On Being Wrong...

So yesterday I posted about Corey Rudl dying, and a couple people sent me anonymous hate messages. I just posted about it on a group post in passing. I figured it would be interesting for some people, but I did not know the guy well. Some people took great offense to my mention, going so far as calling it pathetic.

My Corey Rudl Experience:
A while ago I bought his course because I was going to make a marketing review site. While I am interesting in marketing, I probably am no longer interested in creating such a site. I have not yet read his course, but I did watch the upsell DVD series.

I do find it interesting how attached many people were to him. But I also found the followthrough on some of his techniques less than desirable. For example:

  • After buying his course weeks later I got more emails asking me why I had not bought it yet

  • His DVD contained information about SEO that was nearly a decade outdated. Others have proved that you can make audio or videos that stay relevant as time passes. His info was generic and dated. He owed it to his customers to give them accurate information.
  • Occassionally when people order my ebook the order messes up. I tell them sorry and send them a download link promptly.

    After people copied my ebook and placed it on their site to sell or give away I bought Corey's ebook program to make it harder to steal and redistribute my ebook. I never got a download link. When I told them that I got an email telling me I was all screwed up and I needed to whitelist their email address.

  • I acted as though I was interested in buying a mentorship program that I probably did not need just to listen to the sales messages. I never followed through with it, because I ended up finding some of the hard sales techniques offensive.
  • When I got an affiliate check and letter the letter said "dear valued affiliate". how hard is it to personalize that? You already have my data if you are writing me a check.
  • One of my first SEO customers bought his affiliate software and course and whatnot. He was losing a ton of money. Within a couple months of meeting me that same customer started to make many thousands of dollars profit per month. At that point my personalized service cost less than what my friend considered old school outdated techniques. I was selling a service and not a dream.

Personal Biases:
The above was my own personal experience with what I knew of Corey Rudl. It does not necissarily make him good or bad, just states that my personal experience was not that great. He still got some of my money though, so he must have been doing something right.

I did admire how well recognized he was and how good he was at selling stuff. Often though many of the most successful people that sell courses, services, and products about living a dream grow detatched from reality.

Not saying that his stuff is bad, just that as time passes successful people tend to become detached from reality. I wrote an article about blinding success long before I was in any way successful (which I still don't really consider myself so today in the grand scheme of things). It is one of the things I fear most. In many markets you have to build a reputation before you can compete, but after you build that reputation the things that are true to you are not true to the average person. To me the just make quality content (without mentioning social interaction) advice many SEOs give parallels the problem of people forgetting where people came from.

Before I get any more hate mail for kicking a dead guy, that is not the goal of this post. The goal of this post is to show why my perceptions may not have matched some of my readers, and perhaps why his death did not mean as much to me as it did to some of the readers of this site.

Selling a Dream:
When people learn new subjects they need somewhere to start. Even if a large amount of the things I say are without tact or in some way wrong, hopefully I am generally helping people.

I think think the same way with Corey, but on a much larger scale. I am sure thousands of people are doing well due in large part to Corey's guidance.

With a decade of experience and front runner marketing techniques it makes sense that many people are attached to Corey and sad to see him go. The guy did die doing what he loved though, and most people who live to 100 do not expereince as much enjoyment as he probably did in his short life. Perhaps that is another reason I was not as sad as some people were about the issue. Most people never get to do what they really want to. At a young age he already did.

Was I wrong to post about Corey dying? I don't think so. Could it have been done with more compassion? Yes.

On another site I covered the topic more in depth, but I did not think that most readers of this blog would want in depth coverage.

When you get lots of readers and do not get lots of feedback it is easy to do things that offend some of them. If I offended you sorry. Here is a good thread about Corey if you want to post.

Published: June 4, 2005 by Aaron Wall in aaron matthew wall


jim ellis
June 8, 2005 - 1:04am

Your forthrightness shines through. And I accept fully your comments as factual and real. Best wishes in all you do.

May 7, 2007 - 8:03pm


I appreciate your analysis of your experience with Corey Rudl. I actually had never heard of the guy except for when you mentioned him in your overture-adwords.pdf in which you suggested that it would be informative to see how he tested and changed his landing pages over time, and that one could use archive.org to do this.

1) What a great idea, thank you for sharing it. It seems that it could be applied to other successful landing pages as well.

2) Were you refering to his carsecrets web page or marketing tips or something else?


Sally Jones
September 2, 2006 - 12:10am

I got suckered into ordering one of Corey Rudl's video tapes and I didn't learn a THING from it. I just laughed as I saw how outdated the things coming out of his mouth were. I really felt ripped out. It's a shame that a snakeoil salesman like him made millions by ripping people off.

June 5, 2005 - 7:04am

You were wrong because you used his name for the purpose of getting traffic for those searching for information on him. You showed no respect for the dead and then you proceeded to say it was okay (in your last entry - in the comments section) because Corey turned his wedding into a marketing event. You knew exactly what you were doing and not just "stating the facts".

Not cool at all, but I guess you're getting a nice spike of traffic from using his name and creating controversy...and maybe some extra sales. Hope it's worth it for being a "virtual ambulance chaser". So sick. So very sick.

June 5, 2005 - 7:08am

Yeah, me again. I just wanted to say it was interesting that you tout your ranking for "SEO Book" as being a stellar accomplishment. Wordtracker reports 38 searches on that term...you rock, dude.

Overture reports quite a few more, but I think we know what to think about Overture numbers.

June 5, 2005 - 5:17pm

This was a good post. IMO, the best tribute you can pay to anyone, living or dead, is to be honest about your experience with them.

Everyone deserves at least that.

A Reader
June 6, 2005 - 4:07pm

"perhaps why his death did not mean as much to me as it did to some of the readers of this site."

"any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind." -john donne

maybe you should wait until the poor guy's body is in the ground before making stupid statements about the quality of his work/seminars/etc. such stuff seems trivial beyond belief at this point.

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