30 Dec

2015 in review — 1 year after I quit blogging

Wow. What a year.

At the end of last year I made the largest business decision I’ve ever made: stop working on my very profitable training business (to the tune of $20,000 to $50,000 per month!) and instead put all my time, effort, and money into my failing software company.

I also almost entirely stopped blogging and changed my entire business model. This post explains why I did that and the results.

This is my fifth year doing an annual review post. You can read previous years here:

I actually just re-read the previous years as a reminder to see where I’ve come from. That reminds me of an important point: these reviews are written for me. Not you.

What I mean is that I write them to provide a snapshot of my worldview, life, and business at a particular point in time. All because I’ve found it’s a powerful tool to see how I change over time.

They just happen to be published publicly on the off chance that you might learn something from it or be inspired in some way.

With that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s jump in.

Books and Courses

In 2015 I spent almost no time on my books and training courses. I did take a week off in both January and May to do book launches for Designing Web Apps and Authority. But those were incredibly focused and limited to just a single week.

They were necessary to continue paying my bills while I focused all my time and energy on ConvertKit (without taking a paycheck).

Total revenue from books and courses for 2015 was $117,394. Not bad at all considering the amount of time I spent on it! I’d estimate a total of 230 hours spent for the entire year (2 weeks of 40 hours, then an average of 3 hours per week). While I’m tempted to make some calculation of hourly rate, it wouldn’t be accurate since I basically just coasted on momentum from 2014 this year.

Ah, I can’t help myself: it’s an average of $510/hour.

Here’s the detailed breakdown of product revenue for 2015. You can compare it to last year here.


Looking at these numbers I see so much missed potential… But I missed out on it on purpose. Letting this business coast down to $2,500/month was the side effect of a deliberate decision to focus on ConvertKit.

Speaking of which, I teased about it at the beginning, so let’s talk about what happened with ConvertKit this year.


In October 2014 I was faced with a critical decision on the future of ConvertKit: Shut it down or double down on growth.

I chose the latter. That meant investing $50,000, hiring a team and working hard on improving the product and reaching out to people for direct sales.

Beyond the decision to focus, here are a few things that made a critical difference for ConvertKit:

1. Focus on direct sales. Content marketing doesn’t work nearly as well for a new product. Direct sales killed it.

2. Find a niche. First we tried “email marketing for authors” (headed in the right direction, but ultimately a bad idea). Then we settled on “email marketing for professional bloggers.” Best decision ever.

3. Concierge migrations. The biggest objection in the sales process for us has always been “but it’s so much work to switch!” So we did the ultimate thing that doesn’t scale and offered to switch them over from their old provider to ConvertKit. Totally for free. Yes it cost us a ton of time an money, but the referrals and ongoing revenue gives it incredible ROI.

4. Hire amazing full-time employees. My friend Danny Iny says that “If you pay for half of someone’s time you get a quarter of their attention.” Ever since then I’ve tried to hire full-time employees for critical roles. When we hire contractors we almost always do it with the expectation that if things go well, we’ll move them to full-time.

So what’s the result of this?

First from April 2013 to October 2014 here’s what our revenue looked like:

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 5.41.40 PM

Not exactly the shape you want to see in your revenue curve. Then after 14 months of hard work we turned it into this:

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 5.42.54 PM

ConvertKit grew 71x in 14 months. 

Now we have an amazing team of 13 people building and growing ConvertKit who will take us a long ways into 2016.

But in particular I need to thank Marc Boquet, Dan Gamito, and David Wheeler for helping to make that happen. They all took a chance on working for a not-yet-successful-company (sounds better than “failing”). You guys are amazing!

If you want to know more about ConvertKit and what might have caused so many people to become obsessed with it this year (which drove the rapid growth), check out the marketing site and this detailed review from Pat Flynn.


I spent a lot of time last year working on remodeling the house we bought in April 2014. This year I finished a few more remodel projects (painted the outside of the house, remodeled a bathroom, built a chicken coop, etc), but this fall I was able to put all my new tools to work on new woodworking projects.

