Get 1,000 Subscribers


Starving to Successful: How to Become a Full-Time Writer


Lesson Info

Get 1,000 Subscribers

So we've been talking about getting here, and I love what Ryan says, like, "When you get 2,000 subscribers, "this is a game changer and you just start making money. "Everything before then is about "getting to 1,000 subscribers." So let's just talk about why this is important and some stuff will work better than others, some type of guest posts will work better than others, so we need to hold this stuff loosely. If you see somebody using some strategy that you've tried and it's not working for you but something else is, don't get caught up in inner turmoil about that. Use the thing that's working well for you and try lots of different things until you find something that works well. Guest posting, as I mentioned, is a really great beginner strategy 'cause it just works. Ryan did it, I did it, it's proven. We continue to see it working. Once you do 1,000 subscribers, you can kind of experiment with other strategies 'cause it's just a numbers game. If I can get 10 new subscribers from ev...

ery guest post, then I need to write 100 guest posts. If I can get 20, then I only have to write 50, and so on. So you find ways to make it work. So once we get to 1,000 subscribers, this is a big deal. Why, why 1,000? Well, Kevin Kelly talks about this. He says, "To be a successful creator, "you don't need a million fans." You can actually make a living off of how many? 1,000 true fans. He wrote a famous essay about this. If you Google 1,000 true fans, you can read his free blog post about this. It's a great idea. But basically the reasons that 1,000 true fans works and 1,000 true fans are not just people who follow you on Twitter, or who heard about you, or who mistook you for a character in a Harry Potter film. They're people who really trust you and they will basically buy anything that you create. So in order to have 1,000 true fans, you've gotta have a direct relationship with them. This is very important. It can't be a middleman, so it can't be followers on Twitter. It can't be fans on Facebook because there's a middleman there, there's an intermediary and they can change what access you have to these people. You do not have a direct relationship to them. You have a relationship, not a direct one. The other thing you need with 1,000 true fans is you need to be able to make about $100 profit per fan. So very easy math: you have 1,000 true fans, you can make $100 off of each fan, you can make $100,000. You do that every year. You sell them something new every year. That's a living. So this number, 1,000, is small enough that anybody can attain it, but it's big enough that it's a lot of people. If 1,000 people showed up at your doorstep tomorrow, that would be illegal (chuckles). (audience laughing) It would be a music festival. Your HOA wouldn't like it. (audience laughing) I mean, crazy. It's a lot of people and if you get 1,000 email subscribers, that means a lot of people listen to you, they trust you, they wanna hear what you have to say. So how do we get 1,000 subscribers? We put all of these strategies together. We talked about the step where you're gonna guest post on 10 sites, so that's one strategy, on 10 sites that you can guest post on. Strategy two: Ask your readers to share your stuff with their friends. I mentioned to you my friend David who wrote an e-book, sent it to 500 people, asked them to share it, they shared it with 500 other people. He got 1,000 subscribers in 24 hours doing that. So ask your readers to share your stuff with their friends. Ask your readers to forward your emails to somebody else. Ask them to click to tweet. is a free tool that you can use where you type in a link to your blog post, or your blog address or your lead magnet. When you get your fans sharing your stuff, they're going to introduce you to new fans. Third: You need to keep publishing, keep creating things. There is a certain amount of momentum that just happens when you keep making things, you keep attracting new fans. Every article that you write, every email that you send is an opportunity to reach more people. This stuff is simple. It's not hard. It just requires a little bit of hard work. And so what happens is you do one or two guest posts and you get a little bit discouraged or you email to people and ask them to share it and they don't, and you quit. If you do this stuff and you execute it over the next 30 days: write 10 guest posts, ask people to share it, stay consistent with your blog, you're going to start stacking these strategies and creating momentum that is really really hard to slow down. Once we get there, once we get to a point where we have 1,000 subscribers, now we get to sell them something which is what we're gonna talk about next. So we've been doing a lot in this segment talking about a lot of different things. We blasted through four steps, I think. Let's take a minute, let's breathe a little bit. We had a guest speaker, Brian was great. Where you at, how're you doing? Any questions? Yeah, go ahead, Maya. What are you thoughts, and maybe Ben will speak to this later, what are your thoughts about doing columns for Columns? Columns, yeah, for specific publications? They tend to have exclusivity around that content. Right. So in terms of managing that, while at the same time wanting to get 1,000, do you know what I mean? Like balancing that. Yup. Yeah, so I would treat a column as a guest-post opportunity. What you don't want to do is you don't want to get locked into some sort of regular publishing relationship with a publication that may not be worth your time. Won't send you the traffic, won't link back to your website, won't send you leads that actually convert to email subscribers. I often get asked to contribute to somebody's website because they get free content. That's a good deal for them. My rule for that is I'll do anything once. So no I'm not gonna commit to a monthly or weekly column for your website 'cause that takes time that you're not paying me for, typically. They're typically not paid gigs, but I'll do it once and I'll have to link back to my website and I'll just tee. I'll do it once if for no other reason than if it's some brand name that people know, you could put that on your featured-in list on your website. There's some value there, it looks legit. And then when you go to guest post for somebody, you could say, "Hey, I wrote for Huffington Post," or Entrepreneur, or whatever, Psychology Today. So I would do it once. I would ask for a link back and see how it goes, and measure the actual traffic that it sends and just see how it goes. Realize that just pretty much everything is negotiable. So people will ask me to contribute and I'll go, "Ah, no, I don't wanna do that." I said, "But, like, I can send you articles "that I've already published on my website "and you can re-syndicate those and link back "to my website if you're interested in that," and sometimes they say yes and sometimes they say no. So that's how I would approach that. I would do it once to see how it goes and then I would either continue doing it 'cause it's gonna keep sending traffic, or I would offer to just kinda send them post that I've already published and re-syndicate them, or I just go, "No, I'm just gonna focus on my thing." By and large, it's better to guest post for niche sites then it is to write for a bunch of illustrious industry publications just like it's better to be on a podcast than it is to be on most radio and TV shows. Yeah, Jay. Jeff we've talked a lot throughout the course so far about really refining and offering value, being contributive to really the gold standard of growing this list. But I've noticed throughout, there's also been the need to target other influencers and if it's a few rungs below and a few rungs above. Can you talk more about that? Yeah. And specifically, ways to scale that and keep track of it, say use a CRM for customers. Do you use it similarly for those other network relationships so that you're being honorable to the relationships you're creating 'cause you're going through that partnership? Can you speak more to that side of it? Yeah. I do think getting on the radar of influencers is like a fast-track strategy. If you get some big name in your industry to say, "Hey everybody, listen to this person," like Brian said that, "I didn't realize this "that I sent him 2,500 subscribers. "I kind of regret that now." (audience laughing) Gave a big hat. No, but I mean that would... Those people trusted me and therefore they trusted him, and so that can be a big deal. I had the same thing happened to me. Michael Hyatt became a friend of mine, as some of you may know who he is as I mentioned him earlier in the class. He was somebody that early on vouched for me because I spent seven months doing what Brian talked about, which was emailing him and saying, "You said this thing, I did it, it worked. "You said this thing, I did it, it worked." I did that over and over and over for seven months and one of the reasons why my email has grew from 75 subscribers to 1,000 that first week that that manifesto came out is 'cause he endorsed it and tweeted about it and I had spent seven months developing that relationship. So this is a way to fast track things to get influencers to endorse your work. On one hand, you're fast tracking. On the other hand, it takes time. It takes six, 12 months to build a relationship. Brian talked about what he calls the poster-boy formula. "Hey, I did this thing. "It worked. "Just wanted you to know." Real artist on stah-rye talked about this, and I call it the case-study strategy and I have a little formula for it. I'm not a big-formula guy, but I think this works pretty well. The formula is: "Dear so-and-so," it's a letter, the email that you send, "thanks for X. "It helped me do Y, "now what about Z? "Dear so-and-so, thanks for X. "It help me do Y, now what about Z?" You have to do this over, and over, and over again. But if I go, "Dear Jay, love your blog. "I love your worldview statement, very poetic. "It helped me make sense of my own world right now. "Really appreciate it. "Are there any other resources that you'd recommend "that I read or watch or listen to "so that I can continue growing this?" What I've done, if you're a big-deal influencer, what I've done is I've just distinguished myself from 80 or 90% of the rest of people trying to get your attention, 'cause what are most people saying to influencer Jay? "Please help me." "Please help me. (audience laughing) "I'd love to pick your brain. "This will only take 30 minutes." 30 minutes, what do you mean only? I could be watching a cartoon with my son for those 30 minutes. (audience laughing) That's a big deal. Paw Patrol is coming on in 15 minutes. I don't have 30 minutes! Yeah, so, and you do it over and over and over again, and all of a sudden, you go, "Look, I'm not a taker." Best way to say I'm not a taker is to not say I'm not a taker. It's to not take. The other thing that I think people get wrong about this is they go, "How can I help you?" I don't know, like, I don't know you. Maybe you can't. Well, what Brian was saying is like, at the end of a long day of teaching a seminar, teaching a class, a long year of writing a book, somebody says, "Hey, this is great, I loved it," that's cool, I appreciate that, but it's a throwaway comment. "This is the best book I've ever read." Cool, thank you. When somebody says, "This helped me do blank," and there's actual results, I know they're not blowing smoke up my skirt. I know that, unless they lied about the results, I can test it, I can measure it. I'm sharing stories with you, people that did that. Sean just said, "Hey, this worked. "I quit my job and made a bunch of money." I go, "That's really cool." Ben, we're gonna talk to later, he goes, "It worked and I got a book deal. "I can't believe it worked." That, I mean, that lights me up. That gets me excited. What I've learned about influencers is it's not that they don't want to share their influence and it's not that they don't want to invest in people, they really really do, it's just so hard with the demands on their attention to distinguish the good eggs from the bad ones. Brian talked earlier, he goes, "Most people aren't gonna do anything with this," and that's okay. But if you don't wanna be that person, you wanna be the person that stands out from everybody else, you want your mentor or hero or somebody you follow online or in real life to go, "Everybody, listen to this person," keep showing up, keep doing the work, and show that what they talk about actually works, and this can be a bunch of different ways. It could be, "Hey, I watched your commencement speech. "I read your novel and it inspired me to become a novelist." I think action is the best compliment. So using that strategy, "Dear so-and-so, "thanks for X. "It helped me do Y, now what about Z?," if you do that with 10 people, somebody will respond. You could begin to have a relationship with those people. When people email me like that and it's like a student of a course or somebody that I spoke to at an event and they tell me, "I did this thing," I go, "I want to talk to you. "I want to write this down. "I wanna put this in the testimonial. "I wanna include this in a talk that I'm doing." I wanna share this story for two reasons: one, I don't want to be talking about myself the whole time, two, I want to be able to demonstrate through real-life examples of this stuff that I'm teaching actually really does work, and three, I want people to have examples that they can relate to. If you talk about yourself or famous people who are your friends, it's easier for people to go, "Well, they got lucky. "It worked for them, but it won't work for me." When you bring somebody like Shanta on, she's very relatable. Just a few years ago, she was in exactly the position that so many people watching this right now are and so there's a proximity to it and I love that. They're just fun stories to share. Honestly, the more of those stories I get, I go, "Oh wow, this actually really does (chuckles) work. (woman laughing) "I didn't just make this up." Caroline. So Jeff, thank you for staying on message Okay. And thank you for your typewriters course. It has help me write a book this last year. I will be coming to your conference next month with the book in hand. It's self published at this stage. So now, what do I do? (audience laughing) It's true. That's good. I'm kind of at this place where I need to develop that. Well, you keep showing up. You've been in my community for a long time. A couple years. Yeah, and so, I mean I think you're here. I mean I think that's-- Keep moving ahead, yeah, keep pushing it. Yeah, you're at 108 subscribers. 118, Jeff. 118, sorry. Like if I were you, I'd make it a goal to go, you got a month before you go to the conference. I mean, that'd be just kind of a cool milestone. How close to 1,000 subscribers could I get following some of the strategies that Brian talked about? Just everything else put on blinders and everything else is dead to this goal of 1,000 subscribers. It's hard to get to, not because you can't do it, just because most people don't. Most people get stuck at 100, 200, 300 subscribers. If you just put these blinders on and get there, it's so rare. 1,000 people is so many people. I mean you'd be selling products, making money, real money by the end of the year. And so if I were you, that's what I would do. I'd try to maybe get, I'd try to get the 900 new subscribers. 900 and 20, 80. (audience laughing) 70. 982 (laughs). Yeah, whatever. (Caroline laughing) Yeah I'd try to get 982 new subscribers in probably the next 90 days. That'd be reasonable. Eight and, yeah, okay. Yeah, try to get to 1,000 subscribers. (audience laughing) 892, Jeff. Whatever, all right. (audience laughing) You're a writer (laughs). We're done with the math here. Any other questions? I'll be really focused on that. Jeff, I just want to get this one in here. People seem to really like this formula, but Melanie Bergeron wants to know, "Can you expand a bit more on the Z part "of that formula?" Yeah, yeah. What other types of things can you ask of people? Do you just ask for other resources? What are some examples? Yeah, so be very careful with this, initially, sort of that jab-jab-jab-jab-right-hook thing, your advantage left hook spot about, and I think you could put more jabs in there, Like give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, ask, but the ask should be asking for information for the first few times. Like you said, what do I do? "I'm doing stuff, could you point me at a resource? "I'm willing to invest more on the process." Don't ask for their time. Don't ask for something of value other than their advice which is valuable. I'd ask them for, "Have you written about this? "Are there any other resources or books that I could read?" 'Cause what you want to demonstrate is a learning spirit. You're acting like an apprentice, basically. You keep showing up. Apprenticeship in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance lasted seven years where you, for those seven years, were just doing whatever the master asked you to do: sweeping the floors, cleaning the studio, whatever it took. But over those seven years, you started to learn how this craft was done and eventually you too could become a master. And so seven years of an apprenticeship were spent just doing mundane work and then two to three years were spent being a journey man where you got to practice the trade. And then by year 10, you got to submit a work which was called a masterpiece to the guild. If they said, "This is good, this is an actual masterpiece," then you got admitted into the guild and you became a master. So this process took a long time and the first 75% of the process is going, "Okay I did what you talked about, now what else? "I did what you talked about, now what else?" So the Z is "Now, what else? "What else do you have for me?" At some point you might go, "Hey, can I "be a guest on your podcast and talk about this?" Sean told me she started doing a lot of this stuff that I was teaching. She started making some asks. She goes, "Hey, no pressure, "but I'd love to share this at your conference," or on your blog or with other people that I know could help it. And so when you do ask for something, do it in such a way where you're helping that influencer help their audience. If you do that, that's a very easy thing to say yes to.

