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AFP 34: Expanding Niche Sites With Pat Flynn From Smart Passive Income

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Wondering about how to take your niche sites to the next level?  We’ve been thinking about and working on this in recent weeks and we decided to sit down with Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income to discuss how to build and grow a niche site beyond the typical keyword research and content strategies we’ve mentioned previously.

Pat’s been very public with a few of his niche sites and we really wanted to pick his brain regarding niche selection, backlinking, traffic strategies, and content creation.  We’re glad to say he did NOT disappoint and we think this is probably our best interview to date.  We get down and dirty with Pat this week and really delve into the successes and failures of his previous niche sites, his plan for future sites, and even get him to give away one of the ideas he’s currently working on.  This is definitely an episode you shouldn’t miss!

Check out this week’s episode here:


Direct Download – Right Click And Save As

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Tools for finding a site’s historical pagerank – Question from Ryan Higgins
  • Interest Vs. Profit – What makes for a good niche?
  • 7 Problems, 7 Fears, 7 Passions – A strategy for niche selection
  • Driving traffic to a site and determine whether it’s “made it” or not
  • The upside/downside of making your sites public
  • Backlinking strategies that work and keeping current with Google updates
  • The role of VA’s with niche sites – Everything except content – Hourly Vs. Project-based outsourcing
  • Picking the winning projects from the losers and doubling down


  • iTunes Reviews – Another 5-star iTunes review…sweet!
  • Smart Passive Income – Pat Flynn’s blog where he outlines his online strategy, lays out his income reports, and publishes his highly-rated SPI podcast on iTunes.
  • SEOMoz and – Tools you can use to check a site’s historical Google pagerank.
  • – A new marketing arm for our outsourcing business…coming in 2013!
  • – Pat’s first niche site about passing the LEED exam.
  • Internet Business Mastery – Jeremy from IBM helped get Pat (and so many others) started with monetizing his first niche site.
  • eLance – Pat uses them for outsourced help when it comes to ebooks, programming, etc.
  • – Pat’s public niche site example and the site he’s looking to take to the next level in terms of quality content.
  • NicheSiteDuel – Hub on SmartPassiveIncome that shows every post relating to his Security Guard site including niche selection, keyword research, content creation, linkbuilding, etc.
  • The Backlinking Strategy That Works – The strategy used on Pat’s niche sites and inspired by our previous guest Joseph Archibald.
  • Indeed – Allows you to embed job boards onto your site and earn money as well as helping to fill out your site.
  • – Great cloud-based software that “might” be able to replace your whiteboard…check it out!

Thoughts on this episode?  (Sorry about the quality of my voice during the interview…damn mic settings!)  Please let us know in the comments below and do say hi on Twitter!  You can also use Speakpipe to leave us a message below!  (Don’t worry…you can stop and start over if it doesn’t come out right the first time!)

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Still struggling to build successful websites?

Our first 30 sites failed until we discovered the secrets you’ll learn in “Building A Niche Site Empire,” our step-by-step guide to creating valuable websites from scratch.

Partner at, host of the Empire Flippers Podcast, squatter on Twitter and he’s doing his best on Google+. He heads up the marketing side of the house, so if you see us around the interwebz it’s probably him!

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  • Rob Cubbon

    No one left a comment yet? Wow, people are really celebrating the holiday season! Great interview guys. One of Pat’s best – and that’s saying something. Really loved the bit at the end about the car niche! Shows the way your minds work (I mean how your entrepreneurial minds work!)

    • JustinWCooke

      Thanks, Rob!

      Yeah, I think everyone’s still in their post-Christmas haze, hehe. Really loved this interview and Pat’s full of useful tips…was great to interview him…particularly about this topic.

  • Sheldon Kreger

    I’m getting a file not found error when I click play :-(

    • JustinWCooke

      Hey Sheldon…not sure why that is. Maybe try playing in a different browser? You can always download the file as well. I just checked and it’s working for me in Chrome.

  • Melody Hill

    This is gold

    • JustinWCooke

      Thanks, Melody!

  • ilias diamantis

    1 hour and 15 minutes !!!

    I usually get bored of long podcasts but this one was extremely interesting .

    Next year I’m thinking of trying this idea of taking a niche site and expand it. Do you happen to know anyone that … flips quality niche sites ? :)

    Have great holidays , be healthy and smile !

