How to Start with Paid Advertising

I’ve never run a paid advertisement for my own products. Why? Well, simply because I’ve never had any products of my own to sell. One of my goals for 2017 is to shift the higher percentage of income coming from affiliate marketing (selling the products of others for a commission) to earnings generated from my own stuff. The primary driver for that shift will be my online courses. I’ve launched a couple of online courses this year already, and with the reopening of those courses over the span of the next few months, it’s about time I finally add some fuel to the furnace and pay for advertisements, something many successful entrepreneurs say they wish they had done sooner. I’ve run ads for non-product things before, such as boosted posts on Facebook, or ads to increase the number of fans on my business page, but I’ve never run ads as […]

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SPI 263: Laddering Up: How to Build a 7-Figure Business by Building a $7K per Month Business

Clay Collins of LeadPages returns to the Smart Passive Income Podcast for another incredible, value-packed (and potentially record-breaking) episode. This time, Clay is dropping serious knowledge on building a seven-figure business, step by step. [Full Disclosure: FYI, I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for LeadPages.] During his time as CEO and co-founder of LeadPages, Clay has watched his business grow from a humble blog to a seven-figure company with a sprawling array of product offerings. He’s got his process for scaling a successful business down to a science, and that’s what he’s sharing here today. Clay’s got big plans for this episode: He wants to break his own record for the most downloads of an SPI Podcast episode (Episode 78). He wants to pack hundreds of dollars of value—the equivalent of an online course—into one interview. And he wants you to walk away with a framework you can implement today to turn […]

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Thanks to You, a Lifelong Dream Came True

From the bottom of my heart, thank you! You helped make a really important dream of mine come true. Ever since I started this entrepreneurial journey in 2008, I’ve always wanted to write a book, and it was my dream to one day walk into a bookstore with my kids and point it out to them. I even published a blog post back in 2012 that said the exact same thing. After Will It Fly? was self-published and launched in early 2016, something I didn’t think was possible happened: it became a Wall Street Journal bestseller. Could this self-published book also be the book that gets into bookstores? It had already surprised me once, and I was determined to see if it could do it again. Because the SPI audience played a critical role in it becoming a bestseller, I decided to call upon the loyal fans once more to […]

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10 Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW to Improve Your Online Business or Blog

Start improving your online business or blog starting today with tips from revisiting your home page and checking our site for crawl errors and more! Pat Flynn April 17, 2017 No huge intro needed for this post. Here are ten actionable items that you can do right now to improve your online business or blog. 1. Re-Evaluate Your Goals On a piece of paper (yes, paper), write down where you want your business or blog to be a year from now. Think about the following when doing so: Number specific items, such as: Earnings Traffic Sales Subscribers/followers Non-number specific items, such as: Authority Design Happiness Lifestyle So often we get stuck in the routine of just doing things that we forget exactly why we’re do what we’re doing. Re-evaluating your goals will give you the boost of energy you need to get things done, and possibly even help you realize that you […]

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Physical Product Experiment [PPE #2] – Validation and Feedback

Welcome to the second edition of the Physical Product Experiment! In this series, I will be exploring and experimenting my way through a brand new realm for me: a physical product. In case you missed the first Physical Product Experiment [PPE #1] post, you can check that out here. To help ease you into this second post, I want to share a quick recap on what it is I am experimenting with, why I am doing it, and what it means for you! But before I do that, I want to thank those who’ve already signed up to be a part of the initial feedback group for this physical product. You will, with the help of the productivity calendar, be writing the first draft of a book in ninety days. That’s awesome, and I’m so excited to see what you’ll write. Remember this: You are the glue that holds this […]

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SPI 261: SEO Self-Audit Checklist – An Interview with My Recent SEO Hire

Does staying on top of your site’s SEO ever feel overwhelming? Does keeping up with Google’s ever-evolving search ranking preferences have you scratching your head? Then you’ll love today’s guest. VuduMarketing.com‘s Sam McRoberts is here to share his tips, tricks, and favorite tools for optimizing search engine rankings. Sam headed up the most recent SEO audit of SmartPassiveIncome.com—an experience that revealed so much about what’s working and what I can still improve. Today, you’ll hear Sam’s straightforward, uncomplicated account of what we discovered in the SEO audit. You’ll learn how he analyzes a website for SEO issues, what Google looks for when ranking your page, and simple steps you can take today to improve your site’s ranking. This is a seriously actionable, value-packed episode for all you online business owners out there, and I’m so thrilled to share it with you. Join Sam and me as we dive into the Smart Passive […]

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SPI 260: Undergoing a Website Overhaul with Rocket Code

At this time last year, SmartPassiveIncome.com got a serious facelift. With the help of the amazing team over at RocketCode.io, we revamped the website to make it faster, sleeker, and more searchable, all in pursuit of providing you guys with the best experience possible. In today’s episode, you’ll meet two of the people who made this website overhaul possible: my Design Director, Dustin Tevis, and Project Manager, Corey Hivner. Dusty and Corey are seasoned experts at crafting websites that both function well and look amazing. That’s no easy feat, either—building a great website requires a big-picture understanding of both design and engineering. That’s why I’ve invited them on the show today: to talk through what a successful website redesign process looks like. In this episode, you’ll hear Dusty and Corey’s advice for identifying your redesign goals, communicating with designers and developers, managing feedback, and avoiding common pitfalls. You’ll also learn their favorite tools for communicating during a design process, plus […]

