[FOLLOW ALONG] My Journey to a 1 MILLION $ exit (with a newsletter)

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UPDATED

1 million dollars... that sounds a bit bold, I never had so much money. But keep with me as I plan to reach that goal.

How?

With this newsletter ---> https://marketeerpulse.com

^^^ subscribe to have an in-depth look of how I reach that goal ^^^

I read that article a few weeks ago about some very successful newsletters: Email Newsletters Are Serious Business

When I saw that they were sold for 20 million dollars, or even for more than 100 million dollars, I decided I wanted to get my share :ninja:

I know it's not going to be easy, but I believe with the right strategy it's all possible!

So what's going to be my strategy?
  1. High quality email newsletter (no spam and outstanding content)
  2. Consistency
Lately I have subscribed to a lot of newsletters to get some inspiration. I found one that stands out above the rest, it's a newsletter for business people called Morning Brew. I like a lot their sarcastic/funny tone.

I want to build a newsletter with the same sarcastic tone but targeted to affiliates/vendors who are active on forums like warriorforum, affiliatefix etc... mainly the ones selling and buying through jvzoo, warriorplus and clickbank.

I remember some years ago the warriorforum was sold for $1M to freelance.com - I want an exit like that one.

I'll do my best to reach that goal, I'll post my progress here.

So, I've actually already started 3 weeks ago.

What I currently have:
  • A name: Marketeer Pulse
  • An optin page here -> https://marketeerpulse.com
  • 2 writers
  • An emailing system with a custom made referral program (to help with the newsletter growth)
  • 2 social accounts (FB / twitter), but without any post yet
  • And I also have the 2 first emails scheduled to be sent tomorrow and after tomorrow (at 6am, in subscribers' timezone)
I have this referral program mentioned at the end of each email, I really hope that this referral program coupled with the high quality of the newsletter will help me grow the audience relatively quickly:



My next step:
  • Advertise on FB to bring traffic to the optin page

What I need from you:
  • Your support
  • Your feedback / comments on what I'm doing wrong/well

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ORIGINAL POST

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Hey warriors!

I'm starting a new project, which is a newsletter for affiliates and product vendors (the ones using WarriorPlus, JVZoo, Clickbank and the like).

I thought that it would be interesting to keep track of the steps I follow to launch that newsletter, get subscribers and ultimately revenue. The idea is that posting here will make me accountable and help me stay focused on this project.

Another benefit of posting here is that I can get help and ideas from more experienced warriors. I'm not a newbie as I've already launched an online business that helps me pay the rent, bills and food, but I'm far from being rich, and financially not 100% stable yet.

So why do I want to start this newsletter business?

I read that article a few days ago about some very successful newsletters: Email Newsletters Are Serious Business | Jason L. Baptiste

Not that I'm jealous, but it gave me the desire to get my share

I'm also a subscriber of a newsletter called "Morning Brew", and I really like and enjoy reading it. It's targeted to business leaders in general, but the tone in their emails is always funny/sarcastic, and it's very informative. Here's a sample one from their archives: https://www.morningbrew.com/latest/a...-vs-the-media/

The newsletter I'm starting is called "Whassup Today", and I'm going to take my inspiration from Morning Brew. However, like I said above, my target is going to be affiliates/vendors of all experience levels.

--> You can find the first version of the subscription page at https://whassup.co

The first email hasn't gone out yet, as I'm still preparing everything, but it's already planned for the 4th of June. After that, it will be one daily email, Monday to Friday, at 6 am.

At the same time, I will publish the stories on a blog/social media and make the newsletter archives available publicly on the site.

What I have now:

* I have the optin page
* I have the thank you page, but I need to rewrite it
* I have the welcome email that explains that the 1st issue will go out the 4th of June
* I have a writer
* I have around 30 subscribers

What I need to do before the 4th of June:

* I need to find several news sources
* I need to have the first 2 or 3 emails ready
* I need to open my social media accounts
* I need to determine how I will monetize the newsletter - probably some kind of sponsored stories, like Morning Brew, but we will see later

I'll post updates here as things get done - any help or advice would be highly appreciated



TL;DR
  • I'm starting this newsletter: https://whassup.co
  • It's for affiliates/vendors
  • Contains latest news so subscribers can know what happens in our industry
  • Sent daily and consumed in 5 minutes or less
  • Trying to grow this newsletter and keeping track here
#build #follow #live #newsletter #subscribers
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    First newsletter goes out tomorrow morning at 6am (on subscribers' timezone)!

    Yeah, currently on track.

    Social media accounts not ready though... that will be my next task.
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  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    Good to see you putting in the effort and showing examples where you got the idea from.

