Good evening, and thanks for spending part of your week with Extra Points.
We have a new episode of Going For Two up and ready to go. It had been several weeks since we did a mailbag, so we opened things up for your questions, and ended up with several good conversations. This episode covers questions like:
- Which school is mostly likely to make a big splash with NIL next month?
- Why would a smaller D-I conference potentially go with a company other than ESPN for their media rights?
- What's the best college sport to add if your only goal was to break even, financially?
- What advice would we give to an FCS school that wants to join FBS later this decade?
- What does a potential 12-team playoff field mean for all the non-Notre Dame independent programs?
- What we're hearing about WAC expansion and more.
You can subscribe to Going For Two wherever you get your podcasts, or listen to it right here by clicking the box below.
We have some exciting news on the podcast front that I hope to share later next week, along with some high-quality guests secured for July.
Speaking of updates, I've been sharing quarterly business updates since I launched Extra Points. We're around where Q2 would end, so here's some information about how everything is going around here, and some notes on what else to expect in 2021 on Extra Points.
How is Extra Points doing?
As of Wednesday evening, Extra Points has 5,228 subscribers, with 641 of them as paid subscribers. That comes out to roughly $4,300 in monthly reoccurring subscriber-based revenue.
In 2021, I've averaged about $300 a month in ad sales revenue. As of right this second, when you combine ad sales, subscriptions, merchandise and book sales, Extra Points is projected to bring in a little north of $56,000 a year. That's not Political Contrarian Newsletter money, but it is certainly enough to keep the lights on, pay freelancers competitive wages, and make sound business investments.
Extra Points paid subscribers get four newsletters a week, AND get access to our special Discord server that's just for subscribers. You can update your subscription right here to make sure you don't miss out on any Extra Points content.
Wait, 641 paid subscribers? Didn't you have over 700 in the last update? What happened?
That's true. There's a few reasons for the drop. A significant number of paid subscribers are college students who use Extra Points for class. When the term is over, most of them don't need Extra Points anymore, so they cancel. The paid subscriber number also fluctuated a bit from the transition from Substack to Ghost.
And hey, if we're being honest, May wasn't a great month for new paid subscriber growth. For the first time since I launched, subscriber churn outpaced new subscriber growth (although that trend has been reversed for June). Profitability has grown, thanks to Ghost being much cheaper than Substack + increasing advertising revenues, but Q2 was not all sunshine and rainbows.
But hey, that's publishing for you. I honestly do feel good about this newsletter and the rest of 2021. But I probably couldn't sustain the growth curve I was on forever.
What are the next big goals for Extra Points?
A lot changed in Q2. This newsletter moved from Substack to Ghost, which turned out to be a much more complicated process than I expected. I launched the FOIA Directory, a project I'm really proud of and want to continue to grow. I added a feature that allows you to listen to the free newsletters, rather than just read them. I spent a lot of time trying to grow the podcast, sell ads, and make newsletters that you'll want to read.
In Q3, I want to refocus a bit on the newsletter, working on a few more reporting and writing projects. I want to continue to publish freelance stories from smart writers, as well as spend a little less time fiddling with the back-end. I have a big notebook full of newsletter ideas, and I can't wait to share more of them with you.
I've said this before, but after July 1, my hope is to pay some college athletes to promote Extra Points. I've joined a few marketplace exchanges, and hopefully, can find the right partners to launch some campaigns later this summer.
Is...is Extra Points for sale?
Short answer? Sure, for the right opportunity. I love writing. I love researching, interviewing, digging into open records, etc. I've also found that I really love the business side of running a newsletter. I like sales prospecting, I like networking, I like playing around with new platform tools. I even like consulting, and have started doing that for a few newsletter projects, and may continue to do so.
What I don't really love is doing all of those things. For the right opportunity, I'd be happy to trade equity to take some of that stuff off my plate. If that meant somebody buying me out entirely, that's fine. If that meant a publication or private investor buying Extra Points, that's fine too. If that doesn't happen, I'm fine to just continue what I'm doing.
Am I urgently seeking an exit? No, not really. But will I take the phone call? Absolutely.
Anyway, if you're reading this and ever want to talk shop, feel free to drop me a line at Matt@ExtraPointsMB.com.
Today's newsletter is sponsored by the Athletic Giving Handbook
This newsletter is also supported by Playbook Products.
You all know I'm an absolute sucker for vintage college sports stuff. My office is absolutely plastered with dozens of vintage college pennants. I've got a blueprint of the Rose Bowl hanging up on my back wall. The coasters on my desk? They're full of classic Ohio State plays.
Those come from Playbook Products, who have turned some of the greatest plays in sports history into high quality coasters, posters and more. They're the perfect gift for the sports devotee in your life.
Lastly, I'm going on vacation this week. I'm flying out to Salt Lake tomorrow morning for a week of hiking, seeing family and friends, and apple beer. Will it be relaxing? Well, I'm flying 2,000 miles with two children under seven, so probably not, but I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun.
I'm going to check my email and Twitter as little as possible. I'm still going to do it, because I'm a workaholic, but if you reach out to me, it'll probably take longer to get a response. I'll publish freelance stories from friends of Extra Points next week, and will return on the 24th. Sorry in advance for all the major news that will unquestionably break over the next few days.
For sales questions, I'm at sales@ExtraPointsMB.com. For all other questions. I'm at Matt@ExtraPointsMB.com.
Thanks for reading, listening and for all of your support. I couldn't do it without you. See you all in a week!