Four years ago this month, Copyblogger Media was born.
Up until that point, I had launched several businesses off of Copyblogger, with several smart partners. Each of those individual businesses were killing it and had me involved, but those smart individuals weren’t collaborating with each other … because why would they?
The five of us convened in a Denver conference room – the first time the group had ever met in person. In just three hours, we worked through the seemingly impossible task of merging five companies into one new entity, with everyone’s equity interest and responsibilities in place.
How was that even possible? In short: shared vision.
We all agreed to come together to build something bigger than we could build separately. And just like that, we were a new venture of 15 people who had to quickly learn to work together if we were going to accomplish our goals.
Today – as a growing group of 42 – we’re revealing the result of our combined efforts. While four years may seem like forever in Internet time, it seems to have all worked out perfectly.
During those four years, we built the parts of our ultimate vision while we grew revenue. Because we’ve never taken venture capital, we had to operate like a real company – one that provides value to paying customers while patiently executing on a larger goal.
- First we worked to make StudioPress the go-to source for WordPress design.
- Then we launched a premium WordPress hosting division called Synthesis to make sure we had the infrastructure aspect down cold.
- Scribe has rapidly evolved from simple SEO copywriting software into the patent-pending suite of audience optimization tools it is today.
- We created sophisticated “no-code” development tools that power our own membership areas, lead generation, and digital sales engines.
- And then we did the hardest thing – created a website deployment system that allowed for amazing ease-of-use combined with maximum security and performance.
Everything we built was for our own use first, with WordPress at the core. We are, after all, doing the same work to build our business that our audience and customer base does – so it makes sense that we built tools good enough for our own use.
Since inception, our goal as a company was to take those parts and fuse them into a complete solution for content marketers and online entrepreneurs.
A solution that our own editorial team of poets and misfits could use to build anything they want … without worrying about technology.
Not because we needed something to sell. Instead, a solution we’ve used ourselves to build a $10 million-a-year company out of a simple blog, and by practicing what we preach.
Today, we’d like to invite you to check it out, free of charge.
Okay, great. So what’s the Rainmaker Platform anyway?
Great question. Let me give you the bullet points first.
With Rainmaker, you can:
- Create powerful content-driven websites on your own domains.
- Build membership sites and online training courses.
- Sell digital products like software, ebooks, and more.
- Perform sophisticated online lead generation.
- Optimize your content for search engines and social networks.
- Absorb cutting-edge tactics and strategy with included training.
- Avoid a patchwork of plugins, themes, and complicated code.
- Forget about upgrades, maintenance, security, and hosting headaches.
- Take your content to WordPress at any time you choose.
It’s been battle-tested by over 1,000 tough early adopters over the last five months, and now it’s ready for you to test drive – at absolutely no charge.
What can I build with Rainmaker?
Another great question. Let me give you some concrete examples of sites you can build.
Copyblogger.com alone gets over 500,000 unique visitors a month without advertising. It’s essentially a static home page, a blog, a collection of landing pages, and a combination free/paid membership area, which includes a forum in addition to all sorts of scheduled and archived content.
You can build a site just like Copyblogger with Rainmaker.
Or, let’s look at StudioPress, which sells hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars in digital products every month. It’s essentially a collection of sales pages with a blog, a checkout process, and a protected area for delivery of the purchased products.
You can build a site just like StudioPress with Rainmaker.
Want to build an online training course, powered initially by a podcast, like at New Rainmaker? Whether for lead generation or as the product itself?
You guessed it … New Rainmaker is built on Rainmaker.
And if you want a custom design like any of those sites, you can do that as well on Rainmaker. But the $10,000 to $30,000 (or more) in development work some would charge you just to build the bones of the site is off the table, which is nice.
Plus, a full suite of podcasting features. Research, outreach, and optimization tools. 27 cutting-edge, future-proof HTML5 responsive designs. And much more.
In fact, Rainmaker does way more than I’ve mentioned here. But you need to experience that for yourself with the free 14-day trial.
What’s coming next in Rainmaker?
You’re on absolute fire with these questions. Here’s a list of seven exciting enhancements coming within the next six months that will become part of a more advanced (and more expensive) Professional plan.
1. Advanced Reporting and Analytics
The way you see your business growing and changing each day will become even more useful in the near future. The Rainmaker Platform’s analytics and reporting functions will evolve with more advanced reporting options for those who want them.
You’ll be able to drill down into the stats that you really want to see, and slice and dice your preferences from within the dashboard itself. That means creating simple, at-a-glance views of the specific metrics you want (such as demographics, or specific segments of your customers and prospects).
This is exciting stuff, because you’d normally need a third-party tool to accomplish what we’re planning for analytics. For those who sign up this week, however, it comes standard with Rainmaker.
And yes, podcasting stats are on the way. Soon, you’ll be able to see how your podcast is performing, without the hassle of separate hosting and stats packages. We’ve got a few more ideas on the near horizon for Rainmaker Podcasting that we’re not quite ready to talk about (but you’ll get upgraded to). Just remember, we’re podcasters too, so you can bet we’re motivated to make this the best and easiest podcasting solution on the planet for entrepreneurs.
2. More Designs and Landing Page Templates
You may have noticed that there’s been a slight change in how we’re developing design themes lately. We call it the “Rainmaker First” philosophy.
Brian Gardner, Rafal Tomal, and Lauren Mancke are always hard at work designing and developing new themes and landing page templates, but now our (and their) focus has shifted to supplying our Rainmaker Platform customers with the best one-click web design in the world.
There are currently 27 design themes and 15 landing page templates (not including the new custom landing page builder) available to Rainmaker customers, and there are many more on the way.
And no, this does not mean we are neglecting our beloved StudioPress customers. In fact, this philosophy will end up benefitting everyone in the end. As these Rainmaker designs are tested and used in real-world online business situations, they’ll only get better.
3. Social Media Posting and Scheduling
This is a big one, and a no-brainer. Very soon, Rainmaker customers will be able to — from within the Rainmaker dashboard — post and schedule updates, links, photos, and other content to their social networks.
Your Rainmaker site is the home base of your business, and the importance of using social networks to attract an audience and send them back to your home base is undeniable. We think social media posting and scheduling tools have become a necessity for the savvy online publisher, but they should be integrated into your website platform with your daily workflow.
4. Integrated RSS Reader
So, the ability to post and schedule social media updates from your Rainmaker dashboard will be cool, but how do you find intriguing content from other sources to share with your audience? And how do you manage the very real potential for information overload?
That tool used to be Google Reader (RIP), but now, for our customers, it will be the Rainmaker Reader. This coming integrated RSS reader will be the place you’ll be able to strategically track your industry feeds, find great content to share, and glean inspiration for producing your own content.
5. Curation-to-Content Tools
Want to easily manage and publish a curated topical newsletter? Want that link from your RSS reader dropped into an existing post? How about effortlessly sending it out to your social media accounts?
The Rainmaker Curator will — with the click of a button — allow you to easily port the great content you find via RSS directly into a new or existing article you’re writing for your own audience. This will become an invaluable tool in your broader editorial role as a content marketer.
6. Serious Learning Management System
The first product ever launched off of Copyblogger, Teaching Sells, shows people step-by-step how to create sophisticated online training courses, along with the business models that power them. And since 2007, people have begged us to give them the turn-key platform that allowed for content creation, membership management, marketing, and all the other technological tasks that go with running a legitimate online business.
We’ve built that platform with Rainmaker. But we’re creating course creation tools that constitute a true learning management system — one that will help you with the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of e-learning courses and training programs.
What does that mean? Effortlessly create an online course without a developer, optimize your course content based on student behavior and feedback, run quizzes and surveys, and drip out your content (either paid or free) exactly as you want to, plus much more.
7. Marketing Automation/Adaptive Content
This is one of the most important technology applications that you’ll ever put in place for online marketing. And finally, it won’t cost you a ridiculous amount of money as with the current solutions.
Marketing automation (more appropriately known as adaptive content for those without sales teams) is not just about saving yourself from repeated tasks, or the drudgery of unscalable growth. Beyond those obvious benefits, its primary functions are:
- To vastly improve the experience of your prospects and customers
- To intelligently, and eventually effortlessly, grow revenue and profit
- To make more of the traffic you already have without chasing more
Rainmaker’s automation and adaptive content features will allow you to tag, add, delete, and manage customers or prospects from your various email lists, build specific interest lists based on real-world actions on your site, nurture leads in a way that’s sensitive to their inbox, allow you to create different content experiences for different people, and much more.
You can use Mailchimp, Infusionsoft, Aweber, or the other popular email services we’re in the process of adding. Or you can choose the integrated add-on Rainmaker email service we’re working on right now. Either way, Rainmaker Professional will go to work for you in previously unimagined ways.
The (near) future of Rainmaker
As I mentioned, all of these exciting features are coming within six months. And you can bet your life existing Rainmaker users of the Standard plan will get a better deal when the Professional plan is introduced.