AskPat 794 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 794 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 an awesome question today from Tim, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com. They're so awesome because they've been helping me, and millions of other small businesses, with keeping track of our finances, but not only that, with helping us with invoicing.
If you are a coach and you invoice students, or you do consultations and you invoice different companies or people, I would highly recommend checking out FreshBooks for invoicing purposes. Which is just a super awesome bonus, beyond all the other stuff that they already do. In under 30 seconds, I can create a professional looking invoice that I can send out. I can see who opens those invoices, or follow up with people who have yet to pay me, and even see who has yet to open them and actually send them a different message. It just makes it much easier to get paid like you deserve. Check them out for free, for 30 days at www.FreshBooks.com/AskPat. Make sure you enter “AskPat” in the How Did You Hear About Us section.
All right, now here is today's question from Tim.
Tim: Hi Pat. My name is Tim Wells. I have to start out by saying thank you. I've been following you since way back, in episode 10, with Chris Guthrie. That episode started me on this journey, and you've been an amazing influence on the success I've had with my own business. My site is called www.AndroidPCReview.com. Which is a three-year-old site that does reviews and how-tos, for streaming players and computers, which are the size of USB thumb drives. Think of them as cooler versions of a Roku box.
It originally started as a news site, but it's grown into an authority site, several years ago. It now gets about 40,000 page views every week, on average, and makes about $700 per month. My challenge is that it has outgrown its original niche. Now, I get about 40 percent of my traffic talking about the software, instead of the hardware. In order to grow the site, I've been toying with the idea of rebranding the site, on a new domain, to something more unique and brand-able, but I don't want to lose any of the link juice that I've built up over the past three years.
My question is: Is it worth rebranding? Or, should I stay with the existing domain name? I guess a follow up question to that is: From your own personal experience, changing from www.InTheLEED.com to www.GreenExamAcademy.com, would you have done that if you weren't forced to?
Again, thank you for being so helpful over the years. I really couldn't have done it without you. Cheers.
Pat Flynn: Hey Tim, thank you so much for the question. I really appreciate this. This is a great time to reflect on all of our brands, especially once you've been established for a while, once you've sort of outgrown the original purpose. I think rebranding and changing domains is something that you should always, absolutely wonder if it's the right move for you. In many cases, it is. If you can feel in your gut that this is something you want to do, the other question I want to ask you is: What's stopping you?
What I feel is stopping you. . . You already mentioned this. This is what stops most people. They're afraid of change. Right? But, they're afraid of losing what they've already built. What about this? What if I flip that question around and say, “What if you had so much more to gain, if you were to actually do this rebranding?” If you have a little bit of money to spare, you might be able to get access to other professionals who may be able to help you make sure that you, not only come up with the right brand. . .you may already have an idea of what that should be, but also. . .this is where I would recommended putting money in for sure, if you do this rebranding. Making sure that when you switch over, that you're doing it in a proper way, that will not allow you to lose any of that link juice and all that branding, especially in Google, that you've been able to build up over time.
To talk about my own experience. I had to rebrand from www.InTheLEED.com, which is the first online business I ever created. Then, I got a nice letter from the United States Green Building Council asking me to change that because I was using LEED in the domain name. LEED was a trademark. Again, I didn't know what I was doing. I was just trying new things and this happened. It really scared me at first, but then I just changed it to www.GreenExamAcademy.com. I found people who could help me do that in a proper way, using what's called a 301 permanent redirect. What that does, is it allowed people who, when they go to www.InTheLEED.com, they obviously forward to www.GreenExamAcademy.com, so the domain name just changes, even if they go to www.InTheLEED.com.
Can't do that anymore because I got a follow up letter that said, “Hey, you can't even do that.” You don't have that problem because you don't have anybody forcing you to change. If I wasn't forced to, I don't think I would've. I actually guarantee you that I wouldn't have, because www.InTheLEED.com was a perfect brand-able name that rolled off the tongue, that people started to use. I wasn't happy that I had to change it, but the permanent 301 redirect, which again was administered by somebody else who knew what they were doing, made it possible for me to keep all that link juice. To keep all the authority in Google, that I had when building www.InTheLEED.com. Today, www.GreenExamAcademy.com still exists. It's still doing very well. It's making less money than it did back then because the industry isn't as hot anymore, but it's still up there. I'm so glad that transition between www.InTheLEED.com versus www.GreenExamAcademy.com wasn't as much of a hassle as I thought it was going to be.
In your situation, with 40 percent of the people who are coming to your site, coming for other things than what you had initially planned, what the domain name describes, and your brand. I would consider definitely, strongly, rebranding. I would survey your audience too. Get them to understand what is going through your head. I think a lot of this behind-the-scene stuff could be really interesting. They can even help influence what the brand name becomes, and maybe what the logo looks like.
I think that would be a fun thing for you to do. To get your audience involved in the behind-the-scenes, which allows you to build an even stronger relationship with them. It allows them to feel more like they're a part of this community and this brand. I think that would also help with the transition, so that one day the switch over happens and people aren't surprised. They knew this was coming. It could be a great way for you to get a good dosage of traffic on the day that you switch over, because people will want to see what it looks like, and all those kinds of things. I found that whenever I do a redesign on a website, people are very curious about what it looks like. You can maybe couple that with another promotion that you have going on, or something to really knock it out of the park.
Tim, yeah. I would highly recommend, based on your situation, rebranding because you want to make sure that you. . . you did it right though. You started out in a small niche. You mastered that. You became an authority. Now, you're branching out. Branching out sometimes means you have to expand what your brand is about. That includes the name, the domain name, the tagline, and all that stuff.
At this point, three years into the journey, I think you are more than qualified to do that. You have my blessing. If you wanted to get even more of a blessing, you are welcome to email me. I'd love to check out your website, get more information about what you have going on there, and just confirm all this for you. Shoot me an email. Until then, Tim, thank you so much. I want to wish you all the best, and hope everything is going well. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt 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 as well, head on over to www.AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page, just hit the record button and ask away. We're always looking for new questions. I love to feature great questions here on the show, like Tim's. Thank you so much.
Here's a quote to finish off the day, from somebody named Anonymous. This is an anonymous quote and that is, “All glory comes from daring to begin.” Guys, we're in February now. There's that thing that you wished you had started, way back when, just do it. Get started now. All right guys, take care. I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
AskPat listeners get a 30-day free trial to their software when you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.