Sunday, July 19, 2009

Getting a Thousand True Fans

Someone sent me a link to this article and said it was interesting. I agree, so I thought I'd pass it on ...

1000 True Fans

The basic idea behind it is really simple. In this day of advanced communications and powerful online distribution, all you need is a 1000 loyal fans to make a living. If you can come up with a loyal core that supports what you do, you can be a creator for a living. Since I believe very strongly that, if you work hard to provide something people want, you should be able to make a living off of it, this idea has a great appeal.

Spiderweb Software stays successful because it had built, over the years, a core of loyal fans. These fans are enormously important to me, and I'm hugely grateful to them.

However, the article plays awful fast and loose with the practical details of the thing.

The article suggests that, if you get 1000 fans and they each give you $100 a year for your work, you can make a living. This is true. However, my god, $100 a year from a given person is an ENORMOUS hurdle to jump over. I don't know what you're doing to get $100/year from people, but you won't be getting it from me. That's like, what, 4-5 Indie games or 5 books or 6-8 albums of music a year? Not happening.

No, I will give my own, much more practical rule:

You should try to get 4000 fans who pay you $25 a year for your work. Then you can make a living doing what you love.

I can see why the authors of the article didn't phrase it this way. It's because getting 4000 fans sounds much, much more daunting than getting 1000. And it is. But, practically, to make a decent living, that is your goal. And, if you're good and dedicated, it's an attainable one.

But remember, there's one other rule.

It's very difficult to get even one fan. Besides your mom.

The hard part is making a product that anyone will give you money for at all. There are very few people who enjoy blowing twenty bucks for nothing.

Four thousand people is a huge goal. But it is attainable. So get to work.


  1. I'm guessing a just as important - if not more important - issue here is that 1,000 true fans will do a bunch of your marketing for you: talking about your games in their blogs, posting about it on gaming forums, convincing their friends to try it out, etc..

    You can easily see how 1 true fan can indirectly bring you about $100 a year that way, if not more.

  2. Another useful aphorism is that if you're starting out, try to get to the point where your monthly income is $1000.

    If you can get there, you clearly have *something* worthwhile happening.

    From $1000/month, you could probably scale it up to a living wage through advertising or marketing or by building a bigger catalog of your 'product'.

    1. Thanks combination of suitable and useful information and well-written sentences that will certainly entice your sense.There are so multiple comments here that are really entertaining and conducive to me thanks for sharing a link especially for sharing this blog. Judi Bola

  3. One loyal, dedicated fan reporting in.

  4. I don't know what you're doing to get $100/year from people, but you won't be getting it from me.

    I think this paragraph sums it up:

    A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can't wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.

    In other words, a True Fan is someone whose bank account you shamelessly empty by exploiting their loyalty to the fullest. Speaking of which, how's that Fyora coffee mug coming along? ;)

  5. The true fans are also the ones who will pay for the privilege of beta testing. I'm thinking specifically of Stardock, who graciously allows everyone who preorders into that product's beta. And also of Taleworlds, who did something really unique by starting Mount&Blade out at a very low price while the game was still beta quality, and gradually upping it as they moved closer to release. With constant free upgrades for the early adopters, of course.

    Taleworlds notably built a fanatically enthusiastic community around an unfinished product. If you're just starting out and wondering how to build hype and get a few sales, it's worth considering. Once you have something playable and fun, sell a limited number of copies at $5, with the promise of free upgrades as long as you're in business. Do it again a little later at $10, etc. Assuming your product is good, you could build a fanbase and make a few bucks in the time you'd normally still be doing internal development and testing.

    The other business model I really like is that of Guild Wars. You buy the game, get unlimited free online play, and they regularly release new paid expansions. The casual players are happy with their single purchase, and the True Fans get new content to gobble up just as they've mastered the old stuff.

    This is some of the stuff I'm thinking about as I work on my first serious game.

  6. Released, past tense. Guild Wars 1 is over and done with, and it didn't sound like they were planning a similar business model with the sequel.

  7. I've been rather critical of the "1000 true fans" idea in the past, and still stand by my view. In fact, it seems like you don't even quite believe the "1000 true fans" idea.

