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AP 0992: How Can I Bootstrap More Traffic to my Website?

AP 0992: How Can I Bootstrap More Traffic to my Website?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 992 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 992 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.

We have a question coming in today from James, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks, a company that’s serving millions of small businesses by helping us manage our business finances, from keeping track of our income, automatically keeping track of our expenses, helping us create our balance sheets, and profit and loss statements, but also helping us with our invoicing, too. You can create a professional-looking invoice in less than thirty seconds. If you’re doing any billing of any kind, and you need a tool to help you do that, and get paid, and keep track of those things, FreshBooks is the way to go. Check this out: You can get it for thirty days for free, a thirty day free trial by going to FreshBooks.com/askpat and just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did hear about us?” section. Sweet. Now, here’s today’s question from James.

James: Hi, Pat. This is James from LaserCutterFAQ.com. First, I just want to say thank you for all the great work you do, and the positive impact you’re having on people’s lives. My website is a question and answer site where people can ask and answer questions about working with laser cutters and engravers. I want this site to grow into a useful resource for the maker community, and anyone else who works with lasers.

I don’t have a lot of money for advertising right now, so I’m trying to grow it organically, but since the site relies on the interactions of users, it’s really dependent on network effects for growth. I was wondering if you had some suggestions on how I could get more traction on the site in a bootstrapping kind of way? Thank you again for all the awesome work you do, and for taking the time to answer this question.

Pat Flynn: Hey, James. Thank you so much for the question today. I appreciate it. I’m going to give you an idea that I’ve shared in many different places, but you can potentially take it and incorporate it into your own site. Now, the origin of this idea comes from my podcasting course—this is PowerUpPodcasting.com. You can also enter for the waitlist there, if you’d like, actually. PowerUpPodcasting.com. This is a tip I offer people who are just starting out. A lot of people in that course are also bootstrapping, too. They’ve just spent money on their equipment, and stuff, and they just want to go and grow. Many people have started without any audience and have done very well, and have used just this strategy alone. That is, utilizing the relationships that you will build with owners of forums, and people who have already built trust with your target audience. To be a little bit more specific, you can go on Facebook, for example, type in your niche, and look for all the different groups related to that particular topic.

If you have a podcast, you can interview the admins of those groups, the people who are gonna be likely to say, “Yes,” because they’re hardly ever asked to do such a thing, and more likely to say, “Yes,” to sharing that episode with their community versus like, an A-lister in your space. That’s why a podcast is a great thing to have, because it’s a platform where you can invite people to come and you can interview them, and feature them in their community, and it’s just been an amazing strategy that many people have used.

Now, how can you use this if you have a blog and you don’t really have a podcast? That’s okay if you don’t have a podcast; that’s something you could potentially offer. What I would do is see how you might be able to build relationships and connect with other influencers out there who already have an audience, who are sort of potentially even bigger names, and have them come on as sort of the person to answer a few of these questions. You’re gonna feature them as sort of a guest answerer, I guess, for maybe a few questions, or a short period of time. Make an event out of it, too, AMA style. “Hey, today we’re doing an AMA with, you know, Cathy Rogers, who is an incredible laser cutter. She’s been doing it for twenty years, and for today only all questions that are asked, she and I will be going through them, and she’ll be answering them from her experience today,” and she can promote that and share it with her audience at the same time, because they likely don’t have a platform to answer questions like this, plus they want to get this person you’re kind of interviewing, but not really, kind of using as a resource, but also having them become somebody who’s gonna get a lot more exposure. Again, that’s why they would want to do it, because there’s probably people there already, and as this site continues to grow their names are gonna be there. It’s gonna be associated in an expert, sort of authoritative kind of way. I think that would be really fun.

I don’t know exactly how you would manage that in terms of logistics, and having it known that that’s happening to your audience. Hopefully, you’re building a list, which is something you could share with these influencers as well, in terms of just making these announcements and such. That’s a great way for you to add value to the person that you are inviting on to come on, as they are adding value to your site, and the overall just feel and roundedness. By roundedness I mean just the fact that your site is the one that’s encompassing almost everybody in the space. It’s not just you answering questions, but it’s the entire expert community perhaps, down the road. That’s something that I think could work out very well.

Yeah, on that, James, let me know what you think, and keep me up-to-date. I think that’s something that could potentially work out very well, and that will be the quickest way for you to kind of bootstrap, because it’s not gonna cost you really that much money to do, maybe a little bit in infrastructure and setting up the website to make it look like you’re hosting this person for a day, or for a week, or whatever, and also just to kind of spend time. You’re using time, not money, to reach out and build those relationships, and expand your website.

James, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate it. Best of luck to you. I’m gonna send you an AskPat teeshirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show, as well, just head on over to AskPat.com, and you can ask right there on that page.

For those of you who are wondering about the contest that’s happening, I’m actually giving away 1,000 dollars, each day, each week, to a random person who enters the contest, and that giveaway can be found at AskPat.com/solve, AskPat.com/solve. The reason it’s “solve” is because I’ve been dropping clues for the answer to a question that you’re asked on that page to be entered into this drawing. You’ll only kind of know what the answer is if you’ve listened since Episode 900. Now, you might be able to guess, which is okay, but I’ve been dropping clues since Episode 900, and perhaps you might know the answer, and then you’ll be entered. Just rewarding the listeners of AskPat who’ve been with me for a while, and I just want to thank you, again, for being awesome.

Finally, here is a quote to finish off the day by C.S. Lewis. “Some day you’ll be old enough to start reading fairytales again.” Ooh, interesting. All right, guys, thanks so much. Take care and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.

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