AskPat 69 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 69 of AskPat. I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
I want to thank FreshBooks for sponsoring today's show. FreshBooks, if you don't know what it is, it's the best cloud accounting software that you can use in your business, no matter what level you are at, to organize your finances, to create professional-looking invoices, track your time, capture expenses and get real-time business reports with just a couple of clicks. I only wish I started with it sooner. I started with an Excel file, and it didn't work out. I was glad to get FreshBooks for my team after. If you go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section, you'll get 30 days for free.
Let's get to today's question from Tracy, which is about WordPress themes.
Tracy: Hi, Pat. My name is Tracy. I have been listening to your Smart Passive Income Podcast for about six months. I'm so happy that you started this AskPat Podcast as well, because I just can't get enough of your information, and I think you are great. I really appreciate everything you do for us. I am looking to finally launch an internet marketing business. I'm interested in what WordPress theme do you use for your Green Exam Academy website? I'm looking to start something similar for those interested in the PM exam, and would be interested in how you chose the theme, and what theme you use for that website in particular. Thank you so much for answering, and I look forward to your response. Take care.
Pat Flynn: Tracy, thank you so much for your question, and thank you for being an awesome listener. Congrats to you on the launch or future launch of your website. The exam, sort of study guide helping professionals industry is really good. There is a lot of people out there looking to spend money to advance in their career, obviously. That is something that helped me when I first started my first online business at greenexamacademy.com. That theme, the design of that website, which is built on the WordPress platform, went through a number of different iterations. I started out on just a basic free WordPress theme that you can actually find in the WordPress theme repository. If you go start a WordPress site, if you go to Appearance in your settings, you can search for different themes. I started with one of those, and it was like that for a year and a half. I think the reason I mentioned that is because I don't want you to think that the theme is the most important thing on your website. It is important, and obviously you want the design to be easy to navigate and very friendly and welcoming, and have the things that you want on it to serve your audience, and also make money at the same time.
However, the most important thing is that you just get started and you get content on your site and you start to build an audience, and trust, and authority with that audience right away. I didn't have an amazing-looking site to do that. I had content that people needed. That's first and foremost, the most important thing I want to mention, because a lot of times people get so hung up on trying to find the perfect theme that they never get started at all. All that time when they were looking for the perfect theme, they could have been creating content that would actually provide value and build an audience, and build a relationship, and help the word of that website that you can improve later. That's the most important thing. You just want to get something that works. There is a lot of free WordPress themes out there that work. There is a lot of premium WordPress themes out there that work. Some built on sort of midsection or mid-level type platforms like Thesis or PageLines or StudioPress and things like that. There is also other sites like themeforest.net. What's the other one? Woo Themes, W-O-O T-H-E-M-E-S. Woo Themes is a great one too. You can download, anywhere between 30 bucks and 200 bucks, a premium theme that might fit the need of your audience.
To tell you the truth, the Green Exam Academy theme that you see now was custom built. It was built in the way that I wanted it to be built, to serve my audience in the way I wanted to serve them, and provide that information to them to help them pass that exam. It's not a theme that is available right now. It's not for sale anywhere, at least that I know. I know a number of people who have gone to other developers and said, “Hey, I want a theme that sort of mimics this style or this layout.” They don't copy it, and you shouldn't copy it the exact same way; it's my intellectual property. You can use the same structure, and you can use it as inspiration to definitely create a site that you want to create that will serve your audience, Tracy, and anybody else out there listening. The company who built that is BlazerSix.com. They run out of Texas; they are awesome. Brady and Brody are the two guys who work for that company. If you hit them up, again, BlazerSix.com. Tell them I said hi, and that I mentioned them in this episode. I actually haven't talked to them in a while, and I hope they are doing okay. They did a great job, and I told them exactly what I wanted to see. They drew out some sketches, I drew out some sketches, and then we kind of met in the middle. That is what you see, again, at GreenExamAcademy.com. It's a beautiful site; it looks very nice, and it's very functional. I think that's the most important thing is it's very functional. It primarily shows a lot of the products and services that I offer on that site, from practice exams to study guides. Actually, I don't provide any services, but I do link to people who are providing services on that site. Practice exams, classes, and things like that. Those are the things that I highlighted, as you can see. At the very top, there is a link to my Green Exam Academy book or my LEED Green Associates Handbook. There is a lot of things on the left-hand side, because people read from left to right. I wanted the most important things on the left-hand side underneath the navigation bar, which is the study guides and the practice exams, and the classes or continuing education. Those things are the most important things, and those things I know over time are the things that make me the most money. In the middle I wanted a section to just show anybody who is brand new to the site, to help them find their way around. That's the kind of structure and the reason why that site looks like the way it does. Obviously, it's designed very well. Again, those guys at Blazer Six did a great job as far as color scheme and layout and navigation and things like that.
Again, there are themes out that might be perfectly suited for what you are trying to do, Tracy. Again, just to say, the theme isn't the most important thing. You can always work toward getting a custom theme. I think everybody should work toward that eventually. I would start with a sort of template that's out there. That may be something you want to buy, that's not just not freely available for everybody. It's premium and it's does the job, it's SEO optimized, and all that good stuff. Then, over time, as you start to maybe generate and build an audience and you foresee a product launch in the near future, and you might have some money to invest, or maybe you are making money already and you can invest it back in your site, which is what I did. I reinvested a lot of money I made back into the site, and designed it that way I wanted it to be designed. It wasn't until after I had made over six figures on the site that I designed it. I didn't need the design you see now in order to make a lot of money. I guess that's the big thing I'm trying to say.
Anyway, Tracy, I hope that answers your question. Thank you so much for it. An AskPat t-shirt will be headed your way, and again, best of luck to you in the launch of your site for the Project Management Exam. That's a great industry. I know a lot of people who are serving that industry as well. There is always room for more, as long as you can bring your own style and unique spin to it and your unfair advantage. Tracy, best of luck to you. If any of you listening have a question you'd like potentially answered here on the show and also you might be able to get a t-shirt as well. Head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page and see all the other 68 episodes before this one.
I want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks. Again, if you go to GetFreshBooks.com, and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section, you'll get access to FreshBooks for 30 days for free. It's awesome also because you can use it on anywhere, like your mobile apps or your iPads, and your tablets and phones, whatever. It's awesome, and it works seamlessly with all those things. Again, if you are running any sort of business online, you really want to make sure you get your finances done so you could stop worrying about all that stuff, and start worrying about providing value, like we talked about in this episode. Thank you, FreshBooks, for that.
As always, I'm going to end with a quote. Interestingly enough, this is a quote from Charles Darwin. That quote is, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” I love this quote, because obviously, he's talking about evolution and things like that. I think that directly is in parallel with how we run our businesses. It's not the strongest business, it's not the business that has the most money, or it's not the smartest business. Actually, the smartest business is the one that knows how to adapt to the situations around them. It's the one who reacts the best to the situations that happen. Keep that in mind. All the best to you. Cheers. Thank you, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. I love you guys.
AskPat listeners get a 30-day free trial to their software when they enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.