You Can Know a Little and Still Be Smart.

Last Update: June 26, 2020

There is a famous quote, "You can know a lot and still be stupid", and this may be quite true, but I want to propose the inverse statement of this and that you can "actually know very little, and still be very smart". There is one context that this becomes very relevant and that is the Internet, and becoming an authority (niche expert).

So How Can You Know a Little and Be Smart?

I want to give you some context. I am not saying that you should not be educated and you shouldn't embrace learning about new topics. In fact, I am going to be making the argument to the adverse of that. I think you SHOULD be incredibly educated, but I also think that as you build a business, you should put the emphasis of your education at ONE thing, not ONE HUNDRED.

If you look around within the online world to those that are succeeding and doing so as leaders in their space (also what are viewed as authorities), you are going to notice that people focus on being brilliant at one thing. They serve their industry, often times starting out in a very narrow niche and if and when their business grows, they decide to scale into other facets and diversify their business.

I have written in detail about one example of this topic when GolfBalls.com started out as a website geared towards Golf Balls, and through time as they gained clout, authority and based of customers, they diversified into golf clubs, apparel, drivers, carts, etc. That was the natural progression of their business and it happened because they knew very little in a sense about a broader niche, and focused on knowing a lot about a very narrow ONE thing (golf balls) first.

It is a natural draw to invest our time learning about too many things. This is not a good approach, in particular when you step into the business world where specialists are reaping all the rewards...in particular these days.

Jeopardy Knowledge Doesn't Mean Success.

We can all aspire to be the next Ken Jennings and know a little about a lot of things, but that doesn't equate to expertise at any ONE thing in particular. This is partly why you don't typically see people with crossword level knowledge or people that are book smart, being the most successful people in the world.

They want to learn, the same as you or I, but they also want to learn a lot about a lot of random things. It is great to be able to polish off a crossword in 30 minutes, but the random knowledge approach certainly will not lead to expertise at any one thing.

If you want to be successful within the online business world, you need to be a master of your craft.

How to Know a Lot About Something Particular.

So what direction are you heading, or do you want to head. What is something that you are willing to invest and immerse yourself in to the point where you could feel as though you know something in particular.

But what does that even mean? What does immersion into a niche look like, and how would you even start to design the process of becoming an authority?

It actually isn't as difficult as it may appear, but there are some key strategies that you should implement to really immerse yourself in your niche...and subsequently work towards expertise.

(1) Be the First to Know

One thing I have always recommended is being aware of all news and current trends within your industry. In other words, to keep a pulse on your industry. One of the best ways to do this is through a simple (and free) app that Google provides in their "news" platform.

I have created a short video on how to leverage Google Alerts in your niche and I recommend that you check it out here.

 

You can set these up easily in your niche so that as new content is published to Google and indexed in their search results, you are notified. I have MANY of these set-up across multiple niches and it helps me keep up to date with those niches.

(2) Watching Your Competitors.

Your competitors can have great ideas, not just for content, but for product reviews, and unique opinions and ways to think about your niche. It is important to always keep a pulse on your niche and what others in your space are doing, so I recommend that as you are doing niche research that you create a list or bookmark websites that you would view as competition, no matter how authoritative they are.

Then you can keep regular tabs on these sites, what they are doing, and use some of their ideas as influence into what you are doing. This doesn't mean copy by the way, influence is much different. You don't want to copy any content from competitors, but it is fine to get ideas in relation to content, information, products and even website design/layout as you are doing your research.

(3) Reddit, Quora, and the Community Platforms.

You want to get into the trenches with your niche? You should jump into some of the more popular discussion platforms. I would recommend that you check out Reddit and Quora at the very least.

Some conversations will of course be negative in nature (and often times flat out flame wars), but that is fine and often times warranted. You can get incredible insight investigating topics and being a regular reader of these threads.

For example, if I wanted to learn about the best diets, and what is popular right now (that is, I was working within the dieting niche), I could easily do a simple search on reddit for "what is the best diet". Here are what my results looked like.

What is the Best Diet - Reddit

Not only are you going to get perspective from seasoned "experts" in the niche, you are going to see the sorts of questions people are having, the issues they are having, and some of the smaller idiosyncrasies you should be paying attention to if you want to become a niche expert.

Search any topic in these engines and you are going to be getting lots of ideas, lots of information, and advancing your knowledge within your given niche. Plus a side effect is going to be discovering all sorts of new keywords, products, and ways in which you can diversify your website.

(4) Keep in Tune with Magazines.

Magazines are a very good source of niche related content, and they are also an excellent source of ideas for your website. Everything from headlines for articles and the way they are structured, to new and popular products, companies advertising within the magazines, and keyword ideas. They are truly a wealth of quality, and current information.

You can purchase magazines that are relevant to your niche through a local bookstore, or you could subscribe to them through a site like Magazines.com.

Me personally, I have a membership to Scribd, which is a great source of books, industry related literature, documents, and magazines. It is around $9 per month, and includes a wide range of magazines as well.

Scribd Magazines

As you can see, there are plenty of options across many categories. Outside of the value for potential website ideas, reading magazines is a great way to stay up to date with your niche.

(5) Youtube.

Many of us learn best through video training. So why not follow that approach when researching your niche, and attaining new knowledge about your niche. Youtube has billions of hours of content across every niche, much of it pure informational and pure value. You can leverage this to polish your skills in your niche, acquire new ideas, and to advance your knowledge set about your niche/customers.

