Issue #122 — Making a living from a newsletter

In this week's issue you can read about why the rise of content is upon us and how chasing scale at all costs is no longer the way forward.

A little update from us — in the past 10 weeks alone, Ghost has made more than $140,000 for independent publishers and newsletter authors, all while our membership feature is still in beta! We've got some big releases coming up — watch this space 🤫

💯 Top picks

How I (unexpectedly) now make a living writing a newsletter

Lenny Rachitsky (ex Airbnb product manager) writes a newsletter which tackles reader questions about product, growth and people management.

Lenny's Newsletter launched in June 2019, adding paid subscriptions in April 2020, and now has more than 35k subscribers, of which 2k are on a paid plan, earning a six-figure income. We think it's safe to say you're not going to want to miss this slide deck about everything Lenny learnt on this journey!

💸 Business models

The rise of content, a path to sustainable growth

"In 2017, Forbes told us that content will always be king and three years later, its reign has only gotten stronger."

How The Correspondent drives interaction between members and its journalists

"...rather than looking just at reader revenue and membership numbers, it judges triumphs by more amorphous measures like member collaboration that contribute to its goals of being a diverse, progressive, accessible and transnational media outlet. Of course, members that interact more are less likely to churn, too."

✍️ Modern journalism

Membership 101 program

Apply for this program led by The Texas Tribune’s RevLab, in coordination with The Membership Puzzle Project to access a 5-week course for newsrooms who are thinking about developing membership programs.

How publisher data can define the “next web”

"The Telegraph’s subscription business has overtaken its advertising revenues as the publisher says it has stopped chasing scale at all costs."

💻 Technology

Writing is a matter of showing up, day after day, with the right tools and materials

Ann Handley's latest newsletter issue includes some cool recommendations for writing tools that can help you gather inspiration and ideas.

Spotify is leaning on influencers to win the podcasting wars

"Spotify has made its intentions clear: It wants to be the largest audio platform in the world—not just music, audio."

Google launches a suite of tech tools for reporters

"Google is putting AI and machine learning technologies into the hands of journalists."

Google Analytics 4: What content strategists need to know

Things are changing in Google Analytics — here's what you should know.  Thanks to subscriber Deborah for recommending this article.

🤷 WTF?

Is everybody doing OK? Let’s ask social media

"Researchers are looking at online behavior to gauge public mental health. The results aren’t pretty."