AskPat Episode 138 Transcript
Pat Flynn: What up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 138 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, this episode wouldn't be here without the amazing Mindy on the other side editing and putting all this together. Mindy, I know you're listening to this. You rock. She just had a birthday, so happy birthday Mindy.
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Now let's get to today's question from Ryan.
Ryan: Hi Pat. My name is Ryan, and I was wondering: How do you balance creating new pages for your site, which is what I want to focus most of my energy, trying to publish around three to four new articles per week? How do you market those pages and stay on track? My content is good, and I'm sure it will get shared in the future. But how do I balance those two out so I'm not spending too much time on the marketing part of it? I would really just like to spend most of my time creating new content. Thanks for all the help. I just want to say you're doing a really great job. Keep it up.
Pat Flynn: Ryan, thank you so much for your question. Your question reminds me of somebody who I really admire in this space and I just happen to be great friends with, Derek Halpern from SocialTriggers.com. He did a keynote presentation, the ending keynote presentation at Financial Blogger Conference last year in St. Louis. This is 2013. His whole presentation was about how we write too much, and we don't market enough. He asked a question to the entire audience. Mind you, this is an audience of personal finance bloggers. But they represented most bloggers really well in terms of this particular question. He asked everybody, or . . . he asked everybody to raise their hand if they feel they write more content then they spend time marketing their content. I would say 99 percent of the room raised their hand. Then he asked the opposite question, and hardly anybody raised their hand. His whole thesis was we need to spend more time marketing our content.
A lot of people, especially in the personal finance space, are blogging five times a week, sometimes seven days a week. Derek says it's a waste of time because you're not spending the time that you need to be spending creating content. He actually says that you should be spending 20 percent of your tie writing content, creating content, and 80 percent of your time marketing it. Which I know sounds insane, because I know it's the exact opposite for most of us. I do spend a lot of time creating content myself. I do spend a lot of time marketing it. I know that when I spend time marketing the content, it does get seen by more people. You're spending a lot of this time, this energy, writing really amazing content, and just the way a blog works typically, the more blog content you write, the more everything you've written in the past just goes in the archive. It's really hard to find that stuff.
Derek actually put up a really interesting graph talking about how he had just started writing for his site, Social Triggers, and then took it down a notch and stopped writing every single week. Actually just posted once or twice a month. That's it, which I know sounds almost like just insane for all of us to only post once a month. His traffic went up when he did that because he spent more time deciding what to write and targeting specific audiences within his niche when writing those articles. Also, doing the things he needed to do after publishing those articles to really have them go viral and take off and do what they needed to do to get in front of everybody who needs to read them.
You want everybody who can benefit from that article to read it. Right? You don't want that not to happen. When you start writing new stuff and you don't spend time marketing, then that's what can happen. I'm going to give you some stuff that you can think about to help you with the marketing of your content. I still think creating content is very, very useful, obviously, for your existing audience, but also for marketing. When you write more content, it gives you more opportunity to be found through Google, through search and sharing and all that sort of stuff. I think it's important, but I do believe we all do need to ramp up the marketing. That's more than just posting it on Facebook and Twitter. There's other things you can do.
Derek talked about . . . and I recommend everybody go to SocialTriggers.com to read more from Derek as far as blog marketing and content creation. He is just at the top of his game or top of the blog world as far as that's concerned. I've been learning personally a lot from him as well. He talked about how a lot of the times when he writes articles, publishes them . . . That's just the beginning of everything. He actually sends emails out to people who he feels would benefit from reading that stuff. He doesn't email those people other influencers and say, “Go share my stuff.” He just says, “I read this interesting study that says this, this, and this. If you want more information, let me know and I'll send you a link.” That's it. He's getting these people to say, “Yes, send me a link,” which brings them back to the site. Then they go from there. That's just a very rough account of what might happen. He had written an article one time saying something about . . . that debunked the “content is king” myth and talked about how design was king because people actually have a first impression of what things look like before they even get into the content. There was this whole argument.
