Note: Elance has merged with oDesk to form Upwork. New name, same services.
AskPat 239 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 239 of AskPat. I appreciate you so much for taking the time to listen to this, and as always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
We've got a great question today from Dan, but before we get to that, I want to thank today's sponsor, which is AWeber.com, the email service provider that I use and recommend for people who want to build an email list and then send emails out. Whether they're going to send to broadcast out to everybody who has subscribed to their list or any certain component, you're able to segment your lists, and maybe there's people who subscribe on a certain type of page on a certain type of category, and then you're able to send an email specific to people who are on that sort of sub-list. Or you can send out emails to everybody, and you have the ability to send out autoresponder emails, which means when people subscribe, you can already send them emails that you've pre-written over time, x number of days apart. It's so awesome, and it's so powerful to not only help with sales and driving traffic back to your site but also building a relationship with your audience. If you want to try out AWeber for 30 days, for one dollar all you have to do is go to AWeber.com/askpat. Again, AWeber.com/askpat. Check it out.
Awesome, now let's get to today's question from Dan.
Dan: Hey Pat, Dan here. I have a question about using Fiverr for content. I'm not really good at writing, so I wanted to know what your thoughts are on getting help on written content. Just let me know, thanks.
Pat Flynn: Dan, what's up? Thank you so much for your question, and I just want to say that when I first started writing on a blog, I was terrible, and I was not happy with it, but I did it anyway. I just hit publish, and I kept writing, and you know what? Over time, I just got better. So no matter what you end up using to help you write your content, I would highly recommend that you do some sort of writing so you can get better. Just because you're not good now doesn't mean you can't be great down the road. It might not take you that long. There's . . . especially in the blogging world, you don't have to be writing thesis papers. You just have to start being able to take what's in your head and all that voice and chatter that's in your head, organize it a little bit, maybe use tools like mind mapping or just simply outlining what you want to say and then putting it into a written format.
It's nice because you can just step back a little bit. If it doesn't sound right, you can edit it. It's a little less scary than podcasting or YouTube and putting yourself on video, and that's why I love blogging. That's why I love writing, and that's why I recommend, if you're not a good writer, just write. Keep writing, and you're going to get better.
Now, there are tools and services out there, Dan, that you can use to help with your writing as well. You might have a specific topic or a list of topics that you can easily hand off to somebody who could then write those things for you. That would be the ideal situation. However, if you're going to go directly to Fiverr, that's F-I-V-E-R-R.com, you run the risk because on Fiverr, typically, you do get what you pay for. And if you're going to pay somebody five bucks to write a piece of content, it might come back being worth just five bucks, which isn't a lot of money.
You know, that's . . . It takes time to write good content. It takes time to research. It takes time to really format it correctly. It takes time to put those words on the screen in a way that will get people continually reading down and excited and getting into that call to action. I would not recommend using Fiverr for your written content, and you will see if you go to Fiverr.com, there will be hundreds of people offering their services. If you want to try it out just to see what the quality's like, you can try it out, and you will see, typically, you aren't going to be happy with the results. Or it's just going to look like regurgitated stuff, and that's also another reason you don't want to use Fiverr. How do you know that stuff is actually unique? You might get in trouble if you put somebody else's stuff on your site that isn't yours, somebody else's intellectual property or written word. What if they just jacked it from somebody else's site and was like, “Here,” and then you pay them five bucks for stuff that you shouldn't be using? And that's really scary. So I would definitely stay away from Fiverr.
There are sites out there that I've actually utilized myself for writing services like Elance.com, but again, you get what you pay for. When you go to Elance.com, you are able to see peoples' credentials and really get into the portfolios, read previously written content, even contact previous people who have worked with those people before, which I have done, and I was really happy with the services from Elance.com. However, I was paying a lot more, and I did get what I paid for. I was paying about $50 per article at that time. This was for back in my security guard training site when I was building up content for that as well. [Note: Elance has merged with oDesk to create Upwork. New name, same services.]
You could also find writers, freelance writers, who are able to offer services and maybe . . . I like that idea, too, because they get to dive into a little bit more of what your brand and your site is about, so they could . . . It almost feels like they become a staff writer for you because they understand your brand. They're going to continually do research and understand more and more about that topic, if you don't feel like you're ging to write it yourself.