    There are a lot of problems with the 1000 true fans idea. For example:
    - It's hard to produce $100 worth of media each year. I certainly can't do it. I've been working on my game for years. It will be sold for a lot less than $100 per copy. Based on my specific case, I'll be selling at about $5 per year of work.
    - If you have multiple people working in a group, you may need a whole lot more than $100,000 per year. Kelly's assumption seems to be a single person working alone.
    - Building a fan-base takes a long time. If it takes 10 years to build that many fans, then you've got ten years of sub-par income.
    - Most people aren't going to be "true fans" of anything. I certainly am not a "true fan" of anyone or anything. It's pointless for us (the people creating things) to fight over a relatively small segment of the population.
    - Why are we focusing on the segment of the population willing to become "true fans"? The "fair weather fan" (i.e. people who buy your stuff when it's good and appeals to them, don't buy it when it's not) is a much larger segment of the population and are more valuable simply due to the fact that they're a much larger section of the population. I like a lot of the stuff Blizzard and Valve does, and I've paid them for their games in the past. But, I certainly do not want to buy all their stuff. Isn't it unrealistic to expect that people are going to buy *everything* you create? Not even Blizzard or Valve can do that. I'd be willing to bet that both of these companies have earned a lot more money from their fair-weather fans than from their "true fans".

    The only good thing that I can say about Kevin Kelly's idea is that it's good to create stuff that's so good that people will become fans (rather than just creating shovelware).

    In the end, I think Kelly's idea has gotten far more press than it should've, and I think that's because it has a deceptive simplicity to it that appeals strongly to arm-chair pundits.

  8. Right, new Guild Wars stuff hasn't been released for a couple years now, around the same time they announced Guild Wars 2. I don't have sales figures or a crystal ball, but I think they could've kept it going for at least another year. As it is, they've left a pretty long gap between new releases, which is unfortunate.

    Guild Wars 2 won't have a subscription fee, and I can't imagine why they wouldn't release expansions. Every successful MMORPG in the history of forever has done it.

  9. Most people aren't going to be "true fans" of anything. I certainly am not a "true fan" of anyone or anything.

    That surprises me a bit. I'm not absolutely fanatical about anything, but I fit the True Fan description to varying degrees for a handful of different bands -- I go to all the concerts I can, and of course I buy everything they release.

    The milder version of that isn't "don't produce crap" so much as "build a good community." From direct interaction with fans to making your game heavily moddable, there are plenty of things you can do to further that agenda.

    There's a big social difference between the latest pop singer (or a game developer like EA) on the one hand, and a friendly indie band/developer on the other. If you're an indie developer acting like a Big Faceless Corporate Entity, you're not taking advantage of your inherent strengths.

  10. I'm a fan of Spiderweb Software, who over the years have given you I think something like $500 for what seems to be a disproportionate amount of fun. In a sense that feeling that I 'owe you' something makes me more predisposed to pay for the next thing.

    That, to me, means something more than branding. It's more complex than that, and not many developers provide it. Thanks, Jeff!

  11. Two points:

    1) Everyone that subscribes to WoW is a "true fan," giving them over $100 a year. Just buying all the boxes now costs about that much. There's lots of true fans out there. Not everyone is a true fan of something, but I think many of the successful people (in music, in games, in books) have their true fans. You don't need to be a True Fan yourself.

    2) If you only sell $5 worth of product, then maybe you should look at more or different products. Package your game differently -- sell expansion packs, customization tools, t-shirts and coffee mugs. Micropayments and DLC are making it easier to offer more than $100 of goods on a base product that itself is very cheap (or even free like webcomics).

