AskPat 160 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, hey. What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 160 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me. As always, I'm happy to be here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
Before we get to today's question from Christian, I do want to thank some very special people: Darren Rowse from Problogger.net, because if all goes according to plan, today, September 1st, the day that this episode goes live, I will have just come back from my trip to Australia for a ProBlogger event … Just, thank you so much for having me. Thank you for the keynote, and also thank you to the entire team at ProBlogger.net for putting on the event and putting on a great show, and everybody who attended and watched the presentation as well. I also want to thank Tours of Queensland, because the Gold Coast, that whole part of Australia, is just awesome, just so awesome. So, if you haven't gone toAustralia, or maybe you have before, and you are thinking of going back, you gotta check out Queensland. Go to Queensland.com to check out all the destination places. That's all I'm going to say, because it's just awesome. You have to go there. You have to. It's a great family trip, and happy to be back.
So, let's get to today's question from Christian.
Christian: Hi, Pat. This is Christian Toto. I have a fatherhood blog at Daddylibrium.com And my question is this, what do you do when you feel like you are doing everything right to build traffic for your blog and it's just not happening? I'm doing all the basic SEO techniques, I'm writing quality content, cool headlines, compelling material, using social media, guest blogging, putting comments in other people's sites: sort of all the traditional how-to steps I'm doing, and the traffic isn't there. My site is about a year and a half old, and it's just not popping like I hoped, so I always trust your advice and thought you might have some words of wisdom for someone who just feels a little bit stuck. Thanks for your time.
Pat Flynn: Christian, thank you so much for the question. And to help you with this question, and everybody else out there who may be going through the same things as you, you're putting in the work, it seems, and you should be getting more traffic than you are getting. Here's what you can do. I would ask yourself these following questions. The first question you want to ask yourself is, have you given it enough time? Have you given it enough time to get the name out there, to do all that work that you're doing? It's not just… it's not always in the media. You do the work and you see the results; sometimes it takes time to get out there get the word out have word of mouth help you, get on the right sites, in order to get to that point where traffic will start to come in you're expecting.
Now, you said you gave yourself a year and a half, and that's a significant amount of time, which is awesome, so, congrats to you for being dedicated to it for so long. And you are totally right in asking, “What can I do?” or, “What, perhaps, am I doing wrong? Or not doing, so I can get that traffic that I feel like I deserve?” Some people, they have built sites and it's just been three months, and they're just like, “I'm not seeing any traffic,” like, yeah, it's only been three months. But a year and a half, you should be getting some decent traffic, absolutely, and hopefully these following questions can help you toward that.
Second question: Are you connecting with the right people? There's nothing more … There's nothing that has helped me more in my business … My businesses, than connecting with other influencers, other people in that particular space who have befriended, who I have partnered with, who I have helped out, and then in return have gotten help for me as well. You need to connect with the right people, and you could be doing all the right things in the world, and sometimes it's just that one connection with that right person who just says the right thing, or shares the right thing that could really help things take off.
So, giving yourselves opportunities to connect with the right people by going to conferences, by speaking and reaching out to people, by emailing, by connecting on social media, those are all things that are incredibly important, that a lot of people are actually afraid to do, because it's … All that other stuff, writing blog posts, creating content, social media stuff, that's all stuff that doesn't really involve a face-to-face or real-time conversation with somebody. It can be scary to do that, but that's seriously what's going to help you bring your business to the next level, and help you get that traffic from those connections that you make with the right people. So, if you have any opportunity to go to any conferences or go to any meetups in your city, or even take a little drive to a meetup in another city, that is going to help you like mad, and if there was one thing … People ask me always the question, “Well, Pat, if you only had like $300, what would you do with it?” My answer is, I would go to a conference and meet the people I need to meet. Seriously.
