AskPat 697 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 697 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
We have a great question today from Eric, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com. FreshBooks is awesome, because they help me and three million other small businesses manage our business finances by helping us with our books, our income, our expenses, our invoicing.
They make it super simple, especially with invoicing. You can send an invoice to somebody you're billing, like a student, or maybe you're coaching a group of people, or your consultant, or a freelancer. However you do it, invoicing can just become a burden sometimes, but FreshBooks makes it really easy. Within 30 seconds, you can get an invoice sent to whoever it is that you're hoping to get paid from, and then boom. It's done, and you can go on with your day. It's awesome, so if you want to check out FreshBooks for free for 30 days, head on over to FreshBooks.com/AskPat, and make sure you enter AskPat in the How Did You Hear About Us? section. Again, that's FreshBooks.com/askpat. All right, now here's today's question from Eric.
Eric: Hello, sir. I want to claim this niche, the niche website, but I don't know how to start, and I'm kind of scared. So I just need your advice. How do I create it, and what can I use to create it, and after that, how do I host it, and like how do I manage? How would I get the money or the fee? Thank you, sir.
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, Eric? Thanks so much for the question. This was a huge question, and one that I won't be able to walk you through all the steps in complete detail here on Ask Pat, but luckily I've already done that on my website at smartpassiveincome.com. Actually, if you go to this website, it will take you directly to two separate case studies where I share step-by-step how I created two different niche websites, one for securityguardtraininghq.com and another one for foodtrucker.com, both which are still in existence today, still making money. It's awesome. You can go to nichesiteduel.com. Again that's nichesiteduel.com. All those posts are free. You don't even have to sign up for any of that. Just go. Click on updates at the top of that page, and you'll see the listings there.
Both of those sites started in similar fashions, but were kind of different in approach because the first one, SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, that started in 2010, and a lot has happened since 2010 in relation to niche sites and how they're built and what you can do to rank them on Google.
But first and foremost, even before we get into those case studies, I just want to mention what niche site means now. I feel like niche site has been a term that has been thrown around a lot. For a while, it was a small little website that would just have enough, just enough information on it for Google to pick it up and for you to make money through affiliate marketing or advertising on that site. That's not going to do well anymore if it's a small little sort of minimum, bare minimum, what you need to actually be like a site that could be somewhat helpful. It's not going to work out. You need it to be a top resource.
That's what FoodTruckr, the second case study, has really become, and it is now the top food truck information-related website in the world now, which is really cool, and I'm super stoked about that. It's still a niche site, because it selects and targets a specific kind of people, a group who are trying to achieve something. I think that achieving something is a very important part when you approach building niche websites, because if you just approach it, “Oh, I want to target this market, or I, I want to target that market,” you may or may not get to a point where you are really honing in on what it is that those problems are and what they're looking to get from you and from that information related to that topic.
When you think of, “Well, what do they want to achieve?” You need a specific group of people who is looking to achieve something. It becomes so much more clear what you should write about, what products you could sell, what affiliate products you could sell, how you talk to them. They're more than likely going to spend more money than somebody who's just kind of browsing. These are people who are coming to your site, your niche site, for specific answers to specific questions. This is securityguardtraininghq.com. “How do I become a security guard in California?”
“Here are all the steps.” There's advertisements and affiliate marketing opportunities on that website. For FoodTruckr, “How do I write a food truck business plan?” Boom, that's there, because they're looking for it. Again, people in the food truck space who are starting a food truck or who have a food truck already.
Then even GreenExamAcademy.com, which was my first business that I created back in 2008, even before smartpassiveincome.com, that was very niche website too because it helped people pass a very particular exam in the architecture industry called the LEED exam. Anybody looking for that information went to that website. All three of those sites, greenexamacademy.com, securityguardtraininghq.com, and foodtruckr.com are considered the top websites in their particular markets in the world, which is really awesome.
That's the approach you want to take. You don't want to create some bare minimum thing that's going to just be a waste of time. You need to commit to it too. I think that's the big difference between approach to niche sites now versus back then. Back then it was like, “Okay, I'm just going to set this up in three days, and I'm going to let it be, and then it's going to do its thing. I'm going to run some ads for it. I'm going to create some backlinks for it and all these kinds of things.” That just doesn't work out really well. You need to commit to one and master it and know that that's what you're going to be doing, so niche selection's going to be really important.
That's where my book, Will It Fly? comes into play. It really helps you hone in on what kind of group and market you want to target, what's going on in those customers' heads or prospects' heads, and also just helping make sure that that's an idea that you can stick with over time too. Now that's not to say you're going to have to be completely active all the time. In the beginning, you will need to, like we talked about with Mark the other day here on Ask Pat, you will need to be active upfront. You will need to invest a lot of time and effort into this. The little tiny niche sites don't win anymore.
In terms of steps, niche research, there's a lot that's involved with that. Will It Fly? again, will help you through the validation process with both securityguardtraininghq.com and foodtrucker.com, those were both primarily started through key word research. That was sort of the seed of information that I needed to then turn it into what it became, but also a lot of customer research was involved, even calling people, calling security guard companies around the US, asking them exactly how to become a security guard in that particular state. Calling food truck owners and asking them what it was like to start a food truck, and see what the big pain points were so that we could talk about those on the blog.
Other aspects that go along with building a site, you had mentioned technical aspects of it such as hosting. Getting the website up is related to hosting, so you need to find a good host. For niche sites, ones that you want to kind of experiment with and try out, I would highly recommend starting with Bluehost. Bluehost is the host that I started with with all those niche sites. Many of them have since grown or outgrown that and migrated off, but I still have a number of smaller niche sites that are on Bluehost. I recommend it because it's super easy to use. One click WordPress install, which is awesome, which means you can get your blogging platform and your website all set up and designed within minutes, actually after you set up your blog.
So if you want to get an exclusive deal for Bluehost, just go to askpat.com/bluehost, B-L-U-E-H-O-S-T, and that will walk you through the process of getting set up with a domain name. I wouldn't even get involved with that yet until you have an idea of what target market you want to target and what it is that you're going to be talking about and how you're going to do that.
So, Eric, if you wanted to, if you haven't already, shoot me an email, and we'll get you hooked up with an AskPat shirt, of course, but I also want to give you a free copy of Will It Fly? It seems like it can be something very useful to you. We can just send you the electronic copy so you can start reading it right now, or if you wanted a hard copy too, just let me know. I'll sign it and send it your way.
Thank you so much for the question. I hope that gives you some ideas on where to start. Again, Niche Site Duel, N-I-C-H-E S-I-T-E D-U-E-L. D-E-U-L? D-U-E-L, sorry. Nichesiteduel.com is the place to go to get all the information on how those sites were started, grown, how I began to monetize them. The monetization depends on it is you're targeting and what their pain points are and what they're interested in.
Again, like I said, I won't be able to go into detail with all that here, but I think this is a great introductory episode for something like that if that's something you're interested in doing. Again, nichesiteduel.com is the place I would recommend. So, Eric, thank you so much. Like I said, we'll send you an email soon with some questions and stuff so we can send you over those goodies. And for everybody else listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to askpat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
I also want to give a big shout out to FreshBooks.com. Again, if you want to try them out for 30 days for free, just hit up FreshBooks.com/askpat, and make sure you enter Ask Pat in the How Did You Hear About Us? section. And finally, as always, we love to end with a quote here on Ask Pat. Quotes are some of my favorite things. Here's a quote from Mark Victor Hansen. He says, “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands, your own.” It's all about how much you want it. I know you guys want it, so keep taking that action required, and I look forward to serving you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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