These journalists replace their paywall by a newsletter bundle
As a paid newsletter author, you can learn a lot from Quartz, a staff-owned media house in New York City.
(Sorry it should be Saturday, but I made a mistake yesterday and fiddled around with too much newsletter technology. Should have focused on writing this, of course!)
This is News Bundler, it’s about innovative ways for paid newsletter authors to make more money from your newsletters. My name is Matthias, I’m the founder of the News Bundler platform.
3 valuable things for you this week:
- Status and progress of News Bundler
- My story about Quartz, a staff-owned media house from whom you can learn a ton when you’re a paid newsletter author
- The week’s 30-minute activity that will change your newsletter’s life!
Making progress with News Bundler
When I look at the features and bug fixes that have happened since last Saturday, two things stand out:
- As an author of a newsletter, you can now download the subscriber list of each of the bundles where your newsletter is included. This is important because I don’t want you to feel “vendor lock-in”. On the contrary: Your subscriber list is yours, not mine. If you decide to download it and leave the News Bundler platform, then I’ll be sad but nothing else will happen.
- News Bundler now has an enhanced newsletter sending engine. It is more powerful than before. It can now “fire” at 50,000 newsletter issues per hour! This should give all of you enough steam for growth in the upcoming months, right?
What’s cooking on my plate next week?
I began to write something new for all of you. It’s called ”2 writers making money” (subtitle: How to boost your income by forming a 2-person writer collective).
After writing this down within the next two weeks, I will release it in two formats:
- a free 7-day email course
- a free eBook, offered for download
The content is about how to form a very small writers collective, structure it, use the right processes and tools, and automate it so you can forget about it and return to what you love most: writing.
And now for today’s special:
News house “Quartz” replaces paywall by paid newsletters
Nine days ago, on April 14th this year, Quartz wrote: We’re taking down the paywall on QZ.com. They said, they were excited to make the vast majority of their journalism free for everyone to read.
Who is Quartz?
Wikipedia says “Quartz is a business-focused, privately held English-language international news organization. It launched in New York City in 2012. It publishes in the United States and Japan, and publishes regional editions in the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Africa, and India.”
When they launched their website in 2012 (then as part of Atlantic Media who are well-known as “The Atlantic”), its founding team members were from news organizations including Bloomberg, The Economist, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.
Who owns Quartz today?
After 2.5 years in the hands of Uzabase, a Japanese company, Quartz co-founder and Chief Executive Zach Seward partnered with editor-in-chief Katherine Bell in a management buyout to operate the publication as a private company.
What does that mean? It means they are staff-owned, they are independent now.
So, these people are serious writers, right? Why would they take down their paywall, and how will they make sure they still get revenue?
Why are they taking down the paywall?
Zachary M. Seward, Co-founder and CEO of Quartz, writes:
The shift is part of Quartz’s mission to make business better. We exist to help business leaders and their companies use power wisely, act with compassion, create products that truly matter, and do what they can to fix a broken planet and economic order. Those goals are clearly better-fulfilled by making Quartz’s journalism as accessible as possible.
Quartz adopted a membership model. Their 25,000 paying members get access to a bundle of two paid and several free newsletters:
- the Quartz Weekend Brief, which sums up the past week, and
- The Forecast, which looks far ahead to emerging trends and industries
- The Quartz Daily Brief is included for free.
When you try to sign up, you will notice that they give you this bundle for $50 in the first year, the year after that will cost you $100.
Quality journalism for small money, compared to what you can learn from their stories and field guides.
I think you can learn something from Quartz here.
Your 30-minute activity to do right now
Follow the links that I gave you above. Read all the details about their offer. They are using free content as a way to sell the paid membership.
If you’re a single writer, maybe a thing like Quartz is too much for you. You cannot write as much as Quartz because they have a big team.
However: Who says you cannot achieve a similar thing by teaming up with a buddy or two, selling a bundle of newsletters, with the help of News Bundler?
Sit down and think: Whom could you call or email, asking them to make another Quartz, together with you?
Have a call with them and discuss the idea.
Then: Team up with them and prepare to have more fun, writing as a small collective.
And: Let News Bundler do the heavy lifting for you.
Thank you so much
Thanks for reading News Bundler Weekly. Please give me feedback, ask me anything about what you read here, and share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues. I need your support to grow this, together!
Edit of April 28, 2022: Time flies and this story is no longer accurate! As of today, Quartz is no longer self-owned. Interestingly enough, they have been acquired by G/O Media, owner of Deadspin, about which I wrote earlier.
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: