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SPI’s Best of 2016

SPI’s Best of 2016

By Pat Flynn on

As we quickly approach the end of the 2016, which was a wild year indeed, I thought it would be fun to do a best of recap with some of my favorite posts, podcasts, and SPI TV episodes published here on SPI this past year.

Before I do, however, I’d like to publicly thank my editorial content manager, Janna Maron, for helping keep me and the rest of the SPI team on track to deliver, for the first time in SPI history, a consistent and regular publishing schedule. You see, back in the day (and by that, I literally mean a couple of years ago), I’d write many of my blog posts like this:

Step 1: Open Google Docs

Step 2: Create New Google Doc

Step 3: Stare at a blinking cursor until inspiration hit me and I finally began to write.

Because of this, sometimes when I felt uninspired, I’d feel like I was wasting time and I’d give in to the idea that it just wasn’t time for a post. So I would have nothing ready to publish.

This was also the same way I approached my podcast, as well as my YouTube channel. I’d have little bursts of inspiration and content ideas here and there. I would write those down, but then I’d run out of ideas or think I was writing something I had already discussed before, and again I’d feel like it just wasn’t meant to be for that particular day.

Today, with Janna on board, we’re planning ahead, sometimes by three to four months. Content planning isn’t random anymore, but purposeful, typically based around the time of the year in conjunction with what else is happening in my business at that time. And, we’re getting a lot of this content written, recorded, and drafted ahead of time.

For example, when my book came out in February of this year, we decided that a lot of the content around that time of the year was going to be about books. Promotions for the book, of course, but also more than that. We decided to tackle the creation journey behind writing books, marketing books, building launch teams, social media strategies, and more. We decided to interview experts who knew about these things and incorporate that into the schedule too. It made creating the content easier, and from what I heard, the theme around that time made it all much easier to consume, especially for those who were also in book writing and launching mode.

Things like this are planned already for 2017, including information and insights surrounding the launch of my new course, Smart from Scratch, events that I’ll be attending, and, this just in…a physical product!

There are lots of fun and exciting things coming next year, but for now, after one more thanks to Janna (thanks Janna!), and a link to the podcast episode she was featured in (where we talked about planning and getting ahead on your editorial calendar), let’s do a recap of much of the good stuff that was featured here on SPI in 2016.

First, let’s start with some of my favorite blog posts.

The Best of the SPI Blog: Blog Posts

10,000+ Email Subscribers A Month from Instagram in 1 Year: How Foundr Did It—Guest Post by Nathan Chan

Nathan Chan of Foundr Magazine has had amazing success on Instagram. In this post, he explains how he managed to do this by understanding the Instagram sales funnel, creating content that works, being smart with your Instagram captions, and much more.

Be an Instagram success story.

How to Repurpose Audio Content Like a Machine

Just as it’s smart to repurpose your blog content, it’s also important to repurpose your audio content. In this post, I provide tangible takeaways—including transcription, ebook, and social media—for taking your audio content to the next level.

Start repurposing your audio content today.

5 Free Ways to Make Your Website More Effective NOW (SumoMe guest post)

Sarah Peterson, head of content marketing at, shares her five free tips to help you make your website more effective, not tomorrow, but now. No matter what state your website is in, you can benefit from these site-boosting tips!

Make your website more effective starting now.

Don’t Be Your Own Boss. Be the CEO.

A CEO learns to let go, and allow others to help. I eventually learned this, but it took me a while. In this post, I explain my journey from being the boss to being the CEO of Smart Passive Income.

You can be the CEO too. Find out how.

A Deep Look Into the Top 5 Posts on SPI, and Why They Were So Popular

If you have blog posts on your website that perform better than others, it’s a good idea to try to understand why they are performing better. What makes them special? In this post, I describe the top five posts on SPI and why they are so popular.

Get started on analyzing your top posts.

Next, let’s get into podcast episodes, starting with Smart Passive Income:

The Best of the SPI Blog: Smart Passive Income Podcast

200: How Deleting a Third of Your Content Can Triple Your Traffic—How to Do a Content Audit with Todd Tressider

Todd Tressider deleted a third of of his website content, and it tripled his traffic. Amazing. In this episode, he shares how he audited his content, and how you can too.

205: How Simple Green Smoothies Used “Challenges” to Grow from 0 to 200k Subscribers in a Year

For Jadah and Jen, the recipe for success is simple: challenges! In this episode of SPI, Jadah joins me to discuss how she and Jen kickstarted her green smoothie business with an ebook, how they manage their growing social media community, and more.

221: An Unknown Way to Boost Sales and Increase the Size of Your List—Back with an SPI Student

On SPI 221, Smart Passive Income student Kenneth Kelly shares his “magic” secrets on how he transformed into the hub of innovative affiliate strategy that it has become.

225: Meet the Flynn Family (the ones who really run the show), with Kai and Keoni

This was a special one for me, as I got to speak with my kids, Kai and Keoni, and my wife, April. Each of them make it possible for me to do what I do here at Smart Passive Income, and so I wanted each of you to get to know them!

227: 15 Entrepreneurs Answer: ‘What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Own Business’

One of the best ways to grow is to learn from the lessons of others. That’s why I asked fifteen of my favorite entrepreneurs about what they wish they had known before starting, and how that has shaped their business.

