The premium newsletter is a type of recurring revenue subscription business that drives income by sending out periodic email newsletters to a group of paying members through email.
This business model has grown increasingly in prevalence since 2020 with thousands of businesses incorporating a newsletter into their content marketing strategy. In fact, there are now a large number of businesses running off of a paid newsletter model exclusively – that’s their ONLY stream of revenue.
And it’s not as hard as you might think.
People like the premium newsletter model for many reasons, but these are the most important:
- It’s relatively hands off.
- High margin – very few operating expenses. You will need only about $500 in technical support/software every month (but we can help bring that down to as low as $100)
- The cashflow that it generates frees up time for what matters most in life
- It’s an easy way to network and drive your influence
- It’s an asset – when looking to provide value for others, you can use your newsletter as a guest writer editorial platform, for the affiliate promotion of others’ deals, or just to shout a potential connection out.
You don’t even need a large audience to create a six-figure premium newsletter business. If you have 834 subscribers each paying $10/month (which is a low price-point in this niche FYI), that’s all you need to cross the coveted six figure mark annually.
And there are case studies (which you’ll have to read to the end to see) that are rapidly scaling up their premium newsletter businesses to this kind of size in the span of just a few months.
But, we can get you there faster. In fact, we can get you up to speed on a brand new premium newsletter business in just 21 days.
Here’s the step-by-step rundown on how you can come up with your own premium newsletter:
Step 1 Find Your Niche
You may be thinking to yourself “What in the world can I write about that hundreds of people will pay thousands of dollars for?”
The answer is that you will want to provide content that:
- People are searching for.
- Adequately satisfies whatever it is people are trying to get answers to.
- You can provide a unique angle on.
The majority of budding entrepreneurs get hungup on this step. They spitball dozens of ideas for content creation, trashing every single one, abandoning the project entirely before it even got off the ground.
Everyone doubts themselves, they think that there’s no way they can build up an information brand that others would willingly pay for to get access to.
It’s sad to see so many great would-be writers hang up their hats prematurely because they overcomplicate the whole thing.
There’s no reason you can’t pivot if the first idea doesn’t work.
Let’s make picking your niche simple.
Find a topic that interests you.
Make sure that others are also interested in that topic (you can verify this with a cursory look at Reddit, Google keyword tools, and what people are asking in Facebook groups relevant to the topic).
Start writing on it, enhance, optimize, scale.
And if you’re still not comfortable coming up with a niche that you can write in, you can build up your newsletter with guest writers, more comfortable in a topic, almost like the editorial section in a newspaper.
If selecting a niche to go into is difficult for you, we can help you (there’s an entire training module on the topic).
Step 2: Construct Your Launchpad
Now it’s time to get the technical aspect of the newsletter down. You’re going to need:
- Web hosting
- A domain
- An autoresponder
- Email software
- Webmaster services
- Payment processing
- Page building
- And a bit more…
We don’t want to overcomplicate this – many people get hungup on the technical step of launching an online newsletter business. It may appear daunting to someone who’s brand new to digital entrepreneurship, but it’s actually quite simple.
These costs will likely run you about $500/month and only require a handful of hours in upkeep per week.
BUT if you want to drive that cost to just $100/month and let someone else manage the more technical aspects of the business, then we can help with that.
If you can help it, outsource this part of the work to someone else. Your priority should be content creation…
Step 3: Write
Once you found your niche and have constructed your technical launchpad, it’s now time for liftoff.
The best way to manage an information content product is to draft up content in bursts every few periods, and then release that content interspersed a little bit over time, like an IV drip.
To get yourself into the groove of effortless writing that flows out of your fingertips, start up with mass quantity. Don’t worry about quality for now, if you’re not a prolific writer yet you need to get into the habit of it and the only way you can start is to start.
You can find motivation or get ideas by exploring other people’s newsletters, especially for those in your niche. Sign up to a few of your competitors’ newsletters and see what they’re sending out. You’ll find that they’re not sending out PhD level academic research papers and that what they’re writing for their audience is actually quite replicable.
You may find inspiration in some of the case studies in this article.
Step 4: Drive Traffic
After you have content for your newsletter, you just need to put it together, create a landing page to opt new members in, and then drive content to that page.
This is an area where creativity reigns supreme. You can drive content in an innumerable amount of ways.
Usually you can get your first 100 subscribers for free. Word of mouth, social media posting, etc. You can even run a crowdfunding campaign to garner your first few subscribers – one of our case studies raised $2.5 million with a crowdfunding campaign.
Influencer deals are important in the world of the newsletter. For a new startup brand with no reputation yet, it’s harder to get people onboard. But, with making influencer deals in your niche you can borrow the credibility of stable, larger brands and extend that trust to your brand.
You can gain your first few subscribers through podcast appearances, guest blog posts, and even guest articles in the newsletters of others.
Here are some traffic campaigns you can consider for when you’re driving traffic to your newsletter:
- Google ads – target queries that people are asking that your newsletter would answer
- Cold outreach to influencers
- Offer a free newsletter that provides less value as a tripwire for getting them into your paid newsletter
- Launch a referral campaign to your existing members
- Paid Reddit ads in communities relevant to your topic
Step 5: Optimize and Scale
Once you have those first 100 subscribers, you’re ready to test and you’re ready to scale.
The most successful businesses are playing a game of constant experimentation. You need to be running split tests at every conceivable opportunity and scaling the winning strategies that result from those tests.
Having a referral program is a necessity for scaling in a business like this. When tracking your KPIs, here are the 3 most important stats to look at:
- Monthly user growth
- Revenue generated from referrals
- Average order value
This newsletter generated over 10,000 subscribers, with subscriptions ranging from $5-48. The founders go over their success in this interview.
They generated $4k in its first five months.
“From my personal perspective, it’s more than I’ve ever made writing in a year consistently, and I keep getting new subscribers, so I’m pretty happy with it.”
A newsletter that rode the success of a $2.5 million crowdfunding launch.
They're a newsletter that scaled up to 50k subscribers paying $15 a month – it writes about the relationship between China and the US.
An indie brand that specializes on remote work and travel. Their newsletter sold out of its limited early adopter spots in just 24 hours.
A crypto newsletter with 40,000 subscribers paying $10 a month.
Launched as a newsletter-only business, writing on tech news for members who pay $399 a year to hear from them.
A tech advice newsletter that attracted 200 subscribers in its first year, charging $5/month, making 12k in its first year.
“Nothing compares to the freedom of running your own publication, in which people have invested specifically in hearing what you have to say”
— Jared Newman
Started as a Danish startup that pivoted into a newsletter only model, charging $9.50 a month to 30,000 subscribers. In an interview, the founder stated they only needed 8,500 subscribers to break even, so it looks like they are in great shape.
Is a weekly newsletter launched in August 2020, that by April 2021 was earning $10,782 per month with 600 paying subscribers and 58,000 free ones.
They developed a newsletter that has garnered 16,000 subscribers in under 2 years, seeing $200,000 in revenue for 2020.
Tech and finance newsletter that drove up over 339,000 subscribers with a giveaway referral program that made referrals fun through offering incentives and prices for every new referral to the newsletter.
Let us do half the work for you. Build a tight-knit community of subscribers with your own ready to go site that we built for you. All of the technical work is done for you, plus you get hands on training and a community of likeminded entrepreneurs who may be some of your first subscribers.