AskPat 208 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What’s up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to 208 . . . I'm feeling great and don't be late and don't hesitate because I'm going to articulate . . .I don't know what I'm saying. I've just always wanted to be a rapper, and I could see why I never will be one. But anyway, 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 another great question today from Craig. But before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com: the super easy to use cloud accounting solution to help you keep track of all your financials. Stuff coming in your business, expenses going out, any sort of invoicing that you do. If you need to bill somebody it makes it super easy to do that. Create professional looking invoices with FreshBooks. And, seriously, I wish it was something I used sooner because I used Excel for very long time when I first started and come tax season it was kind of a fuss. And FreshBooks made it a lot easier once I finally got into it.
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Cool. Now let's get to today's question from Craig.
Craig: Hi Pat, this is Craig Morrison from UsabilityHour.com. I had a question for you about guest posts. What is the best thing to do on your blog, or your website, when someone agrees to publish a guest post on their site? So, they would have a link in the author bio that would link back to your site. Is there some things you can do to sort of welcome the people? Or is there anything that I should be doing to take advantage of that situation, that incoming traffic to my site? Thanks a lot!
Pat Flynn: Craig, thank you so much for the question today. So, check this out, this is going to be awesome because it's one of my favorite things to do. So, if you know you're going to have a guest post on somebody else's site, the first thing you need to do is find out when they're going to publish it. Because you're going to do some stuff on your site that's going to help match up with that particular audience on that day, and things are going to happen. But before anything, you need to know when it's going to happen. So, if at all possible, try to find out when your guest post is going to be published, that's the most important thing. Put that in the calendar and get all the other stuff set up beforehand.
Now, I'm going to go over some options with you, on things you can do on your end to make the best of all this that is going on. So, first of all, you just have to have your site optimized. Okay, so when people come to your site, no matter what point they're at, they're seeing that it's a place they should be, your tagline's there, they know what it's about, and it's just easy to navigate. First impression is good. All that sort of stuff. Those are just obvious things. That's the baseline. You should have those things because you're going to get some traffic coming in from this guest post. And if your first impression isn't good, if they don't think that that's the right spot, even though they came from another site—I mean maybe that's going to help a little bit—but if they come there and it just doesn't look good . . . looks matter, they do . . . And they're having trouble finding their way around, there might not be anything useful for them when they get there, then they're going to leave.
So the first thing you can do is just make sure everything that is supposed to be there when people arrive, no matter where they're coming from, is there. You know, obviously you could do just that and that would be helpful, and you'll get traffic, and that's good, but another thing you can do . . . This is something I used to do back in the day when I didn't actually do very many guest posts, but when I did, I did these next two things.
One, I would have a welcome message for those people. So I found a little plugin and there's a lot of different ones out there. Perhaps if you know how to customize your site or even just put it in your sidebar or something, just a little, quick, fun little welcome message for people coming directly from that site. Some people might use something like a “hello” bar, or something just to create some sort of message at the top of the page that says “hey, welcome, readers of such-and-such.” And I think that's really cool because it sort of gives you some sort of congruency; some connection between where people are on that other site and where people are on your site. And it'll be . . . If they see that, they'll be like “Oh, wow, that's cool, this person is that person who was a guest post on that other site that I was at, and now I'm going to continue to look forward.” And so, that welcome message can help.
Beyond that, you could also make sure—and this is something that I love to share—on the day that your guest post goes live on that other site, you want to come out with an amazing piece of content that day, so that it's the first blog post people see. You know, in your blog feed. In your archive. Right? The latest blog post you have out. It's new and it's directly related to what you talked about. Or perhaps it's something, sort of, you know, that makes sense or goes along with it. That target, at least, specifically, targets that same particular audience. So it's an epic piece of content that you know solves a particular problem that those people are going to love, perhaps share, and know that when they land on your site, that “wow, okay, this guy, he was awesome on this guest post on the site that I already trusted,” and that's the beauty of doing guest posts. You know, it's sort of a endorsement from that blog owner, about who you are, your way to get in front of a completely brand new audience sometimes, and when people come to your site, they're going to be like “wow, yes, this guy is the deal, I need to subscribe, I need to join his email list, I just want more.”
And so, having that post come out, related and targeted to that same target audience that you guest posted at on that day, is going to help out a ton. So try to make it congruent. Again, not just with the welcome message, but with actual blog content that is useful and to take that tip one step further, try to create some way to generate a quick win for those people. Something that they'd be able to do, and actually see results from, even while in the middle of that post. Because when you can get those people who are brand new to your site to actually see rewards coming from going there, they're going to want more. This is sort of that habit. Charles Dewing, from his book The Power of Habit, there's a whole chapter on the power of the small, quick win there. It creates this sort of habit in a person's brain that they're going to keep coming back and coming back for more rewards on your site. So that's how you can do that.
So, optimize your site, of course you got to do that. Two, include some sort of welcome message. Perhaps the welcome message is included in that blog post—that epic post that demonstrates to the best of your ability the fact that they are exactly where they need to be and they need to stay there.
The fourth thing you could do is create a landing page: a specific landing page that only people who read that guest post can access. So it'll actually be a unique link. So, for example, it might be “yourdomain.com/SPI.” If you were to guest post on SPI, that's what I would do, or “Pat” for example. So that when people go through that particular link, they go to your site, and it's your site's root domain, but it has that extra modifier at the end which puts them onto a specific landing page, which says the welcome message, but even in a more direct fashion. “Welcome readers of so-and-so.” Maybe there's an image of you there, if you perhaps ever took an image, like a photograph with the person that you just guest posted with, that would awesome. For example, if I were to guest post on Darren Rowse’s blog at ProBlogger.net, I would include a special landing page in my bio, which when people click on they come back to my page, but it's a landing page like SmartPassiveIncome.com/problogger, and on that page, there's a picture of me and Darren Rowse. Again, this is hypothetical, although I do have a picture of myself and Darren, you know, just there. We're together.
So you can imagine the sort of connection that is being made there. And people are going to stick around to keep reading what's going on. And on that page, you can welcome them, say a few things about yourself and why they should stick around. Perhaps link to some of your best content, related again to what your content was on that particular person's site that you guest posted on. And you should absolutely be using that page to collect an email address. So I would even do that, rather than give people's links to other parts of your site. The first thing I would do actually. Because you've already proven yourself on that guest post. And then you've proven yourself in this welcome message, you've created a connection, and then you can ask for an email address. It's not a cold ask anymore because you've already proven yourself in that guest post. So ask for an email address, but don't just ask. You want give something away in exchange for it.
So you have some sort of incentive, some sort of what they now call “upgraded content.” This is a big strategy on your own blog posts, to not only provide an epic, great, value-filled blog post, but at the end of it have a unique giveaway related to that particular blog post. And then, use something like LeadPages or you can do this manually if you'd like, give that unique incentive away. Again, related to that particular post that they're on, which they use to subscribe to. And so that's going to drastically increase your opt-in rates.
So, anyway, on this landing page, have an incentive created. And it doesn't have to be very long. Perhaps it's just a one-page PDF of tools and resources related to this particular topic that you've talked about. And then, people get into your email list, and if you're an even more well trained ninja, you can have them then receive emails still related to that. So you would segment that list, knowing that those are people who came for that particular guest post, or if you're using something like InfusionSoft, you would tag those people and then perhaps you could send them content that's related to that incentive, to the guest post, and you can give them links to other content on your site that can relate to those things. So again, it's just another way to personalize that journey through your site, knowing where those people came from. And again, using the landing page as a way to do that.
Now, if you wanted to take this one step further, this is my fifth and final tip—although I will say I haven't tested this out yet, because I haven't done very many guest posts. LeadPages, if you are a LeadPages customers (if you are not, you can check it out AskPat.com/LeadPages; that is an affiliate link, and also I am an advisor for the company). they have feature called “Lead Boxes.” And you'll see this actually in the bottom of my posts on SmartPassiveIncome.com. If you click the bottom of the posts, it'll make the entire screen sort of darkened except a pop-up that shows up. At which point, then I'm asking you for your name and your email. That's the power of LeadBoxes.
Now, did you know that you can include a Lead Box script on another person's site? So that Lead Box that you see come up on my page asking for your name and email, which then puts you into my email list, I could have that light box pop up on somebody else's site using Lead Boxes. And a guest post would be a perfect place to do that. Now, I would make sure that if you're going to use that—and this is what I would do—is I would ask that person's permission, obviously. And you'd obviously want to give value through that email list and perhaps an incentive. I would definitely give away something as a result of subscribing to that list. But, you gotta be up front with that person who owns that blog, and I would even be up front with the people who are reading that site too.
So, for example, at the end where it would have your byline, for example, maybe there's a direct link to your site. But then it would say, “If you'd like to subscribe to my email list and get this giveaway and be a subscriber to my email list, click this link.” So then, that light box would pop up again on that person's blog, not yours, and they would put in their name and email, or just email, whatever fields you want to collect, and then you've got a person on your list without that person actually having to come over to your site. So cool, that Lead Boxes feature. It was really awesome, and I would love to take a little bit of credit for that, as a Lead Pages advisor. Not that particular use of it though, I wanted that use it on my own site and they implemented it in no time. But to have it done on another site, they just took it to a whole other level. And so, kudos to everybody over at LeadPages.net.
So awesome, thank you, I hope that answers your question Craig. There's a lot of information there, but a lot of things you could do to really make that experience for people coming from that guest post to your site an awesome one, and a win for both them and you. So, Craig, I look forward to seeing what you do, and I look forward to seeing you in an AskPat t-shirt, if you would be willing to take a picture and shoot a tweet out. Again, I'm @PatFlynn on Twitter.
For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show and the opportunity to win an AskPat t-shirt, for having your question 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. It's super easy. Any mic you have lying around you can use. The sound quality's not a big deal as long as it's audible then we're good. I would also like to thank today's sponsor again, which is FreshBooks.com. What's cool about FreshBooks is not only it helps you keep track of money going in your business, money going out, invoicing and things like that, but they have an award winning mobile app as well. It's all on the cloud so you can access it from any device. And it takes the hassle out of running a business. And you can join millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners who use FreshBooks too.
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Awesome, thanks so much, and we're at the end of the show which means I'm going to give you my quote of the day. And this quote is from Joe Krauss. He says, “If you're going to put your product in Beta, put your business model in Beta with it.”
Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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