This week’s highlights:
01:20 – According to Yaro, the Laptop Lifestyle is ….
01:42 – People would rather do this than work
04:40 – This is a bad motivator
06:00 – Tell us what you need help with
09:26 – Why Yaro started video blogging
10:19 – Are videos ranking in search engines?
13:03 – Adapt the Laptop Lifestyle by …
15:48 – These 2 things are important
18:57 – Why people stay longer with podcasts
25:22 – Do you need to be knowledgeable?
27:27 – The Laptop Lifestyle benchmark
30:50 – Yaro’s parting wisdom
33:33 – What my business model is about
Alright, this is James and welcome to an out and about episode of SuperFastBusiness.com. Today, I’m out of the office. I’m actually right by the sea, near the Pacific Ocean, down at Manly and I have a special guest with me, his name is Yaro Starak.
James: Welcome, Yaro.
Yaro: Hi James, thanks for having me. I feel very relaxed right now.
James: Yeah, well, I don’t know what could be more relaxed than sitting beside the Pacific Ocean and we’re eating some yoghurt, which I’ll post a picture right near this podcast. They sell the yoghurt weight, which is fascinating. I’ve taken a few people as an experiment and so far, you actually have weighed in at less than anyone I’ve ever taken.
Yaro: Proud of that.
James: And I think, my mum’s weigh in was about twice as much as mine. I think we can easily spot whose “eyes are bigger than their belly” at a place like that.
Yaro: How about your mom?
James: Well, she’s actually quite small. But to her credit, she did eat everything she ordered.
So, we’re talking about The Laptop Lifestyle today, which is one of the reasons we are out and about. The fact is, we were going to be out and about anyway and I thought it would be a good idea to bring the recorder. So, I’d be interested in hearing from you, Yaro, about your ideas around Laptop Lifestyle. What does it actually mean and how does it work?
Yaro: In my recent studies of what people want to change in their life, it’s primarily a dislike for their job; a dislike for having a job, period. So, not wanting to work at all, and then, exchanging that time that they put into their work to do one of two things, and maybe both: Traveling, because that’s a huge one, everyone wants to be somewhere else because they don’t like where they are, or/and some sort of passion that’s in their life which could be their family, could be their loved one, could be a hobby – music, it could be making money, it could be running their business. I’m pretty sure James you would choose that probably as your main passion for a lot of the time and…
James: Well, I do like starting and growing businesses, it’s definitely a passion.
Yaro: Like, you don’t want to spend eight hours playing guitar, do you?
James: Well, I’m not a very good guitar player but I could see if I was a fanatical guitar player, I could easily spend eight hours playing it, like my son. He will play until he falls asleep holding the guitar and he’s so passionate about it and it shines through in the work he’s doing with his band. And same with my daughter with her horses, she would ride two horses every day.
Yaro: So, if they didn’t have to go to school, that’s where they would choose to spend a lot of their time on.
James: But I think, you know what’s interesting, I think they will engineer their lives around their passion because they’re far less indoctrinated into the society that tells us we have to go to school then to university.
Yaro: That’s your fault.
James: It is my fault but you know, I’m very proud of what my kids have been up to. What’s your passion? Is it still inline rollerblading?
Yaro: It’s never been inline rollerblading, I think you just said a double negative right?
James: Is it inline…? Oh okay. I got pulled up before once for saying roller skating apparently…
Yaro: You know what, I’m a roller skater at heart.
James: Are you? I did, in the 70’s.
Yaro: I mean, ultimately, in the rink, that’s what skating is about to me, but it’s not you know, it’s a bit limited. We’re going round and round in circles when we could be skating up and down this lovely bike path that’s in front of us on the ocean here.
James: Well, I just consider it like a runway for guest contributors to our podcast.
Yaro: We’ll just grab people over.
James: So, yeah, we’re actually just eavesdropping. It’s fascinating what people talk about on their walk around where we are here at Manly. I’ve heard a lot of conversations and I’d have to agree, most people appear to be unhappy with their life.
