AskPat 201 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 201 of AskPat. Yep, 201. 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. Before we get to today's awesome question from Christian, I do want to say thank you to Flippa.com, this episode's sponsor.
If you don't know what Flippa is, you're missing out. I've actually purchased a couple websites on there before. It's the number one marketplace in the world for buying and selling websites and businesses that already exist and are making money.
For example, there was a site that was recently sold, MobileMag.com, which was a gadget blog. It was bought for over $28,000. The site earns $1,300 a month from day one, so the new owners will have it paid off in about 18 months. What an awesome investment! You could tweak it, even get better with more clearer calls to action. And it could be earning even more, like $2,000-3,000 a month. Like, how awesome is that? If you want to learn more about making money through buying and running a website, you can head on over to Flippa.com.
All right, now let's get to today's question from Christian.
Christian: Hi, Pat, this is Christian Boyce. I'm a Macintosh consultant, and I have a blog. ChristianBoyce.blogspot.com. Over the years I've written about 400 posts and all the posts are about how to use a Mac better or how to use an iPhone better or how to use an iPad better. All with the idea of just helping people out. So, 400 posts all for free, lots of tips, nothing silly. It's all useful and handy and a gift. But now I'm thinking it would be interesting to sell something from my blog. I'm not sure what I could sell because I'm already giving away the best stuff I have. It's not as if I've been holding back the really good tips. So, how do I go about putting together an ebook and selling that when my philosophy up until now has been to help people as much as I can by giving them the best stuff I've got? Appreciate your thoughts on this.
Pat Flynn: Christian, what's up? Thank you so much for the question today. And it's really funny because a lot of what you just mentioned about what you've done, delivering value, free content, tips, not holding anything back, sounds very similar to my journey when I started GreenExamAcademy.com, a website that I built to help people pass an exam. It was completely free and it still is free. You can get a lot of the content on there. Most of it . . . anything you need to pass the exam is actually there already. Now, I had done that for about a year and a half. I had written maybe 200 posts at the time before I was going to sell something. And this was back in mid-2008.
And then I got some ideas from other people to sell an ebook. And I was kind of confused because I had already given away everything that people needed to pass the exam. I started questioning, “Why would people buy something from me when they could already get that information for free?” And the great advice I got from a lot of people who were in these situations that I was in, was like, “Pat.” Or, I'm saying this to you. “Christian, people will pay for convenience.”
That's the big thing. It's much more convenient to purchase something like an ebook than it is to go website to website. You know there's all these distractions. If there's an ebook that people can buy that solves a particular problem, people will pay for it. People pay for convenience. And that was a big lesson that I learned because over, gosh I don't even know exactly how many copies of that book has sold . . . 20 to 30,000 copies of this book has been sold since 2008. One person has ever complained about the content being the same as it was on the website.
Now, it's about 95 percent the same. So that's another thing you could do. If you're going to package this content that you have, that you've given away for free. Your best stuff, package it into an ebook, for example. Ebook's not the only solution and I'll get to that in a second. But if you package this stuff you can add bonus things in there. There's got to be some other tips that you have or super ninja things or just ways to more easily organize or deal with the tips or whatever it is, the goal that you want your audience to do.
You can add in those bonuses on top. So, like I said, that extra five percent that's going to help really does go a long way. Now, in addition to packaging things into an ebook, for example, remember people will pay for convenience. People will also pay to thank you for all the help you've done for them. When I sold my ebook on GreenExamAcademy.com, it was about 80 to 90 pages long. Again, most of it the same content that was on that website already. After I sold it, and sold a number—I sold over 300 copies that first month in October of 2008—I got a number of emails from customers who had said, “Pat, I've already passed the exam. I used your free stuff. But I finally now, that you're selling an ebook, finally have a way to pay you back.”
The law of reciprocity is real. If you give and give and give and finally give somebody an opportunity to give back to you, through an ebook or a lot of these other things I'm going to mention in a second, in some way they will pay you back. For instance, on SmartPassiveIncome.com, you could see that I give away pretty much all of my content for free. And, as a result, I make a good amount of money by giving people an opportunity to pay me back by not selling an ebook but by going through my affiliate links. Now, I do have an ebook called Let Go, but that's not the primary motive. The primary motive is to give, deliver value, to really, really build trust and authority with my audience, and then give them opportunities to pay me back.
By not saying, “Hey, you have to go through this link,” or, “You have to buy this.” But saying, “Hey, this is what I use and if you want to go through this affiliate link I do get paid a commission. And you're awesome if you do, if not that's okay.” And you know what? People go out of their way to find affiliate links. I get emails every week saying, “Hey, I saw this ad for this new product. I was wondering if you had an affiliate link for it because I want to make sure you get a commission if you are an affiliate for it.” Which is so amazing! I mean really if you are delivering this much content, Christian, 400 tips and posts, you've built an email list, you've built trust. You have the right to put stuff into a package that you can then sell because some of those people are going to want to pay you back. You're going to find that you're going to have customers who are just going to pay you just because they finally have an opportunity to do so.
Now in addition to an ebook there's a lot of other things you can do to package this content or perhaps create something new that you could sell knowing that this is your target audience. These are the types of people that you have to sell to. You can create a course, for example. Maybe there's one specific thing or maybe a category of things within those 400 free posts that really seem to resonate with people. That people want more of and just can't get enough of. That could potentially become a course of some kind. Could either be a stand-alone product that people can, for example, sign into and get access to videos and worksheets and more hands-on tutorials and maybe even create a community that people can get into as well. Can even be a membership site, for example. Maybe there's some software or applications that you could have that could be sold to this particular audience. I'm sure there is, especially if it's for Mac users.
