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by Jacob O'Bryant

Substack recommendations, paid acquisition, consulting

Big-ish announcement for people on Substack: you can now use Substack's recommendations feature to cross-promote with The Sample. Just add to your list of recommendations. I will then rely on Substack to tell me how many referrals you've sent, and we'll try to send you back the same number, just like we do when you share your regular referral link. Let me know if you have any questions about thisit is a bit of a hack!

One slight downside is that as far as I can tell, Substack does not tell me which subscribers came from which newsletter. This means that when we cross-promote, we theoretically could end up sending you back your own subscribers instead of new subscribers... I don't think this will happen very often, but let me know if you notice it.

(Also there will be some delay between people-you-refer-via-substack-recommendations-signing-up-to-the-sample and you-getting-additional-forwards-from-the-sample, especially because I haven't yet written any of the code to import new subs from Substack into The Sample... but you can start recommending The Sample any time!)

Moving on. Last week I mentioned that, for the time being, I've finished making product changes to The Sample and I'll now be focusing on growth. For the short-term I've settled on Google ads and newsletter ads. I got Google ads running a couple days ago, and I've booked several newsletter ad campaigns + will soon book a particularly large campaign. I'll continue to do some tweaking here and there, but largely I expect that my most important input to The Sample for the near future will be money, not time.

As such, I've decided to start freelancing/consulting part-time. If the paid acquisition stuff works out (i.e. results in enough revenue to cover the cost of advertising), then consulting will let me dump even more money into it. If it doesn't, then I would need to turn The Sample into a part-time business anyway and get some income from elsewhere before I continue to experiment.

Specifically I've been thinking about doing technical consulting for media companies, which I think would be a good complement to my work on The Sample etc. I'm not sure what exactly that'll end up looking like, though anecdotally I've been told there's a lot of demand for it 🤷‍♂️. If you work at a company that has previously hired a contractor to do software/technical work, would you mind replying to this email and let me know what kind of work they did?

Published 27 Jun 2022

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