I’m so happy with how the “Meet the Bloggers” interview series has been going on the blog and I’m extremely excited about today’s interview with Pat Flynn. I first heard of Pat a couple years ago, but didn’t really start reading his blog and his podcasts until the past couple of months. Let me say I really like what Pat has been doing and his blog posts and podcasts provide some great content and motivation to do better in the process!
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I look forward to when our schedules sync up and we get a chance to meet with each other at an upcoming conference. In the meantime, everyone will not get a chance to learn a bit more about Patt Flynn and his awesome stories of finding success online.
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
My name is Pat Flynn and I actually started blogging when I was in college. It was on the Xanga platform and I blogged about what I was doing on a daily basis – typically where I went and what I ate, but that’s about it. It was nothing more than a personal online journal that I shared with family and friends.
After college, I landed a great job in the architecture industry and used a blog to keep track of notes for an exam that I was taking. This exam, the LEED exam (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), was a crazy test that required lots of memorization, and I knew that a blogging platform, such as WordPress, would be a great way to manage the content and organize it in a way that was easy to understand and convenient to study from. I added notes to the site and studied for over a year from the site, and shared it with a couple of co-workers too. After I passed the exam in March of 2008, I had no more use for the site so I just let it sit there.
Well, in the summer of that same year I learned that I was going to get laid off from my architectural position, which was a huge blow because everything I had been working for since high school sort of just flew out the window at that point. I did try to get another position in the field but nobody in the entire United States was hiring – it was that bad. That’s when I discovered podcasts.
It was a particular podcast where I listened to a success story of someone earning an income and making a living teaching others how to pass the PM (project management) exam, and that’s when I decided to give a go at online business and blogging professionally, using the LEED exam blog that I had created as my initial platform.
Well, to my surprise, after adding an analytical tool on the site, thousands of people were already visiting the site every day. Since there was a year and a half of content on there, Google ranked a lot of my content high in the search engines, I was found by several people who shared my sites on forums and other blogs – and I had no idea this was happening until now.
To make a long story short, I ended up publishing an eBook study guide and selling it on my blog. That particular eBook grossed about $200,000 in a years time, and I’ve since added new products to my product line.
It was at that point that I created The Smart Passive Income (SPI) Blog where I share my story and build new businesses, live on the site to inspire and teach others how to do the same. Currently, the SPI Blog has over 60,000 subscribers, a podcast with over 3 million downloads and a YouTube channel with nearly 2 million views.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
SPI has a focus on entrepreneurship, in particular how to succeed with an online business that you can be proud of by serving your audience and providing massive value to them, and getting paid in return. I’ve purposely done many things differently than other people in this “make money online” space, who traditionally use aggressive marketing tactics and exaggeration to sell things to people. I use myself as a guinea pig and test various business models, sharing the exact process from scratch so that people can learn from both my wins and my failures. My #1 priority is to build a true relationship with my audience and give away as much information as possible, for free, and in turn many people in my audience have become true fans who go out of their way to pay me back, typically by choosing to go through my affiliate links.
I also use the blog as the hub of my brand, which is so much more than a blog nowadays. The podcast is actually the #1 way that people discover my brand, but I always bring people back (whether through my podcast on iTunes or my videos on YouTube) to the blog because the blog is where all the action takes place – clicks, links, recommendations, etc.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
For SPI, I currently only monetize through affiliate marketing. Again, I focus on the relationships I have with my audie
nce, as well as making sure the products I promote are products that I’ve used myself and am comfortable being connected with, because if I were to recommend a product and it doesn’t perform – sure they’ll dislike that product, but more importantly that trust with me is broken. I also go above and beyond to share as much information as I can about products that I promote that are owned and operated by other people. Clay Collins, founder of LeadBrite and creator of LeadPlayer, a video tool that I promote, told Andrew Warner in an interview that I create posts and videos that are better at explaining his products than his own tutorials. I strive for that each time I recommend something. I’m also the top affiliate for Glen Allsop’s Optin Skin plugin, which many of you perhaps use. That is thanks to the same strategies.
For GreenExamAcademy.com, my LEED exam blog, I primarily earn money through my own products, however I do have affiliate relationships with a practice exam company and make a decent amount of income from that relationship as well.
On SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, a niche site that I created live on SPI, from scratch (you can find the posts at http://www.nichesiteduel.com), currently generated between $2500 and $3000 purely on Adsense at the moment, and nearly a hundred dollars through affiliate marketing as well as a Job Board on the site.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
I wish I knew two things:
1 – That VAs (virtual assistants) existed. I remember spending 8 hours trying to figure out how to move an image from the left side of the page, to the right. it was stupid. I could have easily paid someone to do that for me instead of wasting 8 hours of my time, but I didn’t know that VAs existed, let alone where to find them. Also, I was a little too prideful and tried to figure things out on my own. Now, whenever I have an issue with something or am having trouble figuring something out, I ask someone right away.
2 – How important it is to build an email list. When I launched my eBook at GreenExamAcademy.com, for months I didn’t collect email addresses, so when I came out with a new product (an audio guide) I totally missed out on the chance to sell directly to my previous customers. It was a shame.
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
To be honest, I’m not reading too many blogs these days. SocialTriggers.com by Derek Halpern and ThinkTraffic.net by Corbett Barr are my top two, but I don’t visit them every day. I typically listen to podcasts because I can educate myself while doing other things, like running or driving somewhere.
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
1 – LeadPlayer – it’s my video player of choice right now. I love it because it allows me to include opt-in forms and/or a call to action right inside the video, and unlike many other players that now have that ability, LeadPlayer can serve YouTube videos on your site (i.e. free hosting for your videos) and still keep the same functions.
2 – Opt-In Skin – I don’t share this because I’m an affiliate for it. I’m an affiliate for it because it’s that good. I use it on my site (at the bottom of each of my posts, you can see it in action). It’s simple to implement as far as adding opt-in forms for your email list at any part of your site, and it gets results.
3 – Conduit.com. I use Conduit to create a nice looking mobile site for SPI, and it has the ability to build an apps for you (e.g. iPhone, Android and Windows applications) that people who visit your site on those mobile devices can download.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
Two important pieces of advice:
1 – Build relationships with other people. Real relationships. Build friendships with other bloggers in your niche, because it’s other people who will help lift you up and help your blog grow. Also build real relationships with your readers, especially when you are just starting out. You should know and care for your first hundred readers, if you can. Email them, get to know them, because when you do that you’ll start to create your first true 100 fans who will become evangelists and super fans for life, and you never know the impact that one person can have on your blog.
2 – Keep going. You’re going to be excited at first, and then maybe a few months down the road, when you’re not seeing a lot of traffic and each blog post becomes a chore, you’re going to want to give up. This is natural. What separates those who succeed and those who do not are those who keep going – so keep going. Michael Hyatt from MichaelHyatt.com once said, “Most people quit right before the inflection point.” In other words, you never know what tomorrow will bring, especially as a blogger – so keep going.
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
If you want to succeed with your blog, don’t just blog. Put your brand onto multiple platforms (one at a time), such as iTunes for a podcast, or YouTube for videos. When you do that, you will reach people who you would have never reached otherwise, and you will become more authoritative at the same time. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, and yes, it’s going to take some balls, but again – these are the kinds of things that separate those who succeed and those who don’t. Those who are willing to take risks and get a little uncomfortable every once and while.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
I’d find a person who was where I wanted to be, and treat them to dinner. That 2 hour conversation will be the best education you will ever get, from a person who is at the other end of the path you know you want to follow.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
You can find me at SmartPassiveIncome.com, as well as PatFlynn.me.
Here are my social media URLs too:
Pat also recently published his first book, Let Go, which is hosted on a brand new platform for iOS called Snippet. Books on the Snippet platform include audio, video, stunning visuals as well as social media. If you’d like to read (and listen and watch) more about Pat’s story, you can check out his book Let Go at the following URL: http://patflynn.me/letgo
Thanks again Pat for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.
Blogging Inspiration: Count All of Your Blogging Wins
You are succeeding now.
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Count all of your blogging wins.
Did you drive your 100,000th visitor to your blog this month? See this win.
Did you drive 5 people to your blog today? See this win.
Everything is a blogging win because you are always winning. Every win builds a step nudging you higher in your blogging niche.
Today I experienced a handful of blogging wins:
- I wrote and published this post on how to live your dreams
- I re-shared my Entrepreneur feature; solid win
- I am writing this guest post
- I had great engagement on my Facebook Live Broadcast this morning
Plus I experienced the ultimate win; I experienced this blogging success from a quiet village in Thailand. You cannot beat that.
Focus on Wins to See More Wins
I see more wins because I focus on my wins all day long.
Where your attention and energy goes, grows. Give your attention to your wins and you keep winning daily.