He created this post specifically to create a debate between designers and content creators, people who thought that content wasn't king, that design was king, people who actually believed that content was king. When he created this post, and he cited a lot of studies and things like that, which help support his cause and his efforts . . . It wasn't just, “This is what I think.” This is actual studies, which people are more interested in, for one. It makes it more believable, of course, and makes it more authoritative. He emailed people who were in the design world and said, “I found this study. It actually says that content isn't king, and what you're doing is probably really, really important. You want to check it out?” Then of course they checked it out, and they shared it within their community and that whole thing. Then he emailed people that were well known to be said that content is king. Said, “I wrote this post. It talks about how actually content isn't king. Designers are on there talking about it. You want to come on and see what you think?” Of course, they come on and they share it. They start this debate.
Actually, that article took off like that. He did a lot of other articles that have similar strategies as well, but that's just one example of what Derek does and how you can do things after you publish to help produce viral quality to the post that you create, which is what we all want. Here's some tips from me as far as marketing your content or what to do afterwards. The first thing is . . . this is going to sound weird. But creating more content is good, like I said, but creating more content to market your existing content is good as well. Don't just think about creating content. I got to talk about this new thing, or I got to start talking about totally different things that I never talked about before. It's great to bring back things that you've written in the past. Not just copy, paste them, of course. But you can bring them back to light. You can either take them to the next level or do a recap, or you just might happen to be writing about something that relates to something you've written before.
You should, at all times, do your best to link to old archived posts. I've been doing this much more better lately because I just have a better understanding of what's going on on my site and what people are interested in. I've been writing about things that I knew I've written about in the past. I link to those old posts, and I might say, “This is a new addition of that post,” or, “As I wrote back in 2012, such and such and such. These new findings say . . .” So on and so forth. Things like that are really good for marketing old content as well.
You could also do something . . . this is something I've been doing really well lately, is creating resource pages. I do talk about a resource page in particular on my site, which is the one that makes most of the money on my site. If you go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/resources, that particular resource page is a list of all the tools and all the helpful links from outside of my site that have been really helpful that I've mentioned in posts before. A lot of those links are affiliate links, which is why I said it's one of the most profitable pages on the site. The reason I love that page so much is because it's very non-aggressive. People go there looking for helpful stuff, and that's where I provide it. Oftentimes it's a win for everybody, especially because people are getting tools that they need and will help them right now without having to ask me or search anywhere for them. It's right there.
On my end, I get an affiliate commission off of it, which is pretty cool. It's a win for everybody, like I said. These resources pages that I'm talking about are . . . think of categories on your particular blog. You could create a resource page that shares all of the posts that you've ever written about that particular topic. For example, I have a page on Smart Passive Income that you can find by . . . actually, if you go to SmartPassiveIncome.com, right under where it says, “Let's see what works,” right on the home page, there's a giant . . . if you're on mobile, you won't see this. If you're on a desktop, there's a giant piece of text. It says, “Let's see what works.” Underneath that, there's five different topics. One of those topics is affiliate marketing, for example. They all do this. They all link to resource pages, but it's essentially a landing page for people looking or interested about that particular topic. The affiliate marketing one goes over quick definitions of what affiliate marketing is and where to get started. Then it links to all of my older posts that I've ever written or the ones that I least feel were great. They're all linked on that page.
Anyone who's ever interested about affiliate marketing, whether they send me an email, or they're on a site and I link to that particular resource page when I'm talking about affiliate marketing in my newer posts, it always goes back to that landing page. Then people can see everything I've written about affiliate marketing. It works really well. The cool thing about this, the by-product of how helpful that page is, and not just people are going to my older posts, I'm marketing my older content, but that page is ranking on the first page of Google for affiliate marketing. This was a trick that I learned, and I have to give him credit from Derek Halpern and the people over at Thesis. It's working out really well. I have one for blogging strategies. I have one for email marketing. They all rank extremely high for those really high search keywords. That's a great way to bring back older content as well. It's always good to do recap posts and things like that. Because a lot of times, people who are new to your site never see those things.
