Eddie Shleyner Built VeryGoodCopy to 68k Subscribers

He went from getting hired to write job board submissions to a professional copywriter with almost 70,000 subscribers on his email list in just a few years.

Eddie Shleyner has turned his love of copywriting into a full-blown business that has pulled in more than 7-figures.

And he’s not a creator who just posts for consistency’s sake. Eddie allows himself to take 2-3 months off every year to recharge and work on projects that need his full focus.

Teach Yourself First

It all started when Eddie got hired as a copywriter without really knowing what copywriting was. He just knew he wanted to write for a living and this job opened up.

Because he was learning copywriting on the fly and wanted to do a good job, he was teaching himself all of the copywriting strategies he could find.

To make sure he understood them, he’d write about each one, trying to implement what he was learning.

Eddie kept these all in a Google Doc and had around 50-60 of these short stories when a coworker saw what he was doing. They mentioned that he should put them online so others could use them too.

That was how VeryGoodCopy.com was born. He wasn’t super consistent with a publishing schedule until years in and didn’t have an email list until people begged him to start one (more on that later).

In 2017 he started publishing consistently, and by 2020 he had left his full-time job to go all in on VeryGoodCopy.

How He Makes Money

First, let’s dig into how Eddie makes money from his newsletter and business.

Newsletter Sponsorships

Many of his posts have sponsorships within the emails. With 68k subscribers, I’d super-conservatively estimate he’s doing around $2k per spot.

He hasn’t been taking on sponsors recently, instead opting to promote his book at the top of each newsletter with a big banner ad. But if he wanted to, he could earn at least six-figures from these spots.

Paid Courses

In early 2023, Eddie launched a course called Transformational Landing Pages. It’s priced at $499 currently but was slightly cheaper when he launched it at $399.

With thousands of students, this has likely brought in $500k+ for him since he launched it.


Eddie still takes on some consulting clients when he has time. He actually enjoys the craft and feels like it keeps him sharp.

Because these people can see his experience and read his work, he can probably command a lot for each project.

2-Hour CopyEdit

Eddie also does what he refers to as CopyEdit Calls, where he’ll spend 2 hours digging into your copy and ask for his feedback and direction.

He charges $999 for these calls, or you can get a slight discount when you buy his course.

Very Good Copy Plus

For a while, Eddie ran Very Good Copy Plus, his Patreon community. He charged $10 a month and would share new video courses there each month.

It seems like he sunsetted this as he doesn’t really talk about it much anymore.

VGC Job Ads

For a while, he did have a section in the newsletter dedicated to copywriting job ads. Companies could pay $99 for a link in the newsletter to fill roles they had available.

With all of these monetization strategies, I’d estimate he’s made at least 7 figures from this business since he quit his job in 2020, if not multiples of that.

This is awesome considering he takes months off of work each year (don’t worry, I’ll share the thinking behind this).

Alright, let’s jump into the growth, shall we?

The Growth Timeline

Eddie officially started VeryGoodCopy in 2014. But he didn’t really start focusing on this until 2017, and full-time in 2020.

So while he’s been at it for a while, the intentionality behind growing it as a newsletter didn’t start until years later, which is why I started the timeline in late 2017.

But you can see that as soon as he started to focus only on the newsletter and LinkedIn posts, they both took off.

The Growth Levers of Eddie Shleyner

This was a really hard deep dive to write because there are so many interesting things Eddie has done to grow his newsletter and brand. I tried to include the most relevant ones here for you, but there was a lot that got left on the cutting room floor.

🎁 1. Guest posting. Eddie’s email list was barely growing until he stumbled into this growth strategy. And I think you’ll see the word “stumble” is the best way to put it. 🙂

⛲ 2. Build your well. Eddie makes sure he’s never staring at a blank page by using “The Well” and the 4-part framework.

♻️ 3. Growth Loops. Making sure he keeps people moving through his ecosystem is a big priority for Eddie, and it’s helped him grow his LinkedIn following to over 110k.

