💵 Smart Newsletter Money

Buy, Build & Grow Wisely Using What You've Got

In partnership with

👋 Welcome

Since sharing my recap of the 2024 State of the Creator Economy report in our last issue, I’ve been reflecting on one of the report’s key insights that newsletter operators of all sizes are concerned about how to invest the resources at their disposal to maximize their income. While the report highlights that the number of operators generating >$100k is growing, a larger number are struggling with making any money at all and the rest are caught somewhere in the middle.

This issue is therefore dedicated to being smart with our newsletter money no matter where we are in our journey. For some that means running our newsletters on a very thrifty tech stack, whereas for others that means gaining subscribers via newsletter acquisition. You’ll find playbook examples that suit different pocketbooks; choose those that suit you best & learn from the others.

Our sponsor for this issue is StackedMarketer, the daily newsletter that will make you a smarter marketer in under 7 minutes every day. Newsletter Business is all about making smarter marketers, so please check them out and thank them for supporting our community!

A smart marketer also uses great tools that make their lives easier, and our featured partner Newsblocks offers just that if you are creating a roundup-style newsletter and could use some AI-based assistance in curating, compiling and promoting your newsletter.

If you’re making your summer travel plans and want to work some newsletter business into them, check out Convertkit’s Craft & Commerce from June 5 - 8 in Boise, Idaho. Our industry has been on a roll with great conferences this year such as The Newsletter Conference (recap here).

The discerning reader may even notice a new section in today’s issue, just for fun... 😉

Please reply with thoughts on this week’s issue or reach out to @NewsletterBus on X/Twitter.

Enjoy and see you next issue!

Fred (Connect With Me At: LinkedIn | X/Twitter )

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📰 Industry Roundup

beehiiv CEO Buys A Newsletter: Tyler Denk, the founder & CEO of beehiiv, has acquired Founder Secrets, a newsletter profiling the growth strategies of startup founders. Tyler was the last founder featured before the announcement and acquired the newsletter from Manuel Bleve, who runs marketing at Wefunder. beehiiv launched its Series B community round on Wefunder this month (which I was pleased to invest in). Manuel and Tyler have been transparent in sharing the plans for Founder Secrets subscribers… Read

2024 Marketing Budget Cuts Impact Newsletters: A recent survey indicates marketing budgets as a percentage of overall company revenue are down to 7.7% in 2024, which is 3.3% lower than they were pre-pandemic. This affects newsletter operators of all sizes, whether they’re vying for resources within a larger organization or are competing for dwindling ad/sponsorship dollars. Check out which areas are being cut… Read

Who Gets The Sponsors - Operator vs. Sales Team?: Sponsorships remain an important revenue source for newsletters, but what’s the most efficient way to win them? Some operators with the luxury of a sales team are still finding that they are better at closing the deal, as this recent thread demonstrates… Read

Case Study - Diversified Revenue & Markets at Podnews: James Cridland operates Podnews, a daily newsletter he founded in 2017 that covers all things podcasting. He has diversified his revenue stream into 3 discrete streams of revenue (classifieds, Patreon and sponsorship) and shares his thoughts on the importance of revenue diversification as well as breadth of geographical coverage… Read

Featured Partner

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Curate content and craft your newsletter in seconds with the Newsblocks Chrome extension - while you’re browsing the internet.

With one click, the Newsblocks AI tool seamlessly creates sections of news to be used as building blocks for your newsletters – and then automatically creates a full newsletter issue with headlines, images, and a format built for export into tools like beehiiv and Substack.

Effortlessly create professional newsletters, like The Rundown or Morning Brew…publish newsletters daily, weekly, or monthly with ease!

With Newsblocks, you can generate visually appealing, engaging newsletters in seconds:

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Use the AI marketing tools to generate blog posts and X threads automatically from the newsletter content.

⚒️ Letter Ops

25 Paid Growth Tactics: Regardless of the size of your newsletter budget, if you’re going to invest anywhere it should likely be in growing your audience. Here’s a library of over 25 paid growth tactics with examples suited for many budgets and audiences… Read

Case Study - Running A 5-Figure Newsletter For $130/Year?: Katt Risen has run the No-Code Exits newsletter for almost 2 years featuring successful entrepreneurs that achieve success with no-code tools. Her aspiration is to hit $75k in revenue in 2024 as she transitions from side hustle to newsletter-first business. She’s doing all this while building in public on a shoestring budget. Check out her low budget toolset and journey highlights… Toolset / Journey

Case Study - Layoff, Payoff & Evolution of Extra Points: Matt Brown writes about the forces that shape college sports off the field in his Extra Points newsletter. What started as an independent operation in 2019 borne of the necessity of a layoff has evolved into a 6-figure business with over 17,000 subscribers (several thousand paid) with diverse assets including a 4x per week newsletter, information products and games. It has been a winding path, and Matt has shared thoughts on what it takes to operate a newsletter that makes money, how his journey led to partnership/employment, and why that recently unwound over the past 6 months into uncertainty and an announcement this month of his newsletter’s future… Money / Journey / Uncertainty / Future

Newsletter For Sale: Should You Buy It?: Newsletter acquisition is a proven method for starting a newsletter and growing an audience (the newsletter you’re reading is an example), and the cost can be within reach of many budgets at low 4 and 5-figure prices depending upon what you want. The best way to figure out if this approach is for you is to start to look at potential deals, such as the sale of Dog News that is currently on the reputable newsletter marketplace Duuce. Here are just a few things I’d consider with this deal:

  • List size is meaningful at >13,000 & growth rate of 3,000 per month is great - but what’s driving that growth for a 2 month old newsletter?

  • The target audience of dog owners is a multi-billion dollar industry, but also saturated with competitors so further niching down may be needed

  • The lack of stated revenue makes it hard to justify even the recently lowered acquisition price without a solid monetization and growth plan

Check out the terms of the deal - I’d love to know your thoughts… Read

📰 Classifieds

Email-Based Courses - Your newsletter audience lives within email. Why not teach them easily in the channel they already love, rather than hassle with creating a video, LMS or live course? Newsletter Business subscribers get 30% off with code MEBC30 Check it out

The Newsletter Is The Business (TINTB) - All you need to know about launching, monetizing and selling editorial newsletters. Get smart fast

Letter AI Toolkit - Use prebuilt prompts and GPT-4 to summarize and output news URLs into newsletter stories. Check it out

🎉 Just For Fun

Newsletters Are A Marathon, Not A Sprint: I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon this past Saturday with my daughter Shannon, who is a newsletter operator in her own right. This is our second half marathon together, having run the NYC Half together back in March. I run a lot and will share more of my crazy running quest another time, but I find running is a great analogy for the things in life that take dedication and patience over long periods of time to achieve the desired result, and newsletters fit that bill. What do you do for fun? Reply and let me know!

Looking to reach 4500+ newsletter operators?

Disclaimer: Not financial or business advice. This newsletter is strictly for information and education purposes and may contain affiliate links or sponsored content from a variety of partners to keep this newsletter free of charge.

Newsletter Business is published by Digiventures Media Group LLC.