    Question how do you plan on monetizing the site ? Why did you come up with the name ?Wassup - the word "was" is past tense so. It sounds like the news is dated. It is also a slang word that does not give a professional feel to it. IMHO
    Other wise good luck with the project and get some sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    Thanks a lot for the encouragement!

    I didn't think of any plan to monetize the site itself, it's going to be my lead magnet, so I'll post the newsletter archives there and each page will have a link to subscribe to the newsletter.

    At least at the beginning... it may change in the future, but for now the focus is on the newsletter. What I want to achieve is to have people want to signup to actually read the emails.

    About the name, it's wHassup with an 'h' - the urban version of "what's up?"

    I'm not a native English speaker, to me it sounded good, but if you and others think otherwise, then I should change it as soon as possible?
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Good idea here to grow your newsletter and track it for other Warriors. Way cool. All the best with it bro.
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  • Profile picture of the author prayosha
    n the Emails step of the Automation Builder, you'll design your email's content and review its settings. The default welcome message automation includes one email that sends one day after signup.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Million
    Great idea Eric! I'm wishing you the best of luck with your newsletter business and I'll be following along intently.

    On an unrelated note, is that your car in your avatar? I must say you've got a great taste in cars. As a gearhead myself I think the FD is one of if not the most beautiful cars to come out of the 90s.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    Thanks Nick!

    I love that car but, unfortunately, it's not mine... yet

    Quick update: I'm running into some technical issues with the newsletter. I want subscribers to receive it at 6am in their timezones, but my setup makes it send at 6am UTC.

    For sending, I'm using a wordpress plugin called Mailster, coupled with Amazon SES for a good deliverability. When I check the subscriber details, I can see that the IPs are not saved for the majority of them. Without the IP, mailster cannot find their timezones.

    I do not know how to fix that, so I will have to wait for their support to help me.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaveMartin
    Very interesting and I admire your drive. I have to be brutally honest, I don't like the name. Whenever I hear the term "Whassup" it reminds me of that very irritating Budweiser commercial they did many years ago.

    Also its sounds very street, if I see that term associated with a newsletter my first impression is that it would be aimed at 16-17 year old's that hang out on street corners and not IM professionals.

    Don't let that put you off though and I wish you the best of success.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    Hey Dave, thanks for your opinion!

    You're the 2nd one commenting on the name, so I'll go ahead and change it while I'm still at the early stages.

    Any suggestion? I'm not really good at finding names it seems
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  • Profile picture of the author EndGame
    Hey Eric,

    As a Warrior who is looking to tap into the newsletter business model, I will be following this thread with interest.

    Just a quick question on traffic...

    In terms of growing the subscribers, will you be focusing on free social media traffic? Interested to hear your approach to this. I have opted for paid traffic thus far, but I am conflicted on the right source of paid traffic at the moment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    Hey EG,

    I just saw your reply in your own thread, weird that I didn't get any notification as you posted it a few days ago already...

    My plan for getting subscribers is this (in order of priority):

    1/ Making sure that the quality of the newsletter is outstanding

    2/ Implement a referral system, like Morning Brew. They have this at the end of each email:



    3/ Posting news on social media accounts linking to the newsletter optin

    4/ Get leads through direct advertising (no solo ads as I found in the past that the quality was very low, and I used to get better leads for less from FB)
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    I have made a few important changes since last time.

    1/ Renamed the newsletter / domain name to Marketeer Pulse

    2/ The design is changing, it's not published on the site yet, but soon the subscribe page will look like that:



    It's also mobile responsive and here's how it looks like on mobile:



    3/ The wordpress theme is also going to be changed to a custom one

    4/ Fixed the timezone issue, now the emails can go at 6am for each subscriber.

    I've only sent 3 or 4 emails since I started as I don't want to waste too many resources before having the referral system in place, which is now where I'm focusing my efforts.

    For the referral system I still need to find out:

    * What to give to subscribers when they refer others - I'll probably go with a mix of digital and physical gifts.

    * How to implement the referral system so that it is fully automated and integrated within the newsletter.
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    • Profile picture of the author bjuhl
      Hey Eric!

      I've enjoyed reading through this thread and am very interested in following your progress! Thanks for posting!

      As a developer, I'm especially interested in hearing how you end up implementing the referral tracking! I've written a couple of light-weight affiliate tracking scripts and I know how tricky they can sometimes be.
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      • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
        Originally Posted by bjuhl View Post

        Hey Eric!

        I've enjoyed reading through this thread and am very interested in following your progress! Thanks for posting!

        As a developer, I'm especially interested in hearing how you end up implementing the referral tracking! I've written a couple of light-weight affiliate tracking scripts and I know how tricky they can sometimes be.
        I have looked at quite a lot of different solutions, the ones that do what I need are often on monthly subscriptions.

