The Fastest Way To Reach $10k Per Month In Revenue

Breaking down the math and business model you need to hit $10k

Welcome to Newsletter Operator!

In today’s edition:

  • The fastest way to reach $10,000 per month with a newsletter

  • How Lenny’s newsletter grew to 500,000+ subscribers

  • And much more…

Deep Dive

The Fastest Way To Reach $10,000+ Per Month With a Newsletter

Most people are building a newsletter business all wrong.

All their focus is on getting subscribers.

More subscribers, more opens, more clicks.

They obsess about making those numbers go up.

Everybody assumes:

“I’ll build an audience and then figure out how to monetize later.”

That’s dead wrong.

Monetizing a newsletter audience is harder than it used to be.

Why?

Because it’s harder to sell sponsorships and sponsorship rates are lower.

However, if you build a newsletter audience that likes and trusts you – selling your OWN products and services is much easier.

Newsletters are the best ways to sell:

Education, information, coaching, consulting, events, and services.

For most founders, your newsletter should not be a standalone business.

Instead, it should be the top of the funnel to drive customers and leads to your product or service.

That begs the question:

What product type is best for newsletters?

Here are the products that complement newsletters best:

  • Subscriptions / memberships

  • Coaching / consulting

  • Services

  • Courses

  • Events

Other products like SaaS or ecom could work great too.

But most newsletter operators have skillsets that lead to education, consulting, community, or service-based businesses.

It’s straightforward to get people who like your newsletter on “X topic” to buy a course on “X topic”.

The Fastest Way To Reach $10k Per Month In Revenue

$10k per month is a magic number for many people.

It’s often the revenue number people need to quit their jobs and go full time on their business.

So what’s the fastest way to reach $10k per month with a newsletter?

Let’s break it down:

1. Weekly newsletter with sponsorships

  • If you send 1 newsletter per week

  • At 100,000 subscribers and a 50% open rate

  • Sell 1 sponsorship in each newsletter at a $50 CPM (cost per 1,000 opens)

You’ll make $10,000 per month

This is why sponsorships suck.

100k subscribers can take years to reach.

Luckily, there are much better ways to monetize that we’ll cover soon.

Let’s break down the same sponsorships model but with more newsletter sends and more ad slots.

2. Daily newsletter with sponsorships

  • If you send 5 newsletters per week

  • At 27,000 subscribers and a 50% open rate

  • Sell 15 sponsorships per month (75% fill rate) at a $50 CPM (cost per 1,000 opens)

You’ll make $10,125 per month

Better, but growing to 27k subscribers and sending 5 times a week is hard.

3. Newsletter with paid subscription

  • If you send 2 newsletters per week (1 free, 1 paid)

  • Have 25,000 subscribers and a 50% open rate

  • Sell 4 sponsorships per month at a $50 CPM (cost per 1,000 opens)

  • Convert 3% of subscribers to a $10 per month paid subscription

You’ll make $10,000 per month.

Now we start to see the value of selling your own product.

At this level, you’ll make $7,500 in MRR with a paid subscription. Recurring revenue is much more valuable than 1-off sponsorship sales.

Plus, I’m being conservative with the math here.

You’ll be better off selling annual subscriptions at $99-$199 per year – and some newsletters convert 5%-7% of free subscribers to paid.

4. Weekly newsletter with low-ticket course

  • If you send 1 newsletter per week

  • Have 7,000 subscribers and a 50% open rate

  • Sell 2 sponsorships per month at a $50 CPM (cost per 1,000 opens)

  • Convert 1% of subscribers per month to a $150 course (70 buyers per month)

You’ll make $10,850 per month.

Based on this math, you can make $10k per month with 7,000 subscribers.

That’s way fewer subscribers than the other models.

5. Weekly newsletter with high-ticket course

  • If you have 3,500 subscribers

  • Convert 0.3% of subscribers per month to a $999 course (10.5 buyers per month)

You’ll make $10,490 per month.

Enter the power of high-ticket products.

You can make more money with a smaller audience with lower conversion rates.

However, the audience you build needs to be niche, and a course at this price point must deliver massive value (help people make 10X more than their $999 investment).

6. Weekly newsletter with coaching program

  • If you have 2,000 subscribers

  • Convert 0.2% of subscribers a month to a $2,500 coaching program (4 buyers per month)

You’ll make $10,000 per month.

A coaching program can mean a lot of things.

In this case, I’m talking about a done-with-you service that helps clients get from A to B over a set period of time.

With a coaching program, you’ll likely deliver 1on1 calls, weekly group calls, async Q&As, and resources to your clients.

Coaching programs can be recurring monthly (rates range from $1,000-$5,000 per month).

Or over a set time period. Like a 6-week coaching program that costs $2,500.

6. Weekly newsletter with agency or service

  • If you have 1,000 subscribers

  • Convert 0.3% of subscribers a month to a $3,500 per month service (3 buyers per month)

You’ll make $10,500 per month.

A done-for-you service is the fastest way to hit $10k per month.

It requires the smallest audience because the price and value are the highest.

In this model, I used a 0.3% conversion rate – higher than the coaching model and equal to the high-ticket course model.

That’s because the service is “done-for-you”. The clients get the value, with little to no work.

Courses are “do-it-yourself” and coaching is “done-with-you”.

The value the customer gets is lower and the likelihood of success is lower too.

Now, of course, there are cons to a service or agency business.

They’re harder to scale, have lower margins at scale, and can take more work.

Want me to write more about each of these business models and how to convert your newsletter subscribers into customers?

Reply to this email and let me know.

The Best Links

📈 Growth

10 lessons on building a newsletter to 500,000 subscribers (link)

How Thomas Shields built the MorningBrew of pickleball (link)

💰 Monetization

Deconstructing a billion-dollar newsletter business (link)

📰 Newsletter News

The new beehiiv Ad Network is here (link) Here’s a great breakdown of the feature (link)

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