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10 Newsletters Earning $1M (and How!)

Forget Ads! How Morning Brew, The Hustle & 8 others built million-dollar empires with their inboxes.

Image: Thew Newsletter Startup
10 Newsletters Earning $1M Annually

Table of Contents

Have you ever wondered how those newsletters in your inbox make money? It's an impressive business. Believe it or not, there are newsletters earning over $1 million! 

Image: The Newsletter Startup & Business Insider
The Morning Brew

The Morning Brew

Let's start by taking a look at the Morning Brew. Appearing daily in the inboxes of over 12 million people, this business news digest has hit a goldmine in the newsletter industry.

But how do they cash in that kind of revenue? A big part of their strategy is sponsorships. Brands clamor for the opportunity to get in front of Morning Brew's massive audience, generating substantial income for the newsletter.

Plus, they offer premium memberships, an appealing choice for those hooked on the free version, wanting more of the Brew's delicious business insights. They also have cleverly tapped into e-commerce partnerships, further diversifying their revenue streams. So there you have it, the Morning Brew's secret sauce to earning millions!

Image: The Newsletter Startup & The Hustle
The Hustle

The Hustle

Moving on, let's look at The Hustle. This newsletter has a badass niche domain - entrepreneurship and startups. With over 3 million subscribers, it may not be as large as Morning Brew, but don't write it off too quickly. Their knack for relevancy sees the money rolling in by millions!

So, where does all this revenue come from? Primarily, The Hustle has aced the sponsorship game. Like Morning Brew, they've managed to turn their influential position within their niche into a magnet for sponsorships, forming a significant chunk of their income. But their money-making strategies don't stop there.

They host their own events - a smart way to not only monetize, but also to build solidarity within their community. And if you're willing to pay, The Hustle offers premium content - a high-value revenue stream that keeps subscribers hooked and the coffers full. Innovatively combining these methods, The Hustle has set a golden standard in the newsletter world.

Image: The Newsletter Startup & Lifehacker


Let's now jump into Substack's top earners. Though they don’t publish specific revenue figures, one thing's clear - some Substack newsletters are raking in over $1M per year! Celebrated newsletter heroes on this platform include "Letters from an American", "The Fifth Column" and "Unreported Truths".

What's their secret, you may ask? Simply put, paid subscriptions. These newsletters have created compelling content that their readers are willing to pay for, with subscriptions being their primary income source. So, while they exoticize the traditional advertising model, these Substack powerhouses underline the versatility of the newsletter model. The take-home here? Strong content plus a willing audience can equal serious earnings.

Image: The Newsletter Startup & Aarthi & Sriram
Lenny Rachitsky

Lenny Rachitsky

Let's move on to Lenny's Newsletter. Curated by Lenny Rachitsky, this tech-focused newsletter sparked interest among over 400,000 subscribers. But how does it chalk up its millions in earnings? The answer lies in a diverse revenue model. Lenny's Newsletter not only drives income through paid subscriptions but also banks on sponsorships and offers online courses. It presents a fine example of how niche content, when paired with strategic partnerships and educational offerings, can turn a newsletter into a profitable venture.

Image: The Newsletter Startup & Nieman Lab
The Information

The Information

Next up is The Information. Designed to cater to discerning tech enthusiasts, this investigative newsletter is different for charging a steep $400 per year for subscriptions. With a membership north of 10,000 subscribers, you might think it would be a challenge to maintain high revenue with such a selective audience. Yet, The Information proves you wrong by generating an impressive income. Its secret? A strong focus on quality content, targeting high-value subscribers who value their comprehensive tech insights. 

Image: The Newsletter startup & The Golds Guide to Ai


Next up is Stratechery, an analytical tech-newsletter that's making waves in the industry. It's authored by Ben Thompson, who has smartly set a robust $300 annual fee for his expert insights. With a loyal following of over 20,000 subscribers, this newsletter is raking in millions of dollars from subscriptions alone. Thompson has demonstrated a powerful formula for success: deep, valuable analysis, matched with a pricing strategy that underscores the premium nature of the content.

Image: The Prepared
The Prepared

The Prepared

Now, let's switch gears and look at a different type of content with The Prepared. Orchestrated by Michael S. Malone, this newsletter thrives by focusing on potential future disruptions and promoting preparedness. With an annual fee of $120, it attracts over 100,000 subscribers. This might seem modest compared to others, but don't let that fool you. The revenue from these subscriptions adds up nicely, contributing to a hefty income. Malone demonstrates how honing in on a distinct area of interest can translate to substantial revenue, despite the comparatively smaller annual fee.

Image: Brandfetch


Switching focus, let's consider OkDork by Noah Kagan. This business and marketing newsletter has carved a niche for itself and built an impressive following of over 250,000 subscribers. Kagan’s smart use of his own courses and products, alongside paid memberships and sponsorships, has helped him create a substantial, multi-million dollar revenue stream. This illustrates in a perfect way how personal branding and diversified revenue strategies can work together to maximize newsletter income.

Image: The Newsletter Startup
The MilkRoad

The Milk Road

Speaking of crypto newsletters, The Milk Road by Dan Zevin stands out in a crowded field. Unlike conventional newsletters focusing on food and culture, it centers on the complex world of cryptocurrencies. Zevin's strategic partnerships and sponsorships in the crypto ecosystem have been instrumental in generating significant revenues. Keep in mind to check out the link provided for an in-depth understanding of its impact. Although it carries a smaller subscriber base, the impressive level of engagement reaffirms its prominence among crypto enthusiasts.

Image: The Newsletter Startup & Rora Blue
The Unsent Project

The Unsent Project

Let's turn our focus to The Unsent Project, a collection of unsent text messages to our first loves. Rora Blue has essentially made us all feel a little less embarrassed by a collection of text messages that we all may have unsent from a time or two.

The Newsletter Startup
You Can Do It!

How You Can Do It!

First and foremost, let's look into the importance of selecting a niche. Through our examination of the ultra-successful Stratechery, we learn that by catering to a specific audience - in this case, tech enthusiasts - you can charge a premium for your content. Ben Thompson, the newsletter's author, commands a significant $300 yearly subscription fee. Given this, the first step to creating a million-dollar newsletter is pinpointing a niche where you can confidently offer expertise and where readers will be eager to invest in sought-after, high-quality knowledge. 

Secondly, grabbing insights from The Hustle, it becomes clear that diversification of revenue streams serves as a worthy strategy. In addition to its main focus of providing updates and trends in entrepreneurship and startups, The Hustle has ventured into hosting events and offering premium contents.

This not only keeps a steady base of over three million subscribers engaged but also serves as additional revenue streams, securing its spot on our million-dollar newsletter list. Building on this, your second step should be to think broadly about your offering. Ask yourself, beyond newsletters; what other formats or channels can you leverage to generate revenue? 

Lastly, take inspiration from The Morning Brew, a daily business newsletter that has amassed over twelve million subscribers by marrying quality content with smart marketing techniques. Sponsorship, premium membership, and e-commerce partnerships have made The Morning Brew a noteworthy model of how to successfully monetize a newsletter.

Therefore, the third step in your journey to becoming a newsletter millionaire is creating partnerships and sponsorships. Connect with brands and businesses that will resonate with your audience. This not only enhances your content but also brings with it financial benefits, cementing your path to that million-dollar mark. 

There you have it! By targeting and mastering a niche, diversifying your offerings and successfully implementing sponsorships, you're well on your way to building a million-dollar newsletter. May this wealth of insights from those who have done it successfully before keep you fixed on your path of success.