Question number 3: Are you producing content that people want? Now, it's one thing to produce content and do it consistently, which is important. But are you actually creating content that people want? Something that when they read it they're like, “Yes! This is just for me!” and “Yes! I'm going to totally share this!” That's what you want. Now if you aren't sure about that, you might want to double check. Contact the people who are in your audience and say, “Hey, what do you think of the content that I've been writing lately?” or “What's some of your favorite pieces that you think I should be writing more of?” Things like that. Or, “What do you think is missing, that I could produce content about?” Have conversations, and again, not just email, not just social media, which is helpful, and that will give you some insight, but talking to people in person. Do you have some superfans, or people who seem to comment on every post? You, you know those people; they would love to take the time to talk to you. Ask them to come on Skype, and it's just going to be amazing, because you're not only going to get great information from them, but they are going to think that you're awesome, even more awesome than you already are for reaching out and asking somebody in your audience, and making them feel important.
It's such a good strategy, and something I do every once in a while. I'll find people in my email list just randomly, and say, “Hey, let's have a Skype conversation.”People love that; they go crazy, and that information that I get with those small conversations, it might just be 10, 20 people every couple months. It's amazing. You'll learn things that you never would have known, unless you take that time to have a conversation. And the reason the conversations are important, and better than social media postings and questions on emails and social media, is because you can continue to go down deeper with people's answers. With email, with social media, it's just, you get the surface-level answer, but when you keep asking why, or why do you feel that way, or what if I did this instead, and get their response, it's a real time… this is what actually matters. And you need that. So, are you producing content that people actually want, not what you think they want, but what they actually want. What are they asking for? Are you? I don't know.
Number 4: Are you producing content that's different. This goes along the same lines as number 3, but it's also important to know that you could be answering those questions, but somebody else out there may be already answering those questions too. So, if that's the case, are you answering them differently? Are you doing it better? Are you doing the same thing that everybody else is doing, in which case you would always be behind, and maybe there is a lot traffic out there but it's just not coming to you because it's not … There's no reason to come to you, because they're getting their content, they're getting their fix, elsewhere. What can you provide? What is your unfair advantage? What's your position in this particular market that people will have to go to you for? Where if you stop writing content, they'd be like, “Wow, I miss that, because nobody else does it that way.” Are you producing content that's different, that's unique?
Number 5: How often are you publishing? That's another thing. And I'm not necessarily going to say that the more you publish the better, but when you are starting out, it is good to produce content in a very strategic manner on a very consistent basis. In terms of SEO, the more content that you write, the more opportunity there is, just because you are writing more words, for people to find you. I have a number of sites in a number of different niches, and always, I get more traffic from the long tail, or I get almost just as much traffic from all of the long tail keywords put together than my one or two top target keywords. So, even if you are not ranking for your top keywords, you can still make a ton of traffic come to your site through the long tail by producing good content and writing, as much as you can. Another thing that goes along with my “be everywhere” strategy, I think, if you are a year and a half into writing, it might be time to think about adding an additional platform to your brand. So you're not just a blogger anymore, but perhaps you are a blogger with a podcast, and you can capture a lot of traffic that way, which is what… where Smart Passive Income gets a lot of its traffic. It's the number one way that people are finding the site, is through iTunes and through my podcasts, which is awesome. I know that from a survey, actually. YouTube as well; YouTube was actually the number two way people found out about Smart Passive Income, and my brand, and the number three was links from other sites, which goes along with what I said about connecting with the right people. So, using multiple platforms, it's maybe time to do that if your aren't doing it already. So that's number 6.
Number 7: Are you writing about really hot topics in your niche? Really hot, now, type of stuff. Perhaps it's even a little controversial. If you become the place where conversation happens, obviously, traffic is going to come to your site, but then people can come back for more. And that's going to happen once you establish yourself as sort of a leader in the space, not just by talking about the things that people want to know about, but also introducing people to things that they should be talking about and thinking about as well. And facilitating those discussions will help.
Also, are you creating any beastly resources? That's sort of another name for epic content that I have, like something that's timeless and evergreen that is completely sharable; just way over-delivering, something that would almost be considered something that people could pay for: an ultimate guide to blank, something like that, that just blows people's minds, that gets other people who are in the industry as well, sort of excited about it, and linking to your site. And maybe even mention those people in those particular resources as well, so they will be more than happy to share, 'cause they'll be featured too. Epic content. Beastly resources. Those are things in the past that have driven me the most traffic as well. That's number 8. Right? Five, six, I lost count now, but we're just plugging away here.
