Community Building July 15, 2020

💡 How to Build a Community & Substack's Core Growth Loop

Falak Sher @FalakSher

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Substack's core growth loop by @rosiesherry

Read for more


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How Frank started a newsletter with Mailbrew in 30 minutes by @frankmeeuwsen

  1. Build a Twitter list. I always start with a Twitter list. I make a new list on a subject and start adding people I know to this list. The Twitter search algorithm looks at the title and description of your list to suggest accounts with a similar username or text in the bio.

  2. The interface of the Twitter list shows the bio. When there are URL's in this, I open these in the background in new tabs for later inspection.

  3. I add as many accounts as I like and save the list. Now it's time to build the newsletter.

  4. In Mailbrew I add the new Twitter list. I always use the option "Most popular" which is based on likes and retweets. This ensures I get relevant tweets in the newsletter. Based on the length of the final newsletter I play around with the max number of tweets and max tweets per user.

  5. Next up I add relevant Subreddits. I want to keep this Notion newsletter as clean as possible, so I just add the Notion subreddit. I could go for productivity or notetaking subreddits but I figured this would fill up the newsletter with to much noise instead of valid signals.

  6. I check the open tabs on the websites from the Twitter bio's to see if there are RSS feeds I can add. I have to say, in this particular space, it is a missed opportunity. There are not a lot of feeds on the sites. RSS is still out there and it doesn't take much weight to your site to add one. It can bring extra traffic without extra costs.

  7. Next up are Youtube videos. I knew Notion users are avid explainers on Youtube so it didn't take long to find a couple of the biggest channels who also post regularly. I added 5 channels for now. It feels a bit much to me, so I will just have to monitor this how it plays out in the newsletter itself. If the Youtube videos outbalance the other news sources I have to review it and perhaps change the number of Youtube feeds.

  8. The last step, I add today's date and a small introduction for the newsletter.

  9. I send a preview to myself to see how it looks, save the configuration and I'm done!

  10. There is no step 10!

P.S If you want a personal newsletter curated from different RSS & social sites, you can use MailBrew (referral link) for it. Plus it provides an inbox for all the subscribed stuff.



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How to build a community? by @RubenJS

Think about it like gardening. A garden can "appear" organically, or it can be cultivated.

But in both cases, you can't force the flowers to grow you can only make sure they have what they need to do the growing.

Community is a result of doing other things, usually forming relationships, first 1-1, and then interconnected over time that leads to building trust, sharing knowledge and experiences, and people supporting one another.

But think about it: You can't actually control a community (you can only control the environment and constraints), and you can't manifest community out of thin air.



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1. A comprehensive email deliverability guide to help your newsletter open rates by @manu_c

2. How to build your own Substack with Ghost by @dr

3. I run a < 1000 subscribers newsletter that makes $200/month by @esquimal


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  • Firewards.com - Grow your newsletter by setting up a referral and rewards program for your newsletter. You can get 30% discount for 3 months by using coupon code: hJhleJsr (25 coupons only) by @dennis_s

  • Buildbubbles.com - helps WordPress bloggers grow a bigger audience by turning your WordPress articles into compelling podcasts by @vasinl

  • Nodewood - a SaaS starter kit that includes a full web app skeleton, user auth/management, subscriptions, and everything you need to start coding your core business logic today instead of weeks from now by @danhulton

  • Pointway.app - all-in-one dashboard for tracking credit card transactions and rewards/points by @perryraskin

  • Letterbase - a simple, fast, and privacy-friendly customer support messenger by @richardchu

  • Treestyletab.com - say goodbye to messy tabs, available now on chrome and brave by @jacksonhong


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2020-07-15 / 8 principles for new user onboarding & How to write a good HN headline

2020-07-17 / What Tom learnt from producing 23 podcasts & how to avoid writing bullshit content

2020-07-20 / My last Reddit Ad got 600+ upvotes and resulted in a large number of email signups

2020-07-22 / Are you using abandoned cart tactics to convert lost leads for your SaaS & 3 ways to backup your database

2020-07-24 / 38+ lessons learned bootstrapping company of one from 0$ to $9k MMR & A/B test your CTA with 1st person perspective

P.S I will not share all these newsletter issues here. Subscribe now, so you never miss any of these highly curated newsletters.


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  1. 1

    @FalakSher dude, I think your domain http://indieletters.com/ was hacked. When I enter it goes to an endless redirect chain of some random websites asking for "allow notifications" - check this as soon as possible, as only your websites act this way on my laptop.

    1. 1

      Thank you for letting me know.

      It's working now.

    2. 1

      True. It display differents messages everytime I tried it.

      1. 1

        I fixed it now. You can subscribe now.

      2. 1

        yup same here

        1. 1

          I fixed it now. You can subscribe now.

  2. 1

    Hey Falak, Thanks for mentioning firewards.com :)

    1. 1

      ❤️