“Keep an open heart. Dare to imagine what lies ahead.” ❤️ ~Morgan Harper Nichols

#jesspicks
“Keep an open heart. Dare to imagine what lies ahead.” ❤️ ~Morgan Harper Nichols
By Jessica L. Williams • Issue #301 • View online
Last week I celebrated the 300th issue of #jesspicks (🎉) and shared a bit about how the newsletter came to be, how it has changed over time and my process for putting it together.
This week I want to share a little more behind-the-scenes, including subscriber growth, how I make money, and the tools I use.
Tools I Use
I’ve used Revue for my newsletter since the beginning because it makes the process easy to do a curated newsletter. Once you add links, it automatically pulls in descriptions and images that I can edit. As a result, I don’t have to spend a lot of time formatting. It also has an inbox where you can save articles you want to pull into the issue.
For content creation (this is mostly for my intro note)
  • Email Marketing Membership for sparking ideas for things to write or giving me fun experiments to try (like this one)
  • Apple Notes for drafting ideas, thoughts about the intro note
  • Grammarly - my editor sidekick to help with sentence structure, curly quotes, and tone
For content curation
  • Feedly to pull in feeds from some of my favorite blogs
  • Other folks’ newsletters. I subscribe to many on this list.
  • Upnext, for saving articles/videos/podcasts to read/watch/listen to later
  • Readwise for resurfacing helpful book quotes
For getting tips and donations
  • Buy Me a Coffee for folks to give one-time or monthly donations/financial support (this is the one I promote most).
  • Patreon for folks to provide monthly support
For sponsorships/ad opportunities
Other tools
  • Canva for graphics
  • Curious Karen for doing reader surveys and feedback forms (it is like a fun chatbot)
How #jesspicks gets subscribers
A friend asked me how my subscriber count for issue 300 compared to issue 100, and here is the breakdown:
  • Issue 100: 261 subscribers
  • Issue 200: 510 subscribers
  • Issue 300: 1520 subscribers (omg, what - ~3x growth?!)
There was a shift for me in 2020 (around issue 200) where my focus shifted to making my newsletter the priority. 
At that point, I also had more of a sense of what I was building with #jesspicks and the value I was providing, and I wanted to double down on making “subscribing to my newsletter” my main call to action for anything I was doing. So if I was on a podcast, at an event, or did a workshop, my parting words became: “please join my #jesspicks newsletter.”
There is a saying about what you focus on, growing. So that made a big difference in seeing those subscriber numbers grow.
Other things that have worked are:
  • Shoutouts from other creators (having others talk about my newsletter). If Josh Spector mentions my newsletter, I easily get 25-50 new subscribers).
  • Relatedly, putting out a good product. Consistently writing a valuable newsletter gets people on the list. Then they subscribe and recommend it to others. Word of mouth is 🫶🏾.
  • Getting listed on newsletter directories like these. Folks are always looking for newsletters to follow. I have seen subscribers trickle in from these as well.
  • Bundles! The other thing that has given me about 750 subscribers in the past couple of years is participating in bundles—this one in particular. 
  • Promoting newsletter content on social media. Surprisingly, being helpful in groups and Reddit subthreads has led to people checking out my site and becoming subscribers.
How #jesspicks makes money
#jesspicks makes money directly in three main ways: 
1. Advertising/Sponsorships
I have two offerings here: 
  • Sponsored ad at the top of the newsletter for $75
  • Classified ads at the end of the newsletter for $25
Most of my requests have been inbound. As a result, I may have to think of ways to do more sponsor outreach in the future.
2. Tips/Donations
People can buy me a coffee or contribute monthly if they so choose. I love this; it gives folks an easy way to support me. And it helps keep this newsletter free as well.
3. Affiliate Marketing
I love recommending products, courses, and even other newsletters that I’ve found helpful to my audience. Then in some cases, I can make some money from those recommendations through commissions.
I don’t have a lot of things in mind for plans, but I’ll share some thoughts on that next week.
On to the picks!

