7 mins

Friday Feature: Life's A Game

How Amanda Goetz is growing and monetizing her newsletter to thousands in only a few short months since launch.

Dylan Redekop

How Amanda Goetz is monetizing Life's A Game with creative & replicable revenue streams.

Life’s A Game is a newsletter helping ambitious humans (founders, leaders, builders) looking to live a life without sacrifice or burnout.

It’s written by Amanda Goetz—a 2x Founder, 3x CMO, and 3x Mom.

Amanda launched Life’s A Game only 6 months ago but has already surpassed 20k subscribers and created multiple revenue streams.

In this week’s Friday Feature, you’ll learn what Amanda has done to quickly grow & monetize Life’s A Game to — and how you can too.

Here’s what we’re diving into…

  1. Octopus vs. Swordfish Ad Strategy
  2. Building an Offer Matrix
  3. Investing in Collaboration

Let’s get into it!

#1 - Octopus vs. Swordfish Ad Strategy 🐙

Ad placements are low-hanging fruit when it comes to newsletter revenue.

But a newsletter isn’t the only place impressions can be sold. Life’s A Game is a “young” newsletter, and Amanda’s social media audience is much larger than her newsletter audience.

So, she uses an “Octopus” ad strategy when bundling ad sales:

Swordfish → a single stab, single ad channel (ie. newsletter only).

Octopus → multiple tentacles, multiple channels & opportunities.

🧐 Why it’s awesome

Just a few reasons (of many) why this ad strategy is beneficial...

→ Sell based on total impressions. Capitalize on more impressions than “just” your newsletter readers.

→ Multiple formats for optimal conversion. Take advantage of video formats for ads outside of a newsletter to increase attention & conversion.

→ More opportunities for success. More platforms & audiences will increase the opportunity for conversion and a successful campaign.

→ Diversified offering from competition. Stand out from other newsletters selling ad spots by mixing in social audiences & ad formats.

🙋 How Life's A Game does it

Though her 20k+ newsletter audience is respectable for a 6-month-old newsletter, Amanda leverages her social media reach with an audience of over 140k followers on all platforms to increase value and price for ad packages.

She can command a higher rate for ads & sponsorships when leveraging 140k additional eyeballs.

Consider a $25 CPM ad rate. With 20k newsletter subscribers, that's $500 for an ad in Life's A Game.

With 140k followers, that same CPM rate = $3,500.
(Even at a modest $5 CPM rate for a social ad post, that's still $700.)

✏️Steal this for your newsletter​

Brand sponsorship packages don’t have to be strictly newsletter packages.

Take a page out of Amanda’s book and leverage your social audience.

→ Create a social ad package:

  • Include sponsored IG Post/Stories/Reels
  • Craft a relevant and original tweet or thread
  • Leverage LinkedIn

→ Add it to your media kit as a standalone package, or…

  • Include it as a sweetener

🎧 Bonus: Learn more about Amanda's Octopus ad strategy in our recent chat →

#2 - Building an Offer Matrix

We just mentioned brand sponsorships, but that’s not the only way Amanda has monetized Life’s A Game.

Not even close.

She’s created what she calls an Offer Matrix.

Just like Justin Moore who shared his product offer ladder in EP12 of the Send & Grow podcast, Amanda has quickly poured the foundation for a robust revenue strategy that doesn’t solely rely on ad sales (outside her control) to something she owns:

“Can I make more from a product I own versus selling the impressions to someone? And I am figuring out very quickly that the answer is: Yes, I can. I can drive those eyeballs to further offers that I have and increase the LTV of a customer and continue to build the trust and own, own that ecosystem.”
Amanda Goetz

She has tiered her offer matrix from entry-level to premium—and this is in addition to newsletter ad sales.

🧐 Why it’s awesome

More revenue streams (ie. more offers in the matrix) = more stability + more revenue.

Financial stability → Being 100% reliant on one revenue stream is risky. When you’re earning income from sponsorships AND product sales, a revenue dip in one can be buoyed by the other. Smart newsletter operators understand the stability diversified revenue streams offer.