The best way to do this is to start following credible and quality sources of content within your niche. Do a keyword search within your niche, in this example I am going to searching within the "dieting" niche. When you do your search, you will also want to click on the "Filter" button and search based on "Channel". This will give you a list of channels on Youtube that are related to your search.

Dieting Channel Filter - Youtube

Then you can subscribe to those channels that are more active, I recommend that anyone over 1,000 subscribers and over 50 videos, as those Youtube users are typically more active with their video creation and will serve as a more credible source of information.

Here is one such example from the results.

Now that I have subscribed, I will be notified as they create new content on their Youtube Channel. This is a technique that is very easy to implement, but can lead to a wealth of niche knowledge.

Also, you can leverage Youtube to engage with a broader audience, and to get feedback on your opinions, ideas by creating your OWN videos. For those of you that do not know, Youtube is a massive source of free and quality traffic for affiliate marketers. If you can do video and are not on Youtube yet, get on there!


There you have it. Knowing a "little" and still being deemed an expert. The reality is, your expertise will increase if you focus on being great at one thing or a smaller subset of things, then trying to know everything.

Don't be the jack of all trades, master of none...in particular within the online world. It will only inhibit your potential, your brand, and your long term success.

I would love to hear your feedback on this topic. What have you been doing to become an expert in your niche? Do you have any additional techniques or strategies that you use to advance your knowledge in your niche? Do you feel that you have been trying to become everything to everyone which is slowing your progress (and your overall expertise)?

Drop your comments, and of course any questions below!

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sujith910 Premium Plus
Hi Kyle,

You have mentioned "jack of all trades, master of none..."
But when i serched about this on internet in different websites, some people say this is half the statement

and full statement is "jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than master of one"

What is your opinion on this kyle? 🤔

Thanks in advance !!!
Reply
drjec Premium
The expression is usually used by people who are saying that they can do lots of different things, but are not expert in any one thing. I think broad knowledge is best because with a good base in anything you can pick up the details.
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AbieAJ Premium Plus
To me it is a mindset thing vs statement I've read from a resource. I believe in my cause, I believe each morning I wake up on time every time and I do exactly what I believe in.

My best advice here is follow what is best in your heart and have guts to pursue. strive and stay the course and be fearless.
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MSullo Premium
Because I am a Group Fitness Instructor first and foremost, I NEED to be able to include videos of my workouts on my website, or a least link to my videos on ZOOM or on YouTube or both. So, I really don't have any space for doing videos in my home. What I am planning on doing is buying a backdrop and a couple of huge black mats. I will set these up in my driveway and create my videos outside with my plain white brick backdrop and the mats. What do you think?
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AbieAJ Premium Plus
Sounds good, as long as you are happy with your surroundings and can produce quality video content, helping your visitors answering their inquiries, you may then upload to YouTube and embed share in your blog. Good luck and all the best going forward.
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MSullo Premium
How do I add the videos to my website? Not sure what embed means.
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AbieAJ Premium Plus
You can upload to YouTube the embed share in your blog website.

I would not upload to my website directly as it can be a hindrance to sties speed.
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rcharinhp99 Premium
Hi Kyle,

Thank you for imparting all of this relevant rich content.
I have been soaking up so much affiliate marketing information since joining the Wealthy Affiliate Platform in January 2022.

For one thing, your training has helped keep my mind focused on building my online business and not focused on my personal incidentals. That's a good thing.

I'm not gonna lie, I know that I need to narrow down my niche. Right now, it seems to be all over the place, and I am going have to rethink my niche.

So far, my blogs have covered a lot of territory.

Healthy Lifestyle
CBD Oils
Hair Loss
Water Filters
Vintage Dolls

I fear that I will run out of topics if I choose just one of these. There is only so much you can write about with one thing. Right?

How can I have a niche that includes all of these subniches?

My goal is to help people transition to a better life.

Please let me know if I should just focus on one of these and leave out the rest.

Also, I am struggling with writing 1,000-word posts. In grad school we had to write 30-page essay papers. I have made some progress, though. It's hard to say a lot in just 1,000 words, I think.

Overall, things are looking up.

In the meantime, I am going to take time to think about what niche is best suitable for me.

Rachele
p.s. Maybe a holistic theme?
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khalleran24 Premium
As a former store manager of an extremely popular restaurant chain in Canada I had to learn that you can't be all things to all people all the time, its simply impossible and if you try to do this you will wind up selling short your efforts to all the people you are trying to please all the time. In turn, this makes you inefficient at achieving the overall goal. Focus on being "the boss" of your website and managing it accordingly since that is what you hired yourself to do.
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MrWilsonP Premium
It's true spreading yourself too thin in the long run will cause you to neglect important aspects of your growth eventually affecting all. But also having 2 sites per say shouldn't drive you to walk the plank......my biggest problem is at times I enter the "twilight zone" of scepticism mentally since I've already have failed and abandoned previous sites I tinkered with before I joined WA. For new entrepreneurs though, sticking to one site initially is probably the right thing to do because there IS a lot to learn, so I guess depending upon the level of training you are in you should be able to venture a bit. I'm sticking to my initial site now but as I've learned more, I feel confident in starting my second niche site.
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Kyle Premium Plus
Yes, absolutely. The approach is that you should work to become great at ONE thing before you try to become good any many things at once.

Once you get the formula for success down within one niche, then you can diversify and apply that formula to many ideas. The reality is though you can likely grow and scale your business for many years before you ever feel like you need to diversify. :)
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