Dan Go: From 0 to 1 Million Followers by Helping Busy Professionals Get Fit
Tips from a top fitness creator on how to grow your audience and improve your health
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Today, I want to share how Dan Go grew to 1M+ followers as a top fitness creator.
This post will help you grow your audience and improve your health.
In my interview with Dan below, we cover how to:
Get started as a creator
Create a system to publish everyday
Sleep better and get lean
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How to get started as a creator
Welcome Dan! How did you start your creator journey?
I started in 2010 with a personal blog and different social platforms. But it wasn’t until I went all in on Twitter that my growth took off.
Did you always focus on the health and fitness niche?
No, when I started I shared both self-development and fitness advice.
Going broad helped me understand what people wanted, what grew my business, and what I enjoyed creating. Fitness met all three requirements for me.
What do you wish that you knew when you first got started as a creator?
Here are a few tips I would share with my younger self:
Find a mentor. They can point you in the right direction and help you grow.
Follow creators you admire. Ask yourself, "What do I like about their content and their energy?"
Play the positive sum game. Avoid getting into online debates with other creators. You don’t have to pull someone down to boost yourself up.
Put in the reps. Know why you’re on this journey. Show up everyday and look for ways to improve.
Focus on your journey. Don’t get caught in comparisons with other creators. Create boundaries for yourself (e.g., blocking social media at night).
It's dangerous to take in other people's thoughts without giving space for your own.
How to create a system to publish everyday
Your audience really took off during the pandemic, when you also had your first child. As a new parent, how did you find time to create content?
I knew that life was going to get busier after my 1st child so I built a content system:
Draft content: Everyday at 8 am, I would sit at my laptop to write for an hour. I use this time to write 1 newsletter post and 2 Twitter threads every week. I schedule all my content in advance using HypeFury.
Review content: Periodically, I would look through my scheduled posts to make sure that they still made sense. If a tweet no longer fit, I would replace it with something from my drafts.
You can have a different system, but pick a schedule and stick with it. Magic happens when you show up everyday.
Sometimes I would wake up and cringe at my scheduled posts.
Exactly. I would often wonder, "What was going on in my mind when I wrote this yesterday?" Waiting a day to edit lets you see your writing through fresh eyes.
It’s great that your content system helps you get your life back. It’s easy to burn yourself out as a creator.
Yes, my content system lets me spend more time with my family. Being able to take my kid to a swimming class on a weekday afternoon is something that I don’t take for granted.
You also started a newsletter in 2022 that now has 130,000+ subscribers. Why did you decide to start one?
A newsletter is the ultimate long play to build trust with my audience.
Giving value for free builds goodwill that also helps me build my business. It’s a flywheel that keeps growing.
It also feels great to get positive comments from my readers. I love it when they tell me that they’re sleeping and feeling better because of my newsletter.
You improved your open rate from 15% to 50% over time. What led to this increase?
I think it’s due to several reasons:
I published less. I went from sending 3-4 emails a week to just 2, one each for the formats above.
My short form content helps me stay top of mind. But I think it’s my long form content, like a deep dive or a podcast, that creates real fans.
Interesting, another content creator (Trung Phan) uses a very similar strategy.
How to sleep better and get lean
You coach founders and busy tech professionals, many of whom also read this newsletter. What are some tips for folks who want to get healthy?
To get healthy you have to invest in 3 areas — sleep, diet, and exercise.
If you’re just starting, get the minimum effective dosage first and add more habits every 6 months. Here are the easiest changes for each pillar:
Sleep: Get morning sunlight and set regular sleep and wake up times.
Diet: Replace sugary drinks with water.
Workout: Walk for 15-20 minutes a day.
I’m realizing how important sleep is as I get older. How can someone get good sleep?