Reasons to Consider Starting an Email Newsletter
You can charge as little as $5 per month. Subscribe 100 people and you’ve made an extra $500 per month minus 5-10% which the newsletter company will keep.
So how do you get people to pay to read you? Experts suggest that it will take you months to build your subscriber list, while posting quality content on a regular basis.
Elmer-DeWitt says people can be successful in newsletters if they have a niche they’re an expert in — “as narrow a focus as possible.” This can range from bird watching and knitting to management, sales and photography.
Most writers offer free editions several times a week, as well as their paid version. Elmer-DeWitt lets paid subscribers see his work early, before it goes free, and they get access to his Apple expertise through Zoom video sessions.
On his site, instead, he says he’s in charge of “creating something lasting” that will raise funds to pay the salaries of people working with him and hopefully fund the production of documentaries. Elmer-DeWitt says her newsletter helps her pay the bills after a long career with Weather and Fortune magazines.
Some newsletter services are free
Meanwhile, anyone can sign up to write a newsletter for free with services like Mailchimp’s Revue, Substack, and TinyLetter.
Using a service to send a newsletter, as opposed to simply creating a list of recipients in your email program, has several advantages. With a service, you can add photos, tweets, and videos in a layout that looks professionally designed with titles, photo captions, and subtitles.
To sign up, you sign up for the service and create a list of subscribers to send your prose to.
Privacy rules require people to choose to subscribe to you. So you can ask friends to sign up to get started or just enter the email addresses of a few family members (surely they won’t complain).
Remember that beyond the inbox, newsletters are also open to everyone. Substack and Revue publish them online unless you charge for reading; in this case, they are considered only for your subscribers. So if you have something to say and want to keep it private, you should consider using the TinyLetter service instead.
Jefferson Graham is a contributing writer who covers personal technology and was previously a technology columnist for USA today. He hosts the streaming travel photography series Photo walks and is the author of Video Nation: A DIY Guide to Planning, Sharing, and Shooting Great Videos.