Yaro: Yeah, so that is the Laptop Lifestyle. So in my case, to answer your question, I love writing and actually like writing to my blog. Ideally, if I had my dream business, which I’m working towards to be honest, it’s all that back-end stuff – all that product selling, funnel development that you have to do in the information marketing business, I want that to be a tuned machine that never needs any more tuning, which might be a bit of a pipe dream; well, at least I’ll get it to a point where it’s…
James: You want to automate it.
Yaro: Fairly automated, so that every time I do something like this or write a blog post or do a video, it goes to some people – read this, listen to this, like what I say and what I do, go back to my site and enter that machine. And some of them become customers and I make a living, but I have the luxury of just exploring my creativity just for the sake of the interest; no need to directly do it for money. Like I don’t have to do it for money. It does make me money…
James: Well generally that’s like a really horrible motive for having to do something, for the money. When I encounter a student who wants me to help them grow their business, if they’re too desperate or only interested in what they need to make their money, I know they’re not really focused on solving customer’s problems, and generally and quite often, it’s not aligned with the passion either and they hate it.
Yaro: I kind of tie that into even if we go back here, it’s the reason why… I’m not sure I want to get into this subject matter, but I think it’s the reason why we have a lot of religions in the world, is a sense of desperation. When things are really bad in your life, you do look for outside powers and when you…
James: Yeah. Well I think people want to be comforted. Feeling that there’s something out there watching over them and stuff.
Yaro: Okay, so in Australia, we have a lot of our basic needs met but we might not like what we need to do to make a living or maybe we don’t make very much money when it’s very tight, so that’s the desperation that sets in. It’s nice to have the luxury of a lack of pressure to decide what you actually want to do with your life because that can be a big decision and you don’t want to make it with a “money monkey” on your back saying “You’ve got to earn this amount!” So, to do something you don’t like…
James: It’s kind of like that saying you know, people are buying things with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t like and stuff.
James: So, alright, we’ve sort of touched on how you might make money from this Laptop Lifestyle. You might want to drive traffic to something and it’s like my site at SuperFastBusiness.com. I publish content most days and there’s a Products button on that site and the Products button leads to a problem solver, which is “Help me, my website is crap” or “I need more traffic” or “I want to learn about Internet marketing”. And they click on those things and they end up at a product, and that’s how that site works. In your case, have you considered publishing a book, if you love writing so much?
Yaro: I have. As most published authors will know, it’s not the best path to a large income.
James: Isn’t the by-product really about becoming more of an authority and getting bigger speaking gigs and higher conversions?
Yaro: Yeah, I don’t want my book to be a “lead generator” purely. Again, it’s like the motivation behind the book.
James: You want to do it as a creative artist.
Yaro: I want, I’ll write a book that touches people and I don’t need to make money from it, I don’t need to get clients from it. In fact, probably when I hit my 40’s, I will go…
James: That’s a while yet still?
Yaro: About seven years. So, I will then sit down and go “What do I actually want to write a book about?” because I don’t write fiction, I don’t write dialogue right now, I write a blog and I teach and I tell stories from my own life and other people’s lives but it’s not, you know… For me, the closest example I think I can find of the perfect execution of a book is Tim Ferriss with “The 4-hour Work Week” because that put him on the map as a super famous kind of person in his market as well as beyond his market. Bestseller status, it’s on the bookshelf, every bookshelf I go to. He doesn’t sell anything on the back of it though. You know, he makes, he has a blog and he has money.
James: Well, I think he also works in the startup world and makes investments.
Yaro: That’s how he makes his money now, yeah.
James: I’ve had the good pleasure of almost being run over by him and witnessing him smash a car into a tree.
Yaro: Oh, really? When was that?
James: It was at a military training camp we went to for a bit of fun in the United States. He’s a fun guy, I’ve got a picture of him somewhere. But, I think this is an interesting topic. A lot of people think they’re going to get rich making a book and as someone said, I don’t know, I’d love to attribute this quote, “most people think they’ve got a book in them and that’s exactly where it should stay”.
Yaro: Ouch! Ouch James! Crushing hopes and dreams.
James: I’m not talking about you Yaro, of course. I do have some fond memories of when I still had a job and I was listening to your podcasts, so you’ve been doing this audio thing for a long time.
Yaro: You know what? I started exactly like what we are doing right now.
James: Exactly, back wheel turns full circle.
