Dan Norris, Author, 7 Day Startup
Launch Now, Analyze Later: WP Curve Founder Dan Norris and His Trial-and-Error Journey to Success
From a bored government employee to a brewery owner and millionaire entrepreneur—Dan Norris rewrote the book (literally) on what it takes to launch a successful startup.
It’s hard to believe that just nine-and-a-half years ago, Dan Norris was working a government job in human resources, hiring developers, and creating e-learning tools. He was bored and felt restricted, which led him to delve into the world of development and teach himself to code. This gave him the confidence to explore his entrepreneurial spirit.
And he would need a lot of that spirit, as he then embarked on eight years of failure, more or less, tanking or walking away from concept after concept. That is, until he figured out the key to his success—do what works, and stop doing what doesn’t work. Now he sits at the helm of the successful web development service WPCurve, and along the way he’s documented his many ups and downs in his popular blog and two books.
STRIKING OUT – IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
Fed up with the status quo, Norris quit his steady job just two weeks after receiving a promotion. He had no customers, no job and only a vague idea of what he would do for a living. The same day he quit his job he got his first gig—building a website. So he bought a few books, learned some more coding and eventually brought on more clients. The work was tough, because he was selling products that he often had to learn to build after the sale. But he muddled through until he could afford to bring on help.
His company grew and branched into a little of everything: building websites, creating e-learning courses, developing custom apps, CMS driven sites, WordPress themes, and some e-commerce development. But he eventually sold it, because he was never able to make it truly profitable. His profit margin was always eaten up by the resources he had to hire. So he moved on…and on…and on…
Norris tried it all. Building a surfing app, selling bootleg iPhone cases, and even selling planters through a plant stand. Finally, he launched Informly, a data analytics software solution. He spent an entire year developing the product and invested $70,000—at the end of the year Informly was only generating $476 a month. That figure that left Norris severely in the red, considering he not only had to support himself but he also had two full-time workers on the project. It was clear that it was simply not going to work. Informly was done.
Throughout his eight-year journey up to this point, Norris maintained a personal blog and routinely posted his earnings reports—something he says is a lot harder to do when you aren’t making any money. He built up a good following of people who enjoyed watching him go through the process of trying each new venture and who eagerly awaited his next attempt.
However, Norris was nearly done. He had resigned himself to the fact that he may be forced back into the role of traditional employment. But he still had one venture up his sleeve…
In a desperate moment, Norris decided that he would give entrepreneurship one last chance. But this venture was going to be different than all the rest: no face-to-face selling, no invoicing, no cashing checks, no quoting or working before getting paid, no paid advertising or webinars. The whole thing would be built on two concepts that he had come to like the most in his years of entrepreneurship: creating content and recurring income.
THE FIRST 7-DAY STARTUP
Within a week, Norris had formulated a plan to offer unlimited WordPress support for a monthly fee. He put up a quick WordPress site and installed some chat software and that was it—WPCurve was born. At the end of the week, with $0 capital investment, the company was already making $476 a month, the number it had taken a full year and $70,000 for Informly to reach.
It was clear that he had landed on something. The desperation he faced when he started WPCurve had forced him to focus all of his energy, attention, and resources on the actions that were producing results. There was no time to think about what else might work or to analyze the things that did not work. All of the momentum he was building was in direct response to success, not to theorizing or analyzing, and there was no reason to change course.
Fast-forward to today and WPCurve generates $80,000 in recurring income each month and is still experiencing steady growth. The team is expanding and it is all because Norris just decided to do “less of all the shit that wasn’t working.”
THE CONQUISTADOR OF CONTENT
Bucking traditional paid advertising methods, Norris grew WPCurve into a million-dollar business within two years using only content marketing and his own personal network. Remember all of those people who watched him struggle for years? Those same followers were some of his first clients and were eager to spread the word and help him grow WPCurve.
Norris has a three-part content strategy:
- Differentiation. At WPCurve, Norris capitalized on sharing his journey. Posting his income reports built trust through transparency and made for interesting reading. “When you fail, it’s interesting. When you succeed it’s interesting. When everything is normal, it’s not interesting.”
- Go against the flow. Expressing an opposing opinion or contradictory viewpoint is always more interesting than reiterating the status quo. Norris learned this when he released his blog post, “Is Startup Validation Bullshit?” which eventually led to publishing his book The 7 Day Startup.
- Make something “so useful, so ridiculously practical that people are forced to pay attention to it.” Norris told his story, voiced an opinion and then provided long, actionable guides that clearly explained how to do something of value.
This strategy applies to both evergreen and timely content, because a good strategy includes both. Evergreen content can be extremely powerful—those pieces that are successful will continue to produce positive results for months or even years. Including an opinion usually means that the content will not be evergreen, because a unique take is not interesting forever. The same approach applies to nurture sequences (email campaigns). As long as you’re clearly defining the goal, it’s easy to apply Norris’ strategy.
The final piece of the puzzle is exposure. Norris “pimped himself out” to every podcaster that asked for an interview and even chased outlets that didn’t reach out to him. He did everything possible to gain exposure for both himself and for WPCurve. To capitalize on this learning experience, Norris distilled his learnings and strategies into his book Content Machine.
Dan Norris is still focused solely on doing what works. He notes that every business is different and for some it may be easy to tell if the idea will take off within a few days whereas other ventures may require a few months. The important thing is to keep your eyes open and to be willing to let go of something that is failing. Norris has learned that persistence does not turn a bad idea into a good one; it just makes the bad ideas more expensive. Focusing your energy on something that you know works amplifies your effectiveness by an order of magnitude, which means your business has the potential to not just grow, but to explode.
The Best Way to Learn? LAUNCH!
Norris lost count of the number of people who told him it was crazy to provide an unlimited service contract. But he had a theory on how he thought people would use the service, and instead of debating and theorizing, he put a few safeguards in place and launched. He discovered that he was right, which he learned by launching, not analyzing.
He strongly believes that 99% of the problems he sees discussed in entrepreneur chat forums have already been solved by someone else. The other 1% is so easy to test that discussing the problem is useless compared to the effort required to get real data.
The Quick, Dirty No BS Guide to a 7-Day Launch Cycle
- Throw out all of the validation attempts and theorizing and just launch something!
- Focus all of your attention on what is working—do not waste time analyzing something that did not work or wondering if you should tweak something that is working.
- The idea is either working or not working. If you have not tried hard enough, keep going; if it is anything other than that, stop. The timeframe and investment required to decide if a business will work are different for every situation.
