AskPat 215 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 215 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. Now before we get to today's awesome question from Cindy, I do want to thank today's awesome sponsor, which is AWeber.com.
If you are going to be using email for your business—which you should be doing already; if you aren't you would have been like me when I first started and making a huge mistake. I waited too long before getting started and trying to build my email list. Well, when I finally got started I went the right way with AWeber. And you can, right now, get started with AWeber for $1 for 30 days. A whole month for free. And try it out for $1. If you go to AWeber.com/askpat you'll get the service provider that I've been using for over five years and continue to use to build my email list today.
Awesome! Now let's get to today's question from Cindy.
Cindy: Hi Pat! My name is Cindy and I have a website at RealFoodWithCindy.com. First off, thank you so much for all that you do. You could say I have a “Pat inspired website.” I used 99Designs for my logo, have a list signup form, have a getting started video on my home page, and a resources page as well. All inspired by you. I want to work on my resources page now and not really sure how I might set it up. Do I do some sort of Amazon store? Or do I do direct affiliate links? And then, depending on what you recommend, what would be the next steps in terms of setting that all up? If you could provide some insight that would be fantastic. And again, Pat, we are also lucky to have people like you blazing the trail for us, so thank you so much again. Take care.
Pat Flynn: Cindy, thank you so much for the question today and all of your amazing, kind words. I am just so happy to be here to help all of you. And I'm really glad you asked about the resource page today because the resource page, for those of you who don't know, you can find it on my blog at SmartPassiveIncome.com/resources. That page right there is the most profitable page on the blog and it accounts for about 50 percent of my total income. It's where most of my Bluehost sales come from, most of my affiliate links and clicks come from for all different types of items you can see there. And you'll see how it's set up, Cindy. And I'm going to go over the set up and some tips for it in just a second, but I want to stress the importance of having a resource page.
So, Cindy, I'm glad you're thinking . . . or maybe you have one already and you want to optimize it. I'm glad you're thinking about this because, I mean when you think about it, this is a page for all your visitors on your site to go to. One spot that has all the best tools, items, resources, links, books, everything that there is to know about your industry right there in one spot. So you're not just building it to make money. That just happens to be a byproduct of being incredibly helpful for people. And I reference my resource page quite a bit all over the blog, all over the podcast, and I bring people back to it all the time. And people always thank me for creating this resource for them, this resource page, again, with a list of everything they might need to get started in any sort of tool that they might need and don't want to have find on their own. So you're actually doing your audience a service by creating this resource page and you're getting paid as a result as some of those items you could potentially become an affiliate for or earn a commission from if people go through those links.
And so I'm going to go over five different things you should think about, Cindy, in terms of your resource page. And the first one has to do immediately with that question that you asked about should there be direct links to those products or a store. And this is more so if you're going to be placing Amazon affiliate links on that page, which I have and probably many of you probably have as well. Now you might live in a state where you cannot be an Amazon associate and that's okay. The rest of the items here are going to be good for you. But for this one, in particular, you have an option if you are selling or selling for Amazon and you are an affiliate for them if you are an associate through their Amazon associate program, you have an option of directly having a link back to those items you want to sell or creating some sort of store, or, I guess you could say, widget even, or a list of things coming off of Amazon in one spot. I think it would be easiest if you just have a direct link on your resource page to that direct product, that product page. So people can go to that page and then immediately click, and often times they'll click with that one-click buy option which is pretty amazing. So the less work there is for your audience to do the better it is for you.
In most cases, and in this case it is the case, and so make sure that if you're promoting anything on Amazon, make sure you have a direct link to those products. And you, obviously, on your resource page share what that product is, what the benefit is, perhaps have an image next to it as well, which I have on mine, as well, for a few of them and it, again, directly links to that product page. Now the cool thing about Amazon is if you're an affiliate when people go through that link for that one product that you're talking about whatever else they put in their cart before they check out. Maybe they are interested in that book you're recommending or that product that you have to recommend but then they see that they're on Amazon and there's all these recommendations and things that they can buy as well. Well, whatever is in that cart when they check out you get a percentage of that, the total sale, not just for the sale of that item, and that's a cool thing about Amazon.
So again, making sure that direct link to cut out the steps, but also just to . . . I mean, you're promoting a specific product, you have a specific product link. And that's how it should be done. So don't link to a specific group of items or things like that. I think the best thing to do is directly link to each item on that resource page of yours, on your website.
Now, the second tip I have for you is you don't have to only have products from Amazon. There are plenty other tools, resources, software, things available that you can promote directly on that resource page, and you should. You go to mine and you'll notice that hardly any of them are actually from Amazon. Many of them are for getting set up on a web host email service provider like AWeber, using LeadPages, anything that can help my audience I put there. And so those aren't just things from Amazon. So, maybe when you're just starting out you might only find things on Amazon, and that's fine, but don't . . . you know, think outside the box. Think outside of the Amazon box and put whatever you can on there that you know is going to be helpful.
