Future of Search and ConvertKit's Power Play

Could Google get busted soon and ConvertKit fires back at Beehiiv...

Welcome to this week's issue of the Niche Media Publishing Newsletter.

Before getting started, be sure to subscribe to Big Desk Energy one of my '“must reads” for incredible startup entrepreneurs:

Ok, let’s get started with this week’s topics.

Future of Search: Google vs Trust Busters

Google continues to behave like a monopolist and seems to be taking the anti-trust attacks seriously… although not actually changing their core behavior.

Classic late stage monopolist stuff…

Thanks to the ongoing DOJ actions, we are getting an inside look at just how precarious the situation is for Google:

This current case doesn’t specifically address the AI question which is top of mind for content creators and media companies. BUT the FTC’s Lina Kahn made some telling comments recently:

And then there’s this…

Unfortunately, waiting for government OR competitor action is not a business strategy for publishers. We’ll have to continue mixing and matching traffic sources and tactics to stay afloat.

Matching Tools to Traffic Sources

I am currently knees deep experimenting with all sorts of strategies to generate traffic and found it useful to start matching optimal tools > platforms:

ConvertKit Takes Fires Back (Newsletter Wars)

ConvertKit fired two big shots across the bow in the ongoing battle to capture the “newsletter” platform market.

First, ConvertKt announced an entirely FREE tier for newsletter publishers with up to 10,000 subs.

This is a well-timed move as Beehiiv recently raised their prices and only supports a free (limited functionality) tier up to 2,500 subs.

Interestingly, ConvertKit also mentions a referral program where at least ONE recommendation spot is controlled by ConvertKit to boost other newsletters in their network. This is a smart tactical move to increase the network effect of maintaining a ConvertKit newsletter.

Second, Raptive (the display ad network for bloggers), just yesterday announced a joint venture with ConvertKit:

This is a smart play by both companies. Ad networks are under threat with the much delayed cookie apocalypse looming and ConvertKit’s newsletters are a natural pivot for many publishers looking to diversify and insulate their business.

Might this also be a shot at Mediavine? I’d be interested to see if they join forces similarly with Beehiiv or another ESP.

I’m also very curious to see if Raptive + ConvertKit deepen their partnership. ConvertKit’s much vaunted email ad network hasn’t lived up to expectations and Raptive has all of the sales infrastructure to expand into “ad networks for email”.

This is a service company we run, reach out if you need content wizards!

Other Things I Read Recently

These are some articles I enjoyed, but don’t really have anything to add to!

Other Newsletters Worth Following

Here are some other publications I subscribe to, author, or co-sign.

If you are operating a newsletter (or even just interested), this next one is one of my “must opens” every week:

Content Forward: Thoughts from the Front LinesWeekly deep dives & insights from a real operator, for creators seeking an edge. New insights every Friday evening!

We also cover the latest MarTech trends and deep dives with a monthly (soon to be weekly) newsletter for B2B operators:

MarTech ToolkitDiscover & Implement marketing tech in your business.

OK, that's it for this week...

Please do reply to this email with any feedback or suggestions.