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The Quest To Become Internet Famous (October 2020 Update)

“I remember very well not being famous. It wasn’t that great.”

– Jerry Seinfeld

Earlier this year, I decided to start building an audience online. I was inspired after learning two things about Tim Ferriss:

  1. His podcast generates enough revenue that it could trade on the NASDAQ as a standalone company.
  2. His personal email list is larger than the record-shattering crowd that turned out to Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

That got me so fired up that I wrote an in-depth piece on everything I learned about him and a laundry list of other people who have figured out how to win on the internet.

Up until the beginning of this year, I had been sending this newsletter out pretty much exclusively to friends and family and I barely ever posted on Twitter. This was my online footprint in January 2020:

  • 226 Stew’s Letter subscribers
  • 550 Twitter followers
  • 53k impressions on Twitter

So I started to promote this newsletter a bit, tweet more often, and generally figure out how the internet works.

These are my stats today (October 2020):

  • 1,464 Stew’s Letter subscribers
  • 4,648 Twitter followers
  • 3.21 million impressions on Twitter

I haven’t invested nearly as much time in this as I’d like, but it’s a start.

Most of the growth has been relatively steady and a function of doing the work consistently, but I’ve had a few tweets go viral like this one that flew past a million impressions and brought in ~1k new followers.

Twitter impressions are a good way to track if you're internet famous yet

I also helped launch the Compound newsletter and Twitter account this year. In a few weeks, they’ve both gone from zero to:

  • 1,072 Compound Digest subscribers
  • 1,305 Twitter followers

And while both of these audiences are tiny, relatively speaking, they’ve already been an invaluable resource for building the business behind Compound.

Twitter (and Stew’s Letter early on) has been our most effective channel for discovering amazing writers who join Compound as paid members.

We’ve gone from $0 to tens of thousands of dollars in ARR in a few months, and we reject the vast majority of people who apply to join — if we said yes to all of the demand from our audience we’d likely be at 5-10x our current revenue (but our member experience would implode so we won’t do it).

I have no idea if this is interesting to people, but I’ll keep posting updates like this every once in a while.

Any questions?

Hit reply and let’s chat!


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