Boring Newsletters That Make Millions

Boring newsletters can be big businesses

Deep Dive

Boring Newsletters That Make Millions

Boring newsletters can be big businesses.

Here’s what I mean:

Your newsletter topic or content doesn't need to be complicated to get millions of subscribers.

In fact, it’s better if your newsletter is dead simple.

When people subscribe to a newsletter they want to know exactly what they’re getting and how it will help them.

To quote Donald Miller:

“A caveman should be able to glance at it [your newsletter headline] and immediately grunt back what you offer”

Most newsletters don’t clearly show readers how they add value.

Look at some of the top newsletters on substack:

  • “A newsletter about the history behind today's politics.”

  • “Analysis and reporting on politics and culture in America.”

  • “A new media company built on the ideals that were once the bedrock of American journalism.”

Based on the headlines, I have no clue how these are going to help me.

They tell me what their newsletter is about. But not the benefits to me, the reader.

Maybe a reader finds these topics interesting. Maybe not.

Now, let’s look at a newsletter that does the opposite.

1440 Media

1440 is one of the most successful newsletters started recently. They have 3.2M subscribers and 8 figures in revenue.

Here’s their landing page:

  • The headline clearly states what I’m getting — A newsletter with all of the daily news I want to read: All your news

  • Show how it solves a problem: None of the bias

  • Elaborates more on what I'm getting: We scour 100+ sources so you don't have to. Culture, science, sports, politics, business, and more

  • Shows a benefit — time saving: five-minute read

  • Social proof: 3,263,005 readers

  • The proof is specific which makes it more believable: 3,263,005 readers today

  • Overcomes objections: No clickbait, 100% free, unsubscribe anytime

1440’s premise and value proposition is dead simple.

Dare I say boring…

A free newsletter with comprehensive daily news. Without bias, clickbait, or motives. That takes 5-minutes to read.

It’s simple. Yet it’s exactly what millions of Americans want.

The point is:

Don’t make your newsletter complicated.

If you can’t explain what your newsletter is about to someone in an elevator in 10 seconds it’s probably too complicated.

Also, if your newsletter is so complicated only you can write it — there’s no way you can build your business into an asset.

You have a high-paying job, at best.

Here are some more examples…

12 Boring Newsletter Examples

Here are a few newsletters with big audiences that have simple premises and content.

Word Daily — A new word every day

Word Daily delivers a new word to the inbox each morning. Every issue has visuals and example sentences to help readers expand their lexicon.

  • 58M opens per month & 38% subscriber growth per month (source)

  • ~2M monthly web visitors according to similar web

Subscribers receive a curated selection of popular and hand-picked articles every day.

  • 4M links clicked per month (source)

  • ~1.5M monthly web visitors according to similar web

Interesting Facts — Fun Facts in your inbox

Subscribers receive fun facts that make every day more interesting.

  • ~4M monthly web visitors according to similar web

Zillow Gone Wild - Wild homes on Zillow

Wild and interesting homes in your inbox

  • 136k+ subscribers

CyberLeads - Companies that just raised millions

1,000+ handpicked companies that just raised millions and are looking to outsource. In your inbox every month.

  • $500k per year in revenue (source)

Creator Wizard — Sponsorship opportunities for creators

Every week Creator Wizard sends paid sponsorship opportunities for creators

  • 34,881 subscribers

The Offer Sheet — List of short-term rental investment opportunities

A curated list of the most unique and lucrative short-term rental investment opportunities hitting the market the previous day delivered 6x per week.

  • 47,000 free subscribers

  • 750 paid subscribers (source)

5-Bullet Friday — 5 cool things from Tim Ferriss

5 things Tim loves, uses, reads: Books, gadgets, hacks, and more.

  • 1.5M subscribers

5 Tweet Tuesday — 5 curated tweets from Shaan Puri

Every week Shaan shares the 5 best tweets he saw.

  • 50,000+ subscribers

The daily newsletter that curates major news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, with a touch of humor and memes.

  • 200,000+ subscribers

ELEVATOR — An email newsletter for guys

The best eye and brain candy curated from all corners of the web.

  • 700,000+ subscribers

TLDR Newsletter — Keep up with tech in 5 minutes

Daily email with summaries of the most interesting stories in startups, tech, and programming.

  • 1.2M subscribers

  • Estimated annual revenue: ~$5-$10M (source)

Be Boring and Helpful

Finally, I want to emphasize one thing.

Your newsletter premise should be simple — but it still must solve a problem!

If no one wants what you have to offer, you won’t grow.

But if your newsletter can help solve a painful problem

Or help readers achieve an important desire

Then you’ve got a million-dollar boring newsletter on your hands.


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