AskPat 109 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What’s up everybody? This is Pat Flynn, and welcome to Episode 109 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm so happy to be here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week. I also want to thank today's sponsor, 99designs. Get started with your design needs for your business and website at 99designs.com/pat.
Now let's get to today's question from Erich.
Erich: Hey Pat, my name is Erich and I coach individuals and organizations on employment and communication over at HarmonyInsights.com. My question today has to do with domain names. I noticed you do a lot of Pretty Links, and I love the information you've made available about that through your blog and your website. I'm wondering why you would choose to purchase a domain, a separate domain altogether on a topic, rather than just do, for example, SmartPassiveIncome.com/ and then whatever the topic is. Why would you choose to go and purchase a completely separate domain for something that looks like you might be able to link it using Pretty Links, for example, from your main website? If you could shed some light on that, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks a lot, and I appreciate the podcasts.
Pat Flynn: Erich, thank you so much for the question, I really appreciate it. For those of you who are listening who might not know exactly what Erich is talking about, I love to do redirects. What a redirect is simply a way to clean up a really long or really disgusting looking link, one that might be hard to memorize or hard to type in, and actually turn it into something much shorter. Something much easier to remember, something that I can even track, something that just allows me to take this really long ugly links and share them with everybody in a way that people are more likely going to click on them. So one way that Erich talked about was through a WordPress plugin called Pretty Link.
I love Pretty Link. It’s a tool that you can use, a WordPress plugin that will turn your ugly links into pretty links. It's sort of like a magic wand when it comes to redirecting in that way. So I can take, for example, my BlueHost link—Bluehost is the domain and hosting company I recommend—if I tell people to go through what my affiliate link actually is, it's a really long, ugly affiliate link with a bunch of numbers in it, which is my tracking ID. However, I have it using Pretty Link as SmartPassiveIncome.com/bluehost. That's it. Or AskPat.com/bluehost. Both of those work, both of those are using the Pretty Link plugin. Pretty Link is a free plugin, but there's also a paid version with some more higher-end statistical analytical things you could do with it, and it's pretty cool actually what you could do with Pretty Link Pro. But I use Pretty Link Lite, which will work just fine. You can check it out, you can choose to upgrade if you like.
But again, it makes those really long, ugly links into really nice, short links that are much cleaner. And what is cool about this is if somebody hears you say “Oh, well AskPat.com/bluehost,” that's pretty darn easy to remember as opposed to any long string of things with numbers or whatever. Especially if you're doing video, and especially if you're doing any sort of audio, so podcasting or anything like that. It just makes it much easier to memorize. It's like on the radio, when you hear the jingles, there's like a 1-800 number but they always put a jingle behind it because it's easier to remember. Well this is like that, but using URLs. Pretty Link will make these things easier for you.
But Erich's asking, why do I sometimes actually just completely buy a brand new domain and use that instead of a Pretty Link? So for example, if I want to drive people to my landing page to go and download my ebook, I don't have SmartPassiveIncome.com/ebooksthesmartway. I have EbookstheSmartWay.com. Now why do I do that? It costs some money to get some domain name, and I have to pay x number of dollars a year—it's under $10 a year to have that domain—but why don't I just do the Pretty Link when I could just do that, and why do I have to buy a domain name?
Well, I'll tell you, Erich, and for everybody else out there. You don't have to do that. But I choose to do that because I found that the click through rates are much higher when it's something like that. And there's a couple other reasons too. For that specific example I gave you, Eric, Ebooks The Smart Way, if I were to say “SmartPassiveIncome.com/ebooksthesmartway,” I'd have to clarify whether there's spaces in there, or dashes and things like that. If I simply say EbookstheSmartWay.com, it's kind of implied that there are no spaces. There are no spaces in domain names. It is implied that there are no dashes, because if there were I would say them or else people would end up in the wrong spot. So I can simply say EbookstheSmartWay.com, and boom, there you go.
