11 Substack Newsletter Success Stories [2024]

Updated: December 4th, 2023
A Substack Newsletter

Here are some real life success stories of starting a substack newsletter:

1. I Know The Pilot ($840K/year)

"I Know The Pilot" is a free travel deal platform that sends airfare and accommodation deals to subscribers daily, with a focus on international travel.

Garth Adams, the founder of I Know The Pilot, came up with the idea for his business after noticing that people were occasionally sharing cheap flights on shopping deal websites. He decided to start his own flight deals site, separate from his existing site IWantThatFlight.com.au, and launched IKnowThePilot.com.au as a WordPress site attached to a Mailchimp email list. The business grew rapidly, with over 780,000 email subscribers, 110,000 app users, and 550,000 Facebook fans at its height.

How much they make: $840K/year
How much did it cost to start: $1.5K
Current team size: 0

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How I Started A $140K/Month Flights And Holidays Deals Newsletter

I Know The Pilot founder Garth Adams shares how he grew his airfare and accommodation deals newsletter from a simple WordPress site to over 780,000 email subscribers, 110,000 app users, and 550,000 Facebook fans on a 100% free business model, and how he's pivoted domestically during the Covid-19 pandemic.

About
Garth started I Know The Pilot almost 8 years ago
Revenue
Garth grew the business to $70K/month
Costs
It cost Garth $1500 to start the business
Read by 12,749 founders

2. BowTied Opossum ($72K/year)

BowTiedOpossum is a paid Substack newsletter that provides actionable advice on running digital businesses, helping aspiring entrepreneurs navigate the industry with real-world experience and insights.

Opossum, the founder of BowTiedOpossum, initially started as an anonymous Twitter account providing actionable advice on eCommerce. After gaining a following, he decided to monetize his expertise by launching a paid newsletter on Substack. Within 9 months, he grew the newsletter to $3k in monthly revenue and plans to focus on organic search and link building for future growth.

How much they make: $72K/year
How much did it cost to start: $0
Current team size: 0

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How I Anonymously Launched A Newsletter While Keeping My Day Job [$3K/Month]

BowTiedOpossum founder shares how he grew his anonymous paid newsletter to $3k per month in 9 months using Twitter as his main acquisition strategy.

About
BowTiedOpossum started BowTied Opossum over 2 years ago
Revenue
BowTiedOpossum grew the business to $6K/month
Read by 8,868 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?

-> Examples of established substack newsletter
-> Marketing ideas for a substack newsletter

Other resources

3. Alpha Letter ($420K/year)

Alpha Letter is an investment newsletter that focuses on finding small out of favored value stocks Wall Street won't touch.

In 2020, the founder launched a successful parody finance website called The Stonk Market. After gaining traction with viral tweets and amassing a large social media following, they leveraged this audience to launch Alpha Letter, a paid investment newsletter. Within 12 months, they grew their subscriber base to 82,000 individuals and generated over $200,000 per year in paid revenues.

How much they make: $420K/year
How much did it cost to start: $0
Current team size: 0

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How I Leveraged My Twitter Audience And Launched A $420K/Year Finance Newsletter

An anonymous founder started Alpha Letter, an investment newsletter that focuses on finding small out-of-favored value stocks, and using viral marketing techniques, grew their free subscriber base to 82,000 individuals and now brings in around $30,000-35,000 in revenue per month across all their properties, with their short-term goal being to get each property to $50,000 in revenue per month.

About
Jack started Alpha Letter about 3 years ago
Revenue
Jack grew the business to $35K/month
Read by 6,479 founders

4. TSOH Investment Research Service ($192K/year)

The TSOH Investment Research service is a subscription-based platform providing transparent and in-depth equity research for long-term investing.

Alex Morris, a former equities research analyst, launched the TSOH Investment Research service after seeing the false sense of expertise and questionable decision-making in the finance industry. With the goal of providing complete transparency, Morris offers deep dive equity research and portfolio updates to subscribers, which has resulted in the service generating ~$17,000 per month in subscription revenues as of May 2022. Morris credits the success of his service to his decade-long presence and network-building online, as well as the power of the internet and his community on financial Twitter.

How much they make: $192K/year
How much did it cost to start: $500
Current team size: 1

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I Created A Substack Newsletter That Makes $16K/Month

TSOH Investment Research Service generates $17,000 per month after a year of launch, offering deep dive equity research on new companies, updates on current holdings and names on the watchlist, investment philosophy discussions, and periodic portfolio updates for a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

About
Alex started TSOH Investment Research Service almost 3 years ago
Revenue
Alex grew the business to $16K/month
Costs
It cost Alex $500 to start the business
Read by 5,749 founders

5. Yolo Intel ($240K/year)

Yolo Journal is a travel lifestyle media brand that publishes a physical printed magazine three times a year and has a successful travel-focused newsletter, Yolo Intel, which is the most popular travel newsletter on Substack.

