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The Order of Operations for Online Business and Blogging

The Order of Operations for Online Business and Blogging

By Pat Flynn on

“Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.”

Does that phrase sound familiar to you? If it does, that’s because our grade school teachers used it over and over again to help us learn how to do math in the proper order.

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally = Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction.

This is the order of operations. It’s important because it helps us solve our math problems correctly. If you have an equation such as this…

[(2 + 3)^2] – [(6*5-3) / 9] = X

…using the order of operations makes it relatively simple to find that X = 22. Without any particular order, we would never find the correct answer, and the world would end.

For those of us in the online business and blogging world, there’s a specific order of operations that we must follow too. If we don’t, it will be much more difficult to reach our goals.

The Order of Operations for Online Business and Blogging is something I just came up with, but it sums up (pun intended) everything I’ve done since I started doing business online.

Here’s the mnemonic (you can make up your own, but I like this one for obvious reasons):

“In comes Dr. Flynn.”

Get it? “Incomes”?

Anyways, here is what it stands for:

In Comes Dr. Flynn = Intention, Content, Design & Follow-through


Everything you do online must have intent. In fact, it should start with it. There must be a reason and motive behind every action you take – even all the way down to the headline that you write on your next blog post.

Without purpose or goals, there will be no passion, no excitement, and you will see no results.

Why are you doing what you’re doing?


With a purpose and intention in mind, content must come next. Remember, content is King.

Your content is the information that people absorb, it’s the text that search engines find, and it’s exactly the vehicle you’re going to use to achieve your goals.

There are some debates between quality vs. quantity when it comes to your content, but really what it comes down to is how much value you’re providing to your audience. Provide tons of value and you will find success.


Design matters. Whether it’s the look of your site, how people flow through it, what’s on it (or what shouldn’t be on it), it’s all important.

It’s not as important as content, but it’s the next most important thing.

You’ve heard me say this before: design without content is useless, but content without design is dumb.

The thing about design is that it can have a major impact on what you’re trying to do. Take the same content, illustrate it in two different ways, and you’ll have two different results. If that’s not a reason to make sure you optimize every single part of your website (by testing, experimenting, redesigning, etc.), then I don’t know what is.


Last (but definitely not least), is your follow-through.

If you’ve ever played golf or basketball, you know what “follow-through” is all about. Even though it’s being applied physically in these sports, it plays the same role here in business.

For those of you who don’t quite understand, when taking a swing in golf or shooting a basketball with your wrist, it’s the follow-through motion and action that you make after you swing or shoot that make sure you:

  1. Don’t lose speed and keep accelerating.
  2. Stay on target and maintain accuracy.

We should always be following through, because “just enough” isn’t good enough.

It can be really easy to stop or to give up—but that’s just like taking a golf swing and stopping the club right when you hit the ball. You’ve done a lot of work already, so you’ve got to keep going and make sure you’re doing what it takes to make sure you don’t lose speed, stay on target and maintain accuracy.

And remember, this doesn’t mean you have to work harder—it may just mean you have to work smarter.

For You

1) Do you agree with the Order of Operations for Online Business and Blogging? If not, what’s missing or how would you change it?

2) Do you have a different mnemonic? (This is just for fun).

3) Please retweet or share if you have the opportunity. Thank you! Cheers!

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