I just put up a 5,000 word breakdown of the campaign for Growth Hacker Marketing for the New York Observer. If you haven’t read the book, but are interested in becoming a writer one day, I would encourage you to check it out. I think the book is in some ways a new model for how to develop an idea and an audience and then ultimately create a successful and lucrative product out of it. And that’s leaving out the fact that the book was satisfying and enjoyable to write.

I also wanted to give a quick update on the growth hacker apprenticeship that originated on this blog and is detailed in the post. After posting it here and some promotions from people in the community over 100 people applied (something I was quite humbled by). But here’s the unfortunate part: Most of the applicants never had a shot. This is something I have seen time and time again in my career, and something I’ve tried to write about in my posts about mentorship. Most of them never had a shot because they didn’t follow directions (for instance, I said put your idea in a single paragraph 300 words max, yet many people send me enormously long emails). Among the few dozen who at least took the instructions literally, the ideas weren’t remotely related to the content of the book. But most of the entries failed on both counts–ignored the directions, and the ideas were off. You can maybe skate by being sloppy, but no one is going to forgive the latter. I think what happened is that people saw an opportunity and got so excited that they, you know, neglected to come up with a real plan for taking it. Instead they just threw energy at it, or in some cases, threw some “crazy” at it.

I would have loved to give those people a shot anyway, but I could not. That’s not how life works. I ultimately ended up working with William Wickey and he did a great job. He was reliable. He was on top of it. He brought value to the table. He took my suggestions. He made things easy for me. He was trustworthy. He made it possible for me to do something new and special for the launch. And guess what? I’ve already referred him to two potential paying gigs. I am almost certain I will pass more work to him from myself and others in the future. He did it right, and I would encourage him to write about his thinking and process because I think it could provide some lessons.

Anyway, I encourage you to check out the article and of course the book. I really appreciate everyone’s support and hope writing like this is helpful.

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I am very pleased to announce the revised and expanded paperback version of Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising is out now. The expanded paperback (or ebook) includes a ton of new material and updates–it’s now got twice the content, has a bunch of updated stories and anecdotes, and explains the many lessons I learned with the book.

In a way, this book itself was an exercise in growth hacking itself. The first version was our minimum viable product and now that it’s been validated, we’re ready to go to a wider audience. You’ve been a part of that journey, having read the early version, given feedback, promoted it, or seen me speak about the book somewhere along the way in the last year. So thank you, seriously.

I would love for you to pick up a copy on Amazon (UK link), iBooks, B&N, or any local bookstore and enjoy this new version. If you signed up for one of the promotions to get an early signed copy, those books on their way. However you get it, I’d be very grateful for a very quick review on Amazon. We crossed 300 of them last week.

At the very least, pass along a recommendation about the book to a friend or give it a tweet. I really appreciate your support and can’t wait for more people to enjoy the book.

Thanks again and let me know what you think of the new book.

**Note: The various promotional copies are either on their way or will be shortly. I am writing up the GHM case study based on the apprentice gig as well as some other articles. Stay tunes here for the info.

Last fall I teamed up with my publisher to produce a $2.99 mini-ebook called Growth Hacker Marketing. It was short—about 10,000 words—and was intended to serve as a basic introduction to the subject. The e-book was more successful than any of us had thought, and so my publisher has decided to publish a print edition, to which I’ve added a ton of new material and updates (it’s now over twice as long, has a bunch of updated stories and anecdotes, and explains the lessons I learned with the book)

But wait. I know what you’re thinking. Ryan, if I already bought the $2.99 version, do I have to shell out again to get these updates? Isn’t that kind of punishing the people who helped make the e-book succeed in the first place?

The answer is no. Because I am giving away a FREE copy of the revised and expanded paperback edition of Growth Hacker Marketing to anyone in the U.S. who has already bought the $2.99 e-special edition. Not only that, I’m going to be signing as many of them as I can. It’s my way of saying thanks and creating a “wow” factor.

All you need to do is fill out this form and we’ll send you a free book in the mail.  Only continental U.S. residents are eligible*. Offer ends Friday, September 19.

*I know this is unfortunate but it’s just not feasible any other way. And before anyone complains, I have to commend my publisher for supporting (and in some cases, actually coming up with) these ideas. Nobody else is allowed to do this and it’s awesome they’re doing this with me.

**Also for the contest posted earlier this month, a winner has been selected. Info to come**

The feeling I feel on a Saturday. Just enough work to be creative and motive. But slept in first and didn’t have to do any of it. Solid exercise without a deadline. Next to no email, no phone calls. Relaxed, productive, at peace, happy, quiet, unburdened. This is how I want life to be. Every day a Saturday.

But what’s more: this is possible. At least most of the time in my case it is. I choose for it not to be.

What would one pay for a life like that? Am I willing to put up the money for it? That is, to say “No” to things, to lucrative opportunities or potential business. I hope so.

Because now is the juncture.

Its already past mid-way through 2014, so I thought I’d put together a post containing all the articles I’ve published so far this year. I’ve written a lot this year and joined some new publications, which I’m very excited about. If you’d like to keep up to date with everything, join my reading list and follow me via Twitter. Enjoy!

The Obstacle Is The Way Launch

Betabeat.com: Behind the Book Campaign: How To Sell 30,000 Copies in 6 Weeks Huffington Post: How Dr. Drew Pinsky Changed My Life Cracked: 7 People Who Overcame Huge Obstacles To Become Famous Copyblogger: How I Wrote Three Books In Three Years FastCompany: 7 Ways To Turn Your Opponents Into Opportunities Art of Manliness: Finding the Opportunity Inside the Obstacle 800-CEO-READ: The 3 Stoic Disciplines: How to Turn Your Obstacles Into Triumphs Upstart Business Journal: Why Amelia Earhart’s 1925 Gamble Should Inspire Entrepreneurs Thought Catalog: How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything Thought Catalog: Should I Drop Out of College? Medium: Hey Millennials, It’s A Good Thing Things Are Bad Psychology Today: The Importance of Negative Thinking RyanHoliday.net: A Lesson From The World’s Worst Week RyanHoliday.net: A Practical Philosophy Reading List Beliefnet.com: Nine Ways To Turn Your Obstacles Into An Advantage Entrepreneur.com: A Leadership Lesson From Eisenhower’s Stoic Reversal at D-Day

New York Observer

A Burglar Stole My Engagement Ring — And It Made My Proposal – Feb. 18 Certified: Why It Feels Good When Your City Hits the Big Screen – April 4 Trading Up The Chain: Mainstream Media Takes Cues from Blogosphere – April 23 Dear Graduates: Lessons From a College Dropout – May 26


Fake Traffic Means Real Paydays – Jan. 16 I Own a Goat: Some Animals And a Mini-Farm Give a Tech Guy Some Peace – Jan. 21 Ryan’s Hope: Why I Took A Job At Betabeat – Feb. 3 Phoning It In: 3 Years of Lessons From Running A Remote Business – Feb. 6 Whats Wrong With Media? This Tech Investor’s Twitter Rant Nails It – Feb. 10 What to Measure? The Question Journalism Has to Answer – Feb. 12 Outrage Porn: How the Need For ‘Perpetual Indignation’ Manufactures Phony Offense – Feb. 26 Sourceless: Online Reporting Becomes a Race to the Bottom – March 5 Get Out Of Town: Why SXSW Isn’t Worth It – March 14 Airbnb Etiquette: A Wake-Up Call to Unprofessional Hosts – March 19 Let Me Come Out and Say It: The Ford Commercial Is Super Lame – April 1 I Was Plagiarized By Arbitrage Magazine, But I’m The One Who Feels Terrible About It – April 8 Personal Science Seth Roberts Passes Away – April 28 Tim Ferriss Publishes Betabeat Editor Under New Audiobook Venture – May 9 The Joke’s On Us: ‘Sharing’ Becomes An Excuse Not To Care – May 21 Skimming Off The Top: Social Giving Sites Take a Huge Cut Of The Check – May 27 Is Google’s Product Strategy Dumb, Brave or both? – June 4 For Giants Like the New York Times, Problems Are Hidden in Plain Sight – June 23 How 3D Printing Is Bringing An Ancient Art Form Back to the Future – June 3 Chasing Ghosts: ‘Attention Minutes’ Are Voodoo, CPM is Still What Counts – July 7

Thought Catalog

The Guilty, Crazy Secret That Helps Me Write – Jan. 2

24 Books To Hone Your Strategic Mind – Jan. 8

The Creative Secret: Quantity Over Quality — And Commitments – Jan. 16

How To Turn Your Day-To-Day, Chronic Procrastination Into An Advantage – Jan. 26

How To Market A Boring Business: PR, Advertising And Marketing Strategies For Regular, Button-Down Brands – Jan. 28

Information Vs. Knowledge Vs. Experience – Jan. 31

A Winner Does… – Feb. 6

I Am The Man Who Honks – Feb. 13

25 Recommendations For Life Changing Biographies For The Voracious Reader In You – Feb. 23

Print Out Good Advice And Put It Where You Work (You Won’t Be Able To Run Away From It) – March 3

Hey, Reading Isn’t A Race: How Speed Reading And Spritz Completely Miss The Point – March 9

Productivity Secret: Never Buy Airplane Wifi – March 17

Loving Los Angeles: 36 Books To Help You Finally “Get” LA – March 24

The Overthinker’s Guide To Launching Your Next Project Without Wanting To Kill Yourself – April 7

Why You Need To Understand The American Civil War -April 17

Should I Drop Out Of College? – April 28

How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything – May 1

How The Civil War Was Won – May 9

13 Moral Biographies That Make You A Better Person And Teach You About Life – May 14

We Love Ourselves More Than Other People, But Care About Their Opinions More Than Our Own – May 19

This Moment Is Not Your Life – May 28

A Letter To The Graduating Class Of 2014 – June 3

Things I Learned On The Way To 27 – June 16

30 Must Read Quotes From Icons Of History Required To Turn Your Adversity Into Advantage – June 20

Can You Call Yourself A Writer? – June 23

Sorry, An Epiphany Isn’t What’s Going To Change Your Life – July 1

Confessions Of A Binge Reader (Or, How I Read So Much) – July 8

7 Pieces of Life Changing Advice from Dear Sugar – July 15

The 10 Of The Greatest (True) Stories Ever Written—Read These Books – July 28

How to Get a Book Agent– July 31

Psychology Today

The Surprising Value of Negative Thinking – May 1 Why You Should Embrace Failure – May 12 Domesticate Your Emotions – May 26 Contemptuous Expressions: The Secret To An Objective Mind – June 20


Turning Crisis Into Opportunity: 5 Ways To Deal With Hardship – April 30 The Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon: Persistence. (See General Grant.) – May 6 How Entrepreneurs Can Read to Lead – May 19 A Leadership Lesson From Eisenhower’s Stoic Reversal at D-Day – June 6