How To Make Your First Newsletter Dollars

Without a big list or by selling ads.

Dylan R.
6 min readJul 20, 2022


Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Don’t kid yourself.

Monetization is the point of a newslettereither indirectly or directly.

Your newsletter’s goal is to drive you revenue. Some newsletters drive users to a SaaS (Software as a Service) website, or product page on Amazon or Gumroad (indirectly). Others drive revenue right inside their newsletter — directly.

And what’s the easiest way to drive direct newsletter revenue?

Affiliate sales.

What are Affiliate Sales?

It’s pretty simple, actually.

You sell a product or service for someone else — and receive a commission on the sale.

That’s an affiliate sale. And the first revenue I ever earned with my newsletter — with only a few hundred subscribers.

You don’t need a massive audience. Just an engaged audience that trusts you.

Affiliate Links

Affiliate sales typically only work with a unique, custom link.

For example, when I signed up for the Ship 30 For 30 (← affiliate) I was given a unique affiliate link. I shared the link in my newsletter raving about the course and made a couple of sales, which earned $50 in commission each.

What can you sell?

You can sell almost anything, but you shouldn’t sell everything.

The most successful affiliate newsletters and websites only drive their readers to products & services relevant to their interests and needs. The more aligned your affiliate products are with your content, the better the chances of a conversion.

Popular affiliate products & services to sell are…

  • SaaS tools & subscriptions
  • Amazon & ecommerce products
  • eBooks, online courses, & community memberships

But what affiliate products should YOU sell?

It might be tempting. But again — don’t try to sell every product under the sun.



Dylan R.

Teaching you how to start + grow + monetize a newsletter — as I share how I’m doing it.