How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

Leqwane Lynch’s Story: Zero to 35,000 Subs & Selling the Newsletter


That’s the sound that’s been ringing in Leqwane Lynch’s ears for just over a month.

Why, you might ask?

On July 12, 2023, Leqwane posted this on X (Twitter):

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

He signed a deal, sold his newsletter, and received a major payday.

In this Creator Spotlight, we interviewed Leqwane Lynch, the founder of The Alerts Daily newsletter to explore the tactics he used to grow his newsletter to 35,000 subscribers, why he chose beehiiv, and how he ultimately cashed out through a newsletter acquisition in just 11 months.

Leqwane was happy to share how leveraging some key partnerships, carving out his own space in the industry, and staying focused on his goals brought him success early on.

If you’re thinking of launching a newsletter, you’re looking for new growth strategies, or you’re curious about what it’s like launching, growing, and selling a newsletter on beehiiv, then keep reading.

The Alerts Daily Backstory

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

In August 2022, Leqwane Lynch launched his very first newsletter: Alerts Daily. The newsletter

was all about culture, lifestyle, and the streetwear industry. Leqwane shared how “it took 11 months to build out the newsletter property before it was purchased by Overtime.”

We asked Leqwane to tell us how he decided on beehiiv and the impact it had on the growth and sale of his newsletter.

He shared, “beehiiv is a newsletter platform that I use mainly as a content management software for my newsletter. So I was able to use it to create the newsletter from scratch on just a blank page and go from there to make the design for the that I used to create the newsletter.”

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

He continued, “The platform allowed me to track a lot of the analytics on my subscribers, the newsletters that I was putting out. It also acted as an archive for the newsletter content that I did put out. I found that very helpful because I was able to reference it across social media which was definitely a big aid in directing traffic to our website and growing the list over time.”

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

Like many other creators who eventually made their way over to beehiiv, Leqwane found out about the platform organically. In fact, as a reader of other newsletters himself, he started to notice something at the bottom of his favorite newsletters: “Powered by beehiiv.”

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

He shared, “One of the interesting touch points that you guys have is through other newsletters at the bottom of it. I was subscribed to a couple of newsletters across the industry, especially Milk Road. I saw the [beehiiv branding] at the bottom.”

He continued, “I checked out the platform, followed Tyler Denk, and kept a close eye on it before launching. That was one of the first introductions that I had to beehiiv as newsletter management software and it definitely inspired the idea to start my newsletter.”

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

Leqwane shared how beehiiv made it easy to go from ideation to launch since it was free to start on beehiiv.

“I found out about you guys and signed up. It’s cool that the account is free — that I could just start the newsletter and play around with the design and kind of chart out some ideas on how I’d execute once I started a paid plan.”

Niching Up: Discord to beehiiv

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

Initially, Alerts Daily initially started out as a premium community for sneaker enthusiasts (collectors) and sneaker resellers in the space.

Leqwane shared how the premium community existed for five years before he launched the media wing and built the newsletter with inspiration from Milk Road. 

He explained, “Within the group, we were putting out social content across our platforms on Twitter and Instagram. The types of things that we were covering within our group were very proprietary as well as helpful information that someone within our industry could benefit from.”

But, Leqwane started to realize there was a problem with his niche: there wasn’t a truly organized way to communicate with his audience to keep them in the loop.

He shared, “The only issue with social media, as well as sneaker blogs and sneaker news sites, is they're slow, unorganized, and not as consistent and people can't really trust them.”

That’s when his beehiiv-powered newsletter was born.

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

“To basically provide a broader service, I launched a newsletter to give people that were interested in streetwear, the culture, and the lifestyle around it — day-to-day updates on what's happening, what's dropping, what the major brands are doing, and the news that's going on in the community.”

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

Leqwane shared how inspiration from others like Milk Road fueled him to launch his own newsletter and even expand his audience base.

He recalled, “There was a lot of opportunity for me to launch the newsletter and to serve a broader range of people than just the collectors and resellers that were interested in paying for our private community.”

While Leqwane ran his community through Discord for a few years, it was really niched down to a small group of people.

