Darren Rowse on the Intersection of Blogging and Digital Commerce


We know about the power of content marketing to build audiences, inform what products and services to develop, and ultimately connect the two together.

And whether you call it blogging or not, text remains a cornerstone of the online content mix.

Darren Rowse is one of Brian Clark’s favorite people. Darren has been an inspiration to Brian, they’ve been business partners, and the two remain good friends. At Digital Photography School, Darren’s built what amounts to a case study in digital commerce and community — and it brings in seven figures in revenue, as well.

Nothing happens overnight, even when it may seem that way. In today’s show, Darren and Brian discuss the long road and constant evolution that brought them both business success, powered by blogging and digital products and services.

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Why the New Rainmaker is a Digital Media Producer

Back in the day, the Big Dream of any creator involved striking a deal with a name like Random House, Warner Brothers, or Atlantic Records.

Signing a deal with one of those immortal entities was considered the gold ring, the opening of the only door to independence, respect, and success in media and entertainment.

Then, in the course of less than twenty years, the Internet obliterated those power structures, leaving creators of all kinds — for better or worse — holding their futures in their own hands.

That game hasn’t just changed. It’s now an entirely new and different game.

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The Astronaut, the Rock Star, and Your Content Strategy

Chris Hadfield juggling tomatoes

20 million views … and counting.

I remember the first time I saw it. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, then commander of the International Space station, had taken his guitar into space. He posted a simple but powerful video of himself performing David Bowie’s classic “Space Oddity” — in space. (Note: Sadly, the license for the video has expired, so for now it’s not publicly available.)

As far as I’m concerned, this pretty well cemented his position as coolest dude there has ever been. I mean, Canadian plus astronaut plus Bowie? That’s the trifecta of cool right there.

(Plus he juggles. In space.)

Like a lot of people, I assumed that Hadfield had an amazing innate understanding of what worked and didn’t work as content. He had been posting neat and interesting content to the web for months —- great tweets and YouTube videos on funny, everyday aspects of life in space.

They were memorable, they were highly shareable, and they paved the way for that 20-million view bombshell.

So imagine how surprised I was when I read Hadfield’s biography — and found out that when he was getting started, he was actually sort of an idiot about content.

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21 Content-Related Business and Revenue Questions Answered

Image of Retro Red Phone

Note: This podcast is syndicated from my Entreproducer project.

In this third edition of our content marketing Q&A series we focus on your questions about business structure and revenue models.

Getting your head around the practice of regular and valuable content creation can be tough, but once you do … you’ve only just started building your business.

What kind of products or services should you offer? How do you hire the right people so you can scale? How do you actually build revenue?

In this 58-minute discussion, Robert Bruce and I cover …

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The Second Coming of Affiliate Marketing

Image of Entreproducer.com Logo

It seems that a huge segment of the online content industry that had been previously vilified by “respectable” online “journalists” (use of quotation marks intentional and appropriate) is also finally being seen as another savior of online content.

Some are even trying to call it “commerce journalism.”

It’s actually called affiliate marketing. And it’s been around online at least since Amazon launched its Associates Program in the 1990s, but never given proper credit as a “respectable” monetization avenue.

Until now.

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How to Market a Book if You Have No Audience

Editor’s Note: This podcast is syndicated from Brian Clark’s Entreproducer project.

In this episode of the podcast, Brian Clark and I answer eleven questions that the Entreproducer audience asked about content marketing.

We ran through the challenges of book marketing, as well as circling back around to the big ideas of “starting from nothing” and “building independent media properties,” which I hope will inform your process as you’re out there doing the same.

In this 44-minute discussion, Brian and I answer …

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