The Road to 50,000 Subscribers

Last week, the Smart Passive Income Blog passed the 50,000 subscriber mark, a milestone that I never thought was possible when I started it back in 2008. It has truly been an amazing and humbling journey and I only have you to thank for it.

I realize that there are several sites that have grown much faster and I’m always looking at those sites for inspiration, but I wanted to take this opportunity not only to thank you, but to offer some important thoughts about how I actually got here.

I Filled in What I Saw Was Missing

If you’re trying to get into a crowded niche, it’s easy to think that you’re at a huge disadvantage.  Everyone started before you and your competition already has some authority in the space, yada yada yada.

This is true, but I used this to my advantage instead, and so should you. The more competition, the better.


Because the more competition there is, the more opportunities there are to see where the real holes are in the market. It’s easier to spot what’s missing and that becomes your angle of entry.

In the crowded and saturated blogging and make money online space, for example:

  1. I noticed that no one was talking too much about automation. The 4-Hour Work Week had just been published and the automation section (Part III: A is for Automation, Section 9: Income Autopilot) rocked my world, and so I decided to let that drive the branding. I decided to go with “passive income” because that was the money-related outcome of automation.
  2. I also noticed that too many bloggers were talking the talk, but not walking the walk. It was the few who were publishing posts with real case studies and real data that excited me the most, so I made a conscious decision to openly talk about my own businesses and the strategies I used within them.
  3. No one was talking about their failures, so I published posts like this.
  4. When reading other blogs, I didn’t really feel like I knew exactly who was writing to me, so I got personal and published posts like this, and videos like this.
  5. Nobody was publishing their income online. Hence, my income reports.

Back in 2008, it sort of blew my mind that no one else was reporting their income, although I eventually learned that a few people such as John Chow and Yaro Starak had done it before, but stopped. If any one industry should do it, in my opinion, it’s this one, so I decided to do it myself knowing that it would make some noise, and they’ve become the most popular posts on the site.

I don’t think that everyone in every industry should be posting their income – it doesn’t make sense for some – but I think everyone should have their own version of an “income report”, something that excites your audience and proves you know what you’re talking about.

What’s your industry’s “income report”?

Along the journey to 50k, I also did a lot of other things that helped me stand out of the crowd, although I wouldn’t necessarily say they were meant to fill in any holes that I saw in the market. Most of them were just naturally done because of who I am and what I wish my experience was like on other blogs.

A Unique Email List

When I started learning about doing business online, I heard the expression “the money is in the list”. So naturally, I subscribed to every email newsletter that I could in this space because I wanted to learn from the best. Unfortunately, all that I really learned was that I was being sold to over and over again, and it was annoying. It was interesting because I  saw what it was really like from the subscriber’s point of view, but that’s not how I wanted to treat my subscribers.

When I finally started building an email list of my own on the blog, I made the decision not to sell anything directly to my subscribers – to make it about delivering even more useful content and opening lines of communication instead.

I eventually learned that the money isn’t in the list, but the money is a byproduct of how helpful I can be and what kind of relationship I have developed with my audience, and the list can help me with that. The email list will always be an integral part of my marketing strategy, but not in the way I was taught.

I like to think of it as a part of my relationship strategy instead.

This strategy definitely helps me stand out from the rest, and it also makes people feel comfortable about sharing my newsletter with their friends and following too.

When implementing something new, I’m always thinking, “If I came across this on another blog, how would I really feel about it?”

Things usually work out for the best when I ask myself that question.

I Expanded Beyond the Blog

I would not be at 50,000 subscribers if it weren’t for my presence on YouTube and the podcast on iTunes.


In 2011, I conducted a survey on the blog asking my readers “how did you find me?” and the top two answers were:

  1. The Podcast (19%)
  2. YouTube (16%)

Not links from other blogs, not Google or Facebook or Twitter, but the podcast and YouTube videos.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers were even higher because I’ve gotten a lot more exposure on those platforms since then.

Currently, I’m expanding my reach even further by publishing a book on the Amazon Kindle platform. The book is being written as we speak (I’m taking a break from writing to publish this post!) and I’ll definitely be sharing exactly what happens when it launches. You’ll hear more about it, I’m sure. 😉

I Shared for Free What Would Normally Have a Price

A lot of what I post on the blog I like to think could be something that people would be happy paying for, but instead I give it away for free. I’ve actually had a few people offer to pay for certain things they’ve consumed on the blog, which is pretty cool.

The reason I do this is because I know that often this kind of content can skyrocket my traffic and subscribership, and it’s more likely to be shared.

There are several examples of this, but one in particular comes to mind because even 2 years later it continues to produce a ton of traffic and (more importantly) emails from readers thanking me for the information that I’ve given away for free.

I’m talking specifically about the niche site duel posts, where I share exactly how I created my niche site at – from niche selection and keyword research all the way to getting to the top of Google and generating a couple thousand dollars per month. Even now, I continue to write about the site as I attempt to expand it into an even bigger business.

I’ve learned that sharing information for free, especially information that would normally have a price, helps me build a stronger relationship with my readers (and my reader’s readers) and can be worth more, in the long run, than collecting a payment for that information upfront.

With affiliate marketing a part of the strategy, if appropriate and done with the reader’s goal in mind  (see Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way), it can become a win-win situation for all.

I Never Gave Up

What a lot of people don’t know is that during the first 6 months of this blog, I wanted to give up – several times.

I had a booming study guide business at and was used to seeing thousands of people coming to the site each day. In March of 2009, I was seeing over $1000.00 a day on that site working just an hour or two per week answering customer emails. At the same time, Smart Passive Income just had a few hundred subscribers and a small number of comments on each post. No income, slow growth and I was spending hours on each post.