Note: This email may contain affiliate links. If you click through my link and make a purchase, I may receive “thank you money” at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love.  
#loves 😍
  • 📺. Watching: One of Us is Lying. 5 teenagers end up in detention, then one ends up dead. Dun dun dun. Think The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars. It’s twisty-turny in the best way. It is a book-turned-TV show, and this week I found out there was a season 2. Suffice it to say; this is next on my watch list.
  • 📚. Reading: Daisy Darker. This definitely has Agatha Christie, “And Then There Were None” vibes. Daisy and her family meet at their family house for Nana’s 80th birthday, where she reads her will. Before long, Nana is found dead and another family member an hour later. I’m about a third of the way through and loving it! 
#reads
Erica Jordan
Slowly approaching “Let’s circle back top of next year” season.
7 Ways to Find Readers and Subscribers When No One Knows You Yet
#icymi
  • 🤝. Want to connect with other #jesspicks readers? Fill out a profile and get an introduction as soon as next week.
#classifieds 🗞
  • Girlboss Daily: Career advice, job postings, tips on work, life, and going after your dreams.
  • Want to earn money promoting other newsletters and potentially pay to build your newsletter subscriber base? Join the SparkLoop Partner Network.
  • Create a digital business that works for you, future-proof your income, and live anywhere you want with this free Personal Enterprise Playbook newsletter and course.
👀. Have something you’d like to promote to #jesspicks 1500+ readers? You can buy an ad or sponsorship here.
#lifevibes
#supporters ☕️
Thank you Krista, Jessica, Annetta, Constance, Tunde, Jen, Michelle, Emile, Bex, Kim, Angela G., Lauren B., Chelsea, Amy, Ricky, Kirsten, Vin, Julie, Nicole, Humza, Greg, Kristin, Kirstyn, Jess, Cheryl, Krysta, Adrena, Vidya, Kristyn, Danielle, Keryn, Terry, Vanessa, Meredith, Lauren, Meg, Maria J., Chivon, Kim, Luciano, Colie, Chasity, Laurie, Latienda, Collette, Anne, Kristen, Liz, Katherine, Monale, Betsy, Melissa, Lindsay, Jennifer, Kayla, Madison, Rae, Stephanie, Christine R., Christine M., Frances, Hannah, Chris, Brandy, Mea, Kristian, Maria K. Avery, Adam, Barbara, Shenee, Desiree, Lisa, Kandice, L’Oreal, and LaVerne for being #jesspicks supporters!! ❤️
Want to help support this newsletter? Buy me a coffee.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jessica L. Williams

Side hustler? Newsletter creator? Get inspiration, tips, and resources for entrepreneur-ing your way.

In order to unsubscribe, click here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
Chicago, IL

Older messages

“You are here for a reason... you are here to shine your light.” 🔆 ~Karen Gunton (#jesspicks 300)

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Happy 300th issue of #jesspicks! 🎉🥂 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

“Do the best you can today and journey in grace with the rest.” 💆🏾‍♀️~Lalah Delia

Saturday, October 15, 2022

How are you feeling, REALLY? ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

“When you hit a wrong note, it’s the next note that makes it good or bad.” 🎶 ~Miles Davis

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Time doesn't always mean energy... ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

“Resist the idea that you have to live life one way.” 🤗 ~Kandice N Cole

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Slow growth is still growth. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

“Come and see: today is calling you.” 🤙🏾 ~Morgan Harper Nichols

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Wanna pick my brain? This is for you... ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

🧵 What to do when 280 characters aren’t enough…

Friday, December 9, 2022

The latest tips, strategies, advice, and stories from the Buffer blog. ‌ ‌ ‌ Image Hey folks 👋🏾 How are we all feeling as we approach the end of the year? I'm both ready for some time away and

Layoffs at Airtable, evaporating demand for NFTs, and Sam Bankman-Fried's parents step away from Stanford

Friday, December 9, 2022

View in browser Top News The Federal Trade Commission today sued Microsoft to block its planned $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. As notes the WSJ, the lawsuit sets the stage for a court

Seed funding: All you need to know 🌱

Friday, December 9, 2022

What's the deal with Mastodon? | How to raise a seed round | Reflex Solutions launches charitable foundation. View this email in your browser Powered by Clari The Sifted Newsletter Hello Sifted

You're just one step away from starting your dream business

Friday, December 9, 2022

Plus, a special gift for you inside͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏ ‌ ͏

📰 SaaS Tribune Weekly - Dec 08

Thursday, December 8, 2022

SaaSHub Weekly - Dec 08 Our weekly list of useful, trending and featured products TramaTM logo TramaTM Protect your brand. Register your trademark. Free verification. Simple online process. Transparent

starting in one hour: 🎥 The Future of Digital Health webinar 

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Join us at 4 PM ET for a webinar on the future of digital health CB Insights Join us on December 8, 2022 @ 4 PM ET! The Future of Digital Health Webinar Don't Miss The Future of Digital Health

PLG & Profitability : More Product Doesn't Necessarily Mean Greater Profits

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Tomasz Tunguz Venture Capitalist If you were forwarded this newsletter, and you'd like to receive it in the future, subscribe here.​ ​PLG & Profitability : More Product Doesn't Necessarily

MicroAngel State of the Fund: November 2022

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Sideways MRR action but cashflow slump. Designing MicroAngel LP + MicroAngel playbook as an investment. 30-day Revenue: $31k ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

🔥 Codédex, FotoFinish, TelemetryHub, Thread Notes

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Today's Trending Products and Posts. Codédex Start your coding adventure View FotoFinish App to automate cleaning supervision at remote sites View TelemetryHub by Scout APM A simple one-step

📈 Day 8: Raising Your Rates: Check List

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Freelancember Day 8 Raising Your Rates: Checklist Yep... now's the perfect time to raise your rates. On Day 7, you learned 10 reasons why you oughta. On Day 10, you'll figure out how much. Now