Jonathan Nunn: Growing a multi-author newsletter to 1000s of subscribers

Food writing from a totally different angle, for people who did not know they love food writing.

Matthias Bohlen
2 minutes reading time

Today, I researched more on newsletter collectives – writing with several people.

Jonathan Nunn is the founder of Vittles, a food newsletter that publishes food writing directly related to the crisis surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Chefs, food writers and food experts get a platform in it. I was intrigued by Jonathan’s idea of his audience: people who didn’t know they liked food writing. And I must say: Yes, they’re right! Food writing is much more faceted than recipes alone!

Here are the patterns that Jonathan used to grow his newsletter to 21,000 subscribers:

What Jonathan did to grow his newsletter

In the interview that I read today, Jonathan drops a real espresso of growth patterns in a short time:

  • Viral tweets: Write something hyper-regional and share it with the people living in that region
  • Hierarchy of Content that converts to paid: 1st: Controversy, 2nd: Guides and recipes, 3rd: Opinion, 4th: Interviews
  • CTA on free posts: Add a header to your free issues that asks the reader to subscribe to the paid version of your newsletter
  • Tweet, then paywall: Tweet a high-quality article, wait until it percolates, then paywall it
  • Trust building: In your writing, consistently remind readers of your goal; transparency builds trust!
  • Do the writing you love: Don’t “give them what they want”. Write high-quality content that you love.
  • Unpredictable is better than consistent: Readers like to be surprised, more than reading something consistent.

You could add “bundling” to this impressive list, but…

The list above is totally impressive. So many options!

If Jonathan were a single author, I would recommend he bundle his newsletter with another one, written by an author he trusts. They could sell both newsletters as a bundle and make up to 44% more money with it. My upcoming platform,, will enable people to create a “writer collective” on the fly, within minutes.

Jonathan already founded a collective, so I will definitely ask him for feedback on my approach!

Want more from Jonathan?

Go get ‘em here:

Want your own small media business, together with another author you trust?

Download our FREE eBook called "2 Writers Making Money". It shows you exactly how to raise your income as a paid newsletter author by teaming up with a buddy, selling a bundle of your newsletters, and splitting the revenue.

Set this up once, then forget about it and get back to writing.


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