A few months ago I signed up for Yaro Starak's Blog Mastermind.
I paid $47 to join, which is a steep monthly price for me, but the price was about to go up to $77 (nothing like creating that sense of urgency!) so I decided to give it a try. I believe he offered a 30 day guarantee, so I really had nothing to lose.
The way the membership works is that there is a "resources area" for paid members. In this area the members have access to all kinds of resources that Yaro has put into the membership. Stuff like interviews with other successful bloggers, audios with Yaro giving answers to questions that members have asked, video case studies where Yaro does a 15 - 20 minute critique of a member's blog (he does a new one each week).
You wouldn't believe the amount of information that is available!
Each week I receive an e-lesson in the mail and at that point I have access to all the e-lessons that came before the current one. Obviously, all the mastermind members are up to different lessons in the course. There is a special forum for members where the members can interact with each other and with Yaro and his team of mentors. People ask questions about the lessons, technical questions about how to do stuff in Wordpress, advice about blog design etc. There is alot of networking going on and relationships being created.
Each e-lesson is packed with information about that week's topic and there is also an audio available of the lesson. Often, Yaro will provide another audio or video about one of the topics covered in the lesson.
To be honest, I never realized that there were so many things to take into consideration when putting up a blog. Yaro talks alot about branding, creating what he calles "pillar articles", blog design, RSS, social proof (like showing the number of RSS subscribers to your blog only if you have over 100 subscribers, in order to impress people into wanting to subscribe as well).
Yaro talks alot about content, content, content. He believes that each blog should be turned into an authority site that winds up having a "following" of people who are waiting to hear what the blogger has to say. In this, Yaro differs greatly from the guys that promote "niche blogging", who feel that you just have to do some keyword research and slap up a blog with the purpose of pushing one or more affiliate products. These blogs may get search engine traffic but they will never get the massive amounts of traffic that authority blogs can get.
Yaro believes that you don't need to put up zillions of blogs to make money. He says that if you choose a topic that you really enjoy (many people hate their topics and just do them to make money), then you will be able to make the content interesting and subsequently you will be able to monetize your blog nicely.
He goes extensively into the topic of traffic, although, I am in my third month of membership and have not received the e-lessons on traffic yet. But, Yaro talks about different aspects of driving traffic in the various lessons and case studies. He's a big believer in leaving meaningful comments on other blogs and contributing content to other blogs. He advocates forum participation and social networking.
I believe that if you are serious about blogging and are interested in making REAL money from your blog (Yaro makes 5 figures every month) like Yaro, John Chow, Darren Rowse (the Problogger) and others it's worth digging deep into your pocket and forking over that $77 a month. By the way, you can always take just the first month and download all the unbelievable resources he's got in the membership. If you don't want to continue, just cancel after the first month. Yaro's Blog Mastermind is by far THE most extensive and all encompassing blogging course I have ever seen. This is not some $7 report. This is serious business for people who want to make serious money blogging.
If you haven't yet read Yaro's Blogging Blueprint you would do well to download it because it is a FREE report with more information in it than in many reports that cost alot of money.