A Bundle is Worth More than the Sum of its Parts

Hello and Happy Saturday!

In retrospect, this week really feels like a whole week to me because it’s incredible how many things happened. Let’s dive right in.

Contents of this issue:

4 things that happened this week

  • Quartz sold to G/O media
  • Aaron and Kevin team up on News Bundler!
  • New Email Course: 2 writers make money
  • My interview on Newsletter Crew

Ways to grow your newsletter

  • Space vs. Time bias (video by David Perell)
  • The fall and the rise of the news bundle (7 and 14 years ago)
  • Tools to help you grow: Fount (a totally new thing)

30 minutes to invest in growth

  • Little things to boost your growth

4 things that happened this week

Quartz sold to G/O media

Ha, how time flies! It was only last week that I wrote about Quartz here, and how great it is that they are a staff-owned company, founded by writers.

Well, it seems I was simply too late to the party! 😳

Whoosh, it’s already gone … they have been acquired and are no longer staff-owned! And guess who bought them? It’s G/O Media, owner of Deadspin.

For you, dear reader of News Bundler Weekly, this should ring a bell because I wrote a story about late 2019 where Deadspin fired its top editor, and the whole Deadspin staff left to create Defector Media half a year later.

And who was the company they left, back then? It was G/O Media.

The world is small, isn’t it? And it looks like people are running in circles, everything goes round and round, if you watch it from the distance.

It’s almost like the eternal cycle of bundling and unbundling. When something becomes too bundled, it gets unbundled. When something becomes too unbundled, it becomes bundled.

Quartz is surely an example for the latter case. They had financial stress, the were making financial losses, so it was better to re-bundle them into something bigger as it seems.

So the pendulum goes again… tick tock tick tock…

Now for something much more exciting:

Aaron and Kevin team up on News Bundler!

Yesterday I got an email that really got me excited: Aaron Crocco and Kevin Alexander, both newsletter authors, are teaming up to create and sell a bundle on News Bundler!

Aaron writes Time Machiner, a newsletter with interesting and personal stories that will inspire thought and critical thinking: Stories for the forever-curious that are great conversation starters. (I still remember the story about how your smart TV may be spying on you!).

Kevin’s love language is: playlists. As a kid, he created mixtapes and burned CDs for everyone. Today, via his newsletter aptly named On Repeat, he sends you regular tips for a new favorite song to listen to so that you never run out of good music. It makes a sound in my inbox every week.

Totally obvious they will make a good bundle, won’t they? While listening to Kevin’s music tip, you can read Aaron’s stories. That’s a match! What a great way to finish your day.

I’ll keep you updated, as soon as the bundle officially goes live on News Bundler.

New Email Course: 2 writers make money

Now this is a goodie as well. To enable all of you and anyone to form a 2-person writer collective and sell a bundle of paid newsletters, I created a 7-day email course and released it last week.

The name is “2 Writers Make Money”. You find it here on News Bundler’s website.

Growing your income by writing can be hard, especially for paid newsletters. Once you are behind the paywall, it becomes harder to grow your subscriber base because the good content is less visible.

Forming a 2-person writer collective is a real an alternative to the struggle for growth. You need not form a company like Every, Brickhouse, or Defector Media.

On the contrary: You can stay independent and simply join forces with another independent writer!

This 7-day email course covers what I’ve learned while I went deeply into the world of media, newsletters, journalism and other forms of paid writing.

You will learn:

  • What a writer collective is, and why more and more authors team up 🧑🏻‍🤝‍🧑🏽 to create one
  • When it will boost your income 💰 and in which case it will fail 💣
  • How you and your buddy 🤝 create a collective and get started 🚀
  • What processes and tools 🧰 you need to run the collective
  • How you get people to see 👀 and buy your collective’s work
  • How you send your collective writing 📤 out to subscribers
  • How you care for your subscribers
  • How you collect payments 💰 and share the revenue 💸
  • How you setup an automation 🔁 so you can forget all this and get back to writing 🖊

The program:

  • Includes 1 email a day
  • Features real-life examples from professional writers
  • Gives you actionable steps each day (approx. 30–60 mins per day)
  • Is an interactive email course (make friends with me and chat anytime)

Sign up here on the home page of the course.

