A Near-perfect Example of Outrage Marketing

Brandon Sanderson is one of America’s most successful writers.

In fact, he’s probably the biggest fantasy author in the world right now.

I’m not joking, this guy is massively, massively popular. Looking at the stats, he’s sold something like 20 million books and makes a reported $10,000,000 per year. What’s more, his 2022 Kickstarter is one of the biggest of all time, with over 100,000 backers pledging more than 8 figures.

Not bad for an overweight nerd from Salt Lake City…

Part of the reason for this success is his incredible work ethic. Sanderson is known for churning out material at the speed of light. For example, during the COVID-19 quarantine, he wrote five new books. Another reason is his outrageously rabid fan base. As it turns out, these people are OBSESSED with Sanderson and often refer to him as “God.”

That being said, not everyone is a fan.

One of these people is Jason Kehe, journalist and author of a recent Wired profile on Sanderson.

To put it politely, this profile can only be described as unflattering.

In it, he trashes almost everything about the man, including his way of dressing, dietary habits, weight, city, religion, and also his fans. As you can imagine, this has sent the fan base into a state of total frenzy. They’re riled up, angry, and baying for blood.

It’s this anger which has also made the article go viral. Dozens of online outlets have now mentioned it, plus it’s also been shared and written about extensively on places like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit (Then you have the usual YouTube reaction and commentary videos.)

All of this brings us neatly to the point.

Whether intentional or not, the article is basically a work of genius.

You see, Jason Kehe had a choice: write another fluff piece or trash Sanderson. By trashing the guy, he pissed off thousands of nerds and generated millions of clicks. This makes the whole thing a near-perfect example of both viral content and also outrage marketing.

Bottom line:

Don’t be afraid of attacking people bigger than you and creating controversy.

By doing this you’ll manufacture curiosity and most importantly attention…

…two things which are sorely needed to succeed in todays overcrowded marketplace.

Until next time,

Alastair Walton

P.P.S. Feeling curious? Want to read this controversial article? You can go here for that.

Why Mr. Beast earns $54 million a year

I recently read an article about Jimmy Donaldson a.k.a Mr. Beast.

In case you don’t know, this guy is now one of the biggest stars on YouTube.

(Bigger even than PewDiePie.)

According to reports, he earned an incredible $54 million in 2021 alone. What’s more, he’s now the fourth most subscribed channel on the platform, with 125 million subscribers, and a whopping 18.2 billion views. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also developing apps, and even has a virtual restaurant he calls “Mr. Beast Burger.”

Not bad for a guy who just turned 24.

Now, what’s the point of all this?

Well, as I read through the article something jumped out at me.

It turns out this guy is far from an overnight success.

In fact, he’s actually posted videos since all the way back in 2012, when he was just 13.

This factoid contains an important lesson.

You see, what a lot of people don’t realize about making money online, copywriting, running a business, or anything in life, is that success takes time. It can often take years, or in the above case decades. This is really the point I’m trying to make. The overwhelming majority of internet entrepreneurs give up way too quickly. They want fast, easy success, and when it doesn’t happen they quit.

Now, I’m not saying persistence is the magic key to success.

Some people persist their entire lives and get nowhere.

So persistence is not the only factor.

Obviously there are other things like luck, or simply being in the right place at the right time.

But what I am saying is that most people give up far too easily…

…and unless you’re willing to persist you’ll never get anywhere.

Here endeth the lesson.

Alastair Walton

P.S. Another reason why this guy is so successful is because of his content. Mr. Beast is famous for something known as “expensive stunts.” For example, some of his videos have titles like:

“Last to Leave the Circle Wins $50,000”

”Would You Rather Have $100,000 or This Mystery Key”

“Would You Rather Have a Lamborghini or This House?”

“Last to Leave $800,000 Island Keeps It”

“I Ate a $70,000 Golden Pizza”

This type of content is extremely compelling. People will always sit up and pay attention when there’s money (especially big money) involved. The competition and curiosity factor also draw viewers. The point is that unique, killer content will always put you ahead of the crowd.

P.P.S. One more thing before I go. Just because success takes time, doesn’t mean you have to work hard, or put in long hours. Consistency is far more important. For instance, if you spend just an hour a day reading, you can easily get through more than a dozen books per year.


As I write this Avatar 2 is a week from being released.

A video I watched the other night claims this movie is going to FLOP hard.

According to the guy behind the video, people have forgotten all about Avatar. There’s no buzz surrounding the movie. It’s too long. James Cameron is old, and has no idea what he’s doing. The last movie was too long ago, and no one cares anymore – especially younger people, who didn’t watch the original film.

(BTW, you’re probably wondering what the hell this has to do with marketing or copywriting. Well, keep reading, there are some subtle lessons here regarding psychology, business, and yes, marketing.)

You see, I’m fairly certain Avatar 2 is going to make at least a billion dollars.


IMHO there are several reasons.

1. Baby Boomers

Now, it’s true that younger people haven’t grown up with Avatar, and when I say young, I’m talking about really young people i.e. those who weren’t born when the last movie came out. These kids have no connection to the previous film, and no real reason to watch it. But what you have to understand is that this really doesn’t matter. It’s not important because – in today’s society – these aren’t the people with money. No, what you have to realize is that it’s older people (baby boomers) who have cash to spend, plus the time to go out and watch movies. Not only that, these are the people who actually saw the previous movie – and thus have a connection to it.

2. Foreign Markets

I’m fairly certain Avatar is going to do gangbusters in places like China and India. These markets are known for enjoying big-budget pop-corn movies. They’re the reason why franchises like The Avengers, Transformers, and Fast the Furious make so much money – and now you can add Avatar to the list.

3. Nostalgia

Avatar will forever be associated with the 3D movie craze. And although that trend has basically died, there’s a certain level of nostalgia involved. If you saw the original, you can probably remember the excitement of watching a movie in 3D for the first time. This experience made a big impact on people, and gives them yet another reason to watch the sequel.

4. Escapism

To put it bluntly, the world sucks right now. What this means is that people crave escapism, and this movie is perfect for that. Audiences want an escape from reality. They want to be transported to the bright blue world of Pandora, go on an amazing adventure, and forget about their troubles for a while.

5. Length

Apparently the new Avatar clocks in at around 3 hours. This is another reason why people think the movie will fail – it’s just too long. Unfortunately, these people are completely wrong. What it all comes down to is consumption. Basically, length = value for money. Imagine going to Burger King and getting a Whopper that is twice the size for the same amount of money (A good example of this is Stranger Things season 4, which was wildly popular with fans – despite its 13 hour run length.)

6. Christmas

This movie is releasing during Christmas, and right now there’s really nothing to watch – especially when it comes to big “tent pole” movies. Think about it, what else can you compare to Avatar? If you’re going to the movies, well, you’ll probably end up watching this film. There’s basically no other competition, which counts massively in its favor.

The final factor is James Cameron.

Quite simply, this guy is a genius and knows exactly what he’s doing.

(Especially when it comes to blockbuster movies.)

Anyway, let’s see how the film does…

Alastair Walton

P.S. How much will Avatar actually make? Who knows, but I’m fairly certain it’s going to break the billion dollar mark. In fact, I have a feeling it could even do 2 billion dollars.