Niche Site Duel 2.2.0 (UPDATE): Beyond the Brand Name, Competition Analysis, and “List Building”

Niche Site Duel 2.0 LogoNiche Site Duel 2.0 may seem like it’s off to a slow start, but behind the scenes a lot of things are happening. This post will serve to fill you in on where I’m at with my new website and my plan for moving forward.

Go to to get all of the updates from the start and join over 3200 other people who are participating and are a part of the NSD2.0 community!

The Bottleneck

In my last update, I shared that I was close to picking a brand and domain name for the food truck related website I am creating, but one major thing was holding me back from moving forward – the name that I initially selected was already in use on another website. Interestingly enough, it was being used on a freely hosted site.

I was advised by my attorney that even though the name wasn’t trademarked, because another person had already used it first, I could put myself at danger by moving forward with it.

I decided to take a chance and email the owner of the website to see if he or she was willing to sell their website or come to some kind of agreement with me, but I didn’t get any response. So, I decided to ditch the name to be safe.

Because I know you’re curious, the URL was I liked this domain a lot because “start” was in the domain name, which could potentially help me rank for keywords with mild search volume such as how to start a food truck, and it also encompassed the exciting world of startups, which is trending right now. Plus, it has a nice rhythm to it.

My attorney did mention that the words “food truck” and “start up” were both very general and one could argue that because of this they were terms that couldn’t be claimed by one single party. It would be like trying to trademark a term like “microphone stand” or “tire”—it’s just a part of normal everyday language so it would be hard to uphold in court. Even so, I decided to start over with branding the website.

Back to the drawing board.

And Now We’re Moving Forward!

Despite the delay, I’m extremely happy to announce that as of 24 hours ago I now have a brand name and registered URL that I’m happy with, and we’re ready to move forward!

To keep the launch of the new website and its respective data true to real life as possible, I’m not going to reveal the URL to you just yet. I’ll be putting a lot of effort into a pre-launch phase and will attempt to build buzz for the website and collect email addresses from real food truck owners before officially going live. When I launch, I want to make sure I’m getting data from my target audience first before I share the URL publicly here which will begin to skew the results.

As I mentioned before, I debated heavily whether or not to try and keep the URL hidden from the SPI audience forever, but that would be a lost cause. For one, people would eventually figure it out and secondly, it would make for a boring case study. I will reveal the URL to you after the official launch, but I want to make sure that any numbers that I report from the launch are as close to real life as possible. I hope you can understand where I’m coming from here.

Branding Beyond the Brand Name

Although the brand name and URL are currently unknown to you, I can definitely share what my next steps are.

At this point, the most important thing to do is to define the brand beyond its name. This includes figuring out what the logo might look like, the tagline and the mission statement for the brand. It also involves discovering what the 7-second pitch is—which is a variation of the 30-second elevator pitch, but one that forces you to pick and choose the most important words to say to someone who you might be trying to explain your business to.

After you grab your domain it’s easy to get excited and dive right into tackling each of the above brand elements one-by-one. But, you put yourself at a huge disadvantage if you don’t stop and first think about the most important thing behind everything your brand will stand for: your unique selling proposition (or USP).

Your USP is exactly why people should be paying attention to your brand. It’s your unfair advantage. It’s what makes your brand different than all of the others and once you understand that, everything else will fall into place—your tagline and mission statement, to the design of your logo and website.

No one talks about USPs better than our good friend Corbett Barr from I typically recommend articles to read, but Corbett’s post below about USPs I will call required reading:

The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Unique Selling Proposition

I have yet to define these specific brand elements, but I’m currently honing in on them at this very moment.

In addition to the USP and respective brand elements, here are some other important items that I’m working on for the site:

The 200-Outreach Program Spreadsheet

In SPI Podcast Session #67, Neil Patel from suggests that we should create a spreadsheet that lists the top 200 blogs, websites, Twitter and Facebook accounts in our market – all for something he calls the 200-outreach program.

The point of this is to essentially create a contact list of notables in your industry who you can eventually reach out to when the time is right to help you promote or share your site – or at least get to know who you should be building relationships with in your space.

A lot of people quickly latched onto the idea of the 200-outreach program and have already created their contact lists. I’ve had a few people tell me they did this for their existing websites and businesses and are already benefitting from it. Just having it all neatly laid out makes it so much easier to understand who to pay attention to.

Other people, however, were not so jazzed about the idea of building this list. This is a valid concern and I want to make sure it’s addressed at this point in time.

Kevin, for example, from my how to launch post commented:

“You’ve got to be kidding? ALL this would take 5 years to put together, Ill be living in a box under a bridge somewhere before i get all this done, 200 websites, 200 blogs, 200 Facebook pages, 200 LinkedIn sites 200 twitter accounts, that’s 1000 emails plus 1000 more if they respond back plus 1000 =3000 minimum, all you would do is spend 24 house a day writing and answering emails, you’d never get anything else done!”

