Episode 315

How to Create Profitable Online Courses and Membership Sites Even After Failures Along the Way with Pete McPherson from Do You Even Blog

Learn how to create profitable online courses and membership sites even after failures along the way with Pete McPherson from Do You Even Blog in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett from LifterLMS.

How to create profitable online courses and membership sites even after failures along the way with Pete McPherson from Do You Even Blog

Pete has his website DoYouEvenBlog.com where you can find out how to create freedom with an online business. He also has a podcast and YouTube channel by the same name.

Diving into failures is something Pete emphasizes in business. Many people talk about learning from failure, but still shy away from talking about it. One big takeaway from this episode is that most people fall flat on their first product launch or their first course or membership website. But that doesn’t mean you should abandon it completely. It means you should analyze, learn, optimize, iterate, and make it better for next time.

You have to have a healthy relationship with failure, especially if you’re going to build multiple streams of income. Because you’re not just building one thing, you’re building lots of things, which just amplifies the amount of failure you have to pass through. Pete has failed with probably 30 to 40 projects in the past 3 years. The persistence he has to continue producing content and pushing through that is what has made him successful as an online content creator.

One interesting trend with online content and memberships is that there’s sort of a 90-10-1 rule where 90% of people are lurking on social media and in your membership community, not participating or asking questions, but following what’s going on. Then about 10% of people respond to posts. And 1% are actually creating new posts and asking questions.

If you want to learn more about Elementor, check out Pete’s course. It’s super popular, and when you first get into a page builder, it can be useful to have someone who can walk you through step-by-step on how to achieve what you’re looking for. And his course is a great tool to check out for that. He also has DoYouEvenBlog.com as his hub for all of his projects and content, so that’s the best place to connect with Pete.

At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes hereSubscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Chris Badgett:
You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to create, launch, and scale a high value online training program. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of LifterLMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. Stay to the end. I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.

Chris Badgett:
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest, Pete McPherson, from Do You Even Blog. Check out his website at doyouevenblog.com. He’s also got a podcast by that name and a YouTube channel. He’s a prolific content creator, course creator, and WordPress expert. We’re going to get into a lot of the nitty-gritty today. We’re actually going to start where most podcasts don’t start, which is around failure. And we’re going to dig into all kinds of… You’re going to have tons of takeaways from this one. Welcome to the show, Pete.

Pete McPherson:
Well, thank you. I like talking about failures. Of course, people know that, oh yeah, you learn from your failures, but still we try and kind of shy away from talking about it. So yeah, happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Chris Badgett:
All right. Well, Do You Even Blog podcast, I was listening to it on my morning walk this morning. I’ve been listening to podcasts for 10 years as part of my morning routine. It’s how I learn. I was listening to an episode you did with Nick Loper about why his product launch fell flat. So we’re going to talk about Nick and then we’re going to talk about your own projects that have failed.

Chris Badgett:
But if you’re listening to this in your AirBuds, after you listen to this I want you to go find the Do You Even Blog podcast and find the Nick Loper episode if you want to go deeper on what we’re going to talk about. But Nick Loper, he has his own podcast called Side Hustle Nation, I think it’s called.

Pete McPherson:
Yep.

Chris Badgett:
Why did his course project fail or his product launch fail?

Pete McPherson:
Yeah. The one minute of context is this, Nick and I were actually skiing together. I was more like falling down the mountain. Nick was actually skiing. We got to talking about, “Oh, I remember you were working on a course and a launch last year, like six months ago. How’d it go?” He was like, “Dude, not well.” He ended up making $10,000 or $15,000. I’m going to throw Nick under the bus here, $10,000 or $15,000. But his audience is pretty substantial. He was expecting a lot more. That’s good revenue, but his audience was like 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 people that he initially pitched this to, so there’s the context. Pretty big audience, smart guy too, by the way. A very loyal audience. They do meetups with him. His Facebook group is really interactive. This incredibly engaging audience, why didn’t this work?

Pete McPherson:
We were talking about this and we were brainstorming. I have two theories, and I think everybody could take something away from these. Number one was that it wasn’t sexy. I hate to use that word because it’s a little weird, but it was very valuable. It was very useful. His product had something to do with okay, I’m going from zero to side hustle. I want a side hustle. I want some side hustle income, and Nick’s product was talking about getting into some freelancing and not even really sexy, seven-figure freelancing, I’m going agency; I’m getting $7,000 gigs. It was on the more realistic side and just earning some cash there. Nobody wants that. I’m raising my hand right now like, no one wants that. We want the quick and easy cash. We want the “passive income” and stuff.

