AskPat 235 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 235 AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. We've a great question from Chris today, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is AWeber.com, the email service provider that I've been using ever since I started using email service providers.
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Awesome, let's get to today's question from Chris.
Chris: Hey Pat, Chris Burns here. Want to say first off, big fan of the show. Thank you so much for the content. I found you a couple of different ways, listened to a couple of your most recent podcasts and then started in reverse order from one. I'm all the way through 25, and that's in the last month. I've listened to a little over 30 of your podcasts, and I'm sold. I'm reviving my website, Golf More Swing Less, and like you, my kinda sole purpose in life is helping people, more related to golf. I'm very passionate about it. I'm reviving what's almost a dead blog, and I've uploaded a new theme. I'm doing some things outside of just podcasting, which I'm about to add to the site. One of the things I want to do is add a book club. I did some research on it and funny enough, Pat Flynn has a book club. What do you know? So I thought you'd be the perfect guy to ask about a book club.
A couple of questions I have is, one, how do I do this? I want to know how to set it up. I want to do something that's unique. Find a way to monetize it and either doing something like monthly bookcasts, finding a way to use my Amazon affiliate account, to where I can recommend people buy the books through my affiliate links and maybe create some kind of exclusivity where people can log in. Wondering . . . if eventually should I charge for that now, should I charge for it later? How to do that, how to monetize it. I don't know if I should start it free, or if I should go the other way and start to monetize it right away. Pat, is there a platform? Is there a good place to start? What do you think about this in terms of differentiating my site? It's a little bit outside the box, I hope that's clear.
Last, a recommendation for you is, I really want to get into podcasting and blogging more and more and become an expert. I think you should add a link on your site where people can find any of these blogger expos, or podcasting, bootcamp shows, etc., in their area. I'd like to find something in the Midwest, and you know, if you had it on your website where I could go through the affiliate, that would be awesome. Anyways, thanks again Pat. I appreciate you and all your work and really look forward to hearing from you.
Pat Flynn: Hey Chris, what's up? Thank you so much for the question today and all the kind words. I really appreciate the suggestion there at the end. I think a lot of people would benefit from something like that, a sort of calendar or schedule or list of events in and around the passive income, make money online business entrepreneurship niche. I know I could use something like that as well. If I were to, perhaps, have that on my site, it could be very useful. Thank you for that, Chris.
Now let's get to your question. Reviving an old site, a dead blog, which I think it's always good to come back to what you're good at. A lot of people walk away from a site, and they come back later and they start over. Sometimes that's the right answer, but I feel like you know that this is something that can be done. Maybe you just needed some time off, or maybe just didn't feel right, but now you have these new energy for it. Whatever the case may be, I think it's a great idea. I love the domain name, Golf More Swing Less. I wish I could golf more and swing less as well, because I am a golfer myself. This is good, I like this.
Now in terms of a book club, I think every site should have some sort of book club. If they start to build an audience or if you are considering building an audience, a book club is a great way to develop a bigger and better relationship with your audience, because you're starting to do things together, right? It's like, you know, me, Pat Flynn, I read a book, and then I get everybody else to read it too. Then we can talk about it or converse about it. People start to take your recommendations and things like that. Of course, if they're helpful, valuable books, you're only becoming more of an authority, because you're sort of the one who is recommending these things that are actually helping people. It's always going to be associated with you. I think that's a great idea. You can sign up to my book club actually at PatFlynn.com if you're not subscribed already. I say subscribed, because it's all done through email.
There's probably 101,000 different ways that you could do a book club. I decided to make it easy for myself, as the owner, because the book club isn't really central to my business. It's sort of like an add-on, or a little component of it. What happens is, people subscribe to the book club, and every month I send an email newsletter blast through AWeber. What happens is, they get this email about a book that I've been reading. It's essentially a newsletter that's highlighting a book that I have been reading or have read. It talks about why I like it, some of the surprises about it, and why I recommend it, and who it's for as well. It's very simple. Once a month, and that's it. I like that also, because it forces me to read as well. Not necessarily forces me, but gives me a good reason to really dive into a new book each month, which helps educate myself as well. Then I can pass on that education and recommendation to the people who are in my book club.
Now, there's a couple thousand people in the book club right now, and I'm planning on making it much better and bigger next year. There are some things I wish I have done, that I am going to do, like keep an archive of the books that I've mentioned before. A lot of people who are getting in the book club now, for example, don't have access to the archive of the other email newsletters that I've had. I plan to do a little bit more, maybe create some sort of web presence for the book club, either on SPI or PatFlynn.com, where one could find the list of books that I've already mentioned. And yes, those books are recommended via Amazon through and Amazon associate link, which is essentially an affiliate link. Any time somebody clicks through that link and purchases something on Amazon, I get, depending on my quantity of sales for that month, anywhere between five and 10 percent. Now, what's cool about Amazon is when people buy through that link, they also will give you credit, again, five to 10 percent, depending on the quantity that you sell per month, on any other items that that person might buy, in addition to that book that they clicked over for. They don't even necessarily have to buy that book, maybe they land on Amazon through your link. That cookie is there, it's available for 24 hours, and anything they buy, you get the commission for, which is really cool. That's, I think, the easiest way to monetize a book club if you're going to do it.
Now in terms of being unique. There's a lot of things that will help you stand out. You could have the most people. You can read the most books. You can have a certain kind of books. Maybe there's a specific theme that you have every month. Maybe, for example, month one is putting. Then month two is swing and you kinda . . . What would be cool is if people knew that every month there was a specific category that they're going to look forward to, but they didn't necessarily know what book it was. That would be kinda cool. Again, I'm just kinda thinking out loud here for you Chris. What would also make it unique is if there's a community behind it as well. This is something that I have yet to do, although I'm exploring the possibilities, but of course, when you create a community, you want it to be active. If you're just reviving a dead blog, you might not have that audience that you might need to create that lively community to help this, you know, run on its own, which is essentially what you would want to happen. I could imagine it being very, very cool if you had a good number of people on your email list. I would definitely recommend people on your book club to join your email list. I mean, there's really easy ways to do it. For instance, you could just say, “Hey, subscribe to my blog VRSS or just make sure you come on the blog every month that this time, when I talk about a new book.” I think the fact that it's sort of exclusive for people who subscribe, it gives them a little bit more information than they would get on your site, helps them feel a little bit more special and involved with your brand. That would definitely be the way to go.
Again, like I said, if you have that community, you could essentially either create a log in for a membership site area, so you could actually create a membership site where people can come and talk about this book and converse about it. Maybe you could even do Google Hangouts On Air about it. Invite people on to talk about it. I mean, that's like, a real life book club, right? You go to a certain place and talk about the book that you all read the month or two, and you actually talk about it, then you have crumpets and teacakes and things like that. Anyway, a Google Hangout On Air would be a way to sort of bring that community together and let people speak up. There are obviously a lot of other ways to bring a community together. You could do it within a blog post on your site. I think a great way to do a book club community, so having this email list with books being sent out to your community, then saying, “Hey, if you have any comments or you have any results from this book that you've read or are reading, head on over to the Facebook group.” I would definitely make a Facebook group for your book club. I would recommend that over a page, because it's a little bit more exclusive. You can make it more private. You can have the people in there really feel special for being a part of it, having them feel comfortable talk about it as well. You can even have them make a recommendations too.
That's something that sort of happens naturally once you start to build your book club members. If you say, “Enter your information here for a book that you want me to review,” that would be kinda cool. Another thing you could do Chris, is to get access, if possible, to the authors of those books. This is another idea that I had that I don't quite have in my bandwidth to do right now. I would love anybody to do this. I think it'd be really cool and a way for you to help stand-out from everybody else in the golf space. I mean, the golf space is super competitive and saturated even. If you were to have a book club where every month there was a . . . Maybe it's a Google Hangout On Air with the author for an hour. That would be so cool. There's no reason why I don't think that author would want to do that, because if there's some sort of crowd there, they're going to be in front of that audience, they're going to talk about their book and people who haven't bought it yet, are going to buy it. Of course, a Google Hangout On Air is totally public. People can share that on Facebook and Twitter while it's happening, get more people on there, which would get more people to join your book club. Boom. I think that would be pretty cool.
Another thing that's important about a book club, that, again, I have failed to do, is having your book club members know when the next book's going to come out. Also, perhaps, prime them for what book they should be reading next. I've sort of just done what I can do on the surface, in terms of a book club, you can see how it's running currently at PatFlynn.com. Again, I hope to take that to the next level next year. It's hard to say, though, because there's a lot of things that I wish I could take to the next level, and I know I have to prioritize and be smart and do one thing at a time. If I try to do everything at the same time, nothing is going to get done.
In terms of monetization, you could, and like I said, do Amazon, which I would infidelity recommend, although you want to be honest and up front with everybody, letting them know that if they go through that link, you're going to get a commission off of it. If you're in the US, that's required through FTC regulations, but it's also common courtesy I think, and people who are on the book club, if they're getting value, will want to go through your link. I think that's smart. You could also monetize it through, maybe, through special access to you, for whatever reason. If they want to get access to you, maybe it's coaching, I mean, there are ways to use a book club as a way to then promote other things that you have to offer related to those types of things. Maybe you do some sort of JV deal, joint venture deal, with the author and say, “Hey, we can do a two-hour call for anybody who ends up paying X amount of dollars every month, who is a part of this book club, and I'll split the cost with you. Or I'll split the profits from you.” That's another thing you can do.
You can even eventually pay to give people access to the book club. Although I would recommend making it free, because then you can make money off the backend of these affiliate products and off of these other potential partnerships. Maybe, down the road, you have a number of people in your community within your book club, and then eventually you might charge to have people become part of that as well. People will pay to become a part of a community if there's an active community there and there's value to be provided.
So Chris, I hope that answers your question, gives you some ideas for your book club. I think it's a great idea. For anybody out there, I hope it helps you too. Thank you so much Chris, and an AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show and have answered by myself, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there directly on that page. Whatever microphone you have handy, that will work. We just need to be able to hear you, that is all.
I also want to thank today's sponsor one more time, which is AWeber.com, the email service provider that I use and I recommend for, especially for those of you who are just starting out. You can try it out for 30 days by going to AWeber.com/askpat. That will only be one dollar for 30 days. So check it out. Build that email list. They say the money is in the list. Although I don't sell directly on my email list, I know it makes a huge difference in my business because I use it to build a relationship with my audience. Not only by sending them valuable content, which increases my authority, but also by asking people direct questions. For example, in my autoresponder series, one of my first emails is, “Hey, what would you like me to write a blog post about?” That goes out sequentially after a certain amount of emails that they get over time. Boom. I have these emails coming in every single day, because people subscribe every day from my target audience, saying, “Hey, this is what you should write about next.” I will never run out of content. That's just one idea for how you can use this service like AWeber to help you in your business thrives. So again, AWeber.com/askpat.
Thank you again so much for listening, and as always, I love to end with a quote. Today's quote is from David Allen. He says, “If you don't pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”
So pay attention to what you're doing. That's all. That's all David's saying, really. Is it worth it? Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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