From Startup to $1M ARR

PLUS - an exploding niche and some great business ideas

Happy Tuesday,

You learned Sunday that niche newsletters are booming. In this edition we’re going to heavily expand on what we discussed on Sunday. This is the deep dive on niche newsletters, we’ll bring you all the data you need to truly take advantage of this niche newsletter opportunity.

Get ready for specific examples of people who made millions, how they made millions, and how you can replicate what they’re doing to do it yourself. We identified some super ripe go to market strategies on Reddit which we’ll share to help kickstart you on your way to building your own media empire.

Let’s get into it…

Read time: 15 minutes 37 seconds

Exploding Niche: Niche Newsletters

Recent no-code technological advancements have made newsletters more affordable to create than ever and it’s spawning a new opportunity around creating niche newsletter businesses.

Newsletters have been around for a long time, since the early days of email.

Despite what some critics may tell you, newsletters are not dead.

They’re booming.

Newsletters are a multi million dollar a year business.

I have a friend that started a newsletter 6 months ago and is already on track to make over $1million this year.

Newsletters have recently become an extremely lucrative business for the savvy and the opportunity just got even bigger (we’ll discuss why in a moment).

Here are some examples of successful email newsletters to illustrate how much money you can rake in…

  • Morning Brew: Sold for $75million, founder was 28 years old.

  • The Hustle: Sold for ~$27million.

  • Newsette: In 2021 earned $40million in revenue.

These newsletters are known as aggregators. In other words, everyday they aggregate the news that’s relevant to their audience.

Here are examples of what they aggregate:

  • Morning Brew is for high level news, so they aggregate the general popular news stories of the day and send them to readers.

  • The Hustle focuses on tech and business news, therefore they send out high level tech and business news to their subscribers everyday.

  • Newsette is geared towards ambitious women, so they aggregate daily news stories that appeal to them.

Building a successful newsletter is a multi million dollar a year business opportunity.

There is now a massive opportunity around niching down.

To demonstrate what niching down means, Shaan Puri and Ben Levy created, a crypto newsletter that summarizes the top crypto news stories in 5 minutes a day. They created it in February 2022 during the crypto bull market. Niching down for them meant only focusing on crypto, and nothing else.

They got to $1million annual recurring revenue in 6 months.

The majority of subscribers came from Facebook and TikTok (running ads and posting threads on MilkRoad’s Twitter).

Note: Shaan has a personal audience online but that didn’t drive the needle for gaining subscribers, running ads on Facebook and Twitter did. When developing Explodingideas, I met with Matthew McGarry, the head of growth for MilkRoad and he told me essentially all of the MilkRoad’s subscribers came from running ads, profitably.

They were able to run ads profitably by utilizing the innovative Beehiiv recommender tool and sponsorships (more on those later).

To give additional credence to the business that they built, businesses that are reliant on an influencer’s brand are generally bad exit opportunities. Meaning another business is not going to want to buy that business as the departure of the influencer will undermine the brand value and make it worth substantially less.

Shaan and Ben knew this going in and therefore focused on building a business that could stand up on its own.

Shaan and Ben were able to sell the business rather quickly and for a sizable amount.

They were able to sell the newsletter business for over $1million by the end of their first year running the newsletter.

This is a great sign because their strategy is repeatable.

They capitalized on a brand new newsletter opportunity that is minting fresh millionaires in 2023.

Let’s get into the financials, how it works, why there’s an opportunity, and how you can ultimately build a business like this successfully.

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