If You Could Ask an A-List Entrepreneur or Blogger ANYTHING, Who and What Would You Ask?

  • February 14, 2011 by Corbett Barr
  • 43 Comments

If you could sit down with your favorite blogger or online entrepreneur for 45 minutes to pick his or her brain on everything you want to know about building a thriving online audience, who would you choose?

Who do you admire most?

Who do you want to learn from?

What would you ask your chosen expert?

Who has the kind of online audience or business you’re jealous of?

Traffic School is launching soon. There’s a chance I can get your favorite expert involved. Tell me who you’d most like to sit down with and what questions you’d ask in the comments.

Then let’s see if I can deliver some of your choices.

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Rob Cubbon February 14, 2011 at 6:42 am

To be honest I couldn’t pick one, but I would love to sit down for a 30 minute chat with Darren Rowse, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Leo Babauta, Pat Flynn, Rich Schefren, Yaro Starak … Corbett Barr.

You can learn from anyone but to talk to someone who’s more successful than you at what you do would be fascinating. I would ask what they did when they were at my level to move up to the next level. I guess they’d probably tell me to get off my butt, make meaningful relationships with great like-minded people, and write epic shit. Which is what I’m trying to do. I’ve just got to do it better ;)

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 9:07 am

Hey Rob, those guys are definitely all on my list too. I’ve had a chance to meet a few of them in person of the past year, and you’re right, it was fascinating and immensely motivating.

Steve Watson February 14, 2011 at 6:57 am

It’s a close call between Pat Flynn & Glen Alsop

I admire them both for their content as it is so generous, you wouldn’t really need 45 minutes because they are so open with their blogs and share almost everything they do. Completely transparently.

I think the main question I would like to ask them is

“If you had to start again from scratch which strategies would you employ right off the bat to begin to build your internet empire?”

Looking forward to Traffic School.. bring it on.
Steve

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 9:05 am

Fantastic, Steve. Thanks for sharing the specific question as well. That’s really helpful.

Manuel February 14, 2011 at 7:00 am

It would be cool if Richard Branson gets in your hot seat and you ask him how much time he has for his family while running more than 360 separate companies. Craig Newmark of Craiglist and Tony Hsheih of Zappos will also be good options.

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 9:04 am

All great choices, Manuel. I’d love to talk with any one of those guys.

Stacey February 14, 2011 at 8:41 am

Ahhh – very cool. I just found you yesterday and already I’m impressed with your strategies and open and engaging dialogue.

In the photography community there is one person that stands out heads above the rest. Jasmine Star. She has created an amazing reputation and following – all by her blog and branding ALONE. What is even more compelling is the short amount of time she did it in. She is inspiring to say the least, motivating and real.

I would ask her about the power of content. I wonder what her audience is coming to her for. Obviously photography but there is something so much bigger there. Can you mix the mundane day to day life posts without having to tie it back into your business and still have an effect on your readers.

Thanks for the opportunity to voice our suggestions!

-S

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 9:04 am

Hey Stacey, don’t tell anyone, but the real reason I like to have an open dialog here isn’t just to help my readers out, it’s so I can learn awesome stuff from you. Like Jasmine Star. I hadn’t heard of her before, but wow, it looks like she has some awesome stuff going on. Thanks sooo much for sharing!

Elle February 14, 2011 at 8:47 am

I would love to chat with FMF from Free Money Finance. He’s not only running a highly popular blog, but he’s raised over $300k for charity.

I’d ask him about the process of building and organizing great yearly events like March Madness.

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 8:59 am

Wow, $300k for charity, through his blog? That’s awesome!

Codrut Turcanu February 14, 2011 at 8:50 am

no doubt: Jay Abraham and Tony Robbins, and I’d both ask them:

# – How do you motivate yourself to achieve peek performance in your activity, life and business? What do you do differently than others, and how?

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 9:01 am

Great choices, both of them. I’m actually reading a Jay Abraham book right now. Awesome stuff.

Daniel February 14, 2011 at 8:57 am

Not to be redundant but my vote would go to Pat Flynn. I actually knew about ThinkTraffic before SmartPassiveIncome but his podcast episode with you Corbett is what brought me back to ThinkTraffic and CorbettBarr.com.

Pat is unrelentingly positive and his willingness to share virtually any information he has available make him a great guy to learn from in my opinion. His story also resonates with me since I’m at a similar point caree- wise as he was a couple years ago. I’d be interested to know more details about the first few months of SPI and what it was like before getting any real traffic. What was he doing, how’d it feel and how did he move things forward?

