Tim Ferriss' 4 Hacks to Becoming a Niche Expert in Four Weeks

Filed in Niche Research by on January 4, 2016

Sometimes, I think we niche marketers all feel like total frauds at what we do.

Even in our day jobs that we’ve been doing for the last 10+ years… there’s just those days where we feel like our incompetence is going to be suddenly discovered and we’ll be yelled at and fired on the spot.

It’s a totally irrational fear, for sure, but that doesn’t stop it from haunting us and totally consuming us on our bad days.

But even when you feel smart enough to do your day job in your sleep, the fear of not being smart enough to be perceived as an "expert" in something else so you can quit that draining day job keeps you chained to your cubicle, month after month.

You could study more on the subject, sure.

I think we’ve all heard of the 10,000 hour rule in some shape or form. (You know, the one that says in order to become an expert in something, you’ve got to spend 10,000 hours doing it.)

But ten thousand hours?!?

That’s equal to 250 full-time (40-hour) work weeks.

Assuming you take only two weeks of vacation and sick time per year, that’s five years of work and studying something before you’re allowed to consider yourself an expert in something… at least according to Gladwell’s rule.

And just like that, we’ve struck a chord with the number one insecurity most would-be niche marketers face that often stops them in their tracks from working towards and achieving their dreams.

But if you’ve spent 10,000 hours working on the thing you want to start a niche site on, believe me, you’re in a very, very minuscule majority.

I don’t even think most books are written by people with 10,000 hours of experience in the fields they’re writing about.

(And here I am, "expert" enough to write about niche marketing on NicheHacks, and I doubt I’ve spent 10,000 hours growing niche blogs...though I do run my own niche website just to be clear)

The good thing is, you don’t need to spend 10,000 hours studying your topic so you can be a certified expert on it before you start a blog.

Can you imagine how few blogs would exist if that were the case?

What you do need to do, though, is cultivate just enough knowledge so you’re more educated on your subject than 80% of the people out there, but this is surprisingly easy.

(See more niche research posts here)


What You’ll Learn

  • The Advice Tim Ferris Gives to Become a Recognized Expert Within Four Weeks (And for $50 or less)
  • How to Know What You’re Talking About With Confidence
  • The Advantage Newbies Have Over Experts When Starting Niche Blogs


(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 1,781 profitable niches click here or the image below)

1781 niches [new]


Tim Ferriss's Advice to Stop Feeling Like a Fraud & Start Writing Already

tim ferriss“Expert status can be created in less than four weeks if you understand basic credibility indicators,” said Tim Ferriss in the Four Hour Workweek.

Tweet this quote to your followers.


Basically, what he’s saying is if you want to be perceived as an expert by your target audience, all you need to do is set up a few things on your site to do that.

Here’s what he suggests to become a top expert in four weeks:


1. Make Yourself Sound Official So That People Think Of You As An Authority

“Join two or three related trade organizations with official-sounding names,” suggests Tim.

While you can certainly do this and it will give you more weight during in-person meetings, it's not necessary for a niche site owner.

Instead, though, you do need to make sure you're labeling yourself properly and with confidence.

Beyond giving your instant credibility, it'll also help you take yourself and your website more seriously.

For example, I run a website on copywriting, and I label myself all across the internet as the Founder of Copy Power, LLC. And yes, I do add the LLC on the end of it.

Because yes, even though it's "just a website," I do have the solid business paperwork behind it, which instantly gives me more credibility



Of course, it might not mean I'm any good at copywriting (I am), but this step is all about establishing your baseline confidence in yourself... that you can do it.

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2. Read 3 Top-Selling Books in Your Niche And Instantly Become A Genius

“If you read and understand the three top-selling books on home-page design, you will know more about that topic than 80% of the readership,” Tim says.

This goes for any niche.

It might sound overly simplistic and too easy, but this is exactly what I did with my personal finance niche site, and it worked really well.

I read I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi, The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke by Suze Orman, and A Beginner’s Guide to Investing by IvyBytes. I sat down with a pen, a highlighter, and a book, and read through all three of them within two weeks.

After reading those books (that were basically written as simple introductions to the subject), I had so much more in-depth knowledge than the surface stuff I had before, and I was empowered to create useful, helpful content for the people who would visit my website.

And you know what? They loved it and never knew any different that I got my “expertise” from three books I bought on Amazon.

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3. Write a Guest Post for an Adjacent Niche Blog... Or Be a Guest on a Podcast & Boost Your Authority

Tim's advice is to do a university seminar or write for a trade magazine... but since our stakes aren't nearly as high as the one's he's setting up, guest posting and guest speaking on a podcast will work wonders.

Once you've labeled yourself well and have educated yourself enough to be able to create helpful content for people searching for information within your niche, you are ready to put yourself out there in a bigger way.

