Finding Hidden Profit In Your Email Newsletter — Lesson One

Tobin Slaven
Apr 29, 2017 · 6 min read

Introduction To The Big Idea

This is part ONE of TWELVE lessons in the Finding Hidden Profit course on Skillshare. You will also find links to each of the 12 lessons in the video notes.

Please note: If you are NOT currently a Skillshare member, here is my link [I am an affiliate partner] for a free 30-day trial (more than enough to take the full FHP course and any of the other 15,000+ courses available) on

Welcome to the Finding Hidden Profit In Your Email Newsletter course

Before we get started, let’s talk for a moment about what this course is and why you should care…

This course was created to help others learn how to start (or restart) a weekly email newsletter that earns its own, additional stream of income, even if you have no list (email subscribers) AND how to do with less than an hour each week to prepare the newsletter.

I am Tobin Slaven, the instructor for the course and the most important thing for you to know about me is that I work this very same process of building newsletters each week, both for my own projects and for clients.

I have been thinking about this process (what I call Finding the Hidden Profit) for several years, putting together and testing the concepts. And I decided to publish this course for two reasons:

  1. First, knowing this opportunity exists is going to help a lot people either grow an existing business with a new stream of income, or it is going to help others who are working the 9 to 5, take back a little bit of control by starting their own side hustle.
  2. Second, I wanted to organize my thoughts and pour everything I have been learning into one short overview that anyone can take easily, because my bigger vision is to build a community of newsletter aficianados, on every topic you can imagine. To me it is just a great way to combine passion projects with an income-generating engine.

For some additional notes on who this course is for, what you will get over the 12 lessons, why there has never been a better time for newsletters, and several FAQs — make sure you read the About section here on the Finding Hidden Profit page.

Welcome to Newsletter Nation

So Let’s Dive Into The Big Idea

The biggest problem I have run into in sharing this information with people, has been the word “newsletter” — because when most people hear that word they think of a boring, text-heavy, source of information that takes hours to produce yet very few people want.

No, we are talking about a whole different kind of animal. We are going to be building our process around what is called the “Curated Newsletter” and the difference between a traditional newsletter and a curated one is in the way readers engage.

Have you noticed that nearly every website has a subscription form that says — sign up for our newsletter? The reason so many people are collecting emails is because the online world has figured out that email marketing is still the most productive (highest ROI) of all marketing activities.

The problem however, is that creating newsletters the traditional way (lot of writing, editing, and design required) is a TON of work. And those traditional emails only get read by one of out of every 10 people, and clicked by three out of 100 (10% open rate and 3% click-thru-rates are industry averages — yet still far better ROI than social media).

This course is different because we show you a process that is much easier to produce the newsletter — so easy that you can prepare and publish one in less than an hour each week. And these “curated emails” that we are talking about get 40–70% open rates and 4–5x the number of clicks.

Why There Has Never Been A Better Time

There is one more thing that I want to share before we get into the homework for this lesson. And that is, why now?

You would probably agree that compared to our parents, we live in a noisy, busy environment with more demands on our attention than ever before. In fact, some our now starting to call this new online world we are living in — the “attention economy” where the attention we give is as good as currency.

Whole books have been written about why the world has developed this way, but here’s what it means for you: if you can gather your own crowd of people who know, like, and trust you, you become a micro-influencer.

People don’t trust our politicians anymore. We turn off advertising. But what we do give our attention to is the friends and influencers with whom we have a relationship.

Your email list — once you build that trusting relationship, can become immensely valuable for you. Imagine the following scenarios and how having an email list might completely change the outcomes:

  1. You lose your job, but because you have a list of people who hear from you each week, they learn about the new direction of your career and they help connect the dots to even better opportunities.
  2. You want to support a local non-profit with a worthy mission — and when you engage your “tribe” of people, they come forward making your impact 10x greater than any other single individual.
  3. You want more freedom to do what you love to do, and when you want it but you need the income to support your family. What if there was a way to get paid from the same interests and hobbies that you do in your spare time — by connecting with the communities of others who feel the same way.

This course is going to show how this is possible, and you will see a number of examples about how others are using newsletters in ways that might surprise you. We will even talk about what the actual value of your email list could be, and what to do if you don’t have one yet.

But first…

Here’s Your Homework For Lesson One

Think about this question: There are two paths in developing your newsletter. The first is when you have a known group of people you want to engage with already. Perhaps you already have a business or sell a product — and you would like the newsletter to help you tap into additional income.

We will call this first option, Path A.

Path B is when you don’t already have a “horse in the race” with a product, service, or existing business — but you have hobbies, topics or interest, or even passion projects, where you could connect with other like-minded individuals. Does Path B feel like your road to success?

This curated newsletter process works for both paths, and you can develop new streams of income either way.

Your homework is to start thinking about who the people are that you want to build your newsletter around. The answer is NOT everyone. In the next lesson, we will take this targeting to the next step. But for right now — just start to think about who your newsletter could or should be for.

This is part ONE of TWELVE lessons in the Finding Hidden Profit course on Skillshare. You will also find links to each of the 12 lessons in the video notes.

Please note: If you are not currently a Skillshare member, here is my link [I am an affiliate partner] for a free 30-day trial (more than enough to take the full Finding Hidden Profit course and any of the other 15,000+ courses available) on

And if you would like to see an example of my own, personal-branded newsletter called [Tobin Today] you can subscribe here (sent each Thursday morning):

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