He shared, “Initially, the communication with our community was done through Discord. So we had maybe 750 to about 1,000 members at any given time in this paid community.

Leqwane explained, “On a day-to-day basis, I was curating and aggregating proprietary information and public information around the industry so that people could have an advantage of knowing the earliest information about what’s coming in like six months — insider knowledge about product drops and information that's happening within large companies in the industry.”

He continued, “This information is very valuable to someone in the community of sneakers or streetwear. Having a newsletter that we could deliver to a broader spectrum of people for free without them needing to pay or anything — obviously, it was a little bit watered down — it was a very valuable set of information delivered on the daily to people that cared a lot about it.”

Solopreneur Success Tip: Goal-Setting

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

There’s one common denominator across the most successful newsletter publishers: they set goals. By setting targets to hit with your newsletter – whether it’s about growth, engagement, or monetization, you’ll allow yourself to stay more consistent. And, with beehiiv, it’s easy to track your goal progress thanks to our 3D analytics and our Newsletter Navigator.

Leqwane shared how from the beginning, he set growth targets. Then, he exceeded them.

Alerts Daily was a daily newsletter that did five issues per week. I definitely jumped straight into the deep end and started writing every day. When I started it, the goal was – in the first month — to get from zero to like 1,250 subscribers. By the end of the first month, we were at like 2,500 people.”

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

He continued, “This was just due to us saying what we do on social media, like, ‘Hey, we're going to deliver free information and keep you updated on what's happening in our community.’ We were posting that on stories and using our Instagram to tell people about it.”

He shared how a secondary goal was to hit a happiness target, referred to as a Net Promoter Score (NPS).

He shared, “After doing that, it was like, ‘Okay, well, let's see how happy people are with this.’ The next goal was if we can get a net promoter score of 80% or higher. We ended the second goal with like a score of 95% happy readers. So it was like ‘This is a good sign.’”

Why Listen to Me? I’ve built several newsletters from the ground up over the years. My latest publication is The Level Ups business newsletter. I also run support at the fastest-growing newsletter platform, beehiiv.

Using Social Media to Reach 40,000 Subscribers

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

After a few months, Leqwane realized that his newsletter was on the right track. He could see it developing into something far bigger than his Discord community – as it was already twice the size. The next thing was figuring out how to scale it.

He recalled, “By month three, I'm just like, ‘Okay, how can I build a repeatable system, to scale organically without spending money?’ There were no paid ads. The Alerts Daily newsletter was completely organic up until the point that it was purchased by Overtime.”

Leqwane’s background as a social media consultant fueled his strategy to scale Alerts Daily by leveraging video.

He shared, “All of our subscribers came from organic social media. A big driver of everything we did was short-form video. We did Instagram, Tik Tok, and YouTube shorts — basically all of the platforms that helped push out organic short-form videos.”


Yeezy sneakers are back! 👟 #sneakernews #adidas #yeezy #sneakerhead #sneakertok

He continued, “When we sold, the total list was right around 40,000 subscribers with about 25,000 activities on it. The month-over-month growth was somewhere around 2,000 to 5,000 subscribers a month. With unsubscribing inactive subscribers, we'd probably net around 2,000 to 3,500 subscribers a month.”

Leqwane also shared how he leveraged beehiiv’s referral program for growth once the visibility feature came into play.

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

He explained, “From the beginning, we used the beehiiv referral program. One of the big benefits that the referral program has is the ability to turn off content visibility based on referrals. And, this was a feature idea that they developed very quickly after I recommended it”

This is a beehiiv feature that essentially acts as a content paywall but instead of having to pay to see it, you have to refer a set number of people. By “referral-walling” content, it helps motivate subscribers to increase their referrals which fuels newsletter growth.

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

He continued, ‘I had sold the newsletter maybe a few weeks after that feature came out. So by the time that feature came out, we were able to take up our referrals, like 30% or something with using the visibility options for the referral program, which was pretty cool.”

Advice for Creators: The Fast-Track Is Still a Grind

While many newsletter publishers have a team of people working in sync to keep things running, some newsletter operators like Leqwane did it all by themselves.

