Let’s be real. Most of us don’t start a newsletter out of pure joy. The fun is part of it, but the ultimate goal is making money from our passion project.
To reach this goal, we need to think about ways to make money with a newsletter. Paid subscriptions aren’t going to cut it for newbies. Those come later with a large subscriber base. But what can you do from the get-go?
#1 Share the goods (and profit)
One of the most common ways to earn money is with affiliate marketing. I bet you’ve heard that before.
The thing is: Affiliate marketing has a bad rep among many writers. It feels sleazy.
That shouldn’t be the case though. Affiliate marketing can be done right by promoting things you love. I bet you’ve heard THAT before.
Therefore, you undoubtedly use stuff you could get paid to promote. Without a sleazy sales tactic.
I promote many tools, services, and platforms and made a few thousand dollars in 2022 from those.
#2 Share the love (and profit)
Referrals are another great way to make money with a newsletter. In some cases, referrals are similar to affiliate marketing. Medium’s referral program* is essentially an affiliate partnership.
Others are unique. I’m a big proponent of SparkLoop*. SparkLoop is a newsletter referral platform. In essence, you earn money for referring your favorite newsletters. A no-brainer, really.
I wrote a detailed article about SparkLoop here. Read that and explore the possibilities.
Donations are an option for a newsletter. Platforms like Ko-Fi or Buy Me a Coffee might sound familiar to you.
While these options won’t account for a humongous piece of your newsletter income, you might be surprised about the generosity of people on the internet.
#4 Play with your friends
A hot topic on Twitter right now is cross-promotions.
Newsletter creators are usually in the same position. They want to grow their audience. What better way to do this than work together and help each other? Cross-promotions are the way to do it.
On Lettergrowth, you’ll find hundreds of small, medium, and large newsletter creators that are actively looking for cross-promotion opportunities.
Best of all, it’s all free and reciprocal. Working together, as I said.
While cross-promotions don’t directly impact income, they can indirectly influence it enormously. One Lettergrowth cross-promo resulted in a few sales for one of my digital products, a couple of hundreds $ in 24 hours.
Collaboration is better than competition.
#5 Share your own content
Finally, you can market yourself, you know.
Apart from ads, sponsored content, or affiliate marketing, people sometimes forget that the best content to feature in their newsletter is theirs!
What do you create? Digital products, courses? Do you offer services?
Great. Plug them in your newsletter.
Pro tip: Give discounts only to newsletter readers.
The bottom line
Newsletters are huge in 2023. Options to monetize a newsletter will explode this year and beyond.
A free newsletter can be the best money-making project, you’ll start in 2023.
To get you started, these are the coolest 5 ways to monetize from the get-go:
- Affiliate marketing
- Referral programs like SparkLoop*
- Market your own products and services