Like I said, this is a valid concern, but let me point out a few things:

  • It may seem like this is a lot of work—only because it is! If you want to succeed you have to put in the work, and the benefit from creating a contact list and making these connections is huge!
  • When you eventually reach out, you’re not sending 1000 individual, completely customized emails. Most of the emails are copy/paste, with perhaps a little bit of personalization in it.
  • You can hire someone else to do this for you. or Done.
  • You’re playing the numbers here—the reason for 200 is because you’ll only get a small percentage of people to reply back to you.
  • And if ALL of them replied back to you, that would be awesome and a huge opportunity! I’d rather have that then write for nobody for months before eventually making these connections.

You have to be smart with where you put in your hours and how you utilize your time.

And yes—you don’t have to create this spreadsheet—it’s not required. I didn’t do it for any of my previous websites, but I can clearly see the benefits and I’m already halfway through putting this together myself for my new site, and in doing so I’m learning a lot about the industry that I’m about to enter.

Competition Analysis—Become Your Target Audience

Something that I’ve been enjoying lately is analyzing the existing competition. One of the advantages of coming into a market later than everyone else is that you can see what the market is like and come in and provide something better for your target audience. You can quickly differentiate yourself simply by paying attention to what everyone else is doing.

There are ways to analyze data behind your competition, like what keywords they’re ranking for, incoming traffic and things like that, which is very useful. Tools like SEMRush and Quantcast are great for data driven analysis, but sometimes the best thing to do to analyze the competition is to become someone in your target audience and experience what the market is like yourself.

A quick example:

When I first started The Smart Passive Income Blog, I didn’t really know what I was doing. So, I subscribed to nearly 30 of the top online business and Internet marketing newsletters so I could learn directly from the experts. I quickly realized, however, that I hated almost every single email that was sent my way because I was being asked to buy something over and over and over again. Everyone I subscribed to didn’t care about me—they cared about making money from me.

Because of this, when I started my own newsletter here on SPI, I decided to differentiate myself by never selling directly to people who have subscribed to my email list, and instead focus on two things:

  1. Providing quick, high-value exclusive content.
  2. Actually engaging with my audience through my newsletter.

As a result, I’ve had many people tell me they’ve unsubscribed to all of the newsletters in this space but mine, which is an amazing compliment (thank you!) and a direct outcome of putting myself in the shoes of my own target audience.

Within the food truck space, the few sites that exist that target food truck business owners make it easy for me to see how I can bring something new and better to the table.

More specifically, all of the sites are too cluttered with too many links and things to potentially click on. Additionally, I don’t know where to start and most of the content I see are news articles—stuff that’s less important to me as a hypothetical potential food truck business owner. I want actionable items, specific tips and strategies to help me get started on the right foot, or help me make more sales. So, that’s what I’m going to provide.

When asking around the food truck community here in San Diego, all of the truck owners I’ve spoken too have said there are no good go-to resources for business advice and marketing strategies for food trucks. I’ve mentioned these other sites to them and they did know about them (which is a good sign), but they also said they weren’t completely useful, or were hard to use (which is also a good sign).

As you can see, when you look at the competition you can take a lot of the guess work out of what you should be doing.

See what’s out there and make something better.

Vendor / Business / Advertiser List (VBAL)

One final thing I’m working on is creating a list of potential vendors and businesses that may be interested in advertising or working with me in some capacity down the road.

I don’t envision contacting these companies and businesses before the launch, but it’s good to have this list because once traffic starts to roll in (and with a pre-launch sequence in place traffic can come on day one), that’s when other companies want to get in front of that traffic and are willing to pay to do so.

Here are some quick ways to discover companies that may be willing to work with you in the future:

  1. Do a quick Google Search with your target keyword. If there are ads that show up at the top or in the sidebar, you know those companies are looking for traffic and are willing to pay for it.
  2. Visit your competitor’s sites and see which companies are advertising on their sites.
  3. Enter your competitor’s url into SEMRush and scroll to the bottom of the results dashboard. You’ll see a box labeled “Potential Ads / Traffic Buyers”. Boom. Click on “full report” to expand.



Create a list of all of the vendors, businesses and potential advertisers you find, and you’ll be able to pick and choose the ones from your VBAL that work best with your audience when the time is right.

What’s Next, and When?

What’s next is setting up a coming soon / teaser page to collect email addresses. I’ll be using LeadPages (my new favorite tool!) to quickly set this up and connect it to a brand new list in Aweber.

This is planned to soft launch by the first week in August (after the USP, tagline and logo are nailed down), and then that’s when content creation and building buzz begins.

A couple of weeks after that I’ll be hard launching the coming soon page and testing some strategies for building even more buzz toward a specific launch date. Then, if everything goes as planned, the main site will be up the first week in September and hopefully already thriving with traffic. I guess we’ll see!

I do realize this is a completely different approach than what I did during NSD1.0, but I feel like the research, preparation and time to pre-launch will be well worth the wait. Would you agree?

I hope you found this post useful! Cheers! I appreciate you!

