How Alex Brogan Went From 4.7K to 280K Followers in 20 Months and Multiplied His Income Sources

Alex Brogan

Alex Brogan has amassed a reach of 650,000+ across his social media profiles and newsletters.

With the pace at which he is currently growing, it’ll be no surprise if his total followers cross the 1,000,000 mark within just a couple of months from now.

He has leveraged his skill of audience-building to create numerous high-earning income streams, enabling him to take home multiple 6-figures of revenue in 2023.

Follow along in this post as we reverse-engineer his growth from 4.7k  to 280k in 20 months.

Alex Brogan Content Creation Summary Infographic
Alex Brogan Monetization Summary Infographic

Monetization Strategy

Newsletters

Building a profitable newsletter extends beyond monthly cash flow, it’s an asset that can be sold for a healthy revenue multiple. Scaled to $25k MRR? Congratulations, you now likely have the option to exit the business and instantly add $1M+ to your bank balance.

Regularly communicating with an engaged audience creates numerous online money-making opportunities.

Let’s explore the avenues Alex has taken to do this with his two newsletters, Faster Than Normal and The Intelligence Age.

Faster Than Normal

“Faster Than Normal ” is his bi-weekly newsletter through which he reaches an audience of 60,000+ subscribers with systems, frameworks and resources on self-improvement.

It’s completely free to join. This helped him accumulate a large, growth-oriented viewership that awaits new content every Wednesday and Saturday.

If it’s free, how is this newsletter a revenue-source? Quite the obvious…

Sponsorships.

Alex uses PassionFroot to manage his sponsorships. Companies can submit collaboration requests and reserve ad slots on the platform. This is what the booking page looks like:

Passion Froot

Let’s take a closer look…

For $525, you can reserve a main advertisement unit. This will be on the top of an email. A maximum of 400 characters with a logo and CTA (call-to-action).

Main Ad Unit

With the newsletters 42% open rate, roughly 25,000 people are expected to view this advertisement. As claimed by the sponsorship page, this will lead to 150-400 clicks on average.

Recent sponsors include companies such as Morning Brew, Tactiq and MindStudio.

There is an option to reserve a “bundle” of 4 main advertisements at a discounted price of $1575 (saves $525).

The second advertisement slot is at the bottom of the email, this goes for $262.

Bottom Ad Unit

Only text is allowed and a maximum of 140 characters permitted.

Assuming all sponsorships are sold out and the main ads are all sold as bundles, each email generates $655 worth of ad unit revenue.

Along with ad unit sales, companies can negotiate a custom sponsorship deal.

Affiliate Marketing

Faster Than Normal readers likely resonate with Alex’s story and just like him, have an interest in the newsletter niche. Alex has cleverly capitalized on this interest by adding in affiliate marketing as one of his many income sources.

If you scroll to the very bottom of an email issue, you’ll notice this text.

Beehiiv affiliate

Clicking this will lead you to Beehiiv.com, a well known newsletter platform.

Beehiiv subscription plans

Beehiiv offers a generous 50% commission on paid subscriptions for the first 12 months.

This means that for every “Grow” subscription purchased through Alex’s link, he makes $252 and for every “Scale” subscription, he makes $504.

There’s an initial 14 day free trial before users purchase a plan.

There are thousands of readers that see his hyperlinked text on a daily basis, we can imagine how this goes for him…

Along with Beehiiv, Alex is partnered with other companies such as Shortform. He uses social media to create interest and generate sign ups through his link.

The Intelligence Age

“The Intelligence Age” is his other newsletter that covers all things Artificial Intelligence.

Riding the wave of increased interest in Artificial Intelligence over the past year, this newsletter, currently reaching over 62,000 subscribers, is on a trajectory for monthly growth exceeding 15,000.

“We help business leaders make sense of the changes and discover ways to use AI to their advantage. We aim to go a step beyond just listing news developments, helping our audience understand why it matters and how to stay ahead of the curve.”

It is evident that The Intelligence Age is geared towards a high-quality audience, this is a goldmine when it comes to monetization.

It’s free to join but to access exclusive perks, subscribers can purchase a premium membership for $9 per month or $69 per year.