- How to start your own website from scratch
- The importance of getting all the opportunities to get press release in launching your ideas
- How to manage a huge remote team around the world using different online tools
- What content marketing is and how to build and grow a business with it
- Why you should be producing awesome evergreen content
Full Transcript of Podcast with Dan Norris
Nathan: Hello and welcome to another episode of the “Foundr Podcast.” My name is Nathan Chan and I’m your host coming to you live from Melbourne, Australia at 1:20 a.m. I don’t know why I keep doing it to myself, but I seem to keep staying up late and getting my hustle on and then having to wake up super early. I’ve got to stop doing this.
Okay. So, to today’s guest, his name is Dan Norris, and he’s a super successful online internet entrepreneur based out of the Gold Coast. And Dan and I connected earlier this year and we’ve ended up becoming great friends. And he’s the co-founder of WP Curve, Black Hops Brewing, he is the author of “The Seven Day Startup,” “Content Machine.” He’s just an absolute superstar. I’m really, really excited to bring you guys…there’s this epic conversation that I had with Dan. Everything around, you know, how to launch your startup in seven days, what he’s learnt from creating WP Curve which is a brilliant service that does unlimited WordPress support. It’s a million-dollar business. He built that up in about three years. Everything that he does with content marketing. The coolest thing about WP Curve is he built this million-dollar business without spending any money except just creating epic content.
So, a lot to be shared, a lot to be learnt. This is a really good conversation. It’s like pretty much like a conversation with friends that you’re just listening into, this one. Really down to earth. A lot of laughs, lot of fun, a lot of gold to take away. So that’s it from me guys. If you are enjoying the show, please, please, please do leave us a review on iTunes, or Android, or SoundCloud. It helps more than you can imagine. And please do make that sure you check out the fruits of our labor, whether it’s the magazine, whether it’s, you know, signing up to our newsletter, whether it’s, you know, reading one of our blog posts, you know, because everything that we’re doing, if you join these podcast episodes, you’re gonna enjoy all the other stuff that we’ve got going on. We’re here to help and serve and equip you guys however we can. All right now, let’s jump to the show.
Yeah, look, I’m gonna ask you the same question I ask everyone that comes on, like, how did you get your job?
Dan: Yeah. Well, I mean it sort of just really came about through not wanting to do any other job, really. I could tell you a really nice story about being inspired about taking over the world, or whatever, but it really came down to being just bored at my last job, bored working for someone else and being restricted in terms of the opportunities that you have when you work for someone else and just being curious about like what else is out there. That’s what kicked it all off probably, I think, nine and a half years ago now which makes me sound old, but I’m told that I don’t look as old as I am, so that makes me feel nice.
Nathan: Oh, awesome. So what did you do before you started to run your own gig? I’m curious like, do you have a web development background?
Dan: No, I didn’t. I had… So I worked for the government and I worked for a team that was sort of technical in terms of like running a technical project, so I had…I hired developers and then I gradually just sort of got interested in it to a point where I’d start learning about development myself, so I’d buy like books that teach you how to code. I had a business background in human resources, I knew nothing about IT but for whatever reason, that was more interesting to me than the HR work. So I sort of gradually learnt more and more about design and coding and that kind of thing. And it was an e-learning role that I was in, so I was sort of building multimedia e-learning courses. It was pretty…like back then it was…we were about the only people in Queensland doing e-learning. It was very, very small. It’s turned into a massive opportunity now, but back then it was really new.
And so I was really excited about building little flash courses and recording the audio and all that kind of stuff, and when I left the only real way I thought I could apply that was to build websites for people because I just had no idea how I would do anything else with those skills. But I’d never built a website before, I just went out and bought a bunch of books, learnt how to do it, took on a couple of projects and sort of just said I could deliver on them and then after the fact learnt the different programming languages I needed to learn and the different design softwares and got stuck in and just kind of tried to…just tried to muddle my way through it for as long as I could until I could afford to pay someone.
Nathan: Yeah, wow. So you left your job with no agency…it sounds like you had web agency, you left your job without anything in place?
Dan: Yeah, nothing in place. I actually…it was about two weeks after I got a promotion. But I also, like I had a pretty good…I was pretty young too. So like I was I was pretty young, I knew I’d be able to get another job. I had a sort of weird match of skills that I was pretty confident I’d be able to go back and get a job if it all went to shit, so from that point of view it wasn’t all that risky. But yeah, I didn’t actually have anything in place. I didn’t have any customers, I didn’t really know… It was sort of pre-CMS, like there wasn’t really WordPress or… The majority of websites that got built was just coding stuff from scratch. So I’d just kind of, you know, contact the people I knew and said, “Do you want a website?” And, you know, the day I left the job was the day I contacted the first person and asked them if they wanted me to build them a website and I went from there.
Nathan: Okay, I see. And how long did you do that for before you started doing WP Curve and all sorts of other things? So I know you’ve tried a few different things, so yeah, tell us about that.
Dan: Yeah, I mean it would be risking boring your audience if I went to every detail of all the different things I’ve tried.
Nathan: Yeah, but let’s just gloss over some of these things you started man, and tried, and… Because you’ve done a lot of things, bro.
Dan: Yeah. So I did the…the agency, I did it for seven years, and it took various forms. I did e-learning projects, I did custom apps, I did websites, CMS-driven websites mainly in Joomla, I did e-commerce stuff in Magento. I eventually moved over to WordPress. I tried WordPress themes, I tried a deals site once. I tried selling iPhone cases and fake iPads from China. I built a surfing app to enable people to check into surfing destinations. I was looking at doing a…building a pot plant stand and I would pay people put pots on their veranda. So many different things at various levels of investment like the…I also did a software… So in 2012 I started working on analytics software and I put 12 months into that. That cost me about $60,000, $70,000, pretty much all of my money. I didn’t make a cent, just lost money on it. And I did all of that stuff before starting WP Curve in 2013.
Nathan: So that analytics, was that supposed to be a SaaS, it was called Informly, right?
Dan: Yes, that was just a…I mean, it was really like I sold my agency after seven years because I just couldn’t figure out a way to make money with it. Like I was just doing the same thing as I was seven years earlier, just scraping through, not making any money, trying to hire people but losing all of my margin every time I did that, and it was just a bad business. So eventually I kind of gave up on it and sold it. And my idea was, well I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. And I threw myself in the deep end again, and the best idea I had, like I had the pot plant stand thing. I mean, I knew nothing about pots. If I had a plant here, the only way it wouldn’t die would be if it was one of those plants that didn’t need water and just couldn’t possibly die.
