[#7] First $
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… back home from our vacation and back working on growing FOUNDER.
Here’s what I’ve got for you today:
- First revenue
- Subscriber growth
- Building a growth engine
Founder made it’s first $ last week 🙌
In fact it’s made money in 4 of the last 5 issues.
I’m happy about that.
It might be tiny, and barely make an impact on my coffee addiction, but it’s a boost for the confidence. Especially so early and with so few subscribers - Founder is only 12 daily issues old.
What’s made this possible is the SparkLoop Partner Network (link is an affiliate link). It’d be a waste of time hunting for a sponsor at this point but it takes almost zero effort to include a link to one of their many quality partners.
This isn’t paid 😀
If you’re running a newsletter or thinking about starting one, please go and check out Growth Currency.
It’s a newsletter for newsletter creators. Every week Dylan writes about growing and monetizing newsletter and shares a bunch of cool newsletter stuff.
A reminder that this is not a paid promotion.
Subscribers sits at around 150. Not great and not sure how I feel about it.
On the one hand, it’s less than 3 weeks old, and I was on vacation for 1 of those weeks.
On the other hand, it’s a reflection of effort.
Subscribers are mainly coming from Twitter where I’ve stepped up the number of tweets and engaging with others. And that shows in Twitter growth too. But at 2,500 followers, I can’t expect huge numbers of people signing up.
The direction is ok.
I’m getting some from LinkedIn. Although I abandoned my original plan to focus on there, I realized I’m better keeping effort on one platform.
So I post on Twitter and then copy and paste over on LinkedIn to keep it ticking over. Jumping into a few comments here and there.
I was also very happy to get a boost of subscribers from a mention in For The Interested
However, I could’ve been getting my hands much dirtier.
For example more time cold DMing people.
Or joined a bunch of Facebook groups.
Or focused on Reddit comments.
I could’ve. But didn’t…
That leads us into the last part this week…
Building a growth engine
If I’m going to get anywhere close to the goal of this challenge, it’s clear I need something more than a landing page and a handful of enthusiastic tweets.
And I don’t want to have to scrape subscribers from mass DMing or link bombing groups.
Thankfully there are a lot of other options.
Here are 4 areas that I’ll start experimenting with:
I’ve mentioned this before. I need more subscribers to really get this going but have a few possibilities coming up.
On top of this SparkLoop has a recommendation tool. I need to look at what that involves and whether I can use it yet.
I can put some budget into this. Again, using the SparkLoop partner network I can be on the other side of the equation and get Founder mentioned in other newsletters and only pay on a per subscriber basis.
Got to do some maths but will start making moves on this in the next few weeks.
A lead magnet
Not sure exactly what - a template or a guide.
A lead magnet for a newsletter isn’t generally a good idea.
I want people to sign up because they want the newsletter and not because they want the free thing, and I make them stay for the newsletter. So they don’t read and unsub.
On the flip, it can give me a way to get in front of more people. I can offer a solution to one of their problems and then say “hey, I also have this newsletter that might be good for you, come check it out”.
If I look at it that way, it doesn’t need to be gated behind an email opt in.
A resource site
I’m thinking about something more substantial than a lead magnet.
A thing that could be ‘launched”, that would get linked to and shared.
I brainstormed a bunch of ideas. Then I had an epiphany that I don’t yet have an archive. And maybe that’s the place to start.
But… instead of just the usual archive it will be a database of the links that were in the newsletter. And include filters for their business model and their niche.
I’ve been playing round with Airtable and Softr the last couple of days and might even have a full site for Founder up and running before I report back next week.
If I’m going to have an archive, it might as well be a useful one.
Leaving it there for this week.
Let me know if you have any feedback or comments.