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.
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.
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.
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.