  12. Silver pandora jewelry store comprises replacement atomic number 79 equally the metal by choice in that pandora jewelry website flavors manners. .925 alright superlative Ag Jewelry checks 92.5% complete silver pandora jewelry online and comprises assorted with extra debases to beef up them and abbreviate maculating pandora style jewelry coming through a hard-nosed alloy as pandora bracelet beads . The rise in metal prices, especially gold, have begun to alter pandora leather bracelet dashes. Designers are applying sterling pandora style bracelet a lot of today because of its gold pandora bracelet appeal and affordability. Designers care Jacques Louis pandora charm necklace David Yurman and those from pandora’s cause changed their focus and are making A-list assembles by .925 Fine Sterling pandora necklace charms Although Silver is affordable its price has quietly risen 300% inch the last 5 years and is astir across 50% pandora silver beads these class entirely. Many investment advisers* recommend a portion of your wealth be inward Ag and amber. Trend setters who comprised the first to begin wearing pandora necklace leather metal to match tatto last word and additional electric current styles as well do good along accepting pandora bracelet charms worth more than they paid for it.

  13. Good commentary here; useful. I'll be coming back as I am working on developing more a more interactive blogging style., thanks you very much... Film BF, Tube8, Tante Girang, Harga Mobil Bekas, Ramalan Bintang, Daftar Harga HP Bekas, Biro Jodoh Online,Cara Membuat Makalah.

  14. What youre saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I also love the images you put in here. They fit so well with what youre trying to say. Im sure youll reach so many people with what youve got to say. Car Review, New car release, New SUV Car, Hybrid Car Specifications, Keep healthy naturally, Ramalan harian, Game online indonesia, Daftar Harga HP Bekas, SM*SH, Tangga Lagu Terbaru, Ramalan Togel, Ramalan Zodiak

  15. This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want...HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!
    Copenhagen hotels

  16. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?
    Brussels Hotels

  17. Nice post. Great blog. Thanks for sharing. It was very interesting and meaningful. Keep posting. I follow you.
    Angry birds clone| Groupon Clone| Groupon Clone Script| groupon clone|

  18. Thanks for sharing these wonderful comic videos with us. They are really funny. Will look after for some more updates.
    Advertising agencies in islamabad

  19. Hey awesome blog.. its great.. i really like the way you wrote your views in this blog... i found it very interesting to read.I would like to invite you to take a look to generic viagra , you will find some good stuff there...

  20. Absolutely unique and fine piece of information.
    pvc pakistan I've never spent that much time reading before but this is really awesome..

  21. Tiffany is about the world's most renowned designers of first-rate offerings.Dissimilar to other vogue companies,tiffany necklaces deal firmly in products for instance jewelry,designer watches,glass wares,lamps,bags,plus more.
    tiffany jewellery
    tiffany silvers
    tiffany uk
    tiffany jewellery uk
    tiffany jewellery sale
    tiffany rings
    tiffany co rings
    tiffany engagement rings
    tiffany bracelets
    tiffany co bracelets
    tiffany necklaces
    tiffany charms
    replica tiffany jewellery
    replica tiffany
    tiffany co
    tiffany and co

  22. Thumbs up, I have never seen the knowledge which you shown in the post absolutely very attractive post for everyone which is related to the job, recently my friend Neni told me about this but I did not consider it seriously.
    polypropylene pipe
    pvc pipe manufacturers
    pvc pipe

  23. You got a dream, you gotta protect it, people can't do something by themselves, they wanna tell you can't do it, if you want something, go get it, period EQ2 Plat, I love waking up in the morning and not knowing what's going to happen, or who I'm going to meet, where I'm going to wind up EQ2 Platinum, I konw you like this song most and I know what you are thinking about too, I miss you EQ2 Gold.

    Let`s write that letter we thought of writing "one of these days Tibia Gold, just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have Tibia coins, don't waste your time on a man/woman, who isn't willing to waste their time on you sro gold.

  24. Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can’t wait to read lots of your posts. Bandar Bola Judi Bola Bola Tangkas

  25. This is really my very first time here, great looking blog. I discovered so many interesting things inside your blog especially its discussion. Paper Writing Services
    Thesis Paper Writing
    Research Paper Writing
    Letter Writing Services

  26. Very Useful information , this is both good reading for, have quite a few good key points, and I learn some new stuff from it too, thanks for sharing your information.
    Advertising agencies in Karachi | Advertising agencies in Pakistan

  27. permissions that passengers commented on the blog please do not delete thank you for your cooperation .. hopefully increase your blog visitors and success always for you. judi online

  28. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. Berita Bola

  29. Thank you regarding Wonderful and also Beneficial Post. This article is very is made up of lot more information regarding This particular Matter.Messages Servicing

  30. "Getting a Thousand True Fans" is an excellent article which is truly original; thanks for your intention and capacity to be individually unique! Our custom essay service wishes you the best of luck!

