I started The Bootstrapped Founder Newsletter on November 12th, 2019. The first episode was sent on November 15th to just 23 people, who had signed up after I shared a link on Twitter.
Ever since then, my newsletter audience of bootstrapped founders and those who want to become one has been growing slowly and steadily — just the way I think bootstrapped businesses should grow.
In the meantime, I made sure to produce valuable content reliably. Every Friday, the newsletter would go out at the same time, containing a summary and a link to a fresh blog post I released earlier that week. I also added a segment in the newsletter that isn't published as an article, to make the newsletter worth subscribing to. Every episode contains a few links to interesting articles and success (or failure) stories that happened during that particular week.
Two months in, I added a notification bar to my blog, unobtrusively asking visitors to subscribe to the newsletter. A signup form had been under each blog post from the beginning, but I wanted something more visually present that would appear after visitors had started reading a few paragraphs. The notification bar seems to work well enough.
I don't track too many metrics, because I don't want to over-optimize the blog. I want it to be a great resource for founders and not a clickbaity marketing explosion.
That said, I often get asked what I am selling, and how I am monetizing all of this. The short answer is: I sell nothing. The longer answer: I sell nothing yet. I am actively working on turning my guide Zero to Sold into a book, which I will self-publish and market through the blog, at some point. That will happen when I'm done writing, which I assume to be around the end of April.
Oh yeah, and here are the stats for reaching 1000 subscribers!