I got to a point where everytime I was hitting the publish button, I asked myself, “why am I doing this?”

In that same month, March of 2009, I got an email from a reader who I had never made contact with before. She said that she had made her first dollar online writing for (which I was also writing for at the time) thanks to me, and she was thrilled! That’s when I realized that I was getting spoiled, greedy, and I forgot why I had created the blog in the first place: to help people.

I’m glad she brought me back to reality because since then helping you has always been my number one priority, and doing that has paid off more than anything. My goal is to keep getting mail like this:


Many people say luck has a lot to do with my success, and I agree – but only because I think we can create our own luck.

To finish off the post, here’s a great quote from author Natasha Josefowitz:

“Luck is being in the right place at the right time, but location and timing are to some extent under our control.” (Click here to Tweet this Quote!)

Thank you again for all of your support, and remember – none of this happened overnight and it definitely wasn’t a straight and smooth road, but with a lot of hard work, patience and “luck”, we can all make progress that matters.


  • Rob @ Prosperity Clicks

    Well said, Pat.

    As I prepare to launch my newsletter, this post couldn’t have come at a better time.

    • Pat

      Cheers Rob! Good luck with your launch and all the best to you!

      • Olawale Daniel

        Well written and helpful as you have always been doing Pat.

        I couldn’t say much than thanking you for carrying me along with your journey.

        It is a good thing reading from you after some months of absence from my dear blog, SPI!


  • Manu

    Hi Pat, I asked you about it in a really old post, could you explain your current approach on the “filter” email to weed out the non-followers, please?

    Which were the key elements of that mail? I’ve been subscribed to your newsletter for a few months but didn’t receive that mail.

    Thanks Pat, your work is truly inspiring.

    • Pat

      Hi Manu, I’m currently testing, for a few months span, what the numbers and conversion rates are like NOT using that filter email, but I still think it’s a good idea. The jist of it is telling people right away that if the information I have on my site isn’t for them, then to just simply unsubscribe. It also asked if people aren’t willing to put in the work and are looking for an easy way out, to get off the list as well. You have total control over who you want on your list and the filter email helps you weed the people you don’t want out, if that makes sense.

      • Manu

        Yeah that makes a lot of sense, in fact I thought it was an awesome idea and that’s why after reading the post in which you talked about it I went right away to check if I received that email and analyze it, but didn’t. Thank you!

  • Brandon

    Great stuff as usual Pat!

    Do you ever feel like, by posting your income online, you are opening yourself up for lawsuits or other bad stuff? I feel like I’d love to do monthly “Real Estate Investment Portfolio Reports” but I’d be in danger of bad people doing bad things with it? Any thoughts?

    Thanks for the great post. I am looking forward to 50k as well! (It might take a little bit…)

    • Pat

      What kind of lawsuits are you talking about? If I’m posting legitimate numbers, then I have nothing to worry about. Of course, one should always be careful and conscious about what they’re posting online, with anything, and like I said in the post doing this may not make sense for some people in certain niches.

      • Brandon

        I don’t know – I just always hear lawyers say things like “don’t ever let people know what you’ve got going, or they’ll try to take it!”

        I’m sure it’s just their jobs to be cautious.

        Thanks for the response!

  • Deacon Bradley

    I’ve been reading your blog since the early days waaaaay back in 2009. Super fun to see this wrap up, and I appreciate you’re sharing some of the keys that got you there.

    I’m working on my own email list now and modeling it after yours (one that I always open no matter what). Curious, how often are you emailing new subscribers right now? Weekly? Less often?

    • Pat

      Thank you so much! Right now, I have about 30-35 emails in my autoresponder series, and I send a new one each week, or sometimes every two weeks. That’s over a year’s worth of consistent communication which goes a very long way!

      • Christopher Knopick

        Do you generally send out an email broadcast about a new post and then create an autoresponder email related to it? Or only one or the other?
        I’m thinking about sending out a broadcast email (perhaps once a week) when I have new content. Then add an autoresponder email to my series about the post in a little more depth.

        Do you think that’s too many as each subscriber would hear about the post/topic twice?
        Keep up the great work,

  • Rana Shahbaz

    Starting out is always the hardest part. Staying consistent in the early days is the hardest part.

    Congrats Pat for achieving another milestone :-)

    • Pat

      Definitely Rana, and thank you for the support!

  • Tom

    Congratulations Pat!

    Quick question: Do you have a way of figuring out how many total readers you have versus how many are actually subscribed?

    Thanks for everything you do and send regards to your wife. Hope she is doing ok in her third trimester. With my two kids that got tough for my wife (especially in the summer).

    • Pat

      Hard to tell for sure because I’m sure there are those who read the blog that do not subscribe, and vice versa. It might be an average of the number of unique visitors who have been on a page for more than a minute in the latest X number of posts – I don’t know, lol.

      And thanks for the kind words about my wife. She’s doing really well, fortunately, although it’s getting pretty warm which tires her out some, understandable. The baby is moving like crazy (it’s like that scene from Alien) and we’re just a little over a month away. Exciting!

      Thanks Tom!

  • Glen Allsopp

    There’s not much I want to say besides: It’s been great being a spectator on the journey.

    Seat belt fastened for the next 50k. Congrats Patman :)

    • Pat

      Thanks Glen, I love how you always take a moment to come by and leave a quick comment. I could very easily say the same thing about you – it’s been awesome watching you grow and accomplish many many things that are truly inspiring. Thanks again for opt-in skin my man, a quality plugin that I’m happy to share and, of course, is adding to my income reports as well. Cheers!

