AskPat 311 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 311. 311 was actually one of my favorite bands growing up, but anyway, thank you so much for joining me today. I appreciate it, and as always I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
Awesome, let's get to today's question from Ollisha.
Ollisha: Hi Pat. My name is Ollisha and I have a question concerning building my blog and building my brand. I don't know where to start. I am currently a new blogger, so I'm trying to find ways that I can go about making this profitable for me, while doing things that I love. I don't even have a way of making my website, or building it. I just need to know, what kind of advice can you give me concerning this because I'm kind of stuck here. I need help trying to build the website, knowing how to get around it. It's just a page with words right now, but it's my baby, so I want to be able to do what I have to do to make it worthwhile for me. If you could help me out, I appreciate it. Thanks a lot. You have a good one.
Pat Flynn: Hey Ollisha, what's up? Thank you so much for the question. This is actually very important because a lot of people who are out there who are listening I know have yet to get started as well. It just sounds like you are completely dedicated to making this work, and of course, we always want to make it profitable. The first thing we all have to understand is that that dedication is really important. That commitment to making it work, that's going to help you through a lot of the struggle, because there will be struggles, Ollisha, and for everybody else out there listening.
I continue to struggle, but you know, I feel like that's the universe's way to test us to see if we actually want this. The thing is, there isn't a big barrier of entry now, but there is still a little bit of a barrier of entry, and it just is mostly in our heads, to make sure that we know that we will do what it takes to succeed. Ollisha, just make sure you have that in your head that, you know what, even though you don't know exactly what's going on right now or what you're going to do, that you will find the ways to do, because I think the most important thing beyond all that is just kind of figuring out why.
Why is it that you want to go down this route? I think it's really important for all of us to revisit that if we haven't visited it in a while, or at least think about it. Why? What is your big why? It's not just, “I want to make money,” but why, because those are the things that are going to help you get through those tough times that we're all going to be met with, and that's what's going to help us break through those barriers. Thinking about why is really your fuel, and that's why Simon Sinek says, “Start with why.” In great companies, they always start with why. You, when you were just starting out, you need to start with why as well.
Ollisha, hopefully that mindset shift has happened for you. That's where a lot of people fail. They don't commit. They're going to try it out a little bit and see if it works. Then if it doesn't, the first time they're met with a brick wall, they just turn around or give up. You're not going to do that. For those of you who are listening to this, I know you're not the person or the type of person who's going to give up, or else you wouldn't take the time to listen to a show like this. That's why I appreciate all of you who are on and appreciate your question, Ollisha.
Again, as someone who's just starting out I mean, yes, the website is important, obviously, and setting it up is what you want to do. There's a lot of different resources out there and tools that can help you do that. There's one called Squarespace that is coming up and is making it easy for people. I always recommend getting started with BlueHost. AskPat.com/bluehost. It makes it easy to set up a host and also put WordPress onto that particular host with just one click, and then you can get a theme which sort of changes the skin on top of that website to make it really easy for you to get to a point, which is where we all want to get to, where you are satisfied and okay with the look of the site, so you can start writing and providing content and publishing stuff out there.
The website's obviously important to have, but then the design, a lot of people get hung up on the design. If you go back into history of the Smart Passive Income blog, you'll see that the design of my website was terrible when I first started, but I had articles to write anyway, and I did that. That's a really important lesson. You just got to get started, and publishing is more important than what your site looks like.
As long as it’s readable and it doesn't take, like, 40 seconds to load, you're going to be good. Then you can change your design over time. Especially with something like WordPress, you can just change the skin and the look of your website with just a couple clicks without having to change the content. The content will just be in there in that new design, and that's what's really cool about using a platform like WordPress. Then with WordPress, there's also a lot of plugins and things you can add on to enhance the site.
Again, start small and get to a point where you can just get some content up on your website, and that's what you want to do. If you want a more detailed tutorial about how to get that set up, I just recommend going to the home page of SmartPassiveIncome.com, clicking on that big green button that says “get started here” and then following the directions on there. There will actually be some podcast episodes you can listen to, and then also some instructions on how to set up your website. All the stuff that a beginner would want to see before getting started.