The next thing is, in terms of guest posting, you had mentioned you were doing guest posting, which is great, and that strategy still works, not quite as well for SEO, but still for direct traffic and getting in front of a new audience and potentially getting subscribers from there. Are you guest posting on the right sites? And there's a few things to think about here, in terms of guest posting on the top sites, that's always a good thing to do, obviously, because there is a lot of traffic there. But I have talked to a lot of people who have guest posted on top sites in their industry, and they're surprised about how little traffic comes from those guest posts. It's actually, if you keep track of the numbers, because there's this content coming in all the time, people aren't really clicking through. And so you either have to create another epic guide or beastly resource that you can post on their site just so you actually capture people's attention, and you're not just another article on that site. Or you can step out of your niche a little bit and start writing on sites that are kind of related. So if you have a sort of parenthood or dad-blog-type site, you could start publishing guest posts on sites like Art of Manlihood or Lifehacker, which aren't necessarily about parenting but can be about parenting. Maybe you do a guest post on a cooking site. Well, how does that make sense? Well, maybe you do a article or even a video that talks about how a father can make cooking fun with their kids. It's about cooking, meals for kids; that stuff is universal, right? Well, at least for people who have kids, but think outside of your niche in terms of guest posting; that will help you get in front of a new audience as well.
Another thing you could do is get involved with helpareporterout.com. You can get some free publicity on mainstream media there as well. I would also recommend trying to get involved with mainstream media yourself too, like contact your local news stations and see if you can pitch any stories. They are always looking for stories, especially feel-good stories and things like that. You can come on as an expert and talk, and that stuff is stuff you can record and put on your site to prove authority, having your name there, and Fox News or whatever cable channel's on … If you go to SmartPassiveIncome.com and check out my YouTube channel, which you can actually go to, YouTube.com/smartpassiveincome, you can see me on Fox News, and a little segment about me and what I do in my home office. And that has been viewed, I don't know, 80,000 times, or I don't know exactly, but a lot of people have seen it, and it just sort of establishes authority. “Wow, he was on the news,” and you can do that too. And you can just ask, what's the worst that could happen? You can just ask and see what happens.
And the last thing I want to mention in terms of traffic, is your email list. Are you building an email list? And if you are, a great way to get traffic is to send people back to your site when you write a new blog post. I mean, that's something we should all be doing more, because it's direct traffic coming to your site from people who have sort have given you permission that they love your … They want more stuff from you, and that they love you and love your content and want more. And when you do that, you have a horde of people coming from your email list, reading your posts, and these are sort of pre-qualified people who have, again, said that they like your stuff. And likely, if you provide the right calls to actions and make it easy, they are going to share it. They are going to share it on social media, and their friends and fans and followers are going to come over, and they are going to subscribe if they like the stuff. And then the next time you have a post come out, you are sending an email to even more people, because people have been added to that list, and then they will come to your blog as traffic, and then they'll share, and it just grows and grows and grows from there. So definitely utilize your email list for traffic. And you'll see that can be a great way to kickstart some sort of heavy traffic coming your way in the future.
So, that was a lot of stuff. I had an outline written out, and I kind of bounced around a little bit, but Christian, I hope that helps you and everybody else out there a little bit. Thank you so much for the question. An AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way. And if you'd like to have your question featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. Check it out. You can ask them right there on that page, and potentially get an AskPat t-shirt too.
Again, thank you to Darren Rowse, from ProBlogger.net and all the team there who put on an amazing event at #PBEvent14, and also Queensland.com. If you are visiting Australia, please go to Queensland.com, and check out my Twitter profile @patflynn and also my Facebook page I'm sure there's a ton of pictures there of my trip to Australia with the family and for the event. So, kudos to everybody over there for putting on a good show, and kudos to Australia just for being awesome.
Thank you, guys. Cheers. Take care. And I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.