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Teaching Sells: Does it Work?

Lets get this out of the way right here – if you want a balanced, politically correct, weighed, grammatically perfect and well spelt review of CopyBlogger’s, Brian Clark’s Teaching Sells – you won’t find it here.  I am a blogger, not a lawyer,  I have no obligation to provide unbiased, balanced information all the time – and trust me I am pissed about this! Anyway there will be heaps of sycophantic reviews from those who are flogging the new version of Teaching Sells – about to be released for Fall semester – to counter my unbalanced and cyncial take on why teaching sells will not make you money – but will probably do quite well for Brian Clarke and his mates.

report-coverFor some reason I used to occasionally read Chris Brogan’s blog – and his post titled “Why I Will Promote Teaching Sells” – Google it I am fussy about what I link to from this blog – caught my eye. Why? “Teaching Sells” was what made me give up Internet Marketing back in 2007. It may not have been Brian Clark’s Teaching Sells programs -it might have been someone else’s knock off – I don’t really care because at the end of the day the concept is the same I think that  this is one of the MOST dishonest ways to make money online income from the dreams of other people.

Now lets be upfront – I haven’t bought the course – in fact its not open at the moment -they are in the building the hype stage – Google off to “teaching sells” if you want to get on the presell list so far I only have the 25 page free report plus several other transcripts of examples from the earlier course (at least they aren’t pretending this is new).  I have submitted myself to endless spam updates which at the time of writing promise:

  • A bonus report about building quick and easy membership sites with licensed content.
  • A 20-Step Process Map to building an online training business.
  • An instructional video that reveals the solution to the “traffic dilemma” every online entrepreneur faces.
  • And a complete course listing of the entire Teaching Sells program.

I’ve seen enough know to, in my biased and personal opinion, warn you in VERY large letters – to stay the fuck away from Teaching Sells.  Oh unless you happen to already be a real-world acknowledged expert, preferably a published author – then you may be able to use it – so long as your niche has lots of willing buyers that is.

I must say reading the 25 page pre-sales pitch free report was informative.  I may not be able to sell teaching but I can recognise bullshite from 10 paces.  When  I first saw the version of this report they were using 2-years ago – I just felt uneasy and a bit “off” about the idea. Now I know exactly why it stinks to high heaven, guess I learnt something about bullshite detection in the last 2 years!

Now the first thing you will notice is the production quality of the 25-page free report – there are no typos and its got nice graphics. Try actually reading it though – that’s where it all goes downhill.  Apparently I work for Google (so does Vic, Grizz and Court – we are all Google slaves) -apparently its not a real business model to rely on Google for traffic, Google’s Adsense for income and well – Grizz takes in one step further and has the audacity to hardly make any money online at all using a FREE blogger (i.e. Google) blog – outrageous!

Apparently Teaching Sells will teach me a better way to get traffic – I can hardly wait for that bit – but I notice it wasn’t free traffic so PPC springs to mind… Or maybe I will get real lucky and Brian Clark will recognise my intelligence and make me a business partner (I am not making this up – its in the pitch as well!).  Yes it could be the joint-venture – you sell me your list and I’ll see your’s mine approach. Apparently you can’t make money by giving stuff away from money – hey Court – I hope you realise that you shouldn’t be giving away your content for $1 the first month! I hope you realise you aren’t making any money!

Apparently I don’t need a long-tail niche audience either (hell that might make me some money) – no instead I need a create my own tribe! Well much that love the 12.5 of you who regularly read this blog and occasionally make me money from my free content – we are doing no tribal meetings around here! We are not doing no sit-down kum-bay-yahs around the camp fire anytime soon around here people!

The thing that gets me most about the Teaching Sells hype this time is the blatant hypocrisy – after several pages of describing how most of the free content on the web is just not worth anything – and leaves people begging to pay money to join your membership site Teaching Sells cites how Steve Pavlina claims to have made $40,000 in one month from his free blog – by pushing his reader to a paid personal-development program which he didn’t even develop himself – yeah really ethical that, totally different from affiliate marketing! But its not advertising you know – its adding value LOL.
So with Teaching Sells you will learn that:

The big opportunity for you though, is in repurposing the vast amount of specialized text-based information into interactive, multimedia learning environments that result in recurring income and long-term customer relationships.

Lets just be crystal here – this is not about your customers making money – its about YOU making money from them… Otherwise known as hooking them up with the old membership model with the recurring charge on the credit card and making sure they don’t become self-sufficient ever too soon.

The  only question I have for Teaching Sells – and the only reason I signed up for the spam list priority notification list was I am curious as to how much they think they can package this old course for. Old – yes that’s right – in fact there is an interesting review of the 2007 version of the course from Friar’s Review of Brian Clark’s Teaching Sells that time around it was $97 for the special price for the first 3 months – and then recurring after that – ( a little point not made that obvious in the 6 point print at the bottom of the page in lightest gray font apparently) – this time I’m figuring they will adding at least a one to the front – or maybe they will go for the currently fashionable $1997 price …

Bottom line if you really think you are already an expert on something that people are really dying to spend money on and you want to take the time to set up an interactive learning experience forum and can’t be bothered finding out how to do it yourself (or paying someone to) – then this course may be for you.

If you are like the other 99.9% of us who don’t have a useful skill to teach online, can’t, for example, teach us how to make paella online then you will probably figure out real fast that you either learn how to fake it until you make, build your wealth on other people’s shattered dreams, or just possibly, learn how to make money online without ripping anyone off.

Bugger I have a nice little set of non-controversial posts half written for this week, and some affiliate crap to push on my unsuspecting readers as well – oh well blog has reverted to its original purpose – me telling the world what I think! Seriously do your self a huge favour run a mile from Teaching Sells regardless of which of the A-listers is promoting it – you do realise that is how you make your money right – being in bed with the right people commenting on the right blogs and getting in well with the right people – you are seriously stuffed if you are hanging around here!

143 replies on “Teaching Sells: Does it Work?”

I just can’t figure out whether you think I should buy it or not. Could you make it more clear ? ;P

LMFAO Yo – really I think if you are already an published author with a real-world following in a self-help type niche who has absolutely no idea how to leverage your knowledge onto the Internet then this could be the course for you! If that was the market the course was pitched to I wouldn’t have a problem with it! But its pitched to beginners, noobs, newbies whatever as Lorecee and I found to our cost. And its not even the money I’m talking about – its the death of a dream – that’s far more serious.

I wouldn’t like to call Teaching Sells a scam or anything – but really like Lorecee I really had an emotional reaction when I saw the title in my RSS reader. Its why I don’t understand people who think products like Niche Devil are a con – they do exactly what they say, and therefore they may, or may not fit your business model. The real cons are the beautifully written, wonderfully “professional” mob led by Clarke, problogger et al. If you read the free report its a gorgeous example of selling a dream without actually telling you HOW – its all about how special YOU are for considering the product, and how people are crying out for you to help them – by teaching them of course – because teaching sells. 99% of people who buy it will be off to sell something they learned last week about making money online – and unfortunately all the people who buy from them will get is – nothing very useful and best total discouragement at worst.

Sorry I’m on a bit of a soap box about this one LOL

Enrollment opens tomorrow and I’m on the fence. I’m in the process of publishing a book on a topic and so I have the content, but not familiar with how to market my product on the web. From your thoughts above, it looks like it might make sense, but maybe the $1,600 enrollment is spent better elsewhere. Any suggestions?

Rob $1600 is an awful lot of money online – this puts the product in the very,very expensive range. You do realise that the once in the life-time opportunity will be open again probably about February of next year? (Thats the pattern he tends to do 2 or 3 intakes a year) How close to having your book published are you? Is it being published by a major company because you will then have obligations for publicity etc anyway. The one thing I agree with Brian Clark on is that its an awful lot of work to develop your own authority site so if you are don’t have the time to devote to it you are wasting your money on any investment you make.

Here’s my 2c worth – what are your rights to your material can you creatre podcasts and videos from the same material? People like to have alternatives to a written book. Study the material you’ve been getting on the “priority list ” for Teaching Sells (see how that sounds so much better than mailing list?) – he’s using the same technique he promoting – just copy it. I notice the latest copy talks about he’s too important to spend time in the forums but there are lots of fellow students who will help you – that is probably true the question is whether its worth $1600 to you? If there is a technical or marketing question you have there is definitly an answer to be had for free on the Internet so effectively you are paying for a) the convenience and b) the community.