So far I’ve enjoyed building wine racks, cutting boards, and other projects a lot more than remodeling (though they are both fun). Here’s a sampling of the woodworking projects I built this year:



I kicked off travel plans for 2015 by flying to Thailand and Cambodia to visit my sister-in-law and her husband who lived in Chiang Mai for a year. Hilary didn’t want to come (30 hours of flights with two little kids didn’t sound fun to her), so I made it a short, twelve day trip.

During that time we started in Chiang Mai for a few days, then headed south to the quiet islands of Ko Lipe and Ko Tarutoa. Both were amazing! From there we went over to Siem Riepe in Cambodia to visit the famous temples of Angkor Wat.

Here are a few photos from that trip:


Travel hacking

I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but for the last couple years I’ve been into a slightly obscure hobby called travel hacking. Basically you use sign up bonus from credit cards for free flights all around the world. My previous free trips have been to Europe, Costa Rica, or bringing the entire family to Hawaii.

But one of the biggest benefits of travel hacking is booking first-class international flights. You know, lay-flat beds, excellent food, and unlimited drinks. The sort of thing that normally costs many thousands for just a few hundred dollars (and some frequent flyer miles). When traveling with family we’ve always booked coach tickets since 4-6 award tickets require a lot of miles. But this time I was flying by myself…

So for the return flight I booked a first class trip on Cathay Pacific Bangkok to Hong Kong to Los Angeles (and then continuing on to Boise). It cost just 67,000 American Airways miles and $167!

When I called to book the ticket the lady asked if I wanted to know the retail price for this trip. Of course! Who doesn’t want to know how much money they are saving?


Cathay Pacific normally charges $7,000 for this trip. $167 is a much better price.

Here are a few highlights from the flight:


Sometime I’d like to do a similar trip with Hilary. Maybe in a few years when the kids are old enough to leave them with grandparents for a week.

If you want to learn more about travel hacking I’d recommend starting by reading what Chris Guillebeau has written on the subject. He’s used travel hacking to visit every country in the world and taught me how to get over $40,000 in free flights.

A Beginners Guide to Travel Hacking

More Travel

  • Hawaii (Family vacation)
  • North Carolina (Mastermind retreat)
  • Las Vegas (MicroConf)
  • San Diego (Family wedding, meeting with friends)
  • NYC + Nashville (Meetings)
  • Portland (WDS)
  • Nashville (StoryBrand workshop)
  • Virginia (Double Your Freelancing Rate)
  • McCall, Idaho (Mastermind retreat)
  • Mt. Hood (Pioneer Nation)
  • Minneapolis (LeadPages conference)
  • Breckenridge (Blogger ski retreat)

The two mastermind retreats and the ski retreat were some of my favorite experiences from the year. If you have close friends from the internet, meet with them in person. All we do is pick dates, rent a big house, and have everyone fly out. It’s really low key. For the trip I hosted in Idaho I just borrowed a mini-van and seven of us crammed in for the 2 hour drive. Nothing fancy.

In our online world I think it’s so important to meet people in person.


Fitness was a big goal for me in 2014 since I had just gotten into CrossFit. Unfortunately I didn’t focus on it nearly as much in 2015. I still averaged visiting the gym twice a week (which compared to a few years ago is good), but I mostly just maintained my strength rather than making progress.

My deadlift and back squat are nearly identical to last year, but I did get a 190 lbs clean and a 180 lbs bench press.

For other movements I got more comfortable with toes-to-bar. I even did a single ring muscle-up. Though I haven’t been able to do one since.

It’s not a huge priority for me.

I did spend a lot of time playing indoor soccer. I started playing about 2.5 years ago and have really enjoyed it—even though I’m not very good. At least now I feel more confident on defense. This fall I played on an outdoor league which was even more fun. I can’t wait for the snow to melt so I can play in the spring.

But in general fitness took a backseat to spending time with family and growing ConvertKit.

Positive and Negative

Normally in these reviews I split everything into these two sections:

  • What went well?
  • What did not go well?