Yaro: My first podcast was sitting, talking to a device like we are doing right now, sitting on the edge of the Brisbane River, talking about something to do with Internet marketing.
James: So, if you had to rate Brisbane River versus the Pacific Ocean…
Yaro: That’s not fair! It’s like comparing a bathtub to a swimming pool, you know.
James: Overseas listeners probably aren’t appreciating our extreme humor here. So, your podcasts, I remember listening to those from my office, I’d listen to them on my laptop. Do you still podcast?
Yaro: Of course I do.
James: You do, but you’ve also started video blogging now and you’ve got a Yaro.tv? Y-A-R-O.TV, I’ll do the plug for you, how’s that?
Yaro: Yes, thank you, thank you.
James: How is that? Is that courteous? And…
James: So, tell me why have you started doing videos?
Yaro: Well, you know what James, I’ve had a YouTube channel since 2007 so it doesn’t, I haven’t actually just started doing videos.
James: But you’ve, I mean, we’ve all done a few videos, and then not done them, and then started again. I actually started three years before last year when I started again in earnest. And, I think I wasn’t ready for it.
Yaro: I’ll be honest, I think this technology has gotten a lot better. Like I did a bunch of videos in 2008 when I travelled around the world. But that was with a Vado, pre-HD, so it wasn’t the… it’s a little handycam thing and it’s blurry, the audio’s not great. Now, you know your iPhone 5 does amazing quality video and you’ve got that with you wherever you go so there’s no excuse for technology, but I think personally, the reason why I’m doing more video: search engines, YouTube videos are ranking ridiculously well and you kind of get left behind, I think, in that area if you don’t..
James: So you think it’s important for business owners to pay attention to?
Yaro: I think that, and I think especially if you’re a personal branding person, so you are the brand. There’s a connection that you can only get with visual.
James: I see. I mean, I remember watching your stand-up desk video. And I went out and bought one because it was just that final trigger.
James: It’s sort of like you get punished if you buy something from Ikea because then you have to spend a week assembling it, unless you’ve got kids. My daughter can assemble anything from Ikea, luckily. Now I’ve managed to find the stand-up desk of all stand-up desks. It had a stainless steel top which I use as a whiteboard.
Yaro: Ready-built too, isn’t it?
James: Pre-built and it was the last of the line and it was on floor clearance. So I literally picked it up, put it in my car and it was half-priced.
James: It was like the ultimate.
Yaro: And you can see a video of that stand-up desk on Yaro.tv. Actually some more plug ins here.
James: There you go. You can see what I’ve got written, did we catch a script of…
Yaro: I did…I did a B roll.
James: B roll of what’s written on my stand up desk I’m sure. In fact, I would say that.. Well, the graphic though has been responsible for me making a lot of money.
Yaro: Ah, an Easter egg hint there?
James: A little Easter egg hint. You can’t buy that sort of curiosity, Yaro. So, you’ve got the audios you’re doing, you’ve got videos and you still blog regularly at your blog which is called…
Yaro: Entrepreneurs-Journey. But I tell people to Google “Yaro,” that’s a much easier way to find it. Y-A… James can spell it.
James: I can’t spell it and it’s hyphenated.
Yaro: Y-A-R-O. I’m Madonna, Oprah, Rihanna, whatever you want, I’m Yaro.
James: Getting down with Yaro. So, before soon we’ll be busting out a few beats. What sort of tips have you got for someone who is in a job, listening to this, thinking, “Ok, Yaro, you sound pretty famous, and you get to travel and…”
Yaro: …sound famous?
James: Well, you just said you’re like… Rihanna.
James: Ok, so this is your own positioning here, this is your own fault. Look at that paddle board, isn’t that amazing?
Yaro: Yeah, great for an audio content, isn’t it?
James: It is, yeah.
Yaro: Look at that amazing paddle board.
James: Amazing, yeah… but the thing is, we’re reaching people who can’t watch a video or read something right now. Probably they’re walking the dog or walking on the beach. That’s the cool thing about audio.
Yaro: I hope you’re doing that right now.
James: Yes. So, what can people do to start getting into this Laptop Lifestyle? From your point of view, you’ve got some ideas people can implement?
