AskPat 295 Episode Transcript
Pat: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 295 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. Hope you're doing well.
Awesome. Here's today's question from Aaron.
Aaron: Hi Pat. My name is Aaron from over in Australia. I've been building a website over the last twelve months and feel a bit stuck at the moment. I've read the book The One Thing you recommended, and I love the idea of focusing on one super important activity. So I've been trying to focus my time almost completely on writing high quality content. But at the same time, I have this feeling like I should be spending time contacting other bloggers, trying to build links, or working on promotion. So my question is: How would you recommend I spend my time between writing content and working on other activities such as promotion? Can I spend 100 percent of my time writing content, or do I need to split my time up? If you do recommend I split my time up, what activities are likely to produce the best return for my time? Thanks Pat. I'll be looking forward to any insights you have on this.
Pat: Hey Aaron, what's up? Thank you so much for the question. I love Australia, I have family in Brisbane and I was there last year in 2014 for the ProBlogger Conference. I did their opening keynote, which was fantastic, and I am likely headed back there next year to do more just family-related things, not for any conferences. But you know, for those of you who are in Australia, look out for me on Twitter @PatFlynn. I'll be talking about maybe doing a meet-up or two while I'm there this summer (which is your winter, interestingly enough).
But anyway, let's get to your question. So the book ‘The One Thing,’ which I recommend, is fantastic. It's written by Jay Papasan And Gary Keller. It’s great. Basically the premise is, you just want to make sure you, when you're working on anything, are focusing on one thing at a time. Because when your energy is kind of spread out between all these different things before you complete something, nothing is going to get done, and we've all experienced this before.
Now, Aaron, you might be taking this a little bit too literally. I mean, it is something that you literally follow and are supposed to do, focus on one thing at a time. But when you're, for example, creating a brand and writing and producing content of any sort, you have to take that content after it's finished, after you've focused on writing that content and finishing that, then you have to focus on promoting it. Too many people feel like when they create a platform and they just write, even if it's the best written content in the world, it's going to take a lot of time and some luck in order for it to be found, and be found by influential people or Google or whoever, for you to find that you're going to get the traffic and the promotion that you deserve.
So yes, you want to write and focus on your writing, but after your pieces of content are done, you want to focus on the promotion of that content. And I remember Derek Halpern from SocialTriggers.com. He and I both spoke at the financial blogger conference (this was in St. Louis in 2013) and he was the closing keynote. I was the opening keynote of that event. And in his closing keynote, one of the first things he asked the audience was to, “please raise your hand if you feel like you spend most of your time writing content and creating content.” And when he looked and when I looked at the entire audience, about 99 percent of the audience was raising their hand. And then he asked the opposite question: “How many of you feel like you spend most of your time promoting your content?” And maybe two or three people raised their hand. And then he said, “It has to be the opposite way.”
Because the thing that he noticed, especially in the personal finance industry, was people were posting sometimes seven days a week, sometimes even more than seven days a week, multiple times a day, on their sites, and not really doing anything after those pieces of content were published to promote those things, to get the word out there and to really get the traffic that those pieces of content deserve. They just focused on delivering content to people who were already there consuming their content, and relying on them to share. And their idea of promotion, and most of you probably know, is to create a piece of content and share it with your audience through your blog and social media, and that's it.
So there's a lot of things you should be doing, but if I were to just give you a percentage, Aaron—and it's going to vary depending on market and how soon you're starting, but I really do think there needs to be a balance. A 50/50 balance: 50 percent of your time writing and creating content, 50 percent of your time doing other things. So when we say, “Focus on one thing at a time,” yes you need to focus on one of those things while you're doing it, but don't neglect the other part of it. So again, 50 percent promotion, 50 percent writing or producing content.
Now, what does that promotion look like, in that 50 percent? Well, there's a lot of things you can do, but you asked for the 80/20 or the 20 percent of the things you do that get 80 percent of the results, which is a fantastic question. And you mentioned some of those things already. You want to make sure that you are building relationships with other bloggers and other people who could potentially feature your content either in the form of a guest post or maybe just mentioning something that you've written that is very useful for their particular audience, or maybe through an interview on a podcast. A lot of us don't realize that podcasting is so big now that we can treat podcasts like blogs in that we can go on their show like guest posts. I would bet that most people haven't asked to do a guest podcast or a guest interview or a guest, you know, it's not really an interview, when you think about it. Maybe it's a guest presentation, if you will.