I’d prefer to spend zero time on this and instead build my business, but I don’t know who to hire to build my “internet marketing strategy.” I want someone who is cutting edge. It’s such a emerging sector, it doesn’t appear to have clear channel to hire vendors. If I need phone service I call AT&T or Verizon. If I need legal advice on my materials I call my local IP attorney. But what about the internet marketing strategy? That’s the appeal to Clark’s product — none of us newbies know who to turn to. Last summer I signed up for a “Telling Ain’t Teaching” course which was a basic “how to” course on e-learning and over 200 people were there from around the country (in the midst of a recession). The speaker was informative but didn’t impart proprietary secrets (he spoke from his book). It’s another example of how there are a bunch of us X-gens who know enough to see the power of the internet but aren’t savvy enough to know how to exploit it.

In my search for help on an internet marketing strategy I spoke to someone from SCORE (for small businesses) today and he sounded as old as dirt (I’m not sure he knows there is an internet). Just short of going to Madison Ave and paying a firm $100K (which I don’t have), I don’t know where to turn. Any direction you can provide is greatly appreciated.

In response to your question, the publisher is one of the largest but they’ve told me not to expect much marketing support (it’s a non-fiction book). I’ll have rights to enough of the content to make a web site worthwhile.

Rob what is your business? I don’t mean exactly – but is your business consulting in the same area as your book or maybe public speaking, or teaching in some other form? Anything like that then really your marketing startegy is key. Remember internet marketing strategy has really only existed for about 10 years – and Madison Ave (that’s where the marketing firms hang out yes ? (I’m not American) ) probably doesn’t know much about it but will charge you like they do!

You may get legal advice from your lawyer or a phone from your phone company – but neither will tell you how to run your business – that’s what you are really asking. If you know what you are selling and who your potential buyers are then you have a marketing strategy.

Lissie’s $10,000 Internet Marketing Startegy
If you want an Internet marketing strategy then at the end of the day you have to learn enough to develop one. You don’t need to be a technical expert or anything like that – you do ned to know what you are attempting. Say I was Lis Sowerbutts and I just published a book on Blue Widgets for Australians. My strategy would be something like this:

a) register and ($7 each/year plus $8/month for hosting)
b) I’d install WordPress (free) on both of them. On my name domain I’d just put up a few pages of resume type blurb plus a buy now buttom for my book – probably from Amazon
c) on the site named for my book I’d spend a bit more time. I’d put up some basic articles which encourage people who are interested to read more by buying the book. I’d maybe install aweber or similar to start capturing a list of people who are interested (especially if I intend to publish more books!). I would adverstise book signing and other related gigs, I’d put youtube videos up of me speaking. I’d regularly uddate this site particularly initially – about 2/3 times a week.
d) think about what search terms people may use to find your site, and then get your website to list on the first page of the search results (that’s called SEO), I’d install stats packages (free) so I know how people find my site. If you are lucky just by doing the above you will probably rank #1 for the exact match for your name (unless its Rob Smith) and your book title (assuming its unique).
e) now I’d learn about SEO and start building backlinks to my main sites to make me rank for more “buying keywords” but this can develop over time.

You could do worse than joining hubpages (free) and writing some articles there -there are number of published authors who use hubpages for free publicity to get people hooked and interested in buying/reading more.

BTW I am a X-gener too – most of the people I know who make good money online are my age or older – most teenagers don’t know 1/2 what I know about how to put a website together or SEO – age is no barrier in this game – in fact it seems to be the main motivator – most of us so over the “working for the man” scenario. If you take me up on these suggestions feel free to click on the pretty ad for “hostgator hosting” and I will get paid a bit for my time LOL

I’m starting a training company and writing a book on the same topic. My target audience is 200K professionals globally, and so if I can attract 5%, it’s 10K subscribers. May not be big in other circles but I’ll be pleased if I can reach this.

After reading your reply, I thought about trying to find answers to all of my marketing questions on the web for free but that takes even more time than taking a course. I’m in the midst of writing a book and starting a company and so I need to either a) hire a consultant; or b) find a place that packages the answers to my questions. I looked through the Training Sells material again today and much of it covers basic instructional design and e-learning principles I’ve already learned (and probably better taught by ASTD and eLearning Guild). But there appear to be some topics in the area of target marketing and navigating the vendor relationships on the web that I haven’t mastered. I could probably find them somewhere else but what if I miss something and make a big mistake (not charging enough for my training or not setting up opportunistic partnerships or j-vs). In the end, I pulled the trigger and signed up for the program, but only because I know I have a 30-day money back guarantee. If I discover it’s a bunch of fluff or covers what I already know, then I’ll cancel. I’ll report back in a few weeks to let you know what I discover.

After reviewing hostgater numerous times today I think I’ll use them for my new business.

If you’re wondering, I have no relationship with Teaching Sells. I heard about it through one of my e-learning courses (either Marc Rosenberg’s or Allen Interaction’s)

I’ll be really intersted in hearing your feedback Rob – to be honest you sound like you may fit into the profile I described in the post for people who would benefit from the course! I woiuld be really interested in hearing your experience after you’ve had a chance to have a look around inside. I’ve heard others criticise the ID and e-learning principals but as you obviously know that it is a well-developed discipline in itself.

I’d say you really need to focus on a narrow niche (200k is too big) – you need to find a really speicific niche within professionals looking for online training – a niche which is not well served by your competitors. You probably know that already but from a Internet perspective that means you need to look hard at how you are going to develop your USP and what keywords that will reflect – don’t believe them if they try to tell you that search engine traffic isn’t important – its the most motivated buyer you can have: some one typing into Google : stay at home mom online training nursing – really wants an answer and if you are providing that answer she will buy from you, at a much better conversion rate than a bunch of email addresses who signed up for someone else’s product.

No I didn’t think you had a relationship with Teaching Sells – its surpsringly easy to tell genuine questions from those who have an ax to grind 🙂 Trust me this post has had a very civilsed comment debate compared to others I’ve done. Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you. Cheers Lis

You haven’t said what kind of business is in, but if you are talented enough to write a book, I am sure you can do it all on your own.

If you don’t already have a website, I would start with a blog. You can then talk about how much you know about the topic and how you have a book to be published.

Your first step should be how you can promote the blog. If you can’t get traffic to the blog, how can you expect people to join your membership program?

If your blog is extremely successful and you have people screaming for more, I am sure then you can make a membership website.

I think it would be almost impossible to launch a membership site without already having a very strong presence on the web. And if you already know how to that, you probably don’t need to spend $1600 on teaching sells.
.-= Mike´s last blog ..September goal update and new site launch =-.

A lot’s happened since my original comments. I should probably mention I’m new to the whole “educate-on-line” and blogging world.

First, in terms of “Teaching Sells”, I gave it an earnest commitment and here are my thoughts: Pros: they’ve laid everything out well in one place, from designing a course, to marketing it. Cons: the program is milked out over too many small, fragmented chapters. The first 5 “lessons” could be combined into one that would take an average person about 5-10 minutes to fully read and comprehend. Beyond lesson 5 they appear to get a bit meatier but there could be a LOT of consolidation of material to allow the learner to get through it more quickly. Also, the 30-day money back guaranty is almost worthless because 95 of the 116 modules don’t unlock until after the 30 days expires. The text appears directed to less business savvy individuals, which dilutes the product. In a number of places it says “don’t be worried” when referring to basic business terms and it they say “In fact, just by producing content according to the Teaching Sells methods, you’ll be a brilliant relationship marketer that would make any MBA envious.” implying someone with an MBA isn’t going to take this course (doh! I have one).

Statements that may make common sense, aren’t backed up with research, which is critical (because following the “herd” mentality can lead to the wrong outcome). For example he says: “At a psychological level, people trust paid information more than free.” (according to who? How is this more than put speculation?).

Completely separate, I was at a writer’s conference this weekend where a presenter made reference to Jane Switzer who offers a program to “Discover How To Publish Your Book and Create Your Information Business.” So I looked at her program on line and it starts with the “funnel” marketing model which is EXACTLY what Teaching Sells advocates (is there some plagiarism going on here?). Switzer’s program sells for $495 versus $1,600 for Teaching Sells. I’m going to give it a further look.

