numbers look like.

My background is in growth and especially in paid marketing and branding. Doing this project is also a fun side hustle where I can try completely different things than in my normal job. Follow the newsletter if you want to see how my tests turn out.

Interesting insights and thoughts from weeks startup podcasts and other media

I launched this newsletter because I'm consuming a lot of great content about tech and startups. Many times there are new things that I learn or things that I find super interesting that I forget after a day or two.

In my newsletter, I'm writing down only the interesting and useful stuff down. I bring my own views and thoughts into it and hope that it'll be useful for my subscribers too.

What's my initial plan for marketing the newsletter?

I'm not going to use my personal brand or network in order to market the newsletter. Not even my mum is subscribing, so I'm really starting from scratch.

Here are some things I'm planning on testing first:

  • This blog post. If you are still reading this, I beg you that you'll become my first subscriber🙏🙏🙏

  • Twitter. I'm planning on posting my opinions and posts under the tweets of the podcasts and their hosts. I'll also ask for feedback/opinions from the people who follow the podcasts.

  • Asking for referrals. Hopefully, I manage to produce so interesting content that people are willing to share it with their friends.

  • Newsletter directories. Somewhere there was a suggestion that you could get some subscribers by posting your newsletter into newsletter aggregation sites, you could get some subscribers.

  • SEO. I'm planning on doing this a bit later when I move to use my own custom domain. Since the custom domain costs 50€, I'm thinking that I'll buy it when I can get my first paid subscribers.

I'm all ears if you guys have good ideas on what to try in order to grow the newsletter. Look forward to hearing your comments and wish you all a great evening!

  1. 3

    Perhaps you’ll get some subs after a few posts, so people can see the value of your offer. 🙂

    1. 1

      That’s for sure!

      I’m just thinking that maybe the pitch is too vague, since I’m talking about my thoughts and opinions. I’m considering should I make it more concrete somehow.

      But jeah now at the first week I’m planning on postin multiple times to let the people see what kinds of things I’m doing 🤔

  2. 2

    I love this plan! I'm curious if you have considered other forms of social media? I know it takes time to create content for these different platforms, which is why I created https://newslettertosocials.com/ to help semi-automate the process. It is like Canva, but specifically for newsletter creators. I just recently launched and would love some feedback! Best of luck :)

    1. 1

      Thanks @kragerDev! 😊

      I've not yet thought about doing more than Twitter.

      An interesting question for a person that has just started a newsletter would be that how do other channels work for other substacks?

      For example, do other newsletters get subscribers from Instagram there, or is it mostly for engaging old followers? Or is Linkedin or some other social media super good with getting new subscribers?

      Writing about this could be a useful piece of content for marketing your tool too 🤔

      1. 1

        I have used social media to mostly gain exposure from these other platforms. Give others the chance to see your content in new forms and reshare, which ultimately leads back to your newsletter.

        This would be an interesting issue! Thanks for the suggestion

  3. 1

    Referrals are a great way but they can be a real pain to set them up so that you're providing enough value to your readers and balance the cost for yourself. Technicality is also another issue.

    I'm rooting for you, please update us regularly. It will be an interesting experiment to watch.

    1. 1

      Thanks, I'll definitely do. I'm thinking of posting something here, but there has not been much of a success when it comes to growth, so not sure if I have anything interesting enough.

      But maybe I'll update you on what hasn't worked 😂

  4. 1

    May I suggest these two tasks for your actual growth:

    • Post a "real" first issue so the value you provide is apparent.
    • Develop a positioning or at least a "unique selling proposition" and have it on your about page. I have no idea on what makes this newsletter different and why should I subscribe.

    And regarding this post: instead of this much self-promotion, if you have focused on a better-developed growth strategy/plan (what are you going to do, why did you decide on that, etc) would be so much better and probably got more engagement (and possibly more subscribers).

    And another comment, regarding your strategic goal: First 100 subscribers, 101-1000 subscribers and 1001+ subscribers should have different approaches/strategies to them as the available resources are different per tier.

    1. 1

      Just published my second post with subtitle:

      Why the millionaire David Sacks was wrong and how that prompted me to start my newsletter?

      https://jalopinion.substack.com/p/it-all-started-because-of-omicron

    2. 1

      Thank you for the thoughtful feedback! @gokceozantoptas

      I'm definitely going to post the first "real" asap! Also, I feel your point about developing a more unique selling proposition. I don't have yet good solution on this, but I'll try to figure it out.

      And yeah getting the first 100 is probably already a great challenge, with its own issues, but I wanted to aim high 😂

  5. 1

    Happy to tell you that we're making slow progress.
    Still at 0 subscribers 😁

    1. 1

      Followed you on Twitter while you grow. If you want to count that.

      1. 1

        @TheBhasaBhai that counts as something for sure! 😂🙏

  6. 1

    I hope that the post is not too self-promotional. If I'm being honest, idea was to be self-promotional while also making something helpful for the other founders.

    I believe that a story about starting from 0 without using your prior social media profiles or networks can be something interesting for many who are starting just their own thing.

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