AskPat 448 Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 448 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. Today we have a great question from Ximena, but before we get to your question, I do want to thank today's sponsor which is FreshBooks.com, which makes it super easy for all of us out there.
They serve over 3 million small businesses, helping us manage our business finances with our income, our expenses, just keeping track of all that. All the reports and things that need to happen with our businesses, especially come tax season. They make it super easy to manage and print out and send to whoever it is you need to send to to get things done. They also make invoicing really easy and professional so you can get paid much faster too, if you have any clients or do any coaching or things like that. Maybe you're a consultant or a freelancer, you need to do invoices. FreshBooks makes it incredibly easy. So, to get hooked up with FreshBooks for 30 days for free, head on over to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com enter “AskPat.” All right, here's today's question from Ximena.
Ximena: Hi Pat, my name is Ximena and I run a blog at Ximenadelaserna.com, and I just wanted to know your posting schedule. I've been following you for a long time. I love everything you do, and I've tried to work out how many times a week do you post, how many times a week you post different things. I know that your podcast is once a week, more or less, I know that you post a single post every seven days, or a video every seven days, once a week. I don't know, how do you manage your posting schedule? How many times a week do you post? Do you have it set up, or will you just go with the flow, or do you have more or less an idea of how many you want to do? I would really, really like to know these 'cause it will help me a lot with my own schedule. Thank you so much.
Pat Flynn: Hey Ximena, thank you so much for the questions today. I really appreciate this because it has definitely evolved over time, my posting schedule, that is. It has evolved quite a bit. When I first started out, I was just blogging, I didn't have a podcast or a video channel. This is back in October of 2008, and I thought it was best to post as often as I could, and so I was posting three days a week. I wanted to post every single day. I saw a lot of people, like Darren Rowse from ProBlogger.net and DailyBlogTips.com, they were posting daily, getting tons of traffic, and I thought that was the answer. But, I just couldn't handle daily, and I also didn't want to pigeonhole myself into something that was daily, for example. You know, I had considered putting “Daily” in my domain name, actually, but you know, if you do that then you have to come out with something daily, 'cause if you don't, then you're not doing what your brand says you're gonna do, and that's that.
But, I ended up getting into a rhythm of three posts a week for about the first year and a half to two years, and I kept it up pretty well actually. I did fumble here and there. Sometimes I'd forget the Friday post, or I just didn't have any content and I didn't want to force it out there, but I found some cool tricks and things you could do to make sure there was content coming up consistently. I did reader challenges to kinda fill in gaps and also ask questions to the audience and get people involved and had round-up posts. Talked a little bit about my personal life as well to kind of fill in those gaps.
And it worked out really well. The first couple years, I did three posts a week and it helped me grow my audience quite big, and people did appreciate the consistency. Then, it was in 2010. July 2010, I came out with a podcast, and that was bi-weekly, so every other week I came out with a podcast. It was like that because it was just hard for me to produce, it was hard for me to do, I didn't have a team, I didn't know what the workflow was like, I was editing everything myself, and that's all I could handle. But it wasn't until actually January 2012, a year and a half after my podcast was live and still going twice a week I believe, I went to a conference and everybody I spoke to . . . this was essentially a blogging conference, so I was mainly a blogger, I had considered myself just a blogger who just happened to have a podcast . . . Every person I spoke to, who came up to me, could not stop talking about how much they loved the podcast. I was like, “What about my blog? And this post and that post,” which I thought was great, “but here you are talking about the podcast.”
And the cool thing was that everybody there said through the podcast they felt like they really got to connect with me. They really felt like they knew who I was. They felt like they knew me. That's what they said. I thought that was incredibly powerful and something I never really heard from people who have just read my blog posts. So, I started to think, “I should actually go once a week with a podcast.” It was hard for me fill in that . . . I was like, “Well, I'm already doing three blog posts a week, what if I add a podcast to that? That's four times a week, I'm not gonna be able to do that.” So I kind of sacrificed one of the blog posts for a podcast episode every single week. So, that's what I did. I did two blog posts a week and one podcast episode.
