💌 The Food Section, running your newsletter like a restaurant, ...
this is Jakob Greenfeld, creator of Newsletter Story - every week I write this email to help you level up your newsletter game.
Now let's dive in.
🧙♂️The Food Section
This week’s interview is with Hanna Raskin, a food journalist and restaurant critic who runs The Food Section.
“I needed 680 paying subscribers to make the newsletter fully sustainable, and I’m at 578. There are 4,153 unpaid readers on my free list, but again, my analysis of the data shows that people either pay in the first 48 hours or never convert, so that stat is pretty meaningless to me.”
📈 Growth Signals
Nathan Baugh managed to grow his Worldbuilders newsletter to 36,121 readers in 6 months. (“The newsletter to make you a better storyteller”)
Aadith Sheth’s Time Billionaire now has more than 15k subscribers. (Get snappy insights on what a young, internet nerd discovers on a weekly basis — trends, online businesses, growth hacks & more.)
Fintech Wave recently passed the 2000 subscribers mark. (“Stay on top of the FinTech and Crypto world in 5 min read - news, investment ideas, industry analysis, and more.”)
Bot Eat Brain now has 379 subscribers. (“AI newsletter for news and memes. We're your favorite drunk uncle with a PhD in machine learning.”)
💡 Offer something different, not more
I tried running Business Brainstorms as a paid newsletter for a while. It kind of worked but not really. It was always painful to decide: “Do I send my best ideas to paying subscribers? Or do I use them to attract new subscribers?”. You loose either way.
Another big problem was that reader’s were not really willing to upgrade their accounts. Almost all paying subscribers did choose a paid subscription right away. No one upgraded later. (Precisely the problem Hanna Raskin mentions in the interview quote above.)
The main problem was that the paying subscriptions were basically only getting more of the same content. This is not an attractive offer. People are busy and there’s enough free content out there. Most likely, subscribers are not even able to read all of your free content.
Only when I changed and started selling something different (a bundle of products taylor-made for my audience) to my subscribers, my revenue and conversion rate exploded.
Josh Spector shared this exact lesson already two years ago. Wish I had discovered his post back then.
🔥Run Your Newsletter Like a Restaurant
Run Your Newsletter Like a Restaurant. This is a great framework by John Nicholas.
1. Decide what you want to cook. What content do you want to share? What topics do you want to write about? What’s you niche?
2. Make sure you have the right ingredients. What information do you capture? And how can you make sure you’re not running out of ideas?
3. Decide how to serve it to your customers. How do you deliver your newsletter?
4. Collect and evaluate customer feedback. While metrics like open rates are importnat, it’s really email replies and 1-1 conversations with readers that are the lifeblood of every newsletter writer.
As always, if you’re enjoying this report, I’d love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up.
And whenever you're ready, here’s one specific way I can help you:
If you need some honest feedback on your project or idea or if you’re looking for answers to specific questions about newsletter growth, web scraping, or entrepreneurship you can get async 1:1 help from me here.
Have a great week,
Love the insights!