Pete McPherson:
The more we thought about it, his course was solid. Nick’s a great teacher. He’s caring. The service component was there. It was not sexy. People didn’t want it. It may have been what people needed, but people did not want it. That’s number one. Number two, I think we’re going to go deeper into this, it was his first launch. He opened up a little beta to a smaller group, and he did a few mini-launches to different segments of his audience. But in general, it was the first offer. It was the first iteration, V1, version one of this product, of this course or whatnot.

Pete McPherson:
One of our big takeaways was most people fall flat on their first product launch, their first course, their first membership, whatever it is. That doesn’t mean you should abandon it completely. It means you analyze. You learn. You optimize. You iterate. You make it better for the next time, et cetera, et cetera. Part of what we left with that episode if people go listen to it is okay, now what? What to do going forward, learn from the mistakes, yada, yada. I mean we all know this, but putting it into practice on any given day, week or month with our courses and with our products, probably pretty difficult. Those are my big two takeaways from that chat with Nick.

Chris Badgett:
That’s awesome.

Pete McPherson:
Kudos to him for letting me throw him under the bus repeatedly throughout this, by the way, but he’s a great guy.

Chris Badgett:
Yeah. It was a great episode. Check that out at the Do You Even Blog podcast. I think of that, there’s a framework I use called… Well, there’s vitamin versus pill, which is like painkiller versus vitamin is another way to say it, or solution versus suggestion, sexy versus not so sexy or whatever. I mean, I think about that as a marketer, I’m always looking for sexy. In software, as an example, if we’ve refactored the code and made this stuff more performant or cleaned up the database or whatever, that is not sexy.

Pete McPherson:
No one cares.

Chris Badgett:
Yeah. Sexy does matter. And also, the other cool thing I thought about your interview with Nick was he was already successful in other online income stuff like podcast sponsorship and whatever. So just because you’re doing one thing well doesn’t mean okay, I’m going to do this other type of online business and it’s just going to work just as well or whatever. But I do admire… You have to have a healthy relationship with failure, especially if you’re going to build multiple streams of income. Because you’re not just building one thing, you’re building lots of things, which just amplifies the amount of failure you have to pass through.

Chris Badgett:
What is your relationship with failure, Pete? And by the way, dude is prolific. What did you say, how many courses have you made?

Pete McPherson:
Probably between 30 and 40 over the past three years. I’m actually making another course. Hopefully, it’s my last one for a while, calling it quits and focusing on what’s working. But right now it’s called Content Everywhere, and it’s my course on promoting and repurposing content. So I was actually trying to add up… I’m bragging here. I’m totally bragging, Chris. I was trying to add up how many blog posts, podcasts and YouTube videos I’ve done. I lost count around 300 over the past three years. I don’t actually know what it’s like, but if I have any strengths, it’s being prolific.

Chris Badgett:
Well, what’s failed? Go ahead. You were going to say something else.

Pete McPherson:
No. I was going to jump in to your actual question, which is speak to your failures. The true answer is 90% of it. Okay. I’ll go ahead and self-promote here. I have a membership community. It’s called Online Impact. It used to be called something different, and the story I like to tell about failure that I think most people can learn from, this particular product, right now it’s a membership community. There’s some courses in there. It’s pretty standard digital product, info product business for content creators.

Pete McPherson:
Well, I actually started that three years ago, literally three months into Do You Even Blog. Three months after I started this entire business, I launched this product. I launched this course. There were, I don’t know, 700 people on the email list and it made a few thousand dollars. I think it was like $2,300 or something like that, which at the time I was like, “Hold the phone, this is awesome.” I thought it was a success.

Pete McPherson:
Then I did it again six months later, maybe three, six months later. And it made a little bit of money, like 900 bucks or something like that. There was only one or two more people to buy, and I was like, “Failure. Done. I’m quitting. That’s it. That didn’t work out, move on to the next thing.” What’s the next course? What’s the next product? What’s the next membership? What’s the next thing? I tried a bunch of different stuff. There were some other failures in there, and then I went on to the next thing. And then I went on to the next thing.

Pete McPherson:
People were telling me this the entire time, “Focus.” Entrepreneurship, online business especially, focus is critical. People say that all the time and I’m like, “Oh, you’re right. That’s great. I’ll totally do that. I need to focus.” What they didn’t tell me was what exactly that meant. Part of me is like, “Oh, I need to focus on Do You Even Blog. No other side businesses, no other side hustles or whatever.” I was doing that, and I was like, “Why aren’t my products working?” I keep launching things. I keep trying new things. Some of them make a little bit of money. Some of them don’t. What’s going on here? No one really told me there were different levels of focus.

