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How To Make a Profitable Newsletter

Everything I've learned, I learned either from Chris of KintuLabs or from trying and failing. Everything he's ever told me has come true.

  • He told me to charge for ads ➡️ I sold an ad.
  • He told me to double my price ➡️ I did, and sold another ad.
  • He told me to reach out to sponsors ➡️ I did and sold more ads.

He's launched a new course. You should consider it.
It's called Profitable Newsletters

Now that you can now learn from him too. I wanted to go through a few things I've learned from Chris over the years.

No Guarantees

I'm not promising you'll become rich from what I've done. You could make a healthy side income. You could buy a new car in a couple years.

OR

You can become a thought leader in a nascent industry.

I Do Guarantee

I can guarantee that you'll keep your risks and costs low.
You'll be able to make some amount of revenue within a year.
And you'll be able to build a community.

Pick a Topic You're Curious About Now

It's hard to keep curating news each week, when you don't care.
Others, at this point might say "niche", but I'm not a fan of that word.

Pick a topic, a category, something of interest to you.

Find 50 Sources

You'll want to find at least 50 sources that you can link to. You can curate.

Why?

Because you need to know there's a lot of info. And you need access to it. Not just that it exists. One challenge I have right now is that there's great content behind a few paywalls in my industry. Nobody can get there unless they pay. But thankfully I have 67 other sources to go to.

Publish Your Sources. Put at the end a note: "If you don't want to check 50 sources each week, read my newsletter".

This content has driven tons of new subscribers to me. ( I published on Medium 2 years ago)

Email 50 People in the Industry

You should know the players. The people. The Companies

If you don't, find them.

✉️ Email them.

Tell them about your newsletter. They'll sign up.

They love the same subject as you, and should be curious to know more, read more, keep up to date.

And ask them for articles they are reading/writing/finding.

Feature them in your newsletter.
You can
✍🏽 Write about their work
📣 Feature their writing
📝 Interview them
🌈 Or ALL THE ABOVE

Keep Expenses Low

Use gmail
Don't hire any VA
Use free tools as long as you can.

Use Mailchimp up to 2k subscribers. ConvertKit up to 1k.
The only expense you should have for the first month is buying a domain.

Or launch on substack, if you want to keep costs to $0.

Find Sponsors, Now

Yes you can find sponsors from the very beginning. Doesn't mean they'll pay you, yet.

This is one super-duper trick, or hack.

I'm not sure if Chris knows he taught me this. I'm not sure it's in his new course.

It doesn't matter how many subscribers you have right now. You can do this 2 weeks after you launch your newsletter.

Write a list of companies products, services. Write down those you think would make your readers better.

  • Better at their job
  • Faster at their job
  • Get them a better job

Everyone wants to be Wealthier, Healthier and Happier.

Find the products that do that for the specific people who read your newsletter.

Put all the companies in a single list. Find contacts at those companies.

Marketing managers or Social Media Managers if a larger company. Smaller, email the founders.

Email them about your newsletter. Let them know that you'd like to feature them in the newsletter to your audience.

Add a P.S. asking them to subscribe to keep up with the information you're sending each week.

If you can do this 10 times a week, you'll have reached out to at least 200 potential sponsors within the first 6 months.

Here Is Math

If you got 1,000 subscribers within 20 weeks (50 new subs per week)
You then charge $50 an ad for the rest of the first year of your newsletter.

$50 x 26 weeks = $1,300

$1,300 of revenue in the first year.

In my first year I made $1,139.83 revenue.

You'd still be in the free email category and not have to convince a single person to sign up for $5 a month.

You'd only have to send one email a week.

If you want to send more to paid subscribers, You don't even have to choose between premium or ads. You can do both.

one more benefit for paid subscribers: No Ads.

Learn From Chris

You don't have to take advice from me.

  1. You can work on your own
  2. You can learn from Chris, in his new course, as low as $99 as of now.

He's created a course that walks through every single step in way more detail.

Get Chris' Profitable Newsletters Course

Andy Cloke already created a newsletter after taking Chris' course.

I launched Influence Weekly 2.5 Years Ago.

First week of November 2017.

Since Then:

  • I made $1k in my first year.
  • Last year I quit my job.
  • Gained 6,000 subscribers
  • I got consulting gigs this year from my Newsletter readers.
  • Already in 2020 sold a couple thousand dollars of ads.
  1. 3

    Is this link is AFFILIATE link? I mean, if we sign up, will you get any revenue?

    1. 1

      Yes there are affiliate links for tracking. I'm making 0%. see here

      The only "revenue" I make from this is if great people start newsletters and I can help them sell ads later. I co-founded hypeletter.

      Oh and Chris said he'll buy me a steak dinner if he gets 10 sales this week. I don't think he's gotten one from this post yet.

      You're more than welcome to go directly to the page here: https://kintuhq.podia.com/

  2. 2

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks so much for writing this detailed guide. I've been planning to start a newsletter as early as Feb-2021. Have started my research a couple of weeks back. Since then reading various resources and blogs about newsletter business. Your post seems to be much more actionable. I'm still in ideation phase, right now trying to decide between a free or paid newsletter.

    1. 1

      I'd suggest to get out of your head and start putting something out on a weekly basis. A curated newsletter now can easily be morphed into your own writing 2 months from now.