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 9:00 am

Awesome Daniel, I’ll tally the votes. Thanks for sharing, and I’m really glad the podcast we did brought you back here! Cheers.

Andrew February 14, 2011 at 9:25 am

There are so many fascinating entrepreneurs that I would like to sit down with and talk with, but if I was to choose one it would definitely be Gary Vaynerchuk. Since he provides so much value and free information on the internet as it is, there would be no specific tactics or topics that need to be discussed. Instead it would be great to talk about entrepreneurial drive/motivation etc and get his thoughts/feedback specifically about what I am doing. It would also been kind of cool to spend a day with him just to get an idea of how passionate he is about building businesses.

As for the question of online audiences/businesses I am jealous of, there are none. I have projects that I want to develop and since there are no other websites at the end-stage of where I want to be, currently there is no one to be jealous of.

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I’m a huge fan of Gary V. too. I hear he’s so popular that he’s become a pretty hard guy to get in touch with these days. Nice problem to have I suppose ;)

Lonnie @ My Income Lab February 14, 2011 at 9:56 am

I am with a lot of the commenters here and vote for Pat Flynn. But to any of the successful bloggers (yourself included) mentioned here, I would ask, how do you recognize when a plan isn’t working, and what steps do you take to course correct?

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Oh yeah, that’s a great question! I’ll be sure to ask some of our special guests that one.

Derek Jensen February 14, 2011 at 11:51 am

Yes, I’m a huge fan of Gary Vaynerchuk but I know the just of what he is about and what his thoughts would be on things. A person that I would love to learn more from is Ryan Carson of Carsonified.

Their Think Vitamin membership is really taking off and changes are being made to it everyday and he and his company always seems to be on the leading edge for the web. It would interesting to get his take on these items and of course anything you might have for him. ;)

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Oh, good call. I haven’t been following Ryan Carson much lately, but he always seems to have a lot of great stuff going on.

Phill Turner February 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Frank Kern

I would ask

“How do I get an interview with you?”

Warmest

Phill

Diego February 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I would love to hear about writing routines and/or templates than can make your subjects seem very focused and thoughtful.

Perhaps have them broken down in template styles for reports, blog posts and actual books

Im a big fan of the writing style of Chris Guillebeau and Tim Ferriss, love that non conformist style, its very motivating.

Gary Arndt February 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I’d want to talk to:

- The Pioneer Woman, who has a monster site that no one talks about because she doesn’t talk about making money and marketing.

- Andrew Sullivan, who has one of the biggest political blogs in the world.

- Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, who has one of the biggest science sites in the world.

- Dooce, the biggest mommy blogger in the world.

- Andrew Barron of Rocketboom.

You know, there are A-list people out there beyond the MMO and internet marketing world. It is sort of sad when people seem to have no interestes in life whatsoever beyond making money.

All of the above people I listed have developed a huge following. I think there is FAR more to learn from people outside the internet marketing world than there is from those in it. I’d be willing to bet almost all the people listed in comments above me share the exact same audience.

Reaching out to the man and woman on the street is a far bigger challenge and is a MUCH bigger audience. I don’t think anyone in the internet marketing, Make-money-online niche has any experience doing that.

Daniel February 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Good point Gary. I hadn’t even thought of it from that perspective. If I had I’d have mentioned Lew Rockwell, founder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute which has a thriving community built around “Advancing the scholarship of liberty in the tradition of the Austrian School” (of economics).

I’d like to know when he recognized the power of the new Internet medium (the institute was founded in the 80s) and how mises.org has become the hub for learning that it is today.

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Gary, you have a fantastic point here (one I’ve made myself). There are lots of great people to learn from out there who aren’t in the internet marketing world. These are all really awesome suggestions so thanks a bunch for that.

Marco Lee February 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I’d actually ask you Corbett.

-The first things that you’ve considered and done when starting out? Like the technicalities (design and set up of the blog), financial issues, what to write about, etc.

- What are your top ways of marketing yourself/blog/sites during the start up?

- What’s the best advice that you can give to someone just starting out (except for “write epic shit”)? lol

:)

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Thanks for the vote, Marco ;) I’ll definitely be able to answer all those questions for you. Cheers.