So I didn’t even know why I was thinking about that. The surfing one was just…I like surfing, but it was a silly idea because no one’s gonna pay for that. And the analytics was really the only one that I thought there was any chance that anyone would pay for, so I chose that one, ran with it and it was…I got a fair bit of attention doing it. Like it was a lot of fun and I did…started doing my content marketing around that time and that started going well, but the actual software, I think after 12 months I was doing $476 in monthly recurring revenue, and I had hired 2 guys and I was losing a couple of grand a month, and it was…and I ran out of money. I’d completely run out of money, so it was over at that point.
Nathan: And how did you know it was over? Like how did you know not to keep persisting? Because there’s many, you know, super successful entrepreneurs that have kept going.
Dan: Well, I think what I’ve done throughout the last few years is I’ve learnt to figure that out a lot quicker, and so I think with my agency… I think sometimes just things don’t work, and like my main lesson has been focus more on what’s working and less on what’s not working. Whereas before I was just blinded and just following this idea that if I work harder and if I just keep persisting with something that’s not working, then I’ll eventually get there, but it’s just not how things work. I mean, it was a bad idea and I couldn’t make it work for whatever reason. I spent 12 months and $60,000, $70,000 on it and I just sort of vowed never to do it again.
So, with my agency, it took me seven years to work out that it was a bad idea, the software took me a year, and since then I’ve launched a bunch of things that haven’t worked and normally within a couple of weeks, maybe a couple of months depending… I mean, if it’s software, it’s quite difficult, but normally pretty quickly I can work out that I shouldn’t be focusing on it before I put too much money into it. And that’s sort of how the whole “Seven Day Startup” thing time came about which was when I launched WP Curve, I was in that desperate situation of not having any money left. I was looking at going back and getting a job after seven or eight years out of the workforce, and out of desperation, just launched this thing that I had to launch within a week because I had no time. And it was a blessing in disguise because it forced me to focus on all the things I needed to focus on, disregard the rest, and actually launch something and then just start focusing on the things that were working and following that momentum, and a couple of years later it’s a million-dollar business.
Nathan: Yeah, yeah. Now, it’s amazing like the stuff that you’ve achieved with WP Curve because… Have you spent any money on advertising, or just on content marketing?
Dan: We haven’t really spent anything on advertising. We’re starting to experiment with a bunch of different things. I’ve got a growth guy now who’s starting to look at paid ads and stuff like that. But yeah, up until now… We did a tiny little bit of AdRoll retargeting, like $150 total, other than that we haven’t spent a cent.
Nathan: Yeah, wow, fully sell-funded, you’ve got a co-founder, [crosstalk 00:11:10] from ground up.
Dan. Yeah, as I said, I started it… We were…so it was a service so there was really nothing required to start it. I put up a WordPress theme, put up a bit of live chat software. You know, a week later I had as much recurring revenue as I had with the software that took me a year, $476 exactly.
Dan: I had 10 people sign up and at the time I had a couple of people at like 40 bucks a month and a couple at 50, 60 bucks a month and it just happened to equal to the exact amount that I had before.
Nathan: And how did you get those customers?
Dan: Well, through the content, because with Informly I’d set up a blog, I’d started doing all this content. And the whole idea with that business was like I hated a lot of aspects of running this agency, so I said, “Well, what are the things that I like out of this?” And I just decided that I didn’t wanna invoice people anymore, I don’t wanna go to the bank and bank checks, I didn’t wanna work before I got paid, I didn’t wanna quote on jobs. I didn’t wanna do any sort of paid advertising, or face-to-face selling, or webinars, or anything like that. All I wanted to do was content, and all I wanted was a business that was recurring, so that’s what I decided with this business.
So with Informly the recurring business didn’t work so well but the content did work pretty well because I’d really focused in on how to make that work. I’d built up a bit of an audience, a little bit of an email list. I think it was up to about 5,000 when I launched WP Curve, it’s much bigger now. But it was enough, so people could know what I was doing. And I think more to the point though, rather than the numbers, it was like the trust thing, because I’d been doing these really transparent income reports, lack of income reports more precisely, and I’d built up…you know, people knew the story and I’d become relevant in certain entrepreneurial communities, people sort of knew the story of what I was doing, so when I launched something else, it was interesting enough for them to pay attention to it.
Nathan: Yeah, I see. And you’ve kind of built up a reputation to be kind of like a crash test dummy of entrepreneurship. So let’s keep moving the story here. So you started WP Curve, you had, you know, you said, you know, 5, 10 customers, and you were matching your monthly recurring revenue quite quickly that you had off building Informly, so what happened next.
Dan: I mean, really all that happened next is exactly the same thing. We had more people sign up, we had more feedback on the service. We had our hands full hiring. I found a co-founder through my content. I did a lot more content, doubled down on that. Eventually, you know, started using that content to get press and to build the email list more and to, you know, to get some traction on everything we were doing. People started spreading the word. I really pimped myself out, for want of a better word, in terms of going on podcasts. Like, I just went to town. Every single request for a podcast from 2013 to 2 months ago, I accepted, no matter what the podcast, no matter whether it was live, whether it was related to business, anything. I accepted every single invitation, every single opportunity to get press we accepted.
We chased some opportunities, chased some podcast interviews, and just did more and more content. In that time, I’ve written two books, I’ve hired a content guy, just every step we’ve just sort of taken it to the next level, and before we knew it we were just growing each month, hiring more people, and doing more of the same, which really meant that we were doing less of all the shit that wasn’t working. So I was no longer trying to validate ideas or, you know, trying to guess about what kind of feature people wanted in whatever I was building. I was simply just offering people a service, making sure that we did a good job, and making sure we spread the word about what we’re doing, and that ultimately led to us growing from 0 to, you know, I think we’re $80,000 U.S. a month recurring right now in 2 and a bit years.
Nathan: Yeah, well, it’s pretty impressive. So, you know, I’m sure a lot of people would be asking these questions, and these are some of the questions that I had when I first heard about you and your service. So WP Curve, it’s unlimited WordPress support, 24/7. Now, a lot of people might look at that and think, you know, wouldn’t people just absolutely just smash you guys with requests that it wouldn’t be worth your time?
Dan: Yes. So this is one of the good examples of the one of the lessons in the “Seven Day Startup” which is that you don’t learn until you launch. And to me these days, like if I can choose between making an assumption about something or testing that assumption, then every time no matter how silly it is. I mean, it was so easy for me to just launch this thing. Like everyone told me that. I literally have a thread in a forum saying, “This is the stupidest idea because everyone’s just gonna abuse it.” And I thought, “Well, you might be right, but also, you don’t actually know because you’re just making assumptions. And I don’t know because I’ve never done this. So we don’t really actually know how this is going to be used by people.” And so I could just launch and find that out in a matter of weeks, and that was easy.
