Askpat 682 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What up, everybody? Pat Flynn, and welcome to episode 682 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 Abdul, but before we get to his question, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, making life super simple for those of us who take in income and have expenses in our business, which is everybody, of course. Now they serve over three million small businesses. They've served me as well, and I love them to death, that's why I recommend them for you to manage your books, and also to manage your invoicing. I invoice with them as well, and it's really easy to send an invoice out in less then 30 seconds, literally. And get paid, quite quickly, and in a very professional manner. So I recommend you checking it out, and if you go through this following link which I'm about to mention, you'll get it for 30 days for free. So, here it is: FreshBooks.com/AskPat. That's it. Just go to FreshBooks.com/AskPat and make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
All right, now, here's today's question from Abdul.
Pat Flynn: Hey Abdul, what's up! Thank you for the question. Really cool to see that you're putting a site out there, you're getting stuff done, you're kind of going through the checklist there of all the things you need to do, and writing content is obviously a big part of that, so I'm glad you're asking this question. I think a lot of people also have a similar question, because they know what niche they want to target, they get the site set up, you know, all the fun stuff, and then it comes down to, you know, really putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to write content, and they don't know what to write about. So here are some ideas to figure out what to write about, and this is what you should be writing on your site for everybody.
So, the number one thing you want to do with content is answer all the questions that your audience has. So you should hopefully have done some niche research. I have a book about pretty much that, and testing and validating your product, too, and your ideas, and whatever it is that you're looking to do. It's called Will It Fly? You can go to WillItFlyBook.com to check it out. But I'm not here to sell my book, I'm just mentioning that, you know, niche research is a big part of this.
So in your research, and even if you haven't done so already, Abdul or anybody else out there, you have time. You have time to go out there and see who's out there already serving this audience, what this audience's most pressing questions are. If you have any sort of built-up audience already or a following on social media, that's where I would start. If you have an email list, that's where I would start. Start asking questions like, “What are your biggest pains?”, “What are your struggles?”, “What's something that you have a question about?”, “If you had a magic wand and you could fix something, what would it be?”, “What's something that you do all the time that you wish you could do better?”
All those kinds of questions can help you figure out what content to write. Now, there are ways to sort of “hack” your way or some tricks that you can find out what to write about next. And so, here are those.
If you go to Amazon and look up some topics. You know, Abdul, maybe this topic, or this trick, isn't necessarily suited for you, with your niche, but it may be useful to you or some other people, too, so I'll mention it anyway. If you go to Amazon.com and type in keywords related to your niche, a number of different books are going to pop up. Look at those books and look inside the cover. You can do that by clicking on, typically, the logo or the book cover, and sometimes it even say, “Click here to look inside for more.” And you actually get a preview of the book. In that book, you'll often see, in the preview, the table of contents. Those are all different kinds of topics you can be writing about.
Now, don't just word-for-word copy whatever that author said is the name of that chapter or section. No, use that as inspiration. You know that this author has spent a lot of time in figuring out what exactly they should be writing about. Well, that gives you a start for what you can actually put into your blog.
So, let's say you are—and this is the example I always use, I've used it in Will It Fly? Let's say you are in the fly fishing niche, and you find a book on Amazon about fly fishing and you see a fly fishing—or, you see, for example, a chapter called, ‘How to Tie a Fly Fishing Tie'. Or lure, is what they call them. Or ‘How to Tie a Fly' is really what the chapter would say. And you can use that as inspiration. ‘Top Ten Ways to Tie a Fly'. ‘How Not to Tie a Fly'. ‘Ten Best-Designed Flies that Amateur Fly Fishermen have Tied'. You know, you can use any of those kinds of structures around these different topics.
