Paid newsletters on Substack are very popular now. The business model is very simple; Substack makes it easy for people to charge for newsletters.
A key to their success was focusing on professional writers in the beginning.
“So the early Substack team didn’t just focus their email newsletter on writers within the sea of people who need an email tool, they focused on building a tool for professional writers, not amateurs or semi-professionals.”
“One of the first writers on Substack was Bill Bishop, a tremendous writer who had very loyal readers of a longstanding newsletter about China.”
“At launch, Bill’s newsletter brought in six figures of revenue, and as Fiona told us, that use case “really opened up the door to kind of what might be possible with other writers.”
Business Lesson: Focus on a very narrow subset of your market that is best likely to demonstrate the value of your product. A good analogy is sports companies paying professional athletes to wear their clothes. Can you find that equivalent for your niche?