🛏️ 4. Take 2-3 Months Off. Eddie takes regular sabbaticals from work. Yes, a creator that isn’t consistently publishing every week and is still wildly successful!

🧑‍🔬 5. Optimize Your Website. Instead of solely focusing on trying to get as many people to his website as he can, he focuses on getting those people to join his email list. There are a lot of really tactical things we can all learn from here.

1. Guest Posting 🎁

In December 2015, Eddie wrote his first article for the Hubspot blog. It was titled “The Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to Anyone.”

It got a great response, but again, this was on someone else’s website.

He wrote another one the next month.

But it wasn’t until the third guest post, in February 2016, that he included a backlink to his website within the post:


So we know what happens next right? He gets thousands of email subscribers and grows his list fast.

Not exactly. Here is what his article on Very Good Copy looked like at the time:

It had a clean, nice design. But there was a big problem.

He didn’t have a single mention of how people can join his email list.

So all of a sudden he had thousands of people ending up on his website, but there was nothing for them to do aside from read.

Eddie said in an interview that dozens of people ended up going to his contact form to reach out and learn how to join his email list.

Read that again. People wanted to join the newsletter so badly that they found the only way they could to ask him how to get on the list!

This is how you know your work is incredible.

People are not only willing to look for your newsletter opt-in form, but when they can’t find it, they fill out your contact form to ask how they can sign up.

After that happened, he smartened up and added a subscribe button.

He went on to write 16 more articles for Hubspot over the next few years, including more links to his site where it made sense.

He mentioned that the first time he added a newsletter signup form to his site, over 1,000 people hit the site, and 200 people signed up for his email list.

You could extrapolate those numbers out and estimate the Hubspot guest posts brought in 3-5k subscribers for him.

The best part of this is that I think he had this contact with their marketing team because he tried to get a job there and was turned down. Sometimes, things work out the way they do for a reason.

2. Build Your Well ⛲

Have you ever been staring at a blank screen hoping a great idea just jumps out at you so you can start writing?

First, you’re not alone. Second, this next growth lever might help you fix that problem.

Eddie has removed this problem for himself with something he calls “The Well.”

The Well is a place where he adds all of his ideas. It’s that simple and that complex.

If he’s out and about and comes across something interesting – he adds it to The Well.

If he’s watching TV and an idea strikes him – he adds it to The Well.

Every idea or insight he has that might be worth sharing later goes into this folder.

“The Well”

“The Well” is kept in some fancy new software called…Google Drive.

Here is what I imagine this looks like:

It’s honestly not that complex, but the way he approaches it is really smart. Every time Eddie has a new idea, he’ll create a separate Google Doc within “The Well” folder.

But he’s not just randomly throwing stuff in there and having it look like a dumpster fire he hopes he can sort out later.

He carefully adds ideas in there and provides context for his future self to remember what he was thinking at that moment.

He adds 4 pieces of info to every document in there.

On a Marketing Meetup webinar, he shares what one of those docs essentially looks like:


Let’s walk through the pieces of each doc he creates.

1. The Headline

Eddie creates a headline that might also just be the main idea.

He said this changes 100% of the time before it goes out to his audience, but it’s helpful at the moment to title it something relevant.

2. The Lesson

Under the headline are 3 bullet points, the first of which is the lesson.

Essentially, what is the takeaway or copywriting/creativity tip that he wants people to learn from this?

3. The Story or Anecdote

The next bullet point is the story or anecdote. What is the story he wants to tell as he teaches this lesson?

4. Additional Context or Inspiration

This is where he’ll fully flesh out more of the idea, or add links to other sources where it makes sense. I imagine he uses this as a place to help his future self remember what a good idea this was.

It’s simple, right? But at the same time, how many times have you created a note for yourself that you either couldn’t read when you found it again or it was 2 words that you’ll never know what they mean?

::raises hand::

Quick Example

Now of course, I don’t have insight into Eddie’s Google Drive, so I’m taking some creative liberty here, but I think it will be helpful to understand the rest of how he frames these docs.

Eddie wrote a piece called “Creative Loneliness is Real” that he came up with after rewatching a documentary about the creative process of South Park’s writing team.

