The Product Person / Mailing Lists / United States

How I grow my weekly product newsletter from 0 to 4000 subscribers - Story of The Product People

Hello ! Who are you and what are you working on?

Hi, I'm Anthony Diké. I write a weekly product newsletter. I curate and summarize product articles and send out 1 article a week to improve your product skills. I currently write for 4,000 product people.

What motivated you to get started with? How did you come up with the idea?

Too many articles exist. Not a lot of them are good. I like to learn. But sifting through the bad ones are time consuming. I wanted someone to curate for me. I knew others probably felt the same. So I decided to start it myself.

Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?

I stumbled upon some great articles. And I wondered why I hadn't found them until that point. I thought that no one else should have to randomly stumble into these great resources, rather they should have it given to them —in newsletter form. The idea was born.

I used for the landing page. Then I hooked up Google Analytics and Crisp Chat. I used Coolors and Colorhexa for color research. I used Substack as my "email tool". I had already been launching stuff on the internet for the past year so I knew the exact channels to distribute it on: Product Hunt, Hacker News, Beta List, Indie Hackers, and Reddit.

Product Hunt launch went better than expected. I expected only 100 email subscribers. But I ended the day with more than 2,000. I ended the month with 3,600. Right now, 4 months later, I'm over 4,000. I went #1 on Product Hunt that day —more than 3x the amount of upvoted that the #2 product got. Product Hunt continued to promote my product as they showcased the top 100 products of the year. I made that list.

Now, growth is slow. I like it that way. Helps me know what I'm doing right and wrong. I'm taking the time to talk to subscribers and strengthened the writer-reader bond. Product managers enjoy my newsletter. They share with their teams and stuff. Current growth primarily from word of mouth, which I think is great.

What has been your biggest failure or struggle?

I'm still a college student. So making time for both school and building businesses can be tough. Usually, 36 hours before a launch day (newsletter issue or product) I can expect myself to pull an all nighter.

I've been working on that by doing things earlier and more often. Spreading out the work.

And what has been your biggest achievement or success?

I think gaining 2,000 subscribers in a day with 0 following beforehand. Goes to show that my messaging resonated with folks.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Writing great issue and talking to readers to see how I can improve on the next issue.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Idea -> Build/design -> Launch and distribute to appropriate channels

Did you use Betalist or PH or other Startup Launching Platform for Launching ? How was that experience ?

Yes. Great. With proper messaging and authenticity, you'll do well.

What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?

Trying 3 things:

- Paying subscribers

- Sponsorships

- Upselling my own products/books

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome? What are your goals for the future?

Finding content to write about, making time to write the issues, and making time to talk to readers.

Goals: Deepen relationship with readers. Sell a book. Grow audience to 8,000 by end of 2020.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

People like authenticity. Internet filled with disgenuiness. Realness is appreciated.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Substack, Twitter, Dropbox Paper (might switch to Notion though)

Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?

Sahil Lavingia

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Sapiens by Yuval Harrari

Essentialism by Greg McKowen

Naval's How to Get Rich Podcast

Google Search

What’s your advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneur who are just starting out?

Start. Do a lot. Learn from doing. You'll find out what you don't like. Filter out what you don't like. Continue what you do like. Find others that like that. Learn from them. Talk to them.

And just keep creating and sharing. The most important metric you should measure is whether you're happy with what you've made.

About The Author : Binu Mathew

Binu Mathew is the CEO of itmarkerz technologies. It has been catering to the custom software needs of SMEs in India and abroad since March 2011. Binu started his programming and freelance carrier at the age of 17. over around 13 years of experience in startups, startup visas around the globe, and Blogging. You can reach him on Twitter or LinkedIn