Ship 30 Success Story

The Ship 30 For 30 Case Study: Our $2,000,000 Asset

Nicolas Cole
June 18

In this post, we want to give you a sneak peek of what we teach inside PGA—and how it’s helped our business make millions of dollars.

You might not know this, but before we (Dickie and Cole) launched the Premium Ghostwriting Academy, we created a beginner Digital Writing program called Ship 30 for 30.

In early 2021, the program was growing well. Every time we ran a cohort, more and more people signed up to master the fundamentals of Digital Writing. But by the middle of the year, growth had stalled. We knew we were too reliant on X (Twitter) and we were worried that a slight change to the algorithm would tank our reach and halt the growth of our business.

We needed a way to take our audience from X (which we “rented” from the platform) and create a more reliable way to contact them (or, in other words, “own” our audience).

In short, we needed an email list—fast.

The beauty of an email list is that once somebody is subscribed, they can’t be taken away from you by a third party—you either remove them or they unsubscribe themselves.

But we didn’t want to just offer a newsletter to new subscribers.


Because newsletter opt-in rates are depressingly low. Every course creator, business, and probably your neighbor has a newsletter. You don’t stand out if you have just a newsletter. We knew we needed something different. Something that was more valuable than a generic newsletter opt-in.

Enter: the Educational Email Course

We took the Ship 30 curriculum and compressed it into a 5-day Educational Email Course.

In the How To Start Writing Online course, we gave all of our proven Digital Writing frameworks away for free.

This was far more valuable than a newsletter opt-in other creators were offering at the time. We were helping new subscribers take action (and become a Digital Writer) right away. They didn’t have to wait weeks for newsletter content to be dripped out to them.

Overnight, the growth of Ship 30 exploded:

  • We started collecting hundreds of emails each day.
  • Those new subscribers got educated on our core ideas, on autopilot.
  • And then at the end of the EEC, we pitch them on joining Ship 30 to put these frameworks into practice.

This EEC alone quadrupled Ship 30 as a business, and led to millions of dollars in revenue for us and the program.

Here’s our current landing page for the email course:

And the best part?

We created a marketing engine that took us a bit of time to build once but now runs forever.

We launched that EEC 3 years ago, and since then, over 100,000 people have gone through it.

It’s been transformational in our business. We often reflect on our business before the EEC and then after—and the difference is night and day. And it’s an incredibly simple model.

The entire Ship 30 for 30 (multi million-dollar) marketing strategy can be summarized in 3 basic steps:

  • Write on X/Twitter & LinkedIn
  • Drive readers to our Start Writing Online Educational Email Course
  • At the end of the EEC, pitch them to join Ship 30

But it doesn’t stop there.

At the end of the EEC sequence, if they haven’t purchased, we move them into a 12-week nurture sequence (known as  our “weekly newsletter”) where we give subscribers more free value. And after that, we pitch them again.

  • If they buy, great. Welcome aboard.
  • If not, we put them into another 12-week nurture sequence (or “weekly newsletter”) and we repeat this forever until the person either buys or unsubscribes.

And Ship 30 does over $1,000,000 / year in revenue, essentially on autopilot.

As more and more creators started seeing what we’d done, we had dozens of them reach out to ask what an EEC was, how it worked, and if we would be able to help them create EECs for their businesses.

Why all businesses (not just online creators) need an Educational Email Course.

Our “How To Start Writing Online” EEC is the sales engine for Ship 30.

So before we go further, we need to clear up a common misconception about selling (that many business owners—and even sales people—get wrong about the business of sales).

Getting more sales in any business isn’t about the “hard sell” or having “better” copywriting. It’s about education. Because if a potential customer had a better understanding of their problems, why they have them, how to solve them, and how you have the best product / service to do this, then the sale would be easy.

It’s rarely ever about their finances:

4 reasons why EECs are such a powerful asset for any business:

  • Reason #1: It’s an asset you build once, that runs forever. Our Educational Email Course is always live, collecting email subscribers for us around the clock. We think of it as an automated sales person who never gets tired and is always educating (and selling) for us.
  • Reason #2: It’s an asset that is revenue critical, and can have a direct impact on the profitability of any business. We know this because we’ve experienced for ourselves (and seen the impact they’ve had on other people’s businesses, too).
  • Reason #3: It’s an asset that primes and educates potential customers. Too many businesses pitch a sale (or demo call, or consultation) way too soon. The secret is to prime your prospective customers and educate them on your way of thinking. EECs are a way of overcoming objections and answering potential customer questions at scale.
  • Reason #4: It’s way better than the tired newsletter solution other businesses are using. Think about how many businesses have a newsletter sign-up promising something vague like “updates.” This is disjointed and fragmented education. Instead, an EEC promises instant value to the subscriber, which means you get more people signing up, which in turn leads to more sales.

