AskPat 169 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 169 of AskPat. I don't know why I said it like that; that's weird. But, anyway, I'm in a great mood today, I hope you are too, and we have a fantastic question from Amy.
But before we get to today's question, I want to talk quickly about today's sponsor and thank them. That is FreshBooks.com, the easy-to-use cloud accounting solution that's helping millions of small business owners save time, because it's the best solution for keeping track of all your finances, and also especially if you're invoicing. Like if you're a freelancer, or you have clients or you're coaching people, FreshBooks is a great, easy way to get paid faster so you can focus more on what you need to do, all the teaching you're doing as an entrepreneur, and not all this accounting stuff which is what this software takes care for you. So, if you'd like to get a free trial, head on over to GetFreshBooks.com, and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
Now, let's get to today's question from Amy.
Amy: Hi, Pat. This is Amy from TheMomRetirementPlan.com. I can't thank you enough for the wealth of information you give to all of your readers on your blog and podcasts. My question today has to do with the frequency of blog posts. You know, everybody says that content is king, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. But, I still wonder about the frequency of blog posts. What if the content for your site is evergreen in nature? With my niche, I don't have a ton of new, updated information to give readers on a weekly basis, so do you still feel like somebody in that situation would need to have a certain amount of new blog posts each week to draw in new readers, or is killer, so to speak. Is evergreen content enough to keep a site going strong? I really hope you get a chance to answer this question, and I look forward to your answer. Thanks, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Amy, thank you so much for the question today and all the kind words about what I do here. I really appreciate that. That is always completely motivating to me. And so to help you out here, I'm going to tell you a quick story about my first website that did really well, which is GreenExamAcademy.com. For those of you who don't know, this is a website I created to help people pass an exam in the architecture world—that is the LEED exam—and this site has only a finite amount of information that I could talk about. I mean, there's only so much about this exam I could talk about; there's only so much about the giant resource guide that I was providing tips about and help for. It would've been overload, and too much for this particular audience if I gave them more information. So, it got to a point where I eventually just stopped, because there was nothing else to teach them; everything else was there. And so, there are occasions and other types of niches, and this sounds like right up your alley, Amy, where you don't have to, you know, you don't have to—and I say that with quotes—but you don't have to write content all the time in order to build your audience. If you create that killer evergreen content, that epic content, or some people call it “pillar content,” stuff that's going to live for a long time that's completely useful not just today, but will be next year and the year after that. That's great type of content, everybody should be writing evergreen-killer-epic-post-pillar-type content, and the reason is, is because that's the stuff that gets shared time and time again, that's the stuff that over time will get ranked really high in Google.
And I'm guessing, Amy, that at this point, or if not, in the near future because of the types of articles you're writing, you're going to get a lot of traffic coming from Google as well. So, that will help you with the traffic, and you can even stop writing and continue to get that traffic. I've seen also this be the case on SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, where I have two particular types of posts for each state in the US, because each state in the US has a different set of requirements to become a security guard. I have articles on how to become an unarmed security guard, and then an article for each state on how to become an armed security guard, or somebody who carries a weapon. And that's it. I mean, there's nothing more I could really talk about. However, with that site, I have noticed that when I've added additional content, sort of beyond the core content, I have been seeing a lot of increases in traffic as well, and a lot of that is because it's not really timeless information that I'm sharing, but it's relevant now. And so, if you can, on top of what you're already creating with your core content, create what I like to call, “encore content.” Stuff that is sort of after the fact, that you've already taught everything but it's still related, whether it's breaking news related to your industry, or perhaps success stories or case studies, which are always great, especially for proving your information is correct and building authority in that way. Those are things that build trust with your audience, who's there already, but also people who come brand new to your site as well, who can then dig deeper into the core-type content. You know, your core content typically is a lot more heavy as well, and it can be very intimidating, but if you could start lightly with one of those news types of articles or even something personal, sometimes is really helpful, because it shows a little bit about who is behind the scenes, who is the author behind that blog; those types of content go really well.
I did that a little bit on Green Exam Academy, but I wasn't really keeping track of what that was doing for me; I just felt like I wanted my audience to know who I was. But on SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, I did hire a writer for a little bit to write some articles about some breaking news and things that were happening around the industry, and those did help my rankings, my rankings and also my traffic as well. And the thing is, the more content you write—this is the equation, the more content you write, the more opportunities you're giving your audience to find you, and also Google to find you as well. I found that especially for SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, the more content I wrote, the more I was getting found with long tail keywords. I wasn't really ranking higher for a lot of the keywords I was already ranking for; that didn't shift very much. But I noticed a significant amount of traffic coming in from long tail keywords. These were keywords that were just combinations of words that I wasn't necessarily targeting; they were just written. And so, the more stuff that you have, the more opportunity for you to be found by Google, and also the more opportunity; And think about this: there's more opportunity for people who get those new articles to share as well, and those are things that you'll be missing out on if you don't produce new content.
Now, I think the sort of core versus encore content is a very good way to look at it. You know, have your core stuff, the stuff that's going to be evergreen, I have that stuff on my site too. But, I would test occasionally this other stuff as well, and it might take some experimentation in terms of what works best, whether it's breaking news-type stuff or changes in the industry, or personal stuff, or case studies and success stories, which I think would be the best way to go for most brands and niches. But you're going to have to experiment and see what works and see what resonates with your audience as well. I also want you to think about other types of core content that you could be writing; don't just stop with what you have. I'm sure for SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, and even GreenExamAcademy.com, yes there was a finite information about that stuff, but there are other sort of second-tier topics that I potentially could've been talking about on those sites that could've helped boost or create a whole new element to the site, and there might be other topics within your topic that you have yet to talk about.
This is something actually we're doing on FoodTruckr.com right now, FoodTruckr. I can tell you specifically that it is getting the traffic it's getting because it's been posting frequently, twice a week, and even a podcast every other week too, and that's been doing extremely well for rankings and also getting traffic. The shares, not so much, because when you think about people in the food truck industry, if you're a food truck and you're following a blog about how to improve your food truck or start a food truck, you're not going to share it with your followers, 'cause your followers are typically people who are patrons or customers of your food truck, who aren't really going to benefit from that information. So, it's a little bit challenging on that front. But, typically the more content you write, like I said, the more opportunity there's going to be for you to be found and be shared, which means you're going to be more found as well. Foodtruckr.com has just done really, really well, up to 30,000 unique visitors a month as a result of just writing a lot of content, and yes it will eventually get to a point where it'll slow down a little bit. But, we focused initially on stuff on how to start a food truck; we did like a 30-blog post series on that, and that is pillar content, that is evergreen content right there, and that's forever going to be there. We actually turned that into a book that's done really well lately, in the four-figure range in terms of sales. But then now we're focusing on, “Okay, you've got your truck up and running. How do you market your truck? How do you begin to sell and find new customers?” And things like that. So that's sort of a second series, which is generating new content for us on a regular basis at this point. However, it's also helping new content be posted, because that stuff matters, and that's the stuff people are going to see who are subscribed, who are then going to share it or talk about it with other people.
So, in terms of blog frequency, I know this is a very long-winded answer to your question, Amy. But, you don't have to post very often, as much as you might think. A lot of people say, “You've gotta post every day,” which is obviously insane, and I know a lot of people who used to post every day, who've switched down to once a week, and have seen actually upticks in their traffic, or an increase in traffic and subscribership. It depends on your audiences; you're going to have to test it out and experiment. But, you don't have to write very often, but I would recommend experimenting with some encore content, stuff beyond the pillar stuff to keep things flowing, keep things fresh and also show—you want to show people who come to your site that you are in the know with your topic, and you're there and it's active, perhaps, that you are actively paying attention to what's going on, and that makes your core content even more believable.
So, Amy, I hope that answers your question, and I look forward to hearing about how you do and what you take with this advice and what you do with it. So thank you so much. An AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way. I appreciate your question. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com; you can ask right there on that page using the SpeakPipe.com widget, and you can use any mic that you have on your headset or even your internal computer.
Yeah, I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks. Again, if you want to get a free trial, head on over to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Like, seriously, when I first started doing finances and stuff, it was all, like, in Excel, and even then I wasn't very good at it. And it wasn't until I finally got hooked up with FreshBooks that it just made life so much easier, so I could then focus on what I needed to focus on, especially during tax time, where it was just a couple clicks of a button to send reports to my CPA. Very easy stuff. So, again, GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
And to finish off the week, we have today's quote of the day from Eleanor Roosevelt. She's been a featured quoter, I guess you could say, a couple times here. She says here, “No leader can be too far ahead of his followers.” Love that. “No leader can be too far ahead of his followers.” Cheers, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat, peace.
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