How I Hijacked Copyblogger

Partnering Profits

Okay, maybe it’s nothing quite as glamorous as a hijacking, but I have pulled off a pretty good trick, I think.

Two months ago, I started writing a book tied to a training program called Partnering Profits. This week, we’ve introduced the training to 45,000+ Copyblogger subscribers. Over the next few months, it’ll turn into a full-fledged business that I’m co-owner of.

I don’t say it to brag. In all honesty, I kind of cheated, at least in the eyes of some people. I didn’t spend two or three years writing content for a blog, building trust with my readership, and hobnobbing with gurus so that they would promote my products. No, I didn’t do any of the things that you’re supposed to do.

Instead, I took a shortcut. I partnered with Brian Clark and hijacked not only his blog, but also his status, wisdom and connections to accelerate my success online.

Pretty sneaky, huh?

The Truth about “Hijacking”

Actually… not really.

What I refer to as “hijacking” is really just an interesting way of describing an ancient partnering model that beginners have used for millennia to speed up their path to mastery. It works in any industry, not just blogging, and if you do it right, your “victims” are more than happy to comply. Brian certainly was.

What am I talking about? Apprenticing.

The basic idea of apprenticing is that you go to work for a “Master,” and in exchange, they train you, connect you with people that can help you, and support you as you learn. Blacksmiths and bakers did it in the Middle Ages. Doctors and professors do it today. It’s also a partnering model that you can use as a blogger or Internet marketer, but for some reason, very few people seem to be doing it.

So… would you like the inside scoop on how I did it?

In the Partnering Profits Preview teleclass, we gave you step-by-step instructions on how you can use the Apprenticeship Partnering Model yourself. Today, I’m going to give you the behind the scenes story of how I became Brian’s apprentice. You can get the full story in the Partnering Profits book, but in the meantime, here are the Cliff Notes, so to speak.

The Biggest Misconception about Partnering

You see, the biggest misconception people have about partnering is that you have to be a “somebody” before anyone will want to partner with you. Sure, being well-known helps, but it’s by no means required. If you’re a nobody, you just need to learn how to position yourself so that you can catch the attention of people that can help you.

I’m living proof.

A little over one year ago, I was something like a real estate matchmaker. I paired big time developers with investors that wanted to cash in on the real estate boom. Over a three-year period, I helped put together seven investment groups that controlled a combined $50 million of real estate. In exchange, I received stock in every deal. On paper, it made me a millionaire.

But then, last year, the real estate market imploded. All of the stock I’d been accumulating over the past three years was not as valuable as a roll of toilet paper, and so was my expertise. No one needed a real estate finance guy that specialized in starting new developments. If I wanted to avoid starvation, I needed to find a new career, and I needed to do it fast.

“Hmm,” I thought to myself. “I wonder if I can use the partnering strategies I’ve learned in real estate to make myself a success online.” Yes, I was only a nobody, but that had never stopped me before. All I needed was a way to grab the attention of the Internet elite, and then I could sweet talk them into partnering with me. I was sure of it.

How was I going to do that? By starting a blog, of course.

The Launch of On Moneymaking

Here I was, a 25-year-old that had built several multimillion dollar businesses almost entirely over the phone and the web, without being able to move from the neck down. Who wouldn’t be interested in a story like that? Besides, most personal finance blogs are almost fanatically focused on frugality. There had to be people out there that wanted to learn how to increase their income, and I was the guy that could show them how.

So, in October of 2007, I launched OnMoneymaking.com. It was almost instantly popular. Within a month, I was pulling in over 1,000 visitors per day, and within two months, I hit the 1,000 subscriber mark. The partnership proposals weren’t flooding in yet, but I was certainly getting attention. If only I had a system for monetizing that attention, I’d be set.

It just so happened a guy by the name of Brian Clark was willing to show me how to do just that. He was launching a new training program called Teaching Sells, and I could sign up for a great charter member price. It occurred to me that this might be exactly the chance I was looking for. So, I handed over my credit card on the first day.