So we started PGA to show writers how to write, build, and sell these valuable assets which can be used to increase sales and boost profitability across any industry.

And then we show them how to turn this into a packaged service and pitch it to clients in their industry. Because if you can provide revenue critical assets as a writer, you can charge a lot more for your skills (and escape the freelance writer trap of charging per word or per hour).

Because what business wouldn’t want to buy an asset that generates revenue for them on autopilot? For a one-off payment, the ROI on these assets is incredible (as we’ve experienced for ourselves!).

But we know what you’re thinking now:

“But Dickie, Cole—these courses won’t work in my industry!”

We’re 100% certain these courses are what every industry needs. Period.

And to give you a taste of where EECs can be sold, here are some examples of where ghosts inside PGA have landed clients:

  • SaaS companies
  • YouTube creators
  • Fitness instructors
  • Marketing agencies
  • Fractional CEOs and CFOs
  • Roofing construction companies
  • Healthy and Occupational Safety businesses

And tons more!

So, we’re sure these courses will work in your niche or industry. To give you an idea of how they can be used in any business, here’s where we’ve seen these courses being applied in the businesses our ghosts have worked with.

How Educational Email Courses can be used across any business

These are just a handle of the ways EECs can be used in a business:

  • Lead Magnets. The power of our How To Start Writing Online EEC is simple: it offers a free, tangible asset new subscribers can get their hands on right away. Instead of waiting to be dripped newsletter content for weeks on end, you give them immediate value which instantly builds trust with a new subscriber (and over time nurtures them into a sale).
  • Product Education. How many times have you been on an eCommerce site and been offered 10% off in exchange for your email? The problem is, new customers don’t want 10% off if they don’t even know if they want the product yet. So giving an EEC that educates the potential customer on a) their problems and b) how the product solves these problems is the perfect way to help them make a purchasing decision. Now think how many eCommerce sites and brick-and-mortar businesses there are in the world all selling products… and how every single one of them could benefit from an EEC. And yes, this works for non-profits too.
  • SaaS Onboarding. Have you ever started a free trial for a product, found you have no idea how to use it, and quickly given up? Email courses can help users get immediate results from a SaaS product by showing them how to use it (we even have one for our own SaaS platform Typeshare). And when a new user can use a SaaS tool (and get what they want from it), they’re more likely to upgrade to the paid tier at the end of the trial period.
  • Email-based Challenges. The “Online Challenge” is all the rage right now in online business. And Educational Email Courses are the perfect vehicle for delivering content, getting challengers to take action, and guiding people so they get the most out of the challenge.
  • Pre-Sales Call Education. Imagine being able to cover all the fundamentals of your product or service and overcome common objections before speaking with a prospect on a sales call. This would save so much time on the sales call itself (and help your a client’s sales team solve their potential client’s problems faster). EECs are the perfect way to nurture a prospect before a call.
  • Post-Sales Call Follow Up. It’s a cliché, but the money is in the follow up. Being able to continually educate a prospect after a sales call can help overcome further objections, educate them on a specific problem they’re having, and offer more resources / value after a sales call. You can even help your clients set up specific EECs for different types of potential customers.
  • Pre and Post-Webinar Nurturing. Webinars are still alive and well, especially in the SaaS and agency industries. Having an Educational Email Course on either side of a webinar cam help lay the foundations before the session and follow up with the attendee after the webinar (and the same can be applied to in-person events too!)

Pretty cool, right?

There are two major takeaways from this list:

  • All kind of businesses, in all industries, need an Educational Email Course (including non-profits!)
  • Educational Email Courses are a revenue critical asset—without them, your clients would make less money. This means you’re able to charge more for them as a ghostwriter.

But it doesn’t stop with Educational Email Courses.

The Premium Ghostwriting Academy teaches ghostwriters how to become Full-Stack Ghostwriters.

To date, we’ve had over 700 people go through PGA and learn how to build Educational Email Courses.

But this isn’t the only marketing vehicle we teach inside PGA. We have also expanded the curriculum and now help these writers become Full-Stack Ghostwriters, not just building EECs but also driving traffic through social writing, and nurturing that traffic after they’ve been through the Educational Email Course with a weekly newsletter. And these frameworks can be applied every business (whether digital or brick-and-mortar) on Planet Earth.

This is why the Premium Ghostwriting Academy is the premier training program for premium ghostwriters on the Internet.

Inside PGA we give you all the coaching, accountability, and mentorship you need to find, pitch, land, and upsell clients—even if they’ve never ghostwritten anything before.

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