And I see this all the time with entrepreneurs. It’s like, you know, they’re sitting in forums and they’re debating ideas, and they’re discussing what’s gonna work and what’s not going to work. And it’s either something that someone else has come up against before which is 99% of problems you can think of, or it’s something that’s so easily testable that it’s not even worth talking about. It’s a waste of time having the entrepreneurial discussion about it when you can put up a page and test it and actually get real information.
And so that was a big lesson for us. So in terms of whether people abused the service, there’s just things in place that sort of mean that it’s very difficult to. Things like, it is small 30-minute jobs, so that was the whole idea from the start. It’s like these are the small jobs that you can’t fix yourself, and that limits it a fair bit. I mean, you can’t build a whole new WordPress site. There’s only so many things that are likely to go wrong with one WordPress site. And it’s per website. It’s one job at a time, so you can’t request 10 jobs at once. And so that means if it’s same day turnaround it means, you know, if you request one job now, you’ll probably get it done by sometime tonight and you’ll probably see it sometime tomorrow depending on how much time you spend on your computer or your phone. So that in itself means it would be almost impossible to request more than 30 a month. And because it’s per website, for one website to have more than 30 problems, you have to be pretty creative. And we’ve also got a like a responsible use thing that just says like if you’re not actually using this for a legitimate WordPress small job support, then we’ll kind of boot you out. We haven’t really had to enforce that too much, but it’s there if we need it.
Nathan: Yeah, okay. Interesting. And dude, you’ve got a big team. Like how many staff do you have?
Dan: I think we’re at about 40 people. It changes pretty regularly. Like Alex, my co-founder, manages the team and manages the whole service part of the business, so I don’t have anything to do with that anymore other than I kind of look at the quality scores and make sure we’ve got the right team for some of the marketing side. So I think we’re 40 people total, all contractors around the world. I think we’re in eight different countries, mostly full-time or close to full-time. And at the moment, we’re sort of…we’re not growing as fast as we used to grow, we’re just sort of growing a little bit, which means we sort of have the luxury of being able to make sure we’re getting the most out of our current team. And then we keep hiring and we just try to keep hire better people and if someone’s not doing a good job, then we let them go and hire someone better. So we’ve got that luxury right now rather than just sort of hiring anyone and keeping everyone because we’re desperate and growing so fast.
Nathan: There’s a couple of other questions I’d like to unpack around that, but, you know, a team of 40 people, where are they around the world?
Dan: So we’ve got probably around 25 to 30 in the Philippines, all over the Philippines, we’ve got 2 in Australia. So I was the only one in Australia but now we’ve got Vinay who’s our content marketing manager. At the moment we’ve got Kyle [SP] who was our content marketing manager, he’s over in Utah. We’ve got Alex and Julie in the U.S., Britney in the U.S. but she works Australian time zone, so in the afternoon. And then we’ve got Africa, Hungary, a bunch of other places. As I say, it changes a bit, but I think we’re seven or eight different countries.
Mostly on the development side it’s mostly the, you know, developing countries where the staff are cheaper than they are, say in Australia. But we also have a couple of devs, like we’ve got a couple senior devs who we pay more and are just there to sort of catch the stuff that the other guys can’t catch. But the location doesn’t necessarily impact that, like the guys in Europe are particularly good. I’ve also got one guy, Andrew, who’s worked with me for three or four years, probably more actually, who’s in the Philippines. He’s still our best guy by far.
Nathan: Okay, interesting. And how do you manage a team that big when you’re all global and remote?
Dan: Yeah, we do a lot of content about this on the WP Curve blog. So we use a combination of sort of processes for managing a team as well as systems, so tools…well, probably all the stuff you hear mentioned all the time now, but we’ve been using them really early. Like, we were a really early user of Slack back when people were pretty much using…I mean, when I say, “back when,” I’m only talking about 18 months ago. But when Slack first came out, most people were using Skype and so we got on Slack really early. We got on HelpScout, we use Google Docs extensively. We haven’t had email for any of our staff, we’ve just had Google Docs.
Nathan: Oh, wow, so none of your staff have email?
Dan: No, none of our staff. The only staff that have email are sort of like management. Like Alex and I have email at content. We have one email address for content marketing.
Nathan: Yeah, okay. Wow, that’s really interesting.
Dan: That’s all… Yeah, it’s funny, I saw like a news.com article the other day saying, “Crazy company where no staff have emails.” And I’m like, “Well, isn’t that normal? Why would staff have emails?”
Nathan: Yeah, it kind of makes sense. Okay, interesting, interesting. All right. So you’ve got a cool story. When you launched WP Curve and for quite a significant period of time, you never met your co-founder Alex in person.
Dan: Yeah. Well I’ve never met really anyone on the team. I mean, I hadn’t even met Alex.
Nathan: That’s crazy, man.
Dan: Yeah. So I think we were probably doing 30 or 40 grand a month recurring by the time we finally met. He’s an Aussie but he’s over in the U.S. so we’ve met in person once. He was going to come over this year but that didn’t happen. I was thinking of going over there next year so maybe we’ll meet again then. But we sort of do different jobs and it seems to work out okay. But it is, yeah, it is kind of crazy and you get used to… I like the remote working thing but it’s very different. Like I’ve got other projects I’m working on like the Black Hops stuff which is all mostly impersonal, though having said that we’re slamming Slack every day as well. Very different ways to work. And I do like working in person as well, but the remote team definitely has its benefits. It’s much more of a less hands-on business, WP Curve, especially for the amount of money it’s generating in that team compared to the more traditional sort of bricks and mortar businesses.
Nathan: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So let’s talk about content marketing because this is something you’re very, very good at, and then we’ll move back to the “Seven Day Startup” thing, because I’m sure a ton of people that are listening to this would be dying to know, you know, how do you launch a business in seven days.
So content, you know, what are things that people could be doing in terms of content marketing to build and grow their business?
Dan: Right. So yes, I thought about this because my…a guy I worked next to said, “You should write a book about content marketing,” and I thought, “Yeah, well that could be fun. All right, I’ll do that.” So I did it. I wrote a book called “Content Machine,” and I just forced myself to think about like, “What have I learned from doing I think 300 blog posts before I had a single one with more than 10 tweets,” not that you’d know now anyway since Twitter removed that little tweet total thing. But that used to be a nice way to tell if anyone gave a shit about what you were doing, and obviously no one did because no one was sharing my stuff, and so I had to really think about what I could do to get people sharing.
And so I think the biggest lessons for me were probably differentiation, really. Like especially in the online marketing world, like everyone I see doing something well, like I see your Foundr stuff, like I can pinpoint what they’re doing, I see like someone like Chris Ducker or someone like Tranco [SP], someone like Pat Flynn, Marie Forleo, like these people who like are able to enter into a field where it’s so intensely competitive for people’s attention, where everyone’s seen it all but they’re able to make it work. In every instance I can see something that they’re doing that’s different to what other people are doing, and so that I think is the key lesson, is like how do you stand out?
So I’ll give you an example. With our beer at Black Hops, we have a podcast where we literally record like conversations with investors, we go through every step we’re going through with our equipment or finding a location, we chat with our designer about how the design process works for our brand, like every detail about what’s going to building this brewery. And in the online marketing world that would just be considered a pretty standard approach to a podcast, whereas in the beer world, there’s no other brewery that I know of with a podcast. I was looking at, yesterday, the top beer podcasts, because we’re thinking of doing a crowdfunding campaign next year on Possible, and I wanna try to get on some podcasts for the beer. And they’re all just blokes talking about beer. As far as I know there’s not an actual brewery putting out content like that. And it’s not just the podcast, it’s other content like our blog posts about where to order equipment, how to break down the recipes for what we’re doing, how to make tap decals for bars, all those kind of details that…people love to see that because they love the story and they’re not getting it.
And that’s the differentiation piece. If every other brewery was doing it, we would get no attention at all, but because no one’s doing it, we get all the attention. And I think that’s the key. It’s like if you’re in the online marketing world, it’s much, much, much more difficult because you need to do something to stand out. If you’re in a more traditional business, it’s much easier because you can just choose something and test a bunch of different ways of differentiating. And I talk about a bunch of ways in the book. We could talk about those if you’re interested, but the key message is just like, what can you do that’s gonna grab people’s attention, and once you’ve got their attention doing more of what they enjoy? And to me it’s focusing on sharing, or focusing like more human metrics. Like if people are actually going onto Facebook and sharing something of yours, you know, putting their own messaging in, like actually doing something that a person would do. Not just like a Like, which is like a kind of a mechanical systemized thing like double tapping something on Instagram. It’s like, that’s cool. But if real humans are talking about what you’re doing and they’re sharing what you’re doing, they’re coming up to you at events and telling you they love what you’re doing, and they feel like, you know, that your story is inspiring and like those kind of things let you know that you’re on track and that you’re doing something that’s really got people’s attention.
Nathan: And when it came to WP Curve, what are you guys doing differently, and how are you using content to stand out?
Dan: Yeah. So the three things I think originally that were the things I noticed…because I did the 300 posts, not just on WP Curve, I’ve been doing blogging since I think 2009, and the 3 things I noticed that were sort of different about what I was doing. One was just sharing my story, like the journey. And that took the form of income reports. As I said, I wasn’t making any money at the time, so I was sort of like almost the only person online doing income reports that wasn’t making a shitload of money. Because like income reports are cool when you’re making a lot of money, but it’s a little bit harder to press the Publish button when you’re not making any money. So people had bought into this story, like they were kind of…you know, like every entrepreneur goes through that story of trying to figure out how to make it all work and, you know, when you’re failing, it’s interesting, when you’re succeeding, it’s interesting, when everything’s normal, it’s not interesting. So I had that story in my favor and people really liked those income reports and liked hearing about the story.
I was also pretty happy to voice my opinion about different subjects. So the “Seven Day Startup” idea came about by me writing an article that sort of went against the whole validation concept from the lean startup. And the article was called “Is Data Validation Bullshit?” I’d outlined a whole bunch of reasons why it makes a lot more sense to just launch something than to sit around and debate how to validate the idea. So having your own opinion and saying something a little bit contrarian is something that worked in my favor, so that was probably the second thing.
The third thing was just the age-old, just making something useful. Like that’s pretty much universal advice for anyone doing content marketing, is if they can make something so useful and practical, so detailed and so good that people, you know, people see it as the best option for whatever they’re learning about, then it’s gonna stand out. So I learnt that. Neil Patel told me the same thing with his content. Like he said it wasn’t really working for him until he wrote a guide that was just so ridiculously practical that people were just forced to pay attention to it. So I noticed that as well with my content. I would write normal sort of blog posts, a couple of hundred words and people would…no one would care about it, it wouldn’t stand out, it wasn’t interesting.
And then when I started writing the really long, detailed, actionable guides, which are sort of inspired by Kissmetrics if you’ve seen their marketing guides, that’s when I started to get traction with some of this stuff, so like along the guides started to get a lot of traction. Between those three things, we sort of stopped doing everything else. Until I delegated the entire content marketing function, and, you know, we have a bit more rigor and structure around it, but until that point when I was doing it myself, I pretty much just told my story, voiced an opinion about something, and then tried to do really practical actionable guides that were longer, more detailed, and stayed away from the shorter, less practical content.
Nathan: Yeah, yeah, that’s spot on. And then that’s something you taught me. Like I remember like when we first met up and we were talking about content and stuff, you know, we published this article around, you know, it was like the ultimate guide. Like Jonathan put it together, you know, our content crafter, and it was just like, you know, what would the ultimate guide look like to learn how to get interviews with hard-to-reach people? We smashed it. It was like a 5,000-word piece, and it did really, really well.
Dan: And it’s also…I think you never know how well it’s gonna do either because some of these things tend to last so long. Like they’re just…they’re evergreen which means you can keep sharing them on social media. They’re link-worthy which means their presence in Google will keep raising and raising and before long… Like we wrote a WordPress Speed article that was on the front page of Google, you know, four or five months after we wrote it, and stayed there for, I think a year or more and just sent us thousands and tens of thousands of pretty highly targeted traffic really for free.
And you don’t…it’s very hard to predict like when you get an article like that, that it really is evergreen. Like your influencer stuff, the only thing that’s gonna change from that is the tools which might change every couple of years, but the underlying content that you put in there is gonna be evergreen. And so that article, if that becomes like the go-to source for influence or outreach, then you’re talking about tens of thousands of free visits every month for the rest of the existence of Foundr. So the power of something like that compared to just grinding out three or four blog posts a week over that time is just massive.
Nathan: That’s a really good point you make, and when it comes to content and making like evergreen content, is that something you guys focus on always, or…? Because you talk about having a story and you talk about having an opinion. Sometimes that opinion or story makes the content not evergreen.