      • Rahul Kuntala

        LOL for your comment Glen.. I always love to read your quick and benchmark comments.

        Pat… you’re the hero. Truly success is not a one night journey. You’ve to be consistently working hard to reap the rewards.

  • Gregory Ciotti

    Congrats Pat! You’ve definitely been a big inspiration with your ‘Be Everywhere’ approach, one of the first (and best) bloggers to dive into BOTH podcasting and video content, and with a ton of innovation along the way (using the Wacom tablets, guests on your podcats, etc.)

    Keep killing it!

  • steve wyman

    Hi Pat

    Congrats, you deserve the following you have you’ve worked hard, and smart to get the success you have so far.

  • Shannon

    Thanks for sharing some things you’ve learned in your journey. Today is the 3 month anniversary of my site. I’m confident it’s providing value in a crowded niche but it’s what you said about the early days of your site – spending lots of time writing posts and not making any money (yet!). Since I help people plan trips, my “payment” so far has been very nice words about making their vacations great and that is what I need to focus on (now and 4 years from now).

    Congrats on 50k! I just realized I’d never signed up for the list so make that 50,001. :)

  • Erik

    Hi Pat,

    The way you do pretty much everything is astute.

    You’re very professional.

    I’m not surprised at all that you put yourself on email lists to see both how you might do it and then noticing what it’s like on the receiving end.

    Yes, way too many bloggers sell way too often to their list. And it’s darn annoying.

    Good bits on not being afraid to go after any niche you like. I agree that competition is a good sign. No such thing as over-saturation when as you said, you give them what they need by filling holes.

    Lisa Irby just mentioned that she doesn’t believe in over-saturation in an industry. I agree with both of you.

    Cool that you had a chapter in Internet Prophets. I read the whole book and enjoyed it. Good tidbits throughout.

    You really do offer value as I mentioned in a recent email to you. You were a real pleasure to speak to behind the scenes by the way.

    What can I say except you know what to deliver, how to deliver it, and that you’re a real diamond in the rough.

    Love your blog, the value you offer, and your style.

    Hope I can chat via email once in a great while. I know you’re always real busy and I’ll keep that in mind.

    Just wanted to take the time to pay my compliments to you.

    Big fan,


  • Perry

    Congrats, Pat! From zero to 50,000 in a few years is insanely awesome!

    You’re a major inspiration to so many out there and I am very excited to see your Kindle publishing storyline :-)

  • Brian Stephens

    Pat, you asked a great question here that struck a chord with me…”What is the ‘income report’ for your industry?” That got me thinking…well, still has me thinking. Thanks for that nugget (as well as the countless others). I appreciate it.

  • Lance@MoneyLife&More

    Sounds like an amazing journey. I just recently subscribed and am glad I have. My blog is a newborn compared to yours but I crossed 100 subscribers the other day which is huge for me. (It fell back down but feedburner fluctuates a lot for me) I hope one day I can write a similar post although it will likely be a more modest threshold for me.

  • Pierre | Internet Business Generation

    The more you post, the luckier you get Pat! 😉

    It would be interesting to see how readers find you today versus 2011.

  • Chris French

    Hey, Pat, congrats on 50K! Love everything you do and look forward to seeing your online presence grow even more.

  • Brandon Breshears

    Hey Pat,
    This is a great post. I really appreciate your work, you are a true professional. I am encouraged by you and when things aren’t going as fast as I would like I always remind myself that I am building an asset that will pay off for a long time. If you can do it, so can I. I think you really hit it on the head with being in multiple places, not just in the blogosphere and that is what I am going to be focusing on here in the coming months. Thanks man, you are awesome.
    PS I always opt in to get your free e-book on the comments section and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten it despite searching my email, is there a link to it somewhere?

  • Julien

    I totaly agree with this post on how blogging can be so hard.

    And It’s a lot of work.

    I blog since 1 year now, I have a little trafic, but that’s not the type of rapid growth I expected. I expected a more.

    I think I do a lot of good things. Design is good, I think I’m hleping people, my content is good. But something is missing, but I don’t have a lot’s of email subscribers after 1 year.

    It’s hard for me because I have quit my job for do what I love, blogging and design. But if things stays like this, I will not be able to win enought money.

    The idea of having to go back for a real job is just horrible for me. I just can’t accept this.

    Thank you Pat for your great advices on your blog.

  • Julien

    I totaly agree with this post on how blogging can be so hard.

    And It’s a lot of work.

    I blog since 1 year now, I have a little trafic, but that’s not the type of rapid growth I expected. I expected a more.

    I think I do a lot of good things. Design is good, I think I’m hleping people, my content is good. But something is missing, but I don’t have a lot’s of email subscribers after 1 year.

    It’s hard for me because I have quit my job for do what I love, blogging and design. But if things stays like this, I will not be able to win enought money.

    The idea of having to go back for a real job is just horrible for me. I just can’t accept this.

    Thanks Pat for your great advices on this blog.

  • James

    Awesome job Pat! I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for over 3 years now and I must say you do it better than everyone. It’s nice to read your content and not have sales letters and opt-in’s forced down your throat. All your work with the security guard training site has inspired me to start my own research site geared towards real estate. Keep up the great work. Thanks

  • Takeshi

    I guess the “death of RSS” is overblown! Congrats on the milestone!

  • Kimanzi Constable

    You have an amazing and inspiring journey Pat and I enjoy learning from you. You’re a true leader and look forward to seeing you hit 100,000.

