AskPat 49 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? This is Pat Flynn and welcome to Episode 49 of AskPat, so happy you're here. I'm here to help you answer your online business questions five days a week.
We have another great question from a listener today. Before we get to that, I want to mention our sponsor for this episode which is FreshBooks. FreshBooks is an amazing, easy to use, simple online accounting solution built for small businesses and blog owners and anybody who has taken their, sort of, hobby to the next level, and is starting to do accounting and finances and stuff like that. Something I wish I started right away because when I started I didn't know what I was doing, I didn't know about FreshBooks. But anyway, you can get a sixty-day extended free trial if you go to GetFreshBooks.com and then type in “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
Now let's get on over to today's question from Kyle. He has an idea for a website and he needs some advice. So let's hear from Kyle.
Kyle: Hi Pat, this is Kyle, one of your faithful listeners. I guess I've listened to about seventy episodes and I think I'm finally ready to start my own blog so I just wanted to ask you a quick question. I'm an optometrist and my blog idea would be Ask an Eye Doctor a Question and I don't know if you had any tips or tricks as to how I should get started and eventually monetize. I haven't done much research, I don't know if there's a big demand, but at least it would be like a blog website that I could send my patients to and answer questions. I imagine it'll get more and more popular. But I just wanted to see what you think and see if you had any advice about that. Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Kyle, thank you so much for your question and first of all, I just have to commend and congratulate you because a lot us listen to podcasts, a lot us read books, and we learn, but none of that does anything for us until you take what you learn and put it into action. And it's obvious that you are somebody who is at a point now where you are ready to take action and execute. And ideas are great but they mean nothing until they're executed upon.
So this is great Kyle and I love the idea of being able to ask an eye doctor something specifically online. There's a lot of opportunities here and the first suggestion I have for you is to see if there's anything else out there that exists like this. Now if you find something like this already, that doesn't mean you can't do it. It actually validates the idea, especially if you see a lot of activity on that particular site. But it also shows you what might be missing or what you could do to take it to the next level. So before you even get started, I would do a little bit of research to see what else is being offered out there that is sort of like what you want to do. Perhaps it's being done in another niche and you could see what's working and what's not there, and then sort of apply what you have and the knowledge that you have to share. I like the idea, obviously, of taking questions from people and sharing answers, that's a great way to get people involved, to build a community, and also to share expertise and build authority. But I think validating this thing first is going to be the first and most important thing.
Now, secondly, I want to mention—and this is a mindset type of thing—is that you'll never know, even if you validate it, if it's going to be successful or not. There's a lot of factors involved but, like I said, you'll never know unless you try and you want to try it long enough where you feel comfortable that you've given it the best shot. A lot of people try it for a week and they don't see results and then they give up. Well, how could you possibly go to where you want to go online in just a week? None of this stuff happens overnight and you'll have to give it time. And if you really really want this, you will do and find what it takes to make it happen. And so that's just, again, a mindset type thing as far as expectations are concerned.
But, there are a lot of things that I can share with you that will help you get started quicker and started right away and I think there's some ideas I have specifically for you, Kyle, that might work really well. Because when I think about asking a doctor a question, I want an answer right away and the sooner I get that answer, the more appreciative I am. So there could perhaps be a number of questions that you already know will be asked of you, that will help people in the search engines who are looking for answers. And again, it'll take time for your answers to get found in the search engines but also by your existing clients. Like you said, people are asking you questions. You can sort of take yourself away and better serve your clients by having these common questions already answered on your website. So what I would do is take the most frequently asked questions and answer those questions in as much detail and precisely as you need to to help your clients and people out there looking for that information on a website, on a blog for example. And you want the blog to become the ultimate resource for anybody looking up any questions they have about eyes or optometry.
So I think that this is going to be a really great resource for people over time but again, it doesn't happen, or turn into a resource, or the ultimate resource, right away. And over time you can start to field questions from people who find your site who might not have their exact question answered. You have a really quick button on there, “Ask Kyle a Question” and then it gets an email sent to you and you can address that question in a video, perhaps. And that's another thing I want to share with you.
There might be other sites out there that might be answering these questions but how many of them are answering it in a way that is multimedia? Audio, or video? That could go a very, very long way, and you could tap into a bunch of platforms where people might be asking those questions like YouTube or iTunes to answer those questions, not just Google. So those are other things to keep . . . and I think the most important thing is to start small and just build over time. And you'll also want to connect, perhaps, with the right people as well, people who may not necessarily be eye doctors but who have people who ask eye doctor type questions. So be creative in who you connect with online. There might be other sites out there who do something similar that you could sort of build a relationship with, who could then feed people over to your site as well.
