Why Ongoing Education Is The Key Ingredient For Success In Business and Blogging

At the start of March I bought a bunch of new products, including Product Launch Formula from Jeff Walker ($997), the Dot Com Secrets Free CD from Russell Brunson ($7.95 for shipping) and paid half of the $997 fee to attend the World Internet Summit in Melbourne. On top of that I subscribe to Perry Marshall’s Renaissance club and Rich Schefren’s private business systems coaching program.

I think I spent at least half of the money I made from blogging in February in the first week of March, but I consider it money well spent.

Top Bloggers Are Thought Leaders

If you read many of the top blogs written by one specific individual you will notice that they know a lot about a certain topic. They usually have spent a significant amount of time working and experiencing the things they write about. Consequentially they can blog with the authority that only comes from experience.

On top of experience, many bloggers tap into the industry they write about, reading other blogs, following industry leaders and buying books, magazines and information products. They realize the necessity to stay up to date with current events so they don’t get left behind. The is especially important if you want to be a consultant or establish authority in your field.

Good Ideas Are Not Enough

I read many bloggers with great ideas. In particular I come across plenty who think a lot about building traffic to blogs or making money from blogs and write some great dot point list articles, with their ideas presented as tips. This is definitely sound blogging and I’d never argue against it – it’s a proven pillar article formula – but lately I’ve noticed a lot of repetition and regurgitation.

The same can be said about other industries, but perhaps they are not quite as saturated as the “blogging tips” area, but certainly have similar repeating ideas circulating over and over again.

It’s similar in the business world. Good ideas are everywhere, but if you don’t have some form of leadership or perceived leadership in your market, you can’t break away from all the other people doing the same or similar things.

Wading Through The Masses

A great case in point was at the World Internet Summit I recently returned from in Melbourne. Here’s two photographs from what was called the “joint venture tables”, an area where attendees could leave their business card, pamphlets, free CDs, DVDs, notices and other promotional materials for other attendees to look through. The hope is that joint ventures or product/service transactions might occur facilitated by contact through the materials on the table.

Joint Venture Tables

Joint Venture Tables

You can’t see the finer details, but I can tell you from combing over the tables myself that most of the items are for services related to the “how to make money online” niche. Everything from graphic design, to web hosting, email marketing, pay per click advertising, to money making opportunities and programs, upcoming seminars and events. Basically every tom, dick and harry internet marketer was displaying their wares.

The quality of materials varied and you could tell some people were only starting out, using the standard cookie-cutter style, Microsoft Publisher or Word business card and pamphlet templates. Some of the materials were quite polished. You certainly can’t blame any of these people for participating in the opportunity to offer their materials to a niche target market – the people who had already spent at least $500 to attend a conference on how to make money online – yet another perk available if you decide to go to an Internet marketing conference.

As I reviewed all the materials on the table I felt bad for a lot of the businesses represented there. I applaud people for taking action and I hope a few people managed to strike a deal or two via the JV table, but the overwhelming feel for me, was that nearly every service on the table was somehow related to Internet marketing. It was a sea of also-ran, copy-cat products and services with very little differentiation or perceived superiority.

The Speakers Are The Thought Leaders

Superiority and preeminence were demonstrated by the speakers. If you didn’t know who they were, simply watching them onstage, learning from them, and seeing the proof they demonstrated “sold” you on the fact that are the leaders in their industries. The real kicker is that they offer similar wares to the offerings on the JV table, but because they are the presenters and because they have ample proof and experience, they make a lot more sales at a much higher price.

The rich do get richer, but there is a reason why – they understand the need to be a leader from a marketing point of view and are prepared take the actions and educate themselves in order to establish authority in their field.

It’s your goal to become perceived as the “speaker” in your marketplace, not one of the people in the sea of similar providers in the audience.

How To Become A Thought Leader

Thought leaders are in their position because they have built a business or a system that makes them money. When you are in this situation you can immediately take action and test when you learn something new or come up with your own new ideas that you can immediately benefit from in big ways.

Most people are not in this situation because they don’t have much cashflow, don’t have a business they can implement with, or in the case of bloggers, their blog has little traffic from which to leverage from or they don’t even have a blog yet!

Without possessing an asset (a popular blog, a business, good networking connections) of your own, it is difficult to test ideas and it’s ideas that make people into thought leaders. Without an asset you don’t have proof of concept, you might still have good ideas, but without proof of concept you can’t get on stage and show people how much money you are making or helping others make, using your ideas.

To become a thought leader you need ideas, not necessarily your own ideas, and a means to experience the result of implementing those ideas. It’s from your experience and your ability to benefit others by communicating your experience, that thought leadership is born.

