The project

In December, 2018, I decided I wanted to start my own side-project in order to begin establishing a personal brand.

This was the plan back then: Create a pool of content and free products in order to build a critical mass of potential clients. Then, after trust was built, I would launch and sell those clients paid info products.

In this case study I’ll summarize how did that go.

I wrote a lot between 2018 and 2021. This is my second book.

The role

Being a solo entrepreneur, I wore all the possible hats the business required:

– Writer.
– Social media content creator.
– Marketer.
– Sales copywriter.
– KPI analyst.
– Web designer.
– Community manager.
– Personal coach (I’ll explain this later).
– And any other needed role in order to push the business forward.

The value proposition

This project is sub-divided into two branches:

1. No Te Enrrolles (December 2018 – August 2020): A platform dedicated to skinny people who want to gain weight in order to boost their self esteem.

2. alejandroluis (August 2020 – December 2022): A less specific sub-project that ended up being mostly focused on anxiety relief and the understanding of one’s own mind.

This is the kind of content I used to create for the NTE Instagram page.This one says "5 phrases that every skinny person has heard" followed by the phrases I people use without know how hurtful they are.

The process - No Te Enrrolles

Back when I was 19, I enrolled the gym and gained 15kg of body weight in 2+ years, learning a lot about fitness in the process. 

Whenever friends asked for advice, I gave them very detail information and step-by-step instructions, so many of them started telling me I should start a business out of what I had learned.

Me in 2014 vs 2015.

The whole adventure started by blogging and building an Instagram account for NTE.

The NTE Instagram feed. All the designs, captions and videos are of my own creation. This was a very enjoyable job

After some months of this and the reading of several marketing-related articles and books, I decided to start an email list to get my readers out of Instagram.

An example of the emails I used to send to subscribers. In this one, I invited them to read the latest article of the moment at By that time I was using Substack, but I later switched to Mailchimp since I found it more useful for my purposes.

Then started the creation of free products in order to build fidelity and expand the reader base.

These three ebooks were very helpful for expanding the reader list. They were offered as incentives for people to join, which worked excellently.

All of this was made possible thanks to Facebook and Instagram ads.

I mainly optimize my ads based on the "cost per click" metric. The ones with more views for dollar invested are usually the more effective, so I usually double down on those.

And then, near June 2020 (mid-pandemic), I launched my first for-profit project: La Comunidad NTE, which was a group of around 10 people under my coaching who were determined to gain weight using the methods that I used myself.

We did videocalls, weekly challenges, had a WhatsApp group to share questions... They learned a lot in little time and some of them continued their fitness journey on their own.

The problem was that this wasn’t a scalable idea: it required a lot of my time yo find new members, not to mention the coach the clients that were already enrolled.

So, after 3 months, I terminated the coaching business and moved to something that I could create once and sell without needing my presence.

"De flaco a fitness"

I repurposed everything I was teaching in the coaching sessions and transformed it into an ebook: De flaco a fitness con el menor esfuerzo posible.

"De flaco a fitness" was created with the intention of helping skinny people gain weight while maintaining their health and improving their self steem. More than just telling readers what to eat, it was also based on psychological problems we face and tips to recognize, understand and overcome them.

The sales went well for my expectations (+50 purchases in the first 2 months), but near this time (July 2020) I was losing all motivation to talk about fitness.

It was time for a change.

The switch - alejandroluis

Starting with much of the same people that were already readers, I decided to start something not related to fitness and discuss other topics I enjoyed writing about.

The new website where I talk more about personal development and less about fitness.

I repeated the tactic of creating an email list (it worked very well) and started making surveys to readers to know what they wanted to read about.

With these kind of surveys I decided what to write next. This was an incredibly effective dynamic for content creation, and it paid great divideds when I started thinking about products for the new project.
Google Forms is great for conducting surveys. It's free, easy to use, nice for sharing the surveys with people, and offers great tools for the analysis of answers.

From all topics, there were two that readers were specially excited about: reflexive fiction (a fictional story that teaches you something interesting) and how to tame the Thoughts that Torment You (in Spanish, “Pensamientos que Atormentan”, or “PQAs”.)

The book

I loved to write reflexive fiction, so for the first alejandroluis’ paid product, I decided to write a book based on the readers’ favorite article:

This is a picture of the article that started everything: a reflexive, fictional story that talked about how not to care about others' opinions. At the moment of its release, this was the more popular article on the site.

I wrote the book from February to June 2021, hired a private publisher to get it market-ready, and officially launched it on November 2021.

The cover and editing of the book was done by professionals in the field. It took aproximately 8 months from the first day of planning to its final release, but it was completely worth it.

It sold well, raising to more than 300 copies: 6 times more than De flaco a fitness. It felt great creating something that people enjoyed so much.

Upcoming project

Even when La revolución sold well, the revenue from books is too small: you need a lot of investment if you want to live out of your writing if you’re not already a recognized author.

For that reason, I took the other topic that readers loved and decided to create an audio course: Detox Mental.

Readers liked this article a lot and commented on how useful the tips were. It did great in the Facebook / Instagram ads.

This is a way more profitable project and it’s still on the works before being launched.

You can listen to the first session of the course here:

The course is based on 15 sessions and 15 exercises to be completed in 30 days. I sub-contracted a video editor to polish the final product, but the writing and narrating of it all is mine.

And that's where I'm at right now

There’s still work to do to get this new product going, but fortunately, it doesn’t take much of my time and it’s way more scale able than book writing.

What I've learned so far

I could write a complete book of everything I learned in this process, but for practicality, I’ll write some bullets:

  • Product development.
  • Email and social media marketing/advertisement.
  • Visual design.
  • How to speak in public.
  • How to sell something you believe in.
  • Discipline.
  • How to handle frustration.
  • Team work.
  • I polished my English since almost everything I learned came from American teachers.
  • Some psychology.
  • Business skills.
  • Accountability.
  • And much, much more.

That's it for this project

From all of my portfolio projects, this is by far my favorite. If you have any questions or would just like to reach out, here you have some options to go about that: