The road to starting a blog with 2,000 email subscribers


My name is Austin and I am the founder of simplifiedmind.com.

This is my story….my road to success.

Background on me. Why I am creating a blog. 

I am 22, I live in San Diego, CA and I’m finishing my last semester at San Diego State University where I study marketing.

I want you to realize that we’re similar. What I’m about to reveal to you over the next two months is nothing you can’t do yourself. I’m not special, and I don’t have an innate entrepreneurial talent.

I do have a strong curiosity for self-improvement, and I’m fascinated by the power of the Internet. I’m building a blog. Can you guess what it’s about? Yes, you’re right… my blog is about self-improvement. More specifically, my blog is about scientific self-improvement. I’ll explain more on this later. First, I want to talk to you about what sparked my interest for blogging.

Meet my friend, Andrew.

A Short Story

It was a relaxing evening in the middle-of-the-week on the San Diego State campus. I decided to take a break from the library to head over to the SDSU Entrepreneur Society weekly meeting.

I showed up to a classroom with a bunch of college kids smushed together. I found a spot to stand and saw Andrew preparing to speak. It was 2013, and I was 19 years old.

I wish you were there to hear what this energetic and passionate guy had to say. To spare you a long essay, the general thesis of Andrew’s talk was this: screw stuff you hate and go all in on your passions.

In a nutshell, Andrew quit a comfy and high-paying job to launch a self-development blog for men. Wide-eyed and filled with blind ambition, I approached Andrew afterwards and we arranged a coffee meeting.

We got together and I picked his brain as best I could. I found out Andrew was in his mid-20s, and his advice for me was to just do. Long story short, I spent the next couple of years trying out different things for the wrong reasons. I wasted time and failed to create anything of value. Fast forward to July 2016, and I reconnected with Andrew… we got tacos this time.

Over the course of three years, Andrew’s blog evolved into a thriving business. What began as a blog with a couple thousand subscribers grew into a top-ranked podcast with millions of downloads. The podcast paved the way for live intensive retreats where Andrew empowers men to live with more passion, purpose and power. By the way, I’m referring to Andrew Ferebee of Knowledge For Men.

I realize Andrew’s story is a rarity, and I’m not naïve to the fact that I could fail. I’m starting a blog because Andrew’s story has helped me realize what’s possible with helpful content, a relentless hustle and the Internet. I’m starting a blog in hopes of creating an intentional and fulfilled life fueled by my curiosity of increasing performance.

Why simplifiedmind.com will be a different kind of blog.

As I mention on my site, I’ve never been a top performer (yet). I’m generally above average at things I do, but I have never the best. So,, I’ve grown curious about what makes people the best.

Like you, I’ve read lots of books on the topics of self-development, business, growth, etc. I’ve listened to podcasts, and I’ve met with mentors… I’ve done the “right” things. What I’ve realized through this process is there are two types of content in this space: good content and bogus content.

The good content has substance. I’m referring to behavior recommendations with a backbone of research to justify the advice. This research can come in the forms of actual academic or in-field studies or via the life experience of “successful” people (i.e. GaryVee’s advice on hustle).

The bogus content has zero substance. I’m referring to self-proclaimed gurus with little personal experience to justify behavior recommendations. This bogus content rarely ever has any research to justify recommendations or advice.

I like the good content, and I’m sure you do too. My blog, SimplifiedMind.com, attempts to connect the good content with Type A 20-somethings who want to evolve from average to awesome.

starting a blog - simplifiedmind.com

I’m not an expert, and I don’t have a PhD. Instead, I spend my spare time studying the latest research to understand what works. I share practical tactics for improving productivity, performance and psychology on my blog.

But, a blog is worthless and my efforts are futile is no one knows about SimplifiedMind.com. It’s been a little under two weeks since I’ve launched the site, and I’m realizing how important content dispersion is to reach my 2-month goal.

My 2 month goal with personal blogging. 

At the time of writing this, two months from now is November 19th, 2016. My goal is to get 2,000 email subscribers by that time. I currently have ~1,200, and I’m going to document my strategy for acquiring the remaining 800 subscribers. Let’s bold this so we remember what the goal is:

The Goal: I, Austin Dean, am going to have at least 2,000 email subscribers for my blog, SimplifiedMind.com, by November 19th, 2016.

Wow, this just got real! I’d like to give you insight into what my high-level vision is for SimplifiedMind.com. When I have 2,000 subscribers, what will I do? I’ll tell you exactly what my plan is in my next post in the series – stay tuned!

I would love to hear any feedback you may have on the company, direction, or ideas in general. Please reach out to me directly at austindean.me@gmail.com.