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25 newsletter growth tips with Brandon Zhang of Weekly Wisdom

Yaro Bagriy
Yaro Bagriy

About this episode: This week we have the rising-star Brandon Zhang. His newsletter Weekly Wisdom has over 1050+ subscribers and is growing insanely fast. In this episode we’ll cover what Gen Z thinks of newsletters and if they’re even reading them. We’ll also dive into the importance of mastermind groups and the structure of the mastermind group Brandon is in. Then we’ll move into Brandon’s 25 newsletter growth tips.

Episode sponsor: SparkLoop (

Feature Newsletter Growth Story: This week we’re featuring Nicholas Platt. His newsletter Lifespan saw growth from 0 to 50,000 subscribers with SparkLoops referral program.

Announcement: Newsletter Crew has just recently acquired InboxStash, one of the largest email newsletter directories on the internet. We just recently relaunched and invite you to submit your newsletter to the directory. It’ll be an amazing passive growth channel for any newsletter.

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Show Notes & Insights:

  • In the current state page views don’t matter, it’s all about how much of your audience you control.
  • A small percentage of Gen Z are reading newsletters. Most of the newsletters they’re reading are in the business space. They get started on the bigger newsletters like The Hustle or Morning Brew. This opens them up to the more niche newsletters out there.
  • The basic structure of the mastermind group should ask everyone is “What did you ship this week?”, “What do you want to change for the next week?”, and what was one newsletter that you really enjoyed, what made it so enjoyable, and what was one thing that they did right in that newsletter.
  • The main function of a mastermind group is to hold everyone accountable and to share ideas.
  • “A+ consistency with B+ quality beats out A+ quality with B+ consistency.”
  • 6-8 people are the perfect number for a mastermind group to have.
  • There needs to be a balance between depth on how each person goes but also try to keep meetings between an hour and an hour and a half. With 6 people everyone gets around 10 minutes to talk. With a group too big you won’t have the depth necessary to make the mastermind group effective.
  • A great place to start to find a mastermind group is Twitter. You can also join the Newsletter Crew mastermind group if you become a member.
  • A mastermind group should have everyone with around the same following as everyone else. You don’t want one person to have 10x the followers and experience. The value each person gets and gives will be disproportionate.
  • Make sure to have a structure for each mastermind meeting. This helps the whole group be consistent and move forward.
  • Consistency is not just about frequency but also about the quality of writing.
  • Encourage communication. Make your audience feel like your someone they can empathize with.
  • Try not including the issue number in your newsletter and see how open rates respond.
  • If your newsletter is long-form, blog style, with new content you may simply not want to start with numbering your issues in the header. Make it personal from the beginning.
  • Unsubscribes should be celebrated, it hones down the audience even further.
  • Your newsletter is a reflection of you.
  • A newsletter should be constantly evolving.

Newsletter + Guest Info:

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Yaro Bagriy

Podcast host & community manager

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