Creator Spotlight: Colin & Samir

We connect with creators, Colin and Samir, about how they expanded from YouTube to newsletters with The Publish Press.

What is Creator Spotlight?

Each week we'll feature a newsletter on beehiiv that's experiencing tremendous success with their content and growth. It's a two part initiative packed into a single day:

  1. an email showcasing their content, tips, and goals (this email here)

  2. and a live Twitter Spaces tonight where you can join the conversation and ask questions directly

About The Publish Press

In May of 2021, Colin and Samir launched The Publish Press—a twice-weekly newsletter featuring creator economy news and analysis, written for creators looking to deepen their understanding of the business of creators. Less than a year in, The Publish Press has over 20K subscribers and a 45% open rate. It is written full-time by Hannah Doyle with editorial direction from Colin and Samir.

Tell me about the newsletter, how is it distinct from their video-based content?

On YouTube, we are interviewing creators and talking about the business side of being a creator/entrepreneur and the show isn’t typically tied to the news. As the creator economy has boomed, there’s more and more news breaking each day that we wanted to be able to provide quick learnings and insights that our audience can walk away better informed in their own work. We thought the newsletter would be a great way to serve and engage with the audience. With our core mission being to educate and empower creators to make being a creator a full-time job, the newsletter allows us to do that through current news.

The Publish Press is not just giving you a headline, it’s outlining a curriculum using real-life examples, i.e. breaking down an event/news/insight and teasing out what it means for the ecosystem of being a creator. We take a holistic business approach to each news item to ensure that there is a lesson included.

Why did it make sense for Colin and Samir to follow up their YouTube channel with Publish Press?

In May of 2021, our YouTube channel was growing steadily and we had a clear focus area for our content.. There were countless different moves we could have made. Courses? Merch? Community? Job board? Our goal was to find something that would add value to our audience and hit on our core mission of empowering and educating creators, but could scale beyond our time We set out to build The Publish Press media company, starting with a newsletter covering the business of creators. While we knew we wouldn’t be the first newsletter about the creator economy, we believed we could approach this burgeoning industry in a way no one else was: the business of creators, from the creators’ perspective.

2022 Goals

  • Reach 120k subscribers and maintain a 40%+ open rate

  • Become the go-to newsletter for creators

  • Increasing from 2x/week to 3x/week

What do you have coming up?

We are launching a third weekly issue on Sundays. We want to be able to dig deeper and provide more evergreen content by highlighting a single creator story and hone in on the aspects of it that provide larger insights that our audiences can learn from. It’ll be a nice Sunday read.

Advice for other writers/creators

  • Focus on your content before you think about growth. We didn’t think about growth until the newsletter was in our minds an A+ product

  • Stay focused on what your value prop is and who your audience is. There are always going to be other newsletters/media properties out there writing about the same things as you. If you don’t have a specific lens or take on it, it’s easy to get lost in the noise.

  • For us, we are always by creators, for creators. Writing about the business of creators from the creator’s perspective. This guides us every issue in terms of story selection and analysis.

  • Keep it brief, scannable, and visually dynamic.

What growth strategies are you implementing on beehiv?

We’re launching the referral program and getting out some fun merchandise. With the robust data beehiiv provides, we’ll also be able to confidently start spending on paid advertising to grow the newsletter.

Want more?

Join the conversation on Twitter Spaces. We'll discuss how Colin and Samir are planning to scale their newsletter in 2022 and what their readers have to be excited for in coming months. Read the full case study here

For those new to Twitter Spaces—you can join the conversation and ask Colin and Samir (and others) whatever you want!

When: tonight at 7pm EST Where: Twitter Spaces (link below)

In the meantime be sure to follow Colin and Samir on Twitter here to view more of his work! We'll see you all tonight at 7pm EST!

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