AskPat 19 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what up? This is Pat Flynn, and welcome to Episode 19 of AskPat. My name is Pat Flynn, and I'm here to answer your online business questions every single day.
And today I want to mention a resource. This is NicheSiteDuel.com. This is where I'm documenting a process of creating a website from scratch. The website is FoodTruckr.com. It's a site I started, and am just showing people how it's going. It's doing okay. So, if you go to NicheSiteDuel.com, you'll get all the information about that, and you can join others who are also creating their niche sites. And the purpose of mentioning this resource is because the site that I created, this niche site about food trucks or it's actually helping food truck owners start and run their businesses. I myself am not an expert at food trucks, so what qualifies me to write for this audience? Well that's what we're going to talk about today. So here's a question from Mike that sort of goes along those lines, and it's about creating content when you're not necessarily an expert.
Mike: Hey, Pat. My name is Mike Sherman. I'm starting a blog called smartdogowner.com. My question is, How can I create an epic blog post, or epic content series, when I'm not a complete expert on certain topics? And I'm not a very good writer either. My problem is I'm good at finding helpful, valuable resources, like in books and magazines, but I have a hard time taking these resources and putting them into my own personal words and putting my own spin on it. Do you have any tips for this? And also, would article spinning help? Thanks. And thank you for everything you do.
Pat Flynn: Hey Mike, thank you so much for your question. And first of all, congratulations on the upcoming blog. I'm happy to be able to help you out here today as you begin your journey. And you asked a lot of great questions there, and I want to talk about each part, one by one here for you and everybody else out there listening because there's some really, really important points.
The first thing you mentioned, or you asked about, was creating epic content when you're not an expert yourself. And this is a really common question people have when they first start. “Why would people listen to me when I'm not an expert at this?” Or “How can I create something that blows peoples' minds when I don't really consider myself an expert in this industry?” And the truth here is that, in order to become an expert, you just have to know a little bit more than somebody else. If you have knowledge that somebody else doesn't have and they're looking for that information, when you provide that info to them, you are an expert in their eyes, in the eyes in your audience. And that's what's most important.
When I started GreenExamAcademy.com, this was my very first online business that was helping people pass the LEED exam, I didn't consider myself an expert on the LEED exam. People asked me questions, and I still had to look up the answers sometimes. And I didn't get a perfect score on the exam when I passed it, but because I was the one with that experience, and because I was the one more importantly talking about it and writing posts, and organizing that information for people that I discovered just going through that process myself and doing the research I became an expert to them. And that's what enabled me to get shared by word of mouth, and get more traffic, and then eventually publish a study guide and audiobooks and practice exams, and that literally changed my life, and set me on this path. So I just wanted to get that out of the way first. In order to become an expert, you just have to know a little bit more than somebody else.
Secondly, as far as creating epic content, epic content doesn't necessarily have to be totally 100 percent unique, brand new content. It can be content that is already out there, but it's just completely organized and incredibly convenient than anything else that exists for people. Curated content from others, maybe other people who are the experts. People pay for convenience, and that's why Green Exam Academy took off like it did because people will pay for convenience. People love things that are organized or help them save time, so, if you can curate content, find it and then put it in a way were it is convenient and easier to consume and valuable to them, obviously, that will help your brand as well.
A lot of people create brands and businesses simply by getting content by having other people provide that content for them. I do this sometimes by getting people who are experts at various topics on my other podcast, as somebody who I interview. Other people only interview other people and have their guests provide the epic content, but, of course, that comes by asking epic questions at the same time. So, that right there should open up a whole new way of thinking about how you can provide valuable content to your potential audience. It doesn't just necessarily have to start from you or be born out of you. It's something that you're curating the information that's out there. You're making it easier for people to consume, or you're getting that information from elsewhere.
Now as far as not being a good writer, there are a few things I want to address about that. When I first started blogging, I wasn't a very good writer either, but I kept writing. And over time, I just got better at it. I mean you only get better at writing by writing. And the nice thing about doing this online stuff, you have opportunities to write and publish as much as you want. And it doesn't have to be perfect. Just write. It'll get better over time.