And finally, while I was sitting in the ballroom waiting for Chris Brogan to speak as our keynote speaker at the writer’s conference this weekend, he came down and sat at our table before his presentation (he had about 5 minutes before he was going to start speaking). He couldn’t have been a nicer, more approachable guy. I felt bad because one person asked “are you an agent?” She didn’t know who he was (even though his face was all over the promotional material). He bounced back and said “I’m a typist”.

Thanks Rob so much for updating us with your experiences with Teaching Sells. I hate courses that don’t give you anything useful during the money back guarantee – surely if its all good they should give you everything up front ? The keyword academy does – and the retention rate from month 1 ($1 cost) to month 2 ($30 cost) is very high – perhaps because people think they are getting value?

You scare me if you say its below an MBA level – I have done MBA level courses and found them very dumbed down becsause you didn’t nee a degree to enter – having a degree I was miles ahead at found the teaching very low level – so the level that Teaching Sells is at is pretty mind- boggling IMHO .

Also again if material is good it doesnt need to belittle alternative approaches – they did the same thing in the sales hype by suggesting that those who practse SEO were “losers” or words to that effect.

I haven’t hearder of Switzer’s program -in fact I found it hard to find her site knowing her name and the program’s name – her SEO needs work! The funnel approach wasn’t invented by Brian Clark – its been around forever – in fact before blogs really. n some ways this blog is a funnel – people buy from me because they like my free content – if I set up a list and sent free content it would have the same effect of building trust. The price point sounds a lot more reasonable and it might be better focussed on what you want to do.

I don’t like what Chris Brogan represents – but I am getting the impression he’s a nice guy personally – your incident reflects the same sort of man who responded well to a friend of mine who video spoofed his, Brogan’s, book launch . His book is caleld Trust Agent so your colleague got it half right…

Again thanks so much for your honest review.

I was going to leave a long comment but after Brian’s insightful comments above anything else would just be drivel. I hope he says more in the course or people are really getting scr*wed.
I take it that was like a visit from the Godfather or something.
.-= Agrande with mlm email leads´s last blog ..Internet Based Business =-.

Well it wasn’t scary if that’s what you mean agrande – not like getting called out by Vic LOL! I just about deleted the comment because if it had been anyone else I would have marked it as spam – but I feel as it is it speaks for itself really … Kinda the absolute opposite of the Evoy approach to blogger’s managment!

I am sure that 90% of the people who buy these products, buy it and never complete it. I start the 30DC every year which is a free course and I get side tracked with something else and never finish it.

I have been enjoying reading yours and similar blogs by people who just working hard to make money online and posting their results for everyone to see.
.-= Mike´s last blog ..My favorite Joomla resources =-.

Its probably higher than that Mike – and the idiots probably don’t even ask for a refund – that’s why its a VERY attractive business model – as I said the only real question is how high they are going to pitch the price point!

Agree with Mike’s sentiments that Rob would probably be smart enough to work it out himself and as for the price point, $1600 (for that one and only course, only to be repeated in a few month’s time) is a little excessive.

I’d be thinking more about the excitement of getting to the $1600 point.

Agree Lis that if you know your product you will work out the best strategy for marketing it online. You can’t necessarily throw conventional marketing out of the window because of the advent of the internet although there is a lot of practical free information such as you have set out re: technical aspects like installing wordpress, article writing, seo etc etc

i don’t know whether Rob doesn’t want to reveal much about his target market, but agree that 200K spend seems a bit broad. A lot of people want to target ‘corporate’ or confine themselves to one demographic. It is nice to tie down the demographic as tightly as possible but not have too narrow a mindset. otherwise, as lis points out you miss out on the stay at home mums and others. I’d listen to Lis as she understands the culture of the internet, and the people who inhabit it. Agree that there is a lot to be said for online communities who just share information and help one another.

I suppose if you are getting advice from marketing companies and IP lawyers, this might seem a bit amateurish, however I have done my LLM in IP law and I can’t think of many IP lawyers who really think a lot about the practical and business challenges of operating online.

You must be talking about a lot of investment, as IP lawyers don’t charge lightly.

Although there isn’t any substitute for professional IP advice there is a ton of free information on the internet about IP related aspects of operating online. ‘

People who become experts in their area tend to become good enough experts through a combination of curiousity, listening to others and self-education, including sharing mistakes and successes.

Gads, Lissie, you just threw me into a time warp. It’s August 2008. I have a job but it’s contract, majorly stressful, and subjects me to frequent layoffs while somebody tries to find more funding for me. I’m facing a major surgery and am casting around the internet trying to find a way to make money online while I’m at home recovering. I only have $300 to spend, and it’s between Teaching Sells, SBI, and some other paid membership site whose name I’ve forgotten. I read Steve Pavlina every day and try to figure out how he does it (hint: get in on the ground floor of the internet before everybody else has heard of it).

I ended up going with SBI and then getting a partial refund three months later. A month later I found Griz’s ugly blog via Frank on Warrior Forum, then Vic, and Court third. Now it’s a year later and I can’t believe I even considered paying for Teaching Sells or anything that involves flogging services to a “list.” The idea sounds as strange and frightening as being kidnapped by alients.

LMAO – yes its a little scary isn’t it! I found Teaching Sells – or possibly Yaro’s version – ran for the hills got a job and 6 months later somehow found Vic or Grizz – I really wish I knew which one and where from – it could have been Warrior Forum – I used to hang out there too LOL.
Its actually really interesting looking at this stuff with eyes wide open – you can see the psyc triggers being lined up and pulled one by one!

Hi Lis, thanks for the link to my devilishly feindish evil blackcat SOB world domination attempt at the MPO niche! I actually hit top spot for the term yesterday and I got the little authority links below my double entry LMAO!

Hey, this is a great post showing all those pissed up testicosticles that their crap business model to rip everyone else off is actually not an honest one, like they all swear it is. I wonder how many of those SBI “worker ants” will gleefully buy into Teaching Sells because it’ll make ’em all so rich they can come and wave a big fat wedge of cash in your face and say “I told you so” LMAO!

Keep outing the shysters, they deserve it!
.-= Terry Didcott´s last blog ..Make Paella Online =-.

The MPO world-domination is fantastic Terry – and you have outranked a SBI! site while doing it – isn’t that sauce on the paella! I am amused re the pricing model – the 2007 version was $97/month last time he did this (April) he sold 300 spots at $997 a head – nice ! He’s onto a great thing it just won’t work for the students.

Did I really? Ha! The cat got the cream! That was with zero backlinks (ok, now 1) so there’s definitely something in this site authority kick. Pity I can’t monetise that blog with PPC – think of all that laser targeted paella traffic… 😉

I just added a big post on the whole paid subscriptions scam on my money hints blog (plus a link to give you a hike in the teaching sells KW). I said pretty much the same thing about it makes a shitload of cash for the owners and bugger all for the poor noobs sucked into the hype of easy money.
.-= Terry Didcott´s last blog ..Make Paella Online =-.

Yeah I like the whole authority thing – I went straight to #1 for “teaching sells does it work” and stayed there all day! In fact just looked again and now I have the double index on the tag – chocolate bar territory!

This sentence made me shiver “You’ll also see why being an “expert” at the training you sell is completely optional.” I always believed that teaching is a highly responsible task and that you have to be an expert in your field, how else could you dare to teach??? SY
.-= hospitalera@Niche Blogging´s last blog ..Internet Marketing and Weight Loss =-.

SY yes it was something that rang false for me even back in 2007, I am not a trained teacher but I did a lot of computer support at uni/college/teritary level and I like to think I understand about what a good teacher is – and its not someone who knows how to follow along the textbook. Contrary to the sales-pitch its bloody obvious to most students when a tutor knows a subject and when they are just one chapter ahead – I remember our 6th form maths class taking out a a graduate student who thought it would be easy money to teach us by just following along the textbook!

Maybe its just me but I really couldn’t sleep at night taking money from people teaching them what I was only just learning myself! And if I was truely successful at make money online – or even make paella online I wouldn’t need to be selling and supporting a membership site would I LOL

agree with your comments on teaching, and when something ‘doesn’t ring true’.

I have a tertiary background up to masters level and have done some teaching, and whilst I knew what a good teacher was as a student, its a lot harder than just about textbook knowledge. It is something that involves a huge responsibility.

