Marketing

Can You Make Money Writing Newsletters?

October 12, 2020

You probably receive several different weekly newsletters in your inbox each day, but probably haven't realized that these newsletters are often making a lot of money for their brands through their email marketing. This article will cover several of the ways you can earn money through newsletters and give you some actionable steps to get started with your own newsletters.

Newsletters are still one of the most powerful forms of digital marketing. You can develop a direct connection with your subscribers. Newsletters can earn money in various ways, including ad space, affiliate links and promotion of your brand's products and services. 

Forms of Monetization

Paid Newsletters earn money in quite a few ways. Many successful newsletters use a combination of these methods to make money in order to diversify income streams.

Sell Ad Space

If you have a sizable number of subscribers, you can sell ad space in your newsletters. To keep your readers happy, you should aim to sell ad space to businesses in your niche so that your newsletters continue to be relevant to your readers.

Sponsored Content / Native Ads

Depending on your brand and the size of your audience, you may have companies that will pay you to include specific content in your newsletters. You may also consider native ads instead of conventional ads, as these ads will maintain the look and feel of your newsletter.

sponsored ad morning brew newsletter
Sponsored Ad in Morning Brew Newsletter

Paid Subscriptions - Free vs Premium

Many newsletters offer two versions - a free version and a premium version that charges a subscription fee. The secret here is to provide great content in your free version and incredibly valuable content in the premium version.

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links allow you to start earning money even if you don't have a large readership yet. You simply refer your readers to a product using a special link, and if they make a purchase, you will get a percentage of the sale.

Sell Your Own Product or Service

Once you have a sizable following of loyal readers, you can market your own products and services. This method is a great way to make money because your profit margin can be quite significant.

Cross Selling

If you have a group of readers who have already made a purchase, you can often make more sales by cross-selling. Cross-selling involves suggesting other related products that might interest these readers based on their previous purchases.

Ask for Donations

If you are offering valuable information in your newsletters, you may consider asking for donations. You will be surprised at how many people may send you money just because they like your content. This is a similar model to that of Patreon.

Social Media Referrals

If your readers like what you publish, you can bet they'll want to share it on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. When the right account shares your newsletter, this could mean hundreds of new visitors to your websites.


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Getting Started With your Paid Newsletter

Now that you understand how to make a profit writing newsletters, it's time to get started creating your own email newsletters. Follow these steps to get started.


1. Define Your Goals

Before you get into the actual planning, you need first to define your goals. What do you want your readers to do? Do you want them to visit your website, make a purchase, sign up for premium options, or something else? Think about your plans to monetize as well. Your goals will guide much of your communication. If you already have a following on your website or social media, consider creating a survey to see what they may want to read about.

2. Outline a Plan for Your Content

Decide on the type of content you plan to share. It helps to have a focused newsletter instead of a broad newsletter. Think about what your readers will find valuable. This is also a great opportunity for you to scope out some of the competition and see what they are promoting and writing about.

You especially want to include fantastic content in your first few emails so that your subscribers feel validated for subscribing. Try to outline your first several newsletters so that you are staying on top of things.

3. Decide on a Sending Schedule and Stick to It!

Over time, your readers will start to expect to hear from you on a consistent schedule. When you're starting out, be realistic about how often you can create newsletters. Whether you send once a week, twice a month or once a month, choose a schedule and be consistent. Try to always send on the same day and around the same time as well.


4. Choose an Email Service

There are many email marketing services to help you manage sending your newsletters and your lists of subscribers. Some include Mailchimp, Constant Contact and ConvertKit to name a few. These all come with different features including email newsletter templates and sending capabilities. Check the pricing tiers to find the features that fit your needs.


5. Choose a Builder

Newsletter creators like Goodbits.io can help you create high-quality, professional-looking newsletters. These services offer templates and other features that let you seamlessly integrate with your brand to maintain a cohesive feel throughout your communication. Other builder services you may want to consider include Revue and Substack.