And yes, I still make mistakes. When I publish something, I still have people who email me, “Oh, you missed this,” or “This grammar's incorrect.” And, that's fine. I mean, I have a whole part of my audience who's a part of the spelling and grammar police, and that's okay. Again, I'm just providing content, valuable content, as much as I can. And as far as the writing is concerned, it's gotten substantially better over time. But it's still not perfect. So when you do something this much, it just naturally gets better. You can't help but get better over time, so just keep writing is what I'm trying to say.
In addition to that, however, writing isn't the only way to produce content. You might not be a good writer. Then discover other ways to produce content. There's audio, like in a podcast like this one. There's video. There's also the idea of hiring ghostwriters where you might simply just send bullet points and ideas or have a conversation with a writer who will than take that information and turn it into a coherent writing. Maybe it turns into a book, or blog post series, or something. There are ton of other options available to you if you don't feel you're a good writer, so don't make writing ability hold you back from providing valuable content to your audience and moving forward.
Now next as we wrap up here, you mentioned you weren't sure how to put the information you find into your own words. In other words, you're not really sure you know how to put your own spin on it or what your voice is. This is probably a challenge, a little bit, because of the writing skills, and again that will change and improve over time. But finding one's voice is something that doesn't happen over night either. Your voice, your take on things, and the approach that you take with your content, the identity of your writing and your content and your brand and the things people say about you and your brand when they share it. You know, “I love how he does this,” or “I read his site because this is how he does it.” That voice. Your take and spin. That just comes over time. And you sort of just have to write and sort of let it find you. It just comes from noticing what seems to resonate with you the most and your audience. So just produce, and great things will happen. That's the big lesson there. Just produce. Your voice will eventually arise.
And finally, you asked about article spinning really quick at the end of your question. For those of you who don't know, article spinning is a way to take a piece of content that you've already written and put it into this program where you replace a lot of the words that you've written with synonyms. So, sometimes you can do it with just a single push of a button, and what it does is it creates this whole other new article for you. It's the same article. It's just using different words. And the purpose for that . . . I know it sounds weird to you, but the purpose of doing this was you could submit that one article, you start with that one article, you could potentially have a hundred other articles that pretty much say the same thing, but all different letters, or all different words and sentences and phrases. And you could submit those regenerated pieces of content to article directories. So they aren't the same content, and they're won't be an issue with duplicate content. But that was the whole idea.
And to be honest, article spinning, I think, is almost gone. I mean it is a technique that some people still use. And the primary purpose of doing this is to publish as many articles as you can on other sites, so that they can link back to your site, and you can climb the search engines. I wouldn't even play around with that anymore. Some people are still seeing success with it, but most people now are getting dinged because of it because Google's getting smarter. They can tell that articles are being spun and then redistributed elsewhere, so I wouldn't even mess with that, Mike. I would just mess with trying to provide as much value as you can, and just publishing stuff on your own site for now. Or perhaps, guest posting on other sites, but that's about it.
So, Mike, I hope that information helps you keep going. I love this. I love hearing people starting their journeys and asking questions. This is really what this show is all about. So if you have a question, you the listener have a question, that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, you can head on over to AskPat.com. And Mike, of course, since your question was featured today, you're going to get an AskPat t-shirt sent your way. Thank you so much for your question. And again, I want to mention the resource I mentioned at the top of the show which was Niche Site Duel. You can follow along with my journey, starting and trying to monetize FoodTruckr.com. So, NicheSiteDuel.com is where you can follow that.
And the quote of the day here for you is this. And this is a quote by Niels Bohr. He says, “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a narrow field.” This quote makes perfect sense because an expert doesn't have to be someone who is only good at doing something. An expert is someone who knows all about the bad things too. So, that's why I love what I do because I can experiment. I can try things. Some times they work. Sometimes they don't. But I'm trying to make all the mistakes possible because that's how I know what will work and what doesn't. So again, “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a narrow field.” So keep pushing forward. Keep making those mistakes. Don't try to, but, if you do, use them as learning lessons.
And I'll see you in the next episode.
My resource to teach you how to research and start a niche website.