I have a confession to make (don’t you just love that opening line?). A couple of months ago, I’d never even heard of Michel Fortin. I couldn’t even pronounce his name as I couldn’t work out if it was “Me-Shell Four-tuhn” (as it appear’s French in orgin) or just plain “Michael Fort’in” (Americanised). I had no idea who he was or what he did until I got an email from my very clued up Internet Marketing friend, Saumil, in India

Basically, I’d just released this plugin (an update are coming soon, I promise) and I get this email from Saumil saying how this guy Michel Fortin had written a very nice review about FAQ-Tastic.

My initial response was like “Cool! …uh, who’s Michel Fortin?” and his reply was along the lines of “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?” (okay, so I’m paraphrasing for dramatic effect here!). He went on to explain how Michel’s actually really big in the copywriting niche and has a huge list and usually charges for reviews – so basically I’d already made my money back on the plugin I’d commissioned!

Nice.

Well, obviously I start checking out Michel’s blog and he’s got some really interesting things on there. Admittedly, I’m not big on copywriting (even though I know this area is probably the biggest, most important thing to get to grips with in terms of Internet Marketing!) but I was very impressed by the visual quality of his site (I like good design :) ).

As some of you might know, I wrote a cheeky follow up post apologising for the state of my site and how it’s not ready (or fit for human consumption – I still don’t think it is!). And you know what – I get this comment from the guy himself! You gotta love the blogosphere!

Well, thankfully, I’m not one for “hero-worship” or to be overawed by greatness. Probably because I’m usually so focused on what I’m building that I forget to check into reality and find out who’s who. The upside is that it means I can usually chat with people on a “human” level without making them feel like they’re some kind of superstar – one thing I’ve found is that “gurus” sometimes like being able to talk without being under pressure! So the next time you meet your “guru” at a conference or seminar, remember – “they’re human” – just like you and me. The downside? Well, sometimes I shoot myself in the foot as I’ve no idea who they are. Gurus also like being “bigged up” about how good they are, so having a clue about what they do sometimes helps. It’s a balancing act, but you get my point…

Anyway, I’m off on a tangent again. The reason why I actually think Michel ROCKS, is because he actually does. He’s the drummer for a rock band called Ninth Round. I’m not about to comment on the music as it’s a little light for my liking – I like my rock *hard* (i.e. Bad Brains hardcore hard – see the video “Attitude” by Bad Brains on YouTube. Also, it looks like the Bad Brains have reformed and have just released a new album called “Build A Nation”).

One thing I will say about Ninth Round is that their website is very cool. It should be – it’s built on WordPress. And it was created by Michel. Credit where credit’s due – that guy does know how to make a site look good. “Hey Mike – how’s about applying for my Web Designer position?” :) . The only thing I’d suggest to make it better is to look at the data architecture of the site – currently the menu comes first before the content, personally I’d reverse this so the content came first…

Now, my very first post on my blog addressed this very issue – using WordPress as a content management and eCommerce solution. There’s still a divide about how blogs should remain blogs and not be tainted by trying to be something else. My personal take is that… hey, at the end of the day, it’s all just pages on a website. The trick now is to work out how to make these blog and ping strategies, these internal site linking and SEO tactics work with WordPress to build authority sites. I’m guessing there’s a market there somewhere… ;) . It’s good to know that people are starting to realise that WordPress isn’t just for blogging (although it does an excellent job for that) – simply by taking a different approach, WordPress could be a lot more powerful. For example, by the use of certain plugins.

From what I can see at the moment, there’s very few people out there that realise the potential of a well designed WordPress theme. There’s even fewer that realise the benefits of well designed WordPress plugins. There’s only 2 main providers I can think of at the moment that have started to leverage WordPress as a CMS and using it to build authority sites instead of using it just a blog. Jack Humphrey’s Authority Site Center’s pretty close to the mark as is Semiologic Pro.

And again, I’m going off my main point.

Anyway, recently I was listening to Rich Schefren and he’s talking about the big names within certain niches. Guess what? For top copywriter, Rich goes and says that it’s probably Michel Fortin as the #1 guy in this field. Hmmm… so now I’m thinking, is there anything this guy doesn’t do well?

So what’s my point? Well, some people always seem to produce very high quality work in everything they do. It’s just a knack. A skill. But how do you get there? I’m not sure but one thing that I’ve noted is the variety of things that Michel does. It goes back to something else I noted from a Rich Schefren talk – having a hobby and doing something else other than working 16 hours a day doing Internet Marketing. It helps to focus you to complete your work because you want to be doing something else – like drumming or making music.

Now if some of you are reading this and are doing those 16 hours a day learning all about copywriting; how to code in HTML/Javascript/PHP; learning how to do Pay Per Click ads; researching linkbaiting and link farming; trying to get your tag and ping working properly; analysing your metrics from Google Analytics; pouring over the data from your current split test… well, I’d just like to say: STOP IT! These are *not* your hobbies. There’s more to life than Internet Marketing.

Now, I know that life because I’ve lived it – I did it for a while and realised it wasn’t healthy being up at 4:00am trying to get some new course under my belt. Focus on your strengths, get your work done and go do something less boring instead. Why don’t you?

Me? I’ve recently joined the gym and started getting healthy. I’ve also just realised that the Bad Brains have reformed. Hmm… a trip to the mosh pit might be in order.

So, in the words of the Bad Brains:

“Don’t care what you may say – we got that attitude.
Don’t care what you may do – we got that attitude.
Hey, we got that PMA*!”

(*Interesting side note:
Bad Brains came up with the PMA or Positive Mental Attitude after reading “Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. This concept has kept me strong for years! How weird that my life would find a common thread that would bind hardcore to Napolean Hill with just this single concept?)

Anyway, it looks like it’s my turn to ROCK.

Keep the PMA!