AskPat 441 Transcript
Pat Flynn: What up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 441 of AskPat. 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. We have a great question today from Tony.
But before we get to Tony's question, I do want to thank a great sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, making it super easy for all of us out there to manage and keep track of our business finances. From our income, to our expenses, and even invoicing as well, they make invoicing super easy. They have an award-winning mobile app, so you can check the financial health of your business on the go to. And they serve over 3 million small businesses including mine, and they can help serve you too. Check it out for free for 30 days by going to GetFreshBooks.com and by entering “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com, enter “AskPat.”
Alright, here's Tony.
Tony: Hey Pat, my name's Tony. I had a question for you regarding promoting your content. Kind of taken that Derek Halpern approach, while writing less content but spending more time on promotion. So how would you go about doing that, as far as promoting that piece of content goes? And would that change depending on whether you're doing blog post or a podcast episode? I would love to hear your thoughts. Really appreciate everything you do. Thanks Pat.
Pat Flynn: Hey Tony, what's up? Thank you so much for this question. And I'm glad you asked this because I put a quote card on Twitter the other day. A quote card is essentially just an image with a quote from a specific person, and I added a quote from Derek Halpern, and I posted this on Twitter. And that quote was, “People should be spending 80% of their time promoting content and 20% of their time creating content.” And this sparked a huge back and forth between a number of different experts and people, and just everybody in the space started commenting and sharing this and sharing their opinion on it as well. And it was really interesting because there's a lot of different sides to this particular story.
Now, this actually comes from a presentation that I saw Derek do at Financial Blogger Conference in 2013, he did the final keynote. And he asked the entire audience, “Well, raise your hand if you feel you spend most of your time creating content.” And pretty much 99.9999999% of the audience raised their hand. And then he asked, “Well, how many of you spend more of your time promoting content than you do creating it?” And like one person raised their hand. And he said that, well, we should be spending a lot more time promoting the content, the hard-earned content that we spend a lot of time creating. We should spend more time promoting that. And especially for the financial blogger people who he was speaking to, because some of these people . . . And I actually just got back from a Financial Blogger Conference myself. I mean, I posted five, sometimes even more times per day. They don't even give some of those articles a chance to kind of get out there in the way that they could before their next piece of content comes.
But anyway, it sparked this huge debate, and Derek had to chime in, of course. And Derek was very vocal with . . . Well, the numbers aren't really the important part of this. So, the 80/20 thing, he just chose those because they're memorable, and everybody knows there were the 80/20 rule and that sort of thing. But the big idea here was just that we need to start promoting our content more and focusing more on promotion than we currently do. The 80/20 thing, again, isn't necessarily a hardcore strict breakdown but a general idea we have to be promoting more. And I agree with that, we do. And I have witnessed this on my own site. Derek has had this happen to him as well in several other sites from people. When they've tuned down the number, the quantity of posts, and turned up the quality of those posts, traffic had increased and number of shares have increased and number of people who have engaged on those particular posts have increased. And this happens time and time and time again.
So, I feel like we have to step back to the point where we have to just feel like we have to always come out with content on a particular day. And of course it's important to do that. It's important to be consistent, but just publishing content to publish content is not the right thing to do. You need to be publishing content that's actually going to make noise, that's going to actually be helpful, that something is shareable. And there's a great quote by, who is it . . . It is John Jantsch, sorry. His quote is, “Create something people want to share.” And that's essentially what you want to do.
So, that's part of the promotional aspect of this is, just spending more time with the quality of that post and even increasing the number of words. And I know I always say, “Well, it's not about the number of words.” And it isn't, but I think the number of words potentially . . . or actually . . . have a direct correlation with . . . Or often do actually, the quality of that post. And no, obviously, you can just throw a bunch of random words up there and it would increase the word count, but you wouldn't do that. But posts that are “epic posts” typically get shared more and are typically longer, and there's a lot of data out there showing the correlation between number of words in a post to time on site, for obvious reasons, but also number of shares, engagement, and traffic coming in as a result of those posts and SEO and all that sort of stuff. So, all those things play a role.
So, that's the first part. You want to put in the work to make the post incredibly high quality, so that the other promotional stuff that happens after you publish kind of is a lot easier. Because you can do as much promotion as you want for something. If it's a crap article, it's, you know, going to only going to hurt you more than it does help you.