Alex February 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Great idea Corbett!
Talk about leading by example mate.
Apart from you, I would love to meet and question Michael Dunlop and Glenn Allsop.
All three of them are in very different areas of online marketing, but all are young and have achieved great things in relatively short periods of time.
I just want to find out what their turning points where and to who/what they attribute their success.
Little pieces of the puzzle like this help me construct my own framework for success.

Thanks again for leading from the front Corbett!
You’re the best – Barr none ;)

Corbett February 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Cool, thanks for the suggestions Alex, I appreciate it.

marianney | A Life Set Free February 15, 2011 at 8:35 am

my question would be, did you network and build your followers without spending a lot of time commenting all over the place? I find that it’s difficult to get things done on my own projects because I subscribe to so many blogs to learn from the A-listers and I also want to network with not only A-listers, but my up and coming peers as well.

So if the answer to question 1 was yes, question 2 would be, how did you get anything done? lol

Caleb February 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Arianna Huffington, Pete Cashmore of Mashable and Nick Denton are guys on my list! The mainstream impact they’ve made via blogging is just immense!

Onibalusi Bamidele February 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Pat Flynn. The guy has a lot of real stuff!

Caleb Galaraga February 17, 2011 at 6:31 am

I couldn’t agree more! Him, Glen Allsop and Michael Dunlop are my favorites.

Elias February 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm

So many big names Corbett. I didn´t know anything about online business or blogging prior to knowing Pat`s story. In fact, being a civil engineer, I only used the internet for research and email and news. After that I realized there is a whole new world into blogging. It amazes me how anyone can monetize her/his passion. Then I read crush it and it pushed me to decide I also wanted to try. Pat´s blog led me to yours and so many others but definitely I want to stick with the best. Besides, you have been a real motivation about building a blog from Mexico where I was forced to move after a rare health condition my wife presented about a year ago.
I would like to ask you and Pat about blog design strategies, traffic strategies, minimum blogging habits for success.
What is your source of motivation besides satisfaction and money?
I would love to meet both of you some day. Maybe we can go to lunch together, hehe

Enjoy the All-Star game on TNT in a couple of hrs.

thank you Corbett!
Elias

Adele February 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Definitely on board with Steve Watson and Marco Lee’s comments. I’d also like to know;
1. Worst mistake?
2. How would they apply the 80/20 rule to attracting an online audience?
3. What would they recommend doing first, second, third, etc. if launching a new website (mine launches in May)
4. How do they see the net changing in the next 2 years?

Derek Potocki February 27, 2011 at 9:26 am

Richard Branson, Anthony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki: How do I kill my comfort zones, one by one?
Greetings

RonnyG March 1, 2011 at 5:06 am

My question is about the blog site structure. If you have a domain e.g remodelingcontractorstlouis.com and remodeling contractor St Louis is the blogs focus and the main key word. Is it OK to have several post all titled “Remodeling Contractor St Louis” I am think the if I have 6 or so post titled the same way… this will help the ranking for that specific key word and the content in each post will have other key words that will also rank for search people make..
I haven’t found any information that relates to this exactly.
Just found your Blog and it has a wealth of information to help a new “guy”.
Thanks RonnyG

bryan March 9, 2011 at 9:05 am

nick denton

whats his opinion on aggregating content?

David April 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Donald Trump.

I would ask, “Sir, you are extremely good at convincing other people of your ideas. Pretend you had to convince me to sell you a property. What would you say?”

Listening carefully would be such a valuable lesson.

Corbett April 8, 2011 at 11:11 am

That would definitely be interesting.

Daniel February 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm

BTW, I first saw ThinkTraffic via StumbleUpon and while I did bookmark it and read an article or two the podcast with Pat gave me more context to your mission. I think you may have mentioned before how relatively useless StumbleUpon traffic can be…I guess it shows how much more powerful links from already known and trusted sources are.

Codrut Turcanu February 16, 2011 at 2:58 am

All Jay’s books are incredible. They’re based on principles who rarely chance , plus, I like the way he injects personal case studies and life/business scenarios with each chapter/lesson he shares.

He does this approach in almost all his materials.

What title are you reading now? :)

P.S. do you know why I do not get any follow-up emails although I subscribe to the notify option ? you should check your plugin settings and see what’s wrong there…

Stacey February 24, 2011 at 9:39 am

Thanks for taking a minute to reply. It’s nice seeing how dedicated you are to your readers and open to discussion. It’s refreshing to say the very least!

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