SW engineering, engineering management and the business of software

subscribe for more
stuff like this:

Notes on Chapter 2 of Authority by Nathan Barry

Continuing my experiment of publishing notes on what I read. Previously: Chapter 1.

Chapter 2: Basic Marketing

  • Classic MBA marketing (brand awareness, focus groups, audience engagement) was useless.
  • Teaching is one of the best ways to market on the web. (My own interpretation is that it also builds trust with your potential customers).

Before you spend months of your life creating something, you may want to test for some demand.

  • He suggests one author-focused domain for simplicity and to build a personal brand. Many people who make multiple book-focused domains eventually transition back to a single author-focused domain. The reverse doesn’t seem to be true.
  • Landing Page:
    • The headline must be clear and compelling. It should have an image & description. An image of a book is important so the reader knows what they are getting. It should definitely have an email signup form.
  • Seeding interest can be done by harvesting your own network and anyone in the target market who has an audience.
  • When asking for favors, remember to have an easy out for the recipient. It’s better to keep the relationship warm than be overly forceful for a one-time favor.
  • Use Wordpress. Anything else is almost certainly wasting time. If you write your own blogging engine, go slap yourself. (My words, not Nathan’s.)


  • Three Epic Blog Posts
    • This is actually enough to demonstrate your expertise.
    • Should be your most valuable information.
    • Should not be lists or curated content from other places.
    • Capture Leads: at the end of each post, have your email capture form.

You’d be surprised how little it takes to become perceived as an expert.

Why Email?

  • Social media is a waste of time for selling.
    • It can be useful for building relationships.
  • Email:
    • You can push content to readers.
    • It is easier than RSS for readers.
    • Engagement is higher.
    • You have ownership.
  • Each email should provide more value to the reader than to yourself. Otherwise it’s spam and will be treated as such.

  • Don’t let your list die

    • a good mailing list needs attention.
    • skipping a few months is a great way to get a ton of unsubscribes.

He also goes into detail with two case studies:

  • Brennan Dunn
  • Jarrod Drysdale


Teaching is Marketing. Test demand. The classic, recommended method is to use a Wordpress landing page on the internet. Write three epic blog posts. That is enough to begin building trust and expertise. Use email as a second-level filter for customer demand. Love email. Dispense with any preconceived notions you have about email. Email has a lot of mechanical and historical advantages.

Other posts in this series:

in lieu of comments, you should follow me on twitter at twitter/amattn and on twitch.tv at twitch.tv/amattn. I'm happy to chat about content here anytime.

the fine print:
aboutarchivemastodontwittertwitchconsulting or speaking inquiries
© matt nunogawa 2010 - 2023 / all rights reserved