I Bought a Newsletter. I’m Sharing It Here​​

If you buy something through a link in our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.

Remember the days of buying and selling websites? It still exists, but a lot of sites that relied on SEO traffic no longer have the same kind of traffic or revenue that they used to, so it isn’t talked about quite as much. But if you’re bullish on site building, ​now is a great time to purchase​ because it’s a buyer’s market.

Speaking of bullish… that’s me with email newsletters. I’ve talked about that in this newsletter quite a bit. And last week, I bought a newsletter.

Today, I’ll share the story and plans with you. And yes… I’m revealing the exact newsletter to you 👇

The Backstory

I’m not on ​Twitter​ very much anymore, but one day I saw this from my friend Sean with ​Rank Theory​. His newsletter comes highly recommended from me. He does really long, in-depth breakdowns in his emails, kind of like me.

Screencap of a Twitter post selling a newsletter

I was curious about this opportunity. My team and I run several email newsletters, including:

While I write 90% of the Weekend Growth newsletter (Kaitlin writes here and there too), I don’t personally write any of the others. So, we have the systems and processes in place to take another newsletter.

We also ​know a thing or two about how to monetize them​. So, depending on the specific opportunity here, it might or might not make a lot of sense.

The Newsletter

The name of the newsletter is ​The Slice​. Its tagline is “Your Essential Digest for the Solopreneur’s Journey: Tools, Insights, and Stories Delivered Weekly.”

The Slice newsletter page

Pretty darn good fit for our wheelhouse. Every week on the podcast, I speak to solopreneurs. Many to most of the people on the Weekend Growth newsletter are solopreneurs.

So, ok, we seem to have a pretty good match. What are the metrics behind the newsletter?

It’s been around for a few years. It has over 6,000 subscribers. Interesting parallel, as that’s right under the number that Weekend Growth has.

Looking through the past emails, most emails have open rates in the 40-45%. Not bad at all.

Click rates are low. But, in looking through the emails themselves, that’s not all that surprising. Most of the content is there in the email.

It looks like there might have been the occasional sponsorship in the past. They use affiliate links.

All of these things I’m comfortable with.

Want to see what I do week-in, week-out to grow my new newsletter The Slice? Subscribe and you can see each week in real time! Subscribe now!

The Plan

This newsletter looked like it was worth pursuing. So, my next question was, what would the plan be if we purchased it?

1. Warm the List Back Up

One email was sent back in April, and they were being sent out once per week at that point. So, the list hasn’t been consistently emailed in a while, and I would need to warm it back up with content.

I would pick back up on sending out emails weekly, and try to make them as good as possible so that people would re-engage. I would also ​use a free Quiz software​ to create something enticing and get them engaged again.

We’d start by following a similar email structure and flow as before. As time went on, I would probably slowly tweak and adjust this to be a bit more focused on our strengths and preferences.

2. Test Content to See What Fits Best

I would need to learn more about the audience, evaluate what content appeals to them, and test this content in emails. I can use the new Polls feature in ConvertKit.

Unfortunately, a lot of winning on email is just testing. You need to be purposeful about it. Purposefully test a subject matter and then gauge the interest that it got.

Be distinctive in what you test, and only test one thing at a time.

I’m also really curious about using ​Cuppa​ or ​Koala​ to write newsletter content. Kaitlin ​shared our entire process about how we do it​, and the content in the Slice seems like a perfect fit.

Granted, we have to test. You never know until you try.

Don’t sleep on email marketing! We can help you set up your email newsletter and build out the lead magnet and auto-responder sequence – more details here!

3. Pursue Monetization Opportunities

Obviously, the reason for purchasing this newsletter is to make it a profitable business endeavor. So, long term, we need to figure out the monetization component.

Luckily, as I’ve learned so far, there are lots of ways to generate income with an email newsletter:

  • Sponsorship
  • Affiliate promotions
  • Direct sales (buy an email blast)
  • Cross promotion of services (Weekend Growth, 201 Creative, etc)
  • Direct products (courses, ​consulting​, etc)
  • Partnerships

There are numerous others, but those are the ones I’ve successfully used thus far.

The Purchase

Sean and I worked quickly to get the deal done. He did a Zoom call with Kaitlin and I where he walked us through the backend and showed us everything. We had some various questions which he was able to answer.

Kaitlin and I put together an offer that had two parts:

  • Base level purchase price
  • Bonus for subscriber performance after first month

In essence, because the email list hadn’t been active for a few months, the only challenge for us was in evaluating how much the subscribers were worth.

So, we offered a base price for the newsletter as a whole. And then, a bonus for all subscribers who were “active” after that first month.

I’m going to keep the purchase price and specific details private, out of respect for the deal. And, we won’t know the final amount until the first month is complete.

But, I know both sides are happy with the deal and feel like it’s perfectly fair. The more engaged subscribers there are after the first month, the more we’ll pay but the more we’ll get.

What’s Next?

Well, we’ll be executing on the plan I outlined earlier. We’ve already sent one email out, not too bad!

Data analytics from a previously sent email

One thing to note… the newsletter is on ConvertKit. And, it’s ​perfect for the new Free Plan​ they launched. So, hopefully we can switch it over to that this week and saving a bunch of money.

But I’ve already found a sponsor! They’re getting a great deal, because I don’t know much of anything about this newsletter yet. But I think they’re a perfect fit.

It’s amazing to already have income coming in, and we’ve owned it for less than a week.

And that’s the great thing about buying a newsletter in a similar space that I already operate in.

Want to see how we grow this newsletter? Just hop over and ​subscribe to The Slice​! I’ll be building in public on this one!

How would you grow and monetize this email newsletter?

P.S. If you need help with your company’s newsletter, ​just reach out and let me know​. We help companies every month grow their revenue through email marketing!

P.P.S. Can you do me a favor? After over a year of being around, I finally put together a Weekend Growth Facebook Page. ​Could you give it a like​? Thank you!

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Jared Bauman

Jared Bauman is the Co-Founder of 201 Creative, and is a 20+ year entrepreneur who has started and sold several companies. He is the host of the popular Niche Pursuits podcast and a contributing author to Search Engine Land.

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