What To Do If You Are Not An Authority Of Anything

John Childers presented at the World Internet Summit and offered great advice I want to pass on to you if you don’t feel you know enough yet to become an authority in your industry. If you can’t be an authority then you become a reporter and student. In reality, most authorities are reporters and students as well.

If you are a reporter/student, you study the ideas of other people – the authorities – and digest their ideas, implement them and add to them. You then take your results and convert them into new ideas or present the expert’s ideas using your own voice. By relaying your own experience other people learn from you and you begin to build your own authority. It is through education, then action, filtering and repackaging, that most authorities ply their craft.

I won’t go into any more details about the reporter and student roles, but as an example, this article you are reading now is an exact demonstration of me performing those roles. In fact, much of my blog is exactly that, reporting to you what I learn from acting as a student of other experts and my own experiences implementing ideas, some of which are my own, others are from authorities whose information I consume and filter.

This article, at least in part, is a report to you of what I learnt from John Childers. I studied his techniques by watching his presentation and then used what I learnt to report it back to you in a blog article. John would probably advise that I go one step further and turn this into part of a product to sell, but for my purposes I’m happy for this article to serve as a further stepping stone towards presenting myself as an authority in the blogging world and Internet business world.

The Education Process Never Stops

Thought leadership is a fragile thing. In dynamic markets – and what markets are not dynamic online – everything changes every day. In order to maintain thought leadership and have the confidence that comes with it, you must study what’s going on, what other people are doing and how they are doing it. When you find something applicable to your situation you implement it and see what happens.

This pattern of education + implementation is the key for becoming a successful high-level blogger, because you have unique and high-tech experiences and education, to draw on for content.

The same formula works in business because you can implement what you learn and directly monitor the results. You truly know what works and what doesn’t because you have seen and felt it – not because you suspect it works just because someone else tells you it does.

If you plan to become an expert at anything online and want to leverage that expertise as a professional blogger, or blog business owner or as a thought leader in your industry, or as an entrepreneur, then you must be prepared for constant ongoing education.

Yaro Starak

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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  • As Benjamin Franklin said, empty the coins of your purse into your mind, and your mind will fill your purse with coins.

    I spend a TON on books, seminars (I’m going to hear Jim Rohn in two weeks!) and coaching. It’s a great investment in my #1 appreciating asset – ME

    Be Great

  • Yaro,

    Another excellent article. You practice what you preach: You are establishing yourself as an authority by becoming a student of and reporting on people, trends, and new ideas in the Internet marketing realm. But you add so much more to your reports by sharing your own experience and validating, modifying, or refuting the expert’s advice.

    Although you focus on continuing education in this post, I thought the most important point was something else. Here’s how I referred to it when I “Dugg” your post:

    “How to Become an Authority in Your Niche and Why Doing So Is Essential”

    All the Best,


    P.S. Hey Yaro fans: Why don’t you too go to http://www.digg.com and “digg” this post? Look under “Business & Finance” or search for the above title. :o)

    Mark D. Worthen, Psy.D.
    Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

    Yahoo Messenger: markdworthen
    MSN Messenger: markdworthen(at)hotmail.com
    Google Talk: mworthen
    AIM: markdavidworthen
    Skype: mark.worthen

    No Toll (USA & Canada): 877-349-1726
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  • Couldn’t agree with you more, Yaro.
    We seem to be on a similar path 🙂
    I bought Product Launch Formula and the Dot Com Secrets CD in the past month too.

    By the way… I owe you an apology…
    I’m afraid that I forgot to buy PLF from your affiliate link. Doh! Hope you forgive me!


    N.B. I’m listening to one of the Product Launch Formula CD ROM’s as we speak. I couldn’t recommend it more highly to anyone considering launching their own product.

  • I must say I like this blog, and this article in particular.

    I have been putting random posts on my blog but it seems more sensible to concentrate on things you are an authority on.

  • Thanks for the comments guys.

    David – that’s not good! Shoot an email through to Jeff and I’m sure he would credit me with the referral. Jeff’s a nice guy and I know he’s happy to support my blog. He might say no, but it’s worth asking.

    Go that digging too – I’ve never made it to the front page, it would be interesting to see what that is like.


  • I quickly becoming convinced the easiest way to make money online is to talk to and sell products about making money online!

  • Kelvin – Lol! Yes, it seems like that sometimes. Bear in mind that lots of people do make money online from teaching people how to make money online, but it’s only those that actually make money online and have the proof and reputation to back it up, that do well. (wow, what a keyword stuffed sentence).

