AskPat 166 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 166 of AskPat. So thankful you're here. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your business questions, five days a week.
We have another great question from Fred today, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor which is ZipRecruiter.com. If you don't know what ZipRecruiter is, it is awesome, because if you're hiring anybody for your business, it could be very tedious putting different descriptions out on all the job boards out there. But with ZipRecruiter.com, you could post to 50-plus job sites, including Craigslist and all the social networks, from Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. All with a single click. You can screen all the candidates from all those different places in one place at ZipRecruiter. You can rate them, and even hire the right candidates much faster than you can if you went all over the place looking for them. So you can try ZipRecruiter, for free, today, by going to ZipRecruiter.com/Pat. Again, that's ZipRecruiter.com/Pat.
All right, now, let's get to today's question from Fred.
Fred: Hey, Pat. My name is Fred, and I'm from Canada. Excuse me in advance for my bad English. All right, I'm still young and eager to learn things, but I don't want to waste my time to learn things that will not help me in the future. Example, is it necessary to know coding today? Because with WordPress, it not seems necessary to know these kind of technical stuff. I know it might be useful when you need to edit something, but which technical stuff is a must that I really need to know? I'm really interested to building niche website for affiliate marketing and maybe create digital product. Also, is it possible to learn and control SEO when you have no particular knowledge on coding or technical stuff that only a pro or master would know? I know it might sound a large question, but that's the problem: because it's so large a question that I really don't know where to concentrate my time and effort in what I will need to learn to succeed. I'm really talking about the technical stuff that is a must to know when you want to succeed into internet marketing, making money in the internet world. By the way, I really love what you're doing, and thank you so much for doing it. You help me to keep my dream alive and my dream is what would make my life so exciting, even in the rough times. Thanks, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Fred, thank you so much for the question, and also thank you for all the kind words there. I mean, that's why I'm here. I'm here to inspire and answer questions, and help everybody out as much as I can. And hopefully this answer to your question will help you out too. So, just to reiterate, what kind of technical stuff do you need to know? What kind of coding, languages, or how much coding do you need to know before you get into building a website these days?
To tell you a quick story, when I first started, I thought I had to learn everything on my own. I thought I had to be able to just sit on a blank screen and type in zeroes and ones and learn all the code and language myself in order to put up a website. And of course, that wasn't the case, I eventually found out. I eventually, obviously, picked up WordPress, and that made it super simple. But even then, I still tried to figure out how everything worked. And, yes, it was nice that I figured out eventually how things worked, like why things look the way they look because of the way they are written on the back end. But I literally did waste dozens of, dozens of hours trying to figure out all that stuff out on my own. I remember one time I tried to move an image from the left-hand side of the page to the right-hand side of the page. It was an ad or something like that, and it took me eight hours. Eight hours to figure out. Because I didn't know how to do it. So, of course I went to YouTube, I tried to figure it out. I even went to Barnes & Noble one time. I don't think it was for that specific reason, for that ad I wanted to switch, but for another reason I think I went to Barnes & Noble and I read some books. I bought some HTML and CSS books. Stuff that would help me stylize my page the way I wanted to. And I just wasn't very excited about learning that stuff, but I thought, that's what I had to do, because I didn't know that there were other things out there that could help me. There are obviously plugins that can help you with a lot of the things you want to customize on your page and really that's where it starts to break, is when you start to customize and try things on your own, and I wish I knew that there were services out there that would help me.