Another thing you could do is you can implement an autoresponder sequence. If you have people who are newly subscribed to your newsletter or email list, you can send them emails automatically. After a certain period of time, of old pieces of content. Like I said, a lot of times people who are new to your site or new subscribers won't ever see those old things. You might be doing them a disservice by not sharing those old pieces of content. Focusing on those efforts as well will help. Another thing you could do is you could create a “best of.” Whether it's related to a particular category, or . . . I have a page on Smart Passive Income, you can find it at the footer of the home page, it says “best of.” It links to all of my best articles. I'll often link to just that page either in my email newsletter or on Twitter. That's, again, a great way to indirectly promote those older pieces of content that you've written.
There's a lot of things you can do. I would also make sure to . . . I'm just thinking out of the box here. You could subscribe to the email list over at HARO, Help a Reporter Out. Look up “help a reporter out.” You can subscribe to particular topics. There might be some journalists or reporters out there who are looking for information that you have or that you've written about before. You might be able to get in front of an audience that you would've never gotten in front of before. I think the best way to market old content is to create amazing relationships with people that are doing the same thing as you. A lot of times, in a lot of industries, and especially in the personal finance industry, which is the first industry that I followed as an upcoming blogger, they link to each other all the time. That's a great way to get in front of another audience. It's a great way to make connections and give back and those sorts of things.
If you have a buddy who's also a blogger in the same niche as you, you could say, “I have this post. I think it would be helpful for your audience. Let me know if you have one that would be helpful for my audience. I'm looking for information about this. Maybe you have one and let me know.” You can start sharing amongst each other. It's just exactly how JD Roth from GetRichSlowly.org and Trent from Simple Dollar both became top power houses in the Financial Blogger industry. Those are just some basic things you could do to further or get further with the content that you've written.
I would experiment, however, Ryan, with cutting back on the content and just seeing what that does. See if you could focus that effort on maybe even just substitute the time that you would spend on one post for creating relationships with other bloggers, or giving value to another blogger and seeing what happens from that, or marketing your content in a similar fashion that I talked about with Derek. You never know. I think a lot of people get too comfortable with creating content because it's easy. We create content but you can't just expect those posts to go viral on their own. You have to get it to that tipping point. A lot of times, that just requires a little bit of effort on your end. The best way to figure it out is just experiment and see what works. Just keep going at it.
Ryan, thank you so much for your question. I really appreciate it. I hope it helps, and I hope it helps everybody out there listening. For those of you who also have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there from that page. I also want to thank everybody who has just submitted questions in the past. You guys are awesome. This show obviously wouldn't happen without questions from you.
I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks. FreshBooks.com is awesome because you can just create professional-looking invoices. You can capture and track expenses. You can get real-time business reports with just a couple of clicks. It also has an award-winning mobile app. If you want to get a free trial of FreshBooks to help keep track of everything financial in your business and help save you time so you can focus on what you need to be focusing on, you go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How'd you hear about us?” section. You can get your free trial that way. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com, and “AskPat” in the “How'd you hear about us?” section.
Thank you again. As always, I'm going to end with a quote. This quote is from Jeremy Shoemaker, the founder of Shoemoney.com. He says, “People can't relate to someone who only talks about their successes.”
People can't relate to someone who only talks about their successes. I have to expand on this because I talk about my successes and my failures on SmartPassiveIncome.com, even here on AskPat.com. I got to be honest, a lot of people love it when I fail and when I talk about my failures. It's always a good lesson involved as well. Don't be afraid to talk about your failures. I think honesty and authenticity are huge right now. They should've always been huge. I think people are catching on with what is really working now in the online space. Authenticity is huge. Authenticity is huge. I challenge you. If you have a blog out there and you've never talked about a failure, I challenge you to talk about it and publish about it. You're going to see the kind of reaction you get. Always include a lesson. But I think humility online goes a long way. It'll make you more real. It'll allow you to connect with your audience much better.
That's it. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. Cheers, and I'll see you in the next one. Peace.
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