6. Create a Welcome Email

You will want a welcome email to send to new subscribers. This email should welcome them and introduce them to what they can expect from your newsletters and is one of the most important emails to send to new subscribers so they can start building a relationship with you.


7. Promote, Promote, Promote

Now it's time to promote your newsletters. If you have a website, you should have a subscription box on all the relevant pages. You may want to consider offering some sort of freebie, such as a helpful free downloadable PDF, to entice people to subscribe to your newsletters. If you’re not sure what to offer your readers, just take a look at what others in your space are offering and put your unique spin on it. If you have a social media presence such as facebook and instagram, you can also promote your newsletters there.


8. Monetize

Once you have a decent email list, you can start to monetize. It's best to start slowly; you don't want to bombard new subscribers with requests to buy. As you develop a connection with your readers and they begin to trust you, you can start to monetize. It's best to have a monetization strategy, including quick ways to earn money and how to earn money as your readership grows.

If you plan to offer premium newsletters, you may want to start with free newsletters to your mailing list and give yourself time to prove yourself to your readers. Once you have established yourself, you can then start offering paid subscriptions.

The next step is to decide on what to charge. If you feel uneasy about charging for your content, you can always start with a modest $5 per month.  Many business newsletters start at $10 per month. Some platforms offer annual paid subscriptions in which you can pass the savings to your paying subscribers.

andrew chen twitter massive value
Follow accounts that give massive value for ideas on how to give the best to your audience

Tips for Success

If you are building your email list from scratch, a good idea is to subscribe to newsletters offered by other businesses in your industry. Don't know who to subscribe to? Start by analyzing the content you consume from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If there is an author that regularly shows up in your feed, chances are they have a newsletter. You can get a lot of great ideas by reading their newsletters and keep up with what the competition is doing as well.

To go one step further, consider becoming one of the paying subscribers. This way you can compare the freemium version with the premium content to get an idea of what works well. Many newsletters allow you to subscribe month to month so you can manage your budget accordingly.

Your subject line is possibly the most important sentence you will write in your newsletters. A subject line is often the determining factor of whether a reader will open your newsletter or not. It doesn't matter how great the content is inside if your readers never open the email. Increase conversion rates by writing killer subject lines that pique your readers' interests and you will get many more opens. 

Once you have sent out several newsletters, your email service provider will give you all sorts of data, including open rates. You can see how many of your subscribers are actually opening your emails. These open rates can give you valuable insight into the types of titles and content that are resonating with your readers. You can use this insight to guide future content and increase your open rates.

Think about your content and how it will appear on different devices. Most people read their emails on mobile, so if you have large blocks of text, it will be difficult to read. Write in short paragraphs to make it easy for your readers.

You should be intentional about which day and what time you send your newsletters. Think about your intended audience and when they will be most likely to open your email. For example, if you are sending to young corporate types, they may be reading their emails in the morning on their commutes. If you are sending it to parents, you may want to time your emails during nap time or closer to bedtime.


Once you've established your sending schedule, set up a writing routine so that you always have your newsletters ready to go. Pick a time to write each day or week. You may want to divide your tasks to maximize efficiency by batching similar types of tasks together. For example, you may write one day, edit the next day, and then add images and format your content on the third day. Batching your workflow can be a real time saver.

Some services allow you to set up an email newsletter series or funnels. You can create an email series and send them out to new subscribers. You can write emails now and make money on them for years to come. 

Your newsletters are a way for you to connect with your audience. If someone responds to your email, make sure to reply to them promptly. 

Ready to Get Started?

Once you have a plan in place to start your newsletter, Goodbits.io can help you make it look amazing and fit with your business's branding. The software works with any existing email service (we let you export as HTML) or you can manage your own email list on our platform. Custom templates, content blocks, publish on your own custom domain, export your email addresses and other features allow you to create professional-quality emails while streamlining your workflow.

Be sure to check out this video demo of our easy drag and drop feature or try for free any time.

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