Riding Solo

Photo by John Thomas on Unsplash

I spent time listening to the Media Voices podcast and was able to relate to Casey Newton, creator of the newsletter Platformer, right off the bat.

Newtown said that his mindset shifted when he started to believe in the value of his individual writing. Lucky for him, he got to start with an email list from his previous work. He then had to tackle the challenge of getting subscribers that didn’t pay for content to now pay for content.

It seems like this came easy to Newton as he brought up the idea to others and it just made sense! He also had 100,000 twitter followers and thought that if 1,000 of those paid for his content, he actually had a shot at making great revenue. Now, he has over 30,000 newsletter subscriptions.

I like that Newton never prepared for most of this to happen, but because he believed in himself and his work, he was able to create an almost perfect professional path. He was at this for three years before he made a comfortable living/set up his future with monetizing content.

I have no idea where I’ll be in three years, but I know that I won’t be able to dedicate all of that time to creating non-paid content. Our next reading from Tom Kuegler offers great advice to make our newsletters a Side Hustle. This is the mindset we’ve been taught throughout the class! I hope to find a job elsewhere and if I want to make more money, Kuegler convinced me that I could potentially make an extra $500 per month.

First, we’ve started with our skills, the topics we know best. I’ve transformed my idea of writing about Margate (in general) to writing an information-type guide to help people navigate their way through the world of Margate. Either way, I know Margate, and I believe I am skilled enough to write about it.

Kuegler then talks about Search Engine Optimization, a valuable concept I’ve already learned about in previous coursework. It was interesting to see the resources Kuegler offered. I also learned more about how valuable it is to optimize your posts.

I had no idea about backlinks and guest posts, but now that it was mentioned, I know that I will have to explore deeper into its value. They seem beneficial for SEO and they help build your reputability on Google!

Next, Kuegler tells us to start an email list; we’ve also done this in Media Entrepreneurship. In the beta testing phase, I gathered a great list of email contacts and connections that will help me build my newsletter following! Kuegler explained that 100 views seems to get you one to two subscribers. He tells us 10,000 views would take a good part of a year to receive. This seems challenging, but with the summer months ahead, I feel like I could get a larger email list together.

Finally, Kuegler encourages us to create a product to sell. This is what I struggled with in the beginning of the class. People need to find value in the content they’re paying for. Rather than sharing my experiences with a niche audience, I need to sell ideas and concepts that will make my audience’s lives easier.

With Newtown and Kuegler’s ideas in mind, I will be able to go solo with my newsletter. I find peace in the fact that I can return to this newsletter at my own pace. I am glad I learned skills about finding value in my work and hopefully monetizing it to make a living.

Newsletter journalism has become more important since the onset of this class in February. It feels great being ahead of the game learning these valuable skill during my college education!




call me cici @lehighu | journalism & graphic design | i love creating content!

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Caroline Coffey

Caroline Coffey

call me cici @lehighu | journalism & graphic design | i love creating content!

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