Yolanda Edwards, founder of Yolo Journal, came up with the idea after realizing there was a gap in the market for a travel magazine that focused on providing trustworthy and insider information. With her background in the magazine industry and passion for travel, she launched Yolo Journal and quickly gained success, with her weekly newsletter now bringing in $20k a month.

How much they make: $240K/year
How much did it cost to start: $15K
Current team size: 1

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Losing My Job Motivated Me To Build The Top Travel Newsletter On Substack [$20K/Month]

Yolo Journal's founder, Yolanda Edwards, launched a travel lifestyle media brand with a magazine and newsletter that now generates $20k a month in revenue. Edwards' business success can be attributed to understanding the hole in the magazine market and creating trust-worthy insider information.

About
Yolanda started Yolo Intel about 5 years ago
Revenue
Yolanda grew the business to $20K/month
Costs
It cost Yolanda $15000 to start the business
Read by 4,229 founders

6. Contrarian Thinking ($3M/year)

Contrarian Thinking is a premium membership community that teaches people how to add cash-flowing income streams to their portfolios and achieve financial freedom.

Codie Sanchez, the founder of Contrarian Thinking, came up with the idea for her business after experiencing numerous career changes and realizing that money was the key to solving problems. After working in finance and investing, she decided to blend her love for writing, investing, and teaching others to create a company that helps people achieve financial freedom. Through her premium membership community, Contrarian Cashflow, she teaches members how to add more cash-flowing income streams to their portfolios and build the life they have always dreamed of. With over 100,000 newsletter subscribers, a community of 1.5 million people, and a run rate of $3 million this year, Contrarian Thinking is empowering individuals to challenge the status quo and shape their own destinies.

How much they make: $3M/year
How much did it cost to start: $5K
Current team size: 4

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My Finance Newsletter & Community Hit A $3M Run Rate This Year

Contrarian Thinking is a premium membership community that teaches its 1.5 million members how to implement cash flow strategies to achieve financial freedom, with a current run rate of $3 million and a goal of $50 million ARR in five years.

About
Codie started Contrarian Thinking about 4 years ago
Revenue
Codie grew the business to $250K/month
Skills
Public Speaking, Copywriting, Community Building
Costs
It cost Codie $5000 to start the business
Read by 4,685 founders

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

Cup of Coffee is a daily baseball and culture newsletter that provides fans with a comprehensive summary of significant news in Major League Baseball, along with analysis, commentary, and coverage of other current events, reaching over 10,500 subscribers and generating average monthly revenue of $18,400.

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.

How much they make: $221K/year
How much did it cost to start: $200
Current team size: 1

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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.

About
Craig started Cup of Coffee over 3 years ago
Revenue
Craig grew the business to $18.4K/month
Costs
It cost Craig $200 to start the business
Read by 4,343 founders

8. Chief in the North Newsletter ($48K/year)

The Chief in the North Newsletter is a Substack publication that provides in-depth analysis and insights into the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL.

Seth Keysor, a longtime football fan and writer, started the Chief in the North Newsletter as a way to provide in-depth analysis of the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL. With over 5,500 subscribers in less than two years, the newsletter has become a legitimate side income of over $4,000 a month for Keysor. By offering unique insights and bypassing clickbait, Keysor has attracted a loyal following of diehard fans.

How much they make: $48K/year
How much did it cost to start: $0
Current team size: 0

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How I Started A NFL Newsletter That Earns $4K/Month [Side Hustle]

A sports writer launched a newsletter that now has over 5,500 subscribers in under 2 years and generates a legitimate side income of over $4,000 a month, with a subscription fee of $12 a year or $2 a month, by providing in-depth analysis for diehard Kansas City Chiefs and NFL fans.

About
Seth started Chief in the North Newsletter over 1 year ago
Revenue
Seth grew the business to $4K/month
Read by 3,773 founders

9. Money Talk ($1.2K/year)

Qin Xie, a journalist and editor based in London, launched her reader-funded newsletter, Money Talk, during her furlough period due to the pandemic. After coming across a post about the future of journalism on Substack, she saw an opportunity to write about personal finance, a topic she was already familiar with and interested in. With low overhead costs and a desire to equip herself and others with knowledge on handling finances during a recession, she quickly launched the newsletter and has received positive feedback and early success.

How much they make: $1.2K/year
How much did it cost to start: $0
Current team size: 1

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On Starting A Reader-Funded Newsletter About Personal Finance

Qin Xie launched Money Talk, a reader-funded newsletter on personal finance, in May 2020, and made £100 in the first month, chiefly promoting it on LinkedIn.

About
Qin started Money Talk over 3 years ago
Revenue
Qin grew the business to $100/month
Read by 5,638 founders