Dan: That’s exactly right. And we found that with our monthly reports. I found, when I was failing, the monthly reports were at their peak in terms of the interest of people, especially the comments. Because people would really get into it. They’d sort of see themselves at, you know, in my position and try to help and get in the comments and get really active and, you know, they’d be aware of the story. When I started succeeding with WP Curve, they were also really popular because it was, you know, a cool line chart showing this growth from nothing. But once it just became, you know, this month we’ve grown by 5% and we’re, you know, hiring people and firing people, they just became so boring that we stopped doing them because no one cared anymore.
So, if you’re doing stories, you really have to be aware of like the story is not gonna be interesting forever. And I’m really conscious of that as well with things like public speaking because I’m just not the kind of person to rock up at every event and tell the same story each time and I’m always looking for something new. Because people get sick of hearing the same story, and it’s not gonna last forever. And content can have various different uses. Like we have some content that’s designed solely to build trust, and we’ll put that on our nurture [SP] sequence where people will read it and feel more affinity with the brand. But it’s not evergreen content that’s gonna send us ten thousands of visits each month from Google, it’s there for a totally different purpose. So yeah, I think it’s not just about evergreen content, I think it’s quite often that the more interesting posts we do, aren’t evergreen, but there’s room for both.
Nathan: I think one thing that Tim Ferriss does really well is just long form evergreen content. He’s been doing that for so long and he’s just crushed it, man.
Dan: Yes. So I think like I got that sort of from Neil Patel and Kissmetrics. Tim Ferris is a guy who does it well. Noah Kagan is another guy that does it well on his site. Conversion Excel’s another one, like I was reading one this morning about psychological triggers for crowdfunding campaigns. And I’ve read a bunch of articles about crowdfunding, because we’re thinking of doing it with Black Hops. But this one is just…it’s psychology. So it’s like Cialdini’s shit, that’s like decades old, it’s not gonna change.
Nathan: Yeah, you know, that’s spot on. So look, let’s switch gears and talk about “Seven Day Startup.” Anyone that’s listening right now that maybe has a business idea or they kind of have another business in place, they wanna launch something, or they have another idea, how can people get started, you know, using your, I guess, framework for launching a business?
Dan: You know, I guess the… I mean, the fundamental reasons why I put this idea together was because I sort of feel like the majority of the advice people get is bullshit. And I think that’s…it’s that way because either through ignorance, like entrepreneurs don’t…they over-credit their success, you know, because they don’t sort of realize the role that luck and timing and momentum and things, forces like that had in their success. They kind of claim credit for their success and bury their failures. Or they’re just trying to sell something. And I think like if people just paid attention to people trying to sell something, I think for the most part the advice they’re gonna get is not very good.
So I put the “Seven Day Startup” thing together because I wanted to inspire people to not get too carried away with listening to whatever latest tactic people should be doing, or, you know, trying to validate their idea and, you know, trying to invent the next Dropbox, and instead, especially first-time entrepreneurs, to just throw all of that at the window and then just launch something within one week. And I’ve had examples of software businesses, of services businesses, info businesses, memberships, all kinds of businesses who’ve launched with this framework. And I think what it does is it forces people to become entrepreneurs. It forces you to instead of sitting around talking about your idea which is what wantrepreneurs do, and debating… You know, I love doing it as much as the next entrepreneur or wantrepreneur does, like we all like talking about entrepreneurship. But if you want to be an entrepreneur, you need to launch something, and you need to get some money from another person, otherwise you’re not an entrepreneur. I guess with the exception of some sort of social endeavors. But I guess the message is, launch as quickly as you can. If the book or my free course or my quarterly challenge helps, or my Facebook group helps, then you should join that, if you’re just able to do it, then just do it and take this as permission that you can do it and not think about it too much.
And I think when you do that, you take the next step and become an entrepreneur and you start focusing on things that actually matter instead of messing around with assumptions and…or making decisions based on what some other expert says you should do.
Nathan: I’m sure people are gonna ask this and they’ll want to know when you do launch something and you’re testing it, like let’s just say you put up a landing page with a service or whatnot, or you know, it’s…you launch as fast as you can. How do you know if you should keep going on not?
Dan: Yeah, I think this is probably the most common question and also the most difficult to answer because I think if it’s going well, you know. That’s a given. If it’s taking off…and I’ve had probably three or four situations over nine years as an entrepreneur where I just know when things are taking off. It happened with the “Seven Day Startup” book and the whole idea and the movement that’s happened as a result. It happened with WP Curve, it happened with Black Hops Brewing. Other than that, out of multiple attempts and ideas, they’ve all failed. So the question is not like, how do you know when it’s working, because you will know when it’s working. But the question really is, how do you know when you’ve done enough on something that’s not working?
And I don’t think there’s rules for that, because I think… to me I don’t think that an idea is good or bad, I just think that an idea is either working or it’s not working. And there could be a whole bunch of reasons for it not working. If the reason is you haven’t tried hard enough, then obviously you should keep trying. If it’s any other reason and you’ve spent, you know, a reasonable amount of time, a reasonable amount of money on it, then it’s probably for whatever reason not worth pursuing. And I can’t tell you whether it’s a week or a month or whether it’s $500 or $5,000, I think there are too many variables.
Nathan: Yeah, because I’ve always found this question so hard to answer. It’s something I asked, I don’t know if you’re a big fan of his, Steve Blank, you know. How do you know when you’ve found your product market fit? And he kind of said the same thing that you just don’t know, you’ve just got to kind of work it out and trust your gut, and it just really depends on so many different variables.
Dan: Well, I think that’s a good thing because, you know, I think when people try to answer a question that really doesn’t have an obvious answer, then they oversimplify it. And I mean, some people do have rules for this. I think…I might be misquoting here but people can look up the details, I think it might be Noah Kagan who says, if it’s not generating income within a couple of days then it’s not a business. There’s another guy who has mentioned a specific time. I can’t think who that is. But I think it’s risky doing that because it really does depend on the business. It also depends on where you’re at. I mean, if you wanna do a seven-day startup business as a first-time entrepreneur, I would say, you know, within the first month or so you need to be seeing some kind of momentum on something. And if you’re not seeing anything, then this…it’s probably a situation where you’re gonna have to look at doing something else, or tweak it, or really be honest with yourself about why it’s not working.
