[#5] First contact
This is the latest update to building FOUNDER into a $1M newsletter.
If you were forwarded this email, you can read past issues and subscribe here
Hey 👋 Here’s what I’ve got for you today…
- First subscribers
- First newsletters
- Content planning
- Monetizing tip
- What else
Founder has it’s first subscribers 🙌
Don’t get too excited - not many yet. Less than 100. But… it’s a start and last week wasn’t as constructive (or as productive) as I’d hoped.
I jumped straight into posting on social but without a plan. It was unstructured and not sure how effective it was. Probably not very. But I felt the need to get something out there.
I also had to think about what I post and where. Let me explain…
I want to keep talking about newsletters and this weekly update. I also want to talk about wider online business building and directly promoting Founder.
If I mix up promoting two different newsletters, does that cause confusion? Likely.
So I have a plan for that later in this update.
Founder is two issues old already 🙌
I sent the first one on Monday and the second one earlier today.
I’m modeling the way Josh Spector creates his For The Interested newsletter - it’s incredibly short, ranging from a few words to a single paragraph. With one link. And a one sentence sponsor.
BTW, a note here. I mention Josh a lot in these updates. I admire what he does with his newsletter and he’s recently been sharing practical advice on podcasts.
Back to the format.
Most inboxes have too many newsletter in them. And we scroll down and see some that we know are going to be a time investment to read. So we put them off until later when we can do it properly. Then they get forgotten and remain unread. Or deleted.
The Hustle for me is a prime example. It’s every day and it’s packed full of links and commentary for interesting things. I know I need to spend time on it. So it gets pushed down the list.
I see Josh’s newsletter come in and I know it’s going to cost me seconds to see what he’s got to share. And I trust that he shares good stuff. I open it there and then. If it grabs me then I can click through to whatever it is.
Low time investment and potentially high return in learning something useful.
That’s what I’m aiming for.
Now… a lesson here. It’s hard to do 🤦♂️
There’s nothing to hide behind. No possibility to pad out with a handful of other links, hedging my bets that something in the newsletter is worth reading.
It’ll take some time to get good and comfortable with what I share. All part of the process I guess.
And if feedback comes in that the format doesn’t work for this newsletter. I can change.
Final point on the first issues…
I’m including a “sponsor” from day 1.
Nobody’s going to actually sponsor me. But I can use the SparkLoop Partner Network to promote other newsletters.
I’m not going to have much impact with it. But that’s not the point. I want it clear from day 1 that it’s an ad supported newsletter. Despite low subscribers, this is the finished product.
I’ll also promote this behind the scenes weekly update too. Cross promotion 😀
I touched on the issue of what to post and where, and I need to get a plan in place.
I’m going to focus on two platforms - Twitter and LinkedIn.
Twitter’s my more casual, talk about behind the scenes and link to this weekly update as the call to action. I’m not going to stress about content plans and crazy threads. I’ll keep the main focus as newsletter topics but not worry about going off at a tangent.
LinkedIn is going to be for Founder. One group of people I’m trying to attract is scrolling LinkedIn, wondering how to get out of their job or take financial pressure off.
I’ll keep it mainly focused on online business and promote Founder. I’ll also build out a plan using this as a starting point:
The good thing is that Newsletter Blueprint and Founder have a crossover in audiences.
I can cross promote between the two.
This is how my simple funnel looks:
The final content bit, for now, is a pillar piece of something. Not sure what yet. But it needs to be high quality and shareable. I’m working on it.
Last week, I recommended Who Sponsors Stuff, a newsletter I subscribe to. A genuine recommendation, but I got paid a few $ for each person who subscribed.
I did this via the SparkLoop Partner Network and can recommend it to anyone who runs a newsletter and wants to make a few extra $. Or has unsold ad inventory or hasn’t started monetizing yet.
They have a good selection of quality newsletters willing to pay for subscribers you send their way.
This newsletter doesn’t have a big audience. But that little promotion in the PS made over $100. For almost zero effort on my part.
Compare that to hunting for sponsors, pitching, dealing with the transaction and agreeing copy etc. At my current size I’d be lucky to get $20. Not worth it.
I’m not going to get rich but it covered the cost of email tools for the month.
Go sign up for the SparkLoop Partner Network and see if there’s something you’re happy to promote (am sure there will be)
And, yeah of course, that’s my referral link 😀
No week would feel right without backtracking on something.
I originally set up Founder on beehiiv. I then realized that I’m very likely to do some form of lead magnet(s) and other things where I will want the marketing functionality of ConvertKit.
So… I’m on ConvertKit. Easy switch and hadn’t started sending anyway. I’m using Carrd for the landing page. Happy with this set up and the flexibility for a few ideas brewing.
Newsletter Blueprint and it’s archives stays on beehiiv.
OK. I’ve gone on long enough. Too long maybe.
Next week might be a very short update. It’s school holidays for the week and we have some travel plans.
As always, comments, questions and feedback all welcome.
P.S. If I mention a newsletter, assume it’s a referral link. But I’ll never recommend stuff I don’t use or subscribe to.