While the number of premium members is not publicised, let’s assume that 2% of subscribers go ahead and upgrade to the yearly plan, that’s over $85k in ARR from memberships alone.

On top of memberships, The Intelligence Age also sells ad units to companies looking to put their product or service in front of a high-skilled audience.

TIA Premium Plans

Leveraging the rapid expansion of this newsletter’s subscription base, Alex has established an additional avenue for generating income. Upon entering your email to sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be directed to a landing page that introduces two digital info-products, an AI Business Use Case library as well as an AI Tools Database.

Alex Brogan TIA digital products landing page

The AI Business Use Case library is for $149 and contains 50+ guides on AI use cases that any business can implement without the need for technical expertise.

The lower ticket digital product is the AI Tools Database. This is for $29 and gives buyers access to a database that holds 3000+ AI tools, grouped by relevant occupations and use cases.

Relevance is key here.

Subscribers to The Intelligence Age are clearly interested in learning how to use AI; that’s why they signed up in the first place. They are now made aware of digital products that will instantly give them access to further knowledge of the subject. This is a no-brainer for many people, especially business owners

With around 15,000 AI-curious people accessing the landing page right after entering their email, we can just imagine the Stripe notifications buzzing on autopilot 24/7.

With all of these two newsletters, Alex gets subscribers by promoting his newsletters in his tweets that perform well. That way a lot of people get to see the call to action to join the newsletters.

Alex Brogan Auto-Plug
Auto-plug added automatically by Hypefury when a tweet reaches certain likes

Promote your newsletter through Autoplugs. When your tweet reaches a certain number of likes (you set) Hypefury will automatically add an Autoplug (an automated comment) under your tweet. Start promoting with Autoplugs

Newsletter Mastery – Info-product

Given his expertise in monetizing Newsletters, Alex is launching a course to teach others how to do the same.

Info-products can be a huge source of revenue. With an audience as large as his, it’s certain that there is a ton of interest in a course like this.

It’s still in the works but he already has 1000+ signed up to the waitlist, with occasional sneak peaks emailed to them “nurturing” them for when the course is launched.

Curated List of Internet Resources

For $29, Alex will give you lifetime access to his curated list of internet resources.

He crowdsourced a comprehensive list of resources, curated them into a database of 1500+ links, and presented it in the form of a Notion template.

Notion resource

This database includes resources on investing, his favourite quotes, podcasts, courses, reading list, writing tips, speaking tips and a lot more. He calls it his second brain.

You can also create your own product and sell it on Gumroad. And if you’re a Hypefury user you can use the Gumroad sales feature to sell your products on auto-pilot

Hypefury works seamlessly with Gumroad to help you sell your products easily and make money from your audience. You can create sales that run automatically and Hypefury will start and stop the sale based on the conditions you specified. Start making more money with Gumroad sales

Content Strategy

𝕏/Twitter

It took Alex just 20 months to grow his 𝕏/Twitter following from 4700 to 280,000+.

This graph shows the progress made starting in April 2022 – November 2023.

Follower Growth

He’s averaged 14,500 new followers each month. Each time a new person drops him a follow, it’s not just a change in the total number. It’s a potential course buyer, newsletter subscriber, sponsor etc. There’s more on his methods of “branching” twitter followers below.
But first…how does he gain so many new followers?

He does this by following a consistent content framework that keeps his audience engaged and ensures steady and consistent growth.

His current content framework can be divided into three core pillars – Threads, Quotes and Practical Challenges.

In the month of October 2023, he posted: 17 threads, 6 quotes, 4 practical challenges

His threads are on topics surrounding self-improvement, tips and productivity. They always provide a numeric list of something.

Thread

Quotes are shared from various prominent figures such as Mark Twain and Thomas Edison.

Quote Tweet

Then comes his Practical Challenges. He takes these from his Faster Than Normal Newsletter and posts it on twitter to give a sneak-peak of the content in the newsletter.

Practical Challenge

Staying organized and following a framework like this can sound tricky, and truth be told, it is.

A simple solution is to use Hypefury’s posting schedule to make things much easier and more efficient. By using the scheduling feature, Alex easily drafts his ideas and does not have to worry about posting the right thing at the right time. He just makes the schedule in the app, writes the content at his convenience and Hypefury handles the rest.