  • Adeel Qamar

    You have started Niche site duel 2 a long time ago. You are taking too much time to show us your website where as those who are following you have already taken their domains and start working on it. I know you are busy but it will be good to see your live work as soon as possible.

    • Greg Savage

      I’d rather see Pat pin up a successful site, using as much advantage as he can instead of rushing just because everyone else is ahead of him.

      • michelle

        Agree! I love that Pat is so transparent in how much work it actually takes to do this well… so many people out there are selling the fast and easy way to build huge blog traffic that doesn’t work. Pat is methodical and up front about what he’s going through. I appreciate it as I’m learning SO MUCH. Thanks Pat.

    • SukmaTantra

      And great is that you always do it feels easy and unhindered, I was amazed denan your success.

    • Pat Flynn

      Patience Daniel-san. :)

  • Josh Lee

    I love the emphasis on the launch plan phase. Vital to quick growth. Keep up the good work!

  • Excited

    Great information! The legal trademark part is a valid concern.

    Do you have any general rules of thumbs, people without a lawyer could consider when building a new niche business/website?


  • Derek Chamberlain

    Wow, the anticipation is killing me to see the new site. I guess that’s the whole point :-)

    Good luck with the food truck site, very anxious to see it! I really dig the focus of not moving until everything is thought through and ready vs. just jumping right in.

  • Kingsley Agu

    Hmmm… I’ve started already. Can you fasten your updates…. Really would like to see your guidance more during this stage of link building that I’m currently embarking on.
    Thanks for the wonderful updates.

    • Pat Flynn

      Updates come as they happen. Thing is, with a pre-launch, link building will happen more naturally.

  • Rushin

    Wooh just read your 1000 word + article and feeling that yes you are right at the point of USP and Prelaunch beacuse most people arent doint this and more over nobody is sharing this thanks pat for sharing this.

  • Vinesh Singh

    .com domains are so hard to get. Pretty much every good name is taken. Just to buy someone’s domain with a premium name can cost over $20,000. It’s crazy!!!!

    • John-Paul

      True Vinesh. i Don’t totally agree with you though.

      Just a while back, some random guy who’d registered a variant of my domain name ( asked me to pay $5k for it. Didn’t bother about it at the time.

      Late last week, I noticed more people were querying search engines using that same variant in an attempt to find my site. Out of curiosity I decided to find out if the name was available again. And oh dear, there it sat smiling at me.

      I have since snapped it up and redirected it to my main domain.

      I still believe there are lots of cool domain names out there. I guess it all depends on the niche you’re in, your creativity and how often you keep checking.

      Sorry for the long comment. I guess I’m just excited about the $5k I saved myself.

  • Ken

    Hi Pat,

    If this challenge were called the Authority Site Duel all this infoation would be well and good. However it’s not. I know you have redefined the term Niche site to mean a site with a singular topic but for most of use we think of a niche site as a small site with a single focus. I’m just not sure all this pre-launch stuff really applies to a true niche site and if it does all this info is a bit late. Most of us picked our niche and launched out websites a month ago. Just peruse the forum topics and discussion threads over on the NSD 2.0 site you set up. A lot of us have been cranking away for quite sometime now. Should we stop and start over now?

    I love everything you do and am very grateful for all you share but I’m a little frustrated. Sorry for venting.

  • Derrick

    I link the fact that you are a taking a professional approach to launching your website,something that a niche site webmaster would never think about.l am guessing building some buzz in the beginning will give you a lot of natural backlinks

  • Daniel Hartnett

    Bring on your back link strategy Pat ! I am looking forward to hearing your new idea’s

    • MSH

      Agreed! Looking forward to the new ideas in linkbuilding. I’m ok with the wait but can’t help but be excited for the next phases.

  • Naveen Kulkarni

    Great going Pat with NSD 2.0.

    And the buzz has already begun :-)

  • Phuong Le

    I know quality content is a best way to attract potential customer buy maybe our best content will be copied by other webmaster (competitors) How do you deal with these copy cat?

  • kiritpatel

    Hi, Pat
    Agree. 200- plan is tough but definitely worth , and it pays off.

  • Pramod

    Hey Patt !
    I’m sure your new website and the domain would be more popular than this one .. Am waiting for the day it goes live on the internet .Best of luck !


  • Curt

    Good stuff, Pat. Having it all laid out and doing it correctly (taking time to do everything right) is great and very helpful.

    While there are no shortage of niche site (in the traditional sense) building tutorials and sites, and many sites aimed at making your personal brand work online, this feels original. It’s more of a how to start an online business (bigger than a ‘niche site’, but not your personal brand or offline business).

    Great focus. Looking forward to learning more from your coming success.

  • Ben Chilcote

    Speaking of domains – a word of caution to the SPI community:

    I THOUGHT I had “automatic renewal” set up for my personal site but it WASN’T. One day I went to look at my site and it was gone. After looking into it, turned out my domain had expired and SOMEONE BOUGHT IT! I couldn’t believe it – it was my name ( at the time) and someone bought it to put up a junk ad site. He offered to sell it back to me for $200 (or something). I decided instead to switch to and have learned to like it better. But I had to traverse across all my youtube videos and other social media netowrks to update every link from .com to .net.

    Live and learn! Don’t let it happen to you :)

    • Pat Flynn

      Thanks for sharing your experience Ben! That’s something that’s very easy to overlook, and I can’t believe someone actually nabbed it from you immediately after it expired – they must have had it on backorder or something. Thanks again Ben!

      • Ally Cochrane

        There are loads of people monitoring expiring domains and snapping up any that have any page rank/link juice to build their own private blog networks for seo purposes.

    • Tim Moon

      I had something similar happen to me. Not only had I missed the renewal but I missed the “holding” period where you have a chance to pay a fee and the domain renewal to hold on to the domain before it’s released. I lost a good personal finance site that ranked well and made me $500-700 per month just in adsense. It was a horrible feeling.

      • Ben Chilcote

        That’s aweful! Those little things could really make or break you. It is a terrible feeling for something so small to be such a costly mistake!

    • Greg Savage

      How did that happen? They normally don’t sell the domains as soon as they expire, you get like a month to claim it before it goes back into the pool.


      There is usually a dispute period where you can reclaim it if you were the original owner… I think it’s like 45 days or something.


    aLL I CAN SAY is



    • Sylvia

      Really? Let’s compare your monthly (online) income against Pat Flynn’s…

  • Alex B.

    Great stuff Pat!

    I think you’re taking a great approach, and I look forward to the next update!

    I too, am making great progress on my site as well! :)

    All the best,

  • Paul Lemley

    Pumped to see the progress Pat. The 200 outreach program alone has been incredibly valuable! Can’t wait to see your end product.

    Quick Question for Pat (or anyone) : If you opened your own food truck, what kind of food would you sell?

  • karen

    I like the fact that you are not making this look super easy as most other web gurus tend to do. Building a business online as you are doing it is actually no different to an off-line business – it seems it takes time and dedication to set up.

  • Benji Walklet

    I like this approach, Pat. It’s fresh and much more quality-focused than the last one, which in my opinion, seemed a bit too rushed.

    I anticipate that you’re going to make a killer website.

  • ray

    As always, thanks Pat for the great info! Eager to see how your site goes.

  • Janice

    Google has been signaling for a long time that the old ways of Internet Marketing are on the way out. I think Pat’s approach is the only way to go now if we want our sites to rank high and stay that way. With each Google update link directories are counting for less and less authority and social media is counting as more authority.

    So take your time Pat, I’m following your lead on this and throwing out the old playbook.

    Thanks so much for all you do Pat!


  • Matt Henn

    Pat. I ate up your first NSD and you’re right this is way different. It seems as though this is more of a “work backwards” approach where you find the “pain” and then you solve the problem. Oddly enough its a completely different way of thinking but I think once you can let go of the old way, I do believe this will pay off. Thanks for the updates. I’m on board!

    Quickly, what how would you go about maneuvering if you thought/knew someone else was picking the same keyword as you and going through your steps? What do you do to compete? Thanks!!

    • Pat Flynn

      Thanks Matt! To answer your last question, you find your USP and you make it completely unique. There are obviously many different businesses that serve the same market, and many do it well but each in their own way. It’s the ones that do what everyone else is doing that get lost in the crowd.

  • Antonio Coleman

    Pat..I must say this approach is well thought out and for this reason I see this project being a success. Pat I say this internet things was the best invention ever and those who built did it on the bases of just having an easier way of providing information to the world. We will had never known a person like me and you could sit back at home and make our dreams come true.

    God Bless America

  • Thomas Wellman

    Oh, Pat! Another incredibly awesome NSD2 Update!
    I do believe that we’re going to show you at the first page/spot on Google, Again!
    Wish you good luck, Pat.
    Keep it up 😉

  • Marketersid

    you are good researcher dud
    but your update are more important to most people plz do something quickly as far as you can
    like me …i am waiting for your website design post

  • Jamie

    Thank you for everything you do Pat! With out you I doubt I would have really started.

    Quick question how should apply this if you already have 7 month old site that was using NSD 1.0 and now is trying to apply NSD 2.0.

    Thanks for everything you do

    Jamie from Nashville TN

  • Omar

    Pat, could you provide some cold email examples you’re using as part of the 200-outreach program?

  • Anisul

    I have few questions for you Pat. How would you plan to approach to your 200 contacts? Will you create an alias to promote the food truck site or you’ll use your actual identity? I am in little bit doubt about this issue. Should I present myself as an expert or just an enthusiast in the niche. How can I make myself credible in front of others , specially When I know very little about my niche!

  • John-Paul

    Well done Pat! Although the anxiety is killing me, I’m certain your preparation’ll pay off in the end.

    I believe it was Abe Lincoln who once said: ‘Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe’.

    Sharpen on Pat!

  • Sara Martin

    Pat, you are so awesome! I recently discovered your site (a couple of weeks ago) and I am loving it!

    I am an architect, so I find it really inspiring that you have the same education I do and have been able to branch out so successfully into online business and communication.

    Niche Site Duel is a wealth of information. Your process has taught me so much already, and your tone online (open, honest, completely genuine!) is a real inspiration. Keep up the excellent work!

  • Neil

    Very exciting and agree no need to skew the numbers by revealing the site, best to see this as close to real world scenario as possible!

  • Paul

    Great stuff! Unless I missed it, could you share what portions of this effort, if any, that you are outsourcing and, what you’re expecting to pay for that particular effort?

    Thanks for the great info Pat!

  • Gerry

    I wish I read NSD 2 before getting too giddy on creating niche sites. I just suck so much at structured instructions that I skipped and overlooked a bunch of Pat’s instructions and advice from NSD1–Now Im stuck with a $75 mistake. Oh well. Now I’m gonna do my best to clearly digest and work on my next niche site project, and attempt to revamp and salvage my other niche site. Thanks for always posting great content Pat, though I must say the evolution of your usage of terminology; i.e, “usp”, “Vbal”, etc. makes you sound more and more like the proverbial “Internet Marketer”. I hope you still maintain your normal “Pat Flynn voice/writing style” coz thats what we love about your work–down to earth, easy to understand, and not littered with complicated marketing industry jargon like your friend Corbett Barr’s “Think Traffic” site. All the best.

    • Pat Flynn

      Vbal was made up because I thought I was going to use it more than I actually did. Same thinking behind NSD, which you’ve now learned and have used :)

      USP is important to understand. It’s like SEO – things like that you have to know how other people in the industry speak to know what they are talking about, hence the lesson in this post on it.

  • The Financial Blogger

    I’ve actually hired a VA to find all url talking about my niche where I can comment. in 10 hours, he found… 1,000 urls from over 200 different blogs. What was the cost? $27.80 😀

    In the upcoming weeks, I’ll have him comment on those blogs and I will slowly send them email to connect with them. I’ll probably use the same process with other type of link source.

    • Pat Flynn

      $27.80?! Awesome. Just, awesome. I think most would happily trade $27.80 for 10 hours of time.

      • The Financial Blogger

        Yup! I’ve started my research for a VA with very little metrics: I’ve searched for someone between $1 and $3/hr, top performer in English skills, more than 1,000 hours worked at ODesk and over 4.5/5 overall rating.

        I’ve tried this guy for the first 10 hours to see what he was able to do with web research and I was truly amazed.

        I must say that I’ve spent about an hour creating a step-by-step process in a word document with print screens and additional info to show him exactly how to perform his search. I guess it paid off!

        The good news is that I’ve put adsense on my niche site two days ago and already made $15.69 so my VA may become free faster than I thought!

    • Valerie Lewis

      If you don’t mind me asking, did you use oDesk?

      • The Financial Blogger

        I did!

        I’m currently working on a post on how to hire a VA on Odesk, you can send me an email if you want more info on that :-)

        thefinancialblogger at gmail

  • Tracey

    Ahhh…this makes me feel a little better. I was panicking thinking I was going to be left behind! Seems this is not the case. Looking forward to the next update!

  • Charles

    Great update, Pat! I’m really enjoying following along with NSD 2.0. Learning so much…. thanks again for all you do!

  • BrokeFilAm

    I have unsubscribed from many newsletters as well in the last 6 months, but I’m always excited to see yours in my mailbox from time to time!

  • Valerie Lewis

    Didn’t you just let your VA’s go a couple months ago? Seems like now would have been the perfect time to load them up with work compiling those contact lists.

  • Cecil

    I can’t wait on that launching schedule, Pat! Surely I’ll be on the buzz… 😀
    Thanks dude, Great post.!

    • Brandon

      Hey Pat,

      I’ve come up with the perfect offline marketing strategy for your new website…

      Start a SmartPassiveIncome food truck, where you sell sandwiches etc. with names like “social proof, the podcast, affiliate sale.” etc.

      Just kidding, but that would be awesome.


  • Gary

    “I’ll be putting a lot of effort into a pre-launch phase and will attempt to build buzz for the website….”

    You realize you’re already doing this right here even though we don’t know the site name, right? Sort of a pre-pre-launch.

    • Mary – Affilorama

      Prelaunch is always crucial for a successful site launch. Who else wouldn’t be trying to build a buzz here?

    • Iain

      Yeah he definitely is although I think he is going for more directed launching for it.

      I guess it all depends on whether you are in the food truck business.

      Good insight here Pat.

  • Daniel

    Gary is absolutely right! you are pre-launchig uour new website since.. now, haha

  • Daniel

    my apologies with my comment above.. a lot of error because i wrote it without reading it..!

  • phil f

    I’m really looking forward to seeing how this comes together Pat. I just red the USP article on thinktraffic as well, REALLY helpful. Keep it coming.

  • Mike

    Very nice approach to launching the site Pat. You’re pretty much treating it as a start up/business which obviously you should. I’m wondering since you’ll probably end up being an expert on food trucks by the end of this, would you ever consider opening your own?

    • Pat Flynn

      Could be something worth experimenting with down the line! :)

      • Michelle – Traffic Travis

        At least if you wind up an expert on food trucks you’ll be able to make some kickass meals!

  • carl

    I would be very interested to know more details about the specific techniques you are implementing to drive traffic to the pre-launch both soft and hard.

    Will this all be email traffic from emails you have collected in the industry? Or will you be driving traffic in any other ways? For example are you infeltrating any industry forums or social groups?

    • Pat Flynn

      I will be sharing all of that Carl :) Hopefully down to the specific emails, and perhaps phone calls (recordings) that I make.

  • Clark

    Making a brand for our business is biggest step toward the success.
    Great Information for every Online Marketer.

  • Alain Schlesser

    Hi Pat,
    Lots of valuable information in this post. Although I just realized that this whole niche site duel is a bit unfair… you’re pouring more effort into it than most people do with an authority site! 😉
    So, if we lowly nichers want to keep up, we’ll have to change gears!

  • Arwin Adriano

    Hi Pat,

    Excited to see the outcome of this project and I am sure it will going to be a big help especially to all newbies. Good luck and looking forward to it.


  • Get The Grad Job

    Hi Pat,

    Great post, I really like the idea of the 200 Outreach Program and have already started putting my list together. It’s useful to put everything you know about each company in one place so I have included a lot of information in my spreadsheet such as whether they are a company/individual, have an affiliate program, what social media outlets they have and whether I’m connected with them etc. I hadn’t thought about doing a vendor list so I will be looking at that in the coming week or so.


  • Dan

    Hey Pat,

    I thought this might be worth sharing – if you’re having difficulty finding sites that are similar or that are in your domain use Essentially it takes the effort out of finding sites that are worth e-mailing or following. I was aiming to find smaller paleo sites. It’s easy to find massive influencers in your area, getting them to respond to an e-mail is an entirely different game so I wanted to e-mail 2/3 big influencers 1/3 smaller influencers for my purpose (I’m asking for them to take an action which means my failure % is even higher than most). Anyways, it’s totally been worth it – as Pat suggests create a template and copy paste most of it.

    Hope this helps a little.
    Dan @ ChangingThePlate

  • Joe Malmuth

    Great article Pat! The trouble I am having is coming up with an idea for artwork. content seems to be the easy part in my niche and setting up google alerts for my key words makes it easy to gather research and resources too….but I just cant think of a cool idea for a logo :(

    • Pat Flynn

      There are a lot of sites out there where you can crowdsource your logo and get multiple submissions for your brand’s identity. Many people have mixed feelings about using them because a lot of people will enter and only 1 person will be selected and win a cash prize, but it’s up to you. 99designs, logomyway and logotournament are just a few of the several that are out there.

      • Mona

        I am a strong opposer to crowdsourcing a logo. You will never get the look and feel and quality, the designs get pumped out fast and there is a change of copyright infringements due to lack of understanding. Plus it’s spec work. Hiring a local designer that you can meet and work with is a better solution and doesn’t have to bust your budget either.

    • CJ

      Hey Joe—I have had a ton of success with logo designs from For $25 you could have 5 cool designs to choose from. Then, take what you like from those 5 and hire the best designer from Fiverr to merge the concepts into one logo. Total investment is $30 and you’ll get something you love almost every time. Just make sure to hire designers with a lot of good reviews.

  • Sylvia


    Curious to know where the SPI re-design falls on your calandar? Can’t wait to see that.


    • Pat Flynn

      The design is ready to go, it just has to be coded and adapted to Thesis. On the calendar it’s planned to be ready by the end of September. The food truck stuff is a higher priority right now, but it’s coming!

      • Sylvia

        Thank you for the fast reply! We must drive you nuts…hurry, hurry, hurry. LOL

        And, yes, absolutely the food truck work should take priority. Everybody’s clamoring for that too. But no pressure…:)

        • Pat Flynn

          Haha nah – I appreciate the excitement. It’s incredibly motivating and I know that the delay isn’t just for the sake of taking my time, it’s for the sake of making sure I have it all covered and share each step along the way. No pressure 😛

      • Phuong Le

        Amazed to heard that, since i knew the internet marketing, i’m just inspired by the design of blogusison and your theme on SPI :)

  • Manthan Thakar

    Hello, Pat

    Amazing post as always. I’d like to ask you something though. Neil Patel mentioned in his episode that he likes to spend a lot of money for the tools and the softwares. Even on his website he says “If you can’t afford tools wort $9000 I won’t work for you” or something similar. Do you use that approach too? Do you spend that much money for the softwares and stuff? I’d really like to know. Coz I look up to you and I’m really doing great with my website thinking if pat can do it, I can too. But I don’t know if you use any tools and softwares! A reply would really help.

    Thanks for great posts like this.

  • Teacup Yorkie Lover

    Hey Pat!

    I’m excited every time you post an update on the NicheSiteDuel project as you can imagine; I’m sure as much as everyone else I’d like to get going ASAP!

    Well, since you just spoke about figuring out your logo, tagline etc I thought I had mine all figured out, but you got me thinking that maybe I should have a closer look at something else… My current one is just not doing it for me right now.

    Oh and I have to admit that I haven’t put much thought into a pre-launch, soft- and hard launch at all. I guess I became a little over-eager as I just did the header and my next step would have been to start with the content, which was actually planned for the end of this week already.

    I’m off to your post about launching and I have a strong feeling that I might end up changing my mind and setting up a propper launch campaign after all.

    Looking forward to the next step; keep it up buddy! 😉


    • Pat Flynn

      Thanks Ruan – the point of all this is to take it one step at a time. I know a lot of people are eager, but I’m going into great detail each step of the way so I can make sure – not only for everyone else but for me too – that I have all my bases covered and I take a smarter approach to this to have the biggest impact I can with the site. I’m excited to see it all unfold too, but like I said, one step at a time, and I’ll make sure to share each step along the way. Cheers!

  • Rusty

    Great post Again! I shouldn’t expect any less. Love the part about your USP. So many times folks over look the planning and value you can bring to a niche when they’re trying to get started.

    Keep up the great work!

    – Rusty

  • Matt Sullivan


    First of all, thanks for the validating the fact that all of this is a lot of work. I am in the middle of content creation and building some buzz for the site. I had no idea how much time and effort all of this would be.

    This is a different approach, but I like it.

    God Bless,

    Matt Sullivan

  • Eric Osterman


    Thanks for the excellent post. The tip about SEM Rush at the end was a HUGE help for a project I’m developing. I can’t tell you how big of an encouragement it is to come to your blog be a part of a community of people who are all trying to better themselves.

  • Mia Gal

    A very experienced marketing guru said thousands of times that the three laws of marketing physics are that most effective marketing messages communicate these three things (aka Unique Selling Proposition):
    1. Overt Benefit (what are you offering)
    2. Dramatic Difference (why should your customer care?)
    3. Reason to Believe (how are you going to make good on your promise)

    The example he used over and over again was the old Domino’s Pizza message: HOT pizza in 30 minutes or its free.

  • Aliaksandra

    If you ask me, I wish things were moving along faster with Niche Site Duel 2.0. I’m checking in every day to see if there is something new. I’m an SPI fan who needs guidance. Can’t blame me for that!

  • jose

    It is reassuring to see that even veterans have bumps and bruises. I kind of feel like that is all I am receiving right now. But you are a great role model. I will soldier on. Thank you.

  • michelle

    Hi Pat – I’ve posted my 200 outreach job on ODesk, and I’ve gotten multiple bids for between $2000 – $4000. Is this what you’d expect to spend? It’s more than I can invest right now, although I love the strategy. Any guidance on verbiage or tools to use to streamline this/make it more affordable for a new blog would be much appreciated!

    • Pat Flynn

      Whoa that totally doesn’t sound right. A previous commenter shared he had it done for $27.00. What requirements are you posting in your job description?

  • Dems

    200 Outreach program – sounds like a great idea. I’ll do it. Thanks for sharing as always!

  • ednasmith

    Pat, heads up on your affiliate BlueHost. I switched my account over to a VPS, after 4 years on a shared server with Bluehost. The VPS server crashed 3 days ago and my site is still down with little support form the Support Team. Although my VPS was backed up every night they can’t figure out how to get it back running. This site took me 4 years to build and it is a profitable small business for me. I was told the crash was due to a procedure done on the server that wasn’t supposed to be done. BlueHost just started the VPS business last month and it’s obvious they weren’t ready for it. Just praying that I can get my site up and not lose my business.

    • Pat Flynn

      Hi Edna, I’m so sorry to hear that, and thank you for letting me know. I haven’t used their VPS or dedicated servers which is why I haven’t promoted those specifically. When people are starting I suggest starting with shared hosting and then upgrading from there if needed. I’m praying all of this works out!

      • ednasmith

        Thanks Pat, I’m hoping I can get my site back. But, I’ll definitely switch to a host based on quality, not quantity.

  • Mark Whelan

    Hey Pat,

    When reaching out to advertisers or competitors, do you think it’s wiser to use your website email (i.e. [email protected]) or a more generic less official email address ([email protected])? Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Thanks for the brilliant content by the way, big fan :)!

    • Pat Flynn

      I think the more personal and real, the better. So, I’d go with the branded domain name if I had to make a choice. Anyone else have an opinion? Thanks Mark!

      • Vinod Poyilath

        Yes Pat, the branded domain does bring some trust factor, but I had a lot of my mails going into the spam folders of recipients when I did it with my previous business. I guess it was some words in the email or may be my link in the mail or something that caused it. I’m sure those would have easily reached the inbox if I had used my gmail.

        Also, I was not using a mailing service and was sending them individually out of Outlook. I’m not sure if that would have happened if I had used Google apps or something, with my branded domain.

        What do you think?