  • Monty Campbell

    Thank you Pat for the post. As the industry inspiration you are, I admire not only what you do but the humility with which you proceed to succeed. Three key points I appreciate about this post:

    1) “I think everyone should have their own version of an “income report””.
    I agree. I’m working on mine now. It is a faith walk to put how you are doing out there, but I hold it is worth it. I look forward to getting a better gauge on defining that as what gets measured gets managed.

    2) “the first 6 months of this blog, I wanted to give up – several times.” I found your blog in Podcast Form in 2011. Had I been blessed enough or wise enough to find it in 2010, I would be in a different place now. Irony, I had all the reason. At that time I planned to seed for the LEED Exam. But that is another story. Your perseverance inspires me to persevere. The first year of my blog has been a challenge and a blessing.

    3) “we can create our own luck” I totally agree. I also know we can predict the future with our faith. Analysis paralysis can make a “Doubting Thomas” out of each of is. But, consistent positive vibration, intentional efforts, and a epic vision goes a masterfully long way.

    Contrats to you and your family Mr. Flynn. Hmmm. One more point. As a father of two. You inspire me to be a better Dad. That is my why as I blog. Its good to see another father out there working hard for that purpose too.

  • Azad Shaikh

    Cool and really great post. Focus and real ACTION is also very important. I learnt it the hard way, by mulitple failures. :(

    Wish you much more success.

  • Jessica Kihara

    If anyone knows the right path to 50,000 subscribers it’s you, Pat! Right off the bat I was impressed with how honest and open you are about your business. You’re real – people LOVE that.

  • Matthew Horne

    Well Pat, I can formally say that Thanks to you for giving me the opportunity to work on this amazing blog I now have a business worth fighting for. The single link from your site has kicked started my work and I can now happily help others develop their blogs and provide them with quality work at a great price.

    Trying to contend with the other 1000s of blogs about wordpress and development has been tough and at times almost misserable because when you have something you really want to provide for others in my industry getting feedback is as valuable as Gold. Since working on your site I have outgrown my own time but I am happy to work the extra hours to continue to grow.

    Also I ended up getting freshbooks for client management, it’s exactly what I was looking for.

    Once again Pat Thank you and keep on blogging.

  • Alain

    Men, I am following your example to the dot.

    Although my blog is only two months old and still does not have a proper design, I am beginning to feel some kind of connection with an audience. Men I am working hard, but I am loving every minute of it.

    I started an income report to hold myself accountable. So far my expenses are higher than my revenues. I talk freely about my struggles and I am planning to be every where.

    Today I finished writing my eBook. I will have it edited and published within a month. You have been a great inspiration.

    I have 0 subscribers and no one in my mailing list, but I know that people are reading my blog and this give me a great deal of satisfaction.

    • Matthew Horne

      I subscribed to your blog, it has some interesting and usefull things for me. I develop websites, im not a designer but if you get a designer to mock up a psd I would be happy to help you develop your site.



  • Chris C. Ducker

    Congratulations, bro.

    All your hard work, fueled by the passion to provide for your family, has paid off for you.

    I absolutely love the fact that you mentioned luck in this post. It’s so, so important in life and business. As I’ve built my businesses up over the last 4-5 years luck has reared it’s head several times, and I have no problems embracing it, each and every time!!!

    Congratulations again, brother.

    Lots of love and respect, all the way from the Philippines, for you, April and the kids.


  • Mark Mason

    I love that I am one of 50,000 people that are part of something truly awesome.

    I have a sneaky suspicion we are at the beginning of something truly remarkable. I couldn’t be happier about your success.

    Your biggest fan,

  • Scott Iardella

    Hey Pat,
    Just a quick congrats man! You really have done well with SPI and the reason is simple. You provide real value.
    Hard work, persistence, and giving great content that really helps people is a sure fire way to success, no question about it.
    I love the fact that you use all the different media channels, as well.
    You’re a great model for all of us. Cheers and look forward to seeing more great success for you in the future.
    Best, Scott

  • Derek Pierce

    Great post! I’m just curious – was the 50K all from free traffic or have you bought some of those leads as well?
    Keep up the good work.

  • Don Miller

    Hi Pat,

    What software if any do you use for handling memberships on SPI? I did a search on the site and wasn’t able to locate it right off, did I miss something?


  • Claire Smith

    I was only ready to listen to your podcasts this summer, and they have helped me immensely with what direction and how to evolve what I am doing online. I have started my own list and won’t be selling them anything, but sharing great info to help them succeed!

    I am not sure what makes us spend time writing about what we do and share all our “advtantage over the competition” when we could be quietly raking it in, but sharing and helping others is so much fun and makes this all worthwhile. It is easy enough once you get going to have your bills paid and you only need so much money to feed, cloth and house yourself, it’s the sharing with others that gives you that spark and satisfaction.

    People love to read an income report for so many reasons, curiosity is a big one. I have been posting one on Infobarrel and now my blog since my first 25 cents last August to my most recent $4000 one. I guess it does give proof you know what you are talking about. Another intangible is that real income, and real freedom that your readers can see evolving, seems to inspire the readers (they say so) and that is so cool to have that positive effect on others.

    So keep up the good work, 50,000 is an awesome impact, you have made a difference. Cheers

  • jean

    Hello Pat,

    I truly appreciate people like you online who just share and share and share…

    I really learned a lot and hopefully someday, I can contribute too on your success and be able to avail one, if not all, of your ebooks…

    Keep up the good work!