Yaro: No. Not really. You haven’t had that answer.
James: I was kind of expecting…It is the Holy Grail question.
Yaro: It is. Everyone answers it differently. I know James you would have talked about this countless times. But I really think, making the intention and action – that intention is obviously step one.
James: So it might be building up enough dissatisfaction with what they’re doing that they take action.
Yaro: You know.. I had a chat with a female friend of mine on Facebook last night. She’s young. She’s 23. She’s in the world of fashion. She’s got a Creative Industries in Fashion degree and she’s working in fashion retail for most of her adult life and she’s struggling with her own label. She’s nowhere close to making a living from her own label, which would be be what she really wants to do and she’s sort of realizing that maybe, that’s a pipe dream. What do we even talk about that?
She was coming to me saying, she writes a blog, she writes a fashion blog and she has a minor in Journalism, she’s got some background there, too. So, because people make money with a fashion blog. There are people out there living and probably then some author a fashion blog. And I was saying to her, she asked me this question, “Yaro, do you think I can make a living from a fashion blog?” And my answer to that question was, “Maybe,” to be absolutely honest. I said, “Do you have the work ethic and the intention to do it?” Because you can get excited and tell people, yes, you work everyday, write blog posts everyday, go out there and tell people about your work.
James: You got to put in a coffee shop somewhere. Got to be doing it from a coffee shop.
Yaro: Well, if it is a Laptop Lifestyle, yes, certainly. Coffee shop by the beach. You know, whatever. Stand-up desk is really good.
James: It’s funny because I don’t think I’ve worked from a coffee shop often at all in the last eight years. I’ve almost always worked from home, and when I had a job, I worked on my lunch hour or whatever on my laptop, but I do work from airport lounges, hotels, you know, a little less glamorous than the coffee shops but I’ve got to get out a little bit more maybe.
Yaro: Maybe. Yeah, it helps if you got a family. So, you know…
James: Yeah, I’ve had other things going on. But, so, this girl, what’s she going to do?
Yaro: Ah, to be honest I don’t know what she’s going to do. I’m always skeptical with people who haven’t shown the work ethic in prior aspects of their life. Whether, you know, just saying “go do this” and they’ll go do it because it’s a consistency thing. If you don’t have consistency…
James: Well, I remember when I was reading about hiring that people tend to repeat what they’ve done in the past. It was like 80 something percent of the time, 82, I’ll just make something up, 82%. But maybe it was 78. Anyway it was a high amount, enough for me to pay a lot of attention to historical behavior, so that’s a good indicator. So, listener, you can think about what have you done in the past that could give you the confidence that you could do this. Let’s talk some deliverables here. I mean, how often would you open up your computer and type stuff?
Yaro: As in blog content or in general? Because obviously everyday, we’re doing the tweets and…
James: Well you’re a dichotomy of content. You like writing, but you do audios and videos. You see, I don’t like writing.
Yaro: I love writing.
James: I do not write. If I’m typing something, nine times out of ten, it’s coming out of our email. That’s where I can’t really escape it, also, there are a lot of times they have come from me dictating it into the Mac app, so the majority of my written content is the transcription of an audio or a video. Someone will be transcribing this audio and saving me from having to think about it and typing it.
Yaro: Sure. I will not sound nearly as succinct on this audio as I will when I write content.
James: So, are you one of those, you draft it and then you edit and edit, which is recommended by some other people, like Ed Dale? He says, do you first run unfiltered and then go back and clean it up?
Yaro: Ah, I’m kind of that way. I’m not… It’s blogging, so I’m not getting, you know it’s not like one-time only, it’s one article. I publish many a year, so I will sit down at a cafe shop. I’ll open my laptop. I can write a thousand words in half an hour to an hour, depending on the subject; so, you know, a two-hour session, you’ll finish a fairly solid blog article. And I will read it once before I publish it and i’ll go in and add the links, add pictures, add video, whatever it is that needs to go with it. Quick publish, and currently I do that once a week to maintain a dialogue with my audience and to my newsletter as well, so that people, you know, will get something.