Eventually, what happened with that eight-hour deal was I asked my wife's friend who is a web designer, and he was like, “Okay, that's easy,” and did it in 10 minutes. I was like, “What”? And he was like, “Oh, yeah, you just do this and this and this” and I was like “Okay, I don't know anything you just said”. And he's like “Who coded your site? It's the worst coding I've ever seen.” And I was like “I coded it.” And he's like “Oh, sorry.” But, lesson was learned. I asked for help eventually. And now with things like WordPress, a lot of the stuff is already done for you. You put up the website, you don't ever need to touch the code. And I think the code you will eventually learn just sort of happens eventually. Like, there's nothing crucial that you need to know before you get started, but there are things that you will pick up along the way that will make things easier for you over time. And it just takes getting started, and you'll see what those things are along the way. Like, for me now, it's really easy for me to type in a link with all the right coding and all the right descriptions and to have it open in a blank window and all that stuff. That stuff's useful, but it's not necessary or crucial before you get started. I mean, it took me a year before I eventually got that stuff. I had to look up how to do that every time. And again, WordPress and other services and things like this will do it for you. Where you get caught up a lot of times is when you try to customize things. And that's where I would either find a theme that works for you and just stick with it that way, or if you're going to customize it, whether it's a theme you already have or a new theme you want to get, I would ask for help. Hire someone to help you out. There's a great service out there called WP Curve, WP Curve. If you go to AskPat.com/WPCurve, that will eventually be my affiliate link. I don't have an affiliate relationship with them yet, but I'm going to reach out to them, 'cause I know the guys, or I know a lot of people who have used them. I'm very fortunate to have a team who helps to fix all that stuff for me now, but if there was something like WP Curve in the beginning, it's like 24-hour WordPress service for X number of dollars a month. It's not that expensive, especially for this kind of stuff. So, again, it's AskPat.com/WPCurve.
And so, again, you don't need to know how to do all that stuff. There are services like WP Curve and others ones out there. You could find somebody on Elance or Odesk perhaps to do these things for you. Then you can focus more on the things you need to focus on. With SEO, there are some basic SEO things that you need to know. But you don't need to get super crazy with them. Some themes will take care of a lot of the things for you. SEO definitely starts with having the right metadata off of your website, the description and things like that, the title of your blog. And also, the title of your posts, all the headers and things like that, making sure it's all hierarchically put together correctly. And again, a correct, well-designed theme will do that for you. So, there are great themes out there like the Thesis and other ones out there that will do those things for you without you even having to know how it works. And over time, you'll eventually learn what works and what doesn't. For SEO, basically just target keywords, spend five minutes. I met Rand Fishkin from SEO Moz in Australia the other day. He had a great presentation about just, spend a few minutes, doing a little bit of keyword research before you publish your posts, so you know what keywords to put in your title and things like that and your first paragraph. How to structure your posts and things like that. And there are a lot of great keyword tools out there. You can even use the Google autosuggest feature, so type in the beginning of some of your keywords and see what else pops up. Those should possibly be things you should also include in your post or title as well. Also, make it very shareable and clickable as well, because those all matter for SEO; page load time is affected, bounce rate. You don't want people coming on the site and leaving, because that's a sign to Google that it's not relevant to those search terms that people are finding you for. Those are some of the basic things.
We could talk for an hour about SEO, and in fact, I would recommend paying attention to SmartPassiveIncome.com very soon. I have a great guest post from a great person doing some amazing things in SEO, and also specifically back-linking these days, which I know some people have questions about. So, just look for that on the blog.
And Fred, I hope that answers your question. Just to go back, you don't need to know hardly any coding at all. What you will eventually need to know you will find out along the way but you can get set up and running without knowing any code. If you want to get started, go to AskPat.com/start and scroll down to the video on that page. If you need help or want to get help from other people, which is very smart and something I wish I did sooner, check out AskPat.com/WPCurve. Finally, with SEO just know the basics and definitely check out Rand Fishkin from SEOMoz.com.
So, Fred, thank you so much for the question today. Hope it answers your question, and an AskPat t-shirt is headed your way for sure. For those of you who have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, head on over to AskPat.com. You might even get a t-shirt out of it as well.
Finally, I want to thank today's sponsor, which is ZipRecruiter.com. Again, if you're hiring people for your business, even if it's one person, it could be a headache to put these job descriptions out on all these different websites. You want to find the best candidate, so you should put that out there on all the sites, but it can be hard to do that. With ZipRecruiter.com, you can post to, like I said, 50-plus job sites with just a single click. It will even find your best candidates for you, and you can hire the right candidates, fast. Try it for free; it's free for you. Go to ZipRecruiter.com/Pat.
Cheers, and as always, I like to end with a quote. And today's quote is from Jimmy Durant. He says, “Be nice to people on your way up, because you need them on your way down.” Cheers, and I'll see you next episode of AskPat.
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