  31. Business Name and also Logo design Making use of Photoshop. A number of Entertaining and also Cool Graphics Design functions by Web-site designers with this business branding services

  32. I actually appreciate your own position and I will be sure to come back here. I hope people visit my website.

  33. friv games 2018 is new flash games which are expected to be the best Friv 4 games to play. You can find all game Friv 4 school free in Friv 2018 and Friv 4 School .Friv 2018 is one of the number one websites that offers thousands of exciting games around the world with high quality. Here, you can search for games in any category. We guarantee that your satisfaction is our pleasure.

    tủ nấu cơm
    máy làm Ðá

  34. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.


  35. mytectra placement Portal is a Web based portal brings Potentials Employers and myTectra Candidates on a common platform for placement assistance.


  36. Free slots and free slots online games selected by professional! Find the best payout casino, free bonus online casino and best real money slots games!

  37. Let's see some of the pyar dard shayari in hindi or प्यार दर्द शायरी . Dard (Pain), The most hurtful pinch that aches the soul and body. Dard Shayari In Hindi

  38. Would you be interested in exchanging links?


  39. I am happy with your article, Fajartoto think your website is pretty good. Many articles are very useful for everyone. I am sure your website will grow in the future. Fajartoto will always support your website, hopefully more advanced. keep the spirit... thanks

    togel online
    bandar togel terpercaya
    bandar togel sgp
    situs togel resmi
    togel online terpercaya
    agen togel
    agen togel terpercaya
    prediksi sgp
    syair togel hk

  40. Tamil Nadu is one of the 29 states of India. It is surrounded by Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. The capital of Tamil Nadu is Chennai, and it is the largest ...

    tamil jobs

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. just click here
    This article is very good. thank you for sharing Shayari in Hindi by gives you latest hindi shayari, romantic shayari, hindi shayari sms, friendship shayari, romantic shayari, sad shayari in hindi.

  43. Awesome Article…..
    Keep up the good work
    Friendship Shayari

  44. Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

    Click Here

  45. Find a great collection of Floating fountain parts at Fawn Lake Fountains online store. Our products are offered at the best market prices. More Info.

  46. This post is very helpful. It’s informative too! love shayari in hindi for girlfriend this blog is really helpful. i found very interesting things

  47. Awesome post keep it up. I like your post you work well. sad statusEntire post really Awesome! Thank you for all the hard work you put into it. It's really shows.sad status in hindi for life i read you all post i love to read your post and you work well.


  48. Fast cash offer for you today at just 2% interest rate, both long and short term cash of all amounts and currencies, no collateral required. We give out from a minimum range of $2000 to a maximum of $20 million.We are certified and your privacy is 100% safe with us Apply now for your instant approval and transfer approval process takes just 3 hours. contact us now
    I'll advise you can contact us via email at
    Contact Us At :
    whatspp Number +918929490461
    Mr Abdullah Ibrahim


  49. I am looking for such an informative post for a long time. Thank you for sharing your expertise. This post is very helpful. It’s informative too! this blog is really helpful. i found very interesting things here. Rakesh Yadav Class Notes PDF
    A very interesting topic that I’ve been looking into, I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. Thank for sharing! RS Aggarwal Reasoning PDF
    I enjoyed over read your blog post. Your blog have nice information, I got good ideas from this amazing blog. I am always searching like this type blog post.Sarkari Buddy


  50. wow ! What a great content! I found your blog on google and loved reading it greatly. It is a great post indeed. Much obliged to you and good fortunes. keep sharing.

    latest killer atttitude status

  51. I found your blog on google and loved reading it greatly. It is a great post indeed. Much obliged to you and good fortunes. keep sharing.
    lws quotes

  52. Worked as a Senior SEO & Digital & Social Media & Graphics Design & cpa & Drop shipping & Video Editing And Youtube & Web Design And Development & Affiliate Marketing trainer at BITM (BASIS Institute of Technology & Management) since 2014-2018. Successfully completed 50+ SEO batches, 20+
    Affiliate Marketing batches and 30+ workshop on Freelancing under SEIP (Skills for Employment Investment Program).

