The Business of Newsletters

My wife and I had an idea to start a newsletter for a new trend in education. I identify it as an inflection point, COVID, and the weird political schemes it has brought about. Without going too deep on the “what.” This inflection point gives me the confidence to pursue it.

Having a slight bit of background in the content space, I took to podcasts to find those who have done the newsletter business at scale.

People like Austin Rief, Sam Parr, and Tim Ferris came to mind. I knew of them but never really studied their story that hard.

Having listened to a few podcasts featuring them, it all boils down to grit, consistency, and selling.

The business of newsletters is plain simple:

  1. Write
  2. Grow
  3. Sell

Within that, there will be more work than you can imagine or want to do to gain traction and keep attention. The focus of a single human is becoming harder and harder to capture with dopamine-hit platforms like TikTok or Instagram reels.

Making content digestible, relatable, and consistent has set most of the newsletters apart. People love habitual things. I remember seeing a weekly newspaper hit my parent’s driveway curb when I was young. They looked forward to it even if the content could have been better. It still was a spice of life you could insert to make a difference.

There’s something to all this that makes sense and plenty that does not. To be successful, you need to be comfortable publishing for years, for no money, and doing so consistently.

Those that make it through are the successful few.