You should start your own media business

You should start a media business. It should start with a paid email newsletter.

Yes, we are biased. Substack is a platform for paid newsletters. But we’ve also seen enough success stories now to know that if you are a) good, b) committed, and c) focused on a niche that isn’t well served by the mainstream media, then you can thrive.

For instance, each of the following single-person Substack newsletters is bringing in an income equivalent to an attractive full-time salary:

Sinocism. A daily briefing about the most important news of the day from China, by Bill Bishop.

The Shatner Chatner. Comedic riffs on bible passages and Victorian literature, coupled with commentary on trans and gender issues, by Daniel Mallory Ortberg.

Petition. A twice-weekly analysis newsletter about bankruptcy, turnarounds, and corporate restructuring, by a team of anonymous critics.

Popular Information. Research-driven analysis of US politics news, by Judd Legum.

Off the Chain. Daily commentary, in text and audio form, on crypto currencies, by Anthony Pompliano.

The Browser. A daily curated list of the best things to read on the internet, by Robert Cottrell.

The beauty of the Substack model is that it’s simple. You publish a newsletter and ask people to pay for subscriptions. That’s it. All going well, over time you’ll attract more and more subscribers, which means you’ll get more and more money.

With subscriptions, you don’t need a giant audience. You just need some people who love your work enough to pay. A thousand people paying $100 a year is $100,000. You can forget about clickbait and hot takes and instead focus on producing quality work.  

Start your media business today. Sign up here.

#012 – Media critic Jesse Brown on the secrets behind Canadaland's crowdfunded success


Canadian journalist and media critic Jesse Brown is well known in his home country for big media scoops and uncompromising commentary. These days, he’s creating a name for himself as a media entrepreneur, too. With his latest venture, Canadaland, the former columnist has created a podcast network funded by its audience through Patreon.

In this interview, we discuss Brown’s colorful career, his surprise side success from cofounding a startup that many years later was acquired by Snapchat, and why he thinks every journalism student should start a newsletter and charge for their work.

Brown is a sharp media thinker and digital media expert. I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation and think you will too.


Click here to listen in your favorite podcast app

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