  • Ian McConnell

    Congrats Pat,

    SPI is one of those blogs I always read as soon as I get the email, because I’m guaranteed to get awesome value for the time invested. People can tell by your writing that you are being totally honest and transparent, which is incredibly refreshing.

    I remember being extremely excited when my kids were born (like you) and struggled to work because I always wanted to be around them… Now they are 19 and 16 and I wonder where the time went. Enjoy them, kids are awesome.

    All the very best to you, your Wife and kids.

    Ian McConnell
    Western Australia

  • Mike Buie

    Just inspiration I needed. Thanks Pat

  • Glennette Goodbread

    Congratulations on passing the elusive 50,000 mark! I just recently visited your website after it was mentioned at a conference and I have to say I am very impressed. You deserve the success you are having so don’t let people tell you it’s luck. It’s obviously from lots of hard work which most people run from!

    Glennette Goodbread
    Web Design | Hosting | SEO

  • Benny

    Congrats Pat! 50k is a great number! And I know you’re just warming up. :)

  • Kibibi Jett

    Thank you for this post. A few days ago I was looking at your website from 2008 on a site that lets you go back and see what someone’s site looked like in the past. I was reading you old site for inspiration because it is so easy to be intimidated by very successful larger than life bloggers when you are just starting off, although I have always loved your down to earth, extremely helpful attitude and income reports. I was reading your “I just got laid off post” and it reminded me that today’s ultra successful bloggers had hurdles and concerns they faces when they first got started too. In this post celebrating your phenomenal 50k mark I like how you mentioned your early thoughts as well as important lessons and strategies you adopted along the way. Congratulations and thanks again.



    I am a recent subscriber to your site and I am enjoying every post. I think what you have done has truly revolutionized the game. I think you are on the way to building a remarkable legacy in the era.


  • Mark

    Very inspiring and I wish more people would focus more on sharing value instead of making quick bucks!

  • John Jax

    I will say, the give up theory has cross my mind a few times. Still hanging in there trying to learn the game! Thanks Pat!!

  • ancuta

    Hi Pat! I’m really happy of being one of the 50k. I’ve learned a lot from you and I’m opening all your messages while – I must tell you – there are just a few emails I’m still opening… You’re proving that online one can win by being true and doing what she feels like, not what others tell she should do.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights and… congrats!

  • Nick

    Congratulations, Pat, I love your site/work and have been following it for a while. I think you are so successful because you are sincere and focus on helping people. You are right when you say that focusing on relationships instead of instant sales is important in the long haul. I know I have felt like giving money to some different bloggers whose blogs I read simply because they are such helpful people.

  • Richie

    Hi Pat,
    Congrats with the 50k milestone, outstanding achievement in an industry that sometimes resembles a Gladiator pit. The posts above are a testament to your work and I am thankful for the day that I came across Pat Flynn on the web.

  • Rose Smith

    Hi Pat,
    Super congrats to 50,000 subscribers! That blows me away and I keep remembering your underlying themes of creating great content and being everywhere. I’m directing my first video for my site. As a tech dead-head, I find my confidence building as I conquer each tech venue. (I actually celebrate by singing “You Know You Make Me Wanna Shout!”). Your tutelage convinces me that I can do this so there’s a whole lot of singing an dancing going on in my room lately. Thanks!
    Take care,
    Rose Smith

  • Ruan | HighTechNovation

    Hi Pat,

    Being busy with my site for just over two months now, I am still very much in that learning and “creating trust & credibility” stage. I am being patient and I know at some point I’ll begin seeing the results of all the hard work I am currently putting in.

    I have just launched my new site and I have an even bigger feeling about this one. Technology is a subject of interest to many and well, I have to be honest that many told me the market is saturated and being done “over and over to endless boredom” but when I just started reading this post of yours saying that the more competition, the better, I couldn’t help but just smile and got that relaxing feeling that you get when you see that a pro as yourself says exactly what you are currently doing is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Thanks buddy, that gave me much comfort and inspiration for the future.

    In the meantime I would like to inform you of my commitment to walk the walk with you on the road of the next 50k… All buckled up, it’s going to be an awesome joy-ride! 😉

    All the best with SPI!

  • Drew H.

    hey Pat I Found Your ABOUT 4 Months ago i Keep coming back what i like about it most is Its REAL And Thats Refreshing in The IM World I love The Fact you Show Income(believable statements) ,by doing that you Make People Realize its REAL and DO-ABLE,and Some Work Is Required By There is Reward Thanks Pat

  • Yamato

    Congratualtions to 50k subscribers. Besides all the ‘new’ ways to follow an author or a site, i think email is the most personal and will keep its position in communication and marketinig for the future.
    I am always looking forward to new content from you (not only by email, but mostly notified by RSS).
    I still remember when I got my first subscribers to my very niche-specific newsletter in 2003. It was party time all night.
    Good luck for the future!

  • Sheila Bergquist

    Pat, congratulations on your milestone. The one thing you didn’t mention, that I think has also made you successful, is your personality. I honestly think that the personality of the blogger makes a huge difference and your warmth and genuineness comes through loud and strong.

  • Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Congrats on getting to 50,000 subscribers, Pat! I’m glad you always mention how you were close to giving up on SPI at first because I’m sure many people come to your blog, don’t really read the content, and assume that you are just making a lot of money because you are “just another guy in the internet marketing space.” They don’t realize how much work went in to not only making SPI, but your other businesses as well!


  • Natalie Sisson

    Hey Pat

    I was just thinking to myself today as I read your email that I love that you never sell anything through your email and congrats to you on knowing that money is in the relationships and value you build through your email list.

