So last year I was in the thick of following a bunch of “well known guru” Internet marketers. I had even paid money for some of their courses and was feverishly reading, watching, listening and doing tons of stuff. I have a good friend that I would chat with and he was at least interested enough to keep asking questions. Over time he started to get excited and began looking for some marketing information on his own.
One day he came to me and asked if I would be doing the Thirty Day Challenge with a couple of guys from Australia. I did a quick search on Google and read through their homepage. My first thought was “NO”. I figured I was paying my good money for the good instruction with some of these other “gurus” and must have access to better, more advanced information that these guys would be putting out. So I let it slide.
That is, until my friend started telling me about some of the stuff that they were working on and how they ran the challenge. I decided to subscribe just to see how it would go. Well I ended up staying on board with the challenge through the entire season, and I’m sure glad I did. For anyone considering joining the challenge, here is what I thought of it.
The challenge is broken up into the pre-season and the actual challenge time-frame. The challenge itself lasts 30 days (imagine that). While the pre-season and challenge cover a relatively short period of time, my observation has been that there’s a lot of activity around it all year long. The previous year’s challenge is left online and anyone can do it on auto pilot. There are also great resources, like tools, forums and blog posts that continue to be relevant and active beyond the end of the challenge. Another thing that some newbie marketers may like is that Ed Dale keeps the specific period of the challenge “pitch free”. That can be a big deal when you think about how much some of these other gurus pound you with endless launches and pitches.
This period covers some of the foundational elements of out to operate online. Things such as how to setup a Google account and why it is important to have one. Twitter, facebook, ustream, how to setup Firefox and a number of other tools are covered. This training doesn’t really apply to Internet marketing per se, but it’s all required to do Internet marketing. A lot of this training was boring to me, but I’ve been an active web developer for almost a decade. For others that are just getting started this training could be a god send.
This is the meat and potatoes of the whole deal. I remember thinking that this content was absolutely fantastic. In fact, compared to some of the products that I had purchased, this was better organized, more broad, and hence more useful in tying related pieces together, and in some ways more accessible. In the case of last year, all the training was available in various video formats, as MP3 and transcripts were also made. I archived all of it since it was extremely valuable for me.
Another great aspect of the challenge is that Ed first teaches the approach for getting traffic that will let you do everything for free, but he also discusses the paid options, like AdWords. This is great for the folks that have a little capitol that they don’t mind investing to speed up the process. He also does a good job explaining when to call it quits and how to make the most of the work you’ve done in the case of a failure. For example, if you manage to get some free traffic coming to your site, but it doesn’t convert, put ads on there and make the most of the traffic. It might not be a windfall, but it does recoup some of your invested time.
The Thirty Day Challenge was a great learning experience for me, and one that helped me make sense of the paid products that I’d purchased up to that point. As I’m getting ready today to do the challenge again, I’ve realized it’s also a good annual reminder to try something new. It can be hard to think about starting a new project, but it really helps to go through the process with a bunch of people. If you have any inkling to get involved with internet marketing but have wondered where to start, or you’re getting tired of paying for sub-standard training, I recommend you sign up for the challenge. If you don’t get to all the pre-season stuff, don’t sweat it, but make sure you pay attention to the meaty content they provide during the challenge.
Post your comments below and tell me what you think about the challenge and share your successes.