But this year I listed the major things up above, so I’ll use this section to summarize and mention a few smaller things.

What went well

  • Travel. I’d consider this a success. This year was mostly about staying home and working hard. So I got in a couple trips for fun and then attended lots of good conferences. Though I didn’t speak at as many conferences as I’d like. Let’s fix that in 2016. If you run a cool conference, email me. 
  • Creating things. I’m happiest when I’m building something. This year woodworking was a huge outlet for me and I had a ton of fun making at least half of my Christmas gifts.
  • Mindset. I found a note from last year about a goal for this year. All it said was: “fix my scarcity mindset around money.” Despite knowing how much I could earn and what is possible, I found a combination of things last year making me worried about having enough money. I definitely fixed that this year and got my finances back in a solid place. I still have very little available cash, but that’s because I’m reinvesting so much in ConvertKit. Soon I’ll be paying myself more and taking dividends based on profits.
  • ConvertKit. My original goal was to take ConvertKit from $1,300/month in revenue to $25,000/month. I thought that would be amazing. Later on I revised that goal to $35,000/month. Then $50,000. Then $83,000 ($1m annual run rate). And finally $100,000. We didn’t quite hit the last goal, but I’m not complaining. We’ll get there next week.
  • Creating systems. Now with a full team in place for ConvertKit we create systems for so many common things. In fact, in a couple weeks I won’t have any day-to-day responsibilities for ConvertKit. I’ll still be working a lot on wherever I’m needed, but at least I won’t be the bottleneck on anything anymore.

What did not go well

  • Writing. I didn’t write much in 2015. I went from writing 1,000 words a day to barely writing 1,000 words a month. This blog was very quiet. I miss that. One of my goals for 2016 is to start writing again. This 2,000 word blog post is a start!
  • Travel. I know, travel was in the what went well category, but I can put it in both places. I had a goal for 2015 to take a random trip to anywhere. Just go to the airport, without a destination, and buy a random ticket. I didn’t do that. I also failed to travel enough to even get the base level of status on Delta. Missed it by one flight. Oh well, not first class upgrades for me next year.
  • Stress. Wow, building a company is stressful—and I didn’t manage it well. Between running out of money, early failed attempts to grow ConvertKit, attacks by spammers and attempted hacking there were plenty of things to cause stress. All of this is much better now that I have a fantastic team in place, but it’s something I’ll continue to work on. I actually just started to go to counseling this week to help work through some of this. Which should also help me to be a better company leader, parent, and spouse.
  • Product Revenue. You saw the numbers above. Product revenue was at 50% or less than what it could have been. That’s fine and expected, but it still went poorly. Especially since I had gotten used to making large amounts of money without massive payroll expenses. Oh well. I’d far rather be building the company I am now.That said, I do think it’s sad that the training products I put so much work into aren’t reaching the number of people they could. I might put a little time into it next year.

Looking ahead

For 2016 my goals are simple:

  • Take great care of my team.
  • Take great care of my customers.
  • Grow ConvertKit 5x.
  • Write 1,000 words each day.
  • Spend lots of time with family.
  • And have a ton of fun.

Expect a lot more written here in the next few months.

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73 Responses to “2015 in review — 1 year after I quit blogging”

  1. Congratulations on a phenomenal year, Nathan! Well deserved. It’s been a blast to watch. I really enjoyed the casual tone of the post. Thank you for sharing!

    • Nathan Barry says:

      Thanks Sean! We need to hang out more in 2016. Excited for your conference!

  2. Your yearly reviews always have been some of the most inspiring things to read. Its absolutely incredible what you have pulled of with convertkit and shows how focusing on one thing can turn things competely arround. Thanks for sharing this, I am really curious if you can start again to write 1000 words per day in 2016.

    • Nathan Barry says:

      Writing 1,000 words a day is the goal. Crazy to think it’s been 1.5 years since I broke that habit. But I’m already 3 days into my new streak!

