I talk a lot about Jon Morrow’s GuestBlogging Apprenticeship Course in my blog posts and vlogs, so I decided to finally do a run down here of the concrete reasons I encourage people to sign up for the course.
One of the first executive decisions that I made when I went to work for myself, leaving the corporate world behind, was sign up for Jon Morrow’s GuestBlogging Apprenticeship Program.
Honestly, I was terrified.
I had quit my job, and everything was resting on my success in the notoriously competitive blog world.
I had $2,000 to my name.
Things had the potential to fall apart very quickly.
So how did I get the guts to go for it?
First of all, Jon’s reputation preceded him.
Do you know Jon? Well, you should.
Jon Morrow is the associate editor of Copyblogger and, to put it bluntly, is one of the highest paid (and most well-known) bloggers in the world.
Many are drawn to Jon because of his personal story - he was born with a neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a nearly always life-threatening illness, but instead of dying (or sitting in a corner being taken care of by a team of nurses) he’s making a fortune living down in Mexico and dominating the blogging world. He isn’t dominating it because people pity him, he’s dominating because he’s – to put it bluntly – a brilliant writer, salesman, storyteller, blogger, and businessman.
So, when I had less than $2,000 to my name and everything riding on my success as a blogger, I spent $600 of it on Jon’s course. Because to be the best, I believe you have to learn from the best. Today, I’ve not only graduated the course but am a virtual assistant for it. I also have had a successful blogging career, working with some of the most talented individuals in the world to keep my dreams alive.
Is the investment worth it for you?
Only you can decide that.
But, to take the edge off things, I’ll skip to the ending and tell you why I spent that money, why my decision paid off, and why I haven’t looked back since.
1. Jon’s Credentials
Like I said before, to be the best, you have to learn from the best. Jon’s the Associate Editor of Copyblogger, one of the most authoritative blogs for bloggers out there. His writing is consistently some of the most viral traffic online, with posts like this being shared over 4,000 times. He’s a headline master, a brilliant copywriter, and in the inner circle of the biggest bloggers in the world.
2. Your Credentials
See, Jon’s credentials carry over to you when you graduate his program.
If you walk into a job interview and say you graduated from Dartmouth or Harvard, you have an advantage over the self-taught Joe Shmoe. Well, if you go anywhere in the blogging world – a conference, pitching a guest post, requesting an interview – and you say that you’ve graduated from Jon Morrow’s course, the person you’re talking to knows you mean business, you know what you’re doing, and you’re an online force to be reckoned with.
Consulting with Jon is hundreds of dollars an hour, and he’s booked. Private coaching with him is thousands of dollars, and you have to interview to be one of his clients. But, with the GuestBlogging Apprenticeship program you get forum access, headline clinics, personal editing and writing help, plus the prestige of being one of his students. It’s the single most affordable way to get personal access to one of the masters of the online sphere.
Blogging is a lot like high school – there’s an inner circle, a little click of big names and big players. Wading through it all alone I struggled to discern the big guys – the real money makers, the real authority figures – from the legions of self-touted internet success stories. Listening to Jon throughout his course - the videos, the calls, and the forums – I learned who to really spend my time paying attention to (and where not to waste my energy).
There are an estimated 450 million blogs just in the English speaking world alone. If you think 20 minutes a night plus a “build and they will come” mentality is going to get you anywhere, you’re kidding yourself. You need to begin standing out from the masses, and just like in any other industry there are two roads that can’t be ignored: education and connections. It’s about who you know, and it’s about what you know. This is the first, and best, solution I’ve found to conquering those entities in the online world.
The internet is the world’s largest time suck. There are a million pieces of any blog, website, or business strategy online that are vying for your attention, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to pay attention to them all. Where does social networking fit in? How much time should you spend writing for your blog versus marketing your blog? What types of blogs should you find to write for in order to reach a strong niche that will migrate back to your site and provide you with powerful traffic?
The only way to begin sifting through the jumble is to talk to the people that are doing it. It starts to weed out the time sucks, and helps your put your time and energy where it counts. If your time is worth money, the class pays for it in that arena alone.
6. Save Yourself Embarrassment
In any world there’s a set of protocol – a way to approach one bigger fish, request help, grow your business – without looking like a novice or a self-promoting phony. You don’t want to be “that guy.”
But online you can’t watch others. You can’t see people’s facial reactions. You can’t even control how your tone will come across. In this course, you’ll learn how to approach those big fish, ask for help, and create authentic connections without embarrassing yourself.
7. Preferential Treatment
Blogs like Everyday Bright only accept guest posts from graduates of Jon’s course. Why? Because they can’t sift through the thousands of people wanting to post and this way they can ensure that they’ll spend their time with quality producers of content. Be one of those people.
One of the most powerful parts of the course are the tangible tools that Jon provides to facilitate reaching out to other websites and bloggers. We’re talking scripts for how to email, how to tweet, how to connect. Why? So you don’t look like “that guy,” and you don’t become another annoying voice of the internet masses. Instead, you become a voice that stands out, connects, maintains its dignity, and effectively connects.
9. A Powerful Community
See, like attracts like. The types of people that sign up for the GuestBlogging Apprenticeship program have a lot in common: they’re all dedicated to their online success, they all put their money where their mouths are, and they’re all looking to put in the work to learn how to be the best.