    Like John Childers said –

    “There’s nothing wrong with making $200K a year in buying and selling property and making $1 Mil a year teaching people how to make $200K a year buying and selling property”

    The trick is to actually know how to do something well, then you can teach it. It also helps if you don’t attempt to enter the “make money online” marketplace if you are not already making six figures at least because you face some pretty serious competition and a pretty jaded audience.

  • Absolutely – adding another “me too” product to any industry isn’t going to be successful unless, as you note, the person producing the product can sell on reputation.

    But, I disagree that the “make money online” market is necessarily saturated. It’s definitely saturated with too many copycat products and recycled “make thousands overnight” products but I think there’s a need (and I hope a profitable niche) for blogs like yours that focus on realism over hype…

  • Hi Eric,

    Thank you for your comments and I appreciate that you associate me and my writing with hype free Internet marketing…that’s definitely one of my goals.

    Although results are always what counts and one person’s hype is another person’s good marketing, so it’s certainly not a black and white label.

  • Good point – hype isn’t necessarily negative or dishonest, it depends on the context.

    Maybe we need a new word for internet marketing hype – the “make money without work” kind of marketing that fleeces folks of their money and makes it that much harder for legitimate educators in the field to prosper.

    Oh well, I guess it really is academic at this point! Keep up the good work Yaro.

  • I have been lapping up books recently. Not only are they great for passing time while travelling (I get the bus into University everyday) but most of the ideas are just plain common sense and that’s why they’re so great! All that common sense in one place.

    I highly recommend “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and “Million Dollar Consulting” – they are two of my favourite books.

    Another reason to invest in these materials is that they can be claimed as expenses (if running a corporation) further reducing your tax bill!


  • With education and experience will come expertise. It is interesting to read some experts on how they had to learn from scratch and how many times it took to get things right.

    Another great article Yaro.

  • Podcasts have become my best teacher in the last year. Excellent for listening to when I do non-critical tasks. I’ve learn’t so much that I even made my first $0.11 on adsense yesterday. Obviously need to go and learn some more!

    “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Woody Allen

  • […] his website, http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com. He site contains lots of top quality articles such as Education is The Key Ingredient to Success, Beginner Blogging and SEO Backlink FAQ. Yaro is an expert when it comes to online […]

  • Great article Yaro. Prior to my understanding this concept, I was perpetually broke and frustrated, not knowing why my life wasn’t working. Once I discover the magic of self education, incredible things happened, rather quickly. As Napoleon Hill said, “When money begins to come, it comes so quickly and in such great abundance, that you will wonder where it had been hiding during all the lean years.” I have had this experience, and so can everyone esle if they get this one thing…

    “Work harder on yourself than you do on your business/blog/job, etc.”

    That’s the key to success. Period.

    I love how Zig Ziglar puts it:

    “If you will be hard on yourself, life will be infinitely easier on you.”

    Keep up the great work.

    C.S. Hughes
    Chief Visionary Officer
    Personal Development for Free

  • Thanks for the great advice. This surely could have made my life easier if i had found your article early enough.

    But it’s never too late, I will make the most of it.

    Thanks again

  • This article is thought provoking. It is true that the blogosphere is saturated with “How To” articles that are just recycled ideas.

    But then, what can newbies do. They have to start from somewhere, even if it means repeating what someone else have said earlier on.

    As a newbie garner experience, he begins to carve a turf for himself.

    Thanks for sharing this insightful thoughts. Cheers.

  • I haven’t been blogging very long, but the more I do it the more I see how much education one needs for this “blogging thing”. It’s a lot of work but I love the challenge and the learning process has been very rewarding. Thanks for sharing your education with us, Yaro.

  • […] able to write compelling and engaging content on a consistent basis over time.”Yaro Starak: Why Ongoing Education Is The Key Ingredient For Success In Business and Blogging:“John Childers presented at the World Internet Summit and offered great advice I want to pass […]

  • Hey Yaro, you’ve never failed to inspire with all the thoughts you share. Continuous education is indeed vital to learn updates that we could all apply to what we are doing, not only for blogging of course, it all applies to everything. It’s recommended to always empty our cup and accept new teachings and lesson for our intellectual growth.

  • Yes, it’s true. Education is an on going process and never stops. You can never stop learning and you can never learn everything because there is always something new to learn. We have to constantly evolve and continuing learning to stay on top and keep pace with technology.

  • It is so true – you have to be very knowledgeable about the subject you are writing about, if not an expert.

  • best article . i bookmarked it .

    Misbah Mumtaz

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