Alex Brogan's Hypefury Posting schedule
Alex Brogan's Hypefury Posting schedule

Now comes the part of getting his followers to take some sort of action beyond just viewing tweets.

Let’s look at his interests:

Gaining more newsletter subscribers.
Growing Newsletter Mastery’s waitlist.

To help achieve this, Alex uses Hypefury to auto-plug his tweets in accordance to its relevance.

For example, a practical challenge tweet will get auto-plugged with this

Practical challenge auto plug

While some threads will get auto-plugged with this

Thread auto plug

This takes just a couple of minutes to set up and has helped funnel thousands of his Tweet viewers into Newsletter subscribers and/or potential course buyers.

Roughly 5000 people, on average, view each autoplug of his – this is a popular strategy used by many creators to direct their audience to other platforms.

LinkedIn and Instagram

On LinkedIn and Instagram, Alex has 166,000 and 146,000 followers respectively.

On both of these platforms, his content strategy is extremely straightforward…re-sharing his twitter content.

Hypefury saves him the time needed to this by turning his tweets into LinkedIn carousals and Instagram-optimised images automatically

Cross-posting on other social media with Hypefury

This simple, yet effective, strategy helps him further expand his reach and build his personal brand across multiple platforms, reaching a wide variety of demographics.

Instagram

Followers

In around 9 months (Feb 2023 – Oct 2023), his net total follower gain stands close to 100,000.

Follower Growth

Posting frequency and style

On Instagram, he’s posted 12 times each in both October and November. This is a typical monthly posting volume that we’ve seen from him.

His posts are usually 9-10 slides long and are all self-improvement related threads broken up to make it one tweet per slide. He doesn’t post images of individual quotes or practical challenges like he does on Twitter, the focus is on multi-slide threads.

Differentiation

If you pay close attention, you’ll notice a variation factor…

His recent twitter threads are completely different from his recent Instagram posts.

If he’s simply re-sharing Twitter content, why is this the case? This is because his Instagram posts have already been posted on twitter months ago, he’s just set his posting schedule in a way that if you follow both accounts, you will see new content each time.

Another thing to note is that Instagram limits the number of slides per post to just ten. His threads often exceed this number so he has to make minor changes and reduce the content size for Instagram.

Twitter thread
Instagram cross post

As you can see in this comparison, he changed “20 methods” to “9 methods” so that it is suitable for an Instagram post.

Post description

His post descriptions are usually the entire text from the images. If it’s too lengthy, he posts a TLDR version like this:

Instagram TLDR

CTA

In a similar way to Twitter, he plugs newsletter mastery at the end of his posts. He does this by adding a P.S section to the end of the description.

Instagram CTA

Stories

He isn’t very active on Instagram stories, he either announces a new post or plugs a digital product of his.

Instagram cross-post w/Hypefury

Reels

From September till early October, he consecutively posted Faster Than Normal-branded reels. These reels are narrated animations going over various frameworks and paradoxes taken from his newsletter.

The engagement turned out to be much less than what the regular thread-image posts were getting, perhaps a reason why he stopped posting reels and is now focusing on posting thread-images again.

LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, you will notice that Alex posts both long posts and carousels. And the carousels he posts are repurposed from his 𝕏/Twitter threads.

Alex Brogan LinkedIn carousel

With Hypefury, you have the ability to turn your threads to LinkedIn carousels without extra work

Followers

168k followers

Posting frequency

Around 12 per month or 3 per week

Content

Majority of them are twitter thread screenshots in the form of a carousel/slideshow. He posted 11 of these in November.

He sometimes posts long-form write ups on LinkedIn – posted once in November.

Engagement

Post likes are in the low to mid hundreds range, some posts exceed 1k likes.

Last ten posts averaged 449 likes each.

He sometimes responds to a few comments with “Thanks!”, “Glad you found it helpful” or other quick one liners.

Last ten posts averaged 82 comments each.

Post description

Just the headline/main point – no further elaboration
CTA included in every post. (Plugs newsletter mastery)

Conclusion

Turning a view into interest and then an action is a formula for monetization. Alex’s content strategy seamlessly integrates into this framework. A person will come across his tweet, resonate with it and then take action by signing up to one of his email lists. This opens an ever growing avenue to digital monetization.

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