So get inspiration from what's already out there. You don't have to reinvent the wheel or create something necessarily 100%, absolutely, nobody else has ever said any of those words before, kind of thing. But you definitely want to put your own view, your own voice, your own style, your own spin, your own position on things, in order to make it unique. That's the one thing that you have to make sure, that all the content you write on your site is unique and useful and valuable. Because that's gonna … You know, you already had done stuff with SEO. Well, I would beg to differ because you have yet to put content on the site, and that's a major part of it, of course. And getting the backlinks and all that stuff … Seems like you've got all the basics done. Now it's time to get that content written. And, of course, the value that you provide on that site with your content is going to be really helpful, too.
You can also look at your competitor's websites, or websites that already exist in that space, and see what questions they're answering already. What kinds of blog posts are they writing about? If there are most popular posts, look at those. And don't copy those, again, but use those as inspiration. You can create almost an answer post for that, or a follow-up, and actually give credit to that post for inspiration for it, too, and start to build relationships with those people in that space with you, too.
You can also do keyword research to figure out what content you should be writing about, and actually that would be a pretty good idea. You can use things like Google Keyword Planner, which is through the AdWords platform. It's free to use, and you don't need to pay for AdWords in order to use it, but it'll give you some idea of keywords related to your niche that are being searched for, and also have little to no competition, or no articles written about them, as well. This is how I started sites like SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com and FoodTruckr.com. It was all done through keyword research. So it can reveal a lot.
But don't just make it only about keyword research. Don't just make it only about what you find in these books on Amazon. Really start to…you know what I would do, Abdul, is I would set a goal to try and create a spreadsheet of 25–50 different topics that you could write about. And I bet you that if you actually just sat down for a couple hours, looked at what was already out there, do some Google searches, go into forums related to your niche and find out what people are really looking for and what problems people are having. Man, you'll be able to find that really easily.
Another trick that I like to use is to use Google or searches in forums to find specific questions that people have. So I just look for pieces of questions, like, “I need help with…” or “Why can't I…” or “I need…”. And then, putting those quotation marks in Google, you will find that particular phrase in that particular order, in that exact order, on different sites. So you can, for example, use a trick that you can do on Google. So you put a site, colon, and then the URL of a forum, for example, and then type in those words in a quotation mark. Like, “I need help with…” or “I have a question about…” and that's it. And Google will show you results that have all the different threads in that particular forum that people say, “Hey, I need help with blank.” And you can go in there and figure out what those things are, and those are things you can go in and write about.
If you wanted to take that a step further, you can take those articles that you've written and then post them on those forums and say, “Hey, I actually answered this question for you. Here it is!” And that's how you can begin to start to build some authority in the space that you're in, too, on an already-populated website.
Now, finally, the thing I want to mention with your specifically, Abdul, is WordPress themes. Right. That's pretty general. So you might be able to create more specific items like, ‘Top Ten WordPress Themes of This Year', or ‘Top Five WordPress Plugins”, or “Best SEO WordPress Plugins”, “Best Related Post Plugins”, “Five Plugins to Optimize the Speed of Your Website”, “Two Plugins that are Absolutely Necessary for Backing Up Your Website for Free.” You know, all those kinds of different things that are related to themes are going to be very useful, too.
So again, think out of the box, and I bet you, if you just sat for a couple hours, even for 30 minutes, you'd be able to figure out 30, 40, 50 kinds of different pieces that you can write about, and then you pick the one that you feel like is going to make the most impact. You go with that. And you just work on your editorial calendar and get it done.
So, Abdul, I hope that answers your question and gives you some inspiration, and for everybody else out there, I hope that helped you too. Abdul, I'm going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show, and for everybody else who's out there listening: You know what, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show too, just like Abdul, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page. Just hit the record button.
Thank you so much, thank you also to FreshBooks once again. Head on over to FreshBooks.com/AskPat and you'll get a 30 day free trial. Just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section.
And, as always, I like to end with a quote, and today's quote comes from David Livingston, who said, “I will go anywhere, as long as it's forward.” Nice. All right, guys, take care, and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat.
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.