230: From Deathly Afraid to Cool and Confident: My 5-Year Public Speaking Journey

There was a time in my entrepreneurial life where I was deathly afraid of speaking in public. I’m sure some of you can relate! In this SPI episode, I explain how I channeled that fear into something positive.

The Best of the SPI Blog: AskPat

And now, AskPat, which will definitely hit the 1,000 episode mark sometime in 2017! How awesome is that? Thanks for listening, and if you haven’t already, please subscribe and ask your question at! You can win a cool shirt if your question gets featured on the show 🙂

570: How Do I Create Video Tutorials?

Video tutorials are an excellent way to share knowledge with your community. I list some of my favorite video tutorial tools, including Screenflow and Camtasia.

619: How Do I Know My Site is Doing Well?

Every business needs to have a website, but how do you figure out how your website is performing? I answer this question and explain which website stats to look for.

635: I Have a Quality Product But a Small Fan Base. How Should I Promote My Product?

You may have a quality product, but a small, core fan base. There are some strategic ways you can promote your product without wasting your time.

654: How Can I Run a Weekly Q&A?

As a business owner, you need to engage with your audience. Running a weekly Q&A is a great way to do that. I share my favorite Q&A tool out there.

704: How Do I Grow My Audience at the Beginning Stages of My Website?

You’ve just started your website. Great! Now you need to grow your audience to bring people to your website. In this episode, I share a few creative ways you can grow your audience when you’re first starting out.

The Best of the SPI Blog: SPI TV

SPI TV has continued to stay strong through 2016, and I’m excited because Caleb and I plan to take a slightly different approach in 2017 with our videos for SPI. SPI TV will still exist, but you may see something completely brand new sometime after the new year. Stay tuned!

Here are my favorite episodes from SPI TV this year:

38: Validating a Product and the Story of SumoJerky with Noah Kagan

Noah Kagan, founder of AppSumo, joined me to discuss how he validated and tested his idea for SumoJerky, which is an amazing (not to mention delicious) jerky subscription service!

Read the full episode notes here. Watch the complete episode on YouTube below.

39: Interview with Jay Papasan, Author of The One Thing

The One Thing [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] is a book every entrepreneur should read, and especially if you want to write a book someday. Jay Papasan inspires his readers as well as gives concrete steps to take in our own entrepreneurial journeys.

Read the full episode notes here. Watch the complete episode on YouTube below.

46: Behind the Scenes—My Editorial Calendar and the Tools I Use

Spreadsheets, editorial calendars, all the tools! On SPI TV Ep. 46, I jump behind the scenes of SPI’s editorial process—masterfully organized by Janna (thanks again, Janna!).

Read the full episode notes here. Watch the complete episode on YouTube below.

47: Live Interview with Gary Vee—#AskGaryVee Book

In this episode of SPI TV, entrepreneurial firecracker Gary Vee shares a peek inside his new book, #AskGaryVee, and gives us actionable strategies for making new platforms work for our business.

Read the full episode notes here. Watch the complete episode on YouTube below.

56: How to Write the Perfect Blog Post

For the past eight years, running the SPI blog has taught me a lot about what works, and definitely what doesn’t work. In this episode, I share all of the tips I know about writing the perfect blog post.

Read the full episode notes here. Watch the complete episode on YouTube below.

57: SPI Turns 8 Years Old! A Personal Reflection from Pat

Boy, a lot has changed in the last eight years! I reflect on this and more, plus a glimpse at my old home office and site. Yikes! I also share what I’m excited about for the future.

Read the full episode notes here. Watch the complete episode on YouTube below.

Bonus: My Favorite Instagram Posts

And just for fun, because I know a lot of you follow me on Instagram as well (@patflynn), here are my favorite Instagram posts from 2016:

One of the coolest sights I’ve ever seen. Thank you to everyone who has already picked up my book…still a little surreal all of this is to me. #willitfly #thankful

A photo posted by Pat Flynn (@patflynn) on

Our family #Tesla is here! It’s not a Delorean, but it’s close! (And way more practical, LOL!) A dream come true, and man does this thing fly! #grateful #blessed #teslamodelx

A photo posted by Pat Flynn (@patflynn) on

#faceswap with @chrisducker – weirdest / scariest thing I’ve seen I’ve seen in a long long time. I can’t stop looking! ?

A photo posted by Pat Flynn (@patflynn) on

So proud of our boy! He had a MAJOR breakthrough during swim lessons this week, going from crying at the edge of the stairs and not wanting to swim anymore, to confident and brave, swimming in the deep end, jumping off the ledge and begging us to come back to the pool every hour of the day. Such a champ, and a great opportunity to teach him a lesson he’ll be facing all his life – that sometimes the thing you fear ends up becoming the thing you enjoy the most. I wish I could read him The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, but he’s not old enough for that language yet. Maybe I should ask him to do a children’s version!

A photo posted by Pat Flynn (@patflynn) on

What a great year!

Time to enjoy Australia (which is where my family and I are at right now), celebrate the holidays, and prepare for an even more amazing year in 2017. Cheers, and thanks so much for all of your amazing support!

Oh, and before you go, feel free to share your one (just one!) piece of content that you’re most proud of from 2016. You have my permission to leave one (just one please!) link to your content here in the comment section below. This doesn’t happen often, but take advantage of it, and add some words beyond the link to help everyone here understand why you picked that one.

Looking forward to checking them out!

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