Newsletter Crew: A Podcast for Newsletter Creators
Hi there! Who are you and what’s your background?
My name is Yaroslaw Bagriy and I am the host of the Newsletter Crew podcast.
There is a lot I’m currently up to. First and foremost my main project is the Newsletter Crew podcast. The second is my private community of digital makers, bootstrappers, and indie founders called IndieStack. I’m also in the ideation phase for a micro-saas I plan to develop, grow, and monetize.
I’ve been in the startup scene for a long time, around 5 years now. My first ever project was called ScoutOut App which was a mystery bar finder app. That’s where I learned how to code Swift and iOS apps. That leads me into what I do today. My current full-time job is an iOS developer for a medical device company. I also invest in stocks and rental properties as a means to build long term wealth. I’ve worked many years for small, medium, and large companies as a developer. I recently realized that the venture backed startup life isn’t for me which is why I took the indie bootstrapper route which is much less stressful and more fulfilling.
What’s Newsletter Crew about?
The main goal of the Newsletter Crew podcast is to inspire up-and-coming newsletter creators and help those currently running a newsletter to build, grow, and monetize their newsletter business. Every week we interview a newsletter creator and discuss everything about their business. Diving deep into topics such as marketing, growth, retention, workflows, and more! We believe newsletter creators are a crucial part of the growing indie creator community. With the advances in technology, it’s now possible to create a full-time income by becoming a newsletter creator.
The main structure of the Newsletter Crew podcast is to interview a newsletter creator and learn everything about their newsletter. Starting with their background, why they decided to start their newsletter, how they grow their audience, their writing processes, and everything in between!
When did you get started with Newsletter Crew? What motivated you to get started?
I started the Newsletter Crew podcast at the end of June. I started this podcast when I couldn’t find any podcasts on how to grow and professionally run my newsletter. In my frustration, I decided it’s time to fill the gap and help everyone out.
I thought it would be best for me to learn by interviewing real newsletter creators and understanding everything about their business. I decided to create a podcast out of it for other newsletter creators to benefit as well.
What does the process of running Newsletter Crew look like for you?
The process from finding the newsletter creator to publishing the interview looks like this:
- Contact several newsletter creators on Twitter, IndieHackers, or r/newsletters about being a guest on the podcast. The podcast has gotten so popular that I’ve had people contact me now about being on the podcast. In the future I hope to find all of my newsletter creators this way.
- I set up a time and gather the necessary information to do thorough research on them and their newsletter.
- As I do my research I find their strengths and write questions focused around those strengths (i.e. community building, growth, custom tech stack, etc).
- I conduct the interview following the questions I’ve written. I use the questions as a guide and not a set in stone schedule. I follow where the conversation leads.
- After the interview I edit the podcast while taking critical notes and quotes that would be useful for anyone simply wanting to get a very quick overview.
- I publish the podcast to https://newslettercrew.com/ which propagates to all of the major podcast catchers (i.e. Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, etc).
What’s your favorite part about running Newsletter Crew?
My favorite part about running the podcast is that I get to talk with amazing newsletter creators and find out how they came up with their subject matter, how they monetize, how they grow, how they build and run their digital business. There’s nothing better than getting direct answers from the creators themselves.
Do you have a monetization strategy for Newsletter Crew?
Currently there is no monetization strategy for the podcast. This is something I’m still contemplating on if I want to directly monetize the podcast or not. I’m actively looking at the pros and cons.
How do you grow your audience?
My main growth channels are Twitter, IndieHackers, and r/newsletters. Every week I make sure to post the week's episode everywhere I can. I rely on the quality and content of the newsletter to create a flywheel effect and bring in more listeners.
What are some of the most interesting things you’ve learned from your guests?
This is such a hard question to answer honestly. Every week I learn something new. This sounds cliche but it’s true. Every newsletter creator has their history, experiences, ups, and downs. Which inevitably gives very unique and interesting perspectives on the business. From the first episode with Colin Bartlett of VimTricks I learned that running a newsletter business is exactly the same as running any other business with a co-founder. Andrew Kamphey taught me that your very first subscriber should be your mom. Then the next 100 should be from reaching out to your network. Oli Hall taught me to just start your newsletter. For the hyper critical, like myself, who always get caught up in thinking how it all fits into some big system. Just start! Start writing about anything and soon you’ll find your true newsletter path. Henry Johnson taught me that there’s more than just Substack and Revue out there. That it’s even better to create your own tech stack with no code tools. I could go on for paragraphs.
What goals do you have for the future?
My goal in the future with the Newsletter Crew podcast is to create an expertise library of content filled podcasts for Newsletter Creators covering all of the topics any newsletter creator would be interested in. This will be a full rundown of Substack, Ghost, or any of the custom newsletter tech stacks on which one could build. I also want to cover all of the growth tactics for a newsletter creator. Other topics will include monetization, detailed writing, upselling, and so much more.