Pete McPherson:
We mentioned Nick’s failure. That was the first time he launched his product. First time I started launching these products there were kind of mediocre results, and so it took me two and a half years. Actually, it was July 2019, so a little over a year ago at the time we were recording this I had just gone through what I would consider the worst failure. It was a product nobody wanted, nobody needed. I was charging way too little for it and it was hard to sell. It was a workshop. I called it the Affiliate Workshop, and no one wanted it. No one cared. There’s like 10 people that bought in. I made like $1,000, and this was going to eat up months of my time. It was terrible. I was freaking out.

Pete McPherson:
I was talking to my number two, Reina. I was like, “What is going on? Why does Pete stink at this? What’s happening?” We had a come to Jesus moment, forgive the expression, where I took a walk for like three and a half hours on the phone with Reina. I’m just trying to dig into what’s going on. All these failures that have been happening, why can’t I seem to make any of this work? Then I think this is a big takeaway, she asked me, she was like, “What’s the business you want to run, like your dream business?”

Pete McPherson:
In fact, at the time Avengers: Endgame I think had recently come out, and so we called it the Thanos infinity gauntlet business. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s where he snaps his fingers and he can make happen whatever he wants. Which is like if you have the Thanos infinity gauntlet and you snapped your fingers, what would your business look like, the perfect, not like in a realistic world, like totally ideal? I’m just like, “Okay. Well, let me think about that. Let’s brainstorm that or whatnot.” Again, just walking and talking and thinking things through.

Pete McPherson:
After three and a half hours I remember that very first product launch that I brought up. It was called Blogger You back then. I was like, “I actually like that.” And it worked. There were 700 people on my email list. My business was three to four months old. I made like 2,300 bucks, which is not seven figures, but it was brand new. It was the first time I had done it. It was working. I actually decided to bring that back, which was a little awkward. I threw away everything else that I was working on. I focused on this one thing that I actually wanted, and I launched it and it was mediocre results again. But I was okay with that. I was like, “You know what? I’m going to learn from this. I’m going to figure out what didn’t work, what did work, yada, yada. I’m going to do this again, and then I’m going to do it again.”

Pete McPherson:
We just did our third launch, and it’s growing. It’s not seven figures yet, but we’re getting new people in every time, the people we’ve gotten into the membership. The product is starting to take shape over time. I’m going to say that again. The product is just now starting to take shape over time, and it’s really been three years in the making. That level of focus right there I think is the biggest contributing factor to most of my failed launches, failed products, and that sort of stuff. Hopefully, that answered your question somewhere in there.

Chris Badgett:
Yeah. That definitely does. Is it still called Blogger You or is it called something else?

Pete McPherson:
No. It’s called Online Impact now.

Chris Badgett:
Online impact. What is it? What’s inside the box? Is it a course? Is it membership? Is it a coaching program? Does it have worksheets or office hours, or what’s in the box?

Pete McPherson:
All of the above, which also makes it more difficult to sell in a lot of ways. They get access to all of my courses. I have just this library of content at this point that they get access to. I do sell those a la carte as well, but this is like a, everything’s included in the membership fee. Then we have an actual community component, which sounds a little silly. I didn’t actually think that was valuable until I had a critical mass of people to actually make it work and engaging in some of that.

Chris Badgett:
What was the critical mass number for you, approximately how many people?

Pete McPherson:
Right around a hundred.

Chris Badgett:
Okay. Cool.

Pete McPherson:
Yeah. Right around a hundred. That amount of people, I don’t know if you’ve heard of this. This is a side tangent. You’ve heard of the, what is it, 90-10-1 rule or something where 90% of people are literally just lurking on social media in your membership community. 10% are responding to stuff you post or whatever. 1% is actually creating new posts and asking questions or whatnot. So there’s only five to 10 people max who are engaging, but there’s a ton of lurkers that are in there. And I’ll get emails like, “Oh yeah. No, I’m still here. I’ve been paying you money every month. I’m still here. I’m still learning. I’m just lurking.” Like, okay. Well, there you go. Anyway, side tangent. Yeah, right around 100 people.

Pete McPherson:
So it’s courses and it’s a community component. And then we do twice monthly group calls and live calls. I also have an add-on where people can purchase a coaching call with Reina, my number two that I told you about. She’s a certified coach. And then a website and a blog audit from me, which is a little bit what I’m better suited for. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. It’s pretty well rounded.

Chris Badgett:
What’s your take on courses versus membership with lots of content? And maybe you do a la carte. So for example, something like Jeff Walker’s product launch formula, it’s the same… I call that a signature course. Or Amy Porterfield’s Digital Course Academy, it’s the same thing, or Marie Forleo’s B-School or whatever. Some people have these, and actually some of those are more like coaching programs. But what brought you to I’m going to, instead of having this giant course, I’m going to do a membership with a bunch of stuff in there?