Then, I kinda took some great advice from Derek Halpern, who at times would post twice a month and that's it, but he would make those posts incredibly powerful, and he would market those posts. A lot of us don't actually market our posts as much as we could. We just write content and pump as much content as we can into our sites, and he actually ran an experiment where he decided to stop writing consistently, but just write great stuff and actually market that content. Get it in front of the eyes of people who actually needed to see it, and connect with influencers who actually needed to see it and share it, and he actually ended up getting more traffic, more eyeballs on his site as a result of spending more time marketing and less time creating content.
I decided to go down that route, and I then switched to just two posts a week down from three, which actually opened up a ton of time for me and allowed me to get even deeper with the podcast and explore that even more then. Even opened up AskPat.com, which you are all listening to right now of course, and so I was posting essentially two days a week. It was either a Monday blog post or a Wednesday blog post and then a Friday podcast. Then I kept switching it around, and this wasn't a mistake. It takes time and it takes a lot of trial and error to find your voice of rhythm, but I think I did it too long and I didn't stick with something until probably a year after I switched into the two post schedule per week.
Then I got into, okay, Monday is a blog post, Wednesday is a podcast episode, and that's how it's always gonna be. Actually, it was Thursday for a while, and then I had switched to Wednesday to fit in SPI TV, which came on Friday. So the way the current schedule works now is, you said it yourself, every seven days, essentially. So, every seven days, every Monday, there's a blog post. Every Wednesday is a podcast episode, and every Friday is SPI TV. I've set that as the schedule just so all of you know what's happening, and I've been very, very public with that's how things are so people can expect. If people like one type of content versus the other, they know what day certain things are gonna come out. Everybody knows what days certain things come out who understand the brand a little bit.
But also, it makes it really important for me and my team in terms of productivity and workflow. It makes it easy for me to know when something's supposed to happen and what I'm supposed to do and all those sorts of things. So currently, we've progressed, and this is just over the last couple of months, we've progressed from just kind of knowing this internally and having things on the calendar, and kinda scheduling interviews ahead of time and writing blog posts as much ahead of time as we could, but not really, just kind of over the weekend writing something for Monday's post and that sort of thing.
Now we are evolving into something where we're getting ahead of schedule. I recently hired Janna, who is my content manager editor, or my editorial content manager, I guess you could say. I don't even know exactly how to pronounce, or the order of the words, but she helps me with my content, and the biggest thing that she's done recently is help me get ahead of schedule and has helped me manage what I do on what particular day. So we are at the point now in my business where I know that Mondays, which is the days that the blog posts come out, those are also, in terms of production, my days to write. I only write on those days. I don't schedule any interviews, I don't schedule any podcast episodes, or anything to do on that day. No meetings. All I do on Mondays is write, and I know that, and I can go into my tool which is CoSchedule. If you check out SmartPassiveIncome.com/CoSchedule, you'll see exactly the tool I'm talking about. And this is what we use to set up our calendars, and to actually draft blog posts ahead of time. So I can just go into CoSchedule, click on the thing that I need to based on the date that it is, and continue to work.
And so, actually every Monday now, I get up, and I might write in my book a little bit because I do include that every day still, but then I go into CoSchedule and I see what tasks are assigned to me during that day. They are assigned to me by my content managing editor, Janna, and I know when I open that, it tells me what link to go to to a Google Doc that then has prompts to tell me exactly what this post is about and what I'm supposed to write about. And then, I use those prompts to inspire me to move forward and write. I just write, and that's all I do on Mondays.
Now, where do those prompts come from? I kind of put them in there ahead of time, or Janna comes up with them, and they're just basically questions to ask me about this topic. How do I pick the topics? Well, we meet as a team once a month to talk about the kinds of content down to the draft of the title of that post, and we put that in a calendar, and we just know ahead of time, a month ahead of schedule, what all the posts in that month are gonna look like and what they're about. And then, when I go in on that particular day to write, I know that it's one post that I'm gonna be writing, and what's really cool is I can come in during the weekend, or even just waking up on Monday, and I know exactly what I'm supposed to do. There's no fumbling around, there's no, “Hey, what do I do today?” I just go right into it. So that's Monday.
