Pat Flynn’s “Passive Income” Is Amazing, But Not Passive!

Listen in iTunes

The Niche Site U Podcast

passive incomeLet me be very clear with you… Pat Flynn is a stud.  If you aren’t familiar with Pat, you should be.  He runs a website called Smart Passive Income, which talks about how he makes money, the lifestyle he promotes, and tips and tricks for his readers and listeners of his podcast.  Again, he is extremely successful, and has the income reports to prove it.

However, I feel that the name of his website “Smart Passive Income” may be a bit deceiving to his audience.  Pat works ridiculously hard, and while he is making a ton of money, very little of it is passive.  As a matter of fact, over the past 3 years I bet he has worked harder than anyone reading this post.  He not only has his blog, which he is pretty active on with really lengthy posts and interviews… he also has a podcast with 68+ episodes which are each about an hour in length (not to mention editing and prep time).  He has written at least 2 books that we know about, built multiple apps, and has had multiple speaking engagements.  This all helps him bring in lots of money, but that is not the definition of passive.

Is Pat’s Income Passive?

Well, the answer is yes and no.  If you look at the majority of his income, it is coming from affiliate income, primarily from one hosting company… about 2/3 of his income typically.  About 90% of his overall income is coming from affiliate income to be honest… which in reality can be considered a passive income stream.  However, this all comes from the hard work he puts into his blog, and people that are hoping to learn the secrets of building passive income streams like Pat.  So what is Pat demonstrating exactly?  Pat has laid out a blueprint for making money, lots of money!  Unfortunately, the process to make this money requires you to work extremely hard!  Pat’s tagline is working hard now so you can reap the benefits later.  A good one, because that is hopefully what he is doing.  Pat is not being passive though, and the income he is generating right now is not passive because he works really hard to bring it in.  If, and it is a big if… Pat decided to quit today or in the near future… you would have to wonder how much of that “passive income” would be recurring after 6 months, or a year of no activity from Pat.

Lets Dig Deeper Into Why His Passive Income Streams Might Not Work.

As you may or may not know, Pat gets a ton of his traffic from the search engines and from his podcast.  Both require frequent updates to get significant traffic.  If Pat were to quit today… that would mean that google and apple wouldn’t get the updates they like, and perhaps would lower his ranking positions for search terms in both google and itunes.  If this happens, he gets less traffic to his blog about making passive income, which again, is where all his passive income is coming from. Unfortunately, once the plunge begins, it continues and continues to spiral down.  The good thing for Pat is, he has a lot of excellent content and what seems to be ridiculously loyal readers… so his traffic might not disappear.

My point is, don’t be misguided by the concept of “Passive Income”.  I like to say that there is a difference between “automated income” and “passive income”.  Passive income is a myth in my eyes, as it wont happen for most of you/us.  Automated income can be generated by putting together systems to make sure that your traffic supply never runs out and that way your monetization method always has a supply of new prospects.  Passive income comes from a set it and forget it system… which barely ever happens outside of the stock market and real estate.

Why Pat’s System Won’t Work For You

I’m not trying to say you can’t learn from Pat.  You can, you can learn a ton.  I have learned plenty from him.  If you only learn from his work effort, you will most likely improve your chances for success.  But I need to point out once again, that most of his money comes from his blog, not from his actual “Passive Income” activities.  If he didn’t have his blog bringing in all that money, he wouldn’t be as successful.  He would still be making good money, and many people would love to emulate that kind of success and income, I just don’t think most of his readers realize that Pat has been extremely lucky and his “passive” efforts are mostly benefited by the readers of his blog.  For instance, Pat’s “niche site duel” website project was able to be successful partly because so many people visited it and linked to it.  For the average Joe/Jane, you wouldn’t get this benefit when building your niche website and thus wouldn’t stand a chance of following his system and getting the same results.

So What Now?

Pat may try to change all that.  With his Niche Site Duel 2.0, Pat is promising that he has systems in place to make sure that his blog and brand traffic can’t assist his new niche site project.  This may be the best test yet of Pat’s ability to actually make passive income.  I personally can’t wait to see the results.  I will be rooting for him to succeed!

Please, please, please, don’t think for a second that I am trying to belittle what Pat has accomplished, or tell you he isn’t awesome in any way, or that he is intentionally trying to mislead people.  Pat is a great guy, who from the beginning (I have been following him for years) has only been trying to help people and show them the most efficient and effective ways that he knows of to make more money.  That said, just be careful when trying to follow in his footsteps… he is wearing a completely different set of shoes and yours won’t fit the same way in the tracks he is leaving.

