paid newsletter with WordPress

Paid Newsletter with WordPress: 9 Steps for Building Yours

Having a paid newsletter in WordPress can generate recurring revenue and help you scale your business. It takes hard work to develop your newsletter and get readers to subscribe as you grow your customer base. But, with a little dedication (and our help) and the right tools, you will be up and running in no time. 

Today, you’ll learn the steps to start your own paid newsletter in WordPress, along with some examples and important tips to keep it going. 

What Are Paid Newsletters?

Paid newsletters are email campaigns containing valuable content that people pay to receive, typically on a weekly or monthly subscription. It’s similar to a newspaper subscription, only the content will be brand and topic specific.

When you employ a paid newsletter subscription business model, you’re introducing a recurring income not involving sponsorships or advertising. This benefits not only you but also your readers. It positions you to creat more content and less filler to cover the costs of the product.

Imagine opening your next magazine and only finding one article. The rest would be filled with advertisements in one form or another. Instead of getting content you want, you get sold.

Paid newsletters solve that issue. These newsletters focus on the content the reader wants. They can also be used as drip content to build interest for your members. Implementing paid newsletters is a lucrative way to make money building your personal brand.

They don’t make or build themselves however, that’s on you. 

The Difference Between Free and Paid Newsletters

The difference between free and paid newsletters is the cost (of course) and the perceived value of the newsletter. 

Paid newsletters indicate that you have premium content and that it will bring incredible value to the subscriber. Especially if you run a membership site, you’ll be expected to produce quality content, consistently. 

Paid newsletters offer expertly curated content or unique value that can’t be found for free on the web or in other free newsletters.

Examples of paid newsletter content:

  • Market reports or trend forecasts 
  • Early access or exclusive live updates
  • Case studies
  • Tutorial materials
  • Coaching or teachings
  • Interviews or podcasts
  • Access to video streams
  • Member-only events
  • Invite only Slack access
  • Longform essays and white papers
  • Leadership advice 

These examples may show up in free newsletters as well, however, it’s up to you to create the value. What makes your newsletter valuable enough to get subscribers to pay? Let’s find out. 

paid newsletter with WordPress

9 Steps To Make Your Own Paid Newsletter

So now that you’ve got an idea of what content goes in a paid newsletter, let’s review the steps on how to create your own.

We are going to focus these steps on creating a paid newsletter in WordPress, although you can apply these to your own CMS platform. 

Step 1. Determine Your Purpose

Determine the purpose of your paid newsletter by answering these questions:

  • What’s the goal of your paid newsletter subscription service? 
  • What value can you bring to your subscribers that they will be willing to pay for?
  • How can you keep your subscribers coming back for more? 

Remember, you are the expert here. 

Your content strategy is that you have insider knowledge through connections or have mastered a skill that you can share with your readers. Your newsletter topics depend on your niche, and they can be as drilled down or broad as you’d like—this is yours—make it count.

Step 2. Define Your Audience

The second step is to think about what kind of readers would be interested in buying your newsletter service. They won’t magically appear out of thin air, so you will have to build your own database, however, the better you define your audience, the more people you can reach. 

Defining your target audience helps you to better market a paid newsletter in WordPress and the right targeting builds a more successful business. Understanding your audience gives direction on what content to create, where to find new subscribers, and how to attract them with the right copy.

Our recommendation is to create a customer journey map. Build a buyer persona profile so you know who you are talking to, where they make their digital footprint and what kind of content they enjoy sharing. 

To build your audience profile you’ll need to find out: 

  • Demographics
  • Lifestyle and preferences
  • Financial and career paths 
  • Geographical locations
  • Content choices 

The more information you can learn about your audience, the better your newsletter will be. 

Step 3. Create A Content Schedule

Creating a content calendar can be a fun way to entice your newsletter subscribers. Creating a content schedule for what they can expect is a great way to hold yourself accountable for actually curating the content. 

Since you will be monetizing your newsletter, it’s best to decide on a schedule for your emails. Let your subscribers know how often they will be receiving their newsletter (and that they always have the option to opt-out). 

Typically paid newsletter subscriptions are sent weekly or monthly with a peppering in of an email or two about promotions or exciting material to spice things up. 

If you send an email too often, you may risk annoying your audience. If you don’t send enough emails, you could lose their interest. Walk the fine line with being consistent, however often you choose to send them out. 

Having a set schedule with the cadence, (even specifying the days and time) makes it easier for your audience to know what to expect.

Step 4. Decide On Your Pricing Structure

Your pricing depends on what you offer, to whom you offer it, and how often you offer it to them. 

We advise you to start with a free newsletter or have a free and paid newsletter version available. This builds trust for people to get to know your brand and then make the choice to upgrade to the paid email newsletter version when they feel that the value has been established. 

In the free newsletter, you can advertise your premium content and add snippets of your paid content or exclusive benefits that are available for paying subscribers.

Most paid subscription services cost somewhere between $2 to $15 a month, often with discounts for annual plans. 

To decide on your price, follow these steps: 

  • Research your competitor’s paid newsletter subscriptions.
  • Compare your pricing to existing paid newsletters in your niche. 
  • Pick a price you feel equals the time you spend on it. 

We recommend adding an annual revenue subscription plan, for the simple reason that it creates a recurring annual revenue stream and reduces month-to-month unsubscribes. 

