AskPat 734 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what’s up? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 734 of AskPat, thank you so much for joining me today. As always I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
All right now here is today’s question from Phil.
Phil Zito: Hi Pat, my name is Phil Zito I run a site called BuildingAutomationMonthly.com and I have got two questions for you whichever one you can handle I’d greatly appreciate. First off thank you for running this site I’ve told several of my coworkers about it it’s a great site, listen to all of your podcasts, read most of your content I really appreciate it. Won’t take much of your time but my two questions are one, I run a site in the building automation system smart building niche and I’m really struggling to monetize that.
I’ve read where you talked about ebooks around courses, around affiliates. I haven’t been able to find any affiliates in this, I haven’t been able to find similar niches to attach to, I haven’t been able to really think of books. I’m looking at courses but working 60, 70 hours a week it’s very difficult to do. My question is what kind of ideas and thoughts for someone who is working 60, 70 hours a week to create content not content. To create a product or service be ideal to have affiliates because I have several readers but I can’t find anything affiliate wise.
My second question is around comments. I get a thousand plus views and the problem is these views folks will subscribe, I’ll get several subscribers. I’ll get emails from these subscribers going into multiple paragraphs on their thoughts, but no one types anything in the comments. You had a guy on who was discussing WordPress plugins and he said to use discuss so I’m using discuss or discourse but yet no one is commenting and I can’t quite figure out why.
I’ve got a clear call to action, I’ve tried multiple different things where I try to engage folks or ask their opinion or ask them to tell their top opinion of something but it’s just not registering. I’m sure it’s me, I’m sure I’m doing something wrong because other folks get comments. I think maybe it might be something to do with this industry, because I’ve been to other industry sites and no one comments on those. I’m wondering if it’s just because this industry’s not a lot of people who want a podcast or write content so I can’t expect them to actually go and write comments.
Thank you, once again I really appreciate everything you do. It’s been amazing and I mean man you really should charge for your content it’s great stuff, thanks.
Pat Flynn: Hey Phil what’s up? Thanks so much for the question I appreciate it, a few questions and I appreciate what you said at the end there in terms of charging for content I really appreciate that. Everything that you get for free is going to continue to be for free because that’s just how I roll, but there will be courses and things coming out in the future so look out for that on the website.
Anyway to your first question related to monetizing, if there aren’t any products out there I’m sure for the smart building niche there could be potentially things like the Nest and the Ecobee and I’m just thinking off the top of my head. Little things that they sell at the Apple store for example that help you automate your home and your lock and anything like that. Those are things that you could potentially be an affiliate for and recommend them through product reviews, unboxing videos those kinds of things on your site and on your YouTube channel. If you have a YouTube channel that could help you get a little bit of a commission through Amazon Associates.
Amazon Associates is a way for you to sell anything that’s on Amazon and then earn a commission if you get people to go through your special link. That can be a quick and easy way for you to just start to get a little bit of income, but I don’t think that’s going to be anything significant. What would be significant are your own courses if you had that.
One thing that came to mind as you were asking your question that I was thinking about was I know everybody’s home is different and everybody’s needs are different. If there was some way to get a personalized smart home solution or report or I don’t know. Just something that I could just take and say, “Okay these are the things that I want, these are the things that I need okay great,” like I would pay for that for sure. That might be something that you might want to test out.
If you have a email list already you could potentially even try to use those strategies that I mentioned in my book Will It Fly? to get a group of them into a webinar at some point. Maybe even talk to people one-on-one and just see if that’s something they would be interested in.
Another thing you can do to give you some ideas is to literally just ask your email subscribers what their biggest struggles are or what they need more help with or what’s a big pain they have related to smart home automation or smart building automation that they could use some help on. That way you are saying, “Hey guys, I’m here for you I want to know what you are up to or what you need help with.” It shows that you are reaching out and asking for help which is step number one and a great thing for your audience to see. Also you are hearing directly from your audience exactly what you should be creating content about or creating products about. I think that’s awesome.
If there is another way for you to using these automation systems that you are teaching people how to use and build to show just how much money they are saving as a result of that. If they are indeed saving money then it would be just a shoo-in for you to say, “Okay well, I’m going to give you the plan on how to do this and save this much money,” and you’ll be able to easily validate and justify the cost of whatever it is goods that you are selling. It’s going to take a little bit of work Phil, I’m not going to tell you and lie to you and say to you this is going to be easy.
It’s going to take some stepping out of your comfort zone a bit, reaching out to your email subscribers. You said they are there, you said that they are leaving paragraphs of information to you so that’s a fantastic sign you are getting the right people on your email list; people who are engaged, people who seem to trust you already and now it’s your job to go and dig in a little bit to see what they need help with.
Now related to the comments it’s interesting I’ve been noticing a trend over time lately just in general that comments on websites are becoming less and less. I’ve even seen some influencers take comments off of their websites which is interesting. I don’t think I would ever do that because I like those who comment on my site and I like giving people a platform to potentially speak up on if something insights that.
For many niches and yours may be one of these it’s just people just don’t have anything to say and comments aren’t really necessary to be honest. They are great if they happen but they are not an indicator, they are absolutely not an indicator of the success of a website. You even said it yourself you are getting a lot of traffic fantastic, you are getting people to subscribe. They are skipping in the comment parts and they are subscribing which is what we mostly want people to do.
I really don’t think there is a problem there Phil and maybe it’s just your own need for wanting to hear something on your website to know that people are there watching and reading on the other end. I don’t think that’s necessary, I think you know that people are reading and they are on the other end and they like your stuff because they are subscribing. Then like I said go into that email list dig deep and see what you can do to get people to let you know what they need help with so you can create something that could potentially be sellable to them.
Again validate it and for that first idea that I had that report, a customized report see if you can get one customer to pay you for that. Maybe it’s a small dollar amount just to show that there is some sort of transaction there it doesn’t … You wouldn’t be doing that experiment to make money on the first run, you would just be trying to see if people will actually pay for it even if it’s like 20 bucks.
Reaching out to an email subscriber individually asking if they would part with 20 bucks for a customized plan that would show you that, “Yeah, this is something that people want,” and then you can start to play around with the price point after that and maybe get into a point where that’s a service you provide. I’m just thinking out loud here but that could be a solution for you. The only way to know is to go out there ask your audience if that’s something they would be interested in and if so then see if they would actually pay for it.
Again a lot of these tactics are mentioned in Will It Fly? my book that you can find at WillItFlyBook.com. Phil hopefully this information helps and gives you a little bit of a relief, but also I want to give you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. Thank you so much again and for anybody out there who has a question that you would like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to askpat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thanks so much I appreciate you and here is a quote to finish off the day by Paul Barron. He said, “I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures,” It is definitely all those things for me as well. Cheers take care and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat, bye.