How Jonathan Made $2,000 in 5 Days Without a Business Idea (Case Study)

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris - March 13th, 2015

Quick question…

What were you doing 6 months ago today?

Chances are you were sitting in the exact same position you are right now.

Reading ANOTHER blog post about marketing,

Listening to ANOTHER podcast interview,

…and making excuses about about how you are different and why that stuff would never work for you.

Consider this your wake-up call…

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While you were making excuses, this guy started a business and made $2k in 5 days.

6 months ago I wrote an article outlining the simplest way I know to make money (online or offline).

And guess what?

One person read that article and ACTUALLY IMPLEMENTED WHAT HE READ.

Shocking, right?

While you were all passively reading and dreaming about what life could be like, this guy actually got off his butt and did something.

My new friend Jonathan took the steps laid out in that blog post and hustled his face off.

Within five days…yes, FIVE DAYS…of reading that article, he had started his new company and generated $2,100 in sales.

That was more than he used to make in an entire month of work.

Today, I’m going to show you what Jonathan did and how you can do the exact same thing.

Let’s get started.

The brain-dead-easy way to start your own business

The process is very simple.

Are you ready?

Step #1: Create an irresistible service by using a viral blog post. (More on this in a minute.)

Step #2: Offer that service to customers who have already said they’re interested in it.

That’s it.

Now let’s see how Jonathan did it.

Step 1: Create an irresistible service by using a viral blog post.

The key is to find a popular blog post that teaches one specific strategy you can turn into a done-for-you service.

Here are a few examples…

Do you want to be a dog trainer? Use this article.

Do you want to be a marketing consultant? Use this article.

Do you want to be a ghostwriter? Use this article.

Jonathan loves helping businesses get more customers. So he found an article teaching a very specific strategy on just that.

Here is the article he used: The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization.

Tip: I’ve put together a comprehensive list of viral blog posts that you can offer as a service to start your own business. Click here to download it.

Step 2: Offer your service to prospects who have already expressed interest in it.

Now you have a service to offer.

The BIG question, though, is this…

How can you get people to pay you money in exchange for your service?

Jonathan took the strategy laid out in the viral blog post that he found and offered it to people who had already expressed interest in that topic.

He found his prospects by making a list of people who shared the post on social media.

To generate that list, he went to Topsy and entered the URL for the article.

This showed him a list of everyone who shared the article on Twitter:

By sharing the article on Twitter, these people had pre-qualified themselves as potential candidates for the service.

Then he narrowed his list to 5 prospects by focusing on the people that Topsy labeled as “highly influential.”

Lastly, he emailed each of his prospects with this message…

Hi Mark,

I just started following you on Twitter because I noticed that you shared Qualaroo’s guide on conversion rate optimization.

I love that article. In fact, I started offering the exact process they laid out in that post as a service.

Your website and blog look great and I’ve put together (based on Qualaroo’s guide) an optimization plan to help you get more subscriptions to your newsletter.

Here is a link to the full plan:

I know you’re an expert at this, but if you don’t have the time to do this for yourself, I would love to help. Is this something you want?


Within six hours, Mark (one of the 5 prospects) emailed Jonathan back expressing interest.

And just a few days later, they struck a deal for a $2,100 contract!

Tip: To find out what email addresses to send your proposal to, use this free tool.

Don’t read any more blog posts today.

What would change in your life if you made $2,100 by this time next week?

I have a challenge for you…

Step 1: Spend the next 30 minutes finding one article that describes what you want to offer as a service. Don’t over-think this. You’re not marrying it. It’s an experiment.

Step 2: Run a quick search on Topsy to find the top influencers who have shared this article. Jot their names down on your notepad.

Step 3: Use the email template above to email 10 of those influencers with an offer to work with them. Don’t deviate from the template.

Can you do that?

It worked for Jonathan, and it can work for you, too.

I’ve put together a few things to help you execute this strategy:

  • List of 100+ articles that are prime candidates to be turned into businesses.
  • How to create an irresistible proposal that will blow your prospects’ minds.
  • 3 samples of some of the most mind-blowing proposals I’ve ever seen. (They’ve been used to land clients like Michael Hyatt, Jeff Goins, Brian Dean and Neil Patel.)
Click here to download all of the bonuses

Don’t read another blog post today.

Get. To. Work.

*Update* Topsy is no longer available, but a tool that was recommended to us was Check it out.



  • I love it Bryan!

    That was the biggest thing missing in my business 3 weeks ago. I was focusing on building traffic and emails. But missing out completely on tons of money.

    I wanted to create some crazy SAAS or offer a complex service. It turns out I can sell custom designed wordpress websites to my audience very simply.

    It created more money than any of my complex product-launch/passive income/[insert fade of the month here] plans ever did.

    Big thanks!

    • Keep it up Tyler 🙂

    • Dale

      If you do a write-up of this, please share it Tyler; sounds great.

      • I’d love to write it Dale, but it doesn’t really fit into EasyAgentPro. If I guest post about it somewhere, I’ll let you know!

        • Joona Tuunanen

          You can always write on Medium.

        • Hassan Rashid

          Or why not here as a case study? 😉

    • Hi Tyler. I am into similar service, offering niche wordpress based websites. Wondering what’s pitch and how you land clients. Can you do a case study or a write-up based on your thoughts and notes? 🙂


      • Hi Kashif,

        I’ll let you know if I ever do one. Right now, I’m focused on providing value to my end consumers.


  • Bryan – I followed your guide and had some interest but no sales (yet!) I’m still sticking with it though. Thanks for the much-needed slap in the face! 🙂

    • Differentiator = persistence and followup.

