AskPat 294 Episode Transcript
Pat: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 294 of AskPat. Thank you so much. I appreciate you being here today. As always, I'm here to help you buy answering your online business questions, five days a week.
All right, now lets get to today's question from Tim.
Tim: Good day, Pat. My name’s Tim. I was just wondering about your niche markets that you're into, mate. What made you pick the ones you're into? You've got the food truck event, you've got the security guard bit. You couldn't get two completely different markets if you tried. What made you pick them so far apart and why didn't you go to something pretty similar to what you're already into? Just curious, mate. Enjoying the show.
Pat: Tim, thanks so much, man. I appreciate the question and it's interesting. Yes, you are right. All of the niches I'm in seem to be in completely different spaces. You're right, you couldn't get any more different from security guards and people looking to start that career, who are going to be employed by other people and they're walking around all day to people in the food truck industry who are working for themselves—who are not walking around, who are driving around all day and serving food. But both are there to make people happy and make people feel safe, I guess. Both are niche sites that I've created.
The quick story on how they were created was they were both created with keyword research in mind, and please note that I am in a very special situation here with SPI, in Smart Passive Income, in the brands that I have because SPI I use as a platform to test a whole bunch of different things. That's the primary reason why I'm trying all these different things.
I'm even getting into ecommerce soon in a completely different niche as well. That's only because I want to experiment, try new things, and show people out there that you don't have to be in a vertical that's all about testing. You don't have to do a site that's all about how to start a site or build a business. You don't have to be all about security guards. It's whatever.
Gary Vaynerchuk was the one who said, “If you are passionate and you know worms, then you can build a business about that.” In his book ‘Crush It,’ he talks about that. I love that book. It's really true. If you really are passionate about something but combine that with the need and want that people have for a specific thing, and your drive to help those people, you can succeed. I've sort of become an example of that in all these different spaces.
To give you a little bit more of a technical background on these things. With SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, I built that site out of a thing called the Niche Site Duel. You can check it out on NicheSiteDuel.com, where I was actually challenged by another person to create a website and we were both dueling each other in terms of ranking, money, how much we could make from it, and traffic and all that stuff. It was really fun and actually for that particular site I was able to, within three months, get it to number one in Google for the term “security guard training” and it started to generate an income. I think I won that battle, but he eventually did the same thing too.
I built that with keyword research. Looking at various terms and understanding which ones were being searched for with a high number of searches but also with a low amount of competition in terms of the sites that were out there already serving that audience. There weren't very many people serving that audience so once I found that I saw that opportunity, and yeah I'm not even a security guard myself but I was able to do the right research and figure it out as if I was somebody who wanted to become a security guard. I actually called security guard companies in different states, because every state has a different set of requirements, and asked them. Then I just put those things on a blog and then that platform started to rank because nobody else had that good and that precise information on that topic.
Same thing with FoodTruckr.com, which was a site that I started a couple years ago that was again built in the same exact way with keyword research in mind. There was a keyword called “food trucks for sale.” It would search for a lot and there was hardly any sites out there serving them. After even more research I found that there weren't even any sites serving food truck owners in general or people who wanted to start a food truck.
So I saw that opportunity. I love eating at food trucks. I'm not a food truck owner myself but I put myself in the position as somebody who wanted to start one, or figure out how to start one, and then I built a site. I have content on there based on all that and I connected with a lot of food truck owners as well. Talked to them in person to figure out what their biggest pains were, what they hoped or wished they knew before they got started. Also connected with them on a podcast that I have for that brand as well, because a lot of them listen and have time to listen while on the go in their trucks but not necessarily time to read blog posts.
That's why the podcast exists for that particular brand, and that's been going really well too. Now I would say, and this is for everybody out there, that getting into these various niches on the positive side of it has been fun and cool. Especially for the people watching on SPI. One experiment may excite somebody and get them to take action while another one might not, and that's why I do all these different things.
There are a ton of different ways to generate an income online, and that's sort of the position I put myself in as the person to show you that and not just talk about it but show you. Also it's cool because I'm sort of diverse, right?
If one industry seems to just go under, or fall, or it just doesn't work anymore, I have other ones to go through and generate an income from and have that supporting me as well. That being said, I am spreading myself across all these different platforms and I do know, and I'm just being honest with myself and also you. If I didn't have all these other niches to get in to and feel that I was the person that had to go out there and experiment on these different markets, that I would be able to take the sites that I have and take them to a much higher level. It's true.
Going back to 2008 when I first started online business, I had my architecture website helping people pass an exam. You can find that site at GreenExamAcadamy.com. I took that as far as I could before Smart Passive Income took up some time, and then security guard training took some time. Then I sort of just left that on autopilot and I haven't touched it really for over three years. It's still generating thousands of dollars, which is really cool. But Tim is right. I could have added new products and put time into that particular vertical.
You hear these expressions of going horizontal, meaning going across different niches, which is what I've been doing. We're going vertical, staying in one particular niche and just completely serving that. I could have done a little bit more in staying in that really small vertical about that exam. Okay here is how you pass it and then I can add more things like more automated courses. I could have added more tools and more study guides and different things like that, or I could expand a little bit out but still in the same market.
For example, maybe when people are done with the exam then I go to a different exam that could make sense in the timeline of what people take after they pass this one, or the architecture exam. Those are still architecture related but they're different exams. So that's staying in the same vertical in terms of architecture but branching out a little bit in terms of getting away from that exam.
Here I am doing architecture, security guard training, FoodTruckr, I mean my hands are all the way spanned across now. Then I have Smart Passive Income on top of that. Hopefully that gives you some insight, Tim, and everybody out there on what I'm doing. But also I would recommend that if you are crushing it in a particular space, there's more opportunity there I would take it.
You are building authority for yourself in one particular market, and even though you might expand a little bit out from that market but still serve the same audience, you should definitely do that as much as you can. So stay within the same market if you can. That's what I would recommend because you have authority there and that takes time to build. That should be obvious because FoodTruckr’s taken a little bit of time to build as well, as did SmartPassiveIncome.com when that first started. But both of those sites are generating an income now in passive income, which is cool.
So, Tim, hopefully that answers your question. Gives you all some insight on what I'm up to and why. This was really fun to talk about. Thank you for letting me share that. Tim, an AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way for having your question featured here in the show. My executive assistant, Jessica, will reach out to you. She does these in batches every couple of weeks, so if she doesn't get to you right away she will eventually and she'll collect your information so we can send you that shirt for free.
For everybody else out there listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page thanks to the Speakpipe.com widget.
Thank you so much for your time this week. I appreciate it. Love you guys so much. Since it's Friday I'm going to ask, as I always do every Friday, which is something I'm starting to do the last couple weeks. If you have a second, head on over to iTunes, leave review for AskPat. I really appreciate it and it helps the show out a lot. As always, I love to end with a quote and today's quote is from Tom Rath.
He says, “If you spend your life trying to be good at everything you will never be great at anything.” Kind of ironic that that quote was placed here in this particular episode, but definitely keep that in mind. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.