The Infiltration of Teaching Sells

When I signed up for Teaching Sells, I made a decision. I wasn’t just going to sit back and sponge up the content. I was going to become an active member of the community, doing my best to build relationships with the other members and catch the attention of the instructors. By the time the course was finished, I wanted to have an A-list partner.

For the next few weeks, I spent time each day answering questions on the forums. One area, in particular, where I was able to help people was with attracting joint venture partners to promote their membership site. I posted a detailed tutorial on how anyone could go about attracting partners, and before long, everyone was buzzing about it.

That’s when Brian started to notice me. Seeing some of my forum posts, he checked out my blog and was impressed. Soon, we were chatting in Skype and swapping stories about past partnerships. A friendship started to develop, and within a month or two, he offered me a chance to guest blog here at Copyblogger. Naturally, I took him up on it.

From Guest Blogger to Associate Editor at Copyblogger

Anyone should want to write for Copyblogger. For one, you can put a link to your blog at the bottom of every post, pulling in a nice flow of new readers, and for two, that link is from a blog that passes you a lot of trust in the eyes of Google.

But really, I didn’t write for either reason. Secretly, I hoped to become a popular writer on Copyblogger and pop the partnership question to Brian. Of course, if I wanted to do that, then I’d better pump out some truly stellar content. It was my one and only chance to prove my talent.

And so I did. I finally had the courage to propose a partnership to Brian.

And, as you can probably guess by now, he accepted.

How to Convince a Superstar to Partner with You

Regardless of their field, all superstars have a common problem: an overabundance of opportunity. Because of their status, almost everything they do is a success. They also have more projects that they would like to work on than they could possibly do in a lifetime. And it bothers them. They really and truly would like to do it all, but they just don’t have enough time.

That’s where people like us come in.

The reason Brian was interested in taking me on as an apprentice is I enabled him to kickstart several projects that he might’ve never found time for. Basically, he needed someone to share the workload so he could focus on what he does best: designing and implementing wickedly smart marketing plans. Then we’ll divide the profits, making me enough money to become a full-time Internet entrepreneur and padding his bank account with another income stream.

It was a good deal for both of us, and still is.

Did we tailor our partnership to our individual situations? Sure we did, but you can use the model for any industry. Just find someone with an over abundance of opportunity and then offer to help them pursue it in a way that they otherwise couldn’t. If you can do that, as well as prove to them that you are capable of helping them carry it off, then convincing a superstar to partner with you is relatively easy.

If I’m a Beginner, Can I Still Use Partnering to Get Ahead?

One of the most common questions we’ve gotten about Partnering Profits is, “Does this stuff work for beginners, or is it only good for A-list bloggers?”

Well, just look at my story. I was pretty much a nobody when I partnered with Brian, and he was already well known. Yet, despite the seeming inequity in that relationship, we were able to structure a partnership that benefited us both.

So, the answer is that partnering works for everyone. Whether you’ve got 300,000 subscribers or none at all, partnering can help you get ahead faster than you otherwise could. In fact, you might say it’s a strategic imperative.

Why?

To find that out, you’ll just have to check out that preview teleclass recording and download the sample chapters from the Partnering Profits Manual. They’ll show you why partnering is not only perfect for beginners, but it’s probably the only way anyone is going to survive in the future. Plus, you’ll get to hear the never before told story of Brian’s businesses before Copyblogger, as well as a step-by-step process for finding your own apprenticeship.

It’s good stuff, I promise. Click here to download it all today.

About the Author: Jon Morrow is an Associate Editor of Copyblogger and co-founder of Partnering Profits.

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Comments

  1. Jonathan – excellent post. Insightful and gave me plenty to think about in relation to my own blogging endeavors.

  2. Wow, another great post!! You answered so many of my questions!! Thanks!!

    Best,
    Barbara

  3. Jonathon- I can vouch for the kick ass forum posts you did. Good to see you right up here where you belong.
    All best,
    Jan

  4. Fine post.

    Hey, you just stood on the shoulder of a giant.

