Growing a paid newsletter is hard work, and it boils down to the golden rule of content: bring value.

Have you ever thought about converting your newsletter into a paid one? Or starting a bonus-newsletter that people need a paid subscription to receive?

I think we’ve all thought about it. I have.

Thousands of you are receiving this newsletter for free every week.

And some of you seem to enjoy it so much that at some point, I wondered if there could be a business model behind it (other than keeping Toast top-of-mind … it is top-of-mind for you, right? Please say yes.).

But I quickly realized that there is value in this weekly email, but not necessarily enough value to actually make a paid version of it.

And creating MORE value would require A LOT MORE time.

Time we didn’t have as a team, as we are serving clients every day and making sure we produce as much value as possible for them.

And this is a conclusion to which Simon Owens also came to when he launched his own paid newsletter covering the media industry in February 2020.

6 months in, he recently published an article in which he shared lessons he learned during those first few months:

  • The paid version can’t just offer more of the same. It needs to be different.
  • Change up your calls to action
  • Churn will sting
  • This can’t be just a side hustle
  • The subscription business is a long game

The first and fourth and really key to what can make it or break it. You need to bring a lot more value if you want people to pay for it, but it will also require a lot more time.

I believe there is potential in any industry, any category, any vertical for paid content. The only hurdle is making sure there is bandwidth on the make it happen.

So, is there a plan to create revenue-generating content for your brand?