Smart From Scratch Review – I’ve Got a Better Alternative

To me, Pay Flynn is a legit businessman who offers high quality courses, but every single one of them in my opinion feels like a bland college course (sometimes overpriced) and this Smart From Scratch review (one of his courses) explains why I think there’s better alternatives.

I happen to have A LOT of personal knowledge on the same subject matter Pat teaches in this course and I think the alternative I’m going to suggest might save you the $199 this course costs. I’m not saying it’s a scam (all of Pat’s courses are legit in my opinion), but the alternative I’ll recommend is literally free and will also help you find your passion without spending a penny to figure this out. Anyway:

Product info:

smart from scratch review

  • Name: Smart From Scratch.
  • Owner: Pat Flynn.
  • Price: $199.
  • What is it? Basically a “find your niche” in life course.
  • Is it a scam? No, I just think it’s overpriced.
  • Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Recommended? Not really. If it was very cheap or even free, I’d easily recommend this course to you, but the topic is such that I can not only teach you this myself, I’ll even show you a program that not only helps you “find your niche” for free, but it also (for way less money) helps you build a business out of it.

Alternatives? Yep, this one:

smart from scratch alternative

What is Smart From Scratch?

Like I said earlier, it’s a find your niche course. What that means is that Pat’s course will help you identify a particular passion you have in life, and then see if that passion can be turned into a real business.

And the whole “smart from scratch” is really a smart title in many ways, most notably because if you can pick a good, profitable niche idea from the start, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy in figuring out what works by already picking something that does and having passion for it. I’m in 100% agreement here with Pat in theory.

Anyway, there is a 3 stage series in the entire Smart From Scratch course that helps you do this and here is a summary of that:

Stage 1 (9 lessons):

This part of the course helps you brainstorm ideas you want to build a business off and Pat helps you determine market value in it, the customer potential, reach and profit potential basically behind it. He does use the word “niche” in one of his lessons and this stage helps you find it.

Stage 2 (6 lessons):

Once you have certain ideas, stage 2 is basically the filter process to help you isolate 1 and continue off that to build your business on.

Stage 3 (6 lessons + 1 afterwards):

This particular stage shows you the potential of what happens after your niche has been chosen in that you are shown ways to monetize the idea through different methods out there. There is also a bonus lesson (after the 6 lessons) showing you how to start building a website off that chosen niche.

Pros (Smart From Scratch):

  • Pat Flynn and his courses have a decent and higher reputation (he’s legit).
  • This course is actually very important (niche selection is top priority for success).
  • Pat always offers customers a preview of his courses (transparency).


  • $199 for this course is ridiculous in my opinion. I can teach you this for free and help you get started (And I will).
  • I also believe that beyond the $199, you may need to buy more to go to the next level which is building the business off it.

Let me help you find your niche and save $199:

Firstly, I’m not trying to discourage you from buying Smart From Scratch. I just know this subject matter like the back of my hand and have helped countless people find their niches and through a program called Wealthy Affiliate, start a business from it.

I’ve even created free training in the program itself (which you can also try for free) that’ll help you do that and you don’t need a dozen plus lessons to figure it out.

It’s very similar to what Smart From Scratch is, but you SAVE a ton of money and learn the same stuff basically. Anyway, let me give you my own steps to this in understanding niches are and how to find them:

1) The niche brainstorm part:

  1. Make a list of topics and hobbies you love.
  2. Then label them in a 1-10 scale where 10 is your highest score.
  3. Take the highest rated one and narrow it down.
  4. For example: If you love “technology”, I’d recommend you narrow it down that is a niche off that topic. For instance, online studio setups (lighting, cameras, recording software, ect…). Of course, you would need to be passionate about this (this is key to niches).

This is a very simple example (you can learn a ton more for free in Wealthy Affiliate), but the whole purpose isn’t so much the niche, it’s actually isolating a topic you REALLY love and then finding the niche off that love. That’s key. Here’s a few other examples of the many different niches out there (this is actually just a small sample of what’s possible in terms of selection):

Trust me, there’s MANY more. But let’s move onto the next step:

2) Is the chosen niche profitable?

The good news is that there are so many niches to choose from, but you only need 1 you really like. The next question of course is, how do you determine if it’s profitable?

Well the great news in that regard is if you choose a popular hobby or topic that is also popular, then that itself answers the question.

For the light studios niche, I can tell you there’s tons of people interested in this topic that browse for products and tutorials on how to set it up (possibly 100,000’s of people). Again, the training in Wealthy Affiliate will help you determine this (and I will personally help you as well).

3) Materializing your niche business into profits (how it works):

Niche selection is super important yes, but once you chose correctly, the next step is building it. Now in this case, Pat has courses in his Smart Passive Income program to help you do this, and in many ways, I also do similar stuff and it basically comes down to this:

You build an online business off your niche topic and it can earn in numerous ways, the most popular being: Affiliate marketing.

In the case of light studio accessories and products, you can literally become an affiliate for different companies that sell these products and promote them on the site. DSLR cameras, backdrops, batteries, light rings, special lights, backgrounds, ect… all of this can be promoted.

The key is really the passion because most of what you’ll be doing is creating content on your website for light studio related topics and sharing your passion on the site itself. Readers of yours (who will come to it thanks to Google search) will buy from it because they trust your sound advice on this topic (they will feel the passion) and this is how you will turn your niche into a real business.

There I just saved you $199. But if you still want to check out Smart From Scratch, that link will take you there.

Conclusions: I like Pat, but I always feel his courses (including Smart From Scratch) are…

A bit bland like I said earlier and I have noticed this time and time again. It feels like I’m reading from an expensive college textbook. The material is good, but man it could be a lot better (and even cheaper). I’ve seen some of his other stuff and that’s why I say this.

Now to be honest, I personally have not purchased Smart From Scratch, but frankly, I don’t even need to. He literally gives you a summary of the course and that subject is extremely familiar to me. It’s a GREAT topic to cover, but to charge $199 for it is a bit much in my opinion.

I have reviewed his other courses like 123 affiliate marketing and his overall Smart Passive Income and again, the guy is legitimate and gives great information. But so much of his material is very expensive and stuff you can find elsewhere for less, that I just felt it was important to share with you.

Can you still get the course and get great value out of it? Absolutely and if you have a spare $199 lying around, go for it.

Me personally, I think based on what I’ve seen and know on the matter, in my opinion, you’d be a lot better off learning this same material in Wealthy Affiliate. And again it is literally free to check out the niche selection course in the Wealthy Affiliate program.

One other thing I am not a big fan of Pat’s for:

He segments a lot of his online business training material into multiple courses vs making it into 1 whole course.

Now from a business point of view, it’s genius, he can make more money, but to the consumer, it’ll cost more. While in some of his courses, you can get everything you need, in others, you may need to spend more to get he complete package based on your needs. And I’m always a fan of helping people find everything they need under 1 roof. And:

This is where Wealthy Affiliate holds another major advantage over Smart Passive Income in general:

There is an upgraded course in Wealthy Affiliate beyond the free membership that is $49 a month, but you’ll get everything from that, including full training on turning that niche into your business, so in my opinion, you’ll save way more in the short run (over the free membership) as well as the paid one (Premium which is $49 a month).

That’s my personal point of view and I would recommend you read the full Wealthy Affiliate review I have here to make your own decision. At the very least, the niche training is literally free so you have nothing to lose, but it’s totally up to you!

Thanks for reading this review and if you have any questions about Smart From Scratch and especially on niche selection, ask away below. I’m more than happy to help you pick one out (challenge me please).

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