AskPat Episode 132 Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 132 of AskPat. I hope you're having an awesome day! Before we get to today's question from Sarah over in the UK, I do want to mention that you can download an app that will help you better consume the AskPat content that you hear every day, as well as the Smart Passive Income blog and podcast content.
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Now, let's check out today's question from Sarah.
Sarah: Hi Pat, my name's Sarah Murphy, and I run a blog called The Freelance Naturopath. I've spent about a year, roughly, building it up from scratch, and it's been a huge learning curve. Based on those experiences, I've decided to narrow my target market and start a new blog. However, I've actually built up a good email list on my old site, which I really don't want to lose. So I was wondering if you had any suggestions about how to encourage my old readers to move with me to the new blog, and also perhaps a few ideas about what to do with the old blog. Would you leave it up there, or do a redirection page, or how do you get people that stumble upon that to sort of move to your new blog with you? Thanks so much for all your posts. They've helped me so much. Thanks, again.
Pat Flynn: Sarah, thank you so much for the question. And first of all, congratulations to you and the growth of your site. Secondly, congratulations to you for understanding where you want to go with the future of your site and understanding that you have this new direction, and that you want to narrow down your focus, which will allow you to better serve your audience as well. A lot of people don't understand that that's the case, you know. By narrowing your audience at some point, you can actually better serve them and actually do much better. You'll be much likely . . . Much more easier to become an expert, or be considered an expert, if you aren't one already. It's much easier to write and speak their language, and sell things to them, and write blog posts, and provide content, and just solve all the pains and problems with your solutions by narrowing down your niche. So, awesome. Thank you so much, and also thank you for all the kind words at the end of your question there.
So, let's get to this. You have an existing site with an existing audience and an email list that has grown to quite a good size, which is good. And you want to start this new site. Good. Okay, here are the steps that I've laid out for you. The first thing you want to do is let everybody on your current site know in advance what you're up to. You don't want to just all of a sudden have them one day come to a site where they're redirected and not really know what's going on.
You know, change is hard for a lot of people. Everybody, when Facebook changes, freaks out, right? And even though those changes might be good, people just like the way things are. So, do understand that you are probably going to see some backlash from people, especially your most outspoken audience members. But don't let that stop you because I do believe this is a good direction, and if you know, and if you believe that it's a good direction, then you should do it. Don't let the .01% of people who say something negative sway you from this decision. Now, if a majority of people, you find, and through testing and case studies and by actually reaching out to people you find that it just wasn't the right move then that's different, but I don't think that's going to be the case. But whatever it may be, let people know in advance what you're up to.
A) This is just a very transparent thing to do, and it shows that you're keeping your audience in the loop of what's going on. You're thinking of them, which they're going to appreciate. It also shows the growth of your site and you as a person, in your business, it shows professionalism. And as a by-product of all that, it's going to create hype. It's going to create hype for this new change. You want to talk about it, you want to tease it, you want to talk about it like it's an event. You want to have a specific day where this happens. You don't just want to say, “Oh, some time soon we're going to make changes.” I think it's best if you say, “On this date, things are going to change,” so people can prepare for it. It'll create hype and excitement, and people will look forward to it, and it'll give people time to decide what to do before hand, which I think is really important. Especially . . . Anyway, let me just keep going here.
The second thing you want to do, specifically with your email list, is you want to start building a new list. You can even start now before you start your new site or as you're building your new site. And this list will, of course, be a more narrow list, and you're going to, of course, want people in your existing list to go to this new list because this new list is going to be the one, your main list on your new site. So what you could do is you could announce on your blog and through email, potentially do both, or I would recommend to do both. And you could either link to a landing page where people can re-subscribe to a new list, or if you're using an email service provider, and some of them do this, some of them don't, but you might want to check where you can actually insert a link to have people click that automatically subscribes them to that new list. I know Infusionsoft does this. A couple people I know actually did this recently to help clean their inboxes. It's a great strategy for cleaning your inbox.
And you just have to understand that you might have, let's say . . . And I'm just picking a random number here. You might have ten thousand people on your email list. If you have ten thousand people on your current email list, and you have this option to go to a new list and clean it out or start this new list for your new site, not everybody's going to come. So don't be worried if the numbers are seemingly, especially in the beginning, very small. Because you're used to having this giant email list and you're starting a new one. You know, you're starting from zero. But of course, you're not actually starting from zero, but you're just getting people over from your old one to your new one, or people who are on your blog over to the new list at the same time. And it's not going to be as big as your current list, but understand that even if people are on your existing list, not everybody's going to want to go to your new list. They might not want to do that right away. They might want to see what it's all about first before subscribing. So, don't get yourself down if you find that people are just not excited about getting onto your new list.