Lis I think you *are* a teacher. Does a teacher have to be teaching in a school or Uni to be thought of as a teacher. However you have built a relationship/rapport with your readers. That makes you the best teacher. Teaching is about explaining things in a straight forward way and eliminating jargon at the risk of eliminating some of the precision that jargon conveys.

i do know that you are far too ethical to sell and support a membership site and whether or not you choose to conduct courses in IM is just a personal choice.

BTW funny thread and hilarious comments….

Oh I agree but Clarke is right – people are prepared to pay for the packaged step-by-step approach to doing it. a) it does save time and b) they like the community feel – that’s why I promote The Keyword Academy – at that is run by people who do what they are teaching not run the community as a nice little profit centre off the side of their “real” guru busines!

I agree hospitalera in terms of the investment being in time and finding quality information. One of the reasons I know it (which is a little bit of an indictment on is that I havn’t put in that effort for one reason or another.

However when I was considering doing so I must admit I did sign up for The Keyword Academy, mainly because I had read enough to know that keyword research was a must. It was so counterintuitive to me to start something without thinking about keyword research and I like the systematic approach (and more importantly the style) of the Keyword Academy. I think the high retention rate past the first month speaks for itself

They aren’t preachy or OTT. The online community is great and I would consider doing it all again before launching into anything. Having said that I find great information online and there are some good products like Market Samurai.

As you said it is time and effort to know where to find the good stuff, whether information, quality paid products and to filter out the scams.

Hey Lis,

Good writeup there. Have to admit that I did sign up for the course at the start when it launched (think it was 2007?). It was at the point when I was following morons like Yaro Starak and Caroline Middlebroke. Needless to say that I wasted money on BlogMastermind too that actually got me nowhere expect trying to painlessly write every single day.

The content of the course, back then, really wasn’t worth the 3 month fee I paid – but, I guess it is the fact that a lot of people new to the online world want to be spoon fed and end up like drones without seeking a ‘second opinion’.

I dont care if his product is good or not personally, as I will never buy it.

PS- I don’t think it is fair to bash the guy just because he only responded to your post with “cheers”. It may just be that he is taking the high road… I could be wrong on this.
.-= Earn $100 Per Day´s last blog ..Earn Money Through The Internet =-.

Earn $100 per day this is a do-follow blog – as I am sure you know seeing you anchored your keywords. If anyone else had posted that comment and hadn’t been beyond reasonable doubt the actual author of the site I was discussing (his email and avatar matched) then he would have been put in the spam queue. He was under absolutely no pressure to add a comment – if you are going to comment on a blog discussing your product you might as well join the discussion – as it is he comes across as – well you decide – I didn’t edit the comment!

Good point on the spamming… perhaps you should have spammed him 🙂

Certainly wasn’t taking his side… if it was my product I would have defended it. If you are willing to sell it, be willing to stand behind it.

Alex here, I’ll write a long response designed to get you some serious posts. I can ramble for ages.
Thank you for posting this really great review on teaching sells. I’m glad there are some honest people who earn passive incomes online that really help people like me. It’s because of you, Griz, Court and yeah.. even Vic, that I’m not in a depressed state of mind and ready to move back to the States for 6 months so my husband and I don’t go broke. As it is we’re having to sell our house and move because we were slowly going broke here.
You guys, with your honest opinions, saved me. All it takes is a little reading and searching to get great at earning an online income. If you go to the first adsense click you see you end up in the wrong place and might end up with this guy that sells that crap product. I like that you’re ranking for teaching sells does it work, because anyone that actually wants to know about a product instead of mindlessly buying what they first come across, will get the information they need and maybe find something good like Griz and Court.
I know that some people question your motives, and quite frankly they’re idiots if they think that earning a passive income online is going to come from that product, or that they’ll do anything but scam others.
Things don’t come magically. Everyone that has ever made any money in any profession has worked for it. Even people like Tony Robbins have put in the time, and keep putting in the time to make money. You don’t have to buy a scam to become rich, you just have to work hard and believe in yourself.
.-= Trish@Wedge Shoes Guide´s last blog ..Wedge Heels: What’s Sexy and What’s Fun =-.

Alex – you have been hanging with the Griz too much – ramble, ramble, ramble LOL I find it hilarious that there are all these experts out there on my “motives” – I personally have no flipping idea what my motive is – in the real world I was never that good a debater – I’d get too emotional to make the point. Online I can combine words with SEO and some bad ass friends whom you’ve met – its a powerful combination! Just a thought there are a lot of cheaper places to live than the US or Europe which is where I think you are now? Asia and central America come to mind – currently I think I could support my partner and I in Bali or Thailand with my online income – its nice to have the option though we won’t do it quite yet.

Lis, it’s funny you should mention Bali because I grew up, at least partly, in Indonesia and it’s been the one place in my life that I’ve always wanted to go back to. My memories of that country are so stellar they sometimes break my heart. My father was an oil man so we spent a lot of time overseas, mainly Jakarta, Saudi Arabia, Libya (lived there 10 years) among others. It’s probably no coincidence that I met my foreign husband and moved to Europe. The thing is it’s really hard to make a living here, so I was struggling like you wouldn’t believe. It didn’t help that I haven’t learned to speak the language passably in the 5 years I been here. Haha. There is a reason for that.. maybe I should go into it and make the reason why earning an online income using seo clearer.
BTW I didnt learn my rambling from Grizz, I was like this before I met him. In real life I talk really fast and I have ADD so my mind goes here and there. I have actually SEEN my husband’s eyes glaze over when I’m talking to him. It was actually about the keyword academy and making a passive income online, that not too long ago I droned on and on about. Then I made him watch some of the training videos so that if I ever keeled over dead from the amount of caffeine I drink, he’d know how to start making money online =).

Are we at 100,000 words? Shall I tell the ‘reason’ ?
.-= Trish@Wedge Shoes Guide´s last blog ..Wedge Heels: What’s Sexy and What’s Fun =-.

Alex meet Mike – Mike is a friend from way back who runs the Bali Expat Blog hes an Australian fairly recently moved there. I don’t know that I would be able to learn the language where you live either – my language skills are crap – and my partner’s eye’s glaze over all the time when I talk to him- its a man thing they expect the same topic at the start AND the end of the sentence – odd !

I’ll check it out Lis. Bali = heaven. And omg Indonesian food is so good. *cry* I could live on Nasi Goreng (the jakarta way) for months.
.-= Trish@Wedge Shoes Guide´s last blog ..Wedge Heels: What’s Sexy and What’s Fun =-.

I came across this post whilst looking for a balanced view of Teaching Sells. Naturally, a lot of reviews are from affiliates who will praise it, but neither kowtowing nor guru-bashing helps the discussion. Even if a “balanced” view was expressly excluded from this post according to the first sentence, I would like to point out in response to some comments and in all fairness to Brian Clark, and for the sake of accuracy, that he is not saying one should set oneself up as an expert when one has no knowledge of a subject. Teaching Sells shows how one can make money by finding people who are experts and setting up the teaching environment for them. This is a business partnership. And if someone repurposes free information from the internet to deliver it as a convenient package, making it clear that that is what the information is, then fair enough, if they save someone a lot of legwork. At the end of the day, how ethical or unethical a business is, depends entirely on the business. Teaching Sells is a neutral tool. If someone misuses the information, then it cannot be blamed on the tool, and Brian is not advocating any unethical practice. However, I do feel this post is valuable in that it says buyer beware, check out the small print, and look beyond the hype.
.-= judyofthewoods´s last blog ..Foraging in June =-.

Hi Judy thanks for commenting. Your last sentence says it all – you see people don’t – they don’t check the fine print the don’t think beyond the hype. They read and hear that they are a) part of an exclusive group b) have a chance to take control of their life and b) have to act now before that chance is gone forever – they act out of fear (fear of missing out financially or even just for being part of the in-group). There is a bunch of interesting comments over at SY’s blog – commentators have just realised that there is almost always an ulterior motive to products being sold to “the list” – I definitly took at least 6 months to wake up to what was going on LOL

I agree if you do happen to have a busines relationship with an expert you could use this model – how many people do you think that actually applies to? This product is deliberately targetted to those who are new to the Internet – the ones’ that won’t have have the contacts or knowledge to make this fly.

