Doing it for the love of the game

Published about 1 year ago • 3 min read

Hi Reader,

Newsletters are quickly becoming a compelling way for creators to make money.

I plan to share a detailed post covering what I see as the playbook for making $100k/yr from a 10,000-subscriber email list. I’ll keep you posted on that, but in short:

Through the combination of sponsorships, launches of your own digital products, and paid subscriber referrals to other people’s lists, a newsletter can become a solid business.

But one of the issues that arises from the gamification and monetization of newsletters is how quickly they can become commoditized.

You can easily become fixated on how much reach, influence, and money you can make from a newsletter and lose sight of the important things:

  • Telling compelling stories
  • Creating art for the sake of it
  • Making an impact
  • Teaching what you know to help others

If you’re not careful, you can lose sight of the reasons you got into what you do in the first place. And once you lose sight of the things that matter, it’s the beginning of the end.


If you lose the passion, and what you do just becomes another job, you lose the art in it. It becomes bland and uninteresting. Your readers will pick up on this and start to lose interest too.

Once your audience goes stale, you no longer have the positive feedback loop you once had as a result of creating something you’re proud of. Eventually, you stall out and stop.

If you’re thinking in terms of “What can I send out on Tuesday so I can make sure my ad has something accompanying it…”

Stop. Reevaluate.

Why did you get into this in the first place? Are you saying things that matter and you happen to have monetization around it? If so, great. But if you’re finding things have devolved to where monetization itself is the point and you’re adding content to justify hitting send, consider that a warning sign.

Something needs to change.

Maybe it’s your motivation. Maybe it’s your attitude. Maybe it’s your outlook. Maybe you need some inspiration or to get around people who ignite your passion for why you do what you do.

Maybe it’s a matter of putting physical reminders in your workspace to help keep you on track.

Just make sure you don’t lose the passion and art in what you’re doing. Make sure what you do still sparks joy and is more than something you’re optimizing for driving revenue.


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Easily create a paid newsletter

Imagine if you could create a simple website that has all of your newsletter issues, a place to subscribe, and a way to mark some issues as free and others as paid.

What software stack would you need to accomplish this setup?

You may not realize you can do all of this with ConvertKit! Our new Creator Profile feature makes this simple:

Click here to set up your Creator Profile »

(If you don’t already have a ConvertKit account, click Create account on that page to create a free account.)


Are we in a recession?

Patrick Campbell shared an insightful thread on Twitter about why you may want to reevaluate your marketing message.

Whether we’re in a recession or not, what matters is if your customers think they’re in one.

He says even small tweaks to your copy (e.g. like shifting from saying “make money” to saying “save money”) can make a big difference.

Read the thread »

Enjoy your week!



Joel Runyon, who founded Impossible Sleep, has been a friend for 10 years and one of ConvertKit’s earliest (and continuous) customers.

If you just scrolled past his sponsorship, go check it out.


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