Now, in terms of promotion, after you hit the publish button, there are a number of different things you could do. Obviously you could share on social media. A lot of us do this. But to take that a next level, you can share that article more often. There are great tools out there like Edgar, which you can find at meetedgar.com/pat, that will . . . Actually, you get a free trial if you go through that link. They're not sponsoring this episode, but I wanted to give a shout out to Laura at meetedgar.com/pat. A great tool, I use it to recycle posts and drive traffic back to some of my older posts that I've written, some years back, that get resurfaced on social media.
And the thing is, when you post on social media, especially on Twitter, those posts, those tweets that you send out there, they have a very, very short shelf life, 24 minutes essentially, before they're kind of gone forever. So, you can recycle old posts. You can share the same link several times over the course of the week after you publish a post. That's why I also want to give a shout out to CoSchedule, which allows you to, as you're publishing a post, set and schedule tweets that promote that particular post, which is really awesome. So, thank you to everybody at CoSchedule for that. They're also not sponsoring this episode, but they've sponsored other shows, and I felt like that they needed to be mentioned here because it's definitely a helpful thing.
You also want to utilize your e-mail list because your e-mail list is a list of people who have given you permission to send them information, and you've spent all this time creating a great quality different post. You want to send it to them and let them know about it because when that traffic comes back to your site, not everybody who's on your email list will come back to your site unless you e-mail them. So, do that, people come back on your site, they share it, more people discover it, more people join your list, so that the next post that comes out, even more people will come and visit your page and share. And it just becomes this great exponentially growing feedback loop which is really cool.
Beyond that, you also want to share this post that you've come out with to influencers and people that you know in your network that could do you a favor to promote this post, especially if it is helpful for them. And there are different tactics you can use to increase the likelihood that they would do that. For example, you could mention them in the post and then send them an e-mail afterwards and tell them that you would mention them in the post, and they might check it out. They might like the post, and they might share it after that.
You can also repurpose some of that content in several different ways. For example, if you had a list post of the top 15 ways to do X, you could create that into a slideshow or turn it into a slideshow that you can put on Slideshare.com. You can then record yourself on Screenflow discussing these things and then putting it onto something like YouTube with a recording. You could also do a live reading/thought, it's about this post on a live streaming platform like Periscope. You might be a member of different groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that would actually find value from the post that you've just written, and so you could share it on those particular places online too. Maybe this post starts to take off, and then you turn it into an episode of a podcast where you can have other influencers, potentially ones that you mentioned in that particular post, to come on as a guest to discuss this particular topic even more.
Now you would also ask the question about, does this change depending on whether or not this post or whatever it is that you publish is a blog post or podcast episode? And no, I don't feel it does. There are ways to repurpose all kinds of different content and actually share those same ideas in tactics and strategies and thoughts and case studies and stories on all these different platforms, including e-mail. And I think that's something that we should all definitely think about: How can we make the most of this time that we spend writing or recording this content? And I know that personally, I know I can improve how I'm marketing the content that I'm putting out there too. And I'm always going to be working on that, and I'm utilizing my email especially lately, and I'm also thinking of ways to repurpose some of that content in different ways.
So Tony, I hope that answers your question or at least gets your gears turning. And for everybody else out there, I also want to thank you for taking the time to listen. Tony, we're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show, thank you again. And thank you to everybody who has asked questions. If you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on AskPat, just head on over to AskPat.com, and you can ask right there, thanks to the widget from Speakpipe.com, which is the tool we use to collect the voicemail questions from everybody out there, which turns them into an MP3, which then my lovely assistant Jessica put into these episodes and bada bing, bada boom, we have an AskPat episode.
I also want to thank FreshBooks.com because they've bada boom, bada bing, make it really easy for everybody out there to manage our business finances. They make it really easy especially come tax season, because with just a few clicks of a button, you can have all the reports and spreadsheets and balance statements and profit loss statements and everything you need to really manage your taxes. And man, this year is flying by. It's almost the end of the year, we're in October essentially, and April's just going to be around the corner. The end of the year is coming, crazy. So, make it easy on yourself. Get hooked up with FreshBooks by going to GetFreshBooks.com and by entering “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. That's going to have you get access to FreshBooks for 30 days, completely for free. So, check it out, GetFreshBooks.com, enter “AskPat.”
Thank you again so much for your time, and I'm going to leave you with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. She said, “To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.”
Take care, guys. I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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