Here’s an example of what the Google Doc may have looked like while he was taking down this idea.

Also, you should 100% go read his article about Creative Loneliness.

Once his ideas have those 4 components, he feels like it’s something he can run with and start writing as a full-fledged story.

You can incorporate this strategy with other software like Notion or Microsoft Office – although, have you checked out Google Docs lately? Looking a little fresh! 🙂

3. Growth Loops ♻️

I wrote last week about how Harry Dry implements growth loops.

The way Eddie does them is very similar, but he is all-in on one channel, LinkedIn, which I have to wonder if it made this even more effective.

Sticking with the creative loneliness example, let’s talk about Eddie’s growth loops.

Newsletter to LinkedIn Flywheel

Eddie sends his email list the latest post he wrote on Creative Loneliness.

This is a typical email, but then at the end of the email he includes this:

That “Know the feeling?” button gets the reader thinking, and then of course links over to his LinkedIn post about the same topic:


His readers end up there and can like or comment on the post.

And then to complete the loop, he shared a link to his newsletter in the comments of that post.

So for the people who aren’t already subscribed, they’re getting to see that he has a newsletter where he shares posts like this each week.

A percentage of those people will sign up. I think it looks kind of like this:

Retweet for Copy Help

For a little while, he did try to get this going on Twitter, but even today he only has around 14,000 followers there – a small percentage of the followers he has on LinkedIn.


4. Take Sabbaticals 🛏️

I’m sure you’ve heard that consistency is critical to growth – heck, I’ve even said that. And I still think that’s true, but Eddie’s approach to his business is really refreshing.

In a recent podcast episode, Devin Reed asked Eddie how he prevents burnout and continues to create at such a high level.

Eddie said, “The burnout piece is real.”

“I just leave. I take three months and I focus on a big project and you won’t see me online….I think that that’s a healthy thing to do. I think that there’s a lot of like fetishizing posting every day, and following the growth trends and doing exactly what you see all the other big creators doing. That’ll burn you out man.”

When I heard him say that I felt so seen. I’ve taken a lot of time off from posting on social media because I felt burned out on it as well.

It’s nice to know that not everyone focuses on just pumping out content nonstop.

Take 2-3 Months Off

When he needs to, Eddie takes 2-3 months off of his regular work.

He mentioned this usually happens towards the end of the year, when people are checking out anyway so it’s not as big of a deal.

As a creator who writes every week, taking months off sounds insane.

But he does it. He’s not just sitting around on the couch watching TV for 3 months. There are projects he’ll work on, but he gives himself the most space to do that, removing all of his other “work” obligations.

Recently he wrote his book, Very Good Copy, which should be released next month.

A few years ago he took the time to build out his course, Transformation Landing Pages.

Other times, maybe he’s working on a big project for a client or just taking a few weeks around the holidays.

The important piece here is that he’s been able to keep writing and creating this for years because he allows himself to take time off.

Consistency is important, but if you burn yourself out you’re not going to be able to be consistent.

5. Optimize Your Website 🧑‍🔬

One of the ways this growth loop works so well is Eddie’s intentionality around getting visitors to turn into email subscribers.

A lot of creators try to get these huge follower counts on social media so they can turn them into newsletter subscribers. This is a fine strategy – after all, you need a way to get people to your website to sign up.

But their website is where this often breaks down. It’s hard for visitors to subscribe, or they haven’t engineered their site to get people onto their email list. And so from their 100k followers, only a small fraction of people end up joining their list.

If you can improve your conversion rate from 1% to 2%, you’ve just doubled the number of people signing up without doing additional work.

Eddie does a fantastic job getting people to sign up – and he thinks about his website as a giant sales page to get you to sign up for his newsletter.

Here are a few ways he does this.

A. Overwhelm Them with Social Proof

Eddie has a ridiculous amount of social proof on his homepage. Towards the top of the page, you see quotes and features from big brands:

Below that he includes a subscribe option and talks about his lead magnet. But then goes right back to more social proof.