Now, I will, in terms of affiliate marketing, recommend that you do put products that you are absolutely sure will be helpful because that's you recommending a product, and if somebody has a quite a negative experience with those products they're going to be not just upset at the owner of those products but they're going to upset at the person who showed them that product, and that's you. So I always make sure, personally, to use those products that I recommend and to be, essentially, support for those products, even know them so well that you could actually provide support if you needed to. And that often helps people feel more comfortable with purchasing those products.
Okay, so going back to our tips. First tip is if you're using Amazon, use direct links to those products. Second tip is don't just use Amazon products on this page. Use whatever might be helpful for your audience. And they can be links to other websites, perhaps even links to major posts on your website as well. Epic, evergreen content. Third tip is to don't just add items that only have affiliate links. There could be articles out there, there could be products out there, resources, services that don't have an affiliate program, or maybe you don't qualify for the affiliate program. Those should absolutely go on there too. Remember, you're making a resource. You're building the number one spot with all the recommended tools in your niche on your site. And so, even if you recommend a product that you're not an affiliate for, people are going to be thankful for that recommendation. They're going to to be grateful that you shared that with them and perhaps come back to the resource page for more stuff, some of which might have an affiliate promotion to go along with it. So that's the third tip. Put all the items on there that are going to be helpful, not just ones that are going to make you money.
Four, have your most useful, or most popular, or most used tools at the top of your resource page. So if you go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/resources you'll see that there are four or five of them that are highlighted there at the top. They each have a standout graphic and a little promotion to go along with them. And then underneath those featured ones, which can be a sort of mix of categories, you'll want to, underneath those featured ones, then easily organize and put everything in order. So you'll notice that mine has different categories: email marketing, podcasting, this, that. So again, put the most useful tools, resources at the top of your resource page and then categorize and order everything below that.
And number five, and the most important tip I have for you today, to finish off, is to track these links. You know you can get affiliate links from different companies and just place them there directly, or you can be smart and use a tool like Pretty Link and there are a number of other tools that will help you keep track of links as well, but Pretty Link is probably the easiest. And it's cool because it allows you to create a nice looking link. You have your root domain, slash, and then a word, as opposed to some other person's root domain with a bunch of letters and numbers, and question marks, and equal signs and things like that that typically going along with an affiliate link. So, for example, if you go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/bluehost, that's actually going to redirect through my affiliate link which is much longer and harder to say. So especially if you are using a podcast or video in your business, it makes it incredibly easy to remember, both for you as the host for those shows but also the person on the other end listening. So they'll be able to remember, “Ah, I'm going to start a website. Okay, SmartPassiveIncome.com/bluehost.”
But, the cool thing for you as the person who creates that link is you get to see on the back end, in your WordPress dashboard, in the Pretty Link settings, just how often people are clicking those links. So you have this whole resource page, each of those items going through a specific, different Pretty Link, and then over time . . . and make sure when you create those links in Pretty Link, you create a description that makes it easy to know that that is where that link is on your resource page as well. So, you know, taking that Bluehost example even further, you can even make that link SmartPassiveIncome.com/bluehost-resource. Now that's something you wouldn't necessarily say on a show because you want to keep track of how many people are clicking through on your resource page. And then you can also define in the description where these links are set and you'll be able to see really easily.
You could even create categories within Pretty Link itself and you'd be able to see just how often people are clicking those links. And then, over time, maybe after a month, you'd be able to go in and see, “Wow, this link right here. Nobody's clicking on it. I guess it's not actually useful. It's just taking up real estate on my resource page. I'm going to take it out.” And I've done that before. So you'll be able to see what's working and what's not. Perhaps you might even find some that are actually being clicked through more than you thought that can then be bumped up to that featured section like I said in tip number four.
All right. So, Cindy, everybody else out there, that's how you should build your resource page. You can go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/resources to check out mine and see how it's done. But again, just to recap those five tips for you. One, if you're using Amazon, use direct links to each of those different products. Two, don't just promote products that are on Amazon. Number three, don't just promote items that have an affiliate link associated with them. Promote items even if you don't get a commission, because they're going to be helpful and that's really what matters and what's going to help you in the long run. Number four, put your most useful, most featured items on the top of your resource page. And number five, track. Use a WordPress plugin which is free called Pretty Link Lite. You can upgrade if you like for more features, but Pretty Link Lite seems to work pretty well for me as well.
Cindy, thank you so much for your question, and an AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way. One of my assistants will reach out to you very soon to get your information for that. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page. And finally, I want to thank today's sponsor, which is AWeber.com. Again, you can try it out as the number one email service provider to help you build your business and, you know, they say the money is in the list and it's true. That's where you build your list. That's where you keep your contacts. Hey, if your blog were to go away, or your YouTube channel were to go away, or that Facebook page you've been building were to go away, you always have your email list. And that's the number one reason why you should be building your email list if you aren't already. So go with AWeber. Try it out for a month for free. Go to AWeber.com/askpat.
Cool! Thank you so much and, as always, I like to end with a quote. And this quote is from Rob Kalin who is the founder of Etsy. He says, “The last 10% it takes to launch something takes as much energy as the first 90%.” I can definitely attest to that.
Cheers! Thanks so much, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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