Leqwane didn’t mince words when he shared that running a newsletter – specifically a daily publication – isn’t an easy task. It’s not for the faint of heart, especially when you’re aiming for rapid growth – which Leqwane was.

He recalled, “It was just me. I was a one-man band running Alerts Daily which is why I wasn’t selling it. [Eventually], it was a good time to move on.”

He continued, “Just a side note, there was a meme running around — a Barbie Oppenheimer meme — where Daniel Berk from beehiiv — He posted that and… I felt that.”

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

Leqwane’s hustle meant he wore every hat in the business.

“I wrote the newsletter. I curated it, edited it, and put out all the content, as well as did all the growth. So everything was a one-man band. I sold ads and things like that.”

Enjoying this Creator Spotlight? Learn how Rowan Cheung from The Rundown grew his AI newsletter to over 150,000 subscribers just four months after launching.

Ad Strategy #1: Outbound Prospecting

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

One question every new newsletter operator asks themselves is, ‘How do I run ads?’

The reality is that there isn’t one method. You can form strategic partnerships, leverage beehiiv’s Ad Network, or do outbound prospecting as Leqwane did.

Leqwane explained how he started running ads when he reached about 25,000 subscribers.

“Our ads were sold just through outbound. There was a list of prospects made that could likely be the best fits for advertising. Some of the names on that list were eBay, StockX, and GOAT — those types of companies.”

Interestingly enough, he shared how Overtime, the eventual purchaser of Alerts Daily was one of his early advertisers. Keep that in mind when thinking about advertisers – You never know who might end up as a buyer.

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

Leqwane explained, “With some of those companies, I’d just reach out and see if they'd be interested in sponsoring the newsletter. We got very far with eBay, but unfortunately, we weren't able to find a time before we ended up selling to Overtime. But, with some of those partners, it was mainly outbound — based on the prospecting that I did.”

He shared, “I built the list as I was building the newsletter. While building the newsletter to 25,000, I was essentially making a list of potential clients that would be the best to work with us.”

“The true number was probably close to around 22,000, 23,000 when I really started thinking about selling ads. But I had a benchmark [list size goal]. While I was working on growing that to that benchmark, I’d just make sure that I'm noting down, ‘Okay, the Network app just ran an advertisement on Instagram that I've got. Note them down as a potential advertiser.”

Ad Strategy #2: Premium Positioning

While other newsletters can start advertising with as little as a few hundred subscribers, Leqwane wanted to ensure his newsletter was seen as highly valuable to potential advertisers before he pulled the trigger on ads.

He explained, “I realized very early on that our newsletter was a little bit different than others because it was a business-to-consumer newsletter. So, the more people that are on it, the better that will be for advertisers for affiliate sales or brand deals. It's more beneficial for them to have more readers seeing it that could be interested in partaking in whatever they’re offering.”

He continued, “My goal — before I started selling ads — was that I wanted 10,000 readers to see my email newsletter every day. Since I had an open rate of about 50% at the time, I reached out to potential advertisers with like 22,000 total subscribers.

Ad Strategy #3: Pricing Sponsorships

Another question new creators ask is how much they should be charging advertisers to sponsor their newsletter. While there’s no right or wrong answer, there is certainly a sweet spot that you can find over time that’s dependent on a few factors like niche, list size, engagement rate, and market demand among others.

Leqwane got a sense of his pricing by analyzing what other newsletter publications were charging. Then, he would split up his pricing based on primary and secondary ad slots.

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

He shared, “There was a daily sponsorship slot — a primary and a secondary ad slot where the primary was a sponsored partner with a full ad section in the newsletter. The secondary was outbound links based on signing up for an app or anything like that (i.e. a course that a partner would be selling or something).”

He continued, “The rates were just based on the averages that I was seeing in the community. Honestly, I didn't have any sophisticated way of pricing the placements. The rates got raised and they kind of just stayed at a certain point. In my particular industry — a consumer industry — it was much different than these very large B2B budgets.”

Leqwane wanted to make sure other creators did some research on their audience before they start. Knowing who your audience is ahead of time is crucial to setting the right expectations for yourself up front.

