⛔ No Course, No Community
Learning from Josh Spector's product, plus Swapstack launches newsletter affiliates and Sparkloop paying $40K/m to one newsletter operator
Hey there 👋,
In this week’s newsletter I discuss:
The alternatives to courses and communities
Swapstack launches Newsletter Affiliates
Sparkloop Partner Program pays out over $40K to one newsletter operator
👨🏫 Better Ways To Teach
Josh Spector runs the For The Interested, a daily one paragraph newsletter for creative entrepreneurs.
He recently gave a behind-the-scenes look at the business of his Skill Sessions membership - why and how he created the product format:
Skill Sessions are 1 hour video presentations on specific topics where Josh teaches how to speed up your audience and business growth. He records a new one every 2 months.
Josh states that he tries to package his expertise into the most unique, specific and actionable format he can.
He thinks, like I do, that most courses are bloated and unnecessary long time commitments, typically forcing you to watch several hours of videos.
This is why I created my ‘not a course’ product, The Newsletter Is The Business, which is essentially an actionable ebook with chapters split up in Notion which include videos of my newsletter setup:
With regards to delivering products as communities, he feels that most have a very low signal to noise ratio and can lead people to spend more time talking about their work than doing the work:
It’s kind of easy for a community to become a distraction and sort of make you feel like you’re making progress when talking about stuff on a message board is usually not as good as actually doing the thing.
Josh has priced his Skills Sessions in a very affordable way: $50 for one session or $150 for the whole archive and the next six over the coming year.
As such I’m taking his advice.
I’ve removed the community component from The Newsletter Is The Business and reduced the price to $147, fitting in better with my existing $47 one-off newsletter products:
Existing customers retain access to the Discord server which I actually think is offering great value, but this value will only degrade over time (more noise, less signal) if the membership were to 2-3x. I’ve seen this happen in large Discord communities I’ve been involved with.
In fact, Alts.co actually killed their Discord server earlier this year, which had 2700 members (the biggest in the alternative asset space), in order to focus on their core business of building their newsletter and assets under management in their fund.
📈 The Newsletter Platform Built for Growth
I’ve tried almost every newsletter platform, from Drip to ConvertKit to Substack (running 6 newsletters there at one point) to now beehiiv.
beehiiv was founded by some of the earliest employees of the Morning Brew, so they know what it takes to grow a newsletter from zero to millions.
You get built-in referral functionality, true customization, analytics where you can see the results of paid acquisition and now built-in paid recommendations - a new traffic channel to grow your subscriber base, and a new way to monetize your newsletter.
* this is an affiliate link, I get paid a commission if you sign up and purchase, which takes me one step closer to the beach club*
** this is an affiliate link too ;)
Thanks to the FTC for making this affiliate disclosure possible.
🔥 Newsletter Affiliates on Fire
Over the last week, Swapstack launched Newsletter Affiliates, a way to pay for more newsletter subscribers as well as monetize your newsletter:
Read all about the product here:
— Swapstack (@SwapstackHQ)
May 17, 2023
This is an upgrade on their previous Plug & Play program, as it now has a native ESP connection, connecting with my beehiiv account to automatically report on the signups being generated by affiliates for my affiliate deal. This puts it on par with beehiiv’s Boosts, and Sparkloop’s Partner Network.
Talking of which, Sparkloop just paid out a whopping $41K to one newsletter operator, for referring ~ 15K subscribers to other people’s newsletters last month:
Today's payout day for the SparkLoop Partner Network 🎉
We've paid out $millions to thousands of smart newsletter operators... but I think this is a new individual record 👇
— Louis Nicholls 💫 (@louisnicholls_)
May 15, 2023
👍 Recommended Newsletters on beehiiv
Ok that’s it from me, I’ll be back in your inbox next Friday or sooner if you subscribe to my other newsletters on beehiiv above.
Richard Patey (@richardpatey)
Disclaimer: Nothing in this email is business advice and I am not a professional business adviser. I send weekly updates on the creator economy and what I'm doing personally - consider it informational and for entertainment purposes only. This newsletter is monetized through sponsorship, affiliate revenue and my own products.