Race to get +1000 newsletter subscribers in 30 days or less!
X days, X hours, X minutes, X seconds
Signups are closed, subscribe for updates on our next challenge:
🏆 Speedrun 1000 Leaderboard 🏆
And they're off! Our racers are adding subscribers as fast as they can. Help them progress by clicking the links below and subscribing.
Meet the racers
Why Join Speedrun 1000?
1️⃣ Public accountability.
It's easy to say you'll do it. It's hard to actually get it done. When you join Speedrun 1000 you're committing to making newsletter growth a top priority for the next 30-day sprint. We're committing to hold you to it.
2️⃣ Plan for action.
You know you want to grow, but you don't know how you'll do it. We give you a roadmap to 1000. All you need to do is follow it. Will it be easy? No. Can you do it? Yes.
3️⃣ Friendly competition.
Doing anything solo is hard. Doing anything as a competition is fun! Get the push you need to follow through on your goals by competing for first place on the Speedrun 1000 leaderboard 🏆.
Demo day at our last challenge ☝️
The resources you need to succeed.
🗺️ Your growth plan, ready-to-go.
We're giving you a step-by-step plan action plan including templates for outreach. Don't waste time guessing, start executing from day 1.
💬 #Challenge group chat.
You're not doing this alone. When you join the challenge you get access to a community of newsletter builders, all with the same goal as you.
💡 Weekly events.
We'll be hosting weekly masterminds and webinars with experts. Learn to write better, how to run ads, create great marketing campaigns, and make more money.
📣 More eyes on your content.
Every participant has the option to appear on the Speedrun 1000 leaderboard 🏆. It's a done-for-you story that gets people interested in reading what you have to say.
Interested in Sponsoring?
Why should I join?
Hold yourself accountable with a public commitment and a private support group.
Get extra exposure for your project.
Join a friendly competition to motivate yourself.
What are the rules?
Anyone with less than 5,000 subscribers is welcome to join.
Grow however you can. The only thing that's off-limits is fake subscribers.
Submit your weekly check-ins to be eligible for prizes.
What does this cost?
It costs $33.33 to join the challenge unless you're already a member of Indie Worldwide in which case it's free. The fee covers all the costs of running the challenge AND filters out people who are not committed.
How will you track my growth?
We'll send you a weekly email asking how many subscribers you have. We might ask for screenshots to prove it.
What is a speedrun?
In video game culture a "speedrun" is when you try and complete a certain goal or objective as fast as possible, often employing hacks, tricks, and very high levels of skill.
What do I get if I complete the challenge?
Hella bragging rights.
3-months free Indie Worldwide membership.
A newsletter with +1000 new subs (duh)
How do I sign up?
Signups are now closed. Subscribe to Indie Worldwide to be notified about our next challenge.
Who's behind this?
This challenge is hosted by Indie Worldwide: the world's friendliest community of indie founders. We host meetups & challenges every month.
Can I opt-out of the leaderboard?
Yes, you can choose to opt-out of the leaderboard and still take participate in the challenge.
How can I become a sponsor?
If you're interested in sponsoring please email [email protected]
You're off to the races!
🏃 Welcome to the 1000 Subscriber Speedrun 🏃
The crowd is electric. The runners are anxious. The smell of orange slices lingers in the air.What is this place?It must be... the starting line for the +1000 Subscriber Speedrun!
Thanks for signing up for our newsletter growth challenge, we'll be kicking things off on Friday.In the meantime, join the pre-event launch conversation in the Indie Worldwide Slack.
🏃 Your Roadmap to 1000 🏃
Ready to grow, but you don't know how? Then you've come to the right place. Here's a quick overview of your 4-week game plan. Every growth story is unique, but this will get you off to a great start.You know you need an audience. You know email is king. You don't know how to start.Start here.