Class Description

Do you love to write or want to start writing, but think that if you do that you will always be broke?

Do you want to write full time and be the next Stephen King? Do you want to be a thought leader and get paid for your ideas like Tim Ferriss? Or are you an author/entrepreneur that wants to create a business from your writing or maybe simply be a better blog writer?

Did you know that the most writers, do not make more than $1,000 a year off their writing?

Jeff Goins, author of, Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age, debunks the myth that if you are creative person, including being a writer, that you need to be broke.

In his class, he will first teach you how to stop self sabotaging and get you to break that mental block so you can see yourself as a profitable writer.

He will then help you identify which type of writer you want to be to set you on a path to profitability. He will teach you the strategies to get going in each of these paths.

After you pick your course of action, he will then get you to 1k a month, then 10k a month, and soon you will be able to do what you love AND make money doing it.

  • The first 500 people to purchase, Starving to Successful: How to Become a Full-Time Writer, will be receiving a free copy of Jeff's new book Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age. 
  • Books will be mailed to the billing address on file. 
  • Restrictions and Rules apply - visit for full details


Caroline DePalatis

I had the opportunity to be LIVE for this class recording. An amazing experience, for sure! I came to this day knowing about Jeff Goins' work but not familiar with CreativeLive. Now I know I will explore more classes. THIS class offers so much value to the participant. You will gain a boatload of confidence and terrific ideas, as well as learn a step-by-step process to take action on your idea and make it something you can be proud of and grow your creative idea upon. Jeff's teaching is clear, inspiring and actionable. Unequivocally worth the investment.

Caroline DePalatis

I had the opportunity to be LIVE for this class recording. An amazing experience, for sure! I came to this day knowing about Jeff Goins' work but not familiar with CreativeLive. Now I know I will explore more classes. THIS class offers so much value to the participant. You will gain a boatload of confidence and terrific ideas, as well as learn a step-by-step process to take action on your idea and make it something you can be proud of and grow your creative idea upon. Jeff's teaching is clear, inspiring and actionable. Unequivocally worth the investment.

Corrie Ann Gray

Jeff has a terrific delivery method of his material. He is passionate about writing and truly wants to help other writers make a living doing what they love. This class, his books, and his courses are all worth your time and money. Lots of call to actions that, if you do them, will help you become a successful and prolific writer. Thank you Jeff! You rock!