An offer for “everyone” → Newsletters with multiple revenue streams do a better job of capturing value from subscribers based on their individual willingness to pay (WTP). This means creating a monetization opportunity for your entire audience. Some call this a product offer ladder. The way we like to think about it is the Rule of 10s (more on this below).

🙋 How Life's A Game does it

Amanda’s experience building House Of Wise showed her the power of using a newsletter to sell your company’s products.

“So now, the way I think about my offer matrix is I always think about ‘what are my different categories of people who are reading my stuff?’ And then do I have a free, low, medium, high offer for that? It's a matrix.”

— Amanda Goetz

Life’s A Game has incorporated ad & sponsorship sales, but Amanda has added on more revenue streams—and fast:

  1. Brand Sponsorships (Octopus vs. Swordfish strategy, $?)
  2. Office Hours ($100, $500, $1.5k per quarter)
  3. 1-on-1 Coaching ($300, $1.6k, $4k tiers)
  4. Paid newsletter (Break An Egg, $5/mo)

✏️ Steal this for your newsletter

Not sure what to offer?

Consider the Rule of 10s. Roughly speaking, the distribution of subscriber willingness to pay (WTP) follows the Rule of Tens: Every time you increase the price by 10x, you're reducing by 10x the number of subscribers in your audience who would pay that price:

👀 Here's what that could look like for a niche B2B newsletter…

#3 - Investing in Collaborations

Creating, publishing, promoting, and monetizing a newsletter is a lot of work.

So when we asked Amanda in our recent chat what she thinks will be huge for newsletters in 2024, the first word out of her mouth was “collaborations.”

And it makes sense. She saw massive success collaborating with a partner in 2023.

🧐 Why it’s awesome

→ Two heads are better than one. It’s clichéed but true: bringing another set of eyes and ideas into your world can be hugely beneficial.

→ Asymmetrical payoff. The work that goes into a partnership can pay off in multitudes, as it did in Amanda’s case.

→ Exposure to another audience. Trading exposure to audiences will benefit all partners of a collaboration.

→ Reducing blind spots. Collaboration can help expose blind spots in your business, process, and strategy.

🙋 How Life's A Game does it

Amanda quickly realized she didn’t have a low-cost offer in her offer matrix.

She partnered with Jack Appleby to host a free webinar. They got over 1,500 registrants.

The webinar’s success validated the market demand for more of this kind of content. So Jack & Amanda launched a paid, 5-day-a-week paid newsletter called Break An Egg.

And over 1,000 people have since signed up.

ONE collaboration turned a free webinar into ~$5k in MRR for Amanda & Jack.

✏️ Steal this for your newsletter

A webinar-turned-paid-newsletter worked for Amanda.

But that’s just one example of how to successfully collaborate. Think about what type of collaboration would benefit you and your newsletter.

Here are a few ideas…

→ Start with Swaps: Find other newsletters that complement yours and cross-promote in your newsletters.

→ Free Recommendations: Use SparkLoop’s Upscribe widget to “pin” a collaborator’s newsletter as a free recommendation and have them do the same for yours. Bonus tip: include a few paid recommendations in Upscribe and drive paid traffic to your sign-up page to 10x growth and revenue.

→ Joint Webinars or Events: Co-host events to engage both audiences and provide exclusive content.

→ Bundled Offers: Create bundled subscription packages with complementary newsletters or services.

→ Cross-Promotional Contests: Run contests or giveaways with partners, leveraging each other's subscriber base. Use SparkLoop's Referral program to run a giveaway seamlessly.

Adding it up…

Amanda has built Life’s A Game with strategy and intention from the start. She’s now reaping the rewards of being forward-thinking and experimental with how she operates her newsletter.

Here are 3 things to do next:

  1. Check out Life’s A Game if you haven’t already →
  2. Listen to our chat with Amanda on the Send & Grow podcast →
  3. Give us your take: what newsletter is doing something different and innovative we should feature next? Maybe it's yours... EMAIL US and let me know!

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