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Polina Pompliano is the author of The Profile, which studies the most successful and interesting people and companies in business, entertainment, tech, sports, and more.
The Profile is a paid newsletter. Before Polina was writing The Profile, she wrote for Fortune, USA Today, and CNN. Polina also has nearly 130,000 followers on Twitter and in order to write exceptional profiles, says she read 1.8 million words online last year – the equivalent of 25 books.
Profiles are a rare breed of writing – and Polina is really good at it. She’s written profiles of Sara Blakely, Elon Musk, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Dolly Parton, Kris Jenner, and many more.
In this episode, we talk about the difference between profiles and biographies, the economics behind a paid newsletter, the most effective strategies she’s found for growth, and why the secret to a great profile is found in the Details.
Full transcript and show notes
Subscribe to The Profile
Follow Polina Pompliano on Twitter
00:12 - New projects
01:00 - Today’s guest
01:40 - Polina by the numbers
03:00 - What we learn today
03:40 - Why profiles are great
05:40 - Difference between profiles and biographies
06:58 - What makes a great profile?
10:00 - How Polina approaches research
12:30 - How to tell what matters to someone
13:00 - How does Polina find time to do research
15:33 - What if you can’t get primary research?
16:10 - Response between primary and secondary research
17:09 - Ever have someone get mad?
18:35 - Free vs Paid offerings
19:40 - The Profile metrics
21:00 - The Profile business model
24:00 - What it takes to do a paid newsletter
28:00 - Important factors for growth
29:16 - Newsletter subscriber behavior
30:44 - Newsletter pricing
31:10 - Best methods for newsletter growth
33:27 - Newsletter cross promos
36:38 - Free to paid subscriber journey
39:10 - Name recognition and views
43:49 - Most difficult part of a newsletter business
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