How to Start and Grow an Email Newsletter

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Due to the proven risk of social media companies updating their algorithms and wiping out page engagement, email subscribers are more valuable than ever.

This is a repost of a fantastic Twitter thread from Ari Lewis about how to start and grow and email newsletter. I also strongly recommend reading this post about the rise of paid newsletter entrepreneurs (a newly booming industry).

Here’s the thread:
Want to start a newsletter? Don’t know where to start?

Every week someone asks me how to start a newsletter. My response is always the same.

Here’s what I tell them.

Sara Wants to Start a Fashion Newsletter
• Too vague. Find a niche within a niche within a niche.
• Fashion -> Jeans -> Jeans Celebrities Wear
• Now Sara is starting a newsletter covering jeans that celebrities wear

Who Will Read It?
• It’s not enough for your newsletter to just be a niche, but it must be for a specific group
• Example: a newsletter about jeans that celebrities wear for the fashionista
• There is a CLEAR audience in mind who would benefit from subscribing

What to Write?
• Don’t have anything to write?
• Start with curated links or photos
• Choose 3 photos of celebs wearing jeans that week
• Start with why you like the jeans, why you don’t and where readers can buy the jeans

What Tools to Use?
• Start with Mailchimp
• It’s free for the first 2,000 subscribers and easy to customize
• Create a landing page using Mailchimp (optional step)
• Don’t waste time choosing tools, focus on content creation

How to Promote It?
• Once you launch, share it with friends
• Ask your friends to share it
• Go to niche communities and share your newsletter
• Try subreddits and Facebook groups
• If you know your niche, you’ll know where to post

Why Start a Newsletter?
• Starting a newsletter shows people you understand a topic
• What sounds better? “I know a lot about fashion” or “I run a fashion newsletter”
• Don’t start a newsletter to impress people
• Do it because you want to

• It could take years to find success
• For the first three months, don’t worry about subscribers or read rate
• Just focus on creating value to your readers
• Success will follow

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I've been building digital businesses, wandering the world, and writing about optimizing life for freedom since early 2017. My mission is to lower the barrier for people who want to live with more freedom: whether that be as an entrepreneur, a digital nomad, an early retiree, or just as someone who wants to live a happiness-driven life.