Freedom Newsletter

The newsletter archive of the digital nomad revolution.

How to Finally Get Noticed (In Any Niche)

2016-12-05 18:12:30

Hi Pat here.

After re-reading a lot of books lately (which I do all of the time), including my favorites like The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, and Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk, and Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath, I honestly think that anyone can get noticed and become successful in virtually any niche.

These books are great and go into a lot of the "what you can achieve" stuff, but they don't really get far into the "how you can achieve" stuff, which is obviously super important and probably more of what you need right now.

That's why I wanted to take some time to write this email for you below.

The following information is based on my success as an online businessman and blogger who came out of nowhere with zero business experience. I've been able to succeed both in a super small niche, as well as in a super overcrowded niche of making money online.

So, with whatever niche you're serving, you should try to apply these two simple rules as much as possible, which I've always applied to my own projects.

Rule #1: Stay the Course

Rule #1 is simple, but nothing works if you keep changing your mind.

I know we talked about this in yesterday's email, but it's worth reiterating again, because in the past twenty-four hours, you've probably already changed your mind several times about something you wanted to do.

Stop changing your mind. It wastes time. Stop doubting yourself and your decisions. Pick something, believe in it, and go for it.

This rule alone will get you where you need to go and stop you from falling short of success.

Remember this when it comes to rule #2:

Rule #2: Be Different

"Different is better than better." - Sally Hogshead

You may have heard the term Unique Selling Proposition or USP before. Yes, you need that, but it's a term that seems to complicate things and confuse more people than it helps.

Let me make it simple for you:


The point here is to stand out, and the best way to do that is to be different. That's why we can still find Waldo (with his candy-cane striped shirt and red cap) among a sea of people on a page.

He's unique.

This is exactly how I've found success online myself. I saw what everyone else was doing, and did something completely different. What everyone else is doing is what consumers and readers all eventually get used to. Choose to go the same path, and you'll just blend in with the rest.

Here are some personal examples to prove it to you:

With my exam prep website at, I was the only one to ever offer an audio guide. I pitched it as a way to study for the exam while in your car to and from work, or while at the gym. Because I was the only one to do this, it became a huge hit, everyone talked about it, and it helped me earn over $30,000 in a single month.

Also, all of the other exam prep websites had "support tickets" that people had to fill out in order to get their questions answered. All I had to do was show a personal looking email address (with my name in it, which is important), that people could use to contact me if they had any questions. I included this in all of the products I offered as well. Whenever I received an email, I responded right away. Word spread, and my site became known as the only place to get an immediate, direct response to a question.

Of course, because I wanted to keep things as passive as possible, I included FAQs on the site that people could read before contacting me, which totally minimized the amount of emails I'd get. However, just seeing my email address there anyways helped to make people trust that I was always there to help.

With the Smart Passive Income Blog, I do even more to be different. When I got into this space, there are so many other "make money online" blogs out there all doing the same thing, that it actually became very easy for me to stand out.

That's your advantage if you're a "latecomer" to a particular niche. You can see clearly what everyone else is doing in your space, and you can bring something new and completely different to that audience.

In terms of standing out, first, I don't hide anything. I tell it all from my own experience, even the failures.

Secondly, I tell people exactly where my money comes from, right down to the penny. If you're a loyal reader of my blog, you know that my monthly income reports tend to be the most popular and most commented posts on the site.

Third, I made sure I had a totally customized blog theme that no one else had.

Fourth, I include a lot about my personal life. A lot of you probably know that I have a wife and two kids, and some of you may even know I have a dog named Gizmo. Maybe you've even seen the wedding video of my wife and I who turned a boring wedding dance into a killer hip-hop routine. I see so many other owners of make money online blogs who don't even use their real name, or show just one picture of themselves.

Which do you think people will have a better connection with and trust more?

Lastly—and probably most importantly—I give, give, give, and give without directly asking for anything in return. This has been the key to my success because so many people in this particular niche treat their subscribers like a potential credit card number, not a real person.

My goal is to become your friend first, and let you make a decision whether or not you'd like to invest time or money into what I recommend or have to offer. It's a much longer process, which is why most traditional Internet marketers disagree with my approach. I mean, have you ever received an email from someone who was trying to sell you on something before even getting a chance to know more about you?

I have subscribers who have been following me for more than seven years! It's every marketer's dream to have that kind of loyalty, and you can get it if you focus on serving your audience first.

As I love to say: Your earnings are a byproduct of how well you serve your audience.

So, back to being different. How can you be different?

I'm sure there are a thousand ways that you can be different. Check out what all of your competitors are doing, and don't do that. Find something common between the websites that are in your same niche, and do the opposite.

This is how The-4 Hour Workweek became a success. There was no other book like it, and it was a mindset that totally went against the norm.

This is how Gary Vaynerchuk of Crush It! became a success too, by streaming live TV and talking wine to "regular" people.

What are you going to do differently?

- Pat