In 2023, beehiiv, a scrappy new email platform, saw a whopping 700% increase in newsletters.

Most of that increase was from creators wanting to start a newsletter - meaning there's still time for you to start and monetize a newsletter, too.

I already have two email lists, but I decided to start a paid newsletter and a LinkedIn marketing newsletter to grow my brand and monetize my expertise.

If you want to profit from your writing while building a close-knit community, let's examine different ways to monetize a newsletter and how Whop can help you make this happen.

How to Make Money from a Newsletter in 5 Different Ways

There are multiple ways to turn your newsletter into a profitable side hustle, from paid subscriptions to promoting a course.

But first, you need to prepare your newsletter for monetization, or you'll fail before you even start.

Get Your Newsletter Ready for Monetizing

When I started my mom blogging email list, I knew I wanted to eventually sell a course and other digital products, such as eBooks and planners.

I didn't want this newsletter to be like any other. I aimed for a professional and polished look, avoiding the casual feel that some newsletter platforms might have.

That meant I wanted a welcome series to nurture my list and get my list used to buying from me.

So, I mapped out a welcoming series. During a welcome series, automated emails are sent daily for a specified period. I created a ten-day welcome series and personalized each email so that new subscribers could quickly relate to me and get to know me on a deeper level.

welcome email

So how did I help my audience to get to know me?

  • I shared a picture of the one-bedroom apartment I had when I first had my twins
  • I shared what blogging helped me accomplish using relatable examples of family road trips
  • The welcome series provided behind-the-scenes of my seven-figure business to prove my credibility while still being authentic and invested in my subscribers' success

The next thing I did to prepare my newsletter for monetization was to condition my subscribers to buy from me. In the business world, this is called offering a tripwire.

A one-time offer is presented to your subscriber after they sign up. These landing pages typically have a timer and an amazing no-brainer deal to entice a new subscriber to purchase.

momblog tripwire

While a tripwire is not necessary for a professional newsletter, I found it helped subscribers get used to it and end up buying what was in the marketing emails I sent about a new digital product I had, or a video training class I was planning.

Take two to three days to plan out your welcome series and tripwire so that you can reap the benefits of monetizing your newsletter before they start receiving it. Here's a quick overview of everything covered above:

  • Set clear goals:
    Outline what you want to achieve, such as building trust, driving engagement, or generating sales with your welcome series and tripwire.
  • Map out your welcome series:
    Create a detailed outline for each email, including key messages, call-to-actions, and any offers.
  • Create tripwire:
    Ensure your offer is relevant and provides immediate value to your subscribers. Video training or templates/planners do well for tripwires.
  • Set up your automation:
    Depending on which platform you decide to use, you can write out each email in your welcome series, and in Convertkit, the email service provider I use, I can create an automated sequence for those emails.

Now, here are five different ways that you can make an income with your newsletter:

1. Consider Paid Ads

A simple yet effective way to make money from a newsletter is with paid ads.

Paid ads are advertisements that businesses pay to include in email newsletters. They can be banner ads, sponsored content, product placements, or affiliate links and are designed to reach a targeted audience directly in their inboxes.

For example, Niche Site Lady has a free email newsletter, which she'll occasionally display a paid ad.

While I have never tried paid ads, I know many creators have because of the results they can generate. Using targeted paid ads in your newsletter is 5.3 times more effective in increasing your click-through rates. This means a higher chance of conversions, leading to more income for creators.

The clincher, though, is that ads have to be targeted. You don't want an ad that's irrelevant to your audience's preferences. One disadvantage of placing ads is the need for greater privacy respect. Many ad agencies need email data to create targeted ads, and many of your subscribers may not like this.

All you can do is be honest with your list and make it known – like the Niche Site Lady does by announcing the ad – whenever you place ads in your email.

So, while you can earn some income from placing ads, weigh the pros and cons for your audience and consider how it can benefit them rather than negatively affect them.

2. Try Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing happens whenever someone clicks on an affiliate link in your email and makes a purchase. And you earn a commission for referring that product to them. 

However, finding the right affiliate programs and email providers, crafting compelling emails, and building relationships with your audience takes time and effort.

For example, Amazon's referral program prohibits the use of affiliate links in emails. Similarly, while many email service providers allow affiliate links, there are varying levels of restrictions.

Mailerlite allows affiliate links but prohibits certain types of content related to promoting MLMs or affiliate marketing.

ConvertKit, on the other hand, places more emphasis on transparency when displaying affiliate links in your email.

Whenever I share my affiliate links in ConvertKit, I always disclose them.

toolkit email affiliate marketing

One way to incorporate affiliate links into your emails is to dedicate the entire email to an affiliate product with compelling click-worthy emails.

For every affiliate email you send out, they should:

  • Focus on one affiliate product
  • Offer detailed, genuine reviews
  • Make the call-to-action (CTA) buttons or links stand out and easy to find
  • Relate your own experiences with the product

For example, Arfa of She Means Blogging sent an email to promote her affiliate for the Rebel Boss Summit. She opens the email with a personal story relating to the topics in the summit.

