Monetizing newsletters? Just how do you do it? Between Affiliate Marketing and Sponsorships, which is a better way to go about it?
First, the primary purpose of your newsletter should be to enhance your personal branding (brownie points for everything else you do) — the sheer power of one-to-one communication at scale that’s possible with newsletters (along with your points of view, your approach to business or life or both, and your voice is unbeatable).
Second, try all the options available to you as far as monetizing newsletters go.
Think of your newsletter as a valuable asset (with an audience to boot), and the way you think about publishing, curating, and distributing newsletters will change.
Third, I don’t care what the fancy pants Twitter/LinkedIn influencers tell you, but it’s not going to happen in a day, a week, or maybe even a few years.
As with everything else, good things take time (and it’s best for all of us to understand that as the singular truth).
Check out (print and laminate) some best newsletter best practices.
For instance, SwapStack immediately makes a few pre-made sponsorship deals available for you (depending on what your newsletter is about).
But are sponsorships the only way? Absolutely not. There are at least three proven ways to monetize newsletters:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Your Own Hustle
Or should you do all three? If I were you, I’d do all the three (starting with whatever is possible for me to start with and then expanding from there on).
Let’s find out how to do it:
Monetizing Newsletters with Sponsorships
Sponsorship is a fancy way of saying that you’d get into an agreement with a brand or a merchant to “put in a word”, “say some good things”, or “explain how this helps me” while promoting brands through their content.
YouTube influencers showcase reels or short clips explaining that they are thankful to their sponsors (then mention brand name) or explain how that product helps them (so it can help you too).
Examples: Influencers talking about how their live streams are powered by Restream. Or in the case of a popular video explaining how to make websites, a brand like Wix or SquareSpace will want to sponsor that video.
If you have a newsletter (with 10,000 subscribers and if you publish at least once a week), consider joining Convertkit Sponsor Network and join the ranks of other incredible folks such as James Clear, Pat Flynn, Jay Clouse, Sahil Bloom, and many others.
Likewise, Wego wants in where you make travel vlogs or travel videos.
There ain’t no such thing as small 👉 How to Get sponsorships and brand deals on YouTube as a Small Channel
Monetizing Newsletters with Affiliate Marketing
This post doesn’t talk about how affiliate marketing is a huge marketing channel for brands and businesses.
We are, in fact, talking about everything that happens on the other side of affiliate marketing (as in, focusing on affiliates or partners) who are typically bloggers, influencers, content creators, and other businesses (like comparison sites, major content publishers, etc.).
Whether they openly tell you this or not, several of the biggest influencers (and certainly millions of micro influencers) have latched onto the multi-million dollar industry that Affiliate marketing is.
Think of affiliate marketing as a micro-level, self-propagated partnership that a publisher, influencer (major or micro), blogger, content creator, and others get into for monetizing their content.
Even certain kinds of businesses that make affiliate marketing their “bread and butter” get into partnership deals or affiliate deals where they sign up with brands or merchants to “self-promote” products or services (as long as the target audiences match and are more or less the same).
To earn money with affiliate marketing or partnerships as an affiliate or partner, you’ll first need to sign up with platforms (a.k.a affiliate networks) — always free to sign up.
ShareaSale, Impact, and PartnerStack are some of the biggest and well known ones (apart from Rakuten and others).
Three honest lines for honest affiliate marketing success (I’ll never ever tell you something like “How to make $7800 per week or day with Aff Marketing‘ — no way).
- Bring in traffic to your website
- Build an audience/community/traction and a relationship with these audiences.
- Monetize by using links, mentions, email marketing, videos, courses, or anything else you choose.
Monetizing Newsletters with Hustle
You’d want to treat your newsletter as a “business asset” — and most business assets need nurturing, growth, and a certain level of sustainability.
If you’d like to stay in control of how just how well your newsletter does, or how fast it grows, or how well it does (in terms of audience and monetization), you’d want to put in some hustle and work for it.
You could directly reach out to other influencers, brands, merchants, and businesses on social media. Or you could do cold emails.
Then, you’d ask. Politely.
“Hey [Insert name],
I’ve been following you on [Twitter], [LinkedIn], and I am subscribed to your brand’s [YouTube Channel]. For years now, I know that you’ve been doing your best to educate your audience on [digital marketing or insert topic niche] and I love your honest outlook, loads of advice, and the attention to detail].
I am looking for ways to monetize my newsletter [or whatever]. Would you be interested in talking about some sort of a deal we could make?
Please let me know. ”
No wasting time. No baseless flattery. No need to push, sell, or state your terms right away. Just a simple ask will do.
For the purposes of this post, I am keeping it laser focused on monetizing newsletters.
Did you pick any of these proven ways to monetize newsletters (or anything else — like your blogs, YouTube videos, online courses, and so on?). Join me on my community to talk, or connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn and Tell me your story.
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