Copycatting Is a Good Thing

“So far, my website is pretty much identical to your site,” PG told me.

PG is one of my coaching students. I had just asked him to tell me about the progress he was making with his online business.

He had a sign-up box on the top right-hand corner of every page of his website. It offered a free newsletter in exchange for a site visitor’s first name and email address. He had a lot of quality content. And the site navigation was clean and easy to follow. He even had a search box and “refer a friend” option.

Was I upset by the striking similarity between his website and mine? Absolutely not. I was happy to see that he had copied so much. In fact, as his coach, that’s what I told him to do.

You see, it wasn’t my “intellectual property” that he was using. It was the structure of the website and the business model.

When you’re starting an online business, one of the smartest things you can do is follow a proven model instead of trying to figure it all out on your own. And if you have a coach or mentor to help you, so much the better. It will really speed up your learning curve.

Now, you may be thinking that “following” another business and having someone “hold your hand” doesn’t sound fun, exciting, or original. But the fact is, most fledgling entrepreneurs who try to reinvent the wheel end up frustrated and disappointed. (There is nothing fun or exciting about spending a lot of time and money on a business and not turning a profit.)

I should know. I used to be one of those guys. But after a couple of years of trial and error, I discovered a tried-and-tested way of doing business online: the Agora Model. It’s named after Agora Publishing, the information marketing company. I learned about the Agora Model and met the mentors who helped me apply it.

In a nutshell, the Agora Model uses direct-response advertising to drive traffic to your website. On the website, you offer valuable information – say, a free newsletter or special report. In return, you ask your visitors for their email address.

Once you have a visitor’s email address, you follow up by sending them additional free information, as well as offers for your products and services.

This simple model is underutilized by online entrepreneurs. But make no mistake about how powerful it is. It is the model that Agora used to grow into a $600 million a year company. And dozens of other in-the-know solo entrepreneurs used to create their own successful businesses – including me.

I used the Agora Model to build my own six-figure online business. It worked for me. And it can work for you, too.

Sure, I look at other online businesses and adapt some of what they are doing successfully to my ventures. It could be a copy approach, a type of offer, or a hot new product. And I’m always on the lookout for new strategies and techniques.

But the Agora Model is the core of my business.

It’s tempting to be a renegade and try to do it “your way.” But the days of the Wild, Wild Web are over. And the Agora Model has been proven to work time and time again.

Once I learned and applied the Agora Model, it really accelerated my progress. As I said, the quickest way to build an online business is to have a mentor or coach guide you through the process.

As a Carefree Entrepreneur, you’ve already been getting great advice from top online entrepreneurs who have “been there, done that.”

You can learn a lot from them. But I think you’ll find that direct coaching by an expert – someone who has achieved a high level of success doing what you want to do – will help you get results even faster.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: September 16, 2011

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