Lis, I know I’m late to the game (I’m reading a lot of your site right now) but I just have to point out that you made points a), b) and b)


Gotta run, lots more to read…

To me, this teach sells things sounds like a HUGE re-hash of the Russel Brunson model. It really is just re-defecated poop designed to grab a new crop of noobs.
I guess I always wondered, if the course is so damn good and FULL of info (as Brogan claims, he could not get thru it all) then how are working people with real jobs gonna find the time to shift through all the fluff? …and then apply it to their “rescuing sea turtles” ebook?
.-= Allyn´s last blog ..Make Money Online Griz And Me Sorta Kinda In Cancun Maybe =-.

I had to google “Russel Brunson” and must admit haven’t got past the ex-felon making $100million LOL. I found it ironic that there is quite a emphasis on people NOT wanting to waste their time sifting thru all the info on the Internet and yet Caroline Middlebrook’s positive video review mentions how there is so much information she didn’t know where to start!

If you are still thinking about a sea turtle e-book you’ve missed the point Allyn – you need to have the interative forum with video training for turtles – that’s where the money is !

LMAO – Liz! Good one. I suspect that the “Brian Clark” comment was made by some minion of his that is hired to make that same comment everywhere his name is mentioned. Trouble is, it looks like his minion did not actually read your post. lol.
.-= Strathy´s last blog ..Baby on Board a Boat =-.

The hype is just standard A-list practice – as they all have large readerships and all promote each others products (thats what a JV is BTW) – its not hard to do – having friends online is very, very useful

“I’ve seen enough know to, in my biased and personal opinion, warn you in VERY large letters – to stay the fuck away from Teaching Sells.”

This is golden man. Effin’ hilarious. Hopefully a few new people to your blog read that and realized they should hit the RSS button.


I love the strikethrough approach re: spam list substitute priority notification list….being in bed with the right people….substitute ‘commenting on the right blogs’. Me hopes this is self-censorship rather than legal threats

Hey Lissie,
Looks like you found another program…. Teaching Sells, that I did not purchase. I thought I had purchased every program there was before finding Lissie, Griz, Vic.

The bad deal for me is I only get minimal time to work on links for projects and then I get sidetracked with This Passive Income Stuff, and and then this A-List Blogger junk… Teaching Sells.

Great Dancing by the way!

You missed this one – you sound like Splork – he seems to have bought every piece of crap out there too!

Thanks for plug Liz. Your check is in the mail 🙂

Well, I am glad this post has gotten a bit of attention. Some of these info product launches are really getting out of control and the prices are only going up and up.

I think Brian does make some valid points about people working for Google. I just started some lists on my sites to help promote a book I am working on. I have been burnt before for relying too much on free search traffic for my websites, so building a list is a good way to keep in contact with potential customers.

I don’t like however, that all of the big name bloggers keep promoting the same stuff and I am getting pretty tired of their marketing techniques and long sales letters. “Only 200 places available” (@ $2000 a place), “The doors are closing in 2 days” etc. The techniques might work but for people who have been around a while, they make these products look just like those steak knife infomercials that used to be so popular.

I have learnt so much from this blog and the blogs you link to recently, it’s more than enough information for newbies to get started.
.-= Mike´s last blog ..My favorite Joomla resources =-.

Haha – I heard the Bali mail was pretty unreliable! I probably should do something about a list – but then I’d have to get around to writing a free e-book – hasn’t happened yet! Yeah I think the thing with MMO is that there is a constant stream of new people as the US economy seems to go from bad to worse – and the rest of us just get tired of working for the man. I’ve been surprised to find at 47 I am not really a grandma of my online communities – more like average – just over the working for someone else job thing!

I think I will avoid that report like the plaugue!

.-= Scott@IT Training´s last blog ..Microsoft Outlook Training Courses =-.

Yep, pretty scammy, even worse is Filsames Affiliate Jump. Might be the biggest ripoff I have seen to date. With the economy the way it is the “Gurus” are out in force pushing their garbage.
.-= bk´s last blog ..How do you SEO ? =-.

Actually this one has been around since 2007 i.e. about 10 years in Internet Year – it predates the global financial crises !

Hi Lis,

There is so much info out there it’s tough to sift through it looking for the golden nuggets. I have read through Brian’s site numerous times and have to admit he writes good copy but it all seems to be the same kind of angle over A-listers have over time… these bloggers get the readers, then finally hawk some program or whatever. Which is ok I suppose as long as its truly valuable and at a price most can afford.

Stumbling along though, I finally come across the straight shooters like you, Griz, Vic and Court and a few others that finally lays out on the table what this Passive Income Online stuff is all about and truthfully guiding us newcomers. Thanks for all of your info, you’ve gained a follower.


Thanks Robert – I can’t promise great copy or even good English here – but I do go for the honesty thing and don’t mean “honesty in advertising” either LOL

Hi Lis,

Great post! It’s good to see a group of honest people coming forward to tell it as it is. Always enjoy the blog, and I hope your passive income is doing well and taking off. This was the first $100 in one month AdSense month for me, and most of that came in the last week so I’m feeling great about the future.


Shane “Master” Dayton
.-= Master Dayton@Freelance Writing Blog´s last blog ..Start Freelance Writing Now! =-.

Adsense is like that Master D – its a long time starting and then it accelerates – looks like you are going in the right direction well done.

You know it’s really funny how time lines cross this way. I just received a rare honest request got help from a fellow who was exhausted and tired of trying this method or another. My advice? Go read Griz’s steps to making money, _DO_THEM_ for 90 days, and don’t buy _anything_ in the interim.

I was soured on Brian’s efforts the last time when he wanted to be very exclusive and stand-offish to small bloggers, Your advice is bang on, Lis, stay the hell away from this mess.
.-= Dave Starr´s last blog ..RSS Feeds & Analytics – Getting Set Up =-.

Thats really sound advice Dave – you don’t even need domains and hosting with Grizz’s advice!

I stumbled across it today in my reader… I read those guys regularly. Problogger CopyBlogger… They have interesting things to say. Read the book – $45.00 paperback. I studied it… Commented on the story… All that stuff…

Teaching Sells… Hmmm? I was considering it… I am always consulting friends and stuff on how to do websites and how to have an online presence… Have for years… Just never made much money at it. Perhaps they could focus me on doing some “teaching” and making money when consulting people..

But hey… I’m glad Im subscribed to your feed too… Now I won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole… You dig?

I’m gonna study your keyword thingy tho…
.-= Dave ´s last blog ..Hancock – Super Hero Movie with a Twist =-.

Hi Dave and welcome! Check out some of the links around here – I know I’ve thought about consulting too – but in the end it is still like – well work really – and I’d rather get my passive income streams up and running to pay me while I am on the beach. Oddly enough although this post is sitting well in the SERPS I am yet to have even one person suggest that they have made any money at all with Teaching Sells- that would have to make you wonder…

do -follow means that the link is “counted” by google – links are good to get you keyword #1 in the search engine. The default for wordpress blogs to NOT have links in comments “do follow” – I use a plugin (just an extension to the basic WordPress code) to make my comments “dofollow”.

Or short version do follow good for the commentator!

I find it interesting that you freely admit that you haven’t bought the product, you’ve only read the free promotional materials, yet you feel qualified to tell other’s not to buy it, in extremely strong terms.

How can you make that judgement on something you haven’t seen? I’d have no problem with your post if you’d actually bought and used the course, it’s the fact that you have no factual knowledge about it that I disagree with.

Yes, the free offerings are promotional. They’re marketing. So what? If the course lives up to what they’re saying then what’s the problem? But then, you don’t know if it lives up to it’s promises because you don’t actually know what’s in it, correct?

The free offering is not just promotional its wrong – the copy discounts getting search traffic from Google and other search engines as a way to build a business – that is so badly wrong words pretty much fail me – which doesn’t happen very often I can assure you! This course is promoted to those who are knew to making money online any yet the claim is that you don’t even have to be an expert on something to charge people real money to enrol with your membership site.

I’m sorry that the dishonestly of this make me quite literally crying mad – am I not the only one who has had their online dreams dashed by this sort of “professional” product . I managed to keep going, many don’t, what if I was diasbled, caring for a family, using the last of my credit card’s credit to buy this over-priced course? (Which they still haven’t listed a price on btw?) Because that is the type of desparation that this type of promo is focussed on and to be blunt I think the people who do that are bottom-dwelling scum scuckers.

