Pocket $75,000 a Year as a Newsletter Publisher

According to Howard Penn Hudson, publisher of The Newsletter of Newsletters, "there are at least 100,000 professional and amateur newsletters in the United States--some estimate as many as 500,000--and they are read by millions of people."

What a Newsletter Really is

There is some confusion about what a newsletter is as evidenced by many pieces of material that carry the name, but lack the proper characteristics. A newsletter is NOT a magazine; it is NOT a newspaper; it is NOT an ad sheet. It is none of these, yet it often encompass a few characteristics of each. A newsletter is, by simple definition, a LETTER containing NEWS about a specific field,business, profession, industry, hobby or activity.

How to Find Your Place in the Newsletter Field

You don't have to be an accomplished writer to publish a newsletter, but you will need three basic elements:

  1. A subject that is not being covered by other newsletters, or is not being covered thoroughly enough.

  2. A specific market for your subject material. unlike a magazine or newspaper which may require a circulation of 10,000 to over a million readers to achieve success, a newsletter can produce a nice profit with as few as 500 subscribers.

  3. A continuing supply of material that you can draw from to provide readers with news, facts & feature articles, ideas, supply sources and other bits of information to round out each issue.

These are the basics. Naturally, you should be an AUTHORITY on the subject on which you intend to report through your newsletter. You can draw from your knowledge and experience, of course, but in addition to this you should be a member of associations, clubs organizations in your field, subscribe to several magazines, newspapers (possibly other newsletters) and other material, all of which will help to provide you with an on-going stream of information for your own newsletter.

Your function (other than publisher) will primarily be that as EDITOR OF THE MATERIAL you gather, refining it to useful worthy of printing in your newsletter.

How Often Should You Publish?

Some newsletters are published monthly; a few are issued on a weekly basis. But until you work out the "bugs" and get yourself established in your particular field, it is advisable that you plan a QUARTERLY newsletter, publishing every 3 months. Thus, your newsletter will carry issue dates such as Jan-April-July & Oct. This will give you nearly three months between issues to gather material, write and layout the next issue. I say "nearly" three months because you'll have to allow at least two weeks (maybe longer) at the printer. Once you get a few issues under your belt, you might be able to work out a tight schedule with your printer in which you can furnish newsletter copy on Monday and have the printed issues delivered to you on Friday. Until then, you will be at their mercy, and that means it might take two weeks to a month turn around time.


When we talk about worth, we're referring to the value to a subscriber. It might surprise you to learn that some subscribers pay $300 to $400 a year to get their hot little hands on vital information that keeps them abreast of current trends and shifts in their respective fields. There are the heavy hitters; the major league newsletters that are few and far between, and need not concern us for this report. On the other end of the economic scale, many beginning newsletter publishers go too low in pricing their publication. Some are priced as little as $12 to $15 a year. It is extremely unlikely that these publishers will ever get out of the red and will soon be forced to increase their subscription rates or ultimately cease publication.

Right from the start you'll have to set $24 a year as your bare minimum price. As time goes on, you might try $36--$48 or even $64 a year...but don't go to the higher extremes until you can establish some kind of projections on the next year's edition.

What About Size?

Some newsletters run 8-12-16-24 pages, and virtually all of them are printed in the convenient 8 1/2 x11 size. Naturally, the larger sizes are usually those commanding the higher subscription rates. You'll probably want to begin with the standard 8-page format. This can either be 4 single sheets printed both sides, ot two 11x17 sheets printed two sides, folded to 8 1/2 x 11. If you go for the 8-page format at $24 a year, published quarterly, this gives you a price of $6 per issue. This might seem a bit steep for just 8 sheets of paper, but here's what you must keep in mind...and stress in your advertising and promotion: You are NOT selling and subscribers are not buying the paper; they are buying the INFORMATION you are providing, information that might easily cost them $100 more each issue if subscribers had to search, weed out, edit, evaluate and condense the same information you are giving them.

A newsletter's true value (although style, format and printing quality are all important) is in the information content each issue offers its readers. This is what you have to sell. Everything else is packaging.

What Should Your Newsletter Contain?

It's your publication, so you can include anything that is moral, legal, ethical and useful to readers, just so it pertains to the subject and market for which it is intended.