And again, thinking off the cuff here. You could become an affiliate for a lot of the desktop Mac apps and also the iPhone sort of iOS apps, or things that go along with that. You could sort of think creatively on what products you use that your audience would love to use and then hook up with a company that is an affiliate for those products. There is an affiliate for iTunes I know for sure. And so there's got to be an affiliate program for, you know, Apple products. I actually do think there is an Apple referral program. So go ahead and search for that in Google, I'm pretty sure you're going to find it.
You could also do, and this is the big one, especially since you said you're always providing these tips, you're a consultant, you could sell access to you. Access. This is something I found that when you deliver so much free content, and even if it's your best stuff, people are still going to want their hand held along the way. And so if you give people an opportunity to work with you, you're going to make some sales. And this is the cool part. Access to you should be what you charge the most for. You know, I've seen people in the past charge, you know, $10 an hour for consulting or something like that. No! Is that how much your time is worth? No! It's got to be more than that.
And so you could really up the price here and of course the more you up the price the less people you're going to have sort of knocking on your door. But that's okay, you still have all that free content to give to people who can't afford it. But the people who really need the help and who really want the help and who are going to put those things into action. The sort of cream of the crop within your particular community who want to work with you, they're going to be able to pay for that. Now, you're going to have to play around with the pricing a little bit but that is something that you should absolutely do. Now, that's if you want to do one-on-one coaching or consulting. There is also one-to-many. For instance, giving people access to a webinar where they'd have immediate access to you with other people there with also immediate access to you.
For example, like I said, a webinar or a Google hangout, for example. Again, you don't make it public but you can have people pay to get access to it. So they'd be there, maybe 20 to a 100, to maybe even more people. But you'd be there answering questions on the fly. And guess what? That's only an hour or two. However often you want to do it. Maybe you have people in your membership site or course pay extra to get access to you that way too. So there's a lot of things you can do to combine things here.
One cool thing I saw. There's a cool website out there that I have been sort of getting into because I've gotten really excited about software and startup world and this sort of thing. You know, startup companies. And there's a site out there that's really cool. It's called ProductHunt. ProductHunt.com. It's a really cool site where everyday people sort of submit, not their own, but other companies that are sort of starting up, and the community within ProductHunt votes and comments and asks questions and you get to see kind of where a lot of the startup world is headed and what they're doing.
There was a really cool app I saw the other day that somebody had created for themselves. That got voted really high and I . . . Gosh I can't remember the name right now. But that's not important. The important thing is this app. This guy created it for his own community and then somebody else shared it on ProductHunt and it got a lot of interest. The app essentially gave his audience an opportunity to text message him. And every time they did that they'd pay a little fee. And then this person, who the app was made for, would reply. So that's a small way to give access. There are sites out there, I think there's one called Google Help, where you could actually become a consultant for X number of dollars per hour or whatever on there.
You know, so there are platforms out there that exist that allow you to do that. But you could just do that on your own and sell that on your website as well. Or maybe, like I said earlier, build an app around it too. So you could be creative with those sorts of things. But those are the sort of categories of what you could sell, you know. You could package everything and make it convenient for you audience. Whether it's stuff that you've already posted or other things that you have available. Reciprocity is going to help you, as well, no matter what you do. You could do courses, softwares, apps, memberships, things like that. And then access. Maybe one-to-one access or one-to-many or controlled short periods of access like that app I was talking about.
So, Christian, I hope that answers your question. Thank you so much and I wish you all the best of luck. For everybody out there, if you have a question you'd like featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. If your question gets featured, like Christian's, you will get a t-shirt sent to you, an AskPat t-shirt, which is awesome. And, so Christian, an AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way, which is really cool. I also want to thank today's sponsor which is Flippa.com. An awesome website if you're buying and selling websites. I have bought a couple websites there myself. It's really, really cool, actually, just to explore the marketplace and there's a lot of people I know who are doing really well by not starting websites from scratch, but buying existing websites that are already making money and making up that investment over a little bit of time and you know then it starts to make money for them.
And like I said earlier, you could take those things, optimize them, tweak them, and you can be earning numbers bigger than what you do or what you get when you buy. So if you'd like to learn more about making money through buying and running a website, just head on over to Flippa.com to get started.
Awesome. Thanks so much, and as always I like to end with a quote. And today's quote is from unknown. So if you know who this is, just use the hashtag #AskPat201, because I'd like to know too. This is a great quote. “Finished last will always be better than did not finish. Which always trumps, ‘Did Not Start.'” “Finished last will always be better than did not finish. Which always trumps, ‘Did Not Start.'”
Love that. I'm going to be running some half-marathons in the next few months. A couple through Disneyland, actually. The Star Wars one in January and before that even the Avengers half-marathon in November. And yeah, I'd rather be last and finish then sort of bail halfway through or not start at all. Thanks so much, guys. I appreciate you. Please, if you have a second, please leave a review on iTunes. It would help out so much. I read them all. I love you. See you in the next episode. Peace.
Flippa is the number one marketplace for buying and selling websites. Check it out at Flippa.com.