  3. Nice article, Nathan. Thanks for sharing! It’s so nice to follow your journey, and I appreciate how you reveal all for others to learn from. I think at the top of your list should be “take great care of myself.” As parents and entrepreneurs, we need to do that really well to avoid burnout. But, I guess that fits into your last point about having fun!

  4. Thanks Nathan for your transparency, I find it inspiring. It motivates and helps those of us who are also building companies. I have a question for you: If you could go back in time to your first year, and give yourself advice to help you get to where are you are right now, what would you say? I’d love to hear from your experience.

    • Thanks for sharing, Nathan. Your insights and reasoning on why you took specific actions is helpful. I definitely appreciate the transparency and directness. Particularly in sharing your goals and seeing how they evolved in varying areas of life.

      I’d be interested in the answer to Frank’s question, and also, (1)what habits or daily/regular actions did you find most helpful in getting you closer to your goals?

      Also, you described making adjustments in your expectations of reaching monetary goals for ConvertKit, while you were surpassing certain thresholds. (2) Did you have any other non-financial adjustments in the same vein. For example, did you set a goal to grow your list by 5 people daily, then 10, etc. or write 200 words daily then, adjust that to 500, etc., or a goal to read 10 pages, then 15, etc. I’m curious about your assessment and measurement tools, and what signs or happenings trigger you to adjust your goals or expectations.

      Lastly, (3) you outlined your 6 goals for the coming year, but what does your regular measurement process look like? (4) Do these goals have sub components that you work on weekly/daily, do you already have aspects of these logged in your calendar, have you already started working on some aspects of these goals?

      Thank you again for the level of detail and transparency you’ve provided. It is super insightful! Thank you in advance for your responses.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!


    • Nathan Barry says:

      Hey Frank,

      I kinda like the meandering path I took to get here. Not sure there’s anything I would change. Maybe just warn myself that it will always be harder than I think. That and to sell harder and sooner.

  5. Love this, I read Authority on vacation in Mexico a little over a year ago and now I’m publishing my first book in February and my first course in January, all as side-projects. I certainly don’t see myself doing that without the ideas you planted in my head that I can’t seem to get out! :) Love the transparency with these posts BTW, it really helps to set realistic goals as someone venturing into this world. Thanks and good luck in 2016!

    • Nathan Barry says:

      That’s great to hear! Good luck on the new book. :)

    • Awesome! Excited to see the course and book Mike!

      Nathan, thank you for the inspiring post! I’d be very interested to know what kinds of direct sales channels were most effective: Email? Twitter DM? Phone calls? In any case, all the best to you as you grow the business! Amazing progress!

      • Nathan Barry says:

        Mostly email, then I try to get on a Skype call. Sounds like I need to write an article about direct sales.

  6. In the very first image, it says “2014 gross revenue”. Should that say “2015” instead?

  7. Thanks for being so transparent! What really jumped out was despite tackling massive business goals, you still maintained a healthy work-life balance.

    When a lot of entrepreneurs break out their achieved $X stories, they focus mostly the grind, grind and keep grinding aspect of it.

    But having fun, doing hobbies is not only important to avoid burnout, it also helps you think about your business in fresh ways. While you’re having fun, your brain is still thinking about everything (including work) and you may get exposed to something new that turns into an idea.

    • Nathan Barry says:

      Thanks! That’s definitely important to me. It’s actually gotten better as the company has grown and I no longer carry all the stress and complications myself. That’s the huge benefit of having a team.

  8. Congrats on a great year! Was happy to get in touch this year, and will follow your lead on the scarcity mindset about money in this coming year!

  9. You’ve been an inspiration to me since I listened to you on Pat’s podcast. I’ve finally gotten started actively working on my business 3 months ago. No real financial results yet, but life has been improving steadily. Thanks for being honest and open and good luck in 2016!

  10. Nathan,

    Congratulations on a fantastic year! I made the switch to ConvertKit a few months ago and have been singing its praises to other entrepreneurs.

    Happy New Year.

    • Nathan Barry says:

      Sweet! Welcome to the ConvertKit Family. Thanks for telling more people about us. :)

  11. Jose says:

    Hi Nathan, your honest opinions and insights over these years are really inspiring. It’s refreshing to see a young man sharing success and trial stories (see i skipped using the word failure) with the public. It’s an top quality mindset to have. I do quote your example in some of the discussions I have with my colleague regarding honest portrayals and start up stories. Thank you for sharing your life snippets and keeping it real. Much appreciated. Have a great 2016

  12. Sharing your knowledge here and helping the community grow is equally important. ConvertKit is the best email marketing software I’ve seen in the last 10 years, period. Your job is pretty much done there.

    Now that your money obsession problem have been solved with ConvertKit I think is time that you focus your efforts here on the blog where a lot of people feel you as a friend.

    • Nathan Barry says:

      Glad you like ConvertKit so much, but we’re just getting started there. We have a long ways to go to build the perfect product. But don’t worry—I’ll be writing more here as well.

  13. Superb recap/analysis & glimpse into 2016 for all of us. Thanks very much, Nathan! What’s measured gets better, and you’ve definitely got your finger on the pulse of what’s cooking in your biz + life. What an awesome way to be a leader in this realm, and a terrific role model for your adorable kids! You’ve got grit & I admire that. On the subject of ConvertKit, I’ve been seriously contemplating switching over from AWeber for some time now, ever since I took the Product to Profit Masterclass with you, Jason & Paul this past summer (superb course, BTW-I highly recommend it). I just have a couple of Q’s, so I’ll drop an email to your team tomorrow. This great article in addition to hearing Pat Flynn raving about ConvertKit are both recent reminders that I need to take action NOW. Thanks again & here’s to 2016 being even better than you can imagine…cheers!

    • Nathan Barry says:

      That’s great to hear! You should make the switch. :) My team can help you out.

      • I have every confidence that your team will make the experience of switching super smooth (and likely enjoyable!) Thx for the kind reply, Nathan. *See* you on the inside ;)

  14. Solid work on ConverKit! Those are some insane growth figures

  15. Good job Nathan! I recently switched to ConvertKit and can definitely see why it’s getting traction. Let’s see what 2016 will bring…good luck!

  16. Tremendous stuff Nathan. Your effort pushes me to work with both enthusiasm and discipline. What makes me (inappropriately) more excited is that you play soccer and workout with the rings! I do that stuff too (not Crossfit, but I’m into gymnastic/bodyweight strength). Pretty cool. Happy new year, and best of luck.

  17. Nathan,

    lovely review. It’s great to know more about yourself and not only your business.

    You say “Focus on direct sales. Content marketing doesn’t work nearly as well for a new product”. When does content marketing work then?

    This new year I want to go full-time as a content/inbound marketing consultant. Authority was a huge inspiration for me.

    I’m struggling with the niche to market myself though. I thought in solopreneurs or startups with up to 5 employees, but those seem to either have those new products where you say content marketing doesn’t work, either they are not making enough money to hire a consultant. What’s your advice here?


    • Nathan Barry says:

      Early on when no one knows or trusts your product it’s hard to get them to switch based on content marketing.

      I think direct sales are a much easier way to get that momentum going. Then you can keep it going and scale it further with content marketing.

  18. Congratulations Nathan

    Amazing year!!

    Reading this post inspired me a lot

    Any plans of travel-hacking to México :)

    • Nathan Barry says:

      Not at the moment. Though I do need to escape the cold somewhere!

  19. Hey Nathan – thanks for sharing your year in review. Interested to hear direct sales is working better than content for a new product. Is there anywhere you discuss this observation in more depth – and what strategies you’ve adopted? I’m in a similar position…


    • Nathan Barry says:

      I’ll have to write about this more. Though I did some in the 5k and 30k posts for ConvertKit.

  20. […] reviews of 2015 I’ve enjoyed reading at include Nathan Barry, Stephen Waddington and Neil […]

  21. Nice post Nathan – I love straight-to-the-point, business-related articles like this. Now I’m considering purchasing your Authority book to write my own eBook :P Great job.

  22. Yeah, it has been a busy year alright, did miss your blog, but also kept improving things.
    Happy new year and best wishes for 2016
    Love and Blessings

  23. Congratulations Nathan!! It was awesome to read what worked, what didn’t and how you’re planning to progress. ConvertKit is on my list of tools to get once my blog budget allows it. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it from others, and even without using it I promote it based on your webinars alone.

  24. CC Lim says:

    An inspiring example of building something useful and make it continue to work for u without u working on it. I actually just discover your website and products this week by digging through the old Podcast that u did with with SPI, and I am immediately sold, will grab your offer of Convertkit today. Cheers!

  25. Nice work Nathan! Have a great 2016 from your numer one brazilian fan! Recently I started also started a company that suffers a lot in 2015 but with posts like these my energy is always reneable. Best of luck. Keep going.

  26. Thank you for sharing everything Nathan! You are amazing. Our plans are to look into travel hacking as we want to start to travel. :)

    Thank you again and have an amazing new year! :)

  27. I don’t know if you have noticed a meta-theme to your SaaS application success. You did whatever you were doing really well. That led to a surplus. You used that surplus to hire people to build the software company. It is very difficult for single founders to succeed. You found a way. Congrats!

    • Nathan Barry says:

      I may be a solo-founder, but I now rely very heavily on my awesome team. So they deserve most of the credit.

  28. Thanks for your transparency, Nathan. I appreciate that greatly! I also went to a StoryBrand workshop – in 2014. I’m curious how that was for you and if you think it will change anything in your marketing communications. McCall, Idaho is a great place, also. I’ve gone there a few times with a mens group and love the hot springs in the area! Take care, Nathan…

    • Nathan Barry says:

      I loved StoryBrand. Still deciding how best to implement it.

      I hope to buy property near McCall sometime in the next few years. :)

  29. Congratulations with a very impressive year! That growth curve looks amaaazing, even if it’s very difficult to imagine how much work, sweat and tears went into achieving that. So congrats with that again.

    And what are the travel destinations for 2016? :)


    • Nathan Barry says:


      For 2016 I’ll do a bunch of conferences (around the US) and then try to head back to Thailand. Other than that I don’t have much planned.

  30. Congratulations on a great year! I really appreciate the transparency of your post, and how you broke everything down. I’m really happy to see the focus you’ve put on relationships, traveling, health, and enjoying life. Something that often seems forgotten in our entrepreneurial world.

  31. Hey Nathan. Very cool article. You mentioned doing more direct sales. Do you have any details on what that looked like? Where you just following up with leads more diligently? Any teaching or lessons that inspired you to do more of that, that might be helpful for me to look into? Thanks.

  32. Thanks for sharing, Nathan! I always enjoy reading and learning from your yearly reviews, and I think it’s awesome that you’ve grow ConvertKit so much in the past year. Congratulations!

  33. Nathan – only one question. How did you DOUBLE ConvertKit MRR from Oct to Dec this year? Thanks for sharing!

  34. Thanks for posting your year in review. That is such a great idea too. After reading yours, I ditched the post I was working on and decided to create my own year in review….something that I can go back to next year and compare.

    Happy New Year.

  35. I would love to hear more about the direct sales process you created to achieve such spectacular results.

  36. Dude! That is amazing. I’m feeling a mixture of emotions: inspired, envious, overwhelmed, excited! Well done to you for overcoming the scarcity syndrome. I think that is one big obstacle, especially with the responsibility of a wife and young family. Love reading what you do!

    Keep it up and may 2016 blast 2015 out of the water.

  37. Thanks for the inspiring update, Nathan! I’ve been following your deeds for a couple of years and I must say that I miss your design. Any plans for doing more of that for the new year?

    • Nathan Barry says:

      I plan to do some, but this blog will gradually skew more and more marketing and business focused since that’s how I spend my time.

