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J+ Publications

Starting out as a solo creator is difficult. Whether you’re launching a newsletter, podcast, or niche website, there’s a lot to tackle. It can feel like you’re shouldering it all alone. In our six new case studies, experienced creators offer guidance on how to overcome these challenges to build sustainable projects.

The independent journalists featured in these publications were among dozens interviewed in an effort to gather insight into the daily challenges faced by those developing niche ventures. In a world full of news deserts, underserved communities and information gaps, news entrepreneurs like the ones featured in these publications play a crucial role. In these publications, they shared mistakes made, lessons learned, and surprising discoveries about what works in the contemporary media ecosystem. 

Some of the creators highlighted in these case studies participated in our 100-day online Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program, which helps independent journalists around the world develop newsletters, podcasts, local sites, and other niche news projects. The development of these case studies was supported with funding from the Meta Journalism Project. To collaborate with us on future publications, reach out at ejcp@journalism.cuny.edu

The tactics creators rely on to maintain life balance

Becoming a creator often means turning your passion into your job. But that blurred line between work and personal life can have downsides, and without a balanced schedule, some creators find their ventures unsustainable.

Written by: Ambreen Ali
Featuring: Jay Clouse, Hanna Raskin, Jane Ratcliffe, Jenny Bhatt, Namrata Bhingarde

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How creators reached their first 10, 100, 1,000 paid subscribers

Building a successful paid newsletter doesn’t require hundreds of thousands of subscribers. All you need is a small, passionate group of people who are eager to hear what you have to say. Understanding the needs of your truest believers is key to running a successful media business.

Written by: Krystal Knapp
Featuring: Tanmoy Goswami, Kai Brach, Alicia Kennedy, Priti Patnaik, JR Raphael

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How to price your subscriptions, membership and sponsorships

Publishers often pick arbitrary prices, but having a well thought-out strategy that aligns with your audience and goals can help you grow your business and earn trust.

Written by: Krystal Knapp
Featuring: Alicia Kennedy, Priti Patnaik, Tanmoy Goswami, JR Raphael, Amanda Cua

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How three podcasters divide up their time to research, produce and promote a podcast episode

It’s easy to get excited about starting a podcast, but it’s hard work to keep it going. Successful podcasters document their workflow, develop systems to manage all the tasks they need to complete, and set deadlines for themselves.

Written by: Krystal Knapp
Featuring: Pam Covarrubias, Leah Lemm, Patrick Cox

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Survival tips for your first year as a creator, from creators

The creator journey can feel daunting at times and liberating at others. It can also be lonely. It’s normal to struggle with issues like stress, self-doubt and imposter syndrome. But you can take steps to set yourself up for a smoother start.

Written by: Krystal Knapp
Featuring: Amanda Cua, JR Raphael, Kai Brach, Alicia Kennedy, Pam Covarrubias, Leah Lemm, Patrick Cox

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The ways solo creators collaborate

Solo content creators need to work in community with others to manage the numerous tasks involved in running a venture. There are a variety of ways you can collaborate with others, each with its benefits and drawbacks.

Written by: Ambreen Ali
Featuring: Amanda McLoughlin, Andrew Peng, Dan Hu, Dino-Ray Ramos

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