      1. 1

        Thanks, I've learned not to do anything until it is validated, so spending time in research and feedback. Followed you in Twitter and Linkedin to learn more from you,

  3. 2

    Thanks for this actionable article Andrew!

  4. 2

    Thanks for sharing Andrew.

  5. 2

    Thank you for this! I 100% agree that newsletters are an easy way to start a profitable side business. I’m always looking to add more income streams to my indie stack.

    1. 2

      I think we all have dreams of being the next stratechery...but it could be a fun side project that actually nets a profit year over year.

      1. 1

        Yes agreed! I'm also more looking to have 3-6 independent income sources, each pulling in $500-$1000. A newsletter being one of those streams.

        1. 3

          but it seems some will do $1k some will do $4k, and most will do closer to $0k.

          1. 1

            Yeah agreed and that's a big problem.

  6. 1

    What the heck?! I'm bumping into you all over the place now. Awesome article, Andrew! Love this!

    1. 2

      When you buy a prius suddenly everyone has one.

  7. 1

    This was a well written article! Please keep up the good work.

  8. 1

    Another great post Andrew. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I just launched my newsletter so I'll be putting your 50 sources and 50 people advice to the test.

    1. 1

      Never too early to write those pieces. Why? Because A) You can update them. B) You can create a new one every month if you wish. or every year (that's what I do)

  9. 1

    Hey Andrew. Thank you for the post. What's your take on partnerships where the money is not involved? There are different ways of how people phrase this, but what I meant is to borrow each other newsletter audience. I post something in your newsletter, and you post something in my newsletter, and we both send out to our audience.

    1. 1

      Yes those are awesome. I do that all the time in my newsletter. As much as I can. I would expand it beyond just "shoutouts" and really try to dig deep into why you can include other people's work.

      It might be easier for me because I curate other people's writing and link to it. If you're writing, it might be hard. But just add "additional reading" with a few links to the end of your newsletter. you can feature anyone there.

  10. 1

    I really enjoyed this post Andrew. I could say I have opened my eyes even, not on taking the course, mostly because the fact of learning by myself amuses me more.

    But I will take some action. I haven't cold reach anyone still.

    I have only been able to sell one slot on the site for 20$ and they reached out themselves.

    Yesterday I reached 1k subscribers on the newsletter and it feels that I could do more.

    Thank you so much Andrew.

    Have a great day.

    1. 1

      Happy to coach you through that process. There's some trial and error you can do. Some experiments you can run. I'll email you from my hypeletter email. Happy to help.

      1. 1

        Hey Andrew.
        I Answered back.
        Cheers

  11. 1

    Excellent piece again. Thank you for this as someone just getting started.
    Going for sponsors has been a very interesting experience so far. The key seems just ask.

    1. 1

      That's true. just gotta ask :)

  12. 1

    Thanks for the article Man and look at my website https://wikiprofessionalsinc.com/ after follow your instruction i make it

    1. 1

      you have a newsletter?

  13. 1

    This comment was deleted a year ago.

    1. 2

      I can only speak anecdotally about this.
      I gained 50 subs a week. And over 2 years continue to do so.
      There are some newsletters within the first year from product hunt launch or a good Hacker News discussion: come out with 5k subscribers. Example: Maker Mind

      And I have advised some newsletters which only get 50 subs in the first 2 weeks. But I can tell you a few ways to almost guarantee you'll get 50 subscribers a week.
      Get yoru newsletter in front of 500 people each week who should be reading your newsletter:

      • DM 100 on Twitter,
      • Connect with 100 ppl on Linkedin
      • Send 100 ppl an email
      • Have 200 ppl see your newsletter by posting on IH(Here), HN, Reddit, etc.

      Each of the above can be broken down further by day.

      Find 20 ppl on Twitter each day who indicate they might want to read your newsletter.

      Connect with 20 people each day on LinkedIn by their title, or phrases they have in their profile. You can do this by searching and manually connecting, or messaging them. No software needed except maybe a Linkedin Premium account. Yes this can cost over $700 a year. But it's also good to have for your career,or you might already pay for that. You can get software to automate this, but first find out if it works for you.

      The 100 people you email each week could be potential sponsors, colleagues, industry experts, journalists, other newsletters.

      If you post on Indiehackers, Subreddits, and other places your content, I'm sure you can get in front of 200 people each week. This post alone right now has 618 views.

      1. 1

        This comment was deleted a year ago.

        1. 2

          Can you email journalists who list their email address on the publication they write?
          Can you email companies that list their contact email on their website?
          Can you email past coworkers, colleagues, former bosses?
          Can you email startups you find on Angellist?

          1. 1

            This comment was deleted a year ago.

            1. 2

              Email journalists about articles they have written already. Extend yourself to help them with their next article about the topic. Add a P.S. that your newsletter could a resource to them.

              I'm sure you know about 100 people already, and your newsletter could help them. email 10 a week a very personal email. ask for advice. ask for specific feedback. Ask them to introduce you to someone who you can help.

              Email companies that could be better off from talking to your audience. Feature them in your newsletter. Tell them they were featured. Twitter DM, email their info page. send them a postcard. you got plenty of options.

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