When you have a community of these people, you end up with an instant network of powerful bloggers that are invested in one another’s success. It could take you years to establish a community of your own that’s this large and powerful, but when you enter the class it’s right there waiting for you - right from day one.
There are individuals in the course that don’t even have a blog yet, and there are others with already very successful blogs looking to go to the next level. No matter where you are, you can accelerate the speed at which your project grows and thrives online. Plus, you can learn from those that are more advanced then you, and support those who haven’t yet reached your heights.
11. Extensive Headline Help
One of Jon’s biggest talents is headline writing. That works out well, since headlines are one of the most fundamentally important of online success. Headlines are, essentially, how we navigate the online world. Like all crafts in which millions are competing for eyeballs and attention at any given moment, learning headlines is an art. So, Jon has made headlines a large focus of the course - crafting them, perfecting them, and making them go viral.
12. Effective Free Advertising
With guest blogging, you get to promote yourself for free. Yes, the course costs money, but once you learn the art you have a new mechanism to effectively promote yourself for free, indefinitely. Consider it a one-time marketing fee of $600 for your business. Suddenly, it isn’t expensive at all.
13. More Effective Free Advertising
Throughout the course you get learn how to promote yourself, for free, on other people’s blogs or websites. But within the course itself there are ample opportunities to promote yourself to one another. From your signature line in the forums, to pitching your blog and concept in the live calls, many important blogger connections are made behind-the-scenes. In fact, just this morning I interviewed someone I met in Jon’s class for my website, Blogging Fearlessly. If it wasn’t for being a part of the community, neither of us would have established that connection (and now we’re meeting at BlogWorld in June!).
14. Reach a Targeted Audience
The beauty of guest blogging is that you write for an audience that will, hopefully, one day be your audience as well. It’s more effective than traditional advertising because you’re showcasing your skills rather than pitching your product or website. The problem is, the efficacy of this approach depends on writing for the right site and the right audience. This is what Jon helps you sift through and develop action-plan around.
15. Improve Your Search Engine Rankings
One of the most understated benefits of guest blogging is its impact on your website’s search engine rankings. When another blogger allows you to guest post on their site, you are generally also able to include a byline with a link back to your website (in fact, if they don’t allow you to do this then you really shouldn’t be writing for them!). This link back to your site on another, unrelated site, is seen by Google as a strong “vouch” for your site’s credibility and value. As a result, each guest post that you write for another site (and the stronger the site you write for, the better) the more Google will boost your search engine rankings. Win. Win. Win.
16. Learn How to Write for an Online Audience
When I took Jon’s course I had been blogging for several years and had been a writer my whole life. Even after my time spent studying journalism at NYU and writing essays all throughout college, I have never learned the things Jon taught us about how to write for an online audience. An English major himself, Jon is able to speak to the academic and the novice about how to re-craft their writing to gain and hold the attention of the blogosphere. Those modules alone, to me, were worth the price of the course.
17. Jon Proofreads a Post
Taking this one step further, not only will Jon train you to write for an online audience, but he then works through one of your guest posts with you. We’re not talking one time, but as many drafts as it takes to get it right – so that when you eventually put yourself out there, you’re ready to make a huge impact.
18. Live Question and Answer Calls
In addition to forum time, course modules, and editing one of your posts, Jon will get on regular Q&A calls with his students. This allows everyone a chance to talk about and work through their biggest problems with their blog and guest posts. It’s basically access to one of the highest-paid blog consultants in the world, regularly.
19. Live Headline Clinics
In addition to Q&A calls, Jon has regular live phone calls with his students that are geared entirely towards helping them craft their headlines to make their guest posts go viral. If you finally get a chance to write for an A-List blog, don’t you want one of the best copywriters in the world working with you on your headline?
20. Archived Question and Answer Calls
In addition to access to the live Q&A and Headline Clinic calls, students get access to the entire archive of Q&A calls. When I joined the course I put every one of these calls on CDs and played them in my car during my daily commute. These hours of questions and answers culminated, in my opinion, to a blogging education all in itself.
21. Behind the Scenes at Copyblogger
Included in the bonus material for the course is a behind-the-scenes look at guest blogging for Copyblogger. Since Jon is also the person who approves and posts guest blogs for Copyblogger, it’s a pretty great connection to have if writing for Copyblogger is on your blogging bucket-list.
22. The Headline Hacks Report
If you aren’t sold yet that headlines are one of the essential keys to online success, then I don’t know what to do with you. Basically, the Headline Hacks report is Jon’s guide to templates for virally spreading headlines. He literally hands you a template to online success. Over, and over, and over again.
23. Behind the Scenes of Zen Habits
When you sign up for the course you’re also given a behind-the-scenes look at Zen Habits by the famous Leo Babauta. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you want to be the best, you need to learn from the best.
24. How to Make More than $2,000 a Guest Post (On Average)
This bonus content with Johnny Truant demonstrates how he, and Jon, make more than $2,000, on average, per guest post they write. If this coursehasn’t paid for itself about 10 times by now, this has to prove it to you.
25. A Roadmap
In my eyes, the most frustrating part of being a blogger is the fact that there really isn’t much feedback. You’re swimming in this vast abyss of online content, trying to make a name for yourself, you’re exhausted, and there’s no way to tell if you’re doing anything right.
Jon’s course provided me a roadmap, connections, and the education to give myself a roadmap. It put me on the map. It gave me confidence.
In my eyes, that’s priceless.