1. Why do you want an audience? 💡Figure out your end goal first. Build backwards from there. If you don't start with your end goals in mind then you're going to build things you don't need and waste time.Do you want to monetize directly with paid subscriptions? Increase engagement with new features? Sell a product? Express yourself?Figure this out first.2. Who is your audience? 🤔Whether they're indie hackers, gym rats, or foodies, you gotta know your audience. If you don't know who you're writing for then you're writing is going to suck.👉 Know your audience. Learn their language. Create content that solves their problems.3. The format. 🧱You know your why and you're who. Time for the how.A strong format makes your life as a writer so much easier, you may even be able to automate your job completely.Let's compare two imaginary publications.Alex the artist and Helen the hustler.🧑🎨 Alex the ArtistAlex treats writing like an artform. He spends 100 hours plus on every post. He does amazing deep dives, the best on the internet.Alex only posts maybe once a month, but every post is amazing.👉 Here's how Alex grows:Word of Mouth > people love and share his posts.SEO > Google and other search engines see people link to his post and rate it as the best content on the internet for the topics he writes about.Content re-purposing > Alex cross-posts natively social media where his posts get shared and re-shared hundreds of times.👩💼 Helen the HustlerHelen treats writing like a means to an end. She scrapes data off the internet and crowd-sources from her readers and uses that data to automatically fill a template.It takes her a few milliseconds for her automated system to write each newsletter that she sends out on a daily basis.👉 Here's how Helen grows:Word of Mouth > Helen crafted a useful lightweight template that members of her industry find useful and share.SEO > Her daily posts manage to cover thousands of long-tail keywords over time and her rapid pace often allow her to be the first relevant long-form content on new and trending topics.Content re-purposing > Helen automates the cross-posting of her content natively to other platforms, including tagging any who was mentioned.So who wins?Trick question! Both strategies are completely valid ways to build a huge audience, potentially much much bigger than 1,000 readers.The important part of both strategies is that Alex and Helen KNOW THE GAME THEY'RE PLAYING and have optimized the heck out of their respective strategies.Know your play before you start.4. Be interesting! DO NOT BE BORING 🍑Hold strong opinions and express them passionately. Strong opinions create conversations worth sharing.5. Get ready to grind. 🪚How do you go from 0 to 100?Send 1000 DM's to people relevant to your niche and ask them to read your newsletter. Take their feedback seriously!Ask like this:
Hey X, I'm writing a newsletter about <Your Topic>. Saw that you posted about <Related Keyword> and figured you might be interested in checking it out. If you've got a sec I'd love to get your feedback on the first issue. lmk if you're interested.👉 DON'T SHARE LINKS UNINVITEDLinks in a cold DM will get you marked as spam. Only message relevant people and only send links once you have buy-in. Experiment with your messaging constantly to figure out what converts.10% conversions * 1000 messages = your first 100 readers.6. Form partnerships 🤝Take that same grindset mentality now and apply it to higher leverage tasks.Make a list of every other newsletter in your niche that you can find and order them by number of subscribers.Start with the smallest and work your way up. Email each newsletter owner and ask to trade shoutouts.Trading shoutouts = you recommend their newsletter in your next issue and they do the same for you.Can't find their email?Don't be silly. Subscribe and reply to their welcome email. DUH.Ask like this:Hey XXX, big fan of <Newsletter Name>. I'm writing a newsletter about <Your Topic> too. We've got XXX readers and XX% open rates. Would you be down to trade shoutouts?This time:- DO include a link. It's hyper-relevant to the ask and you're messaging a much smaller group of people.- DON'T ramble. Go straight to the point.- INCLUDE your numbers. The most relevant numbers are subscribers and open rates.Don't waste anyone's time by reaching out to newsletters more than 3x as big as you. Work your way up!7. Create a lead-magnet. 🧲👉 Real magnets attract metal using magic.👉 Lead magnets attract emails using value.- Make something people want.
- Put it behind a sign-up form.
- Give it away for free in exchange for an email.What should you make? Refer to step 2. Make something your audience wants.This could be:- a course
- industry report
- access to a community
- free tool
- database of data📅 Putting it all together in 30 days or less:
📌 Day 0: Before you startKnow your end goal, your audience, and your format. Choose a platform and set up your landing page.📌 Day 1: Write your first post.You need something to ask for feedback on. You need to prove your format is useful. And you need to publish something for people to read.Be opinionated! Give value!📌 Day 2-12: Message 50-100 people per day.RELEVANT PEOPLE. Ask for feedback on your first issue. Ask them to subscribe.Spread out your DM's over multiple platforms so that you don't get rate-limited anywhere.📌 Day 13: Build a list of newsletters in your nicheHere's an Airtable template you can copy to keep track of the newsletters you reach out to.
Get at least 50 by the end of the day.📌 Day 14+: Reach out for partnershipsContact at least 10 newsletters per day. Experiment with your pitch to see what works. If you know how to do a mail-merge this will make your life much easier.📌 Day 15+: Cross-post your content.You've remembered to keep writing right?Start re-using your content as Twitter threads, LinkedIn broetry, or as the script for your TikTok.📌 Day 16+: Brainstorm your first lead magnetCreate a digital product that you can give away for free in return for emails.📌 Day 17-30: Rinse and repeatKeep grinding on partnership building, cross-posting, and lead magnets. Keep writing. Keep improving your writing.
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