Running Smalltopia: Micropatronage with letter.ly

by Tammy Strobel on February 21, 2011

letters

Over the last few months I’ve been focusing on one big project, my book proposal. Big projects are wonderful at completion but they are also risky.

Like looking for a flashlight in the dark, I was feeling a little stumped trying to find new income ideas. I considered writing another ebook this year, but I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want the product to cost a lot of money, but certainly needed to find a way to sustain my creativity.

A tweet from Crystal Silver describing letter.ly ignited my interest. Her tweet prompted me to subscribe to her newsletter and I realized that letter.ly was the wonderful new medium I was looking for.

Through letter.ly I can share ideas about happiness, simple living, culture, and updates on my print book without having to charge a big up front cost like an ebook.

I love writing on RowdyKittens. I get a lot of emails and lovely comments from readers, but amazingly I only hear back from 5 percent of the total subscribers. In a lot of ways, I’ve been searching for deeper connections with readers. The letter.ly service has given me that and more. I’ve been surprised by the open and honest responses I’ve received from readers.

Thoughts on Pricing . . .

Whether you are running your own business or looking for a traditional job pricing is something you have to consider. If you love what you do, you have to find a way to sustain your efforts. My colleagues argue that $2.00 a month for my letter.ly subscription is too low and that I’m undervaluing my written content. They may be right but I would rather open my work up to more folks with a smaller price point than write to only a few readers with a greater subscription price. Also, I reserve the right to increase the price at anytime.

Pricing products can be difficult. If you’re anything like me and struggle with this topic, consider incorporating some of the following tips into your overall strategy.

1. Develop a survey.

Survey’s are a fantastic way to get feedback, especially if you already have a blog or an email subscription list. It’s cheap and easy because you can send it electronically. For example, late last year I surveyed readers about the type of content they wanted to see on RowdyKittens. In the survey, readers were interested in supporting this site through some kind of subscription service.

2. Ask yourself: How much I would pay?

I thought long and hard about how much I would pay for this type of service. My answer: between $2 and $10 a month. As a consumer, I’m more than happy to pay for subscription services that are inspirational, educational, or a benefit to my professional goals. I’m especially apt to pay if the cost is non-prohibitive.

3. Income Goals?

Do you have income goals? Every year, I write down my income goal. For example, in 2010 I wanted to make $25,000 from my creative work and I did! My 2011 income goal is the same. Freelance writing, ebook sales, affiliate sales, and the letter.ly subscription will help me get there.

If you’ve been thinking about different income generation ideas, letter.ly might be for you. Especially if you’re a writer. Sign up and give it a try!

Thank you to all who have subscribed and sent me notes! I sincerely appreciate it. Your investment in my art keeps me working. :)

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My Posting Schedule

I’ve decided to change my posting schedule. Taking a step back is healthy and it’s really important to know your limits. I’d rather post less frequently and share high quality content.

Here’s the new schedule . . .

  • Every Monday I’ll post an article.
  • I’ll run occasional interviews on Wednesdays.
  • And Friday’s will be dedicated to the Simple Living News Update and reader questions.

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