And so, kind of come up with something useful for a different person that would be useful to both of you, both their audience that they have but also an audience that you're going to build as well. So building those relationships with other bloggers is really important and you want to make sure you reach out to them on Twitter, you connect with them, you send emails, you connect on Skype. Those are the real ways to do it. And then even more than that, you want to get out of the house and go to conferences where these people hang out and be one of them. Become one of those people who befriends those guys and understands that you are there as a resource to help them, and they're there to help you. And that's kind of how it works.
Now another thing that is really helpful, less so in the blogging world but very much so in the podcasting world, is doing what you can to get high in the rankings. So with ratings and reviews and subscribes and downloads, those types of things on podcasts, especially in the first eight weeks during the New and Noteworthy period that you have when you first start a podcast, it's very very important. So focusing on those things in the beginning to get yourself on the rankings where you get immediate exposure is really really important.
Now, this could happen on blogs too, and there are things you can do to create, for example, round-up posts where you feature posts from other popular bloggers and people in the space that you're in so that they could potentially share that piece of article that you have answering one particular question. For example, this is something I did on FoodTruckr.com. That article which was, 50 Food Truck Owners Speak Out: What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Food Truck. That post is still the most popular post on FoodTruckr and brings in the most traffic from Google as well, so that always helps.
And then, lately, you should listen to . . . oh gosh, what episode is it? Actually, I'm going to find it on the fly here, but it's an episode of The Smart Passive Income podcast, and what it is . . . Episode 145, there we go. So I did it on the fly. So, Episode 145, you can find that at SmartPassiveIncome.com/session145. If you listen to that, you'll understand from Kimanzi Constable exactly how you can become a contributing writer on large, authoritative media sites. So, sites like, if you're in the online business world, Entrepreneur, Inc., and Forbes. Huffington Post for anybody out there, any niche. And looking at the big players in your niche, how to get on those sites.
That'll give you almost instant authority as a writer or contributor. And Kimanzi, in that episode—again, SmartPassiveIncome.com/session145—that'll show you how you can sort of bypass the original or normal application process and really go ahead and get your articles featured on there. And that's a way to do two things at once. You're not only writing and creating content, but you're also promoting yourself at the same time, which is really really helpful. Now, of course there's hundreds of articles on Smart Passive Income that can help you with traffic generation and promotion, but those are the really big things, especially now, if you're looking to sort of promote the content that you have in ways beyond just, “Oh, social media!”
The last thing is, if you are established and you have an email list, use your email list to generate traffic, because then you find people come from your email list, to your blog, they read it, they share it. When they share it, more people come and subscribe to the list, and then so on and so forth. It just keeps growing and growing and growing that way.
So, Aaron, I hope this answers your question and gives you some ideas, and shows you that you should be focusing on one thing at a time, but different things, just while you're doing those different things to help with the growth of your site. Focus on them, and do the 80/20 like we talked about. Aaron, thank you so much for the question. An AskPat t-shirt will be headed your way for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page using the widget from Speakpipe.com.
And finally, I want to end with a quote, and today's quote is from Ronald Reagan. He says, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets people to do the greatest things.” Love that.
Have a great week, everybody. And I will say one more thing for those of you who have been listening for a long time, especially on my other show, Smart Passive Income. That show has been nominated for a podcast award at PodcastAwards.com, the tenth annual, and I've been nominated two years in a row before this one. And we haven't won yet, but we're going to give it one more shot here, so for those of you listening, if you want to support my other podcast and help me out and hopefully help us get an award as a community, together, head on over to PodcastAwards.com and look for Smart Passive Income in the Business category. That would help out so much. And yes, you can vote daily through March 24. That'd be extremely helpful. Thank you so much, I appreciate you guys for your help and your support, and thank you. I appreciate it, and I'll see you tomorrow on the next episode of AskPat. Cheers.