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The Business of Content

Jan 17, 2021

Over the past year, dozens of writers have left their mainstream media jobs to launch their own standalone newsletters and publications. In almost every case, the writer monetized his content through paid subscriptions, usually with a tool like Substack.

Rick Ellis never bothered with paid subscriptions. Instead, his website generates so much traffic each month that he’s able to make a good living mostly through programmatic advertising.

Ellis has been operating off and on since the early 2000s, but a few years ago he decided to abandon traditional media completely to focus on the site full-time. I recently interviewed him about how he found his audience, what his weekly writing schedule looks like, and why he has no interest in building out a paid subscription business.