Alternative Assets

Unique investment ideas worth exploring.

Under 10 Employees
Multiple Founders
Founders Don't Code
Content
Email Marketing
Finance
Investing
Writing

There's a million newsletters about stocks, real estate and venture capital. This is about the wide world of options that don't get talked about as much.

March 3, 2021 3k MRR, things moving

It's been an exciting month since merging with 'Fractional'.

Some highlights:

  • Passed 2,000 subscribers
  • New paid membership at $45/month (Alternative Assets Insider)
  • Hit 3k in MRR with 60 paid Insiders. 3% conversion rate.
  • Pumping out content to both Insiders and free subscribers - 10 issues per week
  • Added a 10th asset to Insider (sneakers)
  • Hiring 2-3 asset experts to become official contributors. Goal is to cover 15 asset classes by end of year.

Check it out: https://alternativeassets.club

February 17, 2021 Merging with another newsletter!

🎉 Big day!

I'm happy to announce I am joining forces with fellow Indie Hackers @itiswyatt and @jakobgreenfeld.

We're merging our newsletters & audiences together (Alternative Assets and Fractional) and have created a new single paid product called Alternative Assets Insider.

His Substack newsletter, Fractional (along with his recently launched paid service Fractional Arbitrage) contains some of the sharpest writing and most forward-thinking analysis of fractional investment opportunities on the entire Internet. Full stop.

Wyatt has been an avid reader of Alternative Assets since the beginning. He has inspired past issues, provided excellent ideas & feedback, and sparked thought-provoking conversations. Last December he began doing Twitter teardowns of upcoming Rally & Collectable IPOs, which immediately caught my eye.

We realized that we were not only big fans of each other’s work, but were actually starting to complement each other quite nicely. I had just released my first paid package, Traffic Advantage, which used proprietary metrics to analyze deals in the website investing space.

I knew I wanted to expand this offering to Ecommerce and Micro SaaS businesses. It turned out that, with his background in finance and intelligence analysis (along with his killer new paid newsletter) Wyatt was essentially doing the same type of analysis for an entirely different class of alts. It felt like a perfect match.

We also realized that, despite the quickly growing interest from both casual lurkers and serious investors, there is a lot of confusion and noise.

Although assets are vetted by their respective platforms, that does not mean you shouldn’t research what you’re investing in. Regardless of the forum through which you invest, you always need to take the time to understand the risk/return profile of your investments.

People want to get involved in these exciting new worlds, but find it difficult to navigate intelligently. It’s tough to know not only who to trust, but why to trust them. We were seeing some bad info, some charlatans, and a near-total lack of the deep, rich, valuable analysis that we both love performing.

In short, we saw an opportunity to cut through the noise like a knife, use our expertise to our advantage, and deliver real value.

So today, Wyatt and I are happy to announce that we have joined forces.

To add fuel to the fire, we’ve also partnered with the supremely intelligent and talented Jakob Greenfeld (founder of Newsletter Spy, Gum Spy, and Product Explorer, to name just a few) to build our robust backend data pipeline.

We’re calling our new service Alternative Assets Insider.

Learn more:

https://alternativeassets.club/introducing-alternative-assets-insider/

December 22, 2020 Six months of Alternative Assets

An honest look at how it started and how it’s going.

This week marks six months since I started Alternative Assets. Given that it’s the end of the year, I figured it would be interesting to do a recap issue looking back over the past half year. How it started, how it’s going, what I’ve learned, and a whole lot more.

https://alternativeassets.club/six-months-of-alternative-assets/

December 8, 2020 Launched Alternative Assets Podcast

Today I launched the Alternative Assets Podcast. The first episode is with Ezra Levine, the CEO of Collectable.

https://alternativeassets.club/sports-memorabilia-investing-with-collectable/

Collectable is the first investment platform dedicated entirely to unique sports memorabilia.

Alternative Assets Podcast

I definitely need to invest in a professional mic ASAP, and start recording tracks separately for better editing. But given it was the first episode, I'm happy with how it turned out.

October 28, 2020 Launched first paid package: 2.6% CR after 3 days.

A few days ago I released my first paid package.

When considering different upsell models, I knew I didn't want to do a regular paid subscription. I just don't like the idea of asking readers to pony up for more content, and I think that model is going to hit diminishing returns soon (C'mon, how many different paid newsletters are you REALLY going to subscribe to?)

So instead of a paid newsletter that gives you more, I decided to offer a paid package that gives readers something different.

The package is called Traffic Opportunities, and it's like a Data-as-a-Service package. My newsletter is now a giant lead magnet for this paid package.

The idea is simple: I've developed a new methodology for systematically finding undervalued and mispriced websites. Every Friday I pull the latest website listings into my giant Excel sheet, run them through my formulas, do some light due diligence, and email the results to paid subscribers.