Pete McPherson:
Well, it’s funny. This is another lesson learned from failure, and it’s going to answer your question. That first Online Impact launch after the Thanos infinity gauntlet call and months of rebuilding this program that I kind of already did three years ago, I expected it to be the bigger thing. I was expecting more people, and I have for every launch. I thought it was going to be like my audience has gotten a lot bigger over the past couple years. This is a great product. I believe in it a million percent. That generally helps to sell things and convince people it’s awesome. It was still just little by little growth. I was expecting the B-School. I want to be a Marie Forleo. I want to make these two million dollar launches or whatnot. It’s not like that.

Pete McPherson:
Even over the past, well, almost a year now, over the past year doing Online Impact I’ve realized this is the metaphor that we already mentioned. I call it the dog pill versus the dog treat, the sexy versus what people need. Dogs don’t want the dog pill. You actually have to literally wrap it in a dog treat.

Chris Badgett:
Peanut butter, yeah.

Pete McPherson:
Online Impact, it is the unsexy work. It is the dog pill. I know what people need. These creators and bloggers and podcasters that come to my community, they need accountability. They need to pay me every month and have me bug them to take action and do those things. Everybody kind of understands that, but nobody wants that. Nobody buys my membership because I know what I need to do. They pay me to help them do that. And by the way, it works. Out of anything I’ve ever launched, all those courses, all those products, this is the thing that gets the most results, but it’s also the most difficult to sell because it’s the dog pill.

Pete McPherson:
To answer your question, what I’ve done over the past six months, and again, I’m not the seven-figure guy yet. I’m not the B-School guy yet, but I’ve just started to work this out in my own business is to have both. You mentioned Amy Porterfield, so Amy Porterfield a year ago was going hard on her membership component. I’m not sure what order she sold, and I think the membership was sold on the back end of her courses. I don’t remember exactly, but she was going hard on this. For me, I think it’s going to have to be the same thing.

Pete McPherson:
Online Impact, the membership community for me is for the people who… It’s not cold traffic. It’s not even my warm audience. It’s for people who have bought my courses. It’s for people who have been with me for a couple of years.

Chris Badgett:
It’s a backend offer.

Pete McPherson:
It’s a backend offer, and it’s going to grow slow. It’s not going to be an overnight thing, but feeding into that I’ve determined for me I don’t have the one thing yet. I have two main products and funnels. One of them is on podcasting. It’s called Podcourse. And the other one is on systems and productivity, specifically with content production. I mentioned content everywhere. I have a tool called 1Hr Blog Post. Then that is just a mini-product funnel, this self-liquidating offer, this slow funnel. Both of those things lead into membership. Again, this is really fresh and new for me personally. This has only been the past six months that I’ve really been putting this into action, but that’s my current theory.

Chris Badgett:
That’s cool. Just so we have context, you’ve mentioned three years. Have you been in the online world for only three years or longer than that, or what’s the timeline? What’s your personal timeline? I came online in 2008, I think, so that’s like 12 years ago. But I wasn’t seriously… There’s a whole narrative there, but what’s yours? How long have you been at this?

Pete McPherson:
Yeah. Thank you for asking that because a bunch of people are like, “Oh wow, you’ve been doing this for three months and you made a couple thousand dollars.” No, no, no, no. No, no, no. My story is I’ve went to grad school, moved back in with my parents back in 2009. None of my friends in town. Super lonely. Literally, living with my parents in grad school. I started podcasting and blogging just because, I don’t know, it sounded interesting. It sounded fun. I literally walked down the street, Chris, and bought a Podcasting For Dummies book. You remember the Dummies books, the big yellow books?

Chris Badgett:
Yeah.

Pete McPherson:
I bought one of those stupid things and read it cover to cover. I was so bored.

Chris Badgett:
What were you studying in grad school? I’m just curious.

Pete McPherson:
Accounting.

Chris Badgett:
Okay.

Pete McPherson:
Yeah. So I was a CPA for several years just before Do You Even Blog. But to complete that story, so I had two or three blogs over that first year, and I helped my friend start a sports podcast. I’m not really into sports. It was terrible. It was really bad. I got my degree. I got a job in accounting. We’re skipping forward a few years here, a “grownup job.” $52,000 a year. I’ll never forget where I was. That was the most money I’d ever heard of at that point. It was, “What? Somebody’s going to pay me money? This is ridiculous.”

Pete McPherson:
I work in accounting. I hate my job. I’m commuting. This is Atlanta. Atlanta traffic stinks. It’s the typical story a lot of your audience definitely has already heard of. Hated my job, but they paid me well. And I went into some debt with the American dream, like buying a house, buying a nice car. They’re giving me raises. It’s accounting. They pay accountants pretty well. I was just so bored.

