Growth October 1, 2020

The Slice is now profitable.

Nic Getkate @TheWonderingZall

So back in May, I decided to start a newsletter for the hell of it. Didn't even know newsletters were even a thing (well kinda) until I joined IH. So I thought I'd make a post leading up to this point in time.

Where it started

I'm going to reverse back in time maybe 11 months or so. I was living in Bangkok, I was doing the nomad thing full-time by writing copy and content, and once a week in the evenings, I was lecturing IELTS at Chulalongkorn University for some extra cash on the side.

At some point in time, I found myself sitting in a Starbucks in Thonglor, drinking coffee with the previous owner of CryptoWeekly, Founders Grid and the current founder the GrowthList, Chris, who I had assisted with, in some projects he had going on at the time, but it was during this conversation where I was introduced into this world of newsletters and how you can make a tiny profitable business by having this somewhat small and niche audience.

I still remember him saying, "I can show you how. We can get it set up in a day", and I just kinda sat there blankly and let it cross my mind. I regretted that so much now that I think about it, because I could have had an 11-month head start, but oh well, shit happens.

Actually got off my ass and did it.

Now let's jump to 2020. I moved back to South Africa after two and half years in Asia, COVID Happened (facepalm), I still had my same clients at the time as I did in Bangkok and Hong Kong (thank god), but I was getting bored and burnt out, so I decided to revisit the newsletter idea and just do it

It was around this time where I found Indie Hackers and had this "ah-ha" moment where I was like, "okay there is actually a small tribe of people doing this same stuff and not just newsletters".

Anyways spent the next 2 weeks making a landing page, buying a domain (The Slice), finding the perfect Email Service Provider that suited my needs and not to mention literally pulling my hair out and almost giving up because NOBODY told me that SPF, DKIM and DMARC is an absolute must if you use a custom domain! Please, if you do a newsletter on a custom domain, sort it out! You will thank me!

I started small, I only had 31 subs when I sent out the first issue of The Slice, but over the weeks, it grew and I saw a bit of growth which meant that there was definitely some interest in the niche I was covering, partly due to me being active on Twitter, Indie Hacker, Reddit and so on. Today, as of writing this, I'm on 900 subscribers which is crazy to think about. It's funny because other people told me things like, "buy Twitter Ads", "buy Reddit ads", "buy ad spots in other newsletters". I only grew because of word of mouth, being active on the forums and Twitter.

Along the way, I also made a group of friends, who I speak to, quite literally a daily basis on our little OG Telegram group.

H/T to 🎩
@thelandofrandom
@philipptemmel
@Janel
@yaroslawbagriy
@FalakDigital

Profitable

I think for everybody on this platform, regardless of whether you are Building a newsletter, SaaS, app or course. When you start bringing some revenue in, even if it's a small amount, it feels really good.

About 3 weeks ago, after a lot of thought and requests from a few of my subscribers. I decided to add a classified section in The Slice, and it worked, and as of today, I'm officially profitable which makes me happy that this side project of mine actually worked out and took off. It's also great because a lot of the sponsors and classifieds ads have all been inbound, but I won't jinx anything!

So...thank you, to the IH community.

  1. 2

    Congrats!! What ESP do you use? I'm facing the same problem.

    1. 2

      I used EmailOctpus. It’s very simple and not as advanced like MailChimp, but I like it, and perfect for me. It’s has a great free tier.

      1. 1

        Does EmailOctopus have a landing page feature too?

        Looking for a one stop shop for a newsletter.

        Thanks!

  2. 2

    Congrats! I remember the first issue like it was just yesterday... 🤠

    1. 1

      Thank you! You’re one of the OGs❤️

      1. 1

        I had a feeling you'd kick-ass. Keep it up!

  3. 2

    Congrats! This is my goal with btfy, hopefully I will get there soon too.

    1. 1

      Keep going!! I know it’s really cliché to say, but consistency really is key🙏🏻

  4. 2

    Great article. I remember you posting a few months back on Reddit and checking it out. 😁 Been enjoying it ever since!

  5. 2

    Loved to read this, and so thankful that I got to know you through newsletter writing. Cheers buddy!

    1. 1

      Jan Jan Jan! Thank you 🙏🏻

  6. 2

    Great work. Love the newsletter 🤘

  7. 2

    Congrats!

    Yes, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are a must. But getting them right is a descent to hell.

    1. 2

      Literally can be nightmare, but well worth it!

  8. 1

    Can anyone provide further insight into how to actually set a newsletter up?

    More so, on the technical side.

    I see a few services mentioned, and Email Octopus. But is there any further detailed information on how to go from idea, to fully functional newsletter?

    I’ve got an idea, just need a little assistance on the execution!

    Thanks.

  9. 1

    Congratulations! Thanks for documenting your journey.

  10. 1

    Amazing work. congrats

  11. 1

    Abolutely loved to read through this story @TheWonderingZall 🤩

    Congrats on everything you achieved so far with The Slice!

    I am happy and thankful that I got to know you and discussing all kinds of newsletter related topics on a daily basis 🥰

    You are on the right path, keep at it!

  12. 1

    aaaaand subscribed

  13. 1

    Nic, this is really inspiring, great job. How did you get your first few subscribers? Was it through the relationships you built in communities like this?

  14. 1

    This is awesome. Great things happen through taking action. I'm definitely going to devote more time to my newsletter too now haha 🙂

  15. 1

    Nic, I love your niche! Congrats! I had an idea - do you do collaborations? I am about do the second launch of my product and I wanted to see if this can be shared with your audience. What is the best way to share information with you?

  16. 1

    Congrats! That's really cool!

  17. 1

    What a nice read Nic. Congrats!

    1. 1

      Thanks Mike! This means a lot man 🤘🏻

  18. 1

    So great to hear this! Love The Slice, content is spot on, gifs are hilarious, length is just right. Congrats Nic!

    1. 2

      Thanks so much Stephen🍻 I try to keep the gif game strong!

  19. 1

    Great Job Nic, love the newsletter :)

  20. 1

    I thought only way to make profit is to get some subs, that's inspiring and gratz!

    Shameless Plug;
    https://www.indiehackers.com/post/why-do-we-need-services-like-mailchimp-3440c44feb?commentId=-MFgdZ0pN_YjpLHCzUL5

  21. 1

    Congratulations Nic! I remember you featured us quite some time ago, I've been subscribed ever since and it looks great. Sending you an email about advertising 😀

  22. 1

    I know the days when you surpassed my newsletter growth by starting it a month later.
    Good luck for Slice

    1. 1

      Now I’m trying to chase after you, give me a few months 😜

  23. 1

    Congratulations on the achievement!

    1. 2

      Thank you thank you 🙏🏻

  24. 1

    Congrats on reaching profitability 🎉🔥

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