    • JustinWCooke

      Yeah, Ilias…I hear ya.

      We considered breaking the interview up and making it two separate episodes, but thought everything fit well together and we decided to keep it all in one episode.

      We’ll be testing through an expanded niche site process through 2013 and selling them here as usual. We plan on expanding and allowing others to sell their sites through us in 2013 as well. :-)

  • Michael Cimicata

    What an amazing podcast. I love AF and SPI, so putting them together is genius! I tested the water with some niche sites, but realized that it wasn’t for me…Authority sites are my main focus right now!

    • JustinWCooke

      Thanks, Michael!

      We’ll be digging through our “2.0″ niche site process in 2013…we could sure use your help/expertise/advice…stay tuned! :-)

  • Spencer Haws

    Just listened to the podcast…loved it! Thanks guys for the great content!

    • Joseph Magnotti

      Thanks Spencer!

    • JustinWCooke

      Thanks, Spencer! It’s really interesting to hear Pat’s perspective on niche sites…quite a bit of useful information heading into next year, hehe.

  • Brendan Mace

    I’m a HUGE fan of both Adsense Flippers and Pat Flynn. Thanks for the delightfully long podcast. IMHO, you guys (adsense flippers) and Pat Flynn do well because of a “value first” philosophy. Anybody looking to build their brand should look at this site and SPI as two great examples.

    Anyways, thanks for the podcast guys!

    • JustinWCooke

      Thanks, Brendan!

      Agree with the “value first” philosophy. I didn’t always think that way, but I’ve definitely come around in the last few years! :-)

  • Melody Hill

    Pat’s niche site examples are really well done. Really professional looking, etc. It’s inspiring, though dauting. Thanks for the podcast, you guys are awesome.

    • JustinWCooke

      Thanks, Melody!

      I really like Pat’s approach to niche sites but, you’re right…it looks a bit daunting, heh?

  • Steve Wyman CloudVenturesGroup

    Great Podcast. Loved it more to come in 2013 im sure.

    Late to the party as i’ve been working on a new project for a client :-)

    • JustinWCooke

      No worries, Steve…glad to have you back! hehe

  • tim

    Great podcast like always! Little off topic but is it OK if my ads appear on my privacy, contact and about us pages…only 1 or 2? Thanks

    • Joseph Magnotti

      Thanks Tim!

      As a general rule, we don’t show ads on the privacy, contact and about us pages. Better to be safe than sorry with AdSense.

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  • jazztothebone

    Thanks for this. You guys rock! There are always so many nuggets of wisdom that I find in these podcasts. Thanks for the tip, used it for my 7x7x7. :)

    • Joseph Magnotti

      You’re welcome, stay tuned for more awesome tips (I hope)!

  • Sandra De Freitas

    That was freaking awesome! I have a business crush on Pat Flynn…who doesn’t? He rocks! I wish he would have a live event so we can all get 3 straight days of Flynness!

    Thank you for having him on the show!
    Rock on and happy 2013!

    • Joseph Magnotti

      Yeah, I would like to do a live radio show with call ins. Not sure we have the audience for it yet, but maybe one day.

  • virtualend

    I am a big fan of Pat Flynn (as well as you guys!) and I have listened to MANY interviews with Pat on other podcasts. Your interview with Pat was the best I have heard yet – for several reasons…

    Not only did you ask very good questions, but you also both added great comments following his answers on how you do things similar to him as well as the things you do differently… and you explained why or why not. Rather then just agreeing with everything he said – your own insights and ideas really added to his.

    The resulting two-way (or three-way) discussion gave good examples of how some methods that work for one business might also work well for another – but also how different methods might be used for a different business to accomplish
    similar goals. “There’s more then one way to skin a cat” (ewww!) or “Different strokes for different folks”.

    Great interview and yet another great podcast! Possibly your best podcast yet! They just keep on getting better, and I look forward to each new podcast as well as your excellent posts!

    • JustinWCooke

      Thanks so much!

      Yeah, I thought this was probably our best interview so far as well. Pat’s a sharp guy and he’s great at what he does, so I wanted to make sure we really had a chance to dig into both his sites and his business strategies. We ended up with a ton of tips we can use as well, hehe.

  • Ante Mazalin

    lol it’s a “cro cop training” :)

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