  38. Inspiring stuff as always, Nathan. Thanks for sharing, and all the best for 2016. I’ll be jumping on to ConvertKit soon :-)

  39. You’re back on your writing game. Great post, Nathan. Always enjoy reading your stuff and checking out your Baremetrics stats. Seems like reducing churn and failed charges are two areas you guys are still ironing out. I also wonder if there’s a positive correlation between the holidays and refund requests (i.e., newer bloggers who haven’t monetized their blog and can’t yet afford a premium email service who suddenly get buyer’s remorse and realize they want their money back ahead of the holidays).

    It’s fun to see how you’ve transitioned from blogging full-time and selling ebooks to running a SaaS business, somewhat similar to Laura Roeder’s path. I look forward to seeing ConvertKit hit the $2mm ARR threshold. It’s clear that extending a partnership/advisory board role to Pat Flynn has made a big difference in revenue growth. Are you considering extending a similar role to John Lee Dumas or other top podcasters/bloggers?

    Have you thought about signing up ConvertKit as a merchant through ShareASale, similar to Improvely, WP Engine and StudioPress/Copyblogger?

    Happy New Year.

    • Nathan Barry says:

      Hey Cody,

      Churn was really good until we dealt with a round of spam accounts and other people attempting to abuse ConvertKit.

      User churn has always been higher than we’d like (8% is normal), but revenue churn is normally down near 3.5% to 4%. Hoping to get it back down to that soon.

      We considered raising funding from more bloggers and market leaders, but decided against it. So for now we aren’t bringing on other advisors in that way.

      We do have an affiliate program: http://convertkit.com/partner

      • I specifically mentioned ShareASale because of the easy onboarding process for new affiliates and the visibility potential from their marketplace. Another idea is sponsoring blogger’s podcasts about blogging such as Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger podcast, which I believe directly hits your target audience (not sure if you already do this). I know Laura Roeder does this for Edgar and has seen success with it. Another thing they’re big on is Facebook Ads to live webinars that she hosts.

        Something you guys may want to add is the ability to instantly re-enable your disabled ConvertKit account. The less reactivation friction the better. I think sending an exit user survey to people who deactivate would help your team better understand the user churn issue. An initial sign up user walk-through with prompts showing you how to perform certain tasks (or to show where certain features are located) or with a preloaded sample email series would help people understand the power and benefits of ConvertKit.

        I know when I first signed up I felt a bit overwhelmed (e.g., how to set up tags the right way). Tags are great once you get them working the way you idealize, but often it can be a headache trying to figure out the right way or best practice method for setting them up for a specific use case. Also, I wanted more modal pop-over templates to choose from, since I’m not a designer and most freelance designers out there don’t have a Nathan Barry-level design sense (it would be great if ConvertKit offered a LeadPages style modal template, among others).

        Anyway, I will be re-enabling my ConvertKit account now that I have 1,000+ subscribers thanks to Bryan Harris. Over past year, I’ve tried Active Campaign, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, Aweber, none of them compare to the power of ConvertKit. I also prefer plain text style emails.

  40. Great post, Nathan! I’m glad we had a chance to hang out a bit more in 2015 and I’m looking forward to running into you again this year. (And I do miss your posts, so keep writing when you can!)

  41. Nice work Nathan and excellent hustle. The transparency is much appreciated and I love seeing the grind behind the growth. About to launch my first ebook with your tips and being a concert kit subscriber for a year. You have taught me so much and I appreciate that. Keep doing what you do.

  42. Oh man, just spent +1 hour reading your 2015 review + the whole migration of (aweber-to-infusionsoft-to-convertkit) from Pat Flynn. You got a new fan from Tijuana, MX.

    I will also surely take a closer look at your http://nathanbarry.com/authority/ book.

  43. Nice work! Appreciate with the transparency in the post!

  44. Fantastic blog post. I really love seeing the inner workings of a company, and also the mindset of a founder. I’m also loving ConvertKit’s UI, it’s incredibly intuitive. Should be launching a product based on it soon!


  45. Joe Ferrara says:

    Nice progress Nathan! I am going through Authority now and am in the beginning process of writing. Thanks for your useful info in the book. I look forward to your continual products and viewing your progress in 2016! May this be a great year for both of us!

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