Pete McPherson:
A couple years later I literally took my accounting job and systemized it down to about four hours a week. It wasn’t that hard. I’m not a genius for saying this. I was just a normal person. It was that boring of a job. So I got back into blogging and online business. This is 2013, 2014 when this happened. I’m just starting blogs. I’m doing little side hustle things. I’m trying to make money. I’ve started over 50, 60-plus websites, blogs or online businesses at this point since 2013, 2014. Again, just the whole focus thing like, “Oh, that didn’t really work. I’m going to try something new. That didn’t really work. I’m going to try something new.”

Pete McPherson:
Long story short, in 2016 I was like, “I’ve had it. I’m going to quit my accounting job.” I found a job at a startup who was going to pay me a salary still, but I only had to work part time. So I’m like, “This is the best of both worlds. This is great. I’ll work part time. I’m going to start blogs, and I’m going to get a salary. This is perfect.” I took that job and moved my family of four at this point, by the way, out of town. We sold our house. We moved. We were loving it. It was great. I got laid off after one paycheck. They’re like, “We don’t have any money.” That’s great.

Pete McPherson:
So after moving my family, I moved into my grandmother’s house. She wasn’t living there. She was in a nursing home. But my wife had also quit her job, by the way, so we had zero income coming in. I’m like, “Well, we have a little bit of money saved up, the emergency fund, generally pretty helpful.” I could either go back to Atlanta or Chicago or some big city and get an accounting job, or I could try out this whole online business thing.

Pete McPherson:
Okay, so I’ll tell you one more part of the story. The last part of the story was I was like, “I’m going to try this online business thing. I’m going to try and make it work. I am going to reach out to all of the content creators who are making big bucks, like the Michelle Shroeders making $120,000 a month.” Or like my friend, Bobby, at the time was making $250,000 a year from his pretty small new blog. I was like, “Could I just call you? I need to Skype with you. Tell me how you do this.” I did that, and he was like, “Yeah, sure. That’s no problem.”

Pete McPherson:
So I Skyped. We recorded it. I reached out to Michelle and was like, “Please, could I just call you? Tell me how you make money. I don’t understand.” Then I did that to one more person, and I was like, “This is the most fun I’ve had in years. I think they call this a podcast.” That was the portal to Do You Even Blog podcast. I won’t say it took off, but it got some traction. It was really good. I started building an audience and started launching these products. And there we go. So to answer your question, about 10 years, a little over 10 years is how long I’ve been in this space.

Chris Badgett:
That’s a great story, and that’s like that Steve Jobs’ quote, I’d butcher it, about how it’s this wavy path and looking back you can connect all the dots. Dabbling and trying lots of different things and reacting to situations, I mean that’s the reality of life. I have a question for you about content formats. Podcasting, YouTube, blogging. Some people say blogging’s dead or whatever. Some people say YouTube’s saturated. Some people say podcasting, it’s not the early days anymore. It’s harder to break through. For me personally, I’m a fan of all three. I particularly enjoy podcasting like you. Like you said, you’re just calling somebody and talking to them, and you get to co-create content with somebody. It’s pretty cool. It’s pretty fun.

Chris Badgett:
I personally really like YouTube and video as well. And I do blogging, but it’s more time consuming. So I’m going to ask you in a later question about this whole one hour blog post thing, but for right now I guess I would just say, for me, I recommend you do do all three. You’re probably going to have one that’s your superpower, but what’s your approach to the stack of blogging, YouTube, and podcasting? And why should we do one, all three or none, or what’s your take on this multi-format content approach?

Pete McPherson:
You have no idea how relevant this question is to me right now. I told you I’m working on this course. Literally, I’m completing it 20, 30 minutes from now when we’re off of this podcast. That’s on my schedule, finishing exactly what you’re asking. Oh man, I could rant for hours. I’ll try and sum it up with this. All those people who say, “Blogging’s dead. SEO is dead. All your marketing is dead. Podcasting, too late. YouTube, too late,” they’re all right and they’re all wrong. All these channels work. I know of people who have started blogs in the past year who have done really well and got traction and make money. I know the same thing for YouTube and the same thing for podcasting. That to me is a stupid generality that people need to forget right now.

Pete McPherson:
What they do need to focus on is what they’re good at, what they enjoy doing, and also what they hate doing. What are you good at? It takes a while to figure that out. For me, I thought I was good at blogging. I’m not good at blogging. I’m good at YouTube and live video and interviewing. I enjoy that. Two, what do you want to do? And then what do you hate doing? I hate blogging, to be frank. I don’t hate it. It’s just time consuming and I would rather spend my time elsewhere, so I chose different things.

Pete McPherson:
Now I want to give a quick tip to people. You mentioned, I forgot what you called it, your main piece of content. I can’t remember what you called it.