Secondly, it sounds much cooler. Again, this isn't anything that's required. You don't have to do this, but it does sound much more official when you do something like that. Another example is I have a blog post on SPI that teaches people how to set up a newsletter and start to build their email list. I could give people the regular domain name for that, which is like, I forget what it is exactly, this is just made up, but it's like smartpassiveincome.com/how-to-start-an-email-list-newsletter or something like that.
So it's pretty long, and I'd have to say that if I wanted people to remember it. But I could have shortened it using Pretty Link, and I could have done smartpassiveincome.com/startanemaillist, which sounds cool, it's much easier to remember. But then I actually have StartAnEmailList.com. That sounds so official, right? When somebody has taken the time to actually buy the domain, it just sounds more official. So people are more likely to go through it, because it's like, “Wow, that's like an actual website.” It actually just redirects using a forwarding function which every hosting company or domain company will give you that ability to do that. I do that in several different occasions.
FreeKeyboardWebinar.com is much easier to remember, and much more impressive I guess you could say. I'm doing air quotes when I say impressive. As opposed to smartpassiveincome.com/free-keyword-webinar. What else do I have. I have LetGoDay.com, which sounds really official. There's a bunch of other ones, I can't even remember all of them right now, but I have them on a list somewhere. It makes it just easier and makes it sound better. I can always change out those things in the future as well, which you could do with Pretty Link, and I think this is one of the cool things. If you're not yet doing this redirect thing, this is probably the coolest part about it. This goes a little beyond your question, Erich, but this is for everybody else listening.
For example, if I have a Pretty Link, or one of these redirects that goes to a particular company, and that company might fold, for example, or might change or maybe the agreements we have don't work out anymore, and I go with a different company. Well, I can just simply change where that link points to. Here's a good example of that actually being put into action. I promote a company called Internet Business Mastery, this is by Jeremy and Jason over at InternetBusinessMastery.com. I got to give them a huge shout out, because they're a huge reason why I am where I am today, that's the program I got started with when I got started in 2008. They had a huge influence on my business decisions and getting to where I'm at in life now. Anyway, thank you Jeremy and Jason if you're listening to this. But anyway, I used to promote their product, their Internet Business Mastery Academy.
I had a Pretty Link set up, SmartPassiveIncome.com/ibm, which was redirecting to their sales page. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] And then, they came out with a second version of their academy. So version 2.0 came out, which had a completely different link for their sales page. It was just a different URL. So instead of having to go back into all the posts that I mention them and all the affiliate links that I had spread throughout my site, and there were a couple dozen of them over time at this point, because I had written over 200 posts at this point, I just simply had to go into Pretty Link and change it once, and then it was automatically changed everywhere else, because it's redirected. So that's the application, and that's why redirecting is really cool. And you can do that strategy with Pretty Link and also doing those direct URLs that you buy.
Again, the main reason for doing that, Erich, is just simply because it is much more impressive and it sounds cooler, and you're likely to get higher conversion rates as a result. Again, it feels like people are going to your exact page, just like why I say PodcastingTutorial.com. That right there tells people straight away what they're going to get when they get on that page. It sounds very official, and it just simply redirects to my free six video tutorial to help people get set up with podcasting. And it's worked out really, really well, and now people are sharing that particular URL, which I think they're more likely to share than the redirect page as well. I also definitely make sure that when I have social sharing set up on that particular page, that it shares that direct URL as well. Again, when people see that in their newsfeed or on Twitter, it sounds much more official. So PodcastingTutorial.com is probably the best example I can give you.
So Erich, I hope that answers your question, thank you so much for it. An AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way. If any of you out there have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. I also want to thank again today's sponsor, 99designs. Get started with your design needs for your business and website at 99designs.com/pat.
So again, check them out, 99designs.com/pat. That's how they'll know you came from this show. So thank you for that. And lastly, as always, I'm going to end with a quote. Today's quote comes from Jim Rohn. He says, “You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills.” Think about that one. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat.
Get started with your design needs for your business and website at http://www.99designs.com/pat.