Corbett Barr – Founder of Insanely Useful Media

[quote style=”boxed”]Through consistent, daily action. That’s how anything worthwhile gets accomplished.[/quote]

Corbett Barr is founder of Insanely Useful Media, which publishes blogs, including Think Traffic and Expert Enough, for an audience of more than 100,000 monthly visitors. Through his courses and consulting, Corbett has helped students and clients launch or grow more than 1,000 blogs and websites in the past three years.

What are you working on right now?

At my blog, Think Traffic, we publish tips and strategies for growing thriving online audiences every week. Our goal is to help any website or blog owner learn how to build a bigger and more engaged audience.

Where did the idea for Think Traffic come from?

I started Think Traffic after both failing and succeeding at building audiences for various web-based projects, and after watching several friends struggle to attract traffic. I started the blog because I wanted to uncover exactly why some websites are massive successes while the vast majority go almost completely unnoticed.

What does your typical day look like?

My typical day is very flexible, and each day is different depending on where I’m currently living or traveling. I live in San Francisco for about half of the year and spend the other half living in Mexico or traveling elsewhere in the world. The beauty of an online business like the one I run is that it can be operated anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection and some inspiration.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Through consistent, daily action. That’s how anything worthwhile gets accomplished.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

My favorite trend is the fact that more and more people seem to be becoming freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent creatives. The world is a better place when people get to do work that makes them come alive and experience the benefits and fulfillment of being self-sufficient.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I’ve enjoyed every job I’ve ever had in certain ways. The worst situation I’ve been in with a job was when I had to fly across the country every week to work on some giant project I could care less about to help a massive Fortune 500 company become ever-so-insignificantly more efficient. From that, I learned that controlling what I work on and how I work are two very important things to me.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t spend nearly as much time working for other people in my career. I think it was helpful, when I was very young, to learn by working in a bigger company, but I wish I had gone out on my own much earlier.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Two things:

  1. I take lots of time for myself, traveling and enjoying friends and family. That helps keep the batteries charged.
  2. I read and study constantly. Whatever field you’re in, there are books, conferences, videos and more with rich knowledge and experience you can learn from. Learning is one of the best ways to shortcut your way to success.

What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

As an entrepreneur, you have to learn at least a little about every important aspect of business. It took me a while to understand this, and to fill in the missing gaps in my knowledge of marketing, for example. Simply learning and doing were the secrets to getting past those hurdles.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Business ideas are a dime a dozen. As Derek Sivers said, “Ideas are just a multiplier of execution. Without great execution, your idea is worthless.”

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

I’d have to go for world peace. I have no idea how to accomplish it, but you asked.

Tell us a secret.

I was once turned down for an entry-level job at Subway (the sandwich shop). Thank god.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

  1. TeuxDeux is the perfect, basic to-do list.
  2. Optimizely is a dead-simple way to split-test your website.
  3. BackupBuddy. No WordPress site should be without a good backup.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Influence by Robert Cialdini. It will make you understand human behavior and marketing in a whole new way.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

  1. Chris Guillebeau because he’s leading a revolution.
  2. Simon Sinek because he’s inspiring.
  3. Rob Delaney because he’s funny.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

Two nights ago I laughed my ass off at the Comedy Cellar in NYC. It’s such an incredible place to see the best stand-up comedians live and up close.

Who is your hero?

My hero is “the entrepreneur.” There is no greater feeling than being able to support yourself by doing something that makes you proud.

What is wrong with how most people approach marketing online?

Marketing is important, but it’s a waste if you don’t have great content or an incredible product or service. People talk about SEO and social media as if they’re a magic solution to everyone’s marketing problems. The truth is, they’ve become a crutch for people with mediocre content who looking for a way to shove it down our throats. Focus on creating great content first; then the marketing becomes easy.

What’s more important to you than work?

Friends, family, good times, and making the world a better place.


Corbett Barr on Twitter: @corbettbarr
Think Traffic blog: