Most creators struggle to stay consistent with 1 newsletter. Richard Patey runs an entire network of them.
We sat down with Richard to talk about why newsletters are his favorite digital asset, how he manages multiple newsletters, and his monetization strategies for them all.
Richard wanted to focus on separate channels with individual niches. That’s why he originally set up 6 newsletters on Substack, covering different types of digital assets, such as websites, newsletters, domains, and NFTs, and focusing on affiliates and creators. Eventually, he realized 6 newsletters were difficult to manage. When looking for ways to grow, he found a helpful constraint: "I decided to move to the paid plan on Beehiiv to leverage the enhanced analytics and growth features. You’re limited to 3 newsletters per account, so I was forced to consolidate my newsletters, which was a good thing for me".
Richard found that publishing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays helped him to stay consistent with 3 newsletters. This might seem overwhelming to most creators, but Richard takes a networked approach. "I like to be involved in a lot of different markets, and by doing research for one newsletter, I'm able to leverage that for another. For example, in setting up funnels and paid products for the newsletters, I'm able to write what's working in my creator-focused newsletter."
Newsletter growth strategies
Patey's most effective newsletter growth strategy has been recommendations from other people's newsletters. He received over 600 recommendations for one of his newsletters on Substack and has similarly found success on Beehiiv from similar publications such as Niche Surfer. Richard also believes in sponsoring other newsletters: "I pay over $4 for any subscribers I get through Swapstack, and I run ads in other people's newsletters to increase my exposure".
Newsletters as a digital asset
Richard covers different types of digital assets within his content, but it’s clear newsletters are his favorite. "I love the mix of income that a newsletter business produces and the fact that subscribers who open and click are a valuable asset that increases over time. You can charge brands a premium to access an engaged community that trusts your content and recommendations. The value of the click to brands is far higher than anything they can get through paid acquisition on social media".
Richard sees the value of newsletters beyond just running one. He’s also sold newsletters along with other digital assets. So how can you make your newsletter a stronger digital asset worth acquiring? "As a seller, you will achieve a higher price if you monetize in multiple ways and are not reliant on selling one-off sponsorships. Recurring subscriptions will typically be the most attractive to buyers. This is why I was able to sell the Website Investing publication to Travis Jamison for 6 figures: we created a paid community, which the newsletter became a part of. Being able to sell packages of sponsorships, having repeat sponsors, and making money from one-off products and affiliate commissions also make a newsletter a more attractive acquisition".
When and how to monetize
Most creators wait too long to monetize, but Richard isn’t one of them. He monetized his newsletters from day one by promoting other people's products as an affiliate, getting paid to promote other people's newsletters on Swaptack or Sparkloop, and opening his newsletters up to sponsorships using Passionfroot.
When it comes to sponsorship, Richard primarily considers the open rate and the CPM he can achieve with his niche. "My Digital Asset Investor newsletter has 4300 subscribers with a 40% open rate, which is approximately 1700 opens. My main sponsored ad spot is $450, making it a $260 CPM. I write the ad copy and I’m able to generate 20-80 clicks for the brand, so I'm effectively charging $5 to $22 per click. However, only charging per click diminishes the brand aspect of your ad being seen by an engaged audience of thousands, which should be priced at a premium".
Managing sponsorships with Passionfroot
With 3 newsletters, Richard had to find a way to manage his sponsorship opportunities. "I needed a solution where I could list out my ad slots and packages across the network of inventory, and automate the process of managing inbound requests and invoicing as much as possible. Managing sponsorships is a lot of manual effort, and I was looking for a platform that could remove this from my inbox. Passionfroot is by far the best I've seen and has freed up a lot of my time. I simply link to my storefront within my newsletters and on acquire.gg, and it converts inbound interest well".
Patey's experience shows that managing multiple newsletters can be overwhelming but also lucrative. By monetizing newsletters in multiple ways, such as recurring subscriptions, sponsorships packages, and one-off products, newsletters represent a valuable asset that can grow over time.