Ask Me (Almost) Anything

As you can imagine, I get asked questions on a regular basis. It’s something I actively invite through comments on this site as well as through the contact form.

I love to get questions (and answer them) because it gives me a real view of where you are in the process of building and growing your online business. My main goal is always to create content that is as useful as possible to you, without wasting any of your time. And I can do  a better job of that, the more feedback I get from you.

Last week, I received not one, but 3 excellent questions in a row and they inspired me to write this post.

Questions With Built-In Value

The usefulness of my answer depends a lot on the question asked. Sometimes, it can be frustrating to receive a vague question and all I can do is provide a vague, generalized answer, even though I’d love to be more helpful.

Right here, in this post, I want to encourage you to leave a question (in the comments below), but not just any question. I want you to ask a question the answer to which will be hugely useful to you. How do you do that? Let’s look at these 3 examples:

The first was a question submitted in a comment, that can be summarized as follows:

“How can I create a minimum viable product of an information product? I can see how you can release an ‘incomplete’ software product as a beta, but doesn’t an incomplete information product lose all usefulness and value?”

This question also came with some further description of exactly why creating an MVP of an information product seems so impossible to do. I absolutely love this question and am working on an entire post to answer it.

The second question was from Debra, who teaches gardening. In summary, she’s wondering if she should focus on marketing just to her local region, where she can give hands-on coaching and where she knows exactly what works (in the local soil, with the local weather etc.) or if she should create a more generic information product with a more global appeal. She tells me exactly what’s going on in her market and lists the pros and cons of both options.

The third question was sent by Julius and it’s actually a whole list of questions, such as:

  • How can I make a #shanestyle video blog post (including lighting, equipment etc.)? – side note: you can find my guide to video creating here and my video tools here.
  • How do I set up an affiliate program? Should I use something hosted or self-hosted?
  • Do you make an estimate of how many customers you need to get, before starting a project? How do you figure out if it’s viable or not?
  • List segmentation: everyone talks about how this is an important part of email marketing, but how do you actually do it?

Out of a series of questions like this emerges a picture of where Julius is at in his business, what he’s planning to do and what obstacles he’s currently facing.

For most of these questions, answers are incoming, in the form of blog posts and/or videos (like this one).

What Makes a Valuable Question?

These kinds of questions allow me to provide a detailed, highly specific answer and these answers will not only help the people who asked the original question, but possibly also hundreds or even thousands of other visitors on this site.

To give you a contrasting example, here’s a question that’s difficult to provide a good answer to:

I’m new to this and I want to make at least $100 a day. How do I start?

Well, I’m not sure. I don’t know what you’re good at, what you’re currently working on, what you know or don’t know about online marketing…

Or how about this one:

I have a website about shoes and my biggest problem is that I need more traffic. How do I get more traffic?

Again, I can’t really give a good answer. Do you sell shoes on your site or just write about them? What traffic generation strategies have you tried? What does your budget look like?

There are two factors that make for a really good question:

  1. Ask a specific question about a specific problem.
  2. Provide some background information about you and your business.

And that’s exactly what I want you to do next.

Over to You

I want to help you in a big way and at the same time, create more content that will be useful to many readers. I invite you to leave a comment below with a question of your own. Please also write a few details about what your business model is and what you’re working on.

What I offer is simple: I will answer every question posted in the comments below. I will also pick some to spin out into entire posts or videos, but at the very least, I will give you a reply in the comments here, with the best advice I can give for your situation.

I’m looking forward to reading your comments!

Shane's Signature

P.S.: If you like what I’m doing here, spread the word by sharing this post! But ask your question first. :)

About the Author Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better marketer and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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