Please follow his NSD 2.0, it should be good.   I am also planning on launching a new niche website which I am sharing with this Niche Site community on Google+, so you can follow along on a few different public niche site case studies there too.

What do you think of Pat?  Leave a comment on whether you agree or disagree below.

PS- I apologize for the delay in podcast updates.  I did an Interview with Spencer Haws of and somehow the recording of the interview turned into a pumpkin on me.  I am waiting on Spencer to re-record his answers and will get that up soon.  New podcast is here now with an added bonus just for podcast listeners.

Show Notes:


The #1 Secret to Having Success With Niche Sites

Listen in iTunes

The Niche Site U Podcast

secret to niche sites success

I know, I know!  There are thousands of secrets to success… in life, in business, in making money online, and most importantly in niche sites.  I am not focused on every single secret, just on the #1 secret to having success.


You see, there are countless numbers of people out there that will tell you about this secret or that, or this challenge or that which will keep you from success.  In reality, none of those people matter, and quite frankly, neither do I.

The Secret

Before I share this secret, I want to share with you a couple stories.  I read a ton of books, and one of the hottest authors around right now is Tim Ferris.  If you don’t know who Tim is, you need to find out.  His book the 4-Hour Workweek is a game changer in my opinion.  I actually bought the audiobook, and the reading by Ray Porter of Blackstone Audio is just spot on.  Anyway, this book is genius because it makes you think.  It makes you think about concepts to simplify your life and your business.  Don’t expect to reach a 4 hour workweek… but his concepts can certainly take you from 60 down to 40 easily.

The reason I bring up Tim Ferris is because he is part of the secret.  No, the secret isn’t to read his book.  Did you know that Tim’s book got turned down by 25 different publishers?  According to Wikipedia, his book has currently sold over 1,350,000 copies and has spent nearly 4 years on the New York Times bestseller list.  Oh, and he has written a few other books which have been huge successes as well.

The secret: Taking Action, And Continuing After Failure!

It’s really two parts cleverly wrapped into one.  Most people never take action because they are afraid of failure, and the rest usually stop once they have failed.  The people that take that initial action, fail, and then keep pushing no matter how often they fail… they are few, and they are successful.

The funny part is, this secret is in your core already.  Everyone learns to walk and talk when they are kids.  Nobody, not a single human, ever was born walking and talking.  And nobody, has ever walked or talked on their first try.  But for some reason, that gift of perseverance disappears for most people as they become smarter.  Imagine that, the more you know, the less likely you are to let yourself fail and thus become successful.

How the secret applies to niche sites

It almost seems too simple right?  You have heard it all your life, get back up when you fall.  Keep pushing yourself no matter what.  Everyone hears it and yet nobody is willing to fail 1,000 in an effort to be successful.  Thankfully, guys like Thomas Edison were willing to fail, otherwise we might be sitting in the dark.  Now, applying this same theory to niche sites… you must take action, and continue after you fail.  You will most likely fail on your first niche site.  I’m sorry, it is the truth.  But then what?  Will you try again?

If you talk to anyone that builds niche sites for a living, or even as a hobby, they will tell you that they aren’t all winners.  Many of the biggest names in internet marketing fail 50x more often than they succeed.  Some will tell you the truth, and others won’t.  I have built a ton of failures!  Some of those sites were really good ideas that for one reason or another just didn’t get indexed, keep traffic coming back, or weren’t monetized well.  I have an example of a failed site that I built a few years ago that has great content, and yet for some reason just never made me tons of money.  I have considered selling it but I am just very reluctant to give it up.  You can check out the site about Nut Free Diets using that link.

The key is, I didn’t give up after that site was built.  I kept building and building and have had plenty of success.  I have built sites that are better, and I have built sites that are far worse and even though they are worse, they are more successful than that one.  But the reason I was successful was I didn’t listen to my inner self that questioned why it failed, I just kept pushing to prove to myself that I would be successful.

I know that this seems like to simple of a secret, and that you have heard thousands of other secrets about success.  I promise you this… if you live by those words and take action when you are afraid of failing, and when you continue after failing, you will be a success.

I would love to hear some of your stories of pushing past failure, or other secrets you have.  Please leave a comment below.  Thanks! Adam