Again, it takes a lot for people to give you their email addresses. So maybe they want to see something first. So don't, again, be worried if people aren't subscribing to your new list. It's going to grow anyway, and you're going to use your existing site for a little bit to after you launch your new site, to get people over to your new site and subscribe to your list that way. Sort of along those lines, you, over time, want to make more lead-up announcements. I would actually give, at a minimum, three weeks advance notice that this is happening. That might be even pushing it. You know, a month in advance, “Hey guys, in a month from now, there's going to be changes. I'm going this new direction. Here are the reasons why, this is why it's good, this is why you should follow me.” And if people don't, then you don't want them on your new site, right? This is you making this new direction. You can't expect everybody to come over, and you know that you're going to be focusing on some more narrow items for your audience, and you want the people who are interested in those things to follow you. You don't want anybody else doing it. So, more lead-up announcements. You could do one a week leading up to it or just mention it here and there on the site or if you have a podcast as well.
You can also do something special on your new site on launch day as well, which is what I would do, and mention that leading up to it as well. “Hey guys, we got a special contest or there's something special I have to give to everybody who's a part of the new site.” You know, some sort of give away perhaps, a PDF, some sort of a lead magnet that you could just give away. Whether you choose to put it behind the subscription or not, that's up to you. You can have, once you launch your new site, again, make it a whole big deal. Make an event. Make a webinar out of it. Get on a Q&A with people, you know. That, I think, would be awesome, to have people have the opportunity to ask you questions about either the move or something else related to your niche. And then you can help drive people to your new site. You can have that video there and post it. The one you record from your webinar or live Google Hangout, you could post it on your old site.
What I would do with your old site is have one sort of sticky post that is sort of the announcement of this new site with links to your new site, what it's all about, a link or embed of this particular video that we just talked about, just to give people who may not capture those emails or who . . . I don't want to confuse you with that word. People who aren't getting those emails, or who aren't opening them who just occasionally visit your site. You know, there's going to be some people who come to your site who are like, “Woah, what's going on here? I haven't been here for a while.” That sticky post will tell them what's up, and it'll tell them all the news, and you'll want that there for a couple months, I would say. And then after a couple months, you sort of get everybody who was coming to your site anyway over to your new site. And at that point, maybe even after just a month, I would do a re-direct. I would do a re-direct, and you could even re-direct . . . Actually, this is probably the smart thing to do, and you could do this after a couple weeks actually, I apologize, Sarah. But this is what I would do. I'm sort of just thinking out loud, here. You know, I do outline my answers here, but a lot of times, even better answers come as I go.
So, what I would do is I would launch your new site and have that sticky post on your old site up just for a few days actually. Maybe for a week, at most. And then I would re-direct, but I wouldn't re-direct to the new home page. I would re-direct to a landing page on your new site that says,”Hey, thanks for coming by. This is my new site. This is what it's all about.” You could even have a welcome video there, if you want. You could even have a link to that webinar that we talked about. But that way, people are coming to your new site, but they're just not put on the home page and off to fend for themselves. They are put on a specific landing page, again, on your new site so they can click around, they can see what's going on. But it's sort of a landing page that tells them what's up and welcome to the new site, especially if you have some good rankings on Google and thinks like that. People coming from Google, for example, will land on that page and see what it's about and they can continue to move forward. You can ask them to subscribe to that email list right there on that page, as well. And I would also give them some calls to actions as far as, perhaps, some first articles they should be reading.
So, Sarah, I hope that answers your question. Thank you so much. Please keep us posted. Shoot me an email at some point down the road to let me know how things are going. An AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way. Thank you so much for the question, again. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page, and you might get featured just like Sarah did and also get a free t-shirt as a result.
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And of course, I'm going to end with a quote. And this is from the awesome Seth Godin. This quote is, “Connect, create meaning, make a difference, matter, bemissed.”
Those are the instructions, right there. “Connect, create meaning, make a difference, matter, be missed.” I'll miss you, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Cheers!