    And once your are all set, someelse probably will be able to stand on your shoulder likewise.

    Just like a movie I saw “PASS IT FORWARD!”

  5. The movie was called “Pay It Forward”

  6. Jonathan is entirely more strategic about all of this than I am, which I find terribly impressive.

    I really like “Of course, if I wanted to do that, then I’d better pump out some truly stellar content. It was my one and only chance to prove my talent.” Doing things efficiently and strategically is not the same as taking short cuts. Or maybe that’s the only really effective way to take a short cut, I’m not sure.

    Digging this series with you two! I’ve got the call loaded on my iPod, can’t wait to give it a listen.

  7. I understand what you’re saying about a beginner partnering with someone like Brian – you make some good points. But does one of the partners have to be established?

    I’d be curious to hear some examples where both partners were relative beginners and the partnership got them someplace well above where they both started.

  8. Ashley: No, one partner doesn’t have to be established. But it’s a good idea, even if they’re nothing more than an affiliate partner. Somehow, you have to get the attention of the marketplace, and if everyone is a beginner, that’s going to make it tough.

    Still, some of the business models we give you in Partnering Profits are conducive to partnerships between beginners. The McDonald’s Model and the EntreProducer Model come to mind. We should have a comprehensive description of the business models up for you on Monday, I think.

  9. @Perma
    Thank you for the correction. That was what I meant to write.

    @Jon Morrow
    Since you are the new sherrif in town now as per getting most comments when it comes to delivering “blockboster posts” on this blog.

    You want to share with us THE SECRET behind this may be in another post?

    I am sure 46000+ raving fans of yours would love to read such!

  10. Thanks for giving us shortcuts to become a successful Internet Entrepreneur.
    Cheers,
    A Dawn Journal
    http://www.adawnjournal.com

  11. Awesome article, awesome talk. Can’t wait to buy the program. :)

  12. Thanks, Shaun. If you’re interested in buying, be sure not to miss the special offer at the end of the free chapters. :-)

  13. You guys are so unbelievably in love with each other. I think I have to stop reading Copyblogger because of how self-loving it has become. Literally, every other post is a circle jerk. Kind of annoying. What happened to concrete content?

  14. Hey Jon,

    You’re doing a great service to all the guru’s on the planet by unleashing this program.

    And to the up and coming internet newbies.

    I know exactly what you mean by having too much on my plate to do on my own. And because I’m in this position I totally relate to your message.

    It would be nice to be able to hand some stuff off to a competent colleague.

    And if I ever wish to change the field I work in I’ll always have this reference for what the stresses of having undoable projects are.

    Thank you Jon.

    Note Taking Nerd
    http://www.mynotetakingnerd.wordpress.com

  15. Jon,

    You are an inspiration to my wife, Michele, and I. We missed the Partnering Profits Preview call (caught the recorded version) but printed and read the 1st two chapters. WOW!!!

    Hit the nail on the head . . . thought I was reading about my life story there in the beginning as it related to 3 yrs of getting nowhere, and certainly not for the lack of effort or time.

    The whole concept of partnering set off bells and whistles in the ole noggin, Jon. THANK YOU very much. We’re excited about getting started on the course.

    I’ll be soon looking for a “techie partner” who can help me complete the design of my wordpress based blog / future membership site. I’ve got a good start, but it’s just not my strength. Thanks again for the “ah ha” moment. Michele and I actual teared up as we were reading the ebook. Can’t wait to receive the rest.

  16. That’s extremely cool, Richard. I understand about it hitting you hard. I have a very bad “lone wolf” habit myself. Brian is attempting to beat it out of me. :)

  17. Nice work Jon, really.

    I love to read stories from genuine people.

    No crap. No hype. Just a regular guy with the drive to make things happen.

