Growth July 6, 2020

I built a 50 subscribers list in 3 days. Now what?

Stefan Neculai @stefanneculai

Last week I started a side project that I called Fat2Lose (https://www.fat2lose.com/). It's basically an actionable no-bullshit list that helps those who want to lose fat. I had very few expectations from it and I did it mainly to clean my head.

I built it in 2 days based on my notes while I lost over 20kg. Then, I published it on ProductHunt and on HackerNews. People seem to love it and over 50 left their email to get a weekly newsletter with fat loss tips.

Do you have any insights about sending weekly newsletters? I haven't expected such traction and I am quite confused about how to go next.

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    Those people signed up for a reason. Focus on that reason and continue to send them content each week. Do well and they might tell their friends.

    Maybe you get to 1000 subscribers. At that point, maybe you launch a premium community. Or maybe you start making $500 per month from a trainer that wants to sponsor your newsletter.

    The sky is the limit but the fact that you started is huge already. Stay consistent, talk to your subscribers, and who knows where you will end up.

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      Thanks for the encouragement, @roddanan.

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      "It’s a fallacy to think you need to hit the 1000 subscribers before you can monetize your newsletter."

      Couldn't agree more - I already have requests for advertising and someone emailed me to ask about selling the website. 😅

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        Congrats!!

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    Hey!
    I have no real insight I could help with, but just wanted to chip in and say great job on this project! Helpful and concise, also validated my own notes and lists I've been building lately for my personal fitness goals ♥️.
    Cheers!

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      Thanks, @josan! Where did you find your motivation for your fitness goals?

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        Having gotten back from a pretty unhealthy lifestyle trip just before the pandemic hit, I promised I'd stick to fitness and not let staying inside make things worse for me.

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    I love the site! How did you build it?

    Also - best advise is to check out how some successful weekly letters do it - you focus on a curation strategy, so check out David Perell or James Clear, who both do it really well.

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      Thanks, @oddhacks! The website is done with Jekyll and hosted on Github Page. I started yesterday to write an article about how to build similar website fast and with no costs. I will publish the article on Medium: https://medium.com/@stefanneculai. I will let you know once I do that.

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    Wonderful content @stefanneculai - subscribed the other day ;)

    I started Virtual Mojito's newsletter few weeks back, I've 58 subscribers now.

    I send out newsletter every 2 weeks. The open and click rate seems pretty good so far. Would be awesome to exchange ideas with you. Keen to chat via Twitter :)?

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    I'm in

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    What are your goals?

    If you're looking to make this a paid newsletter, you need to treat those 50 signups carefully. It will feel like people giving you an email implies that some number of them would be willing to pay you, but that's not necessarily the case.

    Here's what I did with SoftwareIdeas.io to validate the paid newsletter and bootstrap to $300 MRR in two weeks:

    Send a personal email to everyone who signed up, trying to figure out why they signed up. For me, I asked if they were actively looking for a new business idea, or were just curious. For you, it's probably if they are actively pursuing weight loss, or just like the idea of having a weekly tip.

    If they are serious, I offered them to pay a one-time price of $19 to get exclusive the first month of weekly emails. With 50 people I would have been okay with 5 saying yes, but I ended up getting 11. I'm glossing over the fact that often times I had to follow up, some people said they wanted to see another issue of the newsletter first, etc.

    If you get the number of people @ the price you want, you can do the first month of the newsletter and explore if you like it enough to continue. If so, you'll need to explore how you want your free content to compare to your paid content, what extras do you want your paid subscribers to have, etc.

    Hope this helps!

    PS. This is only relevant if you want a paid newsletter - If this is going to be a free newsletter so you can offer the audience something else, then I would still recommend talking to them, but the pre-sale stuff is irrelevant

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      Great insights, @Kevcon80. I will absolutely send a personal email to understand why they subscribed. I am not actually looking at this moment to monetize it, but I want to understand what makes people find their motivation to lose fat. If from those 50 people, there is one that loses a pound based on my tip, I have to find him.

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        Gotcha, awesome then! Weight loss is a hard market to monetize, but relatively easy to get interest in!

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    Wich tools did you use to build this website?

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      It's done with Jekyll and hosted on Github Pages. Actually, I started yesterday to write an article about that and I will post it on Medium shortly.

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    Congratulations!

    What @roddanan said re: reason.

    Your promise is very clear: "A curated directory of tips and resources to help you lose weight." So, this is your why + what.

    I'd start with a template for what your weekly newsletter is going to look like. This'll save you time + help you focus on delivering on your promise.

    For example, you could have an email with 2-3 tips + resource of the week link - or more stuff, depending on how much bandwidth you have.

    Some additional ideas:

    • figuring out your end goal and developing emails to move your subscribers towards it
    • adding an easy way to share your newsletter online or with friends
    • asking your subscribers for additional content ideas
    • talking to your subscribers: what would be the most helpful thing (you could delver on) for your subscribers (this'll give you ideas on what can be your next step)
    • asking your subscribers if they like the newsletter format, or not (do they want short + actionable tips, or links to scientific articles - ?)
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      Thanks for the tips! It's definitely worth talking with the subscribers and I hope that I can help them to actually lose some pounds. I find a lot of people just wishing to lose fat, but they don't find their motivation.