    I also love that you refer to luck. My formula for luck though is slightly different:

    Luck = Preparation Meeting Opportunity

    You have prepared yourself the whole way through your blog journey and when there’s been an opportunity you’ve taken it. Plus a lot of hard work.

    Looking forward to your book!


  • Kylie

    Thank you so much for writing such a great blog. You have helped thousands, and your 50,000 subscribers is proof.
    Congratulations on your success.

  • Alexandre B

    Good job Pat,
    I think every blogger has to read this post to understand the real purpose of blogging : helping people. Money is secondary.

    Keep up the great work !

    • benboyer

      you are absolutely right @AlexandreB

      many of us , Thanks to Pat , can easily rank niche sites #1 for one or several keywords , but if your content is not the best on a subject ( that or those keywords ) your basically just taking up space…

      …. And probably just annoying those looking for the right content for that keyword

      google is making steps to fix this issue ( and rightfully so imho ) and the ‘trend’ of cleaning up the search engines is already gaining traction , the early adapters will win big in this category as well

      and Pat , your awesome story is being told everywhere! I’ll bet you can confirm that the more you ‘practice’ the ‘luckier’ you get

      Thanks again for all your AWESOME content

  • Alex Fakhri

    Great post Pat, as usual very inspiration and every time I read one of your posts I seem to leave with a ton of ideas running round my head, Keep the good stuff coming!

  • Andi the Minion

    Hi Pat and thank you for an excellent post, great news on you hitting 50,000 subscribers and I am happy to say I am one of them. New email arrived today, I shall be reading that shortly.

    it is great to see that your moments of ‘why am I doing this?’ didn’t lead you to quit within the first 6 months, myself and thousands of others get real value and learn a lot from you for which I thank you. :-)


  • Jack

    Hi Pat! I’ve been following your blog since 2009. When I first started reading, you were trying to buy a house but having some trouble because you were self-employed.

    I’ve always wondered how you managed to get around the problem. Does being self-employed continue to present problems when it comes to credit? I guess now that you’re making more money, it’s less of a problem!

  • Christelle

    Congratulations Pat, this a great achievement!
    I love your concept of being everywhere because it means that wherever I spend some time on the web, I always end up finding you, like yesterday on Social Media Examiner.

  • Dr.Mani

    Pat, I got roped in through the Niche Duel series of posts, which I only read for the first time earlier this week! No, I didn’t sign up to the email list – else you’d have hit 50k a wee bit sooner :) – but now I will :)

    All success

    • Justin

      Hey Dr. Mani,

      Good to see you here! I’m familiar with you from the Warrior Forum and just wanted to say I love what you’re doing. I’ve always thought the best charity is that which actually makes money instead of asking for hand-outs and I can really appreciate your work.

      Pat – Congrats on 50K…that’s a fantastic accomplishment! We continue to learn a ton from your approach to your audience…thank you so much for all you provide!

  • Pedja G.

    Dear Pat,
    Warm applause and congratulations for your 50thk subscriber! Of all the bloggers in the Internet you are the one that I admire and respect the most. In fact, YOU have inspired me to start thinking about my own internet business and about quitting my regular job once it settles down. I am currently working on two niche sites and am looking forward to my first online income.
    (Be prepared to receive soon another mail letter with your fan’s first dollar : )).
    I wish you and your beautiful family all the luck in the world.

  • http://theGutsyBiz.Com Satu

    Congrats, Pat! 50 000 is a HUGE number.

    I was very intrested in what books you have on your shelf. :-) I loved Darren Hardy’s Compound Effect!

  • Paul Kridakorn

    Excellence posts, all points I agreed.

    Reading your sharing story in all dimension, success – failure -update and etc is interesting, it’s touchable, it’s reachable – lively and realistic. It’s makes me feel like you are my friend sending an email to me, not the heartless selling machine in the email.. lol

    Unlike many other places that keep selling and selling, it does not look attractive at all and when it’s getting too much, they get unsubscribed.

    You doing the right things Pat, congrat!

  • Mark

    SPI has been a huge influence on all of us at Master Your Tools. We’re working to get our content built out so that we can start pushing harder on gaining traction and subscribers. Seeing you get to 50,000 in a few years gives us a goal to strive for.

  • Beau

    Congrats my man! 50K is definitely an impressive number but 100K is better.

  • Maria


    It’s hard to believe that in the overcrowded blogosphere, anyone can find something that is missing and fill the void. But you did and continue to do that nicely.

    Congrats on 50K….and I am soooo jealous (in a nice way!)

  • Roman

    Hi Pat –

    I want to personally thank you for these posts! I am subscribed to many ‘online entrepreneur-type’ sites and I read through tons of posts and emails every day, but yours (and Seth Godin’s) are the ones I value the most. You two guys are really the only ones that I’ve come across that consistently seem to really care about HELPING people and giving them value for their time, without constantly trying to sell them something that will ‘make them rich overnight’. The service you offer is a rare thing, and I want you to know how much I truly appreciate your honesty and selfless-ness. Keep up the great work!

  • Andrew

    Wanted to comment on your last email about your book writing process and writers block. My recommendation: don’t tweet, email, post or talk a lot about your book writing. Keep it to yourself. Writing is mysterious and flows more easily without the pressure of others knowing what you are doing. 

    • Pat

      Hey Andrew, I appreciate what you’re saying, but my entire business and presence online is about pulling off the covers and sharing every step along the way. I had a couple of hundred people thanking me for the email because they were going through the same thing. The writing is important, but helping my readers is more important.