But if you’re in a different situation like with our brewery, like I’m in a totally different situation now three years on from Informly, and I’m doing this brewery for a whole bunch of different reasons than the first-time entrepreneur would start a business. And there’s no way we can know for sure that it’s gonna be successful, you know, without spending quite a lot of money and spending quite a lot of time. And for that reason I think businesses like this are bad idea for a first-time entrepreneur who is in that situation where they just wanna get their business going. But maybe they’re a good idea for someone who just wants to live an entrepreneurial life and wants to follow their dreams and is in a comfortable position where they can put money into an interesting project. So, there’s just too many variables.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s a good point. Because, you know, a question that I play on my mind so often is…and I’ve never actually said this, like over a podcast or anything like this is, so many people come to me, Dan, and they’re like…you know, they see say like the cool stuff we’re doing with Foundr and they want to start a magazine, you know, whether it’s in entrepreneurship, where…whatever niche it is. And I go back to when I first started Foundr. So we, you know, we started March 2013…you might not know this, we started March 2013, and, you know, we’re coming close to 3 years, so we’re probably about 3 months off being three years, you know, being in business. So, similar to WP Curve, and the first day we launched we made $5. After the first month, we made $80. And there were many people back then when I started Foundr that started magazines, they did it for six months. I don’t know how much they were making, not much probably. And in our world, it wouldn’t be much, but in your…back then I was just working my day job and I just had the magazine, that might have been a decent amount of money in my world back then.
But, I guess, I always play that question in my mind like, “What if I’d stopped and like, what if I focused on something else, you know, where would I be?” And you know, what if those other people kept going? And when people come to me and say, you know, “Nathan, should I do a magazine?” I just don’t know whether to say “Yes, you should.” Or, “Yes, you shouldn’t.” I don’t know because I always say it’s been such a hard slog for me and I’ve spent a lot of time and, you know, most people would have given up, bro, with, you know, how long it took me to build Foundr up, you know.
Dan: Yeah, I think there’s a hell of a lot of examples of entrepreneurs who’ve gone through that process of building something that they know is gonna take a long time. I mean, if you start an online magazine, you’re not gonna be making a reasonable amount of money for a long time. I mean, it’s just not gonna happen. So for me, if you’re an entrepreneur, you wanna start a business, you want a high growth business, you wanna actually do something and not sort of spend three years building an audience and hope that you’ll be able to sell to them later, then a magazine is a bad idea if you’re in that situation.
But I think what’s been consistent for every business I’ve been involved in that’s worked well has been building a brand. And I think with like what you guys have done amazingly well is build that brand. And whether it’s a magazine…and I think now you’re in a position where you’ve got the brand, you’ve got the platform, you can do whatever you want from this point. I mean, realistically, you’d probably stop doing the magazine and just do social media and you’ll probably be completely fine.
Nathan: Oh, thanks man.
Dan: You’ve gotten to that position of that brand recognition. And that’s happened with me with…not to the same extent, but it’s happened with WP Curve from the point of view of, you know, people know about it, people have heard about it. And it’s happened to some extent with my personal brand, and to some extent with Black Hops as well. And I think when you get to that point where you’ve built that brand, you really…you have a lot of opportunities then, you know. You can build the business around your own lifestyle, you can direct it towards, you know, whatever kind of customer you want, whatever kind of service or product you want, and you’d have much, much more options. So that kind of business is a great business, but it’s very, very hard to start and launch quickly. So I think, generally…and it’s funny because in many ways I did the same thing which was I started doing a lot of content really before I had a business, and it wasn’t until I launched WP Curve where I had a business that people wanted to pay me for that I could really monetize that. But in many, many ways I’m giving people the opposite advice which is, to having that long-term trajectory for a business is…the failure rate of that is so high. Like I mean, I would love to know how many people started a magazine around the time you did and how many are actually left. There’s probably not many.
Nathan: Oh, hardly any. Hardly any, man. Hardly any.
Dan: Yeah. And I think…I always get a bit wary of picking out like the outliers. You can find outliers in every situation, but if it’s gonna take you three years to know if your business is successful, then to me it’s not a good idea for a first-time entrepreneur.
Nathan: Yeah. I agree. So in essence it comes down to your situation and just kind of measuring and learning, and then if you get momentum, keep building on the momentum, if you don’t and it’s taking a while and nothing’s really happening, just scrap it and keep moving.
Dan: Yeah. I think the momentum thing’s hard because you don’t know until you see it. And, you know, I really like…with Black Hops, we literally…we brewed some home brew and from there like the momentum we got, I saw and recognized that straight away and we just made this business up. We were like, “Well, we’re actually gonna make a business around this.” Before we knew it, we had investors and we got equipment all the way from China and we put in hundreds of thousands of dollars into it. But that’s because I’ve seen that momentum before, and until you’ve been in a situation where you… And you know, with your social media stuff with your audience, when you see that happen, you know it’s working, right?
Dan: But for entrepreneurs who haven’t seen that, it’s very, very hard for them to recognize it. So I would just say to those guys that keep an eye out for what he’s working. And maybe like the revenue is not working but maybe the content is working, or maybe the emails are working, or something else is working, and try to double down on the parts of the business that are going really well and not just trying to do something because someone…you know someone says a magazine is good and therefore you’re trying to do a magazine.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s right. I think that yeah, you’ve put that together quite eloquently. Yeah, that’s a big word for me. It didn’t fit…it didn’t sound right.
Dan: You can’t mispronounce “eloquently.” That wouldn’t be very eloquent at all.
Nathan: Yeah. Let’s talk about Black Hops. Because it seems like, you know, everything you do, man, you simply crush it these days. You know, you were so kind that you sent me the “Call of Duty” version, the “Call of Duty” special brew that you did, it was absolutely beautiful. I know it’s a limited rum. I know they’re selling them on eBay now, they’re like collectible items and I feel very privileged. Let’s just touch on that quickly and then work towards wrapping up.
Dan: Yeah. So Black Hops is the name of our brewery. We’re working towards opening on the Gold Coast hopefully as early as possible in 2016. But the beer with “Call of Duty” just came about really through content, like they’d heard about us. The agency that does their work had heard about us because we’ve been, you know, making noise and getting attention from the bloggers and doing all the content, and when they talked about how they’re gonna promote the “Call of Duty” game in Australia, they just sort said, “Oh, have you heard? There’s a brewery here called Black Hops.” And the game is called “Black Ops,” obviously, so it was a nice fit. So it was either we were gonna get sued or we were gonna get a deal. Luckily, Activision were happy to make a beer, and it was cool. Because, I mean, no one really made any money out of it. It was just like a good story. We ended up on the news and in the paper and on all these gaming sites and all these gamers were like unboxing their beer and tasting it and putting up YouTube videos and all this kind of stuff. A bunch of celebs got some, like Guy Sebastian put it on his Instagram profile. So it was cool. It was a lot of fun.
Nathan: Well, that’s hilarious. You know, it’s funny because I was cracking one open when you sent them to me and my brother was just like, “Oh yeah, I’d heard about these.” Because like my brother, he rates playing games and stuff. He’s a little brother. And he’s like, “Oh, I’d heard about these.” So, yeah, it was really, really funny. That’s hilarious.