Now, I will say that Fiverr might be good for certain things related to your writing. You might be able to write out an article yourself, Dan, on a particular topic and then send it to somebody on Fiverr to edit and proofread and that sort of thing, help massage it a little bit to make it even better and make it actually make sense if you feel like your that bad of a writer. But often times we feel like we're terrible writers because we read a lot of blogs and read a lot of books, and it's amazing what we see out there, and it's intimidating, and it's almost embarrassing sometimes when we compare that to our own stuff, but you gotta start somewhere, and you can get help. But I would recommend putting in that work yourself to write some of those things, or at least a very, very, very detailed outline and structure to it.
So before you even start to get into writing, I would understand what works on mine in terms of structures for a blog post. For example, very compelling, interesting header, which is obviously very important. I mean that alone can be an hour's episode of the Smart Passive Income podcast. How do you write headers that are actually compelling? So when you think of just those few words in the header and how important they are, a whole article's worth is very intimidating, and I get that, but you just have to write. Then you can always edit, you always figure it out later, but just keep writing, and you're going to get better. There's nothing to be afraid of.
I mean, yes you're putting yourself out there in the written format, and you're putting it out there and you're publishing it, and that enables people to start talking about it and to start sharing it and to start maybe criticizing you but you know what, Dan? I still get the grammar police telling me . . . after every single article, there's one or two people who always message me. I mean if it's a bad mistake, I'll get hundreds of people, which is pretty funny actually, but I get one or two people who always message me saying, “Oh you should say it this way, not this way.” Or, “You forgot your apostrophe here.” And whatever. Good, thank you for telling me. I'm learning, and I'm not perfect, but I'm publishing, and you know what Dan? When I started, I was terrible, but I published anyway and people eventually got through the mistakes, and I've learned over time to correct those mistakes. But as long as the content is there and it's valuable, it's going to be helpful.
So I would recommend writing yourself, utilizing Fiverr to get help for the writing that you started, so that you know it's your own content, and maybe getting it proofread or edited by someone else before you publish it if that's going to make you feel more secure about it. So Dan, that's how I would approach it. I would love to hear what everybody else thinks. If you go to Twitter and use the hashtag #AskPat239, help Dan out. What do you recommend, somebody who is considering outsourcing the writing of their content? Would you agree with me and say, “Do it yourself,” and maybe get help trying to edit it and proofread it and things like that? Or would you recommend . . . or have you ever been successful using a site like Fiverr for written content? Again, I've told you the reasons why I wouldn't recommend it, but I'd love to hear from you, everybody listening to AskPat right now. Again, Twitter, #AskPat239, and let's help Dan and everybody else out there who's struggling with written content. I know I've struggled with it before, so I know exactly how you feel, but the more you write, the better you'll get. It's just natural.
So Dan, thank you so much for your question. I really appreciate it. An AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially 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 using the Speakpipe widget. If you want to put a widget like that on your page, just go to Speakpipe.com. They're awesome. They allow you to collect voicemail questions from your audience, and you can just download them as MP3s and put them in an audio file. It's super cool. They didn't ask for that plug, but that company's so awesome I felt like I should say it so again, Speakpipe.com. You can ask right there on that page at AskPat.com and maybe get your question featured here and get an AskPat t-shirt too.
I also want to thank again our sponsor which is AWeber.com. Super cool company. I know a lot of people who work there, and they're always awesome. Again, customer service is a huge deal in the online world, and AWeber is top notch, so if you have any questions with regard to building your email list or using the tool, you can go to AWeber.com/askpat. Try it out for 30 days for one dollar, and make sure to use their live chat to help you with the things that you need help with, to help build your email list. And as Amy Porterfield says, “The strength of your business is directly tied to the strength of your email list.” Not necessarily the size, but the strength. Because you could have a hundred thousand people on your list, and then two people open it. That's not very strong, but all things considered, AWeber's a great company. Check them out for building your email list and sending broadcast emails and autoresponder emails. Again, AWeber.com/askpat.
And finally, as always, I'd like to end with a quote. Today's quote . . . maybe you can guess who it's from. “I hated every minute of training but I said don't quit. Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
If you know who said that actually, why don't you use the hashtag #AskPat239 and let me know if you think you know who that is? Also lets me know that you actually listen to this. Thank you guys. I appreciate you. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you next week. Man, Christmas is next week. That's nuts. Happy Holidays guys. Love you guys. Bye.
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