He shared, “Just understand your audience and understand the type of audience you're building a newsletter for jumping out the gate. [Running a newsletter] can sound very peachy. And yes, it was very awesome. But, it can be tough, jumping out of the gate and not knowing that there's a difference between the types of audiences and the demand for that particular audience.”

Considering Alternative Monetization Methods

While Leqwane took a specific path to monetization by leveraging ads from premium sponsors, he hashed out how there are dozens of ways you can monetize a newsletter.

He shared, “There were a couple of routes that I could have taken. I initially thought that selling advertisements could be a way to start. That was kind of the more traditional route to go — very simple and straightforward. And, later in the future, as the audience scaled, I could look into doing things like affiliate deals just to earn money on a per-sale kind of basis.”

He continued, “Also, in the future, I could have maybe even offered another private community for these people with the affiliates. I wanted to ensure that I had a large enough audience for daily purchases to be made for the affiliate revenue to be very meaningful.”

How Leqwane Sold His Newsletter

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

Many newsletter operators know from the start their goal is to eventually get acquired – like the founder of the Inverse Cramer newsletter.

But, Leqwane’s intention wasn't always to sell the newsletter. He shared how it was “just to build it up and make it the only kind of what it was in the industry.”

Leqwane explained, “The alternative to being a subscriber to our newsletter was using outdated, unorganized sneaker blogs, or just news sites to stay updated on cultural information. So, it was really to build a one-of-a-kind type of platform or media operation. The deal with Overtime kind of came up around a relationship with them.”

Rather than hunting for a buyer, Leqwane’s newsletter was purchased by Overtime after months of partnering with them as peers in the industry.

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

He shared “When I started the newsletter, Overtime was very close to us in size. So it worked out well to collaborate very early on. And that's what we did. And that just kind of evolved and that relationship ended up to the point where they were interested in purchasing and it made sense.”

He recalled, “They bought it as a growth opportunity. The audiences were very aligned and synergetic. They were essentially the same audience.”

Leqwane explained how he was bringing in revenue, but the primary reason Overtime bought it was for the growth potential.

He shared, “We monetized the newsletter at the seven or eight-month mark of growing the audience. We were monetizing for about three and a half months before we sold. At that point, it was making in the mid-thousands a month. So not a ton of revenue at that particular point. Being purchased by Overtime was a strategic opportunity for them to grow very fast.”

Favorite beehiiv Feature: 3D Analytics

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

We asked Leqwane if there was a particular beehiiv feature that stood out to him on his journey to selling his newsletter.

He shared, “My favorite beehiiv feature was definitely the sign-ups in the past week [section] within beehiiv analytics. It was very cool to see how many subscribers were being added, on a day-to-day basis throughout the week.”

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

“I really enjoyed being able to see the consistency in that particular chart. I know that’s probably the most basic thing anyone can say. I really enjoyed the analytics aspect of it, being able to see the growth and where it was attributed to was probably the best thing on beehiiv for me.”

Leqwane also mentioned how one of the best things about beehiiv is how they’re constantly improving.

He shared, “Every single one of the features that I suggested was shipped. That visibility thing, it got shipped. That was one of the initial features that I reached out to Tyler and was like, ‘Hey, you guys need this segmentation, the automation, etc. Everything that I suggested got shipped.”

Leqwane continued, “With beehiiv, there's only upside. They have free plans to start and with that you can build a great foundation before you even get ready to start with the paid plans. I see no downside. If there is an ‘easiest’ platform to jump on, it's this one for sure. And it's worth trying.”

Leqwane’s Next Play: Newsletter Growth Agency

We asked Leqwane what’s on the horizon for him, and it’s no surprise that he’s staying in the newsletter world. Except this time, he’s helping other newsletter operators grow their publications.

He explained, “I definitely have the newsletter bug. For me, the best part of building my own newsletter was the growth aspect of it. I didn't particularly love the selling of the ads or the content side. The next thing for me is essentially helping other operators grow their newsletters using some of the strategies that I used to grow mine.”

How This Sneaker Newsletter Was Acquired in Less than a Year

While the agency is not public yet, you can follow along with Leqwane’s journey as a newsletter agency owner, on X (Twitter)!

Join the conversation

or to participate.