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Creator Spotlight: Matt Navarra shares how he built the world's most useful newsletter for social media managers and professionals

How Geekout generated 150k in revenue in it's first year!


This creator spotlight has been reposted from creatorspotlight.com

About the creator

Matt Navarra is a self employed freelance social media consultant who started Geekout to help social media managers and professionals. He graduated in 2002 with a degree in business and marketing. After several jobs throughout his 20's that weren't particularly enjoyable he found his passion in the social media space. The purpose of Geekout is to provide a one stop shop so if it's all that you read, you'll have the resources needed to succeed. Matt spends a good chunk of his time consulting but also spends time doing media appearances for tv and radio and being an expert on social media for different publications. Some of the companies he consults for are Google, the US Food and Drug Administration and Meta.

About Geekout

What do you uniquely offer your readers?

MN: Geekout provides a stand alone resource where managers and professionals can get the information they need to be up to date on new social media updates, tools, software etc., in order to start their week. A lot of readers in the space will read the newsletter on Monday mornings to help prepare for their work week.

Describe your newsletter in one sentence

MN: The world's most useful newsletter for social media managers and professionals

What do you know so far about your readers?

MN: It's tricky, we left Revue because the insights and analytics were very limited so it was pretty difficult to gauge the overall interest and engagement and really understand what resonated most with the readers. However, what I know now is that typically my readers find me or are referred to me by word of mouth and through my other channels. I've also seen the newsletter shared internally at different companies.

What sparked your interest in social media?

MN: Social media really started gaining some traction in 2009. I ended up being in different jobs where I would essentially end up managing the social media platforms for the company and getting us to create different accounts and profiles and that's typically where it all began.

What are your plans for monetization?

MN: I had set up Geekout as a free newsletter. I wasn't sure if people would be interested in it. I sent out a tweet letting followers know that I was starting a newsletter and asking what type of content they'd want to see.

Within a day or two we had several people that worked for different brands asking if they can be sponsored which wasn't a part of our plan so we were definitely surprised by it. So since day 1 of the newsletter we had different brands that were paying us to sponsor them which has been great. We had to figure out for ourselves how much to charge and what would that overall process look like for us.

A lot of it was made up as we were on this journey and seeing what others in the space were doing and trying to learn from them as well. We were trying to gauge what people were willing to pay and what value we could bring them. With some trial and error, we were able to generate about 150k USD in the first year in revenue from ads and sponsorship and this year 200k. We're expecting about 250k this coming year which has been our 3 year growth journey. It's definitely been a blessing since I wasn't planning to monetize the newsletter and had to learn a lot in the process but it has been quite significant income generated from a free newsletter.

What does your team look like?

MN: It's interesting because people always think I have a bigger business with a bunch of people doing things for me, but it's really just me and my editor Martin Brian. We figured out a process that works for us and have stuck to it.

What does your content strategy consist of:

MN: The newsletter is basically a curation of my tweets from the previous 7 days. I find the most valuable pieces and curate it for the newsletter while adding memes, humor and personality. We add the tweets to a Google doc, play with the order, choose the most valuable pieces of content and decide the ones we really want to elaborate and talk more in detail on in the top of the newsletter. Then between the two of us, we'll piece it together and send it out.

What are the biggest takeaways from your newsletter journey so far?

MN: 1. Anyone can start a newsletter. It's easier than it ever was, but creating a newsletter that people keep coming back to over and over and talk about takes a lot more effort and thought. It isn't just about covering the right stories. It isn't just about making it look sexy with a good cover image and a big name being interviewed in your story. It's not just about incorporating a bit of personality.

It really is a sum of its parts. I think we've realized that if we spend time on the details of the newsletter as a whole we would have more success.

What’s the significance of feedback and curated content today?

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