The first question to answer here is why set up a newsletter in the first place. Well, promoting a newsletter helps to grow your audience and your network - you offer specialised knowledge on your specific skill set and people want to hear your advice.
Newsletters also create a sense of familiarity. By your newsletter appearing in several clients’ inboxes once or twice a month, you’re sure to pop into their head as one of the first freelancers of your industry to hire or recommend when they next need to.
Monetising your newsletter not only ensures that you publish one to the best of your ability but it’s also a way to earn some side revenue cash.
Place in some sponsored advertisements
You know when you’re flicking through your mum’s fashion magazines to discover that 60% of it is designer ads so you give up and scroll the gram…Yeah, you don’t want to put your readers off! So don’t go overboard with this one. Having said that, popping a few ads in the newsletter here or there is a great way to fund it. It will also help your newsletter to come across as established and professional. A great way to go about it that won’t seem too ad-heavy is to write your own advertising copy for individual advertisers you employ. This way, the ads will look more like an integral part of the newsletter.
Use it to sell a product you already offer
Your newsletter also acts as a form of advertisement in itself but for your services as a freelancer. However, if you already have a side hustle going, you can use the newsletter to monetize that additional side revenue! Money on money on money…For example, if you’re a graphic designer that sells printed hoodies on Etsy and Instagram, use the newsletter as a marketing tool for that! Be wary though – don’t go overboard with self-promotion. The main focus should always be providing the reader with content they want to come back to and that enriches their creativity.
Get into Patreon!
An alternative option to offering a subscription-based newsletter is to offer a donation-based newsletter. Sometimes, an audience/reader audience will grow keener to take part in a creative project that they’re involved in. Membership platforms like Patreon make the audience feel in control – they monetise your creative projects in exchange for some creative control. The main downside is that the level of income you receive from one month to the next will be anything but reliable.
Offer the newsletter on a subscription basis