How Tim Ferriss Makes Money (and Other Things)


Two days ago, I saw the following tweet:

@tferriss so self-promo by referring to yourself in the third person can work. It’s ironic given the content of this

This was in response to my tweet, which read:

Inc. Magazine – Tim Ferriss on the Pitfalls of Personal Branding:

Ironic? Not really. Let me pose a question: what does a follower need to do if I write “My take on the Pitfalls of…”?

Before they retweet it (even with “RT @tferriss”), many will feel compelled to rewrite “My” as “Tim Ferriss’s” or “@tferriss’s”. Editing means fewer retweets. The same logic applies to some blog post titles, like this one, both for ease-of-sharing and SEO…

I have reasons for most of what I do.

David Siteman Garland dug into some of those reasons recently in an interview on Rise to the Top. He describes the content:

In this interview, I pick Tim’s brain on:

The shift from The 4-Hour Workweek to The 4-Hour Body. Why did he decide to go this route from a business, marketing, and personal perspective?

The business behind his books.

How has his perspective on marketing and promoting changed since the first book became an international phenomenon?

How he spent less than $10,000 and successfully took the 4-Hour Workweek to the New York Times Best Seller List.

The best approach for forming genuine relationships with bloggers.

The difference between hard selling and soft selling (and what it means for your brand).

How Tim Ferriss makes money.

An alternative to the typical “author model” of write a book and then speak/consult.

His advice for creative entrepreneurs like all of us.

Plus, much, much, much more.


Odds and Ends: Advertising Competition

Wow! More than 500 submissions, and there are a lot of good ads. It will take me and my small army a while to get through them all, so please be patient! Some incredible gems were produced and, more important to me, the creativity was outstanding. More coming soon, and thank you for the awesome performance.

Posted on: October 28, 2010.

Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.

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147 comments on “How Tim Ferriss Makes Money (and Other Things)

  1. Awesome article, the massive lee child advertisement at the top is cool as well. Would be annoying if lee child wasn’t the best action writer out. Is it a dynamic ad or are you doing a promotion for his publisher?


  2. LOL, so like the Seinfeld episode where Elaine’s BF keeps referring to himself in the third person.

    I will try it and see if it works on non famous people.


  3. Great post, I love seeing these on twitter before the email blast! Gotta love technology.

    Also, can’t wait for the new book – preordered signed copy coming my way!



  4. Hey Tim,

    This video was very informative. Has to be one of my favorite videos of you. It really ties in a lot of the content in your other posts/videos, but you definitely add a new level of detail.




  5. I’d like Tim to do a book on ideal living next. A more personal one about travel, style, thinking patterns, philosophy, etc. He has efficient business management down, now health optimization next. What’s next? Consider it.


  6. Great interview! Very informative information, especially the bit on networking through simple conversations and soft selling. I really liked the question and response regarding going through online channels to get the word out. I would have thought that offline marketing through well known media outlets would be the way to go, but you have shown another example of how doing what is counter-intuitive is often more valuable. Thanks for providing such great value and pushing yourself to greater challenges. Keep pushing! I hope that someday I can do the same in the fiction arena.


  7. Thanks for offering your experiences, resources, and learnings. You could easily be more private and protect yourself from crazies, but you are willing to share for the benefit of others. Thanks!


  8. You share so much great info Tim. Thanks. It’s very true that you can share all those “secrets” and most wont implement.

    I discovered that after studying Marcelo Garcia for years. It is amazing how he gives away everything he does in his Jiu Jitsu books and videos and then comes out and wins tournaments using the exact moves he demonstrated. He has no secrets, just implements so much better than the rest. Very similar to your point.

    Great interview.


  9. TF,

    Great video. I was taking notes when you were talking about launching the new book, we are in process of writing our book, so it was great to hear from you how you got the word out!

    Keep rocking my friend, where is your next Mini-Retirement after the launch?


  10. I really took your “evergreen” advice to heart.

    I knew I found your content compelling, but your comment helped make the undercurrent of why more explicit. It’s exactly because even if I’m reading the post months and months after it’s publishing, it still has relevancy. This is going to be my new rule of thumb when blogging. Even more, imagine if we applied that rule to all of our actions…


    • “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing,” by Al Ries & Jack Trout

      Although, be aware, the book was written something like 15 years ago and is heavily leaning on the “big advertising” model (TV, billboards, etc.)

      Since power has now shifted to people rather than to advertiser, some of the “laws” have to be rethought a bit, or taken with some reserve.


      • There isn’t a real replacement for the 22 Laws book, but books that offer the most bang and golden nuggets are:

        For in-direct marketing:
        “Rework” by 37signals and “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh

        For direct marketing:
        Anything from Dan Kennedy – golden but sales-y

        For internet marketing:
        No really good comprehensive book, but you do have an AMAZING and free course by some Australians. They reinvent it every summer so the content is always fresh and has been going on for something like 5 years now.

        Hope it helped :)