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Building a Successful Paid Community: A Guide

How To Create a Sustainable Revenue Stream With a Community Email Newsletter

Launching a paid community with an email newsletter is like hitting two targets with one arrow.

You can build a loyal following while generating revenue from your audience. By providing valuable content and resources to your members, you can create a sense of community and engagement that will keep them coming back for more.

A community is what keeps people together. Thanks to social media, you can now build that connection through the internet. An email newsletter elevates the way you communicate and builds a stronger foundation for its subscribers. It is also a powerful tool to leverage this network for income at the same time.

The key to launching a successful paid community is to have a clear niche or topic, a solid email list, and engaging content that keeps members coming back for more.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how you can start a community newsletter, earn from it, promote it, and most importantly, have an impact through your emails.

How Do I Start a Community Newsletter?

Building a Successful Paid Community: A Guide

One of the primary benefits of starting a community newsletter is connection. It helps bring people together by sharing information about events, news, and resources about a common theme or interest. This can foster a sense of belonging and help people feel closer to their network.

Additionally, building a community newsletter can be a valuable tool for building engagement and promoting local businesses and organizations. By encouraging community members to contribute to the newsletter and provide feedback, you can increase engagement and build a sense of ownership among your audience. There is always so much that can be done while creating for a community, you could talk about seasonal activities, and book clubs, reach out to the readers, and ask them what they want to be included.

A community newsletter need not be based out of a geographic location; you could focus on a common interest. Be it books, remote work, or people who love trying out new restaurants around the globe…you get the complete liberty to explore these interests and then select a niche.

Before starting, though, it is important to identify the community or group of people you want to target with your newsletter. Here’s how you can start:

Decide on Content

Determine what type of information you want to include in your newsletter, such as local events, community news, or helpful resources. The goal is to make it as valuable as you can and build a platform where people can engage and collaborate.

Gather Content

Reach out to community members and organizations for contributions, and gather relevant information to fill your newsletter. This will also help you build a strong network and brand awareness amongst people in the community.

Distribute the Newsletter

Decide on a distribution schedule and use your mailing list service to send the newsletter to your subscribers. A consistent schedule will make your content a part of your subscribers’ lives and keep them posted on what’s happening around them.

Encourage Feedback and Engagement

Include ways for community members to provide feedback or contribute to future newsletters, such as a contact email or survey. This gives you a bigger field to play in, content-wise, and gives you insights into what your subscribers like and what they don’t.

Can You Make Money With Email Newsletters?

Building a Successful Paid Community: A Guide

Yes, it is possible to make money with email newsletters. Leveraging your audience is one of the best ways you can make money in today’s times. There are several ways to monetize an email newsletter, including:


Many businesses are willing to pay for sponsorship opportunities–such as banner ads or product mentions–in an email newsletter that reaches a targeted audience. As you’re building a community you can collaborate with brands that share the same values.

Affiliate Marketing

Including affiliate links in your newsletter can earn you a commission on any sales made through those links. This typically gives your audience a discount, which is a win-win situation. However, keep in mind that it’s typically best practice (and in some places, it’s the law) to disclose that you’re an affiliate.

Selling Products or Services

When your subscribers believe in your brand, they love to invest more in you. If you have a product or service to sell you can use your email newsletter to promote it and drive sales. Make sure sales don’t become the focus, though - valuable information should always come first.

Paid Subscriptions

Some email newsletters offer paid subscriptions for exclusive content or perks, such as early access to information or special offers. This would also be an amazing way to collaborate with other businesses and host events at a community level.

How Much Does It Cost To Run an Email Newsletter?

Building a Successful Paid Community: A Guide

You can start your newsletter by yourself, for free. However, the costs of running a newsletter can vary widely. A rough estimate is between $10 to $50 per month for a small-scale newsletter with a few hundred subscribers. As the number of subscribers increases, the costs will also increase.

The cost of a newsletter is not just about money, but the time and resources that it takes to produce quality content as well. If you plan on scaling your email list, you’ll eventually need a team to help you put together the content while maintaining the quality that you provide.

Don’t let this scare you! You can also run a newsletter for free using email marketing services that offer a free plan. But when you start scaling your email lists, there are a few costs that you should consider, in the interest of saving yourself time and effort. These include:

Email Marketing Service

To send an email newsletter to a large number of subscribers, you'll likely need to use an email marketing service like beehiiv, MailChimp, Sendinblue, etc. Investing in an email marketing service will not only make your work easy–it will also provide you with the tools you need to get insights on your audience and continually improve.