  53. A good blog always comes-up with new and exciting information and while reading.
    I have felt that this blog really has all those quality that qualify a blog to be a good one.

    Vijay Deverakonda
    Allison Parker

  54. Wonderful points most people wrote in this article... Great items.

    Currency Exchange In San Francisco

  55. Thank you for such a nice article keep posting, I am a Regular Visitor of your website.
    paramount online test

  56. Nice thanks for sharing…… love your blog.
    Vist your blog again and again.

    akad status in Hindi

    Sad sms in hindi

    instagram quotes in hindi

  57. வாழ்க்கை மற்றும் தொழில் மற்றும் பிரபலமான நபர்களின் மேற்கோள்களைப் பற்றிய தூண்டுதலான மேற்கோள்களைப் படிக்க தயவுசெய்து பார்வையிடவும்.

    mothers day quotes in tamil
    success quotes in tamil
    teachers day quotes in tamil
    beautiful quotes in tamil
    relationship quotes in tamil

  58. Thank you for posting such a great blog! I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article.You can also share interesting and knowledgeable article about the crowdfunding for startups in India.

  59. thankx for this great post.. you always inspire peoples.. i always check you blog. please keep it up.

    best ego quotes

  60. thankx your article so useful for me.. you always inspire peoples please keep writing.

    sorry quotes

  61. thankx your article so useful for me.. you always inspire peoples please keep writing.

    sorry quotes

  62. Shocking! Such a dazzling and steady post this is. I incomprehensibly love it. It's so excellent consequently New Song Lyrics 2020
    Latest Punjabi Lyrics
    Visit new song Chad Jaa Beshak stunning. I am fundamentally shocked.

  63. Do you like to have the best Singing lover Quotes. We bring the Genuine Appreciation Singer Status. These are the awesome Best Motivations quotes here.
    Best Singing lover Quotes

  64. Are you Book Lover? There are lots of peoples in the world who love read books in free time. So These are the best Book Lover Quotes, and status you love.

    Book Lover Quotes

  65. If you really believe in the karma then you will find here the Best Karma Quotes and saying . It is the best images and status find here.

  66. You will get the best quotes for best friends forever, These are the awesome and new quotes all the time that you only find here.
    Best Friends Forever Status

  67. If you want to get the best rain quotes these are the best session in weather which will be more excited. If you want to have the best and new quotes all the time then Best status on rain will make your day at rainy session. Read More Here

  68. Do you like to see the best Best Money Quotes Here you can get all the new quotes and awesome status that will make you inspire for more money.

  69. Are you looking for the best instagram captions, bios, and photos to post?. Then here are the complete list about all the blast. You will love these quotes.
    best Instagram Captions

  70. Eid is very special Festival, So are you excited this Eid to get Sweet dishes in your Houses, share your Love with Here. You can also have these lovely Quotes to Wish your Close Ones.
    Best Eid Wishing Status

  71. what a great post... i always come for read your post because of your content. keep posting
    easy tips to earn money with tiktok

  72. what a great post... i always come for read your post because of your content. keep posting
    mp3 english song downlode sites,
    best cricket pc games,
    Best App For Earn Money Online

  73. Thank you for your valuable information
    You can visit QuotesMasti for more information.

  74. Thank you regarding Wonderful and also Beneficial Post

    Two line hindi shayari

  75. Nice information, you write very nice articles, I visit your website for regular updates.
    abhinay maths class notes pdf

  76. i so attention about your article.. you can visit my web too if you need information about

    sejarah casino

  77. Great article on Fm whatsapp... if anyone wantsbto download the apk for fm whatsapp you can visit Mod app and download the latest version for any modified applications of your desire....thanks for sharing this article keep sharing