Writing a guest post for a niche that's adjacent to yours and would share some of your same audience members is probably the best and easiest place to start.

Beyond giving you expert-level credibility by being published somewhere else besides your own site, guest posts (or spots as an interviewee on a podcast) also generates a fair amount of genuinely interested traffic back to your own site... so you're killing two birds with one stone.

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4. Join Sites Journalists Use to Find Expert Quote Sources So You Can Quoted As An Expert

Sites like ProfNet and HARO are great sources journalists and top bloggers use to help them find experts in all kinds of fields.

On the flip side, though, are people who are signed up as sources in their given fields and who sift through inquiries to find ones to respond to that are relevant to their expertise.

As a founder of a niche-focused website, you carry weight in your field, and many writers would be happy to quote you if you take the time to reach out to them in response to the queries they post.

I signed up for HARO, and after responding to a small handful of queries, got featured in an article in TIME.

When that happened, my site was only around six months old, and all my expertise as a financial blogger came from reading those three books I mentioned in step 2 and general life experience. (See how easy this can be?)

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The Curse of Knowledge: A Newbie Niche Marketer's Best Friend

But let's say you get this far and are still feeling a little unsure about your lack of knowledge and starting a niche site.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret that actually works to your advantage as a newbie starting a niche site. And that's The Curse of Knowledge.


wikipedia“The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that leads better-informed parties to find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed parties,” is how Wikipedia defines it.


According to this logic, I just might be the best person ever to start a WordPress troubleshooting blog.

Because dang, I can’t even begin to tell you how freaking frustrated I get when I get into one of WordPress’s help forums that promises to tell me how to do something only to find a ton of veteran developers telling me what to do in overly-complicated language, but not HOW TO DO IT OR WHAT I SHOULD FREAKING CLICK ON.

(Sorry, calming down now.)

You might be better at WordPress than I am, but I’m sure you’ve ran into this at least a few times for other topics, am I right?

Because think about it, if I figure out how to do something in WordPress that’s been bothering the heck out of me, don’t you think I’m going to write it in much easier-to-understand and easier-to-follow-along language than those experienced developers?

(Like, telling people WHERE they can find that hidden button they need to click on to activate something?)

You bet.

And the loads and loads of people out there like myself would love me for it.

Tweet this tip to your followers.


(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 1,781 profitable niches click here or the image below)

1781 niches [new]



How to Put All This Into Practice With Your Niche Site

So now we’ve settled it.

Your beginner or non-expert status is clearly an advantage for you when it comes to the actual writing that will go on your site. And by spending less than $50 and a couple of weeks reading, you can get all the knowledge and credibility factors behind your name that you need to be taken seriously by the vast majority of people who visitor your website.

You’ll be able to give the advice your target readers are looking for by simply teaching yourself things about your niche and then writing them out.

And best of all?

You won't have to feel like a fraud anymore and you'll be able to grow your niche site with confidence.

Chelsea Baldwin
Chelsea has a background in journalism and IT, and besides writing for NicheHacks, she's the founder of Copy Power, a business and a website that helps business owners figure out how to get remembered online via copywriting.

She excels in the topic of SEO but can write on a wide range of topics of which you can discover by clicking on her name.

Comments (7)

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  1. Carol Joos says:

    This helps. This really helps. I like the transfer from Tlim Ferriss's book--put it in the niche context. Right now I'm suffering from information/analysis overload and trying to keep moving despite that.

  2. Chelsea Baldwin says:

    I'll be honest, the reading 3 popular books hack worked so well that I haven't stopped doing it and I don't think I ever will.

    It continually amazes me how much more there is to learn from books than even the best blog posts, and no matter what I'm working on at the moment, I can write with confidence.

    Has anyone else tried this? What did you think?

    • Aisha says:

      Thank you for this post. It has come at a time when I needed it the most. You have given me the push I need to just get out there.

  3. Great post Chelsea. I'm just about to embark on my first niche and I must be honest I've been delaying this (proscrastinating!) while I struggle with this exact debate...am I good enough to talk about my niche! I'm going to take your lead and jump in.

  4. Carl Sachs says:

    Great article! I have one question:
    People interested in the trading niche or in the wealth niches are also interested to see how much money did you actually make so far. How do you get around that? 🙂

    • Chelsea Baldwin says:

      Hey Carl - I think a lot of people appreciate honesty & authenticity. If you're just starting, no one would really expect you to be a millionaire yet, so you can take a "doing this together" sort of approach to your site to highlight your wins & losses, letting other people learn from your mistakes & gains.

      A lot of popular wealth niche sites do have people making loads of money, but they weren't always that way, and often their advice comes more from a preachy place than a hands-on one. The Curse of Knowledge, again.