My interview on Newsletter Crew

Sammy Villarreal and I (both members of Newsletter Crew) had such a great conversation on the Discord of newslettercrew.com that Esmé, their community manager, proposed to publish it. Read and enjoy:

Ways to grow your newsletter

There are two interesting ideas that I found on the Net this week. Thought they will help you get your creative wheels turning:

Space vs. Time bias by David Perell

David thinks deeply. He always tries to look behind the surface to find out more. In David’s video that I found this week, he shares a great concept: space vs. time bias when it comes to new information.

In the 1800s, most of the information that people had was local. When they lived in Paris, the information was from Paris. They needed to travel to get truly new ideas. David calls that a “space bias”.

Today, we get information from the other side of the planet, within milliseconds. But what do we do? Our social media feeds contain information where 80% is younger than 24 hours! How shallow is that? Today we have a “time bias” instead of a space bias. We value recency more than depth.

We need to travel in time to get new ideas, today! We need to read a book from centuries or decades ago, to get really deep into a topic, because most of our present “content” that we find on our phones doesn’t have depth any more.

Watch the YouTube video from David and enjoy the insights.

The fall and the rise of the news bundle

David inspired me to search for “news bundle history” because I wanted to know more about what people have already thought about when it comes to my own very topic.

And I found something interesting that is more than 7 years old: The fall and rise of the news bundle.

It pointed me to an even earlier source, already 14 years old: The Great Unbundling: News Papers & the Net by Nicolas Carr.

The latter article describes exactly why a bundle works so well:

A print newspaper provides an array of content — local stories, national and international reports, news analyses, editorials and opinion columns, photographs, sports scores, stock tables, TV listings, cartoons, and a variety of classified and display advertising — all bundled together into a single product. People subscribe to the bundle, or buy it at a newsstand, and advertisers pay to catch readers’ eyes as they thumb through the pages. The publisher’s goal is to make the entire package as attractive as possible to a broad set of readers and advertisers. The newspaper as a whole is what matters, and as a product it’s worth more than the sum of its parts.

The last sentence is it: “as a product it’s worth more than the sum of its parts.”

Newspapers could pay their journalists’ salaries only because ads were heavily subsidizing them. Nicolas Carr accurately describes this and makes a forecast that has become absolutely true today:

As soon as a newspaper is unbundled, an intricate and, until now, largely invisible system of subsidization quickly unravels. Classified ads, for instance, can no longer help to underwrite the salaries of investigative journalists or overseas correspondents. Each piece of content has to compete separately, consuming costs and generating revenues in isolation. So if you’re a beleaguered publisher, losing readers and money and facing Wall Street’s wrath, what are you going do as you shift your content online? Hire more investigative journalists? Or publish more articles about consumer electronics?

Remember, this was April 2008. Today we see lots of content that is only produced because someone needs to meet a deadline.

So, let’s create a new form of bundles. Deep bundles. Written by authors who care.

Tools to help you grow: Fount

This week, I stumbled across a new tool that is still under development: Fount. It’s a mixture between a bookmarking tool and a social network of people who like to bookmark. :-)

I talked to Jan Frommann, co-founder of Fount, and he gave me a personal onboarding session. Thanks, Jan!

The tool currently is in alpha test and begins to work. I could bookmark things with a web clipper or with the Fount mobile app, and I could arrange the bookmarks in so-called “playlists”. The next step would be to publish those playlists to other users of Fount, or the entire web.

Nice!

If you want to join the alpha (where the tool is still free), you can request early access on their homepage.

30 minutes to invest in growth

Today, I have very small tasks for you to ignite the growth engine for your paid newsletter:

Do it like Kevin and Aaron: Team up and sell your first bundle!

  • That means: Subscribe to the Free Email Course and learn how to form a 2-person writer collective.
  • Find another author you know and ask them to take the same free email course.
  • Then, goto News Bundler, add your newsletters, create a bundle and start making money.

Here’s to your success!
Matthias

Originally published at https://newsbundler.com.

Are you the author of a paid newsletter? If you want to grow it, use News Bundler, the easiest way to bundle several newsletters and sell them as one, increasing your revenue by up to 44%.

Sign up for free at newsbundler.com.

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Matthias Bohlen

Matthias Bohlen

Entrepreneur. I write about how you can grow your audience and increase the income from your paid newsletter. Building https://newsbundler.com in public!