Dan: Yeah, and the coolest thing was like for us it was fun to do, but it was also like brand recognition. But it was also like getting…part of the craft beer thing is a lot of people have this thing with beer where they just…they think they know what beer tastes like because all they’ve ever drunk is shitty beer, right? It’s just like the word “beer” makes them think of shitty beer. So, it’s like getting something really different into the hands of people… Like we were literally having gamers, like these female gamers saying, “I hate beer. It’s crap, but I’ll try this.” And then they’re like, “Oh, this is really interesting. This doesn’t taste like beer at all.” So that was really cool.
And then also the reception it got on like the craft beer community, like there’s apps where people rate craft beer. Yeah, the reception we got on there was really, really good. All the top bloggers were writing about it and posting about it and giving us really good reviews, so it was one of our better received beers, so that was really nice to actually… Like a lot of times it’s a sort of a gimmick to do a beer for a launch, but to have good beer was a really nice bonus.
Nathan: Yeah, yeah, no. I must attest, it is very tasty, bro.
Dan: Thanks. I’m glad you like it.
Nathan: So, you know, some people might be looking at this, and I used to look at it before we actually met, and I knew your work, before we met in person. I used to always think, you know… Because you’ve got your “Seven Day Startup” brand, you’ve got, you know, the stuff you do with WP Curve, you’ve got your Black Hops stuff, you’re working on so many different things. And like you even told me that you wrote, I think…was it “Content Machine” you said you wrote on a plane ride?
Dan: I wrote the first 12,000 words in about 6 hours on a plane ride, yeah.
Nathan: That’s insane, right. Like a lot of people, and myself included, and I always push you on this. Like how do you get so much done, how do you manage it all? You seem very, very effective.
Dan: Yeah, I know I seem that way, I just don’t…I don’t know if I am. I mean, I know a couple of things that I’ve been doing lately that help. Like I do a…for each of the projects I’m working on, I set up Trello so that each week has… So I know the higher level what I wanna achieve from what I’m doing. And you put me on to the Markowitz. Is that how you say his surname?
Nathan: Yeah, Matthew Markowitz, yeah. Gold pyramid.
Dan: Mathew Markowitz, the gold pyramid. So I know like the higher level of what I wanna achieve, and then for all of my projects, I know what needs to be done by when. I break those down in Trello so that every week I’ve got a set number of tasks. Like so for the crowdfunding campaign for Black Hops, I’ve gathered all the ideas and all the articles and everything and spoken to people, and put all those ideas into a Trello week by week from now to the end of January 2016. And every week I look at what’s in my current week for all my various projects, I come up with a list of tasks to get done for that week, I put it in my Seven Day Startup group and we keep each other accountable with what we’re working on and I try to focus on like those more important ones before I do the other things. But that’s just like…that’s like sort of like Task Management 101. I don’t know if that’s the reason…
Nathan: That’s like scrum, man.
Dan: Yeah. I think like the…honestly the reason why I think I appear more effective than other people… I mean, you should have seen me before when none of what I was doing was working. I mean, I was working my ass off and getting nothing done that was making any kind of an impact. I think the key is that I only spend my time now working on things that already have natural momentum, so 90% of the work is done for you. Like if your social media is growing and, you know, you’re spending a couple of hours a day on it, you’re going to look ridiculously effective. Whereas if your social media is static and you’re spending a couple of hours a day on it, then you’re gonna look useless. So, you focus on…
Nathan: Yeah, that’s a really good point.
Dan: Yes. It’s like people are gonna think you’re a rock star because it’s this natural momentum is happening for whatever reason, you know, without you having to push it. And that’s why I try to put myself in a position where I can influence things to some extent and keep them moving in the direction they’re already moving in rather than just trying to constantly push new shit that is not getting traction. And I’ve made decisions to cut out things that aren’t working. And you know, I don’t do a lot of stuff that a lot of companies do do. Like WP Curve, we barely do any social media. We don’t have Instagram, we don’t have Pinterest. I think we have a Facebook page, we barely use it. With other companies, you know…like we don’t do any paid ads. I just do what’s working, I do what’s working for me. I don’t even have a personal Facebook page for my personal branding stuff because my groups work better so I focus on the groups. And I guess it just makes you look more effective when you’re only spending time on things that are working.
Nathan: Yeah. So, from what I’m hearing, you’re very good at finding leverage points and utilizing the leverage that you already have.
Dan: Well, if you wanna use the big words, then go for it.
Dan: I always correct my content guy. Every time he uses the word “leverage” I just say, “Just use the word ‘use,’ okay. The word ‘leverage’ doesn’t add any more value over the word ‘use.'”
Nathan: Yeah, that’s a good point on content. Like I think, you know, that’s what a really good editor does. A really good editor like makes the content, or the words, or whatever the piece is just really simple. And you wanna do that. Like that’s something that I’ve trained myself in my own writing, not that I do that much of it, but always when we’re putting anything out there, always try and make it as simple as possible.
Dan: Yeah. I see this all the time. Like we had like an email that we wrote this week for our listeners, it was like “Here’s the best practice resource on, you know, how to get the absolute most out of your content marketing.” And I’m like, “Well, ‘best’ and ‘most’ are pretty much the same thing, so like we can just say that in four letters instead of, you know, three paragraphs.” There’s another one that Vinay writes. Vinay is like really good with the content for WP Curve, but he needs to be like pulled back on the theory sometimes. Like the first one he wrote was about multitasking, and he literally wrote, I think, 1200 words on the theory behind why it’s not a good idea to multitask. And I just thought, well, if we’re gonna teach people about how to get around those urges to multitask, then we need to get stuck into that and not spend 1200 words telling them how bad it is. We can just simply say like, “There’s a bit of research that says multitasking makes you dumb.” Which there is, and that’s one sentence and then you’re done. You don’t need 1200 words to get that message across.
Nathan: And then you just link to the authoritative post about it, yeah.
Dan: Yeah. Exactly.
Nathan: Yeah. Yeah, awesome. Well, look, dude, this has been an awesome conversation. I think our audience are gonna love this episode. And yeah, look, before we wrap, like where’s the best place people can find you?
Dan: Yeah, thanks man. It’s been fun. So sevendaystartup.com is my site, and on there you’ll find a free “How to Launch in Seven Days” video course, which I used to sell but I give it away for free now. And I’m also gonna do a quarterly challenge where we’re all going to get together and do it live. So jump on there and let’s launch a business together.