Content Creation

The time and effort required to create and curate content for your newsletter can be a significant cost, especially if you are paying writers or editors. If you are comfortable with writing, and have the time to do so, you can handle this step yourself. Otherwise, hiring writers and editors can level up your content game.

Design and Development

If you need to create a custom template for your newsletter or build a website to support it, the costs for design and development can add up. Newsletter platforms like beehiiv have editable, pre-made templates to start with, which can save a great deal of time and money.

How Many Subscribers Do You Need to Make Money on a Newsletter?

The number of subscribers you need to make money with a newsletter can vary depending on the monetization method you choose. Some methods, such as sponsorships or affiliate marketing, can generate income with a relatively small subscriber base. However, the more subscribers you have, the more money you can make with these methods.

Sponsorships typically pay more for targeted and engaged audiences. This is of great help in the case of a community newsletter, as the foundation of your newsletter is to bring together people who are interested in the same topic.

Generally, having a sizable and engaged audience is an important factor in generating income from an email newsletter. It's also important to have a clear monetization strategy in place and to be transparent with your subscribers about how you plan to generate revenue.

How Do I Start a Paid Email Newsletter?

Building a Successful Paid Community: A Guide

Offer a free trial or a sample of your newsletter to attract new subscribers and give them a taste of the value they will get. You can also have a paid plan offered alongside it. Make sure to highlight the benefits of the paid plan. Here are some perks you can offer to subscribers:

Exclusive Content

It's important to note that a paid newsletter is a business model that requires a lot of work, so it's important to have a clear strategy, a good understanding of your audience, and a commitment to creating high-quality content consistently.

Provide subscribers with exclusive content that is not available to non-subscribers, such as in-depth articles, interviews, and analysis. You could also give your subscribers early access to events, products, or other exclusive opportunities.

Access to a Community

Create a community or forum where subscribers can interact with one another and with you, the newsletter creator. When people are able to connect with each other, there are many more ideas and events that you could use in future.

Discounts and Deals

Offer discounts or exclusive deals on products or services related to your niche., This is basically another way to let your audience know about the perks of signing up and paying for your newsletter.

How Do You Promote a Paid Newsletter?

Promoting a paid newsletter requires a combination of tactics to reach and engage your target audience:

Use Social Media

Building a Successful Paid Community: A Guide

Use platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote your newsletter and share snippets of the content with your followers. As it is a community, you can share sneak peeks or updates and engage with people who are potential subscribers.

Optimize for Search Engines

Use SEO techniques, such as keyword research and meta tags, to help your website rank higher in search engine results. Even though it might seem like SEO doesn’t play a big role any more, it does–so don’t ignore this crucial step.

Utilize Email Marketing

Send out an email to your existing subscribers and contacts to promote the newsletter and invite them to sign up. Tell them what they’re missing out on, what’s coming up next week, or just some perks of joining the paid subscription.

Reach Out to Influencers

Partner with influencers in your industry to help promote your newsletter to their followers. Especially if they are in the same niche, promoting your newsletter to their audience means you'd reach people who would love to be a part of it. This would also be an amazing way to build your brand voice.

Offer a Free Trial or Sample

Building a Successful Paid Community: A Guide

Offer a free trial or sample of your newsletter to attract new subscribers and give them a taste of the value they will get. Once people know what they’re getting for signing up for your newsletter, they’re more likely to pay for more!

Leverage Word-of-mouth

Encourage satisfied subscribers to share the newsletter with their friends and colleagues. To grow your community, you need more people to know about you–and word of mouth is by far one of the best ways to market yourself. After all, people are more likely to trust a friend’s recommendation than cold outreach from a stranger.

Build Your Community with beehiiv

Starting a newsletter, building a community, and churning out valuable content - managing it all together may seem tedious. That’s why choosing the right email service is so important.

But you don’t need to do it alone. Join beehiiv today! The beehiiv platform is jam-packed with all the tools and features you need to make creating paid subscriptions and managing a community a breeze.

Try it for free, scale your network, and build a stronger community. We’re here for you.

Happy emailing!

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