See the positive in all you do online and offline. Be a success spotter. Use your mind power to project more blogging wins in your experience every single day.
Quick blogging growth unfolds for win-seeking bloggers. Established, pro bloggers list wins regularly to expand their success and to inspire their readers.
Again; where your attention and energy goes, grows.
Examples of Blogging Wins
Here are a few:
- wrote and published a blog post
- received one blog comment today
- saw 40,000 people visit your blog this month
- spotted your DA over 30
Every single statistic is a win if you see it as a win. Imagine building something special on every metric you see. See your success. Observe how you are sprinting toward your dreams and how your dreams sprint toward you. Feel good about your perpetual growth. Accelerate your blogging success.
Your Wins Inspire You and Your Readers
Speaking of your wins has a dual effect; you and your readers feel awesome about your blogging success.
I feel great speaking of my achievements. Makes me feel good about my blogging gig. My readers also appreciate seeing my wins because inspiration flows from my success. If I can succeed my readers can and will succeed too.
Plus you see that you are winning right now. You are successful now. Every blogger succeeds now because we all have wins to call upon to keep our success momentum building into something inspired.
Wins Come in All Shapes and Sizes
Getting 10 people to visit your blog today is a win.
Seeing $30,000 in monthly blogging profits is a win.
Buying your domain and hosting is a win. Receiving 1 more opt in is a win.
Everything is a win if you focus your mind on success. See your dreams in detail. Observe how your success nudges you toward your dreams step by step.
Check out this camel from my 2 month trip to Oman.
I am living my dreams as an island hopping pro blogger but also see my dreams expand daily into something even more spectacular. Connecting with powerful, successful folks nudges me to dream a bigger life and more inspiring experience.
I count every eBook sale as a win. Every comment on my live broadcasts is a win. Everything is a win for every blogger.
As my wins pile up my success expands. I tune into positive vibes and align with positive, inspired folks who expand my vision. Why? My focus on wins aligns me with world renowned winners.
Your Success Is Within
Everything you dream through your blog is within. Success is in consciousness.
Following proven practical tips yields zero results if you think like a failure because how you think determines your results. As within, so without, because where your attention and energy goes, grows.
Speed up your blogging success by focusing on your wins in a calm, clear, knowing, peaceful vibe.
Working hard and struggling makes zero sense because you cancel out your effort with a focus on failure and struggle.
Make things easier and easier. See your success within. Shift your focus solely to being successful. Successful ideas flow to you. Act on these ideas from a relaxed, chill vibe and see yourself succeeding. Focus on your wins. See your wins expand as you work less, play more and know success is yours.
Go Beyond Gratitude
Versus counting your blessings just program your mind to see win after win. Observe success after success to go beyond gratitude.
Being grateful accelerates your blogging success but seeing wins every day hyper accelerates the success you experience because win-spotting carries a different, higher powered energy than simply being grateful. Different ball game.
Of course I am grateful for my 3 month trip to New Zealand.
Going beyond gratitude and seeing the trip as an offline win expands my success consciousness.
Seeing myself working aka playing aka blogging in a sleepy village in Northern Thailand at 8:30 PM on a Sunday night feels like winning to me. I worked for just a few hours today. I spent hours offline and also had prime Netflix viewing today, watching an entire movie. I took a short nap and plan to hit the sack early. More winning.
I feel more successful daily and experience greater and greater success with minimal effort. What a neat side effect of counting your blogging wins daily.
Go head. List 30 of your recent blogging wins. Everything counts.
See how quickly you accelerate your blogging success.
Pro Blogging Tips: Write for a Successful Audience
I Googled “pro blogging tips” and noticed my post on page 1:
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OK; I just spent the past 5 hours relaxing in bed. We experienced a severe thunderstorm that knocked the power out.
Rather than write like mad during my time offline I took it easy. Chilling out accelerates my success because I emit a calm, cool, confident vibe. People seek calm, cool confidence. I sell more blogging courses. Readers flock to my blog. Google has been good to me too. All because I blog from a relaxed, detached, prosperity conscious vibe, enjoying my world travels. I had more fun watching frogs hop around the backyard versus slaving over the laptop during the outage; blogging is an energy game. Vibe high and succeed in vibing with a successful, prospering audience.
I am a pro blogger because I filter opportunities with a fine toothed comb and because my writing vibes with professional, top, big dawg bloggers.
My message vibes with pros because I focus on success and speak their language.