But these are testimonials from other well-known industry copywriters:

There are 12 of these that you have to scroll through, which feels like the perfect number before it becomes obnoxious. Then there is a “load more” button you can click and it just keeps loading more and more testimonials.

At this point as a reader you’re thinking, okay he knows what he’s doing and is respected by his industry peers.

Then there is a giant “Subscribe” button, and can you guess what’s below that?

Yep, more testimonials from industry peers, but this time they are videos:

That’s a lot of social proof, so we must be done, right? Nope.

Next we have reader testimonials. People you might not know by name but folks who read his newsletter and love it.

Again, there is a “load more” button you can click to keep reading. I clicked it to see how many times you could keep loading more. 8. That’s like 100 testimonials you can read to sign up for a FREE newsletter.

I feel like an infomercial person when I say this, “But wait, there’s more!”

Eddie showcases some of the awards and recognition he’s gotten for his writing:

Whew, okay, that’s it. But I wanted to show you all of this because we can often feel weird talking about ourselves and mentioning how much people love our stuff. But it clearly works.

If that wasn’t enough, this next part definitely will push you over the edge.

B. “They Can’t Say No” Lead Magnet

If the social proof alone hasn’t convinced someone, this next piece will.

When you sign up for his newsletter, Eddie gives you 6 micro-courses about copywriting….for free.

That’s one helluva lead magnet if you ask me.

Even if he had no social proof on this page I’d sign up for the newsletter purely to get these.

C. Multiple CTAs

All of that was just on the homepage. He also adds multiple places to subscribe within each post as well.

At the very top of each article, he includes a subscribe button:

And then at the bottom of each one (remember, these are not long posts), he includes another, along with that same social proof we saw on the homepage.

This might seem like overkill, but it’s working. It’s not extremely intrusive, so if you’re a regular reader, you probably don’t even notice this anymore because you see it each week.

But as a new reader seeing this is going to at least let you know you can get these articles via email.

The Subtle Flex

After seeing all of the social proof, he also includes this really subtle way of saying “I know what I’m doing.”

At the very bottom of his website, he includes a copyright date. Pretty standard.

But most websites, including mine, only show the current year.

Eddie included the year when he started copywriting as well, which almost says “I’ve been doing this more than ten years, you’re in good hands.”

Chef’s kiss.

How You Can Replicate Eddie’s Success

As I mentioned before, there were a lot of ways Eddie grew his audience and brand. And there are plenty of tactical ways you can replicate some his success.

Here are my 3 favorite:

A. Write Guest Posts

You might look at Eddie’s success with the Hubspot blog and think “That’s an insane website to get featured in, I could never do that.”

But back in 2015, they weren’t as big of a company as they are now.

The arrow shows when Eddie started writing there, and where they are now. So yes, still a huge site back then, but not nearly as big as they are today.

source: Ahrefs

You can start small and eventually scale this over time if you’re finding success with it. Getting your name in front of other audiences is a great way to build a reputation and start growing your own audience.

B. Build the Well

This might be one of the more simple concepts within the deep dive, but it’s really powerful.

The other part of this is to curate as many ideas as you can, and then act on the ones you still feel inspired by later on.

I do this same thing with the deep dives I write. I have a long-running list of people who I could write about, but sometimes I’m not excited by their story anymore, or I find someone who is doing awesome stuff I’m really into researching.

Maybe they’re doing something timely that I’m interested in learning about at that time. There’s a feeling in your gut as a creator of which idea to work on when.

C. Optimize Your Website

Eddie uses a ton of social proof to show potential subscribers and customers that he is dedicated to his craft, and knows what he’s doing.

If you’re not already capturing testimonials from customers, you can use a tool like Senja to do so.

Then you can add those to your website to help you convert more customers.

Leave a Comment

chenell basilio

Chenell Basilio

Chenell is the head writer and reverse engineer at Growth In Reverse. She spends her days researching newsletters, audience growth, and generally figuring out how to help others create better content.

She has an almost useless Bachelor's Degree in Geography, enjoys running, listening to podcasts, and eating guacamole. 🥑

Where I hang out on social media: