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NP News: The State of Google Search, Amazon Influencer Business Breakdown, and A Mai Tai Niche Site

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Want an in-depth look and summary of the key findings from Semrush’s State of Search 2023 report?

Spencer and Jared sit down today to discuss it all, sharing key insights that are sure to help site owners and niche site enthusiasts in all sorts of ways concerning:

  • Niche traffic trends
  • The number of new sites indexed
  • Google Update and search volatility trends
  • Important CTR data 
  • And more.

Plus, they highlight some interesting findings in the report about the differences between paid and organic traffic.

The conversation then shifts gears to discuss their side hustles. Spencer shares how his Amazon influencer project is going, including diving into some of the numbers and discussing whether it’s likely to be a profitable niche pursuit. 

Jared also touches on one of his side hustle successes, discussing how he reached 1000 email newsletter subscribers in just 8 weeks.

And of course, they dive into interesting niche site finds, including, a site that offers a course on how to use Google Sheets that is making over $100,000 a year. 

And a Mai Tai niche site that documents different types of Mai Tais from around the world, including recipes and history. 

The guys suggest potential ways to expand the site, such as creating a directory of Mai Tai bars in Hawaii and other ways to better monetize the site.

So make sure to listen to the full episode to gain lots of valuable info to help you kick off a productive weekend.  

Watch The Full Episode

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Spencer: Hey everyone. Welcome back to the Niche Pursuits Podcast. This is, uh, Spencer Haws here. We’re gonna do another episode of this Week in Niche Pursuits News. And of course I’ve got Jared Bauman with me. Jared, how you doing? Good, 

Jared: good. Spencer, good to be here with you. Good to have you back on. I think you missed last week, so, uh, good to do news with you this week.

Spencer: Yeah, I did indeed miss last week, and, uh, it was another good reason. Um, I was actually out on a, on a business retreat and, uh, in Costa Rica and so not a rough place to be at all. Um, so I do apologize for not being able to record that. But, uh, I was busy on the beach by the pool. Discussing business. So it was very, yeah, 

Jared: you were, you were, uh, flooding our group chat with pictures of very nice resort looking pools and, uh, two cans.

It looked quite, uh, looked like you were really working hard. That’s 

Spencer: right. Trying to let people live vicariously, you know, through what I’m doing here. Um, But despite me being gone, the news did not stop. The news continued on with, uh, you know, seo, digital marketing, everything. And so we, we, we’ve got, uh, some, some nice news topics to talk about that we’ll cover first.

Then we’re gonna talk about some shiny objects stuff. Our, our projects that we’re working on. We’ll give some updates there, including my Amazon influencer. Project that’s going on. I’ll dive into some numbers here today. Uh, and then also to, to wrap it up, we will cover two different weird niche sites, um, which is always my favorite segment of the show, just seeing what weird or interesting things people are creating out there.

There’s a lot of cool stuff people are doing to make money online, and, uh, so we dive deep and pull out those, uh, interesting niche sites for you. So should we do it? 

Jared: Let’s dive in. We got a lot of news to cover, some big stuff. 

Spencer: All right, so up first here is, uh, Sam Rush did a huge report on the state of search, the state of search for the year of 2022.

And so they produced this very well, um, you know, designed and in depth, uh, article report that covers everything that happened with search in the year of 2022. And so I think there’s a lot of just interesting data points that we can tease out. Uh, as we look at this. Uh, I’m gonna share my. Uh, screen here just so that we can sort of see the report and all the data that they, um, shared.

And, uh, Jared, I know you read this as well, and so as I scroll through here, feel free to to hop in and, and kind of share any thoughts that you had as well. But, um, You know, kind of first up here was search traffic by market. Um, it kind of shows which industries increased, uh, in search share, which industries decreased.

For example, electronics were up 16%, media up 12%, restaurants and food and delivery up 8%. Uh, some of the big losers. Fashion and apparel. The, the search traffic was down overall for the year by 14%. Um, and servicing technology was down by 6%. Um, I don’t know if there’s a whole lot we can, you know, jump into that.

I, I guess it’s interesting that electronics are up so much and fashion apparel is down. Um, but I don’t know if that’s necessarily a trend per se. 

Jared: Right. I mean, I, I suppose, uh, the, yeah, I mean, I could conjecture on some of this stuff, but I mean, nobody cares. What I conjecture about some of this stuff, I think what is interesting maybe is if you are a website or brand owner in that, in that space, right?

Like electronics, um, search traffic going up by, what was it, 16%? Well, right, that, you know, bodes well for search in your neighborhood if you’re in fashion apparel and, uh, search is down 14%. You know, something to keep in mind. Uh, but outside of that, yeah, I’m not sure It’s incredibly telling. 

Spencer: Right, exactly.

I think you would wanna look at Google Trends, um, over a multi-year trend of your particular industry. Right. You know, if, if you’re in the electronics, uh, industry, that’s, that’s a very broad thing. You know, maybe your particular, you know, item or, or particular niche is actually trending way up or, or way down.

Right. Um, depending on what it is. So, um, 

Jared: and they talk about it a lot in the, um, they talk about a lot in here, but obviously, you know, 2020. 2021. Even Summit 2022, like really can have some wide swinging numbers depending on how much or little you’re. Your niche was affected by the pandemic, so there’s also that to throw in there.

Spencer: Right, exactly. Um, and then, uh, this chart, the cert volatility monthly trend, um, it, I, I don’t fully understand it exactly, just cause it’s kind of an interesting chart here, but overall there were actually more. Google updates during 2021 than there was in 2022. I know that’s hard to believe. Uh, but we’ll, we’ll get to the chart where it shows the number, the quantity, uh, but it shows that there was quite a bit of volatility in 2022.

