AskPat 84 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 84 of AskPat.
I don't have a sponsor or a link or a resource to share with you today, I just have a favor to ask of you. If you had a moment, just a minute of your time, head on over to iTunes, look up AskPat, and leave an honest rating and review for the show. It helps out the show entirely, it helps us understand that we're doing a great job for you, and if not, what we could do better. But also helps with the exposure for the show, to help get it in front of more people, so we can help more people. So thank you so much for that. Again, AskPat on iTunes, leave a quick rating and review, I appreciate you so much.
And now let's get on to today's question from Mitch, which is about a retail site that he has and something he's doing online to help promote it, and also what else he could do. So, I know this sounds kind of vague, but let's just get to Mitch's question.
Mitch: Hey Pat, my name's Mitch and I'm a longtime listener. You've actually inspired me to write an ebook, which thus far has generated well over $10,000 in passive income for me, so for that I thank you very much, and keep up the great work. My question is this, I own a retail store that has a very strong web presence, we're a small local retailer, but our website gets several thousand unique visitors every day. We use the website to brand ourselves as an expert and to invite people to come into our store, to experience what we're all about. Once they get to our store, we have a very good chance of impressing them enough to make a purchase.
With that kind of traffic though, I know I'm leaving a lot of money on the table, I know I could do a better job of monetizing my website, and the ebook was part of that. I'm concerned about using Adwords because I don't want to promote my competition on my website, nor do I want to drive people away from my website. My question is, how could I do a better job of monetizing this kind of traffic, without undermining the core purpose of my website? Thanks again Pat, and keep up the great work.
Pat Flynn: Hey Mitch, thank you so much for your question, and also a huge thank you for the kind words about what I've done for you to help you make even more money in your business, especially doing it passively, I love that, so thank you for that. I mean that's why I do what I do, because I love to hear stories like that, and I hear them all the time on different levels, and it's just, oh god it makes me feel so good. So thank you Mitch, I appreciate that.
Now, to answer your question, leaving money on the table is something I know a lot of people do, and people do it for a number of different reasons. One is because they don't know what they could do, they have no idea how they might be able to tap into the audience that they've built, and so they are leaving money on the table. A lot of other times, people are afraid to take the plunge to then make money, and a lot of times people are also doing it in the wrong way.
So, I'm really appreciative of this question, so I'm going to help you out by telling you that A, you shouldn't do AdSense. If you have a retail site and you're selling things like ebooks already, I wouldn't put AdSense up on your site for the exact reasons that you mention. This is the exact reason why on GreenExamAcademy.com, where I sell ebooks and study guides and practice exams for people looking to pass that exam, I took AdSense completely off of that site, because I didn't want to promote my competition, and I knew I could make more money by selling my own products or becoming an affiliate for products in other companies.
Secondly, you're taking people away from your site. Not only are you promoting your competition, but when people click on those ads—this is the thing about ads people, ads are meant to be looked at. Now especially with AdSense, you can't control what is going to be set up there. I mean, yes the ads are going to be relevant to the content that you post on your particular page and wherever you have that ad located, that's how AdSense works. But you don't know what that copy is going to be like, you don't know how intriguing that copy's going to be, and if you have other stuff on your site that you want people to see and consume and buy, then you are kind of mixing the messages there when you have advertising on your site, any advertising, really.
So you've gotta really think about what it is that you want your audience and people who read your site and come visit your site to do. Do you want them to look away from the content that you've been writing, and look at somebody else's stuff, or do you want them to look at your stuff, develop a relationship with you and buy your stuff? So that's a question you have to answer, and Mitch it's obvious what that answer is for you. So I think AdSense would be a no-no on your site. I've taken it off of many sites that have had it on. Although there are other sites where it does provide value in a way that I can't, where I'm not promoting something of my own, so I'm happy to put those ads on the site and make money that way. For example on SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, if you go and visit that site.
But, let's keep focused on your particular site and your question, Mitch. The big question, how do you monetize your site without undermining the site's core purpose? Now let's talk about core purpose for a second, and I think that'll help guide us as far as how else we can monetize any of our sites. Core purpose should be to serve an audience, it should be to make things. And I'm going to mention three C's here, three things that I want you to think about in terms of monetizing your site that all start with the letter C, that can help take it to that next level and help you continue and actually provide even more value than you might be providing already. These are things that I see a lot of people really don't grasp or understand.
The first thing is Classes. You want to think, if you can, if it's relevant to your niche, Mitch, niche Mitch, is classes. You know, you have ebooks, and a progressive step from there is classes. So providing the same information that might be in that ebook, or perhaps there are other ebooks that you could write down the line. Maybe turning those ebooks into classes, where it's a little bit more higher quality as far as the way that that information is consumed. Not only is it just text, but it's video and proper instruction. Are there moments where it would just make sense to show people in your audience how to do something on video where it might be harder or more difficult to understand with just text only, on like a PDF? If that's the case, then a class would be the way to go. So, having people log into a site for example that you have, you'd have to set up a membership area on your site. And, I don't want you to think about it as membership, I mean that is another way, and I'm going to talk about that in the second C. But I just want you to think about delivering content in a way that's more valuable than just text only. You could even take the ebook that you have and turn that into a more higher level premium course for people who really want to see how to do it, what it is that you're teaching them to do. Think of sites like Lynda.com, Lynda.com, they are. It's an amazing site that people go to as a resource to learn via video, and people pay a lot of money to watch quality content by instructors who know what they're talking about. Experts—like you said Mitch, you've established yourself as an expert in this industry, now it's time for you to put your face and your voice in video on your site, and sell that as a package to help people accomplish a specific problem that they have, and I think that's a really, really big thing to think about when it comes to classes. What are the biggest problems and pains that your audience has, and how can you provide a high-level premium solution to help solve that problem?
Maybe you provide them multiple solutions, different levels of premium quality. For instance, maybe on the low end it's the ebook, on the middle end it's an ebook with some worksheets and work guides and stuff like that, and then the third level, the highest premium level has the videos, and maybe it even incorporates calls with you, a webinar for example, once or twice. That could be huge, people want to interact, and getting that access to you to ask questions on something like a Google Hangout would be huge, and something people would pay massive value for. So that's the first C I want you to think about, classes. Can you add in some way, classes or higher quality content that might include video on your site? That could be done live via Google Hangout, you could have live hangouts that people pay a fee to have access to, and then you could maybe even record those and sell those over time for a smaller price than it would be to have somebody on live, since they'd be able to interact with you. Or they could be prerecorded and run through like an online course.
The second C I want you to think about is Community. Now, not all niches will be perfectly suited for monetizing a site by building a community, I mean yes you want to build a community around your site anyway, but there are opportunities on many niches to have people pay to have or become a more close knit part within that community. You know how for instance, John Lee Dumas from our Entrepreneur On Fire, he has Fire Nation, those are people who listen to his show, he just calls them Fire Nation. But, he has a community within Fire Nation, and his site is EntrepreneurOnFire.com; he has a community within that nation called Fire Nation Elite, and these are people who pay a significant amount of money to become almost a member and become a more close knit community within that larger community, that are able to interact with each other or able to interact with John, and they all help each other out. And so that could be something interesting if that lends itself to your niche, Mitch. So that is something I would definitely explore if that makes sense. If you have completely active people on your site, leaving tons of comments, emailing you all the time, people begging for more help or just wanting to connect with each other, then establishing a premium community is something that might be worth exploring. And that is definitely something that could add to your site's core purposes and not undermine it, of course, because it's only adding value to the things you're already teaching and bringing the community together.
Now the last C I want you to think about, and this is just an overall sort of letter C thing for anybody out there. Something I learned very quickly when I started doing online business was, people pay for convenience. So how do you monetize your site without undermining the site's core purpose, how do you make things more convenient for your audience? And that plays into the previous two C's. Well, maybe classes or courses, or bringing the community together in some way or form, or something like that. That is a way for people to have convenience. But, that alone will help your gears in your head think about what else can you do to provide and serve your audience, because people will pay for convenience, even if things are already on your site, if there is a more convenient way to consume that information, people will pay for it.
Quick story: When I started GreenExamAcademy.com, I actually just wrote all the content for free. It was like that for over a year and a half, I had written everything I wanted to write on that site for free because it was actually a site that I created for myself to help me pass the LEED exam. Well, eventually I wanted to monetize that site, this was after I got laid off, and I had already written everything that people needed to know. And so I went to a mastermind group that I got connected with and they said, “Pat, people pay for convenience. Package everything that you have on your site in a nice little PDF download, ebook, sell it. And I swear people are going to buy it because people pay for convenience.” It's not convenient to go on a website and flip through every single page or watch every single video, it's convenient for people to download one thing with a specific purpose, to solve a particular solution, and it's all right there. And I listened to them, and I published the ebook. I wrote it in about a month and a half, about two months. Most of it was just making it look nice, because again, all that content was there. I added a few little things for bonuses and it started to sell really well, and out of, I want to say over 15,000 copies sold, I've only gotten one or two complaints about people saying, “Hey this is the same information that's free on the site? I want my money back.” So it worked, and it was because people pay for convenience.
So again those three C's I want you to think about to make sure you're monetizing your site without undermining the site's core purpose. Is it classes, how to take that content that you're creating in your ebooks or other things on your site that you were thinking about creating an eBook for? How can you take that even further and provide that content in a premium way through videos or online courses, or things like that? Again, you might be doing your audience a disservice by not having those things, and you'd be making things more convenient, which is the third C we talked about, by doing that.
Second C was Community, is there a way to bring your community together and have them—you know, people want to be with other people, and people, especially if you're in a very hot niche want to talk about that thing with everybody else. Because, you know, you want to become the resource for that particular niche, and it sounds like you're like that already Mitch. Now it's time to bring the people within that niche together, if possible. Because a lot of people are searching for areas to talk about these things that they love and that they're passionate about, perhaps it might work on your site to bring those people together and have them pay a little bit of a fee to do that.
Lastly, like I said, convenience.
So Mitch I hope that answers your question, thank you so much for supporting what I do, and thank you for all of you listening or checking out the show. If you have a question you'd like answered, head on over to AskPat.com, you might get a teeshirt just like Mitch will, for having his question featured here on the show. Of course, I would love a review on iTunes if you had some time right now, right after the show. Head on over to iTunes, look up AskPat, leave an honest review and rating for the show, it helps out so much.
And the quote of the day which I always end with, today is from Christopher Columbus, sail the ocean blue. That's not the quote, but, the quote is, “You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Thank you so much and thank you to SuccessShirt.com, not plural, just SuccessShirt.com, for supplying all the AskPat teeshirts. You can even buy one there right now if you wanted to, if you can't wait for your question to be featured here on the show. So again, SuccessShirt.com. Thank you so much, I appreciate you all, take care.