AskPat 932 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey. What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 932 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 Kristen. Before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks, one of my favorite companies because they help millions of small business owners, including myself, manage their business finances, from the income coming in to the expenses, which they can track automatically, and also the invoicing, which they make it really easy to do and to get paid for what you deserve with the services that you offer. If you're a coach or a consultant or you do any freelancing, seriously, FreshBooks is the way to go when it comes to billing because it just makes it very simple to set up and very simple to track. If you want to check it out for thirty days for free, really easy: All you got to do is go to FreshBooks.com/askpat, and just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section.
Awesome. Thanks so much, and now here's today's question from Kristen.
Kristen Walker: Hi, Pat. My name is Kristen Walker, and I'm in the midst of starting a website called BestBeachDays.com. It's going to be a beach lifestyle website. I have a lot of content to create, and I'm thinking about outsourcing some of that and wondering how best to do that. I'd like to do a magazine format for the website and have lots of different articles on sunscreen, mineral sunscreens, gear reviews, that sort of thing. I'm wondering what the best way is to outsource content. Do I just ask people I know, “Hey, would you write an article for the website?” Do I ask people I know and then offer to pay them, like, “Hey, I'll give you $25 if you write an article for my website,” or do I go to some of those websites I've seen where you can actually hire freelance writers and that sort of thing? I don't really want to do regular columnists; I'd just like to have some different articles from different people, maybe have some different voices on the site. Just wondering if you have any tips about outsourcing content creation. Especially in the beginning when you have lots of content to create, you might use a helping hand to get things up and running. All right. Thank you so much. I love your podcast.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Kristen. Thank you so much for the question. I appreciate it. I wish I could have a conversation with you, because I'd love to learn more about where this idea came from. I love the idea because I'm from San Diego and I like the beach, but I don't necessarily know if I would read a magazine related to that. I'm probably not in the target market, so what I would recommend is actually, are there people out there who you know are interested in this?
It is not an easy feat to put together a magazine. We've had people on the show before on SPI, on Smart Passive Income Podcast, like Nathan Latka, which you can type into . . . You can actually just type in “Nathan” into the search bar on SPI and you'll see the episodes. He's created a very successful magazine, Foundr Magazine. It's done very well, and I also know from that interview and conversations with him, it wasn't easy to do.
I'll talk more about the outsourcing content in just a minute because I want to give you the answers to those questions, but I just want to know, have you validated this idea? Do you have, for example, an email list of people—doesn't even have to be in an email service provider, but maybe just names or contacts of people who have said, “Yes, Kristen. I would love to read a magazine about that,” or is this something that you think is something that would be necessary or needed because of what you are interested in? The fact that you're interested in it is great because A, you're going to have the passion to follow through with it. You're obviously doing that already by coming up with these ideas, by asking questions about how you can get this together, which is awesome. That kind of passion is very necessary, but you also want to make sure that that passion is something that other people also have too. Likely, there are those people out there, but what if, at this point, you already had the magazine? Then what would you do? If it was already built the way you wanted it to, it looked amazing, who would you give it to at this point right now? If you can't answer that question, we got some work to do to determine, who might those people be and what kinds of things would they want to be in it? What I would recommend doing is seeing if you can A, find those people, and B, then determining what the minimum viable product is for a, what I would call a pilot magazine.
I would come out with just one episode. Excuse me, not one episode; I'm in podcasting mode right now. I would come out with one edition or one issue. That's the pilot issue for you to examine A, how to put this thing together and understand the systems involved so that moving forward you can just make it very easy for yourself, everything from the writing to the layouts and all that stuff. You're going to have to also potentially hire somebody to put this together for you and actually make it look great using something like Adobe InDesign, or there are likely some other tools out there that can help you with that. There are services out there too that you can pay for that will help put content together in a way that looks like a magazine, whether it's digital or physical. That's another aspect of it, but then B, is this something that people want to continue to do and can you actually make a business out of this too? What could you do in this realm to make money from it? If that is advertising, you're going to have to have conversations with advertisers and to see what those costs might be for them and what those deals could become, because this isn't an easy feat, Kristen. This is why I wanted to have this conversation with you. I know I can't hear your answers on the other end, but I also know that your gears are spinning right now trying to search for these answers, potentially. It'd be very awesome if you already had these answers. If you don't, you want to make sure you go and find them.
How is this actually going to turn into a business? What would be the price of this? Would it be free? Would you make money through advertising? If you were going to advertise, who would you advertise for? Can you even initiate those conversations, or is this about building an audience first and then getting people to come in and pay for advertising space in there too? At which point, what would the number be for people to say yes? You need to know what those numbers are. You could even just call up potential companies and just ask them, “Hey, I have this magazine that I'm putting together. We're looking to have a certain number of people read it. What would be the minimum number of people that would need to be reading this magazine in order for us to strike a deal together?” Why not have that conversation now instead of later, after you've done all the work? Validate first and then take action based on the feedback that you get from not only your customers, but potentially where this whole thing lies in the business world in terms of, how is it going to make you money? How is it going to be sustainable for you? Hopefully that make sense, Kristen.
In terms of writing, there's a number of different ways that you can get writing and content for your magazine or for your blog if you're outsourcing that stuff. You could find people that want to get in front of an audience or who want to be a part of this project with you. If you help determine and help show them that there's value here back for them, then you don't need to pay them. You can pay them, if they have some sort of relevance to this niche—then that's even better, because you know it's going to come from a place of excitement and passion, versus hiring somebody on a site like UpWork.com to just write something that may on the surface just not be very engaging, or go much in depth with content that would make sense for this particular audience.
Those are just things that come to mind, Kristen. I hope you are able to take this information and use it as inspiration, versus deflating. Make sure you validate. Validation is the key in many different ways, in many different stages. Kristen, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate it. I want to ask you, not ask you, I'm going to tell you that you are going to get 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, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thanks so much. I appreciate you all. Here is a quote to finish off this episode from Soren Kierkegaard: “If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin.” Let me read that again. I really like that one. “If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin.” Thanks so much, I appreciate you. Looking forward to serving you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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