Bonfire night is nearly upon us. I’m always reminded of a cruel event of my childhood when this day comes around that some online marketers might take heed of. Ie, Rob Benwell of Blogging to the Bank fame

A tale of karma on bonfire night – long before anyone ever went blogging to the bank

Our family used to have some pretty crazy fireworks nights. My aunt and uncle lived across the road to the Street family household and that meant every year without fail we’d all look forward to a nice fireworks night together.

One fireworks night my father returned with a pack of fireworks, and what I can only describe as an atomic bomb. This thing was the size of a small pig and weighed a ton in my puny 12 year old arms. I looked at my cousin Sean and his eyes were lit up (don’t worry the firework hadn’t gone off, his eyes were lit up with excitement). We all had a nice meal and just before we went outside to start the firework proceedings Sean, the adrenalin running through his veins, “nuggied” me. In Essex, a nuggie is where you use your knuckles to rub someone’s hair and it bloomin’ well hurts. Feeling the anger I pushed Sean backwards. The poor little mite fell, hit his neck on the edge of the sofa and let out a yelp.

To cut a long story short Sean had jarred his neck pretty badly and couldn’t in fact look up to the sky to watch the fireworks. Much to my amusement my mother positioned him on the second floor window of our old house so essentially he could watch the fireworks being lit, watch the 0.01 seconds as they took off the ground and that was it as they shot out of sight up in the air past his eyeline which was fifteen feet of the floor. The fact I was purposely shouting “Wow that was the best firework EVER!” whenever it went off (making sure I looked up at Sean as I said it) probably didn’t help what happened next…

Anyway there we were, with Sean inside the house virtually in tears when my dad, bless him, decided to light the atomic bomb type firework. Off he went, with me looking at Sean and putting my thumbs up cockily, to light “the big ‘un”. He lights it. Walks away. Nothing. He starts walking towards it again with my Mum telling him to be careful, my dad saying “Oh shhh I know what I’m doing”.

Next thing I know the fireworks on its side, making a whistling sound and pointing straight at all of us. I’d like to relay a story of heroism. Instead I nearly soiled myself and shut my eyes and hoped it didn’t hit me. Thankfully it shot past us all, went into the fence and made an explosion that was probably heard in space.

I looked up at Sean at the top window, who in his sinister silhouetted figure, simply put his thumbs back up at me.

They say that what goes around comes around. For me that was the first time I experienced the “karmic” effect. I hurt Sean, so the universe tried to kill me with a firework. Fair enough some might say.

So it was with a heavy heart I saw that Rob Benwell was releasing yet another product that promised to reveal the secrets of a million dollar blogger. A promise that I had heard the last two times he promised to do it… and didn’t. Karmic payback anyone?

Product review – Blogging To The Bank 3.0

I have said it many, many times before: I don’t like knocking people in this eletter. It’s not as if I get some kind of twisted thrill from it. I much prefer to be able to say “I went through the product and loved it” like I did with Ryan Deiss’ Continuity Blueprint.

Unfortunately it’s a rarity that anyone comes out with anything worthwhile! I have spoken about Rob numerous times in this eletter. It was good at first with the original Blogging To The Bank, not good when he launched Niche Domination and seemed to disappear, not good with the membership site he launched with his brother and then not really that good with the Blogging To The Bank 2.0 book. So you can understand why I was somewhat sceptical about this one.

Blogging To The Bank 3.0 is an eBook that promises to teach you the ways of a millionaire blogger. Firstly a reality check. Rob has made a lot of money from the selling of his clickbank product Blogging To The Bank. I would be very, very, very surprised if the bulk of his income comes from blogging. When you see screenshots of his clickbank earnings, more than likely they’re from the sales of his ebook or products he promotes as an affiliate to his email list. So don’t for one second think you’ll be earning tens of thousands from blogging. It isn’t going to happen. Some do, the vast majority don’t.

The book is 58 pages long, with the first 20-30 pages dedicated to setting up a blog. Nothing wrong with that, but you could get that kind of info for free in numerous different places. Like Go to Youtube type in “How To Set Up A WordPress Blog” and you’ve essentially got the first 30 pages of BTTB3.0 in video format and it hasn’t cost you anything.

Not the best start.

Then Rob says something which instantly set off something in my head. He says on page 20: “Now I’m not saying Black Hat SEO is bad or anything but it does have its place and it’s not on a long term blog that you’re going to put time into.”

Now I could be completely wrong, and I rarely am, but in his last eBook (or it may have been an email promoting someone’s black hat eBook) I’m pretty sure he said something along the lines of “Black Hat SEO works. Would you rather be making money using black hat quickly, or not making money using normal techniques?” That isn’t an exact quote but I’m pretty sure he said something like that in Blogging To The Bank 2.0 that was released not too long ago.

Either this guy is a multiple personality blogger or he’s using whatever he can to get people to part with their cash. And that’s the distinct impression I get. I haven’t been impressed with any of his offerings of late which is a shame because the guy is a genius marketer; his products just don’t live up to the hype.

I get the impression that Rob is just in this for the money and not for the experience of his customers. Not only is the eBook pretty much rehashed information, the majority of which you can get elsewhere for free, but when you sign up you see a one time offer page selling you a membership to new monthly blogging strategies. That’s fine. Good marketing.

What annoyed me is that there was no way to bypass the link and get to the download page. Which meant I had to wait for the email to arrive with the download link for the book I’d just paid for. This link didn’t arrive for eight hours.

It could be that as it was a big launch Rob had problems and I get that. But if he’d allowed access to the product for those who didn’t want the one time offer it would have been so much better. It felt as if he was trying to force you to sign up to the OTO. Again, it just seems as though the guy is solely driven by money and not by customer satisfaction.

I found the book itself to be pretty much the same content I’ve read in his previous books and elsewhere. Nothing new whatsoever really, apart from one tip on sponsoring WordPress themes for links back to your blog which was pretty cool.

So we come to the end of yet another review of this young man. I’ve said it many times over. Rob Benwell is a very, very, very good marketer. Unfortunately he isn’t very good at creating solid products.

His latest offering is not necessarily bad, and if you have never seen any info on blogging before than this isn’t too bad an investment. But if you’ve seen any blogging courses before, especially his two “originals”, save your money from this one. It just isn’t worth it.

That’s it for this week. Play safe with the fireworks!