However, this of course requires you to commit to your paid newsletter service for at least 12 months after each new subscriber signs up.

Lower-priced email newsletter subscriptions may bring in a larger audience, but it also means more customer engagement to keep up with.

Higher-end pricing means you need to make your offer very enticing and deliver valuable content with higher expectations. 

PRO TIP: In your pricing structure, offer discounts for certain audiences based on their engagement.

Step 5. Build A Dedicated Landing Page

For a paid newsletter to be successful, we recommend creating a dedicated landing page to promote it. 

With WordPress, you can build landing pages and even design entire websites with a website builder. For the domain URL, you can use a custom domain that is dedicated to the newsletter.

On your newsletter landing page, you can introduce your product, educate people of its value and introduce your brand as a possible solution to their problem or issue. 

Here are some things to include on your newsletter landing page: 

  • Your brand’s mission 
  • How to sign up for the newsletter 
  • The value your newsletter will bring 
  • How often the subscriber will receive the newsletter 
  • Social share buttons 

Upon subscribing, the new subscriber will receive a summary email that confirms their newsletter subscription—on a thank you pop-up or subscription confirmation page. 

If you can’t dedicate a landing page – at least create an email subscription form

Don’t hit launch just yet…

Next up, connect your email outreach campaign to your landing page. 

Step 6. Connect An Email And Payment Method 

Thankfully, there are tons of great plugins to improve how WordPress works with email, no matter what features you’re looking for.

With a good membership site tool, you should have email capabilities built-in. And you have the option to use an email add-on to integrate with your sales CRM. Send welcome emails to new members, email payment receipts, and remind members before their account expires automatically.

Here are a few options for a WordPress email plugin

  • MailPoet is a native WordPress plugin that offers an all-in-one solution for newsletters and email marketing.
  • Newsletter is another popular native WordPress plugin that, as the name suggests, helps you create and send newsletters without leaving your WordPress dashboard.
  • WP Mail SMTP is a popular plugin that helps with one specific aspect of WordPress emails – your site’s transactional emails.
  • OptinMonster is focused on doing one thing really well – creating conversion-optimized opt-in forms to help you grow your email lists.

You’ll also want to set up a payment gateway so that you can receive payments for your paid newsletter. 

For your WordPress membership site, Restrict Content Pro recognizes that and so it integrates directly with many of the most popular merchant processors available, including Stripe, PayPal, 2Checkout, and more.

Step 7. Grow Your Email List

Now it’s time to start growing your email database so you can get eyeballs on your content. The good news is that there are hundreds of articles that will help you create and grow your email database. We will just cover a few that may help you get started. 

  • Create a consistent and branded social campaign around your newsletter
  • Write blogs and include information (and a CTA) about your newsletter
  • Create unique CTAs for your website 
  • Partner up for sharing optimization 
  • Drop shameless plugs in your community groups 
  • Include in it your membership site offerings 

And…don’t give up. As you know, Rome wasn’t built in a day and your paid newsletter won’t either. It takes time for things to grow and patience is key. There will be times when you feel discouraged, but keep plugging away and making your content better and better. 

Recommended reading: How to Grow Your Email Distribution List

Step 8. Create Your First Paid Newsletter

By now, you are educated, prepped and ready to create your very first paid newsletter in WordPress. Whether you own a membership site or not, you have what it takes to create a newsworthy newsletter that will hopefully generate recurring revenue for you. 

You have two choices: you can pick from an email template or build one from scratch. 

First, define your email’s branding, including your logo, fonts, color scheme, and other email design elements.

Then, just be yourself! Your subscribers will want authentic content that comes from the heart. Get inspired by other brands you admire and put your expertise into every email. 

And be sure to test it out and get feedback along the way as well. 

Step 9. Promote Your Newsletter 

Your promotion is going to be a lot like how you grew your email distribution list. It’s going to take dedication and a lot of sharing. 

Use the same steps you learned in growing your email subscribers with your newsletter. Share it, loud and proud! 

A few extra tips – encourage feedback, include options for comments and track your email opens and click-through rate. By keeping tabs on what is working (and what’s not) you can make your paid newsletter better and better every time! 

Generate Revenue With Paid Newsletters In WordPress

Your membership site is a great opportunity to generate revenue. And your newsletter is another opportunity to bring in recurring income. 

We hope this article has shed some light on how to build your own paid newsletter in WordPress, along with some recommended tools, tips, and techniques to make it a little less stressful. 

Begin creating your very own paid newsletter in WordPress today and keep those members happy. 

For more information on content for your membership site, setting up emails in Restrict Content Pro, or adding on plugins that will help you, reach out to us

Or if you’re new to Restrict Content Pro and would like to set up a demo, schedule it today! 

FAQs

  • Can WordPress do newsletters? Yes! You can use Restrict Content Pro to operate your whole paid newsletter shop out of your WordPress site. For more information, visit RestrictContentPro.com. 
  • Can a newsletter be a stand-alone business? There are many media sources that make paid newsletters’ their stand-alone business—it just depends on the industry and niche topic that it covers. 
  • How do I get paid for newsletters? You simply set up your payment gateway in your WordPress site and connect it to your sales CRM. With the right integration, you can do this automatically. 

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