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Building an $80k/year newsletter with Isaac Saul of Tangle

Yaro Bagriy
Yaro Bagriy

About this episode: This week we're speaking to Isaac Saul, who is running an $80k/year Substack newsletter called Tangle. In this episode, we'll discuss Isaac's radically different philosophy of free versus paid newsletter offerings, how Isaac decided to start a paid newsletter, what his plans are with his newsletter after the election, and much more.

Episode Sponsor: EmailOctopus
"EmailOctopus has the flexibility to design great-looking newsletters that stand out. The best part is it's free until 2,500 subscribers."
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Show Notes & Insights:

  • Listen to your subscribers, understand what they want to want. This will improve retention while also increasing subscriber loyalty.
  • If you're looking to do a subscription-based newsletter, start with a free newsletter first. Give value, build loyalty, ask what is it they want. Then start asking how much they would pay for it. Let the free list drive the paid offering.
  • Before you move to a paid subscription model, first prove someone is willing to pay for it by either adding a Patreon link, buy me a coffee, etc.
  • Waiting for someone to actually give you money for your free newsletter is a very good indication a paid newsletter will be successful.
  • Run a survey and ask your subscribers how much they would pay for this. Once you have a good spectrum, shoot for somewhere in the lower-middle to incentive the subscribers who didn't want to pay too much.
  • If you're running a paid newsletter with only a yearly option, wait until the next cycle and see how the churn is before quitting your job.
  • You must know your readers intimately to succeed with a paid newsletter.
  • Sending out more free newsletters isn't a bad thing. It just means you'll have that many more opportunities to convert them to paid.
  • Consider creating a "founder members" paid tier where you are radically transparent about the business. Price it much higher than the other subscriptions. This will help you connect with the fans that want to get a special inside look at how the business runs.

Newsletter + Guest Info:

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Yaro Bagriy

Podcast host & community manager