Pro Blogging Tips
You know by now; where your attention and energy goes, grows. Focus on success. Success expands. Successful people seek you out. Successes follow you. Successful bloggers:
- buy your stuff
- promote you
- endorse you
- spread your word
- inspire you to live your dreams
I attracted successful bloggers because I keep things positive. Treating my readers in an empowered light helps me sprint higher in blogging circles.
Do the same. Speak success. Blog success. Keep things positive by teaching your readers how to succeed. Inspire. Uplift. Influence from a positive energy. Succeed.
Visualize a Successful Reader
Who do you want your message to vibe with?
Upwardly mobile, successful, driven folks, of course. Driven folks begin blogging as success seekers. Success seekers always have money to:
- invest in your course
- invest in your eBook
- invest in your coaching
- invest in anything you offer
Boost your blogging income by visualizing a successful reader following your blog. You want to vibe with this crowd. No tire kickers allowed because you have no interest in connecting with folks quick to make excuses and slow to spend money.
Here I am during my 3 month trip to New Zealand.
Take your time building a clear mental image of your perfect reader. See profits not pain points. Focus on someone free to invest money in their dreams. Build a success seeking following hungry to live their dreams through your blog and premium courses.
Observe Pros in Action
Top pros who reach the peak of their niche usually focus on a successful readership to grow their profits and to live their dreams.
Do the same.
Carefully watch pro bloggers who empower and inspire their readers. Notice closely how the most prospering pros keep things positive.
Teach people to succeed. Never teach people to avoid failure; where your energy goes, grows. Avoiding failure vibes with a fear-filled, failure-ridden crowd. Teaching readers to succeed vibes with an abundant, success-seeking or already successful blogging crowd.
Well known bloggers have purchased virtually everything I offer from my premium stable of products and services. I vibe with top pros because I patiently built a vision of top pros following my blog diligently.
As within, so without.
Tips for Writing for a Successful Audience
Keep a few things in mind:
- visualize wealth moving in to your experience to vibe with successful readers
- build a mental image of your prospering, well-heeled readership
- paint a picture of your perfect, prospering reader with details like age, occupation and varied interests
- only give your attention and energy to the top bloggers in your niche and to readers who go gaga over what you do
Vibe with a wealthy readership by seeing your wealthy readership in great detail.
Check out the otherworldly views from my trip to Turkey.
Clearly see these folks and how they live their lives.
Think of it this way: if I intend to write for a multi-millionaire readership, would I lead off posts asking my readers if they were sick of being broke? Of course a multi-millionaire is the farthest thing from broke; a millionaire many times over loves my lead in to this blog post because:
- I showed off my success by sharing my Google skills; prospering folks love to know they can learn from a blogger
- I showed off my movie-worthy dream life here in Thailand; more than one millionaire blogger envies me and my globe trotting lifestyle, me being as free as a bird
Each tactic serves as millionaire bait. Successful people wish to learn blogging from successful bloggers who live their dreams.
Where Your Energy Goes Grows
Take that statement to heart; where your energy goes grows.
Give your energy to successful readers. Watch your success expand.
I enjoy following this simple, easy tip to blog inside out successfully.
Keep this concept in mind as you visualize your ideal reader and craft posts resonate with this rocking individual.
If you give your energy to pain points and struggle and underdogs, each grows in your experience. You become the pained, struggling underdog who blogs and attracts pained, struggling underdogs.
If you give your energy to success and dreams and fun and prosperity, each grows in your experience. You become a successful, prospering, fun-loving blogger who lives your dreams and attracts prospering, successful readers.
Everything is 100% on you and where you shift your focus.
The crickets are chirping in this sleepy Thailand village.
The day winds down as the night takes over.
How would it feel to be here with me right now?
Paint that mental image. Step into this life, in your mind’s eye.
Position yourself to vibe with a prospering, successful reader through your blog posts.
Accelerate your blogging success.
Blogging for Money: How to Increase Your Profits
Gordon Gekko embodied blogging for money. He said what is worth doing is worth doing for money.
Related blog posts and resources:
I agree with that idea. Not with his insider trading.
Old GG clues you in to how to boost blogging profits.
If you blog you should make money blogging because you live a worldly life.
I see monks on alms every morning here in Northern Thailand. Monks do not need money. Buddhists give to the cloth, supplying monks with food and goods. A dazzling looking wat, or temple, sits 1 minute from the house. I hear gongs each evening at 6 PM, bringing the monks to some ritual. You should hear it too; quite serene and commanding, at the same time. I love living in foreign lands.