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Website Redesign—One Year Later (Critical Lessons Learned)

It’s been a year since the latest major redesign of the Smart Passive Income blog, and I wanted to give you an over-the-shoulder look at what has happened since, including all the great things and the not-so-great things. I also want to highlight some of the latest features and updates we’ve added based on what we learned. Let’s do this! The design before the recent update wasn’t terrible. In fact, it was great! We actually converted the custom theme into a distributable WordPress theme that hundreds of people have since downloaded and are now using for their own website. It’s called the SPI Pro Theme, and you can check it out here on StudioPress. It was the number one downloaded theme for a couple of months after it was released, which is awesome! [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] The older site worked […]

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SEO in 2017: Proven Content Ideas That Attract Backlinks

In this guest post, Glen Allsopp explores SEO in 2017, offering up in-depth content strategy ideas to help you attract backlinks to your site. Pat Flynn March 27, 2017 This is a guest post from Glen Allsopp from Gaps.com, who (fun fact) was featured in SPI Podcast Session #3 from over six years ago! He was one of the first in the world of SEO to really inspire me back in the day, and someone, although quite a bit younger than me, I very much look up to. He’s been diving even more into the world of SEO since 2010, which is why I wanted him to share a guest post about what’s working today. Take it away Glen! I’ve been actively involved in the SEO world for eleven years now, and if there’s one thing that has kept me so interested in the topic it’s the ever-changing landscape of […]

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SPI 258: The Productivity Project with Chris Bailey

Productivity Month continues this week with even more tips and strategies for making the most of your day. Joining me today is expert Chris Bailey, author of The Productivity Project, with some incredible research that just might change how you think about productivity. Lots of us measure our productivity by how much we produce or create in a day, whether it’s answering 100 emails or writing 5,000 words. Chris, however, thinks differently. His research challenges that idea and reveals that true productivity is less about our output than the scale of our accomplishments. Sound intriguing? Then you’ll want to hear the rest of Chris’s insights into the real nature of productivity, the habits he’s adopted in his own life, and mindset shifts he recommends for anyone hoping to do more with their waking hours. Like any entrepreneur, I’m always working to become the most productive person I can be, and one of the best ways I […]

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Productivity and Frameworks with Mike Vardy from Productivityist

Productivity Month is in full swing at Smart Passive Income, and who better to join this episode than Productivityist.com‘s Mike Vardy? Mike’s a master of productivity and frameworks for getting it all done, and he’s here with an awesome collection of tips and strategies for overhauling your efficiency. For Mike, productivity means “marrying your intentions with the right amount of attention.” It’s an approach that allows him to make serious headway on his business goals while pursuing his own passion projects and spending quality time with his family. If that sounds like your idea of time well spent, you’ll definitely want to hear what Mike has to say! In this episode, you’ll hear Mike’s most recommended tips for scheduling your time, organizing your commitments, boosting your output, and planning for the future. You’ll also hear his approach to dealing with inevitable distractions and curve balls, plus common efficiency pitfalls and time-wasters. Optimizing your […]

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SPI 255: Deep Work with Cal Newport

March is Productivity Month here at Smart Passive Income, and I’m kicking it off with a very special interview with Cal Newport, author of the game-changing productivity book, Deep Work. Cal caught on to the radical applications of “deep work” when he noticed how a particular approach to focus was transforming his productivity. Deep work, as Cal defines it, involves focusing intensely on cognitively demanding tasks. It’s transformed both his workday output and his life at home, and he’s joined me today to explain how. In this episode, Cal explains the practice of deep work, reveals strategies for building your deep work skills, and shares more of his favorite tactics for maximizing productivity. His approach builds on the ideas explored in some of my favorite productivity manuals, like The One Thing, and opens up a fascinating new frontier of ideas on how to get the most out of our workdays. As a parent with big […]

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My January 2017 Monthly Income Report

Welcome to the first Income Report of 2017! Here, I’ll be detailing line items from January 2017, including income sources and expenses. As always, I’ll also be sharing what’s been going on internally and what the plans are in the coming months. If you’d like to get a record of all Monthly Income Reports dating back to October 2008, you can find them right here. Thanks again, as always, for your support. Now, let’s get started. Important Goings-On in January As with most people, I had a newly found energy and a ton of excitement as the calendar started fresh again. I was a little worried because my family and I had just returned from an Australian Christmas vacation, and usually when I come back from long trips I get jet lagged and don’t want to work for a while. This time, however, I recovered very quickly, and on day […]

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SPI 251: (In the Middle) Launching a New Course with New Entrepreneur, Sarah Argenal

