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“This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me!” says Brian Clark on Page Rank Decreases

An Interview with Brian Clark

Yesterday when I posted that the new Teaching Sells resource has just launched I mentioned that I would have an interview with one of it’s founders Brian Clark from Copyblogger. Brian has understandably had a pretty hectic few days – but was generous enough to give us some time to explore a little more of what Teaching Sells is about.


Where does blogging fit into your own personal overall online business strategy?

Well, it would be silly to say that blogging isn’t an important part of everything I’ve been doing. I’ve spent over 18 months blogging at Copyblogger, trying to get better and better every week and attract more subscribers. I guess the key word in my blogging strategy is “attract,” though. Once you have a relationship with readers, that opens up whole new opportunities to have a direct financial relationship with them, rather than selling them to advertisers.

But it’s also crucial to remember that there are ways to make money without blogging and with very little free content. And that’s all tied to having something to sell.

Why did you start the course?

This project came together like most do for me. I rarely do anything on my own—I’ll either partner up with someone for marketing purposes, or I’ll partner with someone to do a project, or I’ll put together a team, like a producer does.

In this case, Tony Clark and I came to realize that we both had wildly succeeded with educational marketing and training approaches to paid content. It just took off from there.

What do you say to people who say ‘can’t people get this all for free elsewhere?’

I’d say first that it’s a rare breed of person who will actually do that. People who are online-savvy are not like the vast majority of people, but they make the mistake that others are like them. These people often never make any money, because they fail to realize that they have skills that “normal” people don’t.

What we teach, however, goes beyond that. When you position your paid content in a unique way, no one can really say they can get it free elsewhere. A unique perspective is not freely available, and it’s often a unique perspective that truly gets through to people.

So is it fair to say that those who have been blogging haven’t been wasting time, but rather creating a launching pad for bigger and better things?

Absolutely. Listen – I’ve been told by more than one Internet marketing “guru” that I’m wasting my time with an audience of bloggers. That they’ll never buy anything.

That’s crazy. Bloggers have done something that most people who buy Internet marketing “dream” materials have never done—they’ve taken action. They’ve actually done something, and that’s huge.

A blog to me is like an aircraft carrier… it’s the platform that you launch everything else off of. It’s the spoke in the wheel, and there are $100-million-dollar-a-year email publishing business models that follow the same strategy.

Just be smart about your free content, and have something to sell. That’s what’s worked for me for the last 10 years.

How practical do you get in Teaching Sells? Is it just theory or do you show people how to do it?

That’s the great thing about the interactive training format we use and teach. It’s to get beyond theory and to have people actually building sites. We do spend time telling people “why” they’re doing things, because that’s important. But the focus is on the how, and an approach that gets people excited about taking action.

How did you feel about the whole Google PageRank Fiasco?

Call me crazy, but I woke up, saw all the frenzy, and thought “This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” I’ve been warning people about relying on Google, and here comes proof-I follow all the rules, and still I get dinged.

The fact that this happened on the day I was launching a training program that shows people how to get away from relying on Google? That was a gift.

Thanks to Brian for answering my questions. I should add that I’m really enjoying participating in Teaching Sells. There are already some cool things happening among those that have joined. There is a forum area where people are encouraged to team up and work together on projects – I have a feeling that we’re going to see some great collaborations emerge out of that as people apply the principles being taught.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I guess I just have to sign up and see for myself. This looks like a good investment of $97 for 3 months.

  2. This is pretty genius, well I guess the situation now is a great blessing for Brian.

  3. $97 for 3 months isnt bad price AT ALL for $8 a week that is really cheap.

    I hope even more people will become professional bloggers. I like Brian I have talk to him on couple of occasions via email.

    Good site, good resources and perfect course for bloggers I would recommend to eveyone as well.

    Darren –

    Cool Questions ! Me so Like it.