James: I tend to, if I do, when I do actually write a post, which is pretty rare, I usually publish and then I go back and edit it several times. Just like, when I go to the history, it’s like 20 different versions. I go wait for the emails to come back. “Oh, you got a typo…” I’m more of a ready, fire, aim. That is interesting, once a week; now I think you’re ahead of your time, Yaro, because you were doing epic blog posts before there was a famous post about epic blog posts.
Yaro: True. I never liked short. I mean, I can do short, but I don’t know. Every topic is in depth, it’s like us talking for five minutes, two minutes. It’s probably why I actually kind of struggled with video sometimes because two minutes is supposed to be the attention span for the average video watcher. I’m like, what can… you can’t teach much in two minutes.
James: Well, you can put in some B rolls and extend it a little, stretch it a bit.
Yaro: A little bit, but we’re not talking an hour; that’s what I like about a podcast interview. I’ve always done an hour-long podcast interview which is…
James: I think people hang longer with audios. I have a very popular podcast called ThinkActGet.com and we’re up to I think 15 or 16 episodes…
Yaro: With your buddy, right?
James: With Ezra. Ezra Firestone who’s hilarious. Who can, he ate 27 bananas.
Yaro: That’s quite the fame, eh?
James: I found that out. We talked about that level of stuff on that show. But I’ve noticed the statistics. People listen to that thing and it’s a 42-minute episode. Generally, 40-something minutes. We have over 3,000 people listen to that, it’s a new podcast and it’s been bouncing on number one on the business iTunes in Australia for the last few weeks. And people will stay with an audio.
But when I look at the video, in Wistia or YouTube analytics, there’s a dramatic tail-off. Even my training content, where people will have the huge return on investment, after that first 15-20 minutes, they’re gone. A Hollywood director told me, never make any video more than 12 minutes, which is great since that’s a Canon’s limit.
Yaro: That’s true. Yeah, it’s a good point but you know i think the main reason that is, is most people take their audio content on the run and they don’t take their video content on the car.
James: Agree. They filtered out other things. They can listen to it in their car, they can listen to it when they’re walking, in fact I know people who time their walks, in fact yesterday I was…I spat some coffee out on my keyboard. I was reading a post in my forum, SuperFastBusiness, and Dave had gone out to get some milk and he forgot his wallet.
He had that horrible “Oh sh–” moment when he’s at the checkout and he didn’t have his wallet. But he was OK because he was able to call his wife. And while his wife was coming, he tucked into a few episodes of ThinkActGet and FreedomOcean and by the time she got there, he had his fill of podcasts. So, you know, podcasts are great little in-between things you can do, when you’re in transit or travelling. I listen to a few podcasts and you get sort of addicted to them.
Yaro: I almost feel now if there’s a period of time where I’m travelling without something in my ears, I feel like I’m…
James: You’re wasting?
Yaro: Like I’m insufficient and I can’t be right now.
James: I still have that Brian Tracy where “your car is a mobile university” or whatever.
Yaro: Yeah. I do think, like, there’s people who are richer than me right now and they’re richer because they listen to more stuff using the time that I do.
James: But I also, you know, we were joking about this before, I…I have..
Yaro: Rich Schefren, here we go.
James: Yeah that’s it. I …you know, there is this famous video with Rich Schefren with oxygen shoved up his nostrils on a treadmill, screaming through Kindles that he’s fed into there by ripping the spines off. And I think, “Huh?” You know like..
Yaro: You’re jealous, James. I think that you…
James: I’m not jealous, no, I would rather sit…
Yaro: You had an oxygen high?
James: I just… life is my high, Yaro. But I like to just sit there in a leather chair and just quietly read a book slowly, without an oxygen or a treadmill. I think to digest content peacefully is one of the great pleasures.
Yaro: I skate, as we mentioned before.
James: That’s inline skating?
Yaro: I do rollerblade outside because rollerskating outside is kind of hard. That’s my cardio and I take, that’s when I do my podcast, where I do music.
James: Do you wear Lycra?
Yaro: I try to wear Lycra. I have no helmets or knee pads or wrist guards. I’m trying to..
James: Leaning on the edge.
