Judd Legum: How this independent journalist grew his political newsletter to 153,000 subscribers

Judd went all-in, in spite of initial doubts. The result is impressive.

Matthias Bohlen
2 minutes reading time

He went all-in:

I quit my full-time job to start the newsletter and I needed an income. I didn’t really have a choice. I wanted to prove out the concept and focus on growing the list for the first 10 weeks before I turned on paid in September 2018. I was nervous that no one would be willing to pay for the newsletter.

Amazing, courageous move! Let’s have a look at how Judd pulled this off.

Growth ideas that got Judd to >10,000 paying subscribers

From this interview, I learned so many growth patterns for paid newsletters. You already know many of them from my previous posts in this series.

These were really unique:

  • Research well: Some pieces are lengthy research and reporting projects that are done over weeks and months. Some pieces involve research and analysis completed in a single day.
  • Reflect and celebrate: Two times a year, Judd creates a kind of “investors report” about the impact that the newsletter has had over time.
  • Breakthrough content: Anytime your work breaks through your core audience to a larger audience, you’ll see growth. Some of Judd’s articles got extensive coverage in other publications and had a dramatic impact.
  • A cause works better than ‘paywall FOMO’: “My pitch is no longer about receiving paywalled content”. The most effective pitches involve emphasizing the impact of the work and the importance of your cause.

You could add “bundling” to this impressive list

The list above is totally impressive. So many good options!

I’ll give you one more option: What if Judd bundled 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, newsbundler.com, will enable people to create a “writer collaborative” on the fly, within minutes.

I must contact Judd and ask for his feedback about it!

Want more from Judd?

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.


Get your income growth playbook here: