AskPat 680 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody, Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 680 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.
We have an awesome question today from Jayson, but before we get to that I want to thank an awesome company who is sponsoring this episode and that is FreshBooks.com. I love FreshBooks, because they help me to keep track of my books, keeping things managed in order. They also can help you with invoicing too. They make invoicing really simple, so if you bill anybody for any work that you do, I highly recommend you use Fresh Books, because you can get it done fast, very professional and get paid faster, because of it because its just a great, great work flow for those who are getting billed with Fresh Books. So, I highly recommend you check it out and if you want to check it out for 30 days for free get a 30 day free trial at Freshbook.com/askpat and make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the how did you hear about us section.
All right, now here's today's question from Jayson.
Jayson: Hi Pat, this is Jayson. I have a website called NavyProgrammer07.blogspot.com and I just started it four days ago and I have about 350 views in the last four days and I know it's something different. I'm trying to show, or start a student blog in regards to computer science and I don't know where to start. I was wondering how did you start yours and what were the best keys to starting it off right? Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Hey Jayson, what's up? Thank you so much for the question and also congratulations on your new blog. That's awesome, way to get started, way to take action and way to go with the views. That's actually quite a bit in the short amount of time that you've had. I remember when I first started and I was checking the stats every single day like we all do, I didn't get very many, that much in the beginning, but over time you start to learn what works, learn what doesn't work. You do more of what does, you get more exposure, google starts to kick in in terms of your articles being found in search engines. People find you, people link to you and you start to grow over time, but it will take time, so that's the first thing that I want to say Jayson. This is going to take some time, but you're off to the races. You're off to a good start.
There are some major things that I want to share with you that you can work on to make sure that you don't get left behind if you will. When you are starting out here are a few important things to think about. First of all, you had mentioned your URL and it is not anything that I could have memorized on first pass.
You want your web domain name, your web address to be much, much more memorable and when there are all these numbers and letters and plus a blogspot.com in it, it's going to be pretty difficult and it just looks less professional. If you are committing to this for long term I highly recommend that you actually get self hosted blogging. What does that does is it will actually help you remove that .blogspot.com on your domain name which helps shorten it of course, but it also helps make it look more professional, it makes it seem like it's your own and that's really the big part of self hosting your own website, which means it's under your own control. It's not on any other platform and yes blogspot has been around for awhile, but they make up their own rules and they can do whatever they want. They can do anything with your website at some point if they wanted to.
You never want to build your house on someone else's land, if you will. What I would recommend is you get started with Bluehost, which is my recommended host, that's what I used when I first started out. I actually still use it for a number of my websites. Actually, Green Exam Academy is still on Bluehost, which is my first website. It's still on there actually, but what I would do is go to askpat.com/bluehost, you'll get a significantly discounted price if you go through that to start out and then you can actually go through a one-click WordPress install. WordPress is the blogging platform that you can use to build your website on.
What's cool about WordPress is that it's very customizable, but also very simple to use relatively speaking. This is as opposed to working on HTML learning code. You don't need to do that. You just need to go through the back end and just follow directions, because you will be able to set up your blog easily and to change the look of it, which you can do at any time. I mean I've changed my theme at least a dozen times over the past – there's millions of different kinds of themes available, which are essentially skins of the way your site looks that lives on top of your self-hosted blog and you will be able to customize it and make it your own.
I think that alone will help you sort of get out of newbie land if you will, just immediately, because you can tell right away when you started sharing your domain name and it had the blogspot.com in it, some people have .wordpress.com in their domain name. Those are for the non-self hosted word press websites. It's very unprofessional and if you're going to do this long term you want to start out on the right foot.
Now, other things to keep in mind is that you want to make sure that in the beginning that you're going to be consistent with your content, but it doesn't mean that you have to post every single day. I would post high-value content that will last quite a long time, because what will happen is that you start to build this library of content of yours, a lot of those initial articles, which often times we spend most of our time on will get buried, but there are a lot of strategies you can use to resurface those through email marketing, through mentioning them on newer blog posting and linking to those older blog post. Don't feel like it's a waste that you have very little views right now. You can resurface those articles. You can actually bring them back, or republish them in the future if you'd like.
Don't worry about that. Spend some good time learning how to write and write for the web and connect with other people. I think that is the most important thing. As you're starting out it's really important to start to build sort of a network, even if you don't necessarily reach out and make contact with them, just to get to know who is in your space, who are the other influencers out there, where does your target market exist? Where are they already? Who are they already listening to? That way you can actually go and scour those websites and see, oh this is what they actually enjoy reading about more, or this is actually a topic that wasn't covered on any of these websites, so I'm going to cover it.
You can also start to do some roundup posts. This is a great way to get exposure and actually get noticed by some of those other bigger bloggers who are already out there targeting the same market, so reach out to those people and see if they can answer for example, one question and then take everybody's answer and put them all into one single blog post. This is what I did to launch foodtrucker.com and by far still that is the number one article that has driven a ton of traffic to the website. It's really high ranking on SEO, or search engines. It was shared on Reddit and a number of other websites and people just share it, because it's a great value and what's cool is, I was just starting out. I didn't know anything about food trucks, but I contacted people who did to help provide an answer to a single question and that question was, what's one thing you wish you knew before you started your food truck journey?
There are a number of different questions you can ask, but that one thing I wish I knew was a good one, but if you're teaching programming, or teaching stuff, a high quality, just evergreen ultimate resource on how to do something can go a long way too and make sure to not worry about being everywhere at the same time. This might sound funny, because one of my big strategies is actually to try and be everywhere, to be on a podcast, to be on YouTube, to be on your blog, to be on other people's sites. To be on every single social media channel.
I recommend getting to that point, but not right away. When you're first starting out the worst thing you can do is divide all of your attention between three different blogging content platforms. Blogging video and pod casting. You don't want to do that, pick one go with it and it seems like blogging is going to be the thing for you to start out with and just master it knowing that you will later focus on pod casting and YouTube if it makes sense, but work on really honing in on your skills and growing your list.
This is the other big mistake that I made when I first started out. I didn't build my list and you already have a lot of views coming to your site, which is great. You have opportunities to build your email list already and what's cool is when you are first starting out you already actually have a huge advantage over other people, because you have the opportunity to reach out individually to each of those people and actually introduce yourself, get to know them, get to know what their pains and problems are and really listen to them so that you can actually provide the content that your target audience is listing.
They're going to feel very privileged to have that immediate contact with you, but you're going to find that it's going to be very useful for you in your journey moving forward too, just to have knowledge of who those people are, what their pains and problems are. You can actually provide information to them and likely the thousands of other people that have the same questions as them.
Do your best to reach out to those who are already following you and the best way to do that is through email marketing. I would recommend getting started with something like ConvertKit, which you can get at askpat.com/convertkit, which is great and very simple to use and you can get up and running today if you wanted to.
Jayson, just some few things to share with you, but I hope you take those to heart and actually start to take action. Good luck to you and we're going to send you an askpat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. Again, thank you so much and for those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show just head on over to askpat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thanks so much to everybody out there who listened. Please subscribe if you haven't already and thank you again to Fresh Books for their amazing support for the show. You can go to freshbooks.com/askpat and enter “Ask Pat” in the how did you hear about us section, you'll get 30 days that you can try it out for free.
Alright, to finish up and start the week, here is a quote by Napoleon Hill, he says “if you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” Thanks guys, take care and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat, bye.
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