Yaro: It’s amazing, you walk down the street with a skateboard under your arm and you’re cool. You put a pair of rollerblades on your feet, you’re a nerd. It’s not fair. It’s what it is, it’s discrimination. But, anyway, I do exercise like Rich does, while I listen to audio content. And I listen to it at two to three times speed. So if you’re doing that with us right now, you know, I applaud you, that’s a great way to go through all the rambling that James does in his audios and…
James: Just useless information.
Yaro: Yeah, so, I’ve got my little app on my HTC phone and I use Audible for audio books. I’m actually going through Brian Tracy’s, what is it, “Eat that Frog” one, right now for the first time.
James: My favorite was “The Psychology of Selling” by Brian Tracy. I listened to that a hundred times when I was a salesperson and I would say that was the biggest influence in my early sales career up there with “Spin Selling.” So the audio tape’s on full cycle, and the “Spin Selling” book dog-eared. Those two things got me extreme success in selling.
Yaro: But not on the treadmill, right?
James: Not on the treadmill, no. In fact, I lost about seven kilos in my first month selling cars because I was running up and down the ramp to the up and down carpark. And I’d work without any days off.
Yaro: Missing a few meals in there?
James: My boss was a hard a**. He didn’t want to give me a day off for the birth of my son.
James: And I was 24 and I worked so hard I thought I was going to die. So I do appreciate those moments of solitude and just kicking back because I feel like I found the edge and I was lucky I didn’t cross over it – the working edge.
Yaro: I don’t know how necessary it is to have read every single book in existence, which I think is not the goal for a person like Rich, but I do notice there’s some uber successful people who are extremely well read, like I remember hearing DeMartini, Doc DeMartini? He’s read 400 thousand books, claim. I don’t know how real that is, but..
James: I think the average CEO in America reads 50 books a year, once a week.
Yaro: One a week, which is slow if you go by Rich Schefren.
James: So that’s fast by, I’d say…
Yaro: That’s fast by my standards.
James: No, no, by the adult population. I read some stats, some statistics…
Yaro: One a year?
James: No, no, after school, people just don’t read a book after that. They read … you know, the Sunday paper with the horse racing. So I think if you read any business books here in this massive minority and if you read a few… I mean I read a lot. I’ve, like, my iPad’s jammed up with Kindles to the limit. I’ve got at least a thousand books in my bookshelf, which I’ve read slowly. I read all the words out loud, but I do seem to absorb it and as part of my role as facilitating a mastermind, I have to be knowledgeable.
Yaro: You do.
James: How important is it for someone who’s going to be a Laptop Lifestyle person to be able to be knowledgeable about their craft? Seems to me, there’s a few people out there suggesting that anyone can be an expert, they just have to publish that.
Yaro: Who says that?
James: I’m not going to name names. It’s not important. But the important thing is the question. Do you need to be knowledgeable to be able to make money from a blog?
Yaro: Well, knowledgeable is pretty subjective isn’t it? As I was selling, you’d know more than another person does. So yeah, everyone’s knowledgeable. Whether it’s mandatory, I don’t think it’s mandatory. We have to define value.
James: Maybe it depends on the role. If you’re going to be a reporter, then you don’t really need to know about the subject.
Yaro: Well look at the biggest blogs in the world. I know, I think The Verge right now is certainly up there in the possible top 10, certainly in Tech, or any of the Mashable, TechCrunch, Boing Boing, all the biggest blogs which are mostly magazine-form Apple blogs so multiple authors, 10 to 20 to 30 authors a day, bite-sized content, certainly not epic content like we’re talking about. Those articles, it’s journalism. It’s going out there, reporting…
James: Funny stories.
Yaro: Yeah, and sure that’s knowledge. That thing, those journalists know more than the person, that’s why a person comes to those blogs.
James: So, that’s interesting, the 30 to 50 posts per day, because some people would say, “Oh, how much content should I put out?” You know, is one a day too many? Because their readers can’t keep up with it. In my case, a lot of my subscribers have got my emails in their inbox but they don’t necessarily go and look at it that day, because one a day is quite a lot compared to other people in my industry.
Yaro: I really think timing nowadays has a lot to do with it, like those guys will do what those entitle, do 30 to 40 to 50 a day. Their corporate magazine style business is…
James: Like Huffington Post.
