The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

Running a membership business

Gosh, what a time to have something to share with the world. It seems there are new options every week to help you create something, send it out into the world, and earn a living doing so. From a teen who quit high school to focus on Fortnite and his Youtube channel, to a guy walking across Japan, it seems like the opportunities are only limited by your imagination.

As someone who has hosted a website for 10+ years and written a newsletter for just slightly less than that, 2020 feels like a golden age for self-promoting.

I’ve spent some time researching Ghost in recent weeks. This is partly due to their being an initial team on People-first Jobs. But I was also interested to hear about their purchase of Pico from Paul Jarvis.

If you’re considering starting a web site (or moving an existing one) or a newsletter, their recent article on How to create a premium newsletter (+ some case studies) may be useful. This seems like a great combination for people who want to build a membership-based business. It allows you to write, then choose whether a post should be available to the public or just members. If you choose your members, a lovely designed email is sent out.

It doesn’t (yet) give you a lot of the tools a typical email service provides. You can’t create custom onboarding workflows for new subscribers. There are no options for tweaking the email design. You can’t even view the aggregate stats of a newsletter (you can only view the details of one member at a time).

But it does allow you to connect to a Stripe account, charge for your content, and distribute that content to your audience. And the entire experience of using the platform feels good, including the ethos of the company behind it.

I’ll be paying close attention to how this matures.

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