Tim Ferris: Human Guinea Pig

Starting my journey as an entrepreneur back in 2014, I’ve always sought out leaders and mentors to guide me on my journey towards creating my first business. Like every aspiring startup founder, I went from reading articles to watching inspirational videos, to listening to podcasts. One of my favorite entrepreneurs (and inspirations for taking a “hyper-experimental” approach in creating businesses), would be human guinea pig, Tim Ferriss.



His best-selling books include The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and my favorite, The 4-Hour Chef — all books showcasing his experiments and techniques to find more efficient approaches to handling everything from cooking, fitness, and productivity.

What I loved from Tim since the start was his unending dedication to experimentation. From authoring books, he grew his community online with his blog, focusing on long-form content as he observed that “it’s simply uncrowded and neglected. I double down when formats are out of favor”, giving him a huge chunk of readers bringing traffic to his blog.

From there, it’s been a continuous trend of trying new stuff for Tim to write about and finding new ways for his stories to be heard.

See how he can lose 20 lbs. in 30 days without exerciselearn how to overcome his fear of swimming and learn it in 10 days, and learn how to speak Filipino from a cold start in just 4 days.

How He Gets People To Listen


Content, news, and updates for Tim’s audience all centralize on his blog. That’s where he showcases the many ways he engages with his audience — from podcasts, to TV shows, to blog articles, all forms of content with its own way of making Tim money and keeping his audience on the hook.

This comes as more of a personal branding, portfolio, and product showcase for Tim’s content and products.

How he makes money out of this: This website is where Tim showcases his books and TV Shows, all paid content for Tim to make money from.

How this can help you: Got the budget and skills to set up your own blog/website? This is a good jump-off point before you engage in other types of digital marketing. Once you’re able to set up an email newsletter or a social media page, make sure to redirect everything to your own personal website. (P.S. We can help you out with that.)


The Tim Ferriss Show is a podcast dedicated to Tim’s “deconstruction of world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines” his audience can use. This also includes snippets and reviews of his favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.

The podcast includes all-star guests such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Foxx, Edward Norton, Tony Robbins, Maria Popova, Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen, and more.

What I enjoy most about the podcast is its long-form type of interviews which are easy to listen to because of the conversational tone of the content.

How he makes money out of this: Tim features sponsors at the beginning of his podcast. This includes Audible, Wealthfront, and 99Designs (This is where Tim got his book cover for 4-Hour Workweek).

To get an idea of how he charges per episode, he shares an idea of how iTunes Top 50 podcasts charge per episode on a CPM rate (cost per a thousand listeners):

“Premium podcasts tend to charge between $25–100 CPM. By “premium,” I mean high-converting, (often) single-host (due to Oprah-like sales impact), iTunes top-50 podcasts. Let’s look at some numbers. If you can hypothetically guarantee 100,000 downloads per episode, as measured at six weeks post-publication (which seems standard for some odd reason), here is how the math shakes out at different CPM rates:
$50 CPM x 100,000 = 50 x 100 = $5,000 per sponsor per episode
$75 CPM x 100,000 = $7,500 per sponsor per episode
$100 CPM x 100,000 = $10,000 per sponsor per episode

Now, if a podcaster can guarantee 500,000 or 1M downloads/listens, you can see how the numbers add up.”

How this can help you: Building a following through podcasts can be a tough sell, especially if you’re jumping in late. But if you do get to achieve, say, a regular following of 100,000 listeners per episode, you’re gold. Just learn how to edit, source, and edit your episodes and you’ll be all set.


Tim’s newsletters are split into two campaigns:

1. His regular newsletter — consists of updates from his blog, podcasts, and new products

How he makes money out of this: This is his number one priority channel for marketing his products. Besides sharing new posts from his blog and new interviews from his podcast, he also markets paid content here like his books and TV shows.

2. 5-Bullet Friday — a weekly digest of five “things” handpicked by Tim (ranges from products, movies, articles, quotes, and thoughts.)

How he makes money out of this: Making money from this is a little bit more complicated. He usually sends out weekly promo codes for premium services or links to paid products on Amazon.

All of those links, he gets a small cut from. Read up on Amazon affiliate links here.

How this can help you: As Tim puts it, “I own this communication directly and it’s less subject to the whims of algorithm changes (e.g. “Oops! Now you only reach 10% of your audience.”). Some people insist that e-mail is dead for younger generations, and they’re right… until those young people get jobs. E-mail will stick around for a while, despite attempts to kill it.”

Besides being able to go straight to your subscriber’s inbox (no need to compete with other ads like on Facebook or Twitter), you’ll be able to track how your audience interacts with your email — from who opens and what they click, you’ll be able to shape your email into what your audience wants with every email you send. (We highly recommend this method for first-time entrepreneurs. We can help you out with this as well. 😜)


The way Tim markets his content to different channels is a treasure trove of techniques that every entrepreneur should learn. Growing a community from scratch is a difficult feat, but with the proper techniques, mentors, and patience to guide your way, building a community to support your brand would be a walk in the park.

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