Yaro: Yeah, they employ people full time. They…
James: Is that the business model you think is the pinnacle?
Yaro: That is not a Laptop Lifestyle.
Yaro: Because the journalist is working full-time hours in the office.
James: So what’s your Laptop Lifestyle pinnacle?
Yaro: Well, I think…
James: What’s the benchmark?
Yaro: What I love right now – and this is the way I’m going forward, I will teach everyone to do this – is do find something that you want to be knowledgeable about, and maybe you already are because you sit there and you play the guitar for eight hours a day…
James: This is like your friend, Alborz
Yaro: Yeah, but that one’s gone towards the magazine model as it made sense for him to do that.
James: Did he have a crossover between your style and that style? it was always trying to be that?
Yaro: It’s not a teaching blog, it’s a news blog.
James: So, you think a teaching blog is good for…
Yaro: I think for an individual, a teaching blog is definitely more realistic to make a full-time living from than a news blog, because a news blog, by definition, needs to have everyday current news, which is probably more than one post a day if you want to compete nowadays. So, that’s when you have either a fanatic – one guy who is spending 12 hours a day scouring the web, summarizing the news and reposting 10 to 12 posts a day, which is, it’s a model, it works.
James: Well, my own course OwnTheRacecourse is more or less a news blogging thing but I’d say there’s a blend of education…
Yaro: Speaking of racecourses, there’s –
James: Ah, there’s a beautiful little puppy. It’s a greyhound, yeah.
Yaro: Greyhound, greyhound racing.
James: So, in fact, I think that’s a whippet, just quietly. Looks very similar to a greyhound.
Yaro: Okay, I wouldn’t know; I’m a cat person so…
James: I’m a dog person. That’s a whippet. So, interesting though, if you’re reading more dog blogs, you’d know what’s the difference.
Yaro: Yeah, if I was a dog fanatic, that’s a perfect niche for a Laptop Lifestyle.
James: Well, one of our associates out there gets three hundred thousand views a month to his dog blog and it’s getting some serious traction.
Yaro: I hope they’re making some full-time income from that.
James: Well, they’re doing that transition where they get key sponsors and stuff so if you get enough eyeballs, you’ve got options, right?
Yaro: With three hundred thousand, yeah we’d hope we have…
James: So, we’ve made a really important distinction here about deciding what type of blog you want. So, I’ve ended up with a blog that’s educational. Like this is, obviously, just amazing educational content we’re covering here. And then, I have news elements where I update customers from my services of what’s new and what’s changed and I put out generally one news piece per week for each category and…
Yaro: I bet you teach in every single piece of news.
James: Pretty much, yeah. Edu-tainment or teaching in the news.
Yaro: So, that was a tip. Yeah, well that’s news, that’s teaching. That’s not a news blog, it’s a teaching blog. You might attach news to it but that’s still teaching.
James: Well, the thing that’s sexy about the news is that it implies people keep going to come back…
Yaro: And it’s new. That all powerful word “new” is in use.
James: New, so sixty-five percent of my visitors come back on my site. It’s got an audience. And “new” is one of the best words to use in a headline, right?
Yaro: Yeah, definitely better than “old.”
James: And “How To.” I have a lot of how-to posts. Like, if you searched “How To” on my blog, it will pull up the bulk of them. I take a real problem or a real challenge that someone’s having and stick “How To” in front of it and answer it with a video. There’s another tip. Well, the sun’s coming down and it’s starting to cool off a bit so I think we’re going to wrap up soon.
Give us some final parting wisdom that makes people remember this podcast, Yaro; what’s important to remember? You noticed we haven’t talked about what kind of specs you need for your laptop because I think a lot of people get confused about all the stuff that doesn’t really matter.
Yaro: Well, if you happen to be an Apple blog writer then you might care about that stuff but..
James: Yeah, if that’s your topic.
Yaro: Yeah, you would…
James: Are you an Apple or a PC guy, Yaro?
Yaro: Well I’m a bit of a walking contradiction. I use an Apple, I’ve got an HTC phone at the moment, I’ll probably get an iPhone next. I sit on the fence, that’s what I do; whatever I find that is solving my problems best then… I mean Apple has done such a better job at creating a stable operating environment than PC has, how could you not go with Apple? But I’ve got my coding friends, they would never go with Apple. They do their C and C Sharp and PHP and all that stuff and they use their PCs.