Uh, I believe that’s what this is showing. You know, like six out of the 12 months there was some pretty high volatility in the ses even though maybe the number of updates wasn’t as great. 

Jared: I mean, that chart right there just sums up how my heart felt, um, throughout the year. I think it’s interesting though, because when I think back on 2022, certainly I think about a lot of updates, uh, that may update.

The May, 2022 update was really big. That one does trigger as a, a big one on this chart. Right? But when I really think about 2022, I think about the. Onslaught of updates in the second half of the year, right? Yes. Like the, the helpful content update straight into like a core update, straight into like a spam update.

Straight into like a product review update. Yeah. And that was like August, September, October. But if you look at this graph, and again, it’s not measuring the number of updates, you said, we’ll talk about that in a second. It’s measuring the volatility from different updates and it would look as though they weren’t very volatile in those months of the year.

It was very flat for that time. So that kind of, that I thought that was really interesting. 

Spencer: Yeah. Yeah, that’s, that, that’s what it shows. And that’s why I sort of qualified, like, I’m not sure I fully understand, uh, this chart because it, in, in some ways, this feels like it contradicts some of the charts we’re gonna look at here in just a second, um, as well with, with additional volatility and things like that.

Um, Uh, we won’t go over every single one of these, but some of these are interesting, like number of keywords by search intent, so the actual quantity of keywords. For example, there’s 109 million informational keywords that, uh, were searched for in 2022, and that accounted for, uh, 56% of overall traffic, which is down from 60.

Percent in 2021. Um, so slightly less informational queries happening. Slightly more com commercial intent queries happening. Um, transactional, you know, up a couple percent and navigational down a couple of percent. So it’s just the sheer amount of data that S Cm Rush is providing. Um, I mean, it’s huge. I mean, how many is, you know, a hundred and it’s about 200 million keywords they’re looking at, uh, just in that particular chart, uh, here as well.

So, uh, this is one that I thought was interesting that we could have a little bit of a discussion with that I, I think is, um, always nice to see. So this is percentage of new domains that are ranking in the crps. So, um, It’s, it’s higher than in 2020, but lower than 2021 is what they say. So, uh, overall in 2022, the number of new domains, so I assume domains that did not show up the previous year, domains that did not exist in 2021 are now in 2022, accounted for 28%.

Of the search results, right? Uh, so, so that’s, um, I would say that’s a good sign. I mean, almost a third of all, um, SERPs or search results is not exactly clear. Um, you know, uh, we’re we’re new domains that did not exist. So that’s newer bloggers, newer niche website builders that have a domain that’s under a year old, hey, 28%.

That’s, that’s not bad. 

Jared: Yeah, I agree with you. I mean, 28% to quote, 28% more domains appeared on top of the ones we already tracked in our database lower in 2022 than in 2021, but still higher than it wasn’t. I’d love to see that trended back more than just three years, you know? And. Kind of compare it to maybe five, six years ago, but, right.

I mean, if there was ever a nice graph that, you know, if you’re still on the fence about starting a website and you haven’t, like this graph says totally possible, you know? Mm-hmm. As if all the interviews we have on the podcast every week aren’t proof enough. Um, but, you know, I mean, yeah, like you said, over a quarter of the.

Uh, domains were brand new, hadn’t been seen by some rush before, and they crawled hundreds of millions of, uh, of domains to, to, to get this. I believe they actually said the outset is a hundred million domains that they have in their database that they use for this, uh, this report. 

Spencer: Yeah. Yeah. And so these are new domains ranking.

It doesn’t necessarily say, Hey, these are domains on the first page, or anything like that. Um, it might be interesting to get more granular on that, but you know, like you said, we’ve, we’ve interviewed lots of entrepreneurs that are creating new websites, continuing, uh, to do well in, in the crps, and then we get this just massive.

Um, one large infographic that, you know, we could go over so many numbers here, um, but maybe we’ll tease out just a couple more here. Um, we’ve got the total traffic trend. 

Jared: Uh, I thought that was interesting right there. Just that one that they said traffic, oh, you know, I have it on a chart. Appeared to, uh, appear to decrease, and they’re calling it, which I don’t really know.

I, I wouldn’t have thought this, but maybe they have. Either corollary or causal of data to show us, but they’re saying that traffic levels, um, in terms of overall web traffic, so the number of people that are actually trafficking the internet, they dropped last year in, um, March, April, may, and June of 2022.

And they’re relating that to the global, kind of the start of the global recession. Yeah. Um, uh, economic activity, but then they recovered for average year end. Traffic levels once you got to q4. I, I never correlated global recessions or, um, or, uh, growth in the, in the market to equate to let more or less searches.

Certainly maybe people wanna spend more when they have more and spend less when they have less. But in terms of overall traffic, I mean, I’m, I’m searching as much every day whether the economy’s doing well or not. So that, that was a interesting take on it, you know? 

Spencer: Yeah, that is very interesting and I almost would like to see a, a study done on that, um, to really dive into, is that really the cause?

Um, because cuz like you, um, just because the economy’s going down, does that mean I’m searching less? I mean, we know that, um, when people suddenly had to be indoors due to the pandemic. Right. Um, and businesses were shutting down. They searched more, right? Traffic was way up when the pandemic first hit. And so, um, without looking at the data, you know, in depth other than this one chart, I, I, I’d really don’t know.

I would like to see further studies and supported that conclusion. 

Jared: We’ve had several people on the podcast who equate a drop in traffic over the summer. To people being wanting to be outdoors and not wanting to search be inside as much. Now again, that’s just people saying stuff, but I don’t know. Seems pretty, seems more likely to me than that.

But again, I’m just a guy in a room here. That’s 

Spencer: right. Exactly. We’re that, that’s exactly what we do here, is we just comment on what we see, uh, and, um, you know, share, share what knowledge we have. Uh, let’s see here. Search traffic trend. I, I didn’t really have much to pull out there industry trends. I actually felt like this was a little bit confusing.

Just there’s so many lines on this chart. It’s basically showing, um, You know, beauty, fashion, restaurants, electronics, all these different, um, markets or industries, how they sort of trended throughout the year. You know, some kind of ended up higher, some lower, um, And, uh, which kind of matches up, you know, it’s, it’s showing overall traffic trending down kind of in certain months of the year and then kind of coming back up in q4.

Um, okay. But this is one that I wanted to look at again. The Google updates, insert volatility trends. Okay, so this. Breaks down all of the core updates, content updates, product updates, spam updates, other updates, uh, from Google and, and does put them on a chart here. And so you can see that in 2022, um, the number of updates is, uh, three less it appears, uh, than the number of updates in 2021.

But both 2021 and 2022 are. What I would say significantly higher than the previous four years. Like almost double or more? Yes. Uh, the number of updates over the previous four years. So the last two years of updates have been, um, pretty wild in terms of the number of updates. Okay. And so, yeah, it shows there was total confirmed updates in 2022 was 10.

Um, and then it, it breaks it down by type. Right? And so there was three core updates. Um, I won’t go into all this, uh, how many updates of each, but lots of different types of updates. And then they, they break it down here with, um, kind of the, the volatility, the impact of the Google updates is what this next, uh, graph shows and it shows up for the last couple of years.

So as we look in 2022, um, basically the size of these bubbles, um, and, and the percent right, it, it shows like the May core update. A again, it, it shows, um, it makes it look like it’s a much smaller, uh, impact, you know, compared to all the 2021 updates. But I kind of agree with you, Jared, that the May, 2022 core update felt like a really big one.

Um, and, and not maybe quite as small as it appears. Um, it probably just 

Jared: proves kind of how small of a world we live in. That none of us, unless we’re analyzing data on like a massive scope, like we just don’t have enough friends, we don’t have enough acquaintances, we don’t have enough, uh, news articles we read.

We don’t have enough scope to not to, to, to be able to escape our little, you know, our world. Because I mean, yeah, like you said, like that update felt huge. Here’s some compelling data that says it literally, I mean, paled in comparison to some of these ones from 2021 and 2020 and stuff, so man, right. 

Spencer: And I guess that’s a really good point because in our industry, and certainly, you know, everybody listening to the podcast here and the people we follow on Twitter, a lot of us are creating very similar types of sites, right?

Yeah. We’re creating, uh, content affiliate sites, right? We’re kind of, kind of doing the, the blogging thing, but that accounts for a very small portion of sites. Overall when you include, you know, e-commerce and, um, you know, SaaS, navigational SaaS, right? There’s weird niches of different types of sites that you could be creating that we, you know, cover in weird niche sites Sometimes.

Um, the, the impact maybe was very big in the affiliate site community, but not as so big overall. So that’s a great point. Um, and then it does actually dip into the March 20, 23 core update showing that it hadn’t, Impact of 163%, which I don’t know what that percent, 

Jared: I know I tried to find what that percentage means 

Spencer: really means.

Um, it impacted over a hundred percent of all sites. Summit hit one in 1.6 times. You know, I don’t know what that means. Um, but it’s a big one. The, the March, 2023 core update was apparently massive. I 

Jared: mean, I don’t know if this confirms a lot of people’s suspicions, um, or thoughts on it, right? But, I remember when Google, for the first time ever announced an update was coming ahead of time, and that was that helpful content update.

And again, our little world that we live in, but people were deleting content and freaking out and saying, well, if they’re announcing it, this is gonna probably be the end of the world type of update. I mean, I look at this, I don’t even think it made it on the list here. I don’t even think they looked at it.

Right. So maybe not. Yeah. Yeah. Like. I don’t see it. So, you know, um, uh, you know, that March core update though, obviously packed a punch. That’s the biggest one we’ve had, it looks like since the May, 2020 core update, you know, so three years in the making in terms of its, uh, amount of, uh, in terms of amount of, I was about to say amount of damage it did.

Is that, uh, My for and slip there. 

Spencer: I, I think that’s accurate. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and then, uh, they got some, um, some click through rate data, which is always interesting to see, to sort of see, okay, if you rank number one, how many clicks can you expect? And they break this down by both desktop and mobile. So if you rank number one in Google, um, You can expect to get 22.2% of the clicks on desktop and 22.4% on, uh, mobile.

And then I’ll just go to like number two here. Um, you can expect to get 9.3% of the clicks on desktop if you’re ranking number two and 13% of the clicks. If you’re on mobile ranking number two, and then they break that down, um, for, for all the first page of Google. So that’s kind of interesting, right? If, if you’re, um, if you rank number one in Google for a keyword that is, that overall has a volume of a thousand searches per month, right?

You can expect for that one particular keyword to get 222 visitors, uh, to your website. On desktop, right? So, uh, that, that’s always an interesting study and something to, to keep in mind and people can do their own calculations. I know sometimes people create spread spreadsheets where they find all their keywords, they find the search volume, and then they figure out, okay, how much traffic can I actually get?

And that’s based on this, uh, click through data. 

Jared: One thing, if you don’t mind, could you, could you go back up just a little bit there? Right there, that section? Yes. Yes. On the ctr, the click through rate percentage, this is the agency guy and me coming out. So sorry. But, um, look all the way to the right there at the difference in click through rate on paid ads as it relates to desktop top versus mobile.

So it’s 1.8% click through rate on desktop. Um, not bad really. When you think about, like, everyone knows that’s an ad and you know you’re getting near 2% mobile 0.2%. It is, uh, 0.802%. 0.02%. Yeah. Geez, I didn’t even read that. Right. You’re right. That is like a hundredth of. Uh, desktops, clicks. So, hey, if you’re doing paid ads mm, take that into consideration.

That’s not a, uh, that’s not a, a little chart. You should skip over, even though it’s very small on this, on the, on the grand scope of things here. 

Spencer: That is a good point. So, um, if you can rank organically, I. That’s the way to do it. You’re gonna get 43.1%. 

Jared: This is why my agency is in business. I just need to point to that ad.

Right. That little thing right there and say good luck. It’s, yeah, you’re gonna struggle out 

Spencer: there. Get some money, get a few clicks, but, um, absolutely Right. That’s why we talk so much about SEO organic traffic, just cuz. Yep. It, it commands so much volume, um, overall. So, uh, I don’t know if there was anything else here you wanted to, to point out or anything that I missed there, but, uh, a fascinating study here by CEM Rush.


Jared: if you’re a data, uh, person, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s like you said at the outside, like they do su they do it a really good job overall of, um, visually conveying data in mass, you know, and, uh, they sliced and diced it really nicely. Um, and there’s a lot of cool stuff we didn’t go into. But you can learn a lot in this section.

The bottom section, this is what I want to highlight. Sorry, I kind of jumped right in, but you can learn a lot about like how people use the internet and maybe break some of your conventional wisdom patterns you’ve set up. Like I go through a lot of things I learned as I was reading this over lunch today and.

You know, I mentioned the paid ad ones. I, you, you know, that more people are gonna click on it on a paid ad from desktop cuz it visually makes sense, but you don’t know it’s that shockingly disparate. Um mm-hmm. Uh, like, you know, image carousels, same thing. Um, 63% versus 6%. And so there’s just some interesting numbers there, but in general, I think.

I would recommend, you know, reading this over a cup of coffee or while you’re eating lunch or something, just so you can kind of learn how people, you know, browse the internet in 2022. Nowadays, you know, it might change a little bit of the way you, you might approach 

Spencer: something going forward. Yeah. You know, that’s a great idea, right?

Because, um, boy, they’ve got a broken down into like a dozen different, you know, sort of features, right? You’ve got the related, uh, crps, the review. The people also ask image carousel videos, images. Um, FAQs, knowledge panel, featured snippets, right? All these things, right? Like maybe you decided, you know what?

I want to try and get more featured snippets and how am I gonna do that? Um, because that accounts for 9% on mobile, right? Um, and so it’s like my site does well on mobile. It’s let’s do that. So, yeah, I agree. Look at the data, see how it might, um, apply to your particular site and how you might be able to improve.

Improve. Um, there’s a lot of, lot of great data here, so. 

Jared: It’s, um, very interesting to see. And uh, and it’s also about visibility too, so where these types of search queries appear, what gets clicked on. So yeah, just, um, you know, good to go spend a few minutes on and take a look. 

Spencer: Yeah, absolutely. And so, uh, related story that maybe we won’t dive into too much, but of course just, um, this article came out yesterday that there is potentially an unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm update happened on May.

First and, uh, May 2nd, right? There’s some chatter in the SEO community. I, there’s always chatter, right? But, um, you know, it, it, it’s hard to know, Hey, is there an unannounced update happening or not? I don’t know. 

Jared: I, you know, just because I, I didn’t wanna sound like a fool. I did take a look at, you know, some of my websites, some client websites before getting on.

I don’t monitor this stuff every day. I would, um, I would, I wouldn’t start work, you know, until two hours into my day if I, if I did, but Right. I, I did, you know, poke, I, I didn’t see much. Um, you know, you can also go look at Sep speaking of Seresh, we’re kind of a seresh heavy, uh, uh, uh, episode today. But they, they have a great sensor, you know, um, they used to call it the Moz had like a weather, they called it the weather forecast.

Mm-hmm. Um, I tend to go to the sim rush sensor. Which will show, you know, they kind of look at all of Sam Rush’s data to kind of figure out when these, um, these movements are happening. And it’s, it’s funny because it was actually very low on Monday, the 1st of May, and then did pick up, but it didn’t really pick up in that area until, um, Wednesday and then now Thursday as well.

So, you know, I mean, uh, certainly there’s some people that saw some movement, but, um, I, I don’t, it doesn’t look like it’s in bulk. 

Spencer: Right. Yeah, so we’ll, we’ll, uh, keep our eye on that one. Um, so maybe, maybe that’s it for the industry news. Um, in particular, um, we can move on to our shiny object shenanigans here and, uh, I’m always working on a couple different things, but, uh, one that I wanted to highlight once again is my Amazon influencer.

Um, sort of project here. Um, I joined the Amazon in influencer program and I am creating videos that go directly on, get listed on the product pages, and, uh, it’s been kind of fun. Um, I’ve started to get some traction on some of those videos and I wanted to share some of the numbers, uh, behind this business.

So, uh, for people watching, I’m gonna just look over at my. My, some of the numbers that I have here, but, uh, basically at this point, um, I have created, uh, about 50 videos, um, that I’m gonna be basing these numbers on. There’s 50 videos up there. Um, I’ve earned $215 roughly in commission, so not a lot, but these are mostly new videos that just got published in the last couple weeks.

But based on, on those numbers, Um, I said, I, I figured out, okay, how much am I earning per day per video? And that works out to be 28 cents per day per video. Okay. Okay. So if I take that average, um, and it costs me so far per video of $38 and 10 cents. So my cost, and I’m being very open here, is, um, I have, I’ve hired other people on Upwork to create the videos for me.

I. Think maybe I mentioned that here, uh, on the podcast a couple weeks ago. But, uh, basically I’m having other people, you know, I pay for an hour of their time to review a product that they have in their house, right? It usually takes them, honestly, 20 minutes probably to create the video. So they’re getting a great hourly rate, and, uh, I’m only spending on average $38 and 10 cents per video.

Uh, and I said, well, if I decide to invest $15,000 into this business, let’s just say that’s what I’m willing to commit to see what happens. Um, here’s some of the numbers. I could, um, have 300, I would have 393 videos. Yep. Um, based on that cost. And based on the earnings of 28 cents per day per video, that would be $108.

Per day in earnings, or a monthly earnings of about 32 50 and an annual earnings of about $39,000. And of course, for fun, uh, the company value, if I could sell it for three x, you know, on the low end, it’d be worth $117,000. So based on the initial 50 videos, I’m gonna move forward with investing $15,000.

Right. So that’s kind of the analysis. I run through these sort of numbers all the time with, with my business. Um, but you know, this is a fun little side project. I don’t know if this is how it will turn out or not, but that’s what I’m thinking. 

Jared: I don’t know if you’re gonna share those numbers on the screen.

You still have the, uh, the May 1st and May 2nd Google update up 

Spencer: there. Oh, I was gonna stop sharing that screen. I’m sorry. 

Jared: Yeah. Oh, I just figured you either didn’t want my face on the screen or you were gonna share your numbers, but more importantly, the. I mean, the math I do immediately is going, okay, if you’re making 28 cents a day on a video, it costs you 30 whatever dollars.

Like your break even is a hundred days in. Um, so, you know, yep. I mean, that’s, that’s a great break even, right? Like if a hundred days after you kind of press published, generally speaking, you know, you’re gonna start breaking even. And then everything beyond that. Is also just pure profit at that point.

Spencer: Right. And there’s a lot of uncertainty around this. We don’t know how long the videos will stick. Right? They might do well for six months or 12 months, um, but then they might not after that. Right. Um, so far so good. Some of the videos that I, the, the first initial, like six videos that I personally did, um, about five months ago, they’re still sticking and still.

Earning. Um, so that’s a, that’s a great sign. Um, the other, um, factor here that I think I could really increase the earnings per video quite a bit is I have not optimized, uh, really at all. I still don’t know what I’m doing in terms of picking the products to review. I’m sort of just saying, Hey, Let’s review anything and everything, right?

Um, if I were more strategic about finding the low competition products, um, that, that would help. Um, in addition, I haven’t really optimized the titles of the videos or the thumbnails of the videos. You can actually upload custom thumbnails, kind of like YouTube, right? To increase that click through rate.

Um, I’m not doing any thumbnails, it’s just whatever. Auto selects from, uh, the video. So there’s definitely some ways I can go back and, and update this to make it even more effective, where instead of 28 cents, maybe I’m up to 40 cents, you know, per, per video, per day. Um, which would be better. I would, 

Jared: I would, I’m only guessing, but I mean, we just released that episode with Pat Flynn all about YouTube.

Yes. You know, videos and he basically said like, Hey, it is getting people there is all about the thumbnail and the title, you know? Um, and so I imagine, I’m not saying Amazon is YouTube or anything like that, but it’s gotta have an impact for you to do a custom thumbnail and actually strategically pick titles that are optimized, click, you know, clickable, these kinds of things.


Spencer: I agree. It, it’s the same principle. Um, you know, people click on something that catches their eye and, uh, so I will, that, that’s in like the. The to-do list for sure. I’m gonna go back and, and create a better process, um, to, to get those created. This initial batch of 50, of course was let’s test the idea and here’s some of the initial numbers like unoptimized.

Now I’m thinking, okay, what if we actually optimize this for the next 50? Um, you know, this could be an interesting little business. Now again, you know, I’m gonna have to invest $15,000 and I’m not gonna see that back. For, for, for a while. Right. So it’s not, um, risk free, you know, it’s not gonna happen overnight, but yeah.

But, uh, after, after a period of 12 months, right. Hopefully, I’m, I’m in the clear, but again, we, 

Jared: we, we do spend a lot of time talking websites here, but in the, in the, in the world of side hustles, like. I think I made this point a couple weeks ago, think of all this stuff you have around your house that is actively being sold on Amazon right now.

Mm-hmm. And, um, you know, there’s that caveat. You can just go out and start a website tomorrow, but unless you’re approved in the Amazon influencer program, you’re, you, you know, you’re kind of handcuffed. But if you could get in, I mean, it’s really a very interesting opportunity. It, it’s, you 

Spencer: know, Yeah. Yeah, it is, it’s, it’s proven to be kind of interesting.

Um, I think people that really hustle could get approved to the Amazon influencer program. You know, they could create a Facebook page or a YouTube channel, or an Instagram page, or TikTok. I think those are the four. Um, you know, you just really maybe need like a thousand followers and, and that can happen pretty quick if, if you hustle or even pay for page likes.

Okay. That you can pay like 5 cents alike, right? What is that? Mm-hmm. 50 50 bucks in. You 

Jared: can do that YouTube short model that you were talking about where you, you know, pump out a lot of shorts to get followers and you know, you, you, maybe they’re on page time, uh, view time is not great, but you’re getting the followers and you’re getting into the 

Spencer: influencer program.

Yep. Yep. Exactly. So for hustlers out there, I think, I think you can make it work. Um, make it happen. So I’m not necessarily encouraging people cause I don’t want more, uh, competition. This is my side of hustle, not yours. Yeah. You, you’ve corded 


Jared: canoe market there on or whatever. It’s rooftops. I don’t remember what we were joking about, but it was pretty random.

Spencer: Yeah, you know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve got a few cornered, uh, that I’m trying to keep, you know, to myself. But, uh, yeah, so, so that’s my, uh, my little shiny object. I, I will get back to, you know, sharing my, my YouTube side hustle at some point. Uh, but not, not a whole lot to update. I’m gonna give it another week, uh, or two before I have some exciting updates there.


Jared: you gotta have something to share. Otherwise, it’s just, you know, kind of more the same. Um, like I said, it really puts the fire under you, cuz we gotta come on here and talk about this stuff every week. It’s. I don’t know if I can call mine a shiny object syndrome anymore. I gotta report every week on it.

Spencer: That’s, I know at some point it’s like, okay, we’ve reported for three months. That’s no longer a shiny object. You can’t call it the shiny object 

Jared: anymore. It’s now part of your business. 

Spencer: Yeah, that’s right. So, um, so we’ll let you get by reporting on, on your shiny object, but you know, the clock’s ticking.

Jared, you need a couple more months. We need to see something else outta you. 

Jared: I, I agree, I agree. I dealt with time right now. Another one, well, um, couple great milestones. This, um, this past, we’ll call it seven days or whatnot. So we hit the goal. The goal was a thousand subscribers to a new email channel within three months.

Why a thousand? I don’t know. It sounded both cool and doable, but not easy to do necessarily. So that was the goal. Not allowed into it, but, um, you know, it’s kind of risky or you know, there’s a little bit of risk when you go in front of everyone and share this. That’s what your goal is. But, so we hit it eight weeks in.

Um, uh, we hit it with our, our ninth email send. Um, it was a, a fun one about, uh, recovering from a Google Core update, um, and you know, just all the stuff we did and didn’t do and stuff, but yeah. Thousand followers in now. So time to make some new goals. I haven’t figured that out yet cause we just hit it at the tail end of yesterday and haven’t had time to think about it.

But yeah, time to make some new goals. We, we did it in eight weeks instead of 12 and, um, onward and 

Spencer: upward. That’s fantastic. Congrats. A thousand, uh, email subscribers is, is not easy. You know, I, I think that’s a, a great number, um, to have as your initial goal. You know? Next one, what? 10,000, um, 10. No, go big, big number, 10 x, 10 x.

But, uh, yeah, absolutely. Congrats, um, on hitting that. I think that just shows, you know, consistent effort on Twitter. I know you’re very active there. Um, and, and with your, your blog on weekend growth, um, putting out some good case studies. That, you know, you, you can build, um, you know, start to build a nice core of a business there.

So yeah. Any, anything else related, um, to that going 

Jared: on? So we also, um, I was a guest on this podcast this week. Um, what was the name of that podcast? Uh oh, that’s right. The Niche Pursuits Podcast. 

Spencer: Yeah, that’s a good one. That’s a good podcast. Uh, yeah, I remember that. 

Jared: Yeah, you, you were there actually. Um, yeah.

So that got released this week and, um, you know, we, uh, at, at the agency I run, we have created some, we’ve created a spreadsheet we used when we are gathering a bunch of data. Long story short, um, we were able to pull a lot of that together and release it as a, a free tool for people to download. Um, and launched it with the podcast episode coming out that we did together.

Um, and so, uh, You know, not a lot of people have gotten to access it, uh, yet. I think about a hundred, 150 people have downloaded it, but response has been good. I’ve never made like a online type of tool. It’s, it, it’s, it’s bare, it, it’s hard to call it a tool. It’s really just a Google spreadsheet with a bunch of formulas that you go and make a copy of.

And then add in your data, you know, but you bring in your, your data from Google Analytics, you bring in some data from ah, refs and hopefully in the future sim rush and these kinds of things. And it puts it all in one, one tab for you. But, um, that was fun to make. And, um, you know, the poking holes in it and trying to make sure that everything’s, you know, uh, uh, good enough to launch.

It reminds me of. Probably all the beta testing you must have had to do with your plugins and, and all that before you can even ship it. And then all the things that come back is like, this isn’t working and, and troubleshooting that. So just learning about that. I’ve never launched one of those things before and so far so good.

But, um, hopefully that’ll be a good tool for people if, um, you know, when they grab it they can, you know, get, make better sense of their data. 

Spencer: Yeah. No, that’s great. I was just taking a look at the YouTube stats for the interview that we did. It was just released yesterday, just over 24 hours ago, and it’s now got 1700 views, um, on YouTube, uh, for, for the episode.

And so you’ve got, Like you said, a hundred, 150 people, you know, almost 10% of the people at least watched on YouTube. Um, that, that’s pretty good. Of course, there’s other sources, the blog and, and, uh, the podcast itself, uh, that are, that are coming in and opting in for that. So it is, it’s a lot of work to create a tool spreadsheet that, that people can use.

And, um, So, yeah, that, that’s great. I, that that is one of those things that anybody trying to build an email list a free tool Yeah. Or something that people can use beyond just like a PDF download, um, can, can work really, really well. Um, it’s something I need to do more of. I, 

Jared: I’ve been telling my clients to do it for years.

We’ve even sometimes participated in helping them build like a. A calculator and then, you know, to get your results put in your email address and like, or a tool that you can access and stuff. And again, you just gotta, I gotta take my own medicine sometimes. So, finally did it, but it’s a lot of work, you know?

Um, or not. It just was a lot of work for me. For everyone. Yeah. 

Spencer: Yep. All right, so let’s move on to our final segment of the show here. Uh, weird Niches. Let’s reveal our weird niche sites. I’ll go ahead and go first. Um, I, I feel like this one isn’t maybe as weird. I mean, after you talk about Costco hot dogs and, gosh, cat send, cat Facts and, um, you know, all these, you know, marathon investigations, airports, yeah.

This one’s maybe, yeah. Sleeping in airports. Um, you know, maybe this one’s a little more normal, but still a little bit off the beaten path. So, uh, this particular site, let me share my screen here. I feel like we need like some sort of drum roll or something, you know, that. I don’t know. Yeah, your editor reveals the site.

Jared: Your editor could probably add something in, you know, like a little, uh, announcement horn, you know, like they did back in the medieval days. 

Spencer: Yeah, we’ll see if my editors paying attention, see if they, uh, take the initiative and add something there. Um, so this one is better And this is just very fascinating to me that this is actually a product you can buy it, it’s a one-time purchase of $149, which is, um, basically it, it’s a course.

Yeah. A three hour course teaches you how to use Google spreadsheets. Better. Right? It’s very specific to, um, Google Sheets, right? Not, uh, Microsoft Excel or something like that. Um, And it’s just, yeah, it’s just a niche site. I mean, it’s about as niche as you can get. I mean, it’s one particular product and this is a course on how to use that particular product.

And I’ve heard of this, uh, with a few other, you know, products that are out there where it’s basically tutorial course on how to use that product. But this business does fairly well. I think it doesn’t get very much traffic. It’s not, you know, I looked in a traps and it gets like, That’s 150 visitors a month or something, you know, from, from search traffic, like it’s, it’s pretty minimal.

But I know that the founder here, which I’ll share this tab instead, um, is this Google Sheets Wizard Camp fee, uh, is very active on Twitter and I have to think that’s where he is gotten a lot of his traction is on Twitter, social media and kind of word of mouth has spread. Now that he’s the Google Sheets wizard guy, if you have any questions, you can go to better

And. You know, get the course and I couldn’t find it ahead of time, but I know somewhere I did read on Twitter that this website, this business was making. Just over a hundred thousand a year. So it is a like six figure a year business. Now, I could be wrong on that, but I’m, I’m pretty sure that I saw those numbers.

I couldn’t find the tweet that that said that, so if I’m wrong, somebody can call me out in the comments, uh, and let me know. But yeah, just kind of a fascinating, very niche. Um, little bit off the beaten path, uh, site here. 

Jared: Well, a couple things on it. First off, when I saw it in the agenda, Preparing for today.

I thought we were talking about bedsheets. I’ll be honest with you. You know, 

Spencer: that would’ve been more on the weird niche site path. You’ve got this sleep 

Jared: in an airports theme. I thought, oh, we’re gonna be talking about bedsheets today. Um, this was much, much more at my alley, to be honest with you. You know, I mean, really well branded, yes.

Really clean and simple. Like, um, and again, I I love that you kind of highlighted it, um, just taking something that the guy’s good at. And, you know, making something out of it. I don’t know his journey to get it here. I don’t, you know, know the iterations he went through. I don’t know if he launched it and it was a huge success or if it was slow and steady.

Um, but you’re right. I mean, it’s, it’s a really interesting model. He also, I was gonna point out, has a monthly option. I would be so curious to hear. I’m, I’m a, I’m a pricing nerd, and I just would be so curious to hear if people go more for the one time purchase. Right that you talked about, or maybe if they opt for this more monthly.

I mean, we know recurring revenue is almost like sas like, and really, really great once you can get people to, to have that recurring revenue. So yeah. Um, $19 a month it looks like gets you access to 331 tutorials. Every course, every, um, app, app script, um, et cetera. I mean, that’s compelling. Looks like you can canceled any time, 19 bucks and you can get access to everything, right.

Um, pretty amazing. Yeah. 

Spencer: Might get a lot of people to join. It’s like, Hey, I’ll use it one month. And then before they know it, they’ve stuck around for 10 months. Right. Yeah. Um, so yeah. Interesting business. Um, so maybe that sparks some ideas of people ha, that are maybe an expert in one particular tool or software.

Never thought that, hey, I could actually launch a training product on that particular software, that tool. So, and 

Jared: he has a whole section of his website for free templates. Going back to your. Comment about how a great lead Generat, I don’t know what he’s doing with him. I don’t know if you have to enter your email address and then, you know, he puts you in an email funnel.

I mean, that’s what we would recommend, obviously, but, uh, you know, it’s another great, another great way to, to, to get, uh, to get more, uh, to get more people into your funnel, in your system and then, you know, mark into them down the road. Yep. 

Spencer: Looks like he’s doing a great job. Like you said, it’s well-branded, it’s well-designed.

It’s got, um, yeah, kind of some interesting funnels and pricing models. So, uh, cool business. What do you got for us, Jared? 

Jared: Well, you know, um, it’s never a bad day. You know, I actually, Spencer, you, this is the first time we’ve recorded this in the afternoon, so I think this is an apropo. Uh, uh, website for us to feature.

Here we are talking my ties. Now I, uh, I’ve been to Hawaii a couple times. My family loves Hawaii. That is the only time I’ve really ever had a, my tie in my life is in Hawaii, so I don’t know a thing about ’em, except that they always come with a big pineapple and a fruity, you know, uh, umbrella. On him. Um, yep.

But this guy has dedicated a good chunk of his life to tracking. He says just the Bay area of Northern California. But if you start going through, he’s been all over the world, drinking my ties and documenting it. And this isn’t just kind of a, an Instagram like document. I mean, there is a lot that goes into what he’s right about.

This guy is clearly passionate about my ties. 

Spencer: This is. Yeah, just fascinating maize. So do we know if he’s getting much traffic? Uh, is he making any money on this site? 

Jared: So he is not getting much traffic? He, I mean much. I mean, how much my Thai traffic do you expect? Um, he’s, he, but let’s go through some of the numbers.

I thought they were a little surprising. He’s, you know, he’s a Dr. 23. Um, so, uh, that’s, I mean, that’s, that’s not bad, right? He’s ranking for around 4,000 keywords. He ranks number three for best rum for my Thai, and he is sending traffic to Amazon. So, um, there is, uh, there is some Amazon affiliate I saw, I should have pulled that up.

I don’t have it in front of me, but, um, he’s getting about, again, according to hf, about 2000. Uh, visitors a month. So probably higher than that to some degree, but, um, mm-hmm. I mean, you know, it’s, I, I love the picture. I’m a picture guy, right. I like the pictures are pretty good and it makes me want to go over my tie, to be honest with 

Spencer: you.

Yeah. This feels like a passion project. Uh, for sure. I mean, this guy, it, it’s him in the pictures. He’s taking all of his pictures and he drinks a lot of my ties, I guess. 

Jared: Uh, there’s recipes on here. So if you are, uh, watching this on a Friday when this gets released and thinking, Hey, why not start happy hour a little bit early?

There’s recipes about how to make some good maize on here. So 

Spencer: the original 1944 Mai Thai recipe, 

Jared: I got to read about the original Trader Vic. Yeah, the original Trader Vic Mai. He’s got the history of it and, um, so I learned a little bit about Maize preparing for this one. I think in general. I don’t think it’s making much money, uh, but clearly the guy is making something outta something that he would already be doing anyways, right?

Like this guy, clearly you can just tell like he’s gonna be drinking a my tie when he goes out, so Oh yeah. He’s writing about it and making a little money about it, you know, and there’s something to be said for that, 

Spencer: you know, maybe, uh, he maybe isn’t making much money, but maybe whenever he goes out he just, you know, says, Hey, I’m the, my Thai guy.

Give, give me a free my Thai and uh, I’ll review it. And take a picture of it. Uh, so maybe he’s getting brand deals, right? He’s he’s getting free maize wherever he goes. He, 

Jared: he does have social presence. I was on his Instagram page. Okay. And, you know, he’s, he was posting on Instagram just a few days ago, so 

Spencer: Yeah.

Yeah. Instagram here and, uh, um, there you go. Yeah. He is got like almost 4,000 followers. How many? Four. Almost 4,000. Okay. 

Jared: 4,000. My Thai lovers around the world. 

Spencer: Yeah, 

Jared: it’s, um, now, so I was gonna ask you Spencer, cuz we like to do this, you know, and we, we won’t ramble on about it, but like, um, going to Hawaii on vacation and I’m gonna use Hawaii as an example, but just any tropical area.

Uh, number one, everyone loves to talk about going to a tropical destination for vacation. Um, People will spend a lot of money on vacation and stuff. Mm-hmm. Like there’s some angles. I feel like if he wanted to, that he could really go down with this in terms of, um, expanding the reach of his Mai Thai website.

And, uh, uh, you know, again, you talked about. Uh, is where I was gonna go with it. Like, is there a local play? Is there a legion play? Is there a review play, you know, best my Thai bars in Kauai. And then, you know, you can work with those bars to get placement or, you know, you wanna be authentic about it obviously, but in terms of how you, how you talk about them.

And everybody can have like a, a directory of my Thai bars for the island of Kauai and you could be paid to be a part of that. And premium listings. And I just start thinking about, you could, you could probably expand this. 

Spencer: Yeah. I, I, I think he could expand it, right? Um, it would probably have to get a little broader for sure, in terms of yeah, travel in Hawaii or places where my ties are quite popular.

Um, you know, and he, he could kind of expand that if he were to take a look at different keywords. Right? He could, he could, uh, I’m sure. Um, this is just, I’m looking at pictures, right? It’s like, was you at a conference presenting about, uh, the de-evolution of the Hawaiian Mii Thai Kind of looks like it.

What does he be? YouTube channel as well. Look at that. Yeah. Um, it sure looks that way. My goodness. Um, yeah. 

Jared: This is all in on my ties.

Spencer: Okay. Sorry, I’m, I just clicked on his YouTube video and I was kind of looking at that, so yeah, it’s, it’s a little bit weird of an inch website. Um, maybe he’s, maybe he’s rolling in the dough. I have no idea. But, um, I, I don’t see how he’s monetized real well, so it’s probably, like I said, more of a hobby, passion project, but even, you know, as.

Presenting at some, uh, seminars, some conferences, drinking lots of my ties, and probably having a great time. 

Jared: Yep. He’s loving life and, uh, you know, again, looks like he’s, uh, he’s doing well with it. He’s definitely established some my Thai expertise. Yeah. 

Spencer: So, uh, you know, niche sites can, can be about all the money, uh, or they can be about passion and as long as you enjoy it.

Maybe get some free product along the way, you know, who are we to say don’t, don’t create that site. So go for it. 

Jared: Great, great fun. You know, maybe not as flashