Reddit = Newsletter Opportunities

Brainstorms Issue #23

Brainstorms Issue #23

Newsletter Opportunites

Recently, newsletters have been getting a ton of hype and you’ve all been asking me a lot of questions about the newsletter business:

  • “How do they make money?”

  • “Are they easy to start?”

  • “What are some good newsletter business ideas?”

  • “Should I start a newsletter?”

This week I’m going to

  1. Answer these questions

  2. Give you a deeper look into the newsletter game 

  3. Share some ideas and opportunities I see in the newsletter space.

Let’s start with the basics - what is a newsletter?

A newsletter is just another way creators/brands communicate, add value, and market to you through email.

For example, you’re reading a newsletter right now. I’m adding value to you and in exchange, you’re giving me some of your attention.

While there are loads of newsletters out there, today we’re specifically going to focus on “newsletter first” businesses. Meaning, their primary business comes from writing and distributing their newsletter.

The more important question is, is there money to be made with newsletters?

First, I’ll give you the unsatisfying answer… it depends.

Within newsletter first businesses, there are two primary business models:

  1. Free Newsletters, which typically make money via sponsors and advertisers.

    1. Ex. The Hustle, Morning Brew, Brainstorms

  2. Paid Newsletters, which make money from paid subscriptions.

    1. Ex. Stratechery, The Information, Sinocism

To give you something more concrete, I put together some napkin math so you can picture the business model:

Note: I’m using $50 CPO ($50 per 1,000 opens) as the price you charge advertisers. This is the rough industry standard.

With free newsletters, you can add more advertisers per issue or send your newsletter more frequently to boost revenue.

The point is, you can make money doing either,but which one should you choose?

Well, there are pros and cons to both:

Free newsletters:

  • Pros

    • You can write about almost anything so long as there’s an audience

    • Distribution is much easier = better for audience building.

  • Cons:

    • You need a big list + high open rates to make real money

Paid newsletters:

  • Pros

    • You can make money faster and more consistently compared to free

  • Cons:

    • You need high-value content that can’t be found anywhere else

    • Distribution is harder since most of your content is behind a paywall

Here’s my take, if your goal is to make your newsletter your primary source of income, I’d go for a paid newsletter. But, if you’re trying to build an audience or use the newsletter to funnel people to another product, I’d go free.

Alright, now that you have a high-level understanding of newsletters, let’s talk about how you can find and pounce on opportunities in this space.

Here’s the big idea: Reddit is a gold mine of newsletter opportunities.


Each community, or subreddit, is 1) organized around a topic, 2) has engaged members, 3) consume written content.

👆 These are the necessary ingredients of a successful newsletter.

Here are a few examples of subreddits that have newsletter spin offs:

Additionally, Reddit shows you subreddit subscribers and engagement numbers that you can use to gauge the size of an opportunity.

So, where do I see opportunity? Here are three ideas:

  • r/CareerAdvice - There’s a lot you could do here. First, this subreddit is mostly comprised of people asking for help landing a job - I’d focused on that. Next, I’d niche down to a specific role (engineers, marketers, salespeople, etc…). You could send out a cover letters/resumes examples, tips and tricks for nailing an interview, and job postings. This niche would be VERY easy to monetize.

  • r/MUAontheCheap + r/GameDeals - This one is really straight forward. There are serval “deal” subreddit where deals are posted daily. Unfortunately, you need to remember to check it and you need to sift through all the riff-raff. A newsletter that curates these deals in a daily email could be a really interesting play.

  • r/TrendingSubreddits - I went full meta on this one, but I see an amazing opportunity here. I spend a lot of time searching through data to find trending topics, products, and yes, even subreddits. I would 100% subscribe to a newsletter that sent me 3 of the hottest subreddits each week.

Keep in mind, there dozens of opportunities to be found unbundling Reddit for the newsletter space, you just need to look.

Thanks for reading - now get out there and build it! 

Catch ya next week, 

Keevin ✌

PS  want more Brainstorms? Check out all the past issues here.

Your feedback goes a long way. Let me know what you think!