Chris Badgett:
Superpower.

Pete McPherson:
Superpower.

Chris Badgett:
Yeah.

Pete McPherson:
This is my kids knocking at my door, by the way. Sorry for that if you can hear it.

Chris Badgett:
It’s all good.

Pete McPherson:
I call it the lead domino if you do any sort of repurposing. Imagine the domino chains. What’s the lead domino? What’s the very first domino, which once you knock it over, all the other things fall down way easier? What I mean by that is what is your main piece of content such that by creating, everything else becomes easier?

Chris Badgett:
Podcast interview, maybe.

Pete McPherson:
No. For me, this is so silly. There’s actually two of them that I have. One would just be general outlining in a Google Doc. I’ve tried fancy writing docs. I’ve tried pen and paper. Can’t do it. A Google Doc for me, just doing a bullet point outline, oh man, I can bang out a YouTube video, podcast. I can write, blog, whatever. But if I don’t do that, I can’t produce a thing. It’s so silly.

Pete McPherson:
The other one for me is webinar slides. I only discovered this six months ago, creating webinar slides. I did it for 20 minutes. It wasn’t even for a webinar, by the way. I was just creating stuff in PowerPoint. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I feel so clear about this subject right now, this piece of content. I could just bang out a YouTube video or a podcast or blog, whatever it is.” Some people, that’s blogging and writing. For some people that is podcasting. They have to literally talk out loud. For those people, by the way, who don’t want to a podcast, grab your iPhone, grab the Voice Recorder app, and talk into it for five minutes and then delete it. My friend Bryan Harris, I don’t know if you know him or not, from Videofruit, Growth Tools.

Chris Badgett:
I do, yeah.

Pete McPherson:
He’s the one that suggested I do that several years ago. I saw a piece of content, I was like, “Oh, that’s super helpful.” I process information this way. Anyways.

Chris Badgett:
Why was then delete it part of the advice, just to get it out or what was that?

Pete McPherson:
Well, you don’t have to necessarily delete it, but it’s not for being published. It’s for processing information so that you can then write it out.

Chris Badgett:
I got it. So it’s like outlining with audio kind of thing.

Pete McPherson:
Yeah, exactly.

Chris Badgett:
Yeah, yeah. Cool.

Pete McPherson:
Verbal processing-

Chris Badgett:
Nice.

Pete McPherson:
… my friend calls that. I would suggest people figure out what that is. How do you work best? Even if you’re not specifically doing the different channels or whatnot, it could be for course creators. It could be for public speakers. It could be for anybody. Try and experiment, play around with how you process the information, which then you can present, YouTube, podcast, audio, blogging, whatever that is. It’ll take some trial and error, but for me figuring out the outlining and then the webinar slides. Both of those work equally well for me.

Pete McPherson:
Oh man, I feel like a superhero now. Whenever I’m sitting down to do a piece of content, I grab my Google Doc. I write down the name of the thing. I bang out the outline. I’m like, “Cool, what do I want to do now?” I can do a YouTube video, turn that into audio. I could do an audio, turn that into video using Headliner, Descript. Those are two of the tools to help you repurpose the content, but the important part is just understanding your lead domino.

Chris Badgett:
Is that what the 1Hr Blog Post is all about, or is there any more you can give us related to that?

Pete McPherson:
Sure. This was originally a Google Doc, and it was basically just a content… It’s actually content prompts. I’m prompting people to write their intros and write their outros and write their core content and stuff like that. That’s what it originally started at just in the Google Doc, some questions. It turned into a content template of sorts, and now there’s actually three different versions of it. One’s a Google Doc. One’s a PDF that you can print out, and the other one, it’s kind of like a form. It’s not a Google Form, but it looks kind of like a Google Form that prompts you through a blog post. It just walks you through every step of the process with a few examples here and there.

Pete McPherson:
I’ve been actually doing this for years. I didn’t actually think to make this a product or anything. I put this out literally five or six weeks ago for 27 bucks. I have a self-liquidating offer funnel attached to it, which we could talk about if you want. I was like, I’m testing out this new thing. It’s just a content tool and template. It’s really simple, but it’ll help you produce content faster. I put it out there to my email list. It sold out, the beta, in 11 minutes. That’s not a whole lot of money because it’s a small priced product, but I was like, “Oh wow, that’s weird.”

Pete McPherson:
Since then, this stupid little thing has made way more money than I ever thought possible. Just small offer, it is a tool. It’s not a course. It’s not education. It’s something they can use literally 10 minutes after they purchase it, and it works. It helps people produce content faster. I’m more than happy to tell you the prompts if you want to hear about that as well, but that’s the story of the product.

