Build an email newsletter business with curated content

NewsletterThere are now over a billion websites online, meaning we are awash with information and for the last few years the ‘content is king’ mantra has seen even greater proliferation of content production by businesses trying to capture web audiences.

Fortunately we have tools like Google and social media to help filter out the good from the bad, but even then, there is still far too much choice.

However this does create a business opportunity for people capable of reviewing, editing and curating information into an easily-digestible format.

A good example is Dave Pell who reviews 75 different news sources daily to bring together the day’s 10 most important news stories for the readers of his newsletter Next Draft.

Dave does not publish his own features, but his email newsletter is still read by 25,000 subscribers every day.

Content curation works best when it focuses on specific topics or audience interests. Here are two examples of successful curated email newsletters – Cooper Press and Brain Pickings:

Cooper Press

Cooper Press is run by Peter Cooper, who curates a range of niche email newsletters around computer science and software development.

Titles in the Cooper Press stable include: JavaScript Weekly, HTML5 Weekly and Ruby Weekly. Altogether these newsletters reach a combined audience of 223,991 subscribers.

Income sources:

  • Advertising
  • Screencasts
  • Online training
  • Ebooks
  • Consulting (email newsletter outsourcing)

New Rainmaker recently interviewed Peter Cooper on their podcast: How an email newsletter publisher built an audience of 223,991 subscribers.

Brain Pickings

Brain Pickings is a blog and email newsletter run by Maria Popova, a journalist who started the newsletter to share the ideas, knowledge, insight and inspiration that she was gaining from reading great books and meeting interesting people.

Each article tends to focus on a specific book and Maria will extract the key learning and messages – often featuring paragraph extracts from the book in the article. The newsletter is published on a Sunday and brings together all the articles published on the blog during the week.

Income sources:

  • PayPal tip jar (recommended tip $7 per month)
  • Amazon Associates affiliate links to the books featured in the articles

Further reading


Image from kevinpoh

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