Buying & Selling Newsletters
Newsletters at their core are just like any other internet business. They either become profitable sources of income or an asset to sell. Even if it's reliably profitable sometimes the creator can't maintain the busy schedule they once did or they're just ready to move on. Then they need to find a suitable buyer and work out the details of the transaction.
For writers, it's easy to burnout from the grind of writing each issue. Especially if you're writing daily. From our data we've seen that 35.7% of newsletters submitted to InboxReads in 2020 were inactive by the end of the year. A number of those could have been worth selling instead of abandoning.
As newsletters have gotten more popular there's been an increasing number of high profile acquisitions. There's clearly a market for successful newsletters. Axios acquired Sports Internet in 2019. Cheddar bought Need2Know in 2018. If you've invested a lot of time into your newsletter selling it is a good option to get a return on your efforts.
Acquiring a newsletter can be used to find a new source of revenue or fuel the growth of your own newsletter. If you have expertise in the newsletter's niche you can use that to continue what the creator started. And if you have more experience in marketing or sales you can turn a newsletter with potential into a solid businsess.
Stefan of Alternative Assets has an extensive look at acquiring newsletters, trends in the space, how to value a newsletter, and much more.
Determining the price for your newsletter or if a price is accurate requires some calculations. Usually the subscriber count, open rate, and revenue are the key stats to look at to determine the value. These simple calculators from Business Seed and Duuce make it easy. Of course, you'll also have to use your intuition to determine the potential value of that newsletter but it's a good place to start.
Newsletter sales are a relatively recent trend so there aren't as many listed on the typical internet business sites. There are a few marketplaces dedicated to newsletter sales that have recently launched though.
Duuce already has a solid collection of newsletters available for sale and a number that have already been sold through the platform. If you're selling your newsletter you can list it for free and have it advertised to an interested audience.
As the newsletter space continues to grow I expect to see many more sales. So many newsletters are launched each month and most don't last very long. But the audiences they manage to grow could be useful to other writers either as part of their existing newsletter or a new one. A new writer taking over an existing audience and slowly integrating them into their existing one could be a common trend. Let's see how trends continue in 2021.