Also, another important thing to consider here, Alicia, is who is it that you want to target? Who is your target market? Who is that avatar, that person that you sort of make up in your head that is your ideal customer, that's your ideal person who's going to visit your website? Your ideal reader or listener or viewer? It's really important to think about this. There's nobody I know better who does that than John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur On Fire. He talks about his avatar Jimmy, who has a certain age and who's at a certain time in his life, and there's just certain things that this person Jimmy, who's just a made up person, but this is who John thinks about when he is doing what he does in the content that he provides, in the products that he creates, in the copy that he uses and the language and all that stuff. It's important to think about your avatar.
Alicia, it might be kind of weird making up a person in your head, but I can't tell you how important this is. I mean, this is so, so, so important. Again, I don't know what niche you're in, but it's important to think about that ideal customer, and that's what's going to help you get to those profits down the road. A lot of people get into sites and blogging and podcasting, and they kind of just put whatever up there. A lot of it's based off of what they think will be relevant to whoever comes across. You don't want to set up a site that way.
You want to give yourself the best chance by thinking about who your target market is first and who that single person is that's your ideal customer. There's going to be a lot of those kinds of people out there. When you niche down and think about that single person, it's going to be much easier to connect with people like that and you're not going to be all over the place. It's going to be very defined and focused on your site and who you're targeting, so that when those types of people get there they know that you are going to be the resources for them.
Now, in terms of monetization to finish off here, it's good to think about monetization early. I think it's smart that you're thinking about that, because you obviously want to get something out of this and a lot of people build sites and don't even think about that. On the other hand, monetizing too early can kind of be a crutch for some people, because what you really want to do is build that trust and authority, especially if you want a long term website that you're going to have up for a while.
When you build up that trust and authority with people, when you give and give and give and give and give and give and give and then you finally ask for something, you're going to be more likely to close a sale or to sell a product, and it's going to be much easier than saying, “Hey, what's up? Welcome to my website. Sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, sell.” That's what internet marketing used to be like, and now there's sort of a trend of give, give, give, give, give, then ask. Or, as Gary Vaynerchuk calls it, “jab, jab, jab, right hook.”
It's going to take some time for you to find your voice. It's going to take some time for you to discover even more about your target audience. Once you start to get some traffic, once you start to build a list, once you start to connect with other players in your particular space, pay real close attention to who it is that's coming to your site and try as best as you can to connect with them as much as possible. This is something I heard at Social Media Marketing World last week that Cliff mentioned about getting started. And what can really help you move forward much quicker is to try as best as you can to make a list of 50 people in your audience, and one or two interesting facts about them. Might sound kind of weird, like, “Why would you want to do that?”
Well, when you get involved enough with somebody to know some interesting facts about them, that means you've done the homework to know who your audience is, and you would know what it is that they would need help with. That's where the money comes from. The money comes from serving your audience and providing those solutions to the pains, problems, wants, and needs that they have. The only way to really know what those are is not to guess, not even to see what it is like on other sites, but to start building your own audience and to see whatever it is that you do; see what resonates with your audience.
Talk to them about why and what they need help with. Actually sit down and have Skype conversations with them. If you start to build an email list, reach out to those people via email and say, “Hey, my name's Ollisha. I want to help you. How can I best help you? Or what do you need help with? Or what do you want to learn more about?” That's a great question, “What would you like to learn more about?” The answers to that question can open up a whole world of products and blog posts and monetization efforts. Think about that.
Alicia, I hope that answers your question as far as getting started and some good tips to help you start off on the right foot and make sure that you do focus on serving your audience first before monetization. Your audience, as Chris Ducker always says, they will tell you once you build that relationship, once you open up that opportunity to speak and talk back with you, they're going to tell you what they want, and then you can provide solutions from there. Alicia, thank you so much for the question today. An AskPat t-shirt will be headed your way for having your question featured here on the show.
For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com and thanks to the widget from Speakpipe.com I can collect those voicemail questions from you in MP3 format, and my lovely assistant Mindy, who rocks the house, can easily put them into an episode just like in this episode from Ollisha. Ollisha, again, an AskPat t-shirt is headed your way. Thank you so much.
Now here's today's quote to finish off. Thank you, again, so much for listening in. Today's quote comes from Milton Hershey. He says, “Give them quality. That's the best kind of advertising.” Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Thanks.