DECEMBER 13, 2022

Welcome to The Tilt, a twice-weekly newsletter for content entrepreneurs.
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full tilt

No-Code Tech Stack

Creator Justin Welsh reports he earns $169K a month in revenue and spends less than 1% of that on a no-code tech stack to run his business.

The founder of Saturday Solopreneur produces a free weekly newsletter with one actionable tip on revenue and audience growth that has over 60K subscribers. He also sells online courses at $150 each (over 8.3K students) and newsletter sponsorships ($1.25K each).

So how does he do all that with tech that doesn’t require an expert to run? Justin shared all his tools in a recent Twitter thread. It’s a great motivator and helpful insight.

For those of you just starting out in your content-first business and may not have $623 a month to spend, Justin started out his operations with a $19 website through Carrd. Also, some of the tools he suggests are free or have lower-cost alternatives.

Here’s what Justin had to share in his own words:

Website (and more) no-code tools: Kajabi makes my life very easy. It bundles my website, landing pages, email provider, forms, customer CRM, and courses together. It’s truly a great tool for the cost. Cost: $399/month

Justin says Kajabi has a big learning curve, but it’s worth it.

Payments: Stripe connects directly to Kajabi, so it’s easy to take payments. I get paid out every weekday, so I’m not held hostage while a company holds my money for interest. Cost: 2.9% + $.30 per sale

Social publishing: I use Hypefury for social posting because it’s flexible and powerful: auto-retweets, auto-plug my newsletter, auto-unretweet, mass DMing, send to LinkedIn, inspiration templates, etc. Super powerful publishing tool. Cost: $49/month

Newsletter template: Typeshare – To produce a high-quality newsletter, I need templates to riff off of. Typeshare helps me draft my newsletter in 45 minutes by providing a number of templates to help. Built by digital writers for digital writers. Cost: $20/month

Web analytics: Fathom – I find Google Analytics to be difficult to use and understand. That’s OK because Fathom Analytics is amazing. It takes less than two minutes to set up and gives me all of the analytics I need in one simple dashboard. Cost: $24/month

Scheduling: Calendly – There are many scheduling apps on the market, but Calendly still does the trick. Simple availability blocking, custom events, payments, routing, reminders, etc. It’s the easiest way to get out of back-and-forth scheduling. Cost: $15/month

Course recording: Loom – Forget complicated, expensive setups for recording my courses. I simply install the Loom plugin, open up my presentation and get creating. This has saved me a ton of money and time when building out my video courses.

– Ann Gynn

Get Justin’s full list, including his business management, LinkedIn analytics, testimonials, and custom integration tools.

A big thanks to Justin for sharing his creator no-code tech stack and his helpful Saturday Solopreneur tips.

If you have a tool or stack to recommend, reply to this email or tag us @TheTiltNews on Twitter.

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content entrepreneur spotlight

Entrepreneur: Joanna Penn

Biz: The Creative Penn

Tilt: How to write, publish, and market books

Primary Channels: Podcast (7.8M downloads across 228 countries), website, YouTube (49.1K)

Other Channels: Instagram (9.1K), Twitter (85K), Facebook (7.7K)

Time to First Dollar: First month after blog launch ($1.67 Amazon affiliate payment)

Rev Streams: Books (including ebooks, print, and audio) with direct sales via; corporate sponsors and Patreon for podcast; courses; affiliate marketing

Our Favorite Actionable Advice:

  • Do what works for you: A self-proclaimed introvert, Joanna finds video doesn’t come naturally to her. That’s why she creates podcasts, not Instagram Reels or TikTok. “You need to choose what works for you and your personality and what is sustainable for the long term,” she says.
  • Be choosy: Joanna receives plenty of sponsorship offers, but she selects only a few companies whose products she already uses. She doesn’t host third-party advertising feeds on her platforms. “I only choose my advertising, and I do all that privately, which also means I’m making more money because I can negotiate better rates than the main platforms do,” she says.
  • Create products that can scale: To build a long-term and sustainable business, create something you fully control, such as an ebook or an online course. “All of this stuff is scalable,” she says. “You create it once, and then it sells over and over again – and you can change it into whatever format if you own the intellectual property. That becomes the basis of a sustainable career.”

– Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

All the Story: Read the full story of professional creator Joanna Penn.

Know a content creator who’s going full tilt? DM us. Or email [email protected].

things to know

  • Savings protection: If they experienced a financial downturn, almost half of small/solo businesses couldn’t expand their revenue streams. Of those who could, 24% would add a digital revenue stream. (Wave’s How To Thrive in the Creator Economy research)
    Tilt Take: Your business is all about digital revenue streams. How could you weather a financial crisis?
  • Universal income: Venture capitalist and champion of the creator Li Jin wants social media platforms to subsidize creative startup entrepreneurs by adopting a universal-creative-income philosophy. (Fast Company)
    Tilt Take: Li’s goal is to help more creators do it full time. That’s a good goal, but we doubt social media leaders will agree. They want to subsidize the people who are more likely to make bigger bucks for them more quickly.
  • Who are they?: LinkedIn added a new tab for creator analytics – audience. Not only can you track follower growth and trends, but you can look at the new demographics section to better understand your audience. (LinkedIn)
    Tilt Take: Learn all you can about who’s consuming your content. It can help in refining your audience strategy to those most likely to engage.
  • Pay to promote: To grow your newsletter audience more quickly, think about doing paid marketing – paid placement in other newsletters, paid social promotion, and influencer marketing. (Simon Owens’s Media Newsletter)
    Tilt Take: Do small tests to see what works, then do more of that.
Tech and Tools
  • Back at it: Twitter’s updated paid verification feature returned this week. It’s $8 a month ($11 a month for Apple Twitter app users). (BBC)
    Tilt Take: Let’s see how it goes, but either way, the value of a blue checkmark has diminished.
  • Check up: Big recording labels are increasing enforcement of copyright for social media usage. They’ve taken on YouTube and now expect increased interest in TikTok. (Social Media Today)
    Tilt Take: You don’t want someone stealing your work, so don’t steal someone else’s.
And Finally
  • And the winner is: YouTuber Ryan Trahan took home the Streamy award for best breakout creator. He’s known for videos of him spending 50 hours in darkness and attempting to trade a penny for a house in less than a week. (The Washington Post)
    Tilt Take: Well, that’s nice, but we were more excited to see the senior citizens at the ceremony – the TikTok stars of the Retirement House.
  • Unlikely triumvirate: YouTube, podcasts, and TikTok form the perfect triangular distribution strategy. TikTok tackles short-form content, podcasts can stretch over an hour per episode, and YouTube can go up to 12 hours for videos. (AdAge)
    Tilt Take: Think about how to create one piece of content that you can repurpose and repackage across other channels. It maximizes your work and grows your audience.

the business of content

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the tilt team

Your team for this issue: Joe Pulizzi, Pam Pulizzi, Ann Gynn, Laura Kozak, Marc Maxhimer, and Dave Anthony, with an assist from Sarah Lindenfeld Hall.