James: I don’t know what you’re talking about with all that stuff.
Yaro: Yeah, well, see there you go. Wait, no, that’s not my words of parting wisdom.
James: Well, there you go. I want to thank you for putting out that content you did seven or eight years ago when I was starting out online and you were starting out.
Yaro: What stuck with you back then James? You remember a certain interview or a certain piece of advice?
James: I think I remember you talking about you had a writing business of some sort.
Yaro: Proofreading, back then.
James: Proofreading, and that you interviewed people and you had little audio widgets on your site that you could play and interact with and sort of leave comments.
Yaro: Yeah I did.
James: And you had long posts and you had long hair. You had big hair, you were a big hair guy. But you had a very personal brand, so I remember it. I remember my key influence but I do credit you with the “Pillar” post which is the pre-epic post name for that.
Yaro: That’s right, my claim to fame – the Pillar article or Pillar content.
James: And I’m really paying attention to which pages on my site convert the best and then I make sure that I closely follow those topics for follow-ups or do multi-parts and now…
Yaro: With OfficeAutoPilot now, right? You’re doing some stuff with that?
James: I do some cool stuff with that but I’m putting feature banners on my site for like the Three Profit Tips and I’ll get the three Profit videos I did and make a feature page that leads to those three pages, and then I put a banner leading to that summary page. So, a reader will see that on the front of my site, click into the 3-part series without having to opt in, and then they can follow each of those three videos. So I’m looking at increasing page views and retention and giving more value upfront. My whole business model is massive value for free, with my blog and podcasts and videos, and then they move to recurring solutions with services and info products.
Yaro: Business model 101, right?
James: Business model 101.
Yaro: On that point, you did bring up something that I wanted to test and some of my friends have been doing great things with was basically micro reports with opt-in boxes, actually. So, blog content, article, and here’s the action checklist you can download to follow through with what I just taught you with this blog post. Enter your name, enter your email, and I’ll send you or I’ll give you the report right now.
James: It’s a great idea. A friend of mine, Dan Norris, has put out a piece on content optimization lately. He has a site called Inform.ly (Inform dot L-Y), and he’s introduced his own idea of having the most relevant opt-in related specifically to what is on that page. So different opt-ins all over your site that are hyper targeted. It does make sense.
Yaro: It does. I can imagine my blog will be one giant opt-in for every micro article I write which probably would quadruple my opt-ins from the list.
James: If you did that, if you made your opt-in targeted to that post, if you had a post dedicated to Apple laptops, and then your opt-in is, “Find out the three ways I optimize my Apple laptop” –
Yaro: It’s like a two-page report you could give away.
James: We could do it with one extra email, one email that, you know with OfficeAutoPilot which we both use, you could have that tag “laptop,” and when it comes in, it would say, “Oh, ‘laptop’ – I’ll send this sequence.” And I’ve just done this for a customer; I’m recognizing if they’ve been there before or not and sending a different follow-up as the first message. It’s so cool. So I think that’s a great tip.
Yaro: I think I’m definitely… I’m building a funnel but when I return back to Front End Marketing, I will definitely, I want to up the leads.
James: Bottom line, folks, is that whatever you’re doing now with your opt-ins, you can probably double or quadruple it, and I did that – just a little yellow thing that flies up when you scroll down on my site, is a lead machine. It just puts it into hyperspace, on the basis that someone is engaged enough to scroll down. Now it’s a good time to show them the opt-in. So it’s a behavioral trigger thing. It’s called…
Yaro: Form of pop-up.
James: Scroll-trigger box.
Yaro: Yup, like so many of those keep coming and going.
James: Well, Yaro, it’s great to catch up. Thank you for coming along and hopefully we’ll catch up again soon.
Yaro: Thanks for having me.
James: Come and visit me at Manly and have another yoghurt.
Yaro: Ah. I like the yoghurt. It didn’t taste like the yoghurt but it was great. But thank you for having me, James.
James: My pleasure and the whole of Manly, thank you.
Yaro: Thank you, Manly.
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