One of my goals this year has been to focus on my audience growth. I’ve never been one of those people to care much about vanity metrics (I simply don’t need 100k followers on IG). But I DO care about having the RIGHT people in my audience, and continuously growing my audience with the right people (aka my ideal customers).

She then uses an enticing image and CTA button to attract clicks to her affiliate link.

rebel boss summit

Another way to incorporate affiliate marketing in emails is to add affiliate links to your blog posts or YouTube descriptions and then promote that post or video to your email list.

This is my preferred method and has helped me earn income whenever I email my list.

affiliate links in email

While affiliate marketing is profitable, try not to go overboard with it. Your open rates and engagement will dwindle if all your emails push a product.

To build a relationship with your subscribers, always provide immense value in your emails, helpful resources, and actionable advice, all before you drop an affiliate link in an email.

3. Introduce a Subscription Fee

Introducing a subscription fee is a new side hustle I recently started. It's a smart move if you’re ready to offer exclusive, high-value content to your audience. 

A paid subscription can help you make money from a newsletter more effectively while providing your readers with premium content they won’t find anywhere else.

whop vital eats club

For example, the Vial Eats Club offers a weekly paid subscription to its newsletter and Discord channel, which are filled with recipes, a much-needed resource for time-starved people.

When starting your paid newsletter, leverage existing newsletter or social media audiences. I shared my paid newsletter with my email list of 20,000 subscribers and my social media audience of 100,000, which helped me get my initial paid subscribers.

Make sure your subscribers already find great value in your free content. Then, clearly communicate the benefits of your paid subscription.

  • Highlight the exclusive content, resources, or perks they'll receive. For my paid newsletter, I highlighted the behind-the-scenes look into my business and the challenges I'll face every month
  • Hit your audience's pain points to help them see the benefits of your paid newsletter. For my audience, I know it's lonely to be a freelance writer, so I used that as a way to welcome them into my cozy community, aka my newsletter
  • Give them a tease of the type of content you'll share in your paid subscription. I often do this when I share on LinkedIn
elna cain newsletter

Offering a free version of your premium newsletter is a popular method of getting people to sign up for it.

For example, The Pomp is a Substack newsletter about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and other tech news in the digital industry. You can sign up for an annual subscription or monthly, or you can check out the content for free if you're undecided.

substack tiers

The key to making your subscription offer work is to ensure that your paid content is top-notch and provides even more value than your free offerings.

Here are examples you can use for your paid subscription:

  • Offer unique reports, whitepapers, or case studies
  • Behind the scenes of your job or business
  • Subscriber-Only resources like downloadable templates, checklists, and eBooks
  • Access to exclusive tools and software

4. Sell an Online Course

Offering your own digital products is by far the most profitable method of making money from a newsletter.

Out of all types of digital products, courses are most popular at 37.5%, followed by eBooks at 7.3%.

Why? Courses provide a customized and focused learning experience available to people from all walks of life, including those with disabilities or busy professionals, parents with demanding schedules, and students with different learning styles.

corenetine on whop

And this is what makes it highly profitable and desirable.

With your weekly or monthly newsletter, you can set up a set of emails you want to send out each quarter to promote your latest course. I do this, and it helps me generate consistent income.

For example, with one email, I generated over $1k by sending out one email. I used a well-known copywriting principle, the AIDA format, and positioned my product to sell that day. I noticed in previous newsletters that my subscribers were clicking on the course link but weren't buying.

This course that people checked out didn't have a full sales page. The short landing page briefly shared the features and some benefits.

I figured subscribers weren't seeing the value of my course from the sales page. So, I decided to use email to be more personal and focus on information relatable to my subscribers.

I crafted the email using AIDA principles – attention, interest, desire, and action.

How was that possible? You can sell easily by nurturing your email list so subscribers are primed and ready to buy.

  • Offer free content whenever you can:
    Types of free content include planners, videos, and guides to build trust and authority
  • Always answer your subscribers' questions:
    Make yourself approachable and willing to help by promptly responding to any questions. Establish trust and demonstrate your commitment to their success
  • Let them see the real you:
    If you share your successes and failures with your subscribers, they'll be more likely to connect with your journey and believe in the value of your course

5. Create a Paid Community

Interested in starting a Mighty Networks community, Circle, or a community on Whop?

Well, the best way to build that community is to share it in your newsletter. People want to learn from you or gather insights and advice from you and it's those people you want to sign up to your community.

Create the link to send your readers to your paid community for your newsletter, and you'll have an instant community.

The thing, though, is to build hype and excitement for your online community. Nothing is worse than having few people, no engagement in your community, and having to market in your newsletter.

whop online community
  • Create a countdown email series:
    Create emails leading up to the big reveal. Each email can share a bit more information or a behind-the-scenes look. For example, "3 days to go: Here's a sneak peek at what's coming!"
  • Share personal stories:
    Connect with your audience by sharing personal stories and the journey behind your project. This helps build a deeper connection and makes the reveal more meaningful
  • Use urgency:
    Use time-sensitive language and limited-time offers to create a sense of urgency. For example, "Limited spots available – don’t miss out!" or "Only 24 hours left to get this exclusive deal!"