  • Ben Jackson

    Hey Pat, amazing as always, i’m going to go try this stuff out without delay!

  • Ben Jackson
  • Andrew Moritz

    I like using both and for a better research. Combinig the results from the 2 websites gives a better perspective.

  • Kmdgouse

    Good Information Very Nice

  • Casey Ayars

    LOVE THIS POST — Steps, resources, and tips that are ACTIONABLE. Thank you for this — You’re the man, Pat!

  • Robin

    Hi Pat —

    I love the 200 outreach idea, but I’m doing a product comparison site and it seems that most of the people in my field would be my competitors. I’m not clear how I would approach them. Any advice?

  • Norman

    Hey Pat. Great post, as usual.

    Re 200 sites, fb pages, twitter, blogs…

    Many sites also have blogs, fb pages and twitter accounts. This means we might contact one site owner 3 or 4 times. Feels a bit spammy. How are you structuring this?


  • Trudy

    Hi I appreciate Pat’s honesty and forthrightness. I have heard the spiel about instant income enough, I think I had become a bit jaded. I came across SPI a year ago and have been reading, learning and listening the entire time. Thank you Pat for increasing my confidence, affirming some of the ideas I already had and filling in the rest of the details. I recommend you to everyone and celebrate your successes like they were my own.


  • Morteza

    Hey Pat ! Thanks …
    Great post . congratulation for your success .

  • Ashraf

    A comprehensive update on the Niche Site Duel 2.0. Its revealing and useful for marketers. The idea of analyzing competition could be a an important skill every marketer would want to stick with.

  • Ashish Sharma

    Hi Pat,

    Playing catch up here because I am only recently beginning to get on the NSD 2.0 bandwagon. So from reading your plans thus far for 2.0, it sounds like things should progress in the following order:

    1) Niche research (using appropriate tools such as LongTail Pro etc…)
    2) List Building (using the 200/200/200 technique as Neil mentioned)
    3) Basic wordpress site setup on a non-trademarked name domain
    4) Logo design (using odesk, elance etc..)
    5) Watch this space page (using Lead Pages)
    6) Buzz generation using lists from #2 above…

    That’s where the group seems to be so far. Am I understanding this right? Remember I’m still at the first step above but I want to make sure I plan the time/energy/schedule needed because it all feeds into the ultimate launch plan.

    Thanks and keep up the honest good work!


  • Element46

    Hi Pat, a true inspiration. Have just put my site live so will be visiting often to follow your progress. I owe my inspiration for this all down to you.

    Thanks Pat


  • John Inspire

    This was a good post Pat. I am trying to understand what your link building strategy will be besides calling the people from the list. This is an interesting case study and I cannot wait to see it soon.

  • Sean

    Hi Pat,

    Thanks for all of the great info. We have been following you closely for the last few months, and as a result of the inspiration we have started our own niche site. We initially threw up a good amount of content and realized that our information was unorganized and confusing to the user. We are in the process of rebranding and refocusing both on the url and delivery of content in order to deliver better information. If we are going to change the url would you suggest “starting over” by putting up a squeeze page to collect email, developing a relaunch (power of 200), and then reorganize/deliver the content?

    While we didnt do as much research as we should have in picking our niche but it is a topic we are interested in and have experience, but we are finding it difficult to directly target our audience because of the many possible users. We are open to suggestions and ideas.

    thank you to the SPI community,
    [email protected]

  • http://8MinutesAbsWorkout.ent iSpock


    I really appreciate very much for taking us through an educational journey. The end of the mission will add greater amount of value to our individual online biz service.

    Over & Out,


  • Travis


    Would you consider your vision and plans for this food truck website as an example of a blue ocean strategy?

  • Kristopher

    Hi Pat, good to see that you’re thinking about the legal exposures involved with starting this new website. People have an idea that they are anonymous on the internet, and they won’t be held accountable for their actions. The reality is that if you infringe copyright or intellectual property, it’s only a matter of time before someone pulls you up on it; resulting in a hefty legal bill, or severe case of embarrassment at the least. Better to do things right the first time around.

  • Patrick Murphy

    I have a question about Long Tail Pro. When you have a long tail phrase of your key word and you analyze it, so that the top ten URLs come up with their corresponding data (Page Authority, Page Links, etc.), why is it that some of the URLs have the number 1 for Page Authority, and 0 for Page Links and 0 for Page Juice? Sometimes these pages are wikilink but sometimes just random pages. Should we assume we cannot compete with these pages or not? It seems this will skew our decisions if we don’t know the answer to this question. If someone could help thanks!

  • Rina

    I have never used for analysis, then will I follow all the tutorial above
    thank you for your knowledge, hopefully more success for your project

  • Bunner Malinda


    Would you consider your vision and plans for this food truck website as an example of a blue ocean strategy?

  • Enozia Vakil

    Thanks a ton to Pat for imparting his knowledge here. I’m following everything on your niche site duel posts religiously and hope that another duel is on soon- I’d love to participate in it.

    Thanks again!

  • David

    Thanks Pat Flynn so much!