      What service were you pitching? Article link?

      How many people did you pitch?

      • I tried a few different services (didn’t want to “fall in love with the idea” as you mentioned).

        3 dIfferent people on “influencer outreach” and 2 on “giveaway contests” and 3 on “CRO”.

        I’ve gotten some feedback(which I’m integrating for sure)

        • I know I could follow the process better and refine my offering/pitch etc. — definitely not trying to shift the responsibility to execute on someone besides myself.

    • Dale

      Brian, you might also want to think about tracking down some people who commented on the article, or taking a quick skim of “non-influencers” who shared the post (I find Topsy’s separation useful, but far from perfect).

      • Thanks for the recommendation! I am really trying to make this work.

  • Thanks Bryan! I’m working on implementing this as we speak (have a proposal half done) but Im really getting stuck on 2 things 1) who to pick (right now, I’m using bloggers that I know personally) but after that, where do I turn? 2) How do I price my services?
    Instead of just pitching one article, I’ve read all the articles you’ve got listed in conversion optimization and took some notes about the most popular and suggested those (complete with screen shots of what implementation will look like).

    I’ve settled on a few things that I already know a lot about (conversion rate optimization & SEO) and have been working to get contracts.
    Am I deviating too much from the plan or over thinking this?

  • Awesome Bryan! Any suggestions on a similar tool for other social networks (Esp. Linkedin)?

  • This is amazing Bryan! I first heard your interview on Nick Loper’s podcast. He told me he thinks you’re a genius. People always talk about not seeing any opportunity but here you break down one example about how it’s right in front of us! Thanks for the putting on the “opportunity goggles” and sharing with everyone else.

  • Going to give this a try, Bryan. I have a pretty narrow niche, so we will see how it goes!

  • Bryan, this post is pure gold. There’s no other way to describe it.
    I’m a writer. Self-improvement writer mostly. I’m going to take a peek at this example and see if I can spin it in a way that shows what I’ve got to offer. I’ll definitely let you know the results.
    Thanks for the dose of reality.

  • Great idea, but Norbert seems to fail to find my own email address (either it’s a catch-all domain, or it just failed).

    I think it’s better to use combination of Rob Ousbey’s Email permutator to generate possible email addresses, and to verify it.

    Here’s the link to the tool:

    and the explanation behind it:

  • Hi Bryan,Great post again.I will definitely try this out.i have a question.How do you create these Graphs/Charts in your blog posts.can you tell.

  • Love this!

    I’m implementing it today, hopefully will have something to send out to potential clients by tomorrow.

    One question though: Where did you find your VA? I watched your interview with Jonathan and she seems great. Any idea how I can avoid wasting time looking in the wrong places?

    Thanks for the great content, as always!

  • Mitesh

    Awesome post bryan, I’m struggling with starting a keyword research service base business. I’ve written a sample proposal but the hardest thing is finding clients and tailoring it to their needs. For example one of my prospects is Neil Patel, but how could I tailor this service for him as he’s obviously a pro at this. These are my stumbling blocks.

  • Thanks Bryan. I was looking for the version of this post you wrote awhile back, but it had disappeared. Now, I’m ready to put it into action. Previously, I didn’t believe you because I was confused about the knowledge gap vs. the efficiency gap, It’s an issue of finding & contacting these people that understand & appreciate the value in the service (but have an efficiency gap), can probably do it themselves, but would prefer to pay someone to do it for them.

    I’d always focused on the prospects that lacked knowledge, and either
    got sucky clients that didn’t want to pay or needy ones that asked too
    much (because they didn’t really know what they needed). I guess because
    I assumed these were the only prospects, that people that knew what
    they wanted & how to do it would just do it themselves (or seek out
    someone they knew could do it). So, now I know to focus on these better
    clients, focus on eliminating their efficiency gap, and propose it
    confidently now that I know they will actually understand the value of
    what I propose.

    • JonathanAverett

      That’s exactly the way I felt as far as the client knowing more than me or being able to do it themselves. You put it in perspective when you said they understand the value and would rather pay someone else to just do it for them though. Thanks for posting the Joe.

  • JonathanAverett

    So, would I (1) Coordinate with the client to get their login information and actually do the work (create content/modify client website) or (2) just discuss what to do, present solutions and the client actually does the work. I’ll be surprised if you say 2.

    Also, how much contact should I give as far as updates/questions if you had a 3 month contract?

    Thank you Bryan!
    Jonathan Averett

    BTW: I’m grew up in the mobile area

  • Is there any other way to find someone’s email address from their Twitter ID? Any Twiiter tools or something would be great.

  • Sathyanand S

    Hi Bryan,
    Neat idea.
    Unfortunately the blogs and authors I follow doesn’t seem to have any tweets on Topsy.
    Either they are bad writers (which I don’t quite agree) or tweeting doesn’t mean it is the best thing in the world.. What say?

    • Bruce Baker

      Hi Sathya
      I just found out about Topsy here. I’ve been looking at various tools to generate local biz leads. Topsy is one. But just seeing it made me realize I could be googling for similarly useful sites. (I’ve been focused on software.)
      My point to you is: okay, Topsy isn’t the right tool. And it makes sense to go back to the source (Bryan) to ask. But he wasn’t able to reply. I hope you’ve been looking/asking/posting? to find sites or software that would produce better results in your niche?

  • Thanks I needed this kick in the butt badly

  • T.J Fox

    The one big question I have after reading this is once Johnathan had the contract signed how did he proide the with the quality service he offered them. What is this was something he knew very little about? Would he not first have to train himself in the service he was offering?

  • Chris Swan

    Man this is gold dude. Totally doing this.