Think of it like Moneyball for finding undervalued and mispriced websites. It's a ridiculously unfair advantage for anyone interested in acquisitions.

I priced it at $10/month with a 4-week free trial using Memberful. After 3 days my conversion rate is 2.6%, which I am happy with so far. I will continue promoting in each newsletter and am hoping to get this up to 5% by end of year.

https://alternativeassets.club/introducing-traffic-opportunities/

October 6, 2020 Created sponsorship sheet, sold out in 2 hours.

Today I created a Sponsorship Sheet for Alternative Assets.

The problem I'm trying to solve is that the newsletter is increasingly valuable each week. So assigning fixed sponsorship rates doesn't make sense right now.

My sheet pulls in real-time pricing, based on an audience & CPM formula I created. I also tried to give it a nice look & feel - I think a little can go a long way with something like this.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yaxGNoMq4sHuS26lMJHPqT1j1tWduVjmpa-pL3Ezp54/edit?usp=sharing

Sponsorship Sheet

----
Pricing Formula

  • First I took the subscribers and multiplied by $0.03 cents per subscriber. This is standard, perhaps on the low end for smaller newsletters.

  • Second, I took the number of opens, and multiplied it by $0.067 per open. Opens are fundamentally more valuable than subscribers, and since my open rate is on the higher side.

  • Third, I took the number of impressions, and multiplied it by $0.10 cents. Because of my website, impressions are higher than inbox views.

  • To predict the future of subscribers (in light gray) I calculated my weekly growth rate at just under 10% per week. I used my average open rates over the past 6 weeks as the benchmark.

  • Predicting the impressions was trickier. I created a metric called the impressions to subscribers ratio, which I calculated at 2.1.

  • Finally, to calculate my rack rates, I simply took the average of the three prices.

Sponsorship Calculation

2 hours after posting, a sponsor I had been previously speaking with went ahead and bought up all of my remaining inventory for slot #1

Interested in booking a slot? Let me know!

October 5, 2020 300 Subscribers

After 3 months, I've hit 300 subscribers

  • 12 issues
  • Gaining 24 new subscribers per issue
  • Audience grows by about 14% each week
  • 55% open rate
  • 20% CTR
  • 204 website visits per month, most of it direct or referral from Substack
  • Very little organic traffic so far. Not ranking for any keywords yet, expect this to take another 3 months or so.

300 subscribers

September 2, 2020 Hit 200 subscribers

I've been getting great feedback on my newsletter. The alternative assets "theme" is clearly resonating with people, and the audience is getting more engaged over time. I've been getting decent shares, and open rates hover between 50% - 60% for each issue.

I am gaining about 20-30 new subscribers each week, and today, seven weeks after launching, I hit 200 subscribers. Woohoo!

200 subscribers

Most importantly though, I'm enjoying writing this newsletter. They say write what you know, and I while live and breathe digital asset investing, it's great to step away from that world every few issues and explore/learn about new topics like investing in wine.

http://alternativeassets.club/investing-in-wine/

The website stats are still pretty low, but no worries. I'm keeping the best SEO juice for myself instead of letting Substack keep it all, and expect to start ranking for some organic keywords over time.

I'm joined a few newsletter communities to learn and share growth strategies: IndieMailer, NewsletterCrew, and Newsletter Geeks.

Sign up if you're interested in this world. Would love to have you join!

August 9, 2020 Launched a Website

Today I spun up a new website for this project: http://AlternativeAssets.club

(Yes AlternativeAssets.com was already taken. But I could care less about that. Also, the .club TLD is quickly rising in popularity.)

Why create a website when I already have a Substack? A few reasons.

First, it’s an additional acquisition channel. An easy way to get some incremental traffic for this project while having more control over how it unfolds.

But there’s an even better reason to have a standalone website. If all my content lives on Substack, I don’t actually gain anything from it.

I ultimately want to ensure all my content lives on a site that I own. The goal is to use Substack as a blogging/publishing platform, while using my website to rank for long-tail keywords. The hope is that eventually over time, I can monetize the site itself along with the newsletter.

"But won’t Google penalize your site for duplicative content?"

Not if you play your cards right. What you can do is use your Substack posts as a “feeder” to your core website, where the bulk of your content actually lives permanently.

I put together a quick guide to help all the frustrated Medium writers who are looking to actually monetize their blogs. The same process can be applied to Substack as well. Pretty cool!

August 2, 2020 Hit 100 subs

I just published issue #3 and am gaining about 25 subscribers per issue. Really loving Substack as a publishing platform so far!

Check out the latest issue where I interview microstartup king and fellow IndieMaker Hari (also known as 1hakr - https://www.indiehackers.com/1hakr)

http://alternativeassets.club/why-isnt-the-website-investing-space-bigger/

There's a million newsletters about stocks, real estate and venture capital. This is about the wide world of options that don't get talked about as much.