Blogging for Money
If you live like a monk you can shun money because you shun material things and a life of leisure. If you choose a worldly life just get comfortable receiving money through your blog. Or receiving more money through your blog.
Money helped me travel to New Zealand, where I snapped this dazzling photo.
Money is a car, a home, my plane tickets to Thailand, food, movie tickets, all that good stuff.
Blogging for money simply helps you live your dreams through blogging.
Whether you made millions online or are in a different tax bracket the same tips apply to making money with your blog.
See yourself as being successful. Money flows from within. I see this more daily. I feel good about my prospering. Money flows to me. My outside world reflects my focus on success. Feel successful. See your blogging wins. Observe your blogging wins, success and profits expand beautifully.
1: Focus on Money Flowing to You Easily
Million dollar bloggers and billion dollar entrepreneurs believe clearly that money flows to them easily. I concur.
Money is an inner game. Money begins in mind. As Bob Proctor says; money is in consciousness.
Warren Buffet has been one of the richest people on earth for decades. He said he never doubted he’d be really rich. His belief became so.
See money flowing to you easily. Visualize it. I do this multiple times daily. I affirm freely. I feel money flowing to me easily and see money around me, appearing out of the ethers.
Money flows to me easily these days. Plus money making ideas flow to me easily. I execute the ideas. The results rock.
My blog post ranks on Page 1 Position 3 for “advanced blogging tips” super quickly. I just published the post a few days ago.
Click here to read the post:
Plus I noticed how I nailed down 5 positions on page 2 of Google for “pro blogging tips” the other day.
I affirmed my wealth, felt more and more money flowing to me easily and saw more money flowing to me easily.
Do this is you are a 6 figure earner looking for greater profits. Money is an inner belief.
2: Learn How to Make Money Blogging From Top Pros
Top pros teach you how to become successful, full time bloggers.
Top pros teach successful, full time bloggers how to make more and more money.
Study wealth acquisition from wealthy people who live their dreams. Acquire wealth. Simple and quite easy way to prosper freely.
This tip is how most bloggers gain wealth quickly. They focus on advice offered by prospering bloggers and follow it from an abundant, dream-focused, success conscious vibe.
Read pro blogs. Invest money in pro courses. Hire pros to coach you. Profit.
I learned from top pro Alonzo Pichardo to create content and let it do what it does. Have posture. Know you succeed, now. Know your content will carry far and wide.
I shared this success conscious view with my readers via this video, which Alonzo promoted to his Facebook Page:
Pros remind you success and prospering is your birthright. Top pros offer proven practical tips for prospering but share the most important mindset tips to align you with blogging profits. Listen to them.
3: Count Money Wins
Count every single money win you recall from the past few years. Making $1 is a money win. Making $1,000,000.00 is a money win. Money loves you. Money loves being recognized. Recognize money. See your wealth acquired.
Sit down right now. Count your clients, course sales, affiliate sales and eBook sales. Be thorough. Money loves if you love noting money you made. Where your attention and energy goes, grows.
Give your attention to money you manifested to make more money through your blog. Make more money.
4: Create on Topic and Inspire
Create on topic content to inspire your readers.
Stick to your niche. Be known in specific blogging circles.
Inspire readers to live their dreams through your:
- blog posts
- live broadcasts
always infusing your positive, can do, success conscious energy into your posts.
Me by a massive yacht during my trip to Qatar. Pretty sweet boat.
I love adding my tropics selfies to every blog post. I make sure my readers soak up my life here in this sleepy, tropical village in Northern Thailand, pausing for a few minutes during videos between advice offered. Top bloggers love my delivery because many still seek the key to freedom; I help boost their profits and free them from a successful but confining lifestyle.
I also inspire top bloggers who live their dreams vicariously through me; maybe a few even decide to up and travel as well.
As these big dawg blogging pros promote me I boost my blogging profits.
Success Is Yours by Default
You are born into success.
Success is yours by default.
Seize your heritage.
Profit through your blog.
Develop your money mindset. Your energy and focus dictate your blogging income more than anything else. Successful bloggers speak their success into existence by visualizing their good and calmly, confidently seeing their success come into form. New mind, new blog. New mind, greater blogging profits.
Go within to see a new world. Go within to change the without.
All of your blogging success is an inside game. Since you succeed by default you simply go within, see your dream life unfolding before your eyes, in your imagination, and you know it will be so.
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