        I guess it will have to be custom made. Where I can see your scripts? Are they on sale?
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        • Profile picture of the author bjuhl
          Hey Eric!

          So the scripts have been implemented as part of an LMS platform that I wrote and deployed for a couple clients. In each use case, I've used Active Campaign as the primary delivery service.

          The challenge was to be able to use 1 Active Campaign list to email my affiliate's leads on their behalf.

          To do this I used the Active Campaign API to dynamically set and update custom field values so that if an affiliate directed someone to the opt-in form, it would associate that lead with their affiliate ID and thus all links sent out would be coded with the referring affiliate's link.

          Conceivably, your scenario is just a couple extra steps.
          1. Generating and storing a unique affiliate ID for each new lead
          2. Checking and incrementing a counter attached to the affiliate for each referral signup

          In terms of if my scripts are for sale, the code I've written for those platforms probably wouldn't do you much good out of the box. Though I could probably knock out a version of what I just described above in a weekend (if your platform has a decent API and custom field support).
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  • Profile picture of the author Eden A
    Hey, first of all, thank you for sharing!
    It seems like you are on the right path.
    Keep on going, keep on accomplishing goals!

    How is it going until now?
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    @Eden thanks! It's going well, I have the new optin page ready at https://marketeerpulse.com - I find it much nicer than the initial one.

    The referral system is finally completed and fully integrated in the newsletter emails.

    Now I'm trying to streamline the content creation part. For this I need to find a reliable, and consistent, way for finding daily news to talk about.

    What I did so far was following multiple FB accounts in different sub-niches (SEO, FB ads, Adwords etc), but I'm not satisfied yet with what I'm getting...

    It would help me a lot if some warriors could list their trusted sources of information here.

    @bjuhl Thanks for the information - I've got a programmer who did this, I don't think I would have been able to integrate it as well with the ready-made services out there.

    Here's how it looks like in the last section of each email, the number of referrals displayed in the email is automatically retrieved from the database:

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    • Profile picture of the author bjuhl
      Awesome!! I'm excited to see how this goes. Looking forward to getting your emails!
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    I had sent a few test emails in the past weeks, but I'm really excited as the real first newsletter email is coming tomorrow!

    There are only about 40 subscribers so far, hopefully the referral program coupled with the quality of the newsletter (at least I hope it is high quality), will help to make it grow!

    Now comes the most challenging part I guess: staying focused enough to send the newsletter each and every week day!
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    Great achievement today, 3 weeks after I decided to start this project, the 1st real email was sent to around 40 subscribers - that's not a lot, but it gets the ball rolling!

    Here's how the 1st newsletter email looks like:



    There's still room for improvement, but just the fact that I was able to make this project LIVE is very motivating, beware WORLD, I am coming MWAHAHAHA o_O

    Would love to know what you guys think about that 1st email?
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    YEEPEE!!!

    I cannot believe it!

    First email sent this morning to around 40 people... and what do I see in my JVZoo account???

    Can you guess what?

    Yes, I made money today from that 1st email



    The great thing is that I didn't have to make any hype - the newsletter email was informative, and I just had that tiny section near the end listing 2 products that just launched... and bam, 2 clicks and 2 sales.

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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    I thought those 2 visitors purchased, but actually only one of them did. The reason it shows 2 sales is because the one who purchased also picked up an OTO:

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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    Email #2 has gone out this morning, let's hope it makes some sales too!

    Here is how it looks like (last time I post a screenshot, to see the next ones, subscribe to the newsletter, it's 100% spam free, with fresh news from the industry that can help you with your business decisions):



    Let's hope it makes at least one sale too!
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  • Profile picture of the author Staxed
    Keep up the good work and the updates! Enjoying ready how it's going (and reading the newsletter). Looking at getting more into affiliate marketing in the coming days so all the advice I see people give is super helpful.


    Might even start my own little thread on here to show my progress...though I'm not really that confident I'll be good at it...growing a list from scratch is what scares me a bit!


    Seeing stats from your referral program after a while would be nice to see!
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Riltz
    Thanks Staxed!

    I didn't have any other affiliate commissions apart from ones mentioned above. But it's from a very small subscribers base so that's ok, I guess

    I'm now in the phase where I try to get more subscribers, so I started advertising on FB.

    I haven't found the right targeting yet, it will take a bit of patience and digging.

    Here are my results so far (not good):



    It's from 2 ads.

    One ad generated 0 lead, but got 500 post engagements (post and page likes).

    The other generated 5 leads.

    So I'm at around $2 per lead right now, which is way too expensive.
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  • Profile picture of the author newton
    Good luck with this, if you figure out how to get leads cheaper on FB please let know! I have a hard time trying to get FB to work out with my own stuff!
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