AskPat 153 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn, here, and welcome to Episode 153 of AskPat. Thank you all so much for the love, the iTunes reviews, the subscribes, and also the questions. This show would not happen without your questions; it literally wouldn't, because I answer your questions five days a week. So, thank you.
Now, before we get to today's question from Heidi, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is 99designs.com. As we all know, design is pretty important on our site, and some say it's the most important thing. I know people say content is king, but what do people see before they read your content? Your design. So, whether you're looking to design a new logo or website or whatever you want designed, a new teeshirt perhaps, I recommend you check over 99designs.com. It's a site you can go to to get quick service at a reliable and cost-effective price. If you go to 99designs.com/pat, you'll get a $99 Power Pack of services for free today. Again, 99designs.com/pat.
Now, let's get to today's question from Heidi.
Heidi: Hi, Pat, this is Heidi Bender. I recently launched a blog at TonsOfThanks.com. I have heard you recommend a Start Here or Getting Started page. My question is: how much content do I need to have on my site before I make a Start Here page? Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Heidi, thank you so much for your question. Before I answer your question specifically in terms of how much content you need on your site before you can put up a Start Here page or a Getting Started page, let's talk about what that page is, actually.
A lot of people get that confused with an About page. An About page is different. An About page . . . if you want to know all about an About page and how to set it up properly, I recommend you listen to the very first episode of AskPat. You can go to AskPat.com and listen to it there, or you can go to SoundCloud.com/askpat. It's the first episode of the show and it's been downloaded over 200,000 times. It's helped that many people craft a better About page, and it will help you too, but a Start Here page is different.
A Start Here page is essentially a place that you want people to go to to understand exactly what their first steps should be when they come on your site. And a quick story about this is: I remember back in the day, and when I say back in the day I mean, like, a couple of years ago, before my latest site design on SmartPassiveIncome.com, I was doing some research to see what people thought of the site and what their first impressions were. So, I sampled a small group of audience members who were subscribed to my email list, and I personally emailed each and every one of them, and I said: “hey, what was your first impression when you came to my site?”
And overwhelmingly the response was: “Wow. Actually, in fact, I really didn't like your site. It was hard to go through. I didn't know what to read first, it was just very overwhelming. I didn't know what my first steps were.” And I thought about all that feedback, and I looked at my site with that feedback in mind and I was like: “Wow. How would I know where to go first? Because there's just so much information here.”
And over time, that's what our blogs become. They just become this Frankenstein thing with all this information and all these links and images and stuff that just confuses the heck out of people. And until they start reading in and diving into your stuff, there's a big potential, or quite a big chance that they're going to leave. And so the idea here is to make it incredibly easy for people to know what to read first, or what to do first, because when you think about it: a blog post isn't really written . . . I mean it's written chronologically, but it shouldn't be, or is not necessarily, consumed in that same order.
You know, would you say that the latest post you wrote on your site should be—the first person who's interested in that topic that you're writing about, should that be the first post they read ever about your stuff? Likely, it's actually the first post that you ever wrote, that talks about your site and what it does but also what they should do next. You know, some of that earlier content on our site gets lost and it sucks because that's some of our best content, and the best content for brand new visitors. So, you can go back in time and see what you first wrote if you haven't written in a while, and use that information to put on a Getting Started page or Start Here page, which is, again, someplace on your site you want people to go to, so you got to make it really obvious on your homepage. And if you want to see how obvious I make it, go to SmartPassiveIncome.com. It's the big, green button that you see on that page. There's no other call to action until you scroll down and you can potentially subscribe to my email list or see some of my posts. But the very first thing I want people to do is click on that Getting Started page, because when they go there, it introduces them to what the site can do for them, which is sort of like an About page, but then it also says, “Here's what you should do first. Here are the first podcast episodes you should listen to to get an introduction of what this is all about. Here's a video explaining, easily, in terms you'll understand, what and how to do this. And then, here's a link to a website that you can go to to get started.” And, of course—well, not of course, but you know—one of those links is an affiliate link. And that is actually one of the most profitable pages on my site, is my Getting Started page. That's my second most profitable page. The first one is my resource page.
So, going back to your question after that sort of rundown of what all that is and what it means: How much content should you have on your page before you put a Getting Started page?
So, when you're first starting out, I think when you're first starting out and you launch your site, when you officially launch, perhaps you try to create an event out of this. You connect with influencers and have your friends and family all share it on one day. Instead of doing it on your first day your first post goes up, I would do it with five posts. This is what Corbett Barr from ThinkTraffic.net did, who is now owner of Fizzle.co or co-owner of Fizzle.co. [Editor's Note: Corbett no longer runs the ThinkTraffic.net site. You can find him at corbettbarr.com.] That's how he launched that site. He had five pieces of content on there, which is always smart to do whether you're doing a podcast or video channel or a blog, because when people see that one post, they're going to want more. And if you don't have more, they're not going to be that interested; they might not subscribe. I did this with FoodTruckr.com. With FoodTruckr.com, we launched with about four or five posts already there, but the latest post that we wrote was the one that we wanted to go viral. That was the big post; the sort of monster, beastly resource. And so we put a lot of energy and effort into promoting that particular post, and then people just sort of read all the other posts coming off of that initial post because they wanted more. And so we were able to collect email subscribers and do things like that from day one.
Now, I think you should have a Getting Started page when you first launch your site. So, not necessarily after you publish your first blog post, but that date that you have in mind where you want to actually launch your site, where it's going to go out in the world and you're going to share it on Twitter, you're going to have your friends and family and other people who are in the space that you're in share it for you, too. Share it with five pieces of content, one of them being the actual post that you want people to share. Not your homepage, but I would actually have them share a particular post. Just a monstrous—not necessarily in length, but in terms of weight. You want an awesome post, an epic post that's going to make changes in your industry, or just prove your authority, or just be incredibly useful for people. Have that be the one that you launch with, and have everybody share it. And then, in addition to that, when people get to your homepage, give them a way to get to your starting page. And, when you're first starting out, you don't necessarily need it to be huge. Just say, “Hey, welcome. This is what the site can do for you. Here's some basic definitions,” perhaps. And also: “Here are the first couple posts that you should read.”
And, yeah. They might be posts that people who come on your site on day one have already read, but if that article is good, if people start sharing it around, if you start getting on social media and interacting with people, people aren't going to be a part of that launch but they will land on your site and they're going to want to know where to start.
So, I think you should have it close to after when you launch, you know. You don't want to lose those potential visitors who come in and just are confused already about what they should read first and what their first steps are.
So, Heidi, I hope that answers your question. I hope that was educational for all of you. Thank you so much, and an AskPat teeshirt is going to be headed your way, Heidi.
For those of you listening: if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, and you'd also like to get your hands on an AskPat teeshirt for free from myself and my team, head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is 99designs.com. Again, a site that I've used a few times in the past to get some design efforts done. And what's really cool is you put in your job description and several designers from around the world will actually design and compete for the winning design, and you get to choose the one you like. You get to work with designers to, you know, mold them and shape them into what you want. And you can actually have friends and family also vote on them too, which is super cool. It's really fun. So, if you go to 99designs.com/pat you get a $99 Power Pack of services for free today.
Thank you, Heidi, and thank you to all of you who have spent time listening to the show today. As always, I'm going to end with a quote, and today's quote comes from Corey Eridon. And that quote is: “Marketing is about telling good stories. Social media marketing is about getting your customers to tell them for you.” Love it. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat.
Get started with your design needs for your business and website at 99designs.com/pat.