The Strategy Behind the Authority Rules Report

The Strategy Behind the Authority Rules Report

Reader Comments (32)

  1. I’ve thought about it, but open forums can be a nightmare to moderate… spam, trolls, etc.

    I prefer paid private forums to keep the quality of discourse high. But you never know, maybe we’ll do a Copyblogger forum one day.

  2. Nuts, I don’t drink, so the write drunk, edit sober” rule doesn’t work for me. I’ll need to get myself another stimulant 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for this great breakdown of the process, Brian. I’m curious, why did you choose a separate domain for the report? I would have thought you’d get more Google “juice” by offering it on a subdomain of, but maybe I’m missing something.

    As for your reasons for offering it without a subscription, that’s a fascinating approach and totally goes against internet marketing “wisdom”… great stuff! I like it when people go against the norm, but this approach really does demonstrate and build authority and trust. Kudos!

    Which reminds me, I really must go and read that report. My list of “Things I Must Read, Like NOW” is getting frighteningly big. But I’ll bump your report to the top.

  3. Hey Paul. We put it on its own domain as part of the demonstration of how to launch a new site. Plus, I really like that domain name.

    It might have been better for all the links to come to Copyblogger, but my main goal is new subscribers, and in that sense, I think it presents better. Plus, with all the links to Copyblogger content, the Google juice that Authority Rules now has is basically all pointing right back here. 😉

  4. I’m not gona lie when I first got that report I was shocked that there was no opt in needed. Needless to say I still go to copyblogger and subscribe to copyblogger so I guess it did work

  5. The distinction between “quality” readers versus “quantity” is refreshing and true. Ego can drive us to think that more is better, but the devout follower will translate into higher profit on so many levels.

  6. I really liked how you launched Authority Rules because my gut tells me that the subscribers you get will be much higher quality than the traditional “subscribe for incentive” method. What do you think?

  7. I thought your report was great and appreciated that I didn’t have to jump through hoops to get to it.

    I had already subscribed to your content before, but I can those who haven’t quickly hitting the subscribe feed button once they have read and liked what you have to say.

    Which is why I think your #3 is so important.

    I get a good amount of visitors to my site (and thankful for it), but it is the RSS subscribe stat that i pay keen attention to. Especially since I don’t bribe anyone to subscribe, I know that my list is based more on quality than quantity.

  8. Well, I just spent lunchtime reading the report, and I have to say, it’s excellent!

    The more I think about it, the more I realize what you’ve created here is a stroke of GENIUS.

    First, the title is superb. Short enough to remember, and, as you pointed out in the report, it’s ambiguous – both meanings giving people a reason to read.

    Second, I like the way you’ve put the content onto web pages as well, so that people are reading the report the moment they hit the site! Great stuff.

    Third, the content demonstrates the authority you’re talking about.

    People should not only study and enjoy the report, but also the PROCESS behind how you’re offering it, and what you’re offering within it. There are an absolute ton of marketing lessons in both the content, AND the structure of the report.

  9. I’ve been thinking about the idea of a no-strings-attached e-book/report for a while now, and it’s very encouraging to see that I’m not alone.

    I am a little miffed about being beaten to the punch, though. 🙂

  10. Thanks for the explanation Brian. I was curious about your reasons behind the Authority Rules launch and this makes perfect sense.

    Also, Hemingway has 1 m, not 2. (sorry to be annoying).

  11. Derek, you must be skimming hard today. See section 3, entitled “Quality.” 😉

    Maria, thanks for catching that. Must have been drunk at that point. 😉

  12. @Brian Now I know how that guy in the restaurant feels when he drops a tray of dishes on the floor…

    I’m usually on point with my comments. Today, on the other hand, is a perfect example of “what not to do” when you leave a blog comment on a blog. Whoops.

  13. Well, it certainly worked. I sent it around the office and to a few friends. I think my favorite thing about Copyblogger is the transparency. Tell is boring. Show is engaging. Nicely done, yet again.

  14. Brian, your report was wonderful, and I certainly believe in your philosophy of giving before you get. Thanks for your great insights.

  15. I’m glad you guys are putting it out there that you should give before you get. Great stuff, great understanding of new media.

  16. So giving away stuff first before asking for opt-in is a new craze?! Bring it on!

    On a more serious note, I always believe both ways works. It’s just that for the normal opt-in (not reverse one), you have to hype it more (“This is the no1 secret to…”). As for the reverse, it’s all depending on the quality of your video or ebook.

  17. You mean there’s other stuff to read here besides the liquor ads??

    I did download and read The Authority Rules pdf though. Honest.

    OK, I skimmed it. I still think I understood most of it though except the part about the goats.

  18. I’ve thought about that Hemingway advice before, but I’m not sure I could stay at the keyboard and not go dancing on the table instead…

    I really like the idea of reciprocity, which underscores the fact that we should be giving to our audience first and foremost anyway.

    Great food for thought.

  19. Brian,

    1st – thanks for putting out useful information/content all the time. I read your blog plenty and always get something out of what I read.

    2nd – I love that you gave this away and didn’t have us fill out some long form or give you our email. That makes me want to subscribe even more. (even though I already am subscribed). That approach let’s me get something out of what you provided and then come back because I enjoyed what you gave me. That’s a win win transaction to me.

  20. I’m a big fan of reg-free stuff … both as a consumer and a publisher. Thanks for bringing such quality content to your fans – we’re obviously eating it up.

    Oh, and I love the Hemingway advice. I’m a whisky girl myself – will give it a try one of these days. Just have to remember not to hit the “publish” button until the next morning – woah, that could get dangerous!! 😉

    Anyway – I’m really enjoying everything you’ve got on the table including the Teaching Sells material. My head was already full of Big Ideas, but now I’m feeling like someone (that’d be you!) has given me the gift of a structure that will make those ideas tangible reality. Excitement doesn’t cover what I’m feeling. Thanks.

  21. Great report! In this instance, free will pay dividends.

    I’m interested in the thinking behind not including an “About the Author” blurb on the downloadable PDF. I can see the pros/cons but was curious why you made that decision.

  22. I like using reciprocity over reward. Makes me feel better and it simply creates better relationships. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the IM world at large. It can make IM a more pleasant place, and improve our rep among people who think that marketing is sleazy.

  23. Excellent report and certainly overwhelming at first. I’ve promised to do one thing a day to make my goals come true whether it means reading one recommended post and apply it’s suggestions, or simply taking a break (that counts).

    It all goes towards future success. Breaks are so important!

  24. Brian: I stumbled on this post while diggin’ through the archives. Pretty neat to see how Authority Rules has transformed since the day your laying beach-side, sipping tequila and finishing up the copy! 🙂

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