Issue #123 — Paid is the new normal

This week's issue has so many interesting ideas, podcasts and tools that we're excited to share with you. We don't even want to ruin the surprise with a summary. Enjoy and see you at the same time next week!

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💯 Top picks

[Podcast] The realities of running a paid newsletter

The Media Voices podcast interviewed Casey Newton, Thomas Baekdal, Simon Owens, Anne Helen Petersen and Josh Sternberg about their experiences of launching and running an independent paid newsletter. Here's some of our top takeaways:

  • Like any business, it's hard work, but it's also very rewarding
  • You really need to define what your value proposition is
  • It's possible to run a completely independent business for years to come, but many are looking forward to seeing a new wave of media companies being born from successful newsletters

(This podcast is 42 minutes)

💸 Business models

What’s new with email newsletters? Insights from The Economist

"Sunnie Huang has been Newsletters Editor at The Economist UK for three years and, in that time, the role newsletters play for both prospective customers and subscribers has developed radically."

What tactics should independent journalists focus on

As a follow-on from this week's top pick, Thomas Baekdal wrote some additional thoughts on Baekdal.com. Thomas argues: "I believe it is vital that you focus on paid from the start. You need to move yourself into a different mindset."

The future of B2B subscriptions: 5 success hacks

"Those with subscriptions are more confident in this part of their business, and, there is an intention to shift the ratio of recurring revenues versus non-recurring revenues by an average of 34% (from 47% to 63%)."

“People, especially now, want to feel that they “belong” to a community. The trick is to get the members of that community talking with one another.”

Stir raises $4 million to help online collaborators split revenue

"The company, backed by heavy hitters in the creator economy, helps individual creators and journalists share revenue when they collaborate. This type of service could incentivize more creators to branch out on their own, expanding the creator economy as a whole."

✍️ Modern journalism

Inside the mind of Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton

HONY grew from a Facebook group of 64k people to a worldwide community of more than 20million people. The Profile spoke to the creator, Brandon Stanton, for an hour long interview. (You can read or watch the interview)

How to use events to grow a diverse audience

Even in these times, virtual events can be a useful method to build a loyal audience.

💻 Technology

Need a new favicon? This tool has got you covered

Quickly create letter or emoji favicons and export as an SVG.

The Pandemic's digital shadow

"The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating a dramatic decline in global internet freedom."

🤷 WTF?

Why social media is so good at polarising us

Mathematicians are teaming up with political scientists to create models of how social media divides us, and results suggest at least one popular solution might actually make the problem worse.