Here are a few examples:

Building a Subscription List

This is what will make you a millionaire or break you as a newsletter publisher. It has been reported that many newsletter publishers must spend up to 75 cents on promoting their newsletter for every dollar they take in. Others say that at least 50% of their subscription revenue must be used for advertising and promotion. This means you can expect to spend $500 in advertising for every $1,000 in subscriptions you receive. If that seems discouraging, don't let it. You can still make big money in this field, but that's why the high subscription price was stressed earlier in this report. You need the additional dollars to work with.

As with promoting any product, you will advertise your newsletter in publications that are read by your target market. Also, if your market is somewhat limited, not the mass audience, you can solicit subscriptions by renting names of likely prospects. There is some disagreement on this, but most authorities tend to favor NOT offering a free sample issue or even a sample issue at the regular price. The reason given is that best results are usually obtained by building interest and anticipation in the advertising, but not satisfying the resulting curiosity until you get the subscription order. Once a prospect sees a sample issue, it seems, they have satisfied their curiosity about it and procrastinate about subscribing, usually not sending in their order at all, however sincere their intentions might have been. You might want to test both methods and continue with the one that brings best results for you.

A Hypothetical Promotional Campaign

Let's say your newsletter will sell for $24 a year. You spend $5,000 in advertising and receive $7,500 inquiries. You answer these inquiries with a good sales letter and descriptive circular explaining all the benefits of subscribing. You convert 10% of these inquiries to subscribers. This gives you 750 subscribers @ $24 each for a total gross of $18,000. Subtract your original $5,000 advertising cost leaving you $13,000. Now subtract the mailing cost to publish and mail your newsletter to subscribers 4 times a year, and this gives you a total cost of about $1,050, depending on whether you mail First Class or use bulk mailing permit, which is a considerable saving. In round numbers it leaves a net profit of about $10,000.

Of course, the next logical step is to increase the advertising to three or four times the original amount, hopefully to produce an equally proportionate number of subscribers or a net of $40,000.

Although blatant hard core advertising should NOT be included within the pages of the newsletter itself, you can generate additional revenue by including subtle offers of books, reports or a service that you can provide to readers. If presented in a dignified manner that is perceived as being helpful, not as cold advertising, this can provide many extra orders from subscribers throughout the year. Before subscription end, send renewal notice to keep the subscriber on your list. Everyone won't renew, of course, but you should be able to keep about 40 to 50% each year...and there will not carry the high promotional cost. That's where the real money will start coming. That's when you'll be well on your way to your $75,000 a year...or even more.

Related Articles

How to Write Money-Making "How-to" Reports

This is the "real" Money Maker in the Mail Order business - the basic "How To" Report. It's something anyone can produce, and with all the proper ingredients at the right time, you can become independently wealthy!

How to Write a Folio

Today, there are hundreds of enterprising men and women who write simple research papers (known in the mail order trade as FOLIOS) and sell them by mail. In the pages that follow, I will show you how you can do the same.

How to Make Big Money Selling Simple Informational Reports

The all-time best selling product in the mail order industry is the simple two to three page "How To Succeed" reports such as this one. Most of the time these reports are priced at $2 each and offered as series or packages of reports.

How to Survive as a Freelance Writer

Everybody wants to be a writer - to write best-selling books - and to become famous as well as rich.

How to Become a Printing Broker

Everyone in any business, especially mail order, needs printing. But being a printer takes huge, expensive printing presses, long hours and messy work, right? WRONG! YOU can make money without the mess and expense by being a PRINTING BROKER.

How to Achieve Success with Your Own Money-Making Newsletter

Writing and publishing a successful newsletter is perhaps the most competitive of all the different areas of mail order and direct marketing.

How to Write Almost Anything and Get Paid for It

Have you ever heard the expression, "everyone has a book in them that's trying to get out?" What does this really mean? Not everyone writes books, do they?

$40,000 a Year in "Editorial Services"

When I started out as a freelance writer the market for such services was a bit different than today. Most freelance writing then was "on spec" - you wrote something, a story or an article, then peddled it.

How to Self-Publish Your Own Books Manuals, Reports, or Newsletters

You can make a lot of money by writing and self-publishing your own material, if you are willing to write the books, manuals, reports or newsletters that millions of people across the United States, and throughout the world for that matter, despe...

How to Sell Research Papers by Mail

One of the easiest ways to make money in the Mail Order Business is to sell information research papers, or folios, to opportunity seekers.