Ultimate Newsletter Monetization: Newsletter as a Funnel

The best way to monetize your newsletter is to make it your funnel. This means your newsletter's end goal is to turn your viewers into clients or customers.

Over the years, I've built a strong email funnel to sell my course. It's a 39-day email sequence with 11 targeted emails.

email funnel

While you don't need such a robust email funnel to sell your course with newsletters, you need a plan and certain marketing emails to make money.

Part of your plan to sell is to build anticipation with your subscribers.

  • Tease your course content and share sneak peeks
  • Incorporate gamification like polls and surveys to build curiosity
  • Have your subscribers help you name the course as way to involve them in the process and create a sense of ownership

During this process, plan out your launch sequence and use certain marketing emails like:

  • The offer email. In the first email of my sequence I offer a massive discount of my course and sweeten the deal with adding additional courses and eBooks
  • The customer success stories email. If you have it, share success stories of past students
  • The what's stopping you email. This is an effective email to gather subscriber feedback on any hesitations or concerns they might have about enrolling in your course

How Whop Can Help You Make Money With a Newsletter

Whop can help you start your newsletter funnel so that you can make money!

Instead of sending your audience to multiple places, such as social media sites, separate webinar platforms, or different content management systems, you funnel them all to one centralized hub on Whop. This streamlined approach simplifies your workflow and enhances your subscribers' experience by providing everything they need in one place.

After signing up, you can add as many or as few Whop native apps as you like to your Whop hub.

whop apps

Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Chat App: Foster a sense of community by allowing your readers to connect and engage with each other
  • Video App: Host coaching calls or webinars seamlessly, offering live or recorded sessions
  • Content App: Provide premium content exclusively for your subscribers, adding value to their subscription
  • Files App: Sell downloads, templates, and eBooks directly from your hub
  • Courses App: Offer structured courses, helping your audience learn and grow
  • Giveaways App: Run sponsored giveaways to engage and reward your subscribers

One of the best features of Whop is the ability to sell subscriptions to your hub. 

You can create different tiers to cater to various needs. For example, a basic subscriber might access the chat and premium content, while a courses subscriber gets that plus access to your courses. The same goes for webinars and other premium features.

By funneling all your customers into one central place, you can easily manage your entire customer base, helping you save time and money.

Whop also simplifies your admin tasks, allowing you to focus on creating valuable content and building relationships with your audience instead of spending time on unnecessary tasks.

So, if you're looking to streamline your newsletter funnel and provide an all-in-one experience for your subscribers, Whop is the perfect solution.

Monetize Your Newsletter Today With Whop!

Monetizing your newsletter is one way to start making money with your personal brand. Newsletters offer a direct line to your audience, allowing you to build a loyal community and generate consistent income. 

Through subscriptions, premium content, courses, or exclusive offers, newsletters can become a significant revenue stream. Plus, you'll have all the tools to succeed with Whop's streamlined, user-friendly solution for managing your newsletter funnel. There are no fees to get started, and only a small 3% fee on sales - try Whop today risk-free!

Newsletter FAQs

Do People Still Subscribe to Newsletters?

Absolutely, people still subscribe to newsletters. In fact, newsletters are experiencing a resurgence. 

According to Storydoc, 90% of Americans are subscribed to at least one newsletter. With so much content, people appreciate newsletters' curated, direct-to-inbox information. Plus, newsletters offer a more personal connection between the creator and the audience, which social media can’t always achieve. 

How Many Subscribers Do You Need to Monetize a Newsletter?

There is no set number of subscribers you need to monetize your newsletter. If you have highly engaged subscribers, you can convert them. But if you're still waiting for high open rates or click-through rates, aim for a list of about 1,000 subscribers to see a 2% conversion rate.

How Much Money Can You Make with a Newsletter?

Based on your method, you can earn varying amounts of income.

With affiliate marketing, on average, affiliate marketers can earn $0.01 to 2% per click, depending on the niche and product. So, with an engaged list of 1,000 subscribers and a click-through rate of 2%, you might generate $20 to $300 per month.

With sponsored content, newsletters with around 2,000-3,000 subscribers can charge between $20 and $100 per sponsored post. Larger lists with 10,000+ subscribers can command $89 to $179 per sponsorship.

If you secure four sponsorships per month at $100 each, you could earn $400 monthly with a smaller list, scaling up as your subscriber base grows.

When it comes to paid subscriptions, many creators charge between $5 and $15 per month for premium content.

So, with 1,000 subscribers paying $10 per month, you could generate $10,000 monthly. Even with a smaller, highly engaged list of 100 subscribers, you’d make $1,000 per month.

If you have your own digital product, the sky's the limit to income potential. But to be realistic, depending on your niche, digital products can range from $10 to $200. So, selling a $50 product to just 2% of your 1,000 subscribers could bring in $1,000 per month.