[#1] Idea hunting
Here we go… issue 1 of Newsletter Blueprint.
In the last few days, what started as a curated newsletter for people building newsletters with maybe some kind of follow along… has now turned into a dedicated “I’m building a $1M newsletter and I’m sharing the journey”.
I think it’ll be way more interesting for you.
So here’s the deal - I’m going to build a newsletter, grow it and monetize. And I’ll share everything with you in a weekly update. I’m going from zero idea (as I write this) to something of value.
Speaking of value, I wanted to put a number on it. A target to go after that was a big challenge but also achievable. That’s where the $1M came from.
What does that mean in reality?
My thinking is that IF I was to sell the end product it would have a value of $1M. That would mean it’s standalone asset doing around $330K per year profit and could sell for 3x annual.
Although I’m not necessarily planning to sell, I’ll build it with that in mind.
It won’t be a personal newsletter. I’ll leverage the small social following I have but it needs to be able to exist and grow with someone else at the wheel.
Alright, getting ahead of things.
Back down here at the starting line, I need an idea. That is the focus of the next few days. Get an idea, a name + domain, a landing page and an ESP.
Once I have the idea, the rest is easy to set up. Well… that depends on how much I procrastinate on the name and domain 🤦♂️
Then I can really get things moving forward.
Finding an Idea
Idea hunting is where many get lost. Looking for something perfect, overanalyzing, self doubt, imposter syndrome, etc. I speak from experience.
To get over that, and get moving, I have this newsletter - I have to report back to you next week. It’ll be a boring issue if I have nothing.
For narrowing my focus, I have some criteria and constraints to think about.
- Is interesting for me
- The audience spends money
- Can identify potential sponsors
- The audience identify as part of a tribe
- Potential for products beyond sponsors
- Distribution - clear path to get in front of audience
- Market has potential to be way bigger than $1M value
- A lot of content out in the world and new info added frequently
- Makes sense to have short daily newsletter (more sends = more ad inventory)
- Audience on a transformation journey. Moving from A to B. Or solving a problem
Other constraints to consider:
- Small budget to get things moving (and bootstrapped).
- From day zero I need to balance family time with this project.
- It’s a solo operation but will use freelancers for tasks as needed.
TBH, the balance of family time is going to be tough.
Idea hunting plan
I won’t get into a lot of detail here on how I’m hunting ideas, but next week I will share what I did (maybe in a video?)
This is where I’ll spend my time:
- Trends.vc newsletter archive
- Inventory of own experiences
- Working back from products in competitive categories
- Trends (from The Hustle) newsletter archive and community
- Who is doing what I want - how can I make it better / different angle / apply to different market
A big part of the week is planned to spend on the idea. After that’s decided I’ll move quickly to going “live”.
- Landing page
I’ll try to create some video of what I did and share in the weekly update.
Before I sign off, this tweet popped up whilst I was writing the email. A timely word of caution - I’m under no illusion this is going to be easy.
Any feedback, hit reply and let me know.