    Pressing on,

    JK

  18. All makes perfect sense to me. Sometimes too, when you have intense passion for what you do, you need someone who is more focused on disection and implementation of ideas. A good partnership balances out the strengths and weaknesses of each individual for a great, winning combination.

  19. Hi Jon!
    I signed up to Partnering Profits the moment the webcast finished! The funny thing is that I hadn’t realized how good I am at forging joint ventures! I’m currently developing two joint projects, one with a top player on the Net, the other with a Chief of Staff to a Prime Minister! I must be doing something right :-)

    Now I want to hone my skills and make sure I have the knowledge for these projects to be hugely successful. Then – on to the next…and the next!

    I think the key to creating joint ventures is forging good, friendly relationships. To do that you simply need to be kind and helpful. You also need clear goals that enable you to make the most of every opportunity.

    I look forward to Partnering Profits!
    cheers
    Mary

  20. Jon, great post! I can most certainly relate to this philosophy. I found my calling a long time ago was in bridging technology and business. It has done well for me, and now I am looking to move in exactly the same direction as yourself with a superstar partner. I’ll have to keep you posted, but cheers to you!

  21. Hi Jonathan – What an inspirational story. And it’s a brilliant idea for a book too. I already downloaded the first two chapters and I’ll be reading them this weekend.

    I was already on Copyblogger’s wait list for Teaching Sells and a big reason I wanted to join, was to help me find partners for joint ventures. So your book came out at a great time for me.

  22. jon-
    Nice post but misleading… You weren’t a “nobody”. You already had success in a field. You had skills and experience in a profitable industry. Even if the real estate biz did go down , the skills and connections to raise Capitol already makes you somebody. I say ur a bit misleading becuase you imply “anybody can quickly and easily” jv. Reality is most people do t have the skills, confidence, or experience to jv. I think a better way to look at it is…. If you’ve been in business, had some measure of success, then jv partnership should be incorprated in your marketing and distribution plan. Just saying.

  23. Finding yourself finding other’s might be the way to go if you can’t do it yourself. (ex. design guru ryan). A top qaulity website making an opt in list goes a long way, don’t forget your photo.

  24. Apprenticeship is one of the best way to be successful in a chosen field. It is really be beneficial for both parties. We should have more of this kind of programs. It would be especially sad if all the wisdom and knowledge accumulated did not get passed on to others before our time is up.

  25. I think out of all the things you guys could create, this is one of the best. Just reading the comments from this post and previous shows how many people have questions regarding collaboration to reach success.

    I use partnering and collaboration on a much smaller scale than Copyblogger status, but I do know that it’s key to getting what you want without killing yourself working like a dog.

    And that is what it’s all about.

  26. …imply “anybody can quickly and easily” jv.

    I’m pretty sure he didn’t imply that. I think what he wants is for people to buy the Partnering Profits course and learn how to do it. :)

  27. Jon & Brian,

    I am a ‘lifer’ at TS and jumped at this fantastic opportunity to sign on at Partnering Profits. I’ve already devoured the free 2 Chapters and am eagerly waiting to begin my apprenticeship. :)

  28. Great post Jonathan! A wakeupper to all bloggers to leave mediocrity and rethink one’s direction toward Internet stardom.

    Cheers to you!

  29. Great post guys!

    The strategy of becoming an apprentice is one that I’ve used in the past as well since most successful people have more money than they do time.

    So helping them get back a little bit of time is often WAY more valuable to them than any money they will make as a result of your projects (although that’s a nice bonus).

    All the best.

    Stu McLaren

  30. Thanks for sharing…your post showcases the power of showing up at the right time in the right place, ready to pursue opportunity. Thanks!

  31. As you point out, one of the challenges to partnering with someone or trying to get an “apprenticeship” with someone who’s doing something you want to be involved in is figuring out how to approach them and feeling qualified to do so.

    Confidence (as well as a track record) will get you pretty far as you prove.