Chris Badgett:
That’s very cool. Well, let’s get into the techie stuff for the people that are WordPress folks out there. You have a course, Elementor for Bloggers. And Elementor’s popular in the WordPress community, and it’s popular. A lot of LifterLMS people use it. You’re using Lifter. Can you tell us what you’re doing with LifterLMS and Elementor and how you use those tools?

Pete McPherson:
Yeah. I’ll also give you and the Lifter team some credit here and say that part of the reason I switched over or switched back to Lifter, I’d actually used it years ago, is because of the Elementor and Zapier integrations. When I saw that came out, I was like, “Oh yes, cool. Sold, done.” I personally love Elementor if you couldn’t tell already. I think it’s just, it’s so accessible. It’s affordable. It’s cheap. The price point’s right. It’s just great.

Pete McPherson:
We mentioned off air a little bit, oh man, I forgot the names of the plugin. I’m actually using two third-party plugins to integrate Elementor with Lifter. One is like Lifter Elements, and the other one’s like Elements for Lifter. There’s two of them. It’s two different companies. Those have been incredibly helpful. Right now, onlineimpact.co is the website. It’s just a landing page, and Elementor, that’s the only public page on the site. For logged-in people to get more specific, I do have some courses in Lifter that I put in. I have an onboarding course to the membership community and a few other things.

Pete McPherson:
But I actually, when somebody signs up, I don’t know how techie you want to go, but I use ThriveCart primarily for all my cart stuff. It’s a Zapier trigger with two parts for Lifter. Number one is creating a user account in WordPress, and the second part of the Zap is enrolling them in a LifterLMS membership. For me, I just found it easier to lock down the pages of the site. Like the dashboard for me, we also mentioned this off air, I really wanted a cool, custom, well-designed user dashboard where I have my calendar embedded there for all of our membership stuff.

Pete McPherson:
I have a welcome video. I have achievements that I love to do using Lifter. I want to be a really custom user dashboard right there, and so the membership component for me was a great way to do that. And of course, I use Elementor and that third-party plugin to style it and do the layout and different stuff like that.

Chris Badgett:
Very cool. How long have you been in WordPress?

Pete McPherson:
Well, technically since that first blog back in 2009.

Chris Badgett:
2008? 2009.

Pete McPherson:
Yeah, 2009. I definitely wouldn’t call myself an expert for sure. I’m definitely a dabbler. I used to do a little bit of development and coding for a while, and something that taught me was the art of googling. It’s like a superpower. People don’t realize a lot of times, just knowing how to appropriately google stuff. So that, I give full credit to Google for all of my WordPress skills or whatnot. It’s only been the past four or five years that I’ve sort of dived deeper in that.

Chris Badgett:
That’s cool. Well, just to wrap up, you mentioned, and maybe it has to do with the big domino and having a framework for creating content, but what advice do you have for course creators who are facing that expert’s curse or course creator’s block where they just can’t get it out or figure out where the course starts and where it ends and how to crank out the content? And many any psychological issues around like, oh, it’s not good enough. I’m not the best in the world at this, all that stuff.

Chris Badgett:
You’re obviously a prolific content and product creator. How do people get moving and get creating and get that first launch going? I love how this whole thing started with the launch being the starting line, not the finish line of the project. How do we get that first part of getting the course created, figure it out, create it and launched fast?

Pete McPherson:
Okay. I have two components to my answer. First is the imposter syndrome, is the it’s not good enough, is the I’m not an expert. Let me talk to that because I, more than most people, probably suffer from imposter syndrome. I like the idea of a car or a car mechanic. Actually, my friend, Grant Baldwin, uses this example all the time is like, I know nothing about cars. I have a Ford Expedition. I don’t know how to fix it. I could probably put air in my tires and put gas in the car and that’s about it.

Pete McPherson:
So when I take my car to the mechanic, I need advice like, “Tell me about this. Diagnose this. I need a little bit of help.” Is the most expert car mechanic in the world? No. Is this the most expert car mechanic in my town? No, probably not. I don’t know. I don’t care. I just need the thing solved.

Chris Badgett:
You need it resolved.

Pete McPherson:
I need it resolved. So for people thinking about I’m not an expert, well, you are an expert. Being an expert is relative. Yeah, you may not be the best person, the smartest person in the entire world. I have a course on SEO. I’m not the best at SEO. I’m not the best teacher of SEO. My SEO course is not the best in the world, but you know what, people pay me money for it because they know me. They like me. They trust me and my audience, and it gets them a result. That’s it. I just want to speak to that first and say, yeah, no, you’re not an expert and that’s okay. People still have something to learn from you.

