One of my sources of information in keeping up to speed and learning internet marketing is the Online Business Insiders forum. I have been a member for over 6 months. I joined because of the recommendation of Erica Stone (see my review of her Flip Your World course here).
In keeping with my other reviews I’ll start with their sales page
The Sales Page
No videos, no fast cars or piles of cash – always a good start.
The first part of the sales letter discusses that you need clear actionable information to really make it online. I agree with this there is a lot of times you get a ton of marketing speak or fluff rather than actions you can take, or you really need an upsell to make it all work.
The letter then describes that you get a panel of experts to help you with your questions including areas like setting up a wordpress site, keyword research, get traffic, set up profitable authority sites. There is more.
The site has experts that share their knowledge in the forum and they talk about what is actually working and making money now. There are 21 experts and each has an area of expertise you can see the details here.. There are a number of names I do recognize, and the stand out for me is Erica Stone who discusses Amazon Affiliate Marketing. They say they will be adding more experts as they continue to expand.
In addition to this there will be downloadable products, a general chit chat section, interviews with experts and webinars etc.
Working on down the sales page it says that most of the information is delivered through a forum that is similar in format to the warrior forum (I hoped here that the content wasn’t like some of what you see on that forum). The letter compares the OBI forum to having a panel of experts to help you out..
Next it talks about the fact that the current monthly cost will be going up as they fill up the membership places the price will be increasing. I know they have increased the price at least once already.
From what I can remember the buying process went smoothly for me. You fill in their form and set up your recurring payment then you need to register for the forum. I think you need to enter name, password and email address. At the time I did this there were no upsells and I believe this is still the case.
Inside The Membership Area
When you log in to the forum you are greeted with the forum. The menu across the topic includes the tabs Index, Recent Topics, New Topic, Profile, Help and Search.
The Index tab is where you find the admin and main forum. The admin forum has the rules which all seem common sense to me.
The main forum is where the action is and this is split down into categories that reflect the list of experts on the sale page. Within each of the categories are topics and replies. There are 100 of topics and thousands of replies. There is a lot of information in here. It can be overwhelming because of the quantity but you can use the search tab and recent topics tab to make it more manageable. The content I’ve read has been useful and informative on the whole.
Like any forum there will be topics and replies that you aren’t interested in, but where you are you get informed discussion. There are many new posts each day, so the recent topic tab can be useful to find updates.
There is a menu down the side where you can find special offers when they are running and free stuff, including internet marketing ebooks, plr articles, templates and html training.
It is Erica Stone’s part of the forum where I have spend most of my time reading and learning. Within that section Erica has answered questions that people have about affiliate marketing and there have been a lot from the members of the forum. In addition to the question she has been demonstrating and teaching how to set up an Amazon Review Site (you can see her demo site), how to write a review, using Squidoo, where to move your content from Squidoo if your lenses get locked. Basically she covers anything to do with Amazon Affiliate Marketing.
It is also a good place to ask her about her products including her latest Flip Your World where she responds quickly and fully.
The other experts work in a similar way, but I have not really followed them anywhere as closely. Currently there is a 40 day challenge where Britt Malken is showing how to build a profitable blog from scratch with daily posts.
The forum is active with new threads being started each day and people posting many questions and answers each day. It is a very active forum. The experts do seem to answer each question individually, so in that respect you do get one to one support. The responses from other members are supportive and positive and I don’t remember seeing any of the nastiness that you sometimes get in free forums.
Each month you get an email to let you know you have sent your payment from paypal renewed your subscription which I like. Aside from these emails there have been only a few emails about making the most of the forum and general business advice. I don’t remember seeing any emails pushing the next new shiny object and that is refreshing too.
Panel Of Experts
It not one on mentoring but the response from the experts have been great value and you can have more than one help you out. The responses from other members of the forum also help in getting a full answer to any question.
I have not been using this OBI to its fullest as I have not been asking questions or contributing and have really taken the role of a lurker. With that said, I still have got a lot of value out of the forum with their being a ton of practical and actionable advice given. They have helped in my understanding and also given tips on sorting out stumbling blocks I’ve had in a number of areas including writing reviews, using Squidoo, Pinterest, backlinks and more.
Even though I’ve not got the full value out of it this is a great resource for getting your questions answered by people who actually know what they are doing. I definitely believe Online Business Insiders is worth checking out if you are serious about setting up an online business.