How Alex Llull grew The Steal Club to 4000 subscribers
Hello! Who are you and what newsletter did you start?
Hey! I’m Alex Llull and I write The Steal Club - a weekly newsletter where we learn how the best creators use content to grow their audience and businesses.
And how you can do the same by stealing their tactics and strategies.
How did you launch it and what did you do to get the first 100 subscribers?
Before even launching, I did what I always do when I come up with a new project idea: validate demand.
In this case, I did it with a tweet.
That tweet generated some positive engagement, so I quickly put together a sing up page and “plug it” below. That probably drove the first 50-60 subs.
I kept plugging the newsletter under every thread I made until I reached 100 subs. Only then I went to write the first issue.
What does your process for creating the content look like?
My newsletter has four separate sections:
A lesson from my journey
A growth tip
A content template
3-4 relevant links
The lesson is what takes longer to put together. I have a bunch of stories/ideas outlined that I repurpose for my newsletter in a 150-200 word article.
The rest of the newsletter is more curated, meaning I take stuff I see from around social media and do my analysis of it.
The process is quite simple:
Every time I see something that could be “steal club worthy,” I bookmark it
When I sit down to write every issue, I just go through my bookmarks and pick what see what resonates
Generally, every issue takes around 2-3h hours to be ready to send.
What tools are you using to create, send, and grow the newsletter?
I use Notion to organize and draft every issue
I use MailerLite as my ESP
I use Grammarly for grammar correction
I use Tally Forms to manage sponsorship requests
I use Feedletter to get audience feedback
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain subscribers?
These are the strategies I’ve used to attract more subscribers, from more useful to least useful:
Cross-promotion with other creators in similar niches
This one tweet (drove around +300 subs in one day)
Organic shoutouts from other creators, either on their newsletters or Twitter
“Scheduled promotion” on my social media (I make a post a few hours before publishing)
“Plugs” when a piece of content reaches X number of likes (this is proven to be less effective lately btw)
Paid ads on other newsletters
I’m not doing much to retain subscribers actively. I believe in people staying because the content is good and valuable to them.
How are you doing today and what are your plans for the future?
The Steal Club is growing at a reasonable rate, and it’s starting to bring some recurring revenue every month in the form of sponsorships, but there’s still a long way to go.
Here’s what’s coming:
We are now at almost 4k subscribers. My goal is to get to 10k by the end of the year. Long shot but doable with a bit of luck.
I’m currently working with Dylan Bridger on a new welcome sequence.
I’m working on a side Steal Club project to see if I can generate some recurring revenue. It has to do with content templates; hopefully, it will be ready by late September!
I’m also looking to automate the sponsorship side of things as much as possible (I wish someone built an actual good platform for this * wink wink *)
My crazy dream for the Steal Club would be for it to become a platform where creators come to learn from other creators. From the strategies and tactics that worked before, so they don’t have to start from scratch.
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share with someone who wants to get started or is just starting out?
I wish I had started with cross promotions before. The benefit of it is dual, you get exposure in front of a new audience, and you form a relationship with a fellow creator. There are 0 downsides to it.
Don’t be afraid to promote your newsletter. If you don’t do it, no one else will.
Survey your audience often. Even better if you can do it when they sign up: What they do, where they are based, etc. That information is GOLD.
If you sell sponsorships, raise your prices. You are probably undercharging.
Where can we go to learn more?
You can find me on Twitter and subscribe to The Steal Club here. I also discussed this and more about newsletters with Janis Ozolins on our podcast here.
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