I would also recommend getting in front of audiences that also have—it doesn't even have to be related to medical necessarily. It could be mom bloggers, for example, or maybe sites like The Art of Manliness, where you can provide information, do guest posts for people, to just introduce yourself as an authority in this space where people, if they do have questions, can ask you. But you provide some sort of guest post, something that you may put on your own site but also want to put on somebody else's site. So maybe something creative and interesting about the eye that is just really “Wow, like I didn't know that” or how to . . . I imagine on the mom blog, for example, the five things that you could do everyday that will help improve your eyesight by twenty years, for example. A lot of moms might want to know that and share that with their audience, and they would have you as the resource and then of course you'd have in your byline at the end of the guest post, for example, a link back to your site. Again, increasing your authority in Google but also just getting people to know who you are.
Now another thing that helped me when I first started, when I was providing a resource for people studying for the LEAD exam, was I became an authority on a couple forums related to that particular exam. So what you could do is you could actually start to build your authority not just on your own site, but on forums. So, actually what you could do is go to Google and type in forum, colon, and any sort of eye-related type things, optometry for example. And then you can go into those forums and look up the most common questions and you could even register for those forums and start to provide a ton of value. Be there as a resource. Don't even mention your website. Just be . . . this is going to take time, but the more you answer people's questions, the more detailed they are, the more people will be like “Wow, Kyle knows what he's talking about”. And then over time or maybe even sooner than later, you can have at the bottom—a lot of these forums will have or give you the ability to add a tag line at the bottom of your messages, that are in every message that you have, and that can be just a quick resource or link to your eye doctor question website. And so over time you build this authority in these forums. People will come to you. People will highlight you or ask you directly, just like they were asking me on the LEAD exam question stuff, and then I would just be like “Hey, I actually answered this question on my site already” or “Here's a detailed answer for you. Here's some other people on my site who had the same question and here's what I had to say,” and things like that. So Kyle, those are some very, very beginner, basic-type things that you could do to help take your idea and take it to the next level, help you stand out from the crowd as well. Hopefully that helps everybody else out there too.
Now if you just want to get started and build your site, I would actually recommend going through BlueHost, which is my recommended shared-hosting service. $3.95 a month to get set up with a domain and hosting if you go to Askpat.com/bluehost you can go get setup right there, right away, get a theme on your site. And the most important thing about the theme and the design and stuff like that is don't worry about being perfect. You don't need to be perfect upfront. You can change the design and the things of that nature later. The most important thing is that you have content on your site and you're providing value, and you're providing a way for people to contact you to ask even more questions as well.
And again, don't forget to start collecting emails right away. That was a big mistake that I had at first, as well. So using a service like AWeber, you can go to AWeber.com/AskPat for that. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] I waited a long time before starting my email list which was a huge mistake. It decreased my chances of being able to build a relationship with as many people as possible in probably one of the most personal ways there is, which is via email, besides in person or in a webinar or something like that. So, start to build your email list.
And then as far a monetization is concerned, I can't tell you what your audience would buy right now, because it would be based on really what your audience tells you over time, and you won't know until you start to build that audience. So I would focus on audience building first, providing value both on your site and on forums as well to build that authority. Then over time you're going to start to hear what most people are going to want and would be willing to pay for.
So again, Kyle, thank you so much for your question and if any of you have a question, the listener, head on over to AskPat.com. You can also win an AskPat teeshirt—one is headed your way, Kyle. And again I want to mention the sponsor of the show which is GetFreshBooks.com. If you put in “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section that'll go a long way in helping and also helping you in your business because obviously accounting is very important. Like I said earlier, something I wish I'd done earlier, and you get that sixty-day extended free trial. Again, FreshBooks, put “Ask Pat” in the ‘How did you hear about us?” section.
Thank you so much, and here's my quote that I want to leave with you, now you might hear this a lot, you hear people “just ship,” and it's very important to “just ship,” you know, don't spend so much time creating. You gotta put it out there for people to consume or else nothing's going to happen. But, I want to take that a step further and this is my quote here, it's “Don't just ship. Ship and follow through.” So make sure after you ship, you pay attention to what's happening, you provide even more value, and listen to your audience, get that feedback so you can provide them even more. Follow through. Thanks so much and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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