I don’t have to touch a fire to know it hot, I don’t need to taste the food on an airline to know it will be bad, I don’t need to jump out of a plane to know it would be an adreline rush – I know all of these things, because I have built up some level expertise from my previous experience with fires/airline planes/ parachuting.

I have been scammed before – I have been misled before I have had my dreams dashed before – all I’m trying to do here is try to prevent others from having the same experience. All I am saying is that I have more experience than most of the people that Teaching Sells is aimed at and I am saying stay a long, long way away from this!

I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree Lis.

Some programs are right for some people and other’s aren’t. This one is very obviously not for you or your readers. There are other people out there who will love it.

I’d rather have something like Teaching Sells than a program that promises me that I’ll be making $20,000 a month, next month, in affiliate income or adsense, with no effort required, even if I’ve never been online before. THAT kind of scam really pisses me off.

While I haven’t bought Teaching Sells – yet – I know people who have and have made money from using the information in it.
.-= Melinda | WAHM Biz Builder´s last blog ..Is Cottage Industry Dead? =-.

If you or anyone else makes money from it I’d love to see you comment back here – to date I am yet to hear from anyone who has made money from it – and the course has been around for nearly 2 years!

I think the people that can make money from the course are people who already have an established web presence. Someone with a high profile that could really benefit from creating a membership site. Someone like Aaron Wall from SEO book that was interviewed in the free material.

Someone like the “regular Joe and Jane” would probably really struggle to build a membership site. I think you would at least need a blog and at least one info product before you think you can just launch a membership site from thin air.

You just have to look at how Teaching Sells is able to start a membership site because of the high profile blog Brian Clark runs. How many members could he get from his course without that blog?

The suggestion I think they are making is that you could find a guru yourself and then help them to create a membership. But how many gurus are there out there that haven’t discovered the internet?

And if you create that kind of partnership, what are *you* bringing to the table?

If you search on “Teaching Sells reviews” you will get a few more different opinions. To Yaro Starak’s credit he does do podcasts and profiles of people who have had some success with his course.

I don’t think you can use someone like SEOBook as an example of someone who benefited from doing the course. So I think the sales copy is misleading as it says it is an opportunity for the average Joe.

If the average Joe started a membership site, he would still have to go back and someone how promote it with a blog, getting links etc.

From the reviews I read about the program they suggest using Moodle with Amember: So if you still have your heart on starting a membership site, I don’t think it would take too much time to work out how to set the site up.
.-= Mike´s last blog ..I am pumped! =-.

I totally agree Mike – I winced at them using Aaron Wells as an example – the guy is a genuine expert in his field and this is the real mismatch – I am yet to see any example of anyone starting from scartch with Teaching Sells getting anywhere. Its based on Moodle -that’s interesting Moodle was/is open source which we were using in the tertiary sector in the late 1990’s at the start of online interactive education (when I worked for a tertiary/uni level distance education provider). If its still around its presumably a good stable platform which would be well worth using if you were going to start a membership site.

I really enjoyed reading your “rant”!

While you are on a roll with these sorts of things, can you do an exposé of the payperpost/paid-to-post sites? They seem to lure people in who have good blogs with pagerank, and within a month these poor folk end up with their blogs trashed with diet pill posts and a slapping from Google. And then these pay sites just replace them with another poor noob.

Someone should warn them that they’d be better off staying clear and monetising their sites with some good SEO and Adsense. Since you are becoming the Queen of the Exposé, a rant from you might rank highly enough in the SERPs to deter innocents from joining these orgs.

They are STILL doing that?? I lost my PR on my first blog to that little game – I thought payperpost became Izea ? and cleaned up their act?

They’ve become Izea and are still doing the same old thing. Only now they’ve dropped their minimum payments and are expecting people to write the stuff for a dollar or sometimes under.

I’ve been trying to persuade some friends who do paid writing to come to the good side, but they are unconvinced they can earn with Adsense – not surprising because they mainly hang out with other paid post people, who all believe that paid posting is the only way, all the search terms for paid posting have glowing reviews, and the few people they know who make money from Adsense, like me, don’t make spectacular amounts (because we haven’t been doing this long enough to have enough online properties). So they are never going to get convinced by the likes of me.

Sounds ripe for your sort of treatment – and there is plenty of material for you to use from their forum

For those who are curious, yes, that actually was Brian Clark in the comment earlier; yes, that was Brian taking the high road; yes, Aaron Wall is a Teaching Sells alum and is making excellent money from his site.

I know I shouldn’t let posts like this make me sick to my stomach, but unfortunately, I’m not that enlightened yet. Congratulations.

Hi Sonia I see on your website that you are an editor of Brian’s blog, copyblogger, so I guess you would know. BTW I have never argued that Aaron Wall would have done anything but well from Teaching Sells – my point is he was hardly new to the Internet and online business when he found the product. I also suggest that he gets almost all of his traffic from Google – he being one of the best SEO’s in the business- and that is NOT what Brian is teaching.

Thanks for the link, Lissie. Somehow I am still ranked on the first page for a lot of terms related to teaching sells, brian clark, and reviews. I pretty much forgot about that one though. Man, was I on a rant or what? I just reread my post, and cracked up when I saw the part that said

“Now I just need to figure out how to turn this into a multimedia presentation and charge people too lazy to read and apply any of it.”

Yep. That about sums it up.
.-= Fiar´s last blog ..What Is Congress Smoking =-.

LOL I wondered when I found it whether you had forgotten about it! – I found you on page 1 of Google of course!

Why should Lissie have to have been in Teaching Sells to have an opinion about it? That’s stupid.The course IS, in fact, marketed heavily to Noobs. In the ebook, it says “Screw Google.” It does. It’s in there. Who here wants to try and deny that?

What good does it do to have a membership site if no one knows it’s there? How are people supposed to know about it? What does Brian suggest? Lose your shirt on PPC?

Probably not. I think he’s out of touch with the fact that most people he’s directing his message to have between zero and 1000 uniques per day. What good is a membership site no one knows about? There needs to be a starting point. In order to do that, you NEED to get traffic to the site. The best way to do that is to fully and completely ignore Brian’s advice to screw Google.

I have been on the Internet for four and a half years. On the best day on my best sites, I still get fewer uniques than Brian has readers. Less than 5% click on an ad. What are the rest doing? Google doesn’t exist in a vaccuum. Some leave, and others become readers, or post the links on their sites or social media. The traffic has to come from somewhere, and it needs to be an efficient somewhere.

Is it wrong to look at Brian’s copy and say, “I think telling people not to pay any attention to search engines is bad advice.”

Here’s the way I see it. IF you are an expert in your field, and IF you have the resources to do multimedia, and IF you have enough traffic by whatever means email list, readers, SE traffic, SM traffic, or IF you have the experience and resources to do PPC campaigns.

IF you have ALL those ifs in place, then Teaching Sells may be worth your time.

If not, you need to learn how to be on the Internet in the first place. You need to learn how to get traffic. No traffic=No money, regardless of your business model.
.-= Fiar´s last blog ..What Is Congress Smoking =-.

IF you are an expert in your field, and IF you have the resources to do multimedia, and IF you have enough traffic by whatever means email list, readers, SE traffic, SM traffic, or IF you have the experience and resources to do PPC campaigns.
IF you have ALL those ifs in place, then Teaching Sells may be worth your time.

That would work for me Friar! If Brian advertised Teaching Sells to that niche I’d have no problem with his approach at all!

Lis, there are a lot of payperpost sites around, not only Izea. Some even recommend / require not to mark the posts / reviews as “paid / sponsored”. Whatever, like you said, it is one of the fastest methods to loose ones Page Rank, Google Authority and, most important, readers. SY
.-= hospitalera@Niche Marketing´s last blog ..Recent Google Adsense Changes =-.

As you point out, there is a market for everything.
I havn’t seen the pitch for this product but would be interested in seeing how it is marketed, the audience, it’s sophistication, and what representations are made within that context.

Gosh Lis,

You REALLY are rocking. Why do I suddenly get reminded of a fellow ranter by the name of uhm…Vic? 😉
Funny that Teaching Sells reminds me of this other online marketing chick who keeps earning top dollar (some $1500/month) with a huge RSS reader list.

LMAO, hahahahaha….
.-= Monika Mundell´s last blog ..Yours Truly Among The Top 40 Freelance Writing Blogs =-.

I read the description of the course last night. I am sure it is a thorough course, there’s no doubt you get a lot of material, of course he need to justify the cost $1595, and “only” 500 spots available. A nice little earner for Brian!

