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Why Nerds Win

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
2 min read
Why Nerds Win

Are you a good fit for what I write? Here’s one way to know.

I’ve been getting a lot questions about my new website theme. It’s still being built out, but how I decided on the theme should tell you everything you need to know about “growth marketing.”

There’s several themes for Ghost having a moment right now, but only two fit well with a “personal site,” in my opinion. Both are priced in the same ballpark.

One was flashy, used by popular creators, and highlighted by designers as one of the most beautiful themes ever made for the platform. The other, was less flashy, but better documented with a long track record of updates and real-world examples.

I dug a little deeper on who created the themes and skimmed their tweets to see how they interacted with their audiences.

The flashy theme creator’s tweets were all about growth marketing — how successful he was, his advice on hustling, and how you could do the same.

The nerdier creator’s tweets were updates about his themes, examples of real people using them, and support responses.

I dug a little deeper into the features. While the flashy theme had some of the latest whiz-bang features, the nerdier theme seemed to be about smaller, more frequent, quality-of-life updates requested by customers.

  • Who do you think will be around for the long term?
  • Who do you think will move along to the next shiny thing?
  • Who’s documentation would you trust to be accurate and up-to-date?
  • Who would you trust with your money?
  • Who do you think got my money?

I chose the nerdier (or “more professional”) creator. I chose the Ubud theme. I want to call it out, because it’s fantastic. You’ll see why in the coming months when I activate more of its features.

If you wonder why I write more about the principles behind marketing and creating, instead of growth tactics, this is why.

This is what builds trust.

This is what will survive recessions.


P.S. “So long nerds!” A different lesson about personal brands is being taught to YouTubers. Last week, it was announced that my family’s favorite YouTuber, Technoblade, died at just 23. We were heartbroken. Since then, growth hackers have been using his name and image to boost their views, score quick ad money, and sell off their channels when subscriptions top out. This tactic has been happening on YouTube for years, but this time, the growth bros went too far. The nerds came after them and exposed their practices (and their brands) to the market. There were severe repercussions. Reputation matters. Chasing short term gains gets costly real quick.