  • Pravin

    I can totally relate to your feeling, i have started inspired by you. Even though 2008 doesn’t seem long ago, i always feel like i am too late to the party and too much competition to push through. The thought that “is it worth the time” is always in my head. This blog post puts in new energy to be inspired and to aspire for.


  • Scott

    Congratulations on your success! That’s awesome! I’m a newbie in the blogging world, trying to decide what my niche will actually be and striving to increase my knowledge and hone my craft. :) I’ve been on your e-mail list for a while now and have been reading your blog and enjoying it. Best wishes for continued growth!

  • Maverick:

    I know that reading your blog has helped put a fire under me, I now have a podcast that has been downloaded a few thousand times and I know there will be a lot more to come. Thank you for all that you do.

    (On a side note, I noticed you have Emergency by Neil Strauss on your bookshelf in that picture. Great Book! One of my favorite books of all time.)

  • Dane Whitley

    Okay, this is in no way related to this post, and I apologize. But I swear I just heard Pat’s “Welcome to the Smart Passive Income… and now your host: Paaaat Flynn” podcast emcee on a McDonald’s advert on Spotify… Anyone else come across this?

  • Marina Aagaard

    Congratulations on 50 K and best wishes for your continued success.
    You walk the talk (in this post) and this is what makes me read your posts every time for information, inspiration and motivation.
    One happy SPI reader

  • Jim

    Congratulations, Pat. That’s a big accomplishment. I am sure, from my own experience with your blog, that the key to your success is that you are providing value to subscribers without being in the selling mode all the time. Keep up the good work.

  • Jacko

    Congrats on the accomplishment pat.

    There is a reason for this. Your full disclosure is basically revolutionary and is extremely motivational for the little guys out there trying to make it online.

    My email is in there some where keep the tips and results of experiments coming.

    What’s one thing you had to do that you never wanted to or expected you would have to do in order to make it to 50k subscribers?

  • Jeff Ragan


    Congrats on hitting 50K subscribers. I have been reading your blog and listening to your podcast for about 1 year now.

    I find you the most refreshing “Online Marketing Guru” on the planet. You serve as a great model citizen for doing business online. I really mean this.

    I have recently launched my online business (Small Business Digital Marketing) and will follow your lead as a business model. The very idea of moving the free line and giving away what everybody else charges for, not selling to the email list over and over again, keeping the lines of communication open have all paid off for you and I’m very happy for you and your family.

    It just proves what Zig Ziglar said years ago, “If you help enough other people get what they want out of life, you will get what you want out of life.” I have that saying etched in my mind. I have watched both Zig and you practice it and seen the truth of those words.

    I have also enjoyed many small business successes over the years living by that principal. Now by going online, I can help even more people, faster!

    Thanks again,


    • Nina

      Well said Jeff and best of luck to you in your new business.

  • Charleen Larson

    “It’s like that scene from Alien”

    You’ve got a twisted sense of humor, Pat.

    I like that in a person.

  • Jean-Luc

    Incredible results Pat, 50 000! it’s like a little city!
    Thanx for sharing your knowledge, it’s helpful and inspiring

  • Tony Smith


    Congratulations on this awesome milestone! You truly are an inspiration to myself and my wife! If fact, I just lost my job, and remembered your story on how you lost you’re job, and decided to just go for it! Well, I’m going for it! I have 3 months of severance, and I just put up the skeleton for my new site last weekend that will teach people how to build an internet marketing business. I plan on using several of the points you mentioned above to try and drive traffic to this new site. I’m so glad I found your site, you truly have made a huge impact on my life! Thanks Pat for everything you do for us! The world is a better place because of you!

    Tony Smith
    P.S. Please put me on the list for any upcoming classes or seminars that you will be conducting, I’ll be the first to sign up!

  • Rob

    This is great advice for people who want to break into this competitive industry – provide something of great value that nobody else is providing. Easier said than done of course!

  • Metin

    You do all the right things here, on your website and the content provides great guidance indeed. Even in this summary of reaching your milestone (your personal achievement) you keep leading people with less experience, so it should not be a big surprise in my honest opinion, a hearty congrats to you! Thanks again for all.

  • Kenneth @ World Class Copywriting

    Congratulations Pat!

    50,000 is no small feat and is well deserved given all the hard work and effort you’ve put in over the past few years.

    Next stop = 100,000 and beyond!

    Best Wishes,

  • Nina

    Great Job Pat.
    It’s no easy task and people don’t see the work, disappointments, rejections, blood, sweat and tears along the way… and still showing up day after day…
    Thank you for being an inspiration and for reminding me that I also have a purpose to help people with my blog. Its that simple – just helping that one person.

  • Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

    Congrats on reaching 50,000 subscribers! Curious what your open rate is and what your unsubscribe rate is?

  • Jens P. Berget

    Hey Pat,

    No wonder why you have so many subscribers. Your site and your content (newsletter / podcast) is one of the best in the industry. And like you said, you’re giving away things for free that usually has a price. And every time you “promote” a product it’s always high quality products.

    And it’s easy to see that you really care for your readers and customers, and this makes a huge difference.

    Thanks a lot for all you do. I have learned a lot from you and I keep learning every time I listen to your podcast and read your latest posts.

    – Jens

  • Kyle

    Hey pat,

    You’ve finally given me the push to start my own blog and I’m sooo excited to keep developing it. Im a far way from 50k subscribers but I can already see a ton of people coming to my blog trough google analytics(thanks for the tip) and I know that number will continue to grow. Thanks for giving me the motivation to get started on something that has always been a passion of mine and hopefully I’ll help a lot of people along the way!

