Issue #87 — How to create a premium newsletter

There was so much to read this week it was difficult to keep this short. Enjoy!

💯 Top picks

How to create a premium newsletter

Our latest article includes short case studies of 11 successful premium newsletters, and outlines all of the steps you’d need to take to follow in their footsteps to create a membership business based around a newsletter.

💸 Business models

1,000 True Fans? Try 100

This article proposes the infamous “1,000 true fans” article by WIRED editor Kevin Kelly, needs to be revisited. It advocates for 100 true fans instead, who are high-paying super fans. The article also offers some recipes for earning $1,000 per fan!

What The Athletic’s success teaches us about monetising local news

“Since its founding in 2016, the company has gone from city to city and lured the nation’s best sportswriters away from their newspaper jobs in exchange for huge salary bumps and even a cut of the revenue they generate through subscriptions.”

Tech In Asia is finally on a path to profitability after a decade of testing business models

“Emerging from a series of painful layoffs, the Singapore-based startup finds its way forward.”

Why producing less news leads to a boost in subscriptions

Publishers aren’t seeing any negative results when they reduce the number of articles they write and according to this report, it can actually lead to an increase in revenue (34 page report, subscription required).

Thrillist diversify revenue with travel packages

Food, travel and entertainment site Thrillist are diversifying revenue with travel packages – a strategy which is becoming more common with travel publishers such as Lonely Planet & Culture Trip.

Forming habits & recurring behaviour is key for publishers to build a sustainable subscription business

A key metric for publishers running subscriptions is how active, or engaged, a reader is with the product. The more people come back, and the longer they spend, the more they’re likely to stick around. So how do publishers (re)create habits like reading a newspaper? Get the full report here.

Maybe information actually doesn’t want to be free

“I’ve said this from the beginning,” she said, “and I continue to say this, but you can’t give away what you expect the reader to find valuable.”Jessica Lessin’s online tech publication costs $399 a year and has no ads. Silicon Valley’s elite is eating it up.

✍️ Modern journalism

The Wall Street Journal joins The New York Times in the 2 million digital subscriber club

“But will the Journal and The Washington Post be able to catch up to the market leader going forward? Or is the Times preparing to lap the field?”

What role will branded content play in the future of news?

“When media organisations and commercial companies work together on stories, it can put experts in the spotlight and offer a new source of revenue - but readers have a right to be wary.”

👩‍💻 Technology

Scoop: YouTube to fund launch of The Young Turks local news academy

“The investment is part of YouTube’s $25 million commitment to news efforts.”

Why the podcast gold rush is slowing down for some publishers

Increased competition for listeners in podcasting is making it more difficult for smaller publishers who need to change their approaches.

Journalists never write about ... Shhh! Yes they do, and this tool can show you

A new tool called MuckRack Trends offers a universal look at what journalists are writing about. It works like Google Trends, except for news articles.

🤷 WTF?

The era of antisocial social media

As young people become more concerned with privacy and safety, the popularity of social platforms with this group is declining, in favour of private Telegram chats. Harvard Business Review takes a look at what businesses need to think about to adapt.