You NEED to Start a Newsletter. Here's Your Ultimate Beginner's Guide
Newsletters are about to blow up. People are realizing the only platform that will survive the entire lifespan of the internet is email. Every other platform is destined to fail.
Newsletters give the ability to start multi-million dollar businesses just by sending an email a day (Morning Brew sold for $75 million last year). In this article I’ll be going over why starting a newsletter now is so critical and give you beginner-friendly steps on getting up and running. I’ll also get into more advanced strategies around scale, growth, and monetizing.
After all of those details I’ll get into the latest news on my NFT collection minting this week, as well as the NFT collection that closes tonight and how to get in on both. To stay up to date on all the latest happenings, join the 1% Club. The club just passed 500 members and is evolving every single day. We hold regular Club Calls covering a wide range of topics from goals, to writing, to blowing up your Twitter account. Club calls this week on social media psychology, public speaking, and Web 3 UX. If you want to build a growth mindset I’d highly recommend joining below:
Newsletters Are Up Next
The biggest platform of 2023 won’t be Twitter, TikTok, or Youtube. It’ll be email. It’s not just the fact that email is the only platform that will never die, it’s also the fact that everyone checks their email every day. They don’t always check their social media platforms. Social media is controlled by algorithms. Email is controlled by nothing. If you send content to someone’s inbox, they are going to see it.
On top of that newsletters = $$$. On Substack, the top 10 authors collectively make more than $20 million a year. That’s just on subscriptions. Sponsorships and affiliate links can add millions of more earning potential on top of that. It’s the most powerful distribution channel in the world and has the highest earning potential.
The best part? Through modern newsletter platforms, it’s now easy for anyone to set up and start collecting revenue. Your dream of becoming a full time content creator can be achieved through a high quality newsletter.
Choose a Platform
First step is choosing a platform. The two most popular are Substack and Beehiiv. Substack has the best discoverability in my opinion. Way more people are on Substack, meaning way more people can discover your newsletter. At the moment over 800 of my subscribers have come from the Substack network. When it comes to organic growth, I don’t think any other platform can come close to Substack. Substack is definitely my recommendation for a free platform.
Once you’re set up, you’ll need a name. I’d caution against naming it after yourself. Originally I named this newsletter “The NFT God Newsletter”. If you name your newsletter after yourself it’ll make it impossible to sell in the future. Also by building a brand around your newsletter, it’ll open up way more business partnership opportunities. That’s part of the reason I’ve shifted to “1% Better”.
A big trend in titling right now is taking 2 elements you don’t expect together and making them a title. Examples: The Psychology of Money, Atomic Habits, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Brainstorm some titles in this fashion that would make sense for you.
If you haven’t read Steal Like an Artist yet you need to. It’s an incredible book about how to properly find inspiration and turn it into your own content. Easy, quick, concise read. You need to have a routine of consuming inspiration. For me I love Justin Welsh’s and Sahil Bloom’s newsletters. I carve out half an hour every week just to read as many newsletters as I can.
Find Your Voice
The key to high-quality content in any form is simple. You need to find your voice. Finding your voice can only be done through repetition. I’ve been writing this newsletter weekly for over a year now. I had less then 100 subscribers my first 6 months. In month 6, I found my voice and hit a tipping point. I jetted from 100 to 1,000 subscribers in a week. Now I’m at 18,000 another 6 months later.
Just. Press. Publish. Do it over and over again. You’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t. What kind of content comes from your soul.
There are many types of newsletters you can write. I write long form newsletters, but there are way more options than that. You can do short form, simple ideas. You can do quick news bites. You can even do a list of links to interesting content. You don’t have to be writing essays. There are newsletters to fit everyone’s styles.
No matter which format you choose, writing one should be pretty simple. Open up the drafting tool and start putting down all of your ideas. The way I like to do it is I write down what I want each paragraph to be about. Then when I have all the paragraph ideas down, I go back and fill them out. This makes writing newsletters really easy. In fact, here is my outline of this newsletter before I started filling it out:
Marketing and Scaling
Once you’ve started sending out your newsletter, it’s time to let people know about it. By far the best funnel into your newsletter is Twitter. 95% of my subscribers have come from Twitter. Twitter is a written platform, newsletters are a written platform. Write good content on Twitter → send them to your newsletter. This has been my strategy for a year now and it has worked amazingly.
Every week I write 2 threads. At the end of each thread I ask the reader to subscribe to my newsletter. Every time I write a thread, I earn a ton of subscribers. It’s important to be selective of when you ask for a sub though.
Spamming your audience to subscribe will cause them to scroll past these tweets. The more tweets your audiences scroll past without interacting, the more likely the algorithm won’t serve your content anymore. DON’T SPAM.
My next move is Instagram. While Instagram’s algorithm isn’t the best, there is a very high conversion rate of click throughs in photo captions.
The monetization opportunities of newsletters are tremendous. What’s great is you can easily set up multiple streams of revenue from your newsletter. Paid subscriptions, sponsorships, affiliate links, product sales: all incredible ways to leverage a newsletter for revenue. The important thing here is waiting for the appropriate time to monetize.
If you ask for paid subscribers too early, you’ll hurt your audience growth. You need to wait until you’ve built trust and proven your value to ask for a paid subscription. I waited until 10,000 free subscribers to set up my $5 paid tier.
Sponsorships and affiliate links are also wildly profitable for many newsletters. Once I got to around 7,000 free subscribers different projects started reaching out to sponsor the newsletter. The best part is these were all inbound leads. I didn’t need to do outreach.
Affiliate links are also popular in newsletter. Set up an Amazon Associates account and start recommending products you love.
The sweet spot for any kind of monetization is 7,000-10,000 free subscribers. Once you hit that mark (depending on your newsletter goals) this could be a good time to introduce monetization.
Newsletters are here to stay. They are a proven business model ANYONE can get into quickly. It doesn’t require any sort of crazy writing skills. Find a format that fits your style and start publishing.
Email will outlast every social media platform in existence. The revenue opportunities for newsletters DOMINATE any other form of social media. The absolute worst case scenario is you start a passion project that improves so many of your skills. No excuses, get started today.
As hinted the last few weeks, I am minting a gamechanging NFT this week. This is the future of NFTs. I don’t believe the best use case of NFTs is 10k PFP collections. The best use case is community strengthening. This is how every major S&P500 company will be using NFTs this decade and that’s what I’ll be doing with 1% Club Rewards.
This week I’ll be putting out a content challenge. Anyone in the 1% Club will be able to create content for this challenge. I’ll choose the top 5 pieces of content then put it up to vote for the community. The winner gets airdropped a free Rewards NFT with art from the community. I’ll do this every week for the foreseeable future.
It’s an NFT to encourage learning, creating, and discomfort. It’s an NFT to strengthen the community. If you are interested in competing for the weekly NFT, join the 1% Club below. It’s a community of over 500 growth minded individuals working to uplift each other. You’ll also get exclusive content sent to your inbox.
On another note, my open edition with IKORMA closes tonight. This is an art collection that I’ll be working into my NFT ecosystem as well. I’d highly encourage everyone check out the awesome artwork from a talented digital artist here.
Started a newsletter? Feel free to link it in the comments below so the community can subscribe!
I just started one as part of my 2023 goals.
It aims to cover innovation, any tech-related things, building in the bear market and daily routines from a students perspective.
Check it out https://phryics.substack.com
Amazing as always! And a great motivation for me to start my newsletter!