  • Kyle

    Hey pat,

    You’ve finally given me the push to start my own blog and I’m sooo excited to keep developing it. Im a far way from 50k subscribers but I can already see a ton of people coming to my blog trough google analytics(thanks for the tip) and I know that number will continue to grow. Thanks for giving me the motivation to get started on something that has always been a passion of mine and hopefully I’ll help a lot of people along the way!

    • Des Trucs Pour Changer De Vie

      It’s great to see other people coming to read my blog.

      I’m far way from 50 000 subscribers too. 😉
      But Pat and others give motivation to write and continue.

      PS: sorry for my english. I’m french and it’s not easy to find the good words. :-)

  • Dr.Spencer Jones

    Quite a journey Pat, That was a comprehensive post on what you did and didn’t do to stand out from the rest. Congrats on reaching the 50,000 subscribers mark.

    I just passed the 500 mark for my IM list. I have a long long way to go, but am happy that I reached this far within a short time span.

    I am repeatedly visiting your site because you are sharing priceless information, that not many want to share. I feel like reading and listening to every one of your blog posts and podcasts. And I rarely visit a blog repeatedly, genuinely wanting to read and learn.

    The talent to present the information in a way that everyone loves, doesn’t come naturally. About your success, it’s more than just luck, I see it as God’s blessing. Knowingly or unknowingly, you are tapping in to the blessing that comes with Godly actions like honesty and openness. It says in the bible that the blessing of the LORD makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it.

    Dr.Spencer Jones


    email list is an asset if you can manage it well because it can turn out to be your earning key and what make it unique is that you can still make money through your email list even when you are no longer running a website or blog again. thanks for sharing

  • James

    I also had a record breaking month in July. While my site isn’t a blog, sales are up, affiliate sales are up and unique visitors are up. I’m really considering doing online business full time.

  • Arwin Adriano

    That was very inspiring. I hope I could achieve the same milestone like yours.

  • Paul Caparas

    That is awesome. The harder you work gives you more opportunities to get lucky. Keep it up!

  • Frank

    Hey Pat,

    You were the first person I found when I became interested in “Internet Business”. I found your podcasts and having been taking action ever since. I’m getting ready to launch my blog and I’m looking forward to implementing a lot of your advice. Talk to you soon.


  • Ian Robinson


    This is an excellent post and you are just a complete rockstar! I too earned my first dollar online because of the information you provided. Now, living in the Philippines and enjoying the exciting world of location independent entrepreneurship, I really can’t thank you enough. Thank you very much.

    Ian Robinson


    Great tips.. looking for traffic building and marketing efforts


    I am looking forward to getting started on building my site traffic and marketing


    Great Info .. I will use your stategies to boost my income.
    Thanks for your help

  • Kejen

    Hi! Pat thank you so much for your hard work.

    You are really very inspirational.
    You helped me and my wife to change our paradigm to create value from just want to make money mentality.
    You inspired us to take action and now we started a blog in toddlers niche.

    God bless you and your family….

  • Steve Eason

    Pat, I too have followed your example and done what I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Create a site where I can help others learn how to create and succeed online. As mentioned above, it’s not anywhere near 50,000 subscribers, let alone that many visitors, but it’s early. I’m using your example as a guide on how I build my business.

    Thanks again for all the information and most of all encouragement. It’s great to see your success and honestly it’s thrilling for me.

  • Chris

    Hi Pat,

    great post (as always 😉 ). You mention 4 important things here:
    #1 help other people
    #2 think outside the box
    #3 be everywhere (even of Forbes – congrats about it!)
    #4 never give up
    And luck is of course very important, but we must “help” our luck

  • Mo Mastafa

    Pat, awesome post… so inspirational.

    I’ve been watching your videos & reading your posts for a while now and you’ve always created extremely valuable content. It’s no surprise that you’ve reached such an amazing milestone.

    Congratulations mate, you deserve it.

    Mo Mastafa

  • technofreaky

    A very nice post once again. Subscribers are the real face of any successful Blog.

  • Mike

    With that many subscribers. You are probably one of the top bloggers out there right now.

  • Trung Nguyen @ Startting a Blog

    Congrats Pat!

    I love your last paragraph on this post, and that is what you have spent by now. Keep up your great job.

  • Anup Kayastha

    Congrats Pat! You and your blog really deserve it!

  • Mubi

    woooowwwW 50,000 Scriber’s that’s amazing dude….You got your birthday surprize 😛

  • jsd


  • Olukunle Moses

    Great post, one thing you said and I ll never forget, “the list is the money.”

  • Susan Rose

    Great Post – will check out the books in your photo. Enjoyed your podcast this AM #45 during TKS weekend. Time to send out emails etc. You said you had posts with aweber training – I have had aweber for 2 yrs and cannot get it together…can you tell me where your post is?? TY so much!!!

  • Elvis

    This is a rather old post, but nevertheless it really motivated me to keep going. Many people forget that this business– like any other — takes work and dedication. I recently read that people create approximately 20,000 blogs and websites every single day… and yet, only a few remain active a couple of months later. But you, Pat, have helped countless people with your ambition to see others succeed. I am truly happy for you.


    • BA pass

      imes more than is needed. Getting toasdadas an extra $2,000 or $3,000 is seldom a problem.”

      domains LOW OBL

  • Saurav Agarwal

    Congrats, you have done a great work and you deserve whatever you achieved, thanks for sharing with us.

    • BA pass

      Roger is about to explode because he needs to finish it before he busts through the wall aaqwqwqnd screams the ending

      domains LOW OBL

  • Arianit Haxha

    I love he podcast! I just found them and they are awesome!