  4. When the Google fiasco hit yesterday, I was chuckling – Brian played all his cards perfectly and I think the situation only made his site and other sites in a similar position – like yours, Darren – stronger. I fully support people that care more about their readers than page ranking… and I believe that what goes around, comes around. Here’s to longevity on the net. Cheers.

    As for Brian’s new training program, I’m so there.

  5. Brian’s program definitely looks interesting. I’m currently on the fence about whether or not I’ll be participating, because I have quite a bit on my plate. Hopefully I’ll be able to make the time for it though!

    And nice interview Darren, I like how you managed to slip in a question about the PR situation at the very end ;)

  6. I gave lots of respect to Darren because like James Chartand says, he really did put readers first before everything. Problogger is Worth spending time for

  7. yeah, as I heard of the pagerankmeltdown yesterday I thought immediately of Brian and that he must have made a deal with the devil. :D

  8. Blogging Success Journey you are right, i spend most of the time on problogger.

  9. This pagerank thing only hurts google at this point. They can save it… but will they? I think so.

    MoreMerchant didn’t get hit, but one of my sites did and that site doesn’t sell links.

  10. Brian the timing of things couldn’t have worked out better could it?

  11. looks like Darren forgot to close the italics tag and hence what we are getting to see is all the comments in italics??

    is it so??

  12. Nice interview.

  13. Thanks for the interview Darren and thanks to Brian for explaining his “Teaching Sells”

  14. “People who are online-savvy are not like the vast majority of people”

    This is something I have to remind myself of often because my job is web and software development. I have to put myself in their mindset when I’m trying to explain something to a non-programmer.

  15. …….This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me!” says Brian Clark on Page Rank Decrease


    That really does not sound very credible – but from a PR standpoint – it was the only reaction that could help save face.

    You do not have to totally rely on Google – but you can still maximize the potentially lucrative traffic it brings.

  16. I’ve seen a lot marketing crap from make-money people and internet marketers. I’ve never, ever bought any of it. I’ve been reading Brian’s blog for over a year and because of it I’ve come to trust him.

    This, friends, is the power of blogging.

    Brian gets what no other internet program has ever gotten: my money.

    He’s already earned it.

  17. Personally I have never fully understood the pagerank-craze. Sure its cool to earn lots from payperpost and linksales but really; aren’t there so many other factors to success?

    Thx for the interview

  18. Hi Brian you look just like my friend Brian Selby here in Moravian Falls N.C. Uncanny. just came from your site listened to your audio. Im new at this cutting edge technology. just learned how to do emails. My wife is more savy as she is a news hound mainly the middle east as she is jewish. I am indian Crete tribe. and part scottish and bad speller. my wife would kill me if she knew i sent you an email. she is at a womens convention in S.C. I make tamberines out of cedar in my workshop. we are now in about 14 countries includeing the us. I chose to attempt to do blogging to draw traffic to my company uri international mlm my content will be my pason woodworking. then i will draw me to my uri site for good health. best whole food drink on the market. anyway you have motivated me to action. Thanks wanted you to know me a bit im 64. retired tired but getting refired. excuse the rambling Shalom

  19. That’s right – don’t rely on Google! They’re just making their company look bad. When they ban people from search results (like John Chow not even being on the first page for the term “John Chow”), that makes their company look bad. With all this PageRank business, they’re making themselves look bad. They need to get their act together fast because I’m losing all hope in them.

  20. That is an amazing interview! Would you recommend that every E-commerce site has a blog of it’s own? We just launched http://www.3vine.com and we would love to have an even better connection with our current customers. What does everyone feel about this?

  21. Brian and Tony are two bloggers I respect and read regularly, so it was a no-brainer for me to sign up for Teaching Sells. So far, I love it. The teaching method is unlike anything I ever experienced, and I find myself thinking all day about how to apply. This is the the future of learning.

  22. myself says: 10/27/2007 at 1:24 am

    for a Small laughter with John chow http://anidrawing-1.blogspot.com/search/label/John%20Chow ;)

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