I’d like you to meet Sarah Argenal, the creator of Working Parent Resource. Sarah knows all about balancing raising a family with pursuing your career, and she’s in the midst of creating and launching an online course to help working parents like herself. I’ve have the pleasure of getting to know and mentor Sarah through a series of “accountability calls” as she builds her online course, and today, we’re going to check in on her progress. Sarah’s worked hard to validate, build, and promote her course. She’s grown her email list, surveyed her prospective customers, and created valuable course content—all while balancing a full-time job. In today’s call, she and I will walk through what’s working and what can still be improved. I’ll share my advice for tweaking her messaging, attracting future students, and taking her course to the next level. This episode is a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on an entrepreneur mid-process. Join Sarah and me for […]

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3 Tiny Shifts That Made a Huge Difference in My Business

In this post, I walk you through three tiny changes that made a huge impact on my business. Pat Flynn January 23, 2017 In one of my all-time favorite books, The One Thing [affiliate link – I make a commission if you buy], authors Gary Kellar and Jay Papasan describe the domino effect, which is what happens when you focus on the small task or project you should be doing that’ll have the biggest impact on everything else that happens ahead of it. Because a domino can knock over another one that’s 1.5x its size, the effect is massive over a relatively short period of time. If you started with a two-inch domino, for example, the one seventy-three dominoes later would reach from the earth to the moon! In my experience, sometimes it’s the smallest tweaks or shifts that can make the most dramatic difference in my business over time. Here are […]

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SPI 248: The Art of Giving Gifts with John Ruhlin

When it comes to gift-giving, are you still abiding by the age-old saying, “It’s the thought that counts”? Today’s guest is about to prove you wrong in the best way possible. Joining me for this episode is professional giver John Ruhlin, who’s built a career out of helping others give better gifts. John is the founder of Ruhlin Group, a “gift strategy” firm that teaches clients how to ditch the fruit basket and build lasting business relationships through generosity. John is also the author of Giftology, a handbook packed with strategies for becoming a better gift-giver. His radical generosity has transformed his career and business relationships. Today, he’ll tell you how. I’m floored by John’s skill for giving meaningful, memorable gifts. It’s a superpower more of us entrepreneurs need and a powerful way to foster real connection in your industry. If you’re curious how John gives unforgettable gifts without breaking the bank, listen in—you won’t be […]

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My December 2016 Monthly Income Report

I always get excited at the end of each year, not only because Christmas is my favorite time of year (and my birthday happens to land in December), but because I get to reflect on the lessons learned and examine the numbers to see what’s been working, and what I can improve. We shouldn’t have to wait until the end of the year to reflect on these kinds of things, but we can’t help it because the calendar year neatly wraps up the past, and helps us imagine the future. So for today, I’m excited to dive into last month’s earnings and progress report, and how I’m setting myself up for success in 2017. Let’s get to it! Goings On in December As you may remember from my November Income Report, I went into December sick as a dog. It was a rough start to the month after getting food […]

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Looking Ahead and Goals for 2017

2016 is almost over, and what a year it has been! Before I get to my 2017 goals, let’s look at some of the major highlights from this year: Will It Fly? was self-published and became a Wall Street Journal bestseller. The SPI blog was completely redesigned from the ground up. The SPI Podcast surpassed 30,000,000 total downloads! I launched a beta version of my first course, Smart From Scratch, which sold to 100+ students. Gross annual revenue across all of my online businesses surpassed $1 million for the first time ever! There were also some major personal highlights, including: April and I celebrated our seven-year wedding anniversary! Our youngest child started preschool, which means three days a week both kids are in school at the same time. I finally started working with a nutritionist and began meal prepping. We started making moves toward purchasing our first investment rental property. […]

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SPI 244: Bootstrapping a Startup with Nathan Barry from ConvertKit

Nathan Barry is back, and in this episode, he’s giving you a look under the hood at his own email marketing company, ConvertKit. If you’ve ever wondered how to bootstrap a business, this is the episode for you. Nathan has built and grown ConvertKit using customer funding and money from his own pocket—and that’s all. He’s here today to reveal how he did it, and what you should expect when bootstrapping a business of your own. You’ll learn how he structures his business, how it’s grown, where it’s headed, who gets paid when, and lots, lots more. As an advisor and current customer of ConvertKit, I’ve watched Nathan accomplish amazing things with his business. Don’t miss this story—you just might hear a few things that’ll inspire your own business growth, too! Thanks for Listening! Thanks so much for joining me again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section […]

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SPI 241: My Top 10 Most-Used Apps in 2016

Every successful online entrepreneur needs the right toolkit. That’s why I’ve asked my good friend Chris Ducker on the show today to talk through a few of our favorite tools—namely, our most-used business and productivity apps of the past year! Working alone or with a small team often means wearing several hats: social media manager, podcast producer, webmaster, and more. Having the right software in your arsenal can make the difference between spinning your wheels and growing your business. In today’s episode, Chris and I will give you our totally honest take on the apps we use, why we love them, and how they might be able to help you run your business. Curious about any of the software mentioned in the show? Just scroll down for links to all our recommended apps and resources. Thanks for Listening! Thanks so much for joining me again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment […]

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