Life After Copyblogger for Sonia Simone

  • August 28, 2019
sonia simone whats next


I still remember the first time I asked Brian Clark if I could write for Copyblogger.

I had been an enthusiastic Teaching Sells student and Copyblogger rabid fangirl reader, as I was getting my freelancing business off the ground and preparing to leave my corporate job.

I was so nervous and intimidated that I gulped a glass of wine. (Since I’m not much of a drinker, this resulted in my being slightly but decidedly drunk.)

The wine bolstered me enough to send Brian Clark a DM on Twitter asking if maybe, some time, kind of sort of, if he was desperate or something, I might be able to write a post for him.

His reply was along the lines of, “Sure, what do you think of writing for us every week?”

And so it began.

After some time, I became a partner in Teaching Sells. Then a founding partner of the new company, Copyblogger Media, that was created when Brian’s various projects came together into one powerhouse new entity.

We built an amazing community, the Third Tribe, then evolved that community into Authority, and most recently brought it together with the Digital Commerce Academy, evolving and growing as our audience did.

We had the great fortune to bring in Brian Gardner and his groundbreaking StudioPress framework as a division of the new company.

We built the Rainmaker Platform, which I still use and love over at Remarkable Communication.

We held three kick-ass live events.

I’ve written 594 posts (including this one) and recorded 147 podcast episodes. I can’t even tell you how many educational sessions I’ve led for our private communities — that number has been lost amid multiple platform migrations and improvements. My best guess is around 300. Could be more.

It’s been a hell of a ride.

And now, it’s time to let someone else have a turn.

When Darrell Vesterfelt initially approached me (and two other founding partners, Sean Jackson and Tony Clark) asking if I’d be interested in letting my share of Copyblogger Media go, my initial response was:

Are you kidding me?

(Er, there may have been an additional swear word in there.)

I had been living and breathing Copyblogger ever since I wrote that first post. It was my professional identity. In many ways, it represented the bulk of my “life’s work” … at least the part of my life that’s been spent on content marketing.

But Darrell is nothing if not pleasantly persistent, and I began to think about it.

After we sold our StudioPress division to WP Engine, I had begun to turn back to my freelancing roots.

But although my workload was lighter, my mental involvement with Copyblogger remained all-encompassing.

My weeks were structured around our content and our audience. I thought about our projects constantly. All of my work patterns put Copyblogger first. And I was neglecting my individual identity and projects over at Remarkable Communication.

I scheduled a call with Darrell, and he and I talked about how I could give up my formal ownership share without ghosting on the Copyblogger community.

I could have my cake, and eat it, too.

And I decided to take another leap.

So, this post is to announce that I am moving to my next professional phase, leaving my partnership share in Copyblogger in excellent hands.

Why I think Darrell is a great fit

Darrell Vesterfelt is an old and dear friend of our partner Brian Gardner, so there was an immediate level of trust.

The more I talked with him, the more impressed I became with his energy level and his commitment to take Copyblogger to the next stage of its evolution.

Copyblogger has helped launch countless content-driven individuals and businesses, and pioneered so many practices and strategies that are now commonplace.

Brian Clark committed blog heresy by daring to talk about commerce and copywriting in the context of the then-sacred cow of blogging.

With Tony Clark, he launched one of the first courses based on the needs and relationships of a blog audience.

We’ve led and partnered with breakthrough pioneers in WordPress.

We built a revolutionary content marketing platform.

And our live events were nothing short of epic.

(I have been to many wonderful events. But I’ve never been to one I loved as much as I loved ours.)

We’ve always evolved and adapted, based on you and what you care about the most.

And I think Darrell’s vision, energy, passions, and commitment to the audience will be perfect to discover — working closely with Brian Clark and Brian Gardner — what happens next.

Where I’m headed

Well, first I’m going to Norway for a couple of weeks. 🙂

When I get back, I have two projects that I’m excited to pour focus and passion into.

The first is one-on-one client work. I’ve had an absolute blast creating conversion-focused content (with a heaping side of business consulting) for a small handful of clients. I want to keep building fun, creative, and incredibly effective business-builders for my clients. (You can learn more about working with me one-on-one here.)

The other is my writing workshop. I started holding them last year, and they have been a delight to work on, helping marketing writers and bloggers polish their creative sides so they can produce exceptionally excellent work. (And here’s where you can learn about the workshop.)

I’m also hoping to create a course or two in partnership with Copyblogger — so if you have an idea for a program you’ve always wished we would do, let us know in the comments!

I couldn’t end this post without thanking Brian Clark for countless hours of conversations, strategy sessions, mutual support, and challenging one another to always bring our best game.

Or without thanking our hero Stefanie Flaxman, who has been the editorial rock who keeps the blog strong and healthy, so our many crazy projects have a stable foundation.

Hats off as well to Brian Gardner, one of the most honorable people I’ve ever done business with.

To Sean Jackson and Tony Clark, and the magnificent Goonies, for weaving their unique gifts together to make Copyblogger what it is today.

(I’m trying to stay disciplined and hold back from mentioning even more individual names. There have been so many talented, smart, and hard-working folks who were instrumental to the Copyblogger story.)

And finally to Darrell, for taking us into the next generation.

As the only person left at Copyblogger who still likes comments, 😀 I’m going to leave them open for this one. (I’m serious about letting us know what kinds of courses or other education you’d be interested in as we go forward.)

And I would love to connect with you over on LinkedIn, as I make that into a key outpost for the Remarkable projects.

You’ll also keep seeing content from me here on Copyblogger. I’m kind of addicted to the incredible audience we have, and I’d be crazy to walk away from that.

OK, OK, before I start sniffling, I’m going to leave it at that.

I love you all, and thanks for the incredible decade. Let’s make the next one even better. See you soon!



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