Substack Newsletter

How Profitable Is A Substack Newsletter? (Updated for 2024)

Updated: July 9th, 2024

How Profitable Is A Substack Newsletter? (Updated for 2024)

So you want to start a substack newsletter?

And the first question that came to your mind was, “well, are substack newsletters actually profitable?

With a market size of $7.5B - there’s plenty of business to go around.

Especially considering:

There’s money to be made. Don’t worry.

But, I don't want to spoil it all. Below we’ll cover everything you need to know when it comes to the profitability of a substack newsletter.

Let’s dive in!

Is a substack newsletter profitable?

Yes, a substack newsletter is generally a profitable business. However, you still need to consider several factors since these things always impact the overall outcome.

For instance, since average revenue is $511K per year with an estimated gross margin of 65%, you could expect to recover your investment within 7 months or even less.

But of course, it all comes down to how much you earn compared to the potential revenues of your substack newsletter.

To determine whether your business is profitable, you should earn more than your expenses in the beginning months. However, while you're in your first month, it can be challenging to know what to expect.

Therefore, you should maintain a record of your monthly expenses and income to determine whether you're meeting your goals. By doing this step, you can see how your substack newsletter is doing and if any changes or adjustments need to be made to enhance or maintain your efforts.

Is a substack newsletter worth it?

If you’re wondering if a substack newsletter is worth it, the answer is a big YES. With substack newsletters, you have the potential to earn $511K per year (this is based on data reported by real founders).

Further, you could have your initial investment back within months. Simply put, it’s a business worth a shot, especially if you have the resources and make the necessary efforts to achieve or surpass the target.

With a market size of $7.5B, it will be possible for you to build something that grows and turns into a flourishing business. As such, it’s the type of business you might want to consider starting.

Of course, you must learn and understand every aspect of running a substack newsletter to ensure success. Still, as long as you have the initial investment and can endure a few months before your actual gains, this business could be worth it.

You might want to consider reading more specifics about successful substack newsletters case studies.

Examples Of Profitable Substack Newsletters

Here are a few examples of profitable substack newsletters, and a few more details about them:

1. Startups.fyi ($96K/year)

Jaisal's had keen interest in new online ventures and methods of online income generation. While on Twitter, he stumbled upon the "build in public" phenomenon, where entrepreneurs openly shared their revenue and other crucial business metrics.

This transparency and community engagement inspired him to leverage his prior experience with newsletters. Combining this with a fascination for these startups' stories, Jaisal launched a unique newsletter, initially seeding it with a selection of promising startups, all showcased on a simply designed website he created on Webflow.

Is it profitable? Yes
How much money it makes: $96K/year
How much did it cost to start: $145

How Jaisal Rathee Built Startups.fyi to $60K ARR in 12 Months

Discover how Jaisal Rathee leveraged the "build in public" movement to create a free newsletter featuring real-life online startups, scaling it to over 1,000 subscribers through Twitter and Product Hunt, and generating an impressive $8,000 per month through sponsorships, promoted listings, and affiliate deals.

Read by 76 founders

2. Lenny's Newsletter ($492K/year)

After leaving his job at Airbnb, Lenny started thinking about what he learned there and what he could do next. He wrote his thoughts on Evernote and ended up publishing it on Medium.

His writing got a lot of attention, even from the big boss at Airbnb! He was surprised that his story could make money and that people liked what he had to say.

This made him want to write more, and that’s how he started his newsletter.

article
A snapshot of Lenny's initial Post on Medium

Is it profitable? Yes
How much money it makes: $492K/year

How Lenny Rachitsky Built Lenny's Newsletter to $500K ARR in 12 Months

Lenny's Newsletter grew from 0 to 1000 subscribers by leveraging Twitter and guest posting strategies, with pricing tiers starting at $15/month, generating an average of $41K/month and $492K/year in revenue since its inception in 2019.

