📊 ClassNotes 013: The one thing Matt McGarry did to get 8,720 subscribers

📊 ClassNotes 013: The one thing Matt McGarry did to get 8,720 subscribers
Our new YouTube channel got 8,544 views last week. Check it out here!

In 2015, I reached 60,000 book sales with one book. 

In 2020 (my first year learning affiliate marketing), I earned $30,000 in commissions from one product. 

To date, I’ve built all my online income with one skill: SEO. 

Let me show you why you only need one thing.

subscriber pie chart from twitter
This breakdown highlights how the majority of N.O.'s subscriber base came from just a few focused sources. Designed by Ilya

Newsletter Operator is an excellent resource for newsletter writers written by Matt McGarry.

He recently broke the 10,000-subscriber mark and was generous enough to share the exact figures of where his audience came from. I took those numbers and worked with my awesome designer to create the chart you see above.

Here are a few key insights:

  • 69.5% of his audience came from experimenting with a single platform: Twitter (41% organic and 28.5% paid)
  • Another 18.3% came from creating the newsletter itself (13% direct + 5.3% SEO)
  • Meaning — 87.8% of his subscriber base came from the focused work of making one thing and promoting it on one platform (69.5% + 18.3%)

All of the other work, from learning new ad platforms to networking to building a referral program and more — which cost $1,000+ and hundreds of hours — accounts for only 12.2% of his audience.

8,780+ subscribers came from focused work.

1,220 came from everything else.

Small is an advantage

Being small is an advantage because it means you can build a profitable business around an underserved market that’s been deemed “too small” by larger entities. To them, 6-figures may not be worth it.

For us, it's life-changing.

But when you are small and try to act big (e.g., posting to every platform, building lots of offers), you lose your advantage because you start playing the game by their rules. 

Play small.

  • Learn one skill.
  • Turn that skill into one product.
  • Promote that product on one platform.

Matt understands how newsletters grow (skill). So, he writes a newsletter about it (product). And talks about his insights on Twitter (platform).

What are 10,000+ people waiting for you to focus on?

1. Your biggest results will come from focused efforts.
2. Pick one thing and go all in.

We'll be back in two weeks with a discussion on content pacing and how slowing down could be the growth unlock you've been waiting for.

— David

📌 Next steps

  • ✅ 1-Question Survey. I could use some help figuring out where to take my content next. Thank you in advance!
  • Start a Newsletter with Ghost. If you want to start a newsletter like this one, I recommend using Ghost. It's easy to use and affordable for new creators ($9/mo).