Tuesdays are my podcasting days. That's when I record interviews for my shows, or I am a guest on other people's shows. And that's the only day that I record interviews for other shows. If that can't happen, which it can't always happen on a Tuesday, that's kind of what I reserve Thursday and Friday for. Thursday and Friday are sort of clean up days, if you will. So, I write on Monday, I do recording on Tuesday, Wednesdays are my meeting days, that's when I meet with other people, that's when I have Skype conversations, Google Hangouts with anybody that I need to meet with, my team, other people that want to talk to me, any consultation calls, that sort of thing.
Also, I usually work downtown on Wednesdays at a co-working space called CoMerge on A Street in San Diego, which I love. I love working out of there, it kind of takes me away from the environment at home for a while and helps me focus on just the people that I'm speaking with. And if anybody comes to San Diego and wants to hang out with me for lunch, for example, that's the day it happens, it happens on Wednesday. So, if you ever come to San Diego, reach out to me. If I'm open and we have nothing booked, then we can have coffee together at my favorite coffee place or just hang out for a while and talk business or whatever you want to talk about. I do that with everybody, it doesn't matter what level you're at. It doesn't even matter if you have a business yet. I just love talking about this kind of stuff with as many people as I can, and I use that lunch hour on Wednesdays, again, my meeting day, to do that.
Then, like I said, Thursdays and Fridays are cleanup days. I don't schedule more than one or two hours of work on Thursday and Friday because Thursday is reserved for my wife, and then we have a date night that night as well, and then Friday my son's out of school, he's into the weekend, that's kind of his time to start playing Disney Infinity, or we play Legos together, or go outside. The weekend is just off as well, except for Sunday evening when I record these AskPat episodes.
So, that's how it works. Again, Janna's done a great job with me to schedule these in advance, and actually we're getting ahead on everything. Right now, I'm actually recording this podcast episode a month ahead of time. So, it's actually September right now when I'm recording this, but you're listening to this on October 8th, or beyond, so we're doing some time travel here, which is really cool. But again, it didn't happen overnight in terms of figuring this out. It took a long time to find my voice and my rhythm, and it's important to get to a place where you have a rhythm because it's important for you in terms of productivity like I talked about earlier, so you don't have to think about what to do. You just kind of know what happens, and you can get right into that and focus all of your brain energy on making that content great or producing that product that you've always wanted to do, or there's other things. Instead of trying to fumble around and transition between job to job, and then it's also important for your audience to understand so they can expect when certain things happen as well.
So, Ximena, thank you so much for the questions today. I appreciate it. We're gonna send to an AskPat t-shirt free of charge. We'll pay for shipping and the whole deal. You'll hear from my assistant Jessica in the next couple weeks to collect your information so we can send you that. I look forward to hopefully seeing a picture on Twitter or a shoutout that you got it okay. Let me know @PatFlynn on Twitter.
I also want to thank today's sponsor which is FreshBooks.com. Like I said before, making it incredibly easy for us just to stay headache free and stress free from keeping track of our books. Our finances. Our income. Our expenses. You know, I used to keep track of my books on kind of an Excel spreadsheet, actually, it was on GoogleDocs. And it was just a mess. It was just . . . you don't want to do that. Especially when it was tax season, and I had to kind of give numbers to my CPA, and I just didn't do a good job of organizing it. FreshBooks makes it so easy. Plus, they have an award winning mobile app, so you can check the financial health of your business on the go as well. To check it out for 30 days for free, I highly recommend it, go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com enter “AskPat.”
Alright, thank you so much for your time and attention today. I hope that this post was very helpful for you, and again the resource I wanted to mention was CoSchedule. You can find that at SmartPassiveIncome.com/Coschedule. And that is an affiliate link for that as well.
To finish off, here is a quote from Tom Fishburne. He said, “The best marketing doesn't feel like marketing.”
Cheers, take care, and I can't wait to serve you in the next episode of AskPat. Thanks so much.
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