I struggled just reading the course description. It’s very dry and needs a drop of Ben’s or Griz’s sense of humor.
.-= Mike´s last blog ..September goal update and new site launch =-.

You really can learn a lot about marketing by just reading the sales material and ask why? Why does he quote figures of people subscribed to his mailing list ? (to create urgency ) Why does he wait so long to tell you the price (because the price is high and he needs to lower that perceived barrier first )Why does he quote napoleaon hill all the time (the book is in the public comain) – its really quite educational if you read between the lines! Yes the style reminds me why I slept thru a lot of uni classes LOL

$1600??? I would write LMAO if it wouldn’t be so sad to know that a lot of people will waste their money, often their last money, to buy into this. Gosh, all the information one needs to learn to make money on the internet is available for free. People just have to sit down, figure out what they want to learn, google it and ask in blog comments / forums! I think I only bought one single ebook (for less then $10) as I started out and all the rest I learned for free, SY
.-= hospitalera@Niche Marketing´s last blog ..What I learnt by reading John Chow’s blog =-.

Exactly the only thing I hope is that people just physically don’t have the money (or the credit or the card) so just can’t buy it – its worse than that – there is an helpful installment plan as well. Look if someone has a) the money and b) the specific need – fine go for it – but don’t be too disappointed when “inside” is probably not as flashy and seamless as the outside – but for those getting desparate to make money – I have some serious advice: sell stuff on eBay, sell your wriitng or other skills or get an offline job – really desparation and starting a new business is not a happy combination

@ hospitalera
point well made. There is a lot of information out there to assist. Nothing comes quickly or easily. I suspect if you forked out the money there is still going to be a learning curve and effort. There aren’t any easy solutions, but sometimes people are seduced by the price of something unfortunately, thinking it will give them ‘value’ because it is expensive.

You are making a bad prophet 😉 “You do realise that the once in the life-time opportunity will be open again probably about February of next year?” Nops, they will re-open it today (10th September) to accommodate all the poor souls that were out of town last time, because of an American holiday! They will try to sell an additional 125 spots, nice additional money for them and all this offered with such a honest face 😉 SY
.-= hospitalera@Blogging´s last blog ..Is the money still in the list? =-.

My bad – wow its slowing down the over-priced MMO market? Maybe the economy really is stopping people handing over this amount of cash – good thing too! My prophecy is worth every cent you pay for it LOL

Which is one of big issues – they are selling the course based on their own track records – but use somebody else to actually do the day-to-day stuff like teach and support people …

If Brian just admitted the methods he was using was just a way of hyping his course, I would be happy. But no, he is actually trying to justify why he limits his course to just 500 members.

It’s amazing then how just another 125 magically open. Again, we all know this is just marketing, but he tries to justify by saying that they will take on another person to become a moderator of their forum.

Following this logic, you could easily just keep paying more people to become moderators of the forum and you wouldn’t need to limit the course to x number of users.

If the course is so good, why do you need so many support people anyway.
.-= Mike´s last blog ..Sunday article marketing update =-.

Well like Mike I also found Brian’s limiting to the 5% of the targeted readers quite dubious.
First of all you don’t have to really justify your motives.. if they are true.
and after reading so much insightful comments above I can say that Brian himself seems quite mystical, diplomatic within the all text. Mike said it rightly that “If the course is so good, why do you need so many support people anyway.”

Wow… see that just brings up all the things I am worrying about. I am taking the course now and am seriously considering pulling out. It’s not that I don’t think it’s valuable information, but I do think it’s too expensive… I also feel as though I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. I have no clear market or expertise, I have some ideas but nothing concrete. I feel like I jumped into the middle of the ocean with nothing but a rubber ring and am expected to swim (to where I have no clue). On one hand I don’t want to quit because, well to be frank this is why I quit my morning job .. but sigh.. so lost.

@Magda – there’s an old song “know when to hold them, know when to fold , know when to walk away, know when to run” – you posted first so you won’t have seen Rob’s follow up comment (he’s been trying the course too) Seriously $2000 is way too much money to learn anything in this business – unless you have the cash to burn – or are already established and want to take it to the next level fast – I suspect neither applies to you.

The ocean has sharks and its night – just extract yourself from the current shark and hang on out on some of the free blogs / resources I link to around here – we don’t bite (mainly) LOL

Lis is right, if you will overwhelmed now, in the beginning of the course, it will not get better! If you are still in time, ask for your money back. Take a deep breath, and ask yourself a few questions like: What am I really good in? What do I enjoy doing? What could I talk about the whole day. And then research the topics you found for good, profitable niche opportunities. And then decide how you will tackle this niche, blog, web site, shop, hubpages, squidoo lenses the possibilities are endless. You have zo choose what is right for you, not what others are telling you is right for you. End of pep-talk, down from the soap box, SY

It wouldn’t let me reply to the thread above about how to get a refund. Reply to “Contact Us” in the header when in the member area.

Mgaalicious – good luck – I suspect you will be fine getting your money back but if not remember if you used a credit card or Papal to pay both organisations have ways to reverse a transaction you dispute…

Yeah actually I just checked my email, and it turns out the canceled the subscription and refunded my money. But to be frank I’m a little turned off by the lack of response. I wrote them asking how to cancel the subscription, it not being the right time for etc. But I expressed future interest, and they didn’t write back they didn’t say anything to me. Oh well.

“I don’t know that I would be able to learn the language where you live either – my language skills are crap”

I got High Distinctions in both Japanese and Bahasa Indonesia at University, yet I have no clue about making money online. I think I know which ability I’d prefer to have.

BTW where do you start?
where do you find the info?
…the “friends”?

I realise there is no formula, but I’m suffering info overload at the moment.

My Bahasa is good enough to get around Indondesia -but is seriously out of practice now! Like you I have some great esoteric skills (quantum physics, geochemistry) – but developing a business has certainly been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done.
The rules change all the time becasue the environment changes – you have to adapt and move on, and there is no certainity – even in quantum physics there is certainity – not in marketing or earning money online 🙂

Starting from scratch I would look at too options that I am currently promoting on this blog -because they happen to be online friends who are providing excellent information:
Janet’s ebook: Nomad’s Guide to Making money Online and also The KeyWord Academy – I wouldn’t however do both not at the same time. Chose one which suits your learning style and stick with it for about 3-6 months and then expand your repetoir

Thanks for the tips.

Sure there is no certainty in anything. That is logical. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Both look like good value. I think I will try the KWA as I need something structured to make me ‘do’; otherwise I will passively read everything and DO nothing.

In the final analysis there is no silver bullet. I know that. But I may as well at least give it a go. There is some opportunity cost associated with time and effort, but it is preferable to shelling out thousands of dollars on seminars.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’ve always been prepared to work hard, but I can’t think of anything worse than contemplating a lifetime of doing something you really don’t enjoy.

Thanks again. Will get stuck into it, and won’t give up my day job just yet. 🙂

Hello Lis,

I would never pay 000’s dollars money for a ‘how to make money online’ course. But there are people out there that would. Brian Clark knows how to reach that audience. He does it by providing a pretty blog, great writing, and tips that people want to read. He knows what he is doing and the proof is that he sells the courses.

I do not think he is doing anything wrong. He is simply providing what the market wants. He doesn’t force people to buy it – they buy it because they want to. They buy it because he is able to create an atmosphere that makes it easy for people to part with their money for his product. In this way his blog teaches how to make money online – do what he is doing – create the atmosphere and sell expensive courses.

Do the courses work? I have no idea. Does he make money? Yes. Does he show you how? Yes – his blog is the how.

It is the same principle as Griz’s website.

I think Griz has a great website. Like Brian he shows how to make money online and like Brian he has proof that his system works (near the top for ‘Make Money Online’). Both of them provide free content. Griz describes how to to get the most out of search engine traffic and Brian shows how to get the most of eager wanna-be bloggers (via the blog itself, not the course).

In this post you pick on Brian by claiming that his product is overpriced and ruthlessly targets innocent newbie’s. Maybe. But to be fair (of course you do not need to be fair) you should also pick on Griz. Griz’s methods target the innocent search engine users who land on websites that, if Google had their way, the user should not land on (hint: unnatural backlinks).

My point 🙂 I think both of these guys have great sites and teach a lot for free. They just have different strategies.