Read by 192 founders

3. Cup of Coffee ($221K/year)

Craig Calcaterra, a former lawyer and sports writer, came up with the idea for his baseball and culture newsletter, Cup of Coffee, as a way to continue sharing his writing and analysis after being laid off by NBC Sports. He wanted to provide readers with a daily briefing on the latest baseball news and other topics of interest, all delivered in the morning to start their day. Since launching, Calcaterra has built a loyal subscriber base through social media promotion, offering free newsletters, and running occasional sales. Word of mouth has also played a significant role in the growth of the newsletter.

Is it profitable? Yes
How much money it makes: $221K/year
How much did it cost to start: $200

I Started A $200K/Year Baseball Newsletter On Substack [10K+ Subscribers]

Craig Calcaterra's daily baseball and culture Substack newsletter Cup of Coffee has amassed just under 10,500 subscribers, with over 3,300 paying monthly ($6) or annual ($65) subscriptions, achieving average monthly revenue of around $18,400 and growing.

Read by 5,281 founders

Learn more about starting a substack newsletter:

Where to start?

-> How much does it cost to start a substack newsletter?
-> Pros and cons of a substack newsletter

Need inspiration?

-> Other substack newsletter success stories
-> Marketing ideas for a substack newsletter

Other resources

How much can you make with a substack newsletter?

With a substack newsletter, you can make an average of $511K revenue per year (based on data reported by real businesses).

You can start with an initial investment as low as $145. Then, with proper knowledge and sustained effort, you could have an ROI (return of investment) within 7 months.

How much does a substack newsletter make a week?

Based on our data, average weekly revenue for a substack newsletter ranges around $10.6K. As such, you could see monthly revenues of $42.6K.

To know if your substack newsletter achieves the weekly profit target, you need to keep track of the total earnings you get per day. Afterward, you'll want to consider subtracting the expenses you have daily.

Learning your weekly profit can also show whether you're hitting your target goal for your substack newsletter.

How much do substack newsletters owners make?

The income of a substack newsletter owner can vary depending on various factors such as location, size, competition, and the owner's business skills.

But to give you some idea, the weekly revenue of an established substack newsletter is about $10.6K. But this can be lower or higher depending on so many factors - it's almost impossible to say exactly.

While the potential for earning a good income as a substack newsletter owner exists, success in this field requires a commitment to providing quality products and services and building a strong reputation within the community.

Substack Newsletter Profit Margins

Generally speaking, a substack newsletter can expect profit margin of around 65%. Profit margins refer to the percentage of revenue that remains after deducting all expenses associated with running a business. In the case of a substack newsletter, profit margins can vary depending on various factors, such as the type and quality of products sold, the size of the store, and the level of competition in the area.

However, these figures can vary depending on the pricing strategy, inventory management, and overall efficiency of the business. To maintain healthy profit margins, substack newsletter owners must focus on managing costs, negotiating favorable supplier terms, and providing high-quality products and services to attract and retain customers. By doing so, substack newsletter owners can ensure long-term sustainability and profitability for their business.

Substack newsletter owner salary

The salary of a substack newsletter owner is an unpredictable figure. It's significantly influenced by numerous factors, including the store's location, its size, and the degree of competition. An owner of a well-established substack newsletter, in a prime position, might see an average weekly salary around the ballpark of $6.92K.

But it's worth noting, such numbers aren't always consistent. The earnings can vary wildly, potentially swinging by as much as 80% either way.

Achieving consistent success and maintaining a reliable income stream in this industry requires a deep commitment. It's imperative to offer high-quality products, deliver impeccable customer service, and nurture a trusted bond with the community you serve.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, a substack newsletter is quite promising if you plan on starting such. With a market size of $7.5B, you can enjoy a potential revenue of around $511K per year with a gross margin of 65%.

Considering this information, you can enjoy a return of investment within 7 months, especially if you have a monthly profit of $27.7K. Overall, the success of your substack newsletter also depends on your effort and knowledge about it. If you persevere with these things, you can ensure that this substack newsletter is profitable.

Make sure you have a proper substack newsletter plan and know how to get clients for your substack newsletter.