Pete McPherson:
In fact, sorry, I keep going. I’m ranting now. A lot of times you being only moderately more further along in the journey of whatever your topic is, let’s say personal finance. You may not be a, what’s his name, Dave Ramsey or you may not be some of the big personal finance experts, gurus, whatever they are. I don’t care. You may just know a little bit more than this person you are trying to teach. That’s actually better. They can’t connect to what Dave Ramsey does because Dave Ramsey lives in a $17 million penthouse. That’s not relevant to them. That’s so far removed, they can’t actually learn as much.

Pete McPherson:
People learn best, again, not always but a lot of times from those who are just slightly ahead of them or at least they can connect with and get relevant information from. So you may not be the world’s best expert, but if you’re even a small expert relative to your audience, relative to the people you’re helping, that’s actually good. Okay, rant over. Apologies. Sorry, not sorry, Chris. I love ranting. The other part of-

Chris Badgett:
That’s the inner game. What’s the outer game of getting her done?

Pete McPherson:
Yep. I was just about to get to this. I am stealing this. I didn’t create this. I love the whole reverse engineering, working backwards approach to pretty much everything, especially when it comes to products in general, getting your first course done and shipped out the door. We already talked about the starting line, not the finish line, but also just connecting that with what is the end result I’m going for? For me, that’s high-ticket offers. It doesn’t have to be this way for everybody, but for me it’s what am I charging $2,000 for, $3,000, $5,000 for? What is my high-ticket offer? What journey are people on? What transformation does this do?

Pete McPherson:
Then I like to work backwards like, oh okay, that’s the end result. That’s the big thing. What’s the $1,000 offer? What’s the $1,000 course? What’s the $500 course offer, like the value letter? I don’t know if people have heard of this or not, but like the value letter. I like to start with the end in mind but just work backwards and be like, “Okay, what can I create and get done and get launched and get published today, this week, this month that could eventually transform into that or could eventually lead into that?” What’s the MVP, minimum viable product? What’s the baby step? What can I feel good about selling, creating and launching?

Pete McPherson:
Then outline it and then create it and then sell it. It’s going to suck. It’s probably going to stink. You’re going to fall flat, but then you’re going to learn and go from there. So hopefully that was helpful for people.

Chris Badgett:
I think that’s super helpful, and I love that idea of dreaming a little bit. If you imagine yourself on some exotic island resort, $30,000 inner circle Mastermind teaching on whatever topic with a group of highly engaged people that are just as passionate as you are about the topic and then reality checking and sticking-

Pete McPherson:
I was getting excited. I was like, are you actually selling this, Chris?

Chris Badgett:
No, I love it. I love it. But then backpedaling and just going down to the MVP is… Begin with the end in mind or that whole saying that a lot of people actually don’t aim high enough, give yourself permission to dream a little bit. I have a business coach. His name’s Dan Martell, and he says that a lot. He’s like, “Dream a little bit. People don’t dream.” So I really love that. Well, Pete is at doyouevenblog.com. I want to thank you for coming on the show, and I think you’re such a great example of being a blogger, being a YouTuber, being a podcaster. If you’re listening to this in your AirBuds right now, go check out the Do You Even Blog podcast. If you’re watching this video on YouTube, go check out the Do You Even Blog YouTube channel.

Chris Badgett:
If you want to get into Elementor, check out Pete’s course. It’s super popular and I know when I first get into a WordPress page builder, you’re not going to get it on the first go. It’s better to have somebody guide you through and get you into it than just… I mean that’s the dream of software is the tool just teaches yourself. You just install and you magically know how to use it, but it’s better to have a guide. Where else can the good people who are listening to this show or watching on YouTube connect with you, connect with you and learn more about how you can help them?

Pete McPherson:
I’m actually going to take the opposite approach considering I do have the podcast and YouTube channel. Snail mail, people can follow me there. No, I’ll take the opposite approach and just point people to the homepage. Excuse me. The homepage, doyouevenblog.com. I think I do a pretty good job at siloing people off into what they want to learn more about or listen to or that sort of stuff. Doyouevenblog.com, man, that’s where you can find me.

Chris Badgett:
That’s awesome. Well, Pete, thank you for coming on the show. I feel like I could’ve Joe Rogan’ed on you and gone for three hours, but thank you for sharing an hour of your time with us here. And I hope you have a great rest of your day, and we’ll see you around the Interwebs.

Pete McPherson:
Yeah. Thank you, Chris. I really do appreciate it. And also, I mean, I didn’t tell you this yet, but I also appreciate your product and everything that you guys work on. It’s been extremely helpful and valuable to me as a creator, so thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.

Chris Badgett:
And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends, and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. I’ve got a gift for you over at lifterlms.com/gift. Go to lifterlms.com/gift. Keep learning. Keep taking action. And I’ll see you in the next episode.

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