Nope you are totally wrong Roman – Griz is nothing like Brian Clark – Griz gives his information away for free – you never have to spend a cent to learn from him. Of course Griz targets search engine users – users who are searching for “make money online” – and he provides the answer to those who read – and an ad to click if they can’t be arsed. Oh and his backlinks are lily white.

“Griz’s methods target the innocent search engine users who land on websites that, if Google had their way, the user should not land on (hint: unnatural backlinks).”

The biggest difference is that the “innocent search engine user” doesn’t part with any money after landing on my sites – the advertiser does. Users just click ads – the sponsor pays me…
.-= Griz´s last blog ..Customizing Your Blog Theme To Make More Money Online =-.

Griz, as you know most good MMO information is available free on the internet. Your blog is a perfect example of great free information.

MMO advertisements are for costly junk products or information that is freely available on the internet – I am certain that you would not recommend the products sold by your advertisers to your friends and family.

But your ‘innocent search engine user’ lands on your page and then, by your own admission, you have ‘tricks’ that lure the user to click an ad. For example, in your latest post you argue how a boring and ugly template induces users to leave your site via an ad.

You are driving users away from your good free information to your advertisers junk products that cost money. Your goal is to get as many ‘innocent search engine users’ as possible off your good MMO free information site and onto a MMO site that will cost them money. To your family and friends you say, “go onto my site but do not click on the ads, it is just costly junk”, but to everybody else you say, “get off my site, click an ad and go buy some something”.

Of course, I see nothing wrong with that. I just think it is unfair to pick on Brian. In MMO all publishers are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

But, Brain does give his information for free. His blog (not the content, not the course) shows you how to make money online by selling high priced courses.

If you want to know how to sell high priced courses then his site is a great free resource – just do what he does. Nice site, good writing, target a specific audience, marketing, make the potential buyer feel warm and fuzzy etc.

Yes but the point I’m making is that Griz doesn’t sell anything to those who read his blog

Has anyone actually bought / completed the course? And would anyone be interested in selling their membership? I would like to try it out contact me at marcusholliman(at)


Same here buddy. Tried a lot of courses but the same old Zero balance on my account 🙂 But this does seems different and appears to be powerful.Worth a try I guess…Though still not sure Fifty-fifty. Will look forwards to more review here.

You will need more than a zero balance to afford this one I can assure you

When I think of books like this I think of the person selling it making more money than I’m like to. In general, these books do not hold any information that you cannot get for free online if you do enough research. If 100 people buy it and hate it, the author still makes money. I sound cynical but you get this way after wasting money on someone else’s guide for making money.

Most people buy these products, use them very little if not at all and never actually try to implement the techniques… Stop doing that!! If you spend $2,000 on an IM product you should expect to AT LEAST make $2,000 from the techniques you’ve learned – otherwise whats the point!?

I know I am very late to this conversation but I feel I have to offer another point of view. I took it back in the beginning and yes, I do have knowledge to share. I thought that was the point of it and so I signed up. I found the technical aspects of setting up a subscription site to be too hard and dropped out after about 6 months. BUT, the knowledge I gained completely transformed my business. Teaching really does sell and by sharing my knowledge freely, I was able to take my business to a whole new level. In fact, we completely redesigned our website to offer lots and lots of free content. The results were amazing. Once we stopped selling and started teaching, our sales doubled.

I don’t know, maybe everyone else knew that already but I didn’t and I consider my investment in the course to be one of the best I ever made. It paid for itself thousands of times over.

I also think that if you are a savvy marketer and have good tech skills, you could use their model to partner with a subject matter expert and set up a very nice business, so actually you could apply these principles even when you don’t have something to teach. It’s not a get rich quick scheme but it did change my life.

I think you are asking a lot of money for something that I’m not sure if it even works or not. This could be great,but it could be a rip-off as well.I need more information on this.Thanks!

I used the program for 3 months at $93 p/mth. I found it very useful in giving me a framework to develop materials of use to my student networks, and provide an alternative source of income. Dependency is not my goal, education for students and myself is an ongoing process, and the world of psycho-social studies, insights and debates provides much material to support tertiary learning.

However, you have given me a different perspective to consider…

Currently, I have a $10 p/wk Study Club for personal study support and many free and some paid materials. My goal is to have a membership program that enables students to engage more with their uni work and to create communities of learning for peer-support.

Hmm don’t uni students go to uni because a uni IS a “community of learning for peer support” – that’s what they are paying their uni fees for

It would be fantastic if all universities/colleges etc were communities for learning support, however this is not always the case and fees have a lot to do with it yes.

Some lecturers identify as Researchers, not Teachers, and they are not interested in developing curriculum and pluralistic pedagogy, which is inclusive of social learning practices. Participating in a community of practice (CoP) is not a priority, though students deemed suited to research careers may be mentored, especially if they are extending the research of the lecturer.

While Australian national policy looks to have 45% of under 35s holding a degree by 2015, many Researchers feel students are ‘buying their degrees’ or that ‘consumers today’ are simply butts on seats to meet funding requirements.

Distance between lecturers, TAs, admin and students is inherent in the power relationship. However, some academic cultures cultivate that distance to widen, simply by ignoring or avoiding CoPs or paying lip service to study groups and mentor programs, whilst not integrating principles into policy, curriculum and behaviours that are modeled to students (e.g., mocking another lecturer; ‘shutting down’ a student’s question; telling a PhD student to figure out how to do their own stats).

There is a push to make education much more open (free) globally by 2015, amazingly this shift to a virtual environment to deliver material and ‘draw out the learner’, looks to be snowballing into rich networks of collaborative multi-disciplinary peer support learning communities and CoPs. Beautiful.

Lis, I haven’t bought the course yet but when I am able to I absolutely will, because Brian Clark and Sonia Simone have built up tons of trust.

– Their blog provides tons and tons and tons of free and valuable content on copywriting, based on solid principles of great marketers over the years, including Seth Godin, Robert Cialdini, Dan Kennedy, Gary Bencivenga, etc.
– They build trust by sharing freely of themselves for months and months without asking for a dime, and providing solid information that other so-called “gurus” charge for.
– I bought a course of theirs for US $97 called the “Freelance X-Factor” and I actually got my first client based on the methods I learned there.
– Brian Clark is not anti-Google or SEO…he’s totally pro SEO and Google…but in an ethical white hat way: providing honest, valuable content that people want to read
– They also sell some cool things like Premise Landing Page Software for only $85 ONE-TIME. As you know, landing pages are the best way to drive conversions for whatever call-to-action you have.
– All your readers could learn a lot just from reading Copyblogger’s free content. They could learn to be a good writer, a good marketer, and good at social media
– And let me repeat something I stated above: trust. Brian Clark and Sonia Simone have a high trust factor in the community because they deliver solid results, and they’re extremely knowledgeable about what they’re talking about.
– For full disclosure: I have nothing to do with Brian and Sonia…I just love their content…and their content can apply to any business, not just “selling online courses for a ton of money.” It can help plumbers who want a better way to market their business. It can help real estate agents (Brian Clark was a real estate broker in a past life – using educational content to market his business), it can help consultants like me who want to sell their consulting business….and I have successfully used the Copyblogger model (see my site in Spanish) to build a following of software consulting companies from Mexico and other Latin American countries who are interested in my consulting services (I help them market their business in the U.S. market, having been a successful sales and marketing executive in the past).

Wow! That was quite a rant Lis. This is the first time that I am reading someone rant out about something created by Brian Clark.

In all these discussions, I have not seen even one proper comment from the team at Copyblogger in their defence. Makes me wonder whether they don’t have any believable argument, or don’t have the time to reply, or whatever..

It would be great if someone from could comment on this article in defense of their product.

As for me, I think I will go ahead and try it out. What do I have to lose, Brian just assured me of a 30 day money back guarantee..

NEVER Prateek- – you should look harder – no product is perfect – there are always negatives – the fact that you can’t find a negative review just means all that you’ve found to date are the affiliates promoting the product. are not terribly good at doing brand management – you might want to check out the comments on another copyblogger product

Good luck with the product – will be interested to hear what your experience is.

On second thoughts, I will read and comment on that post later! Boy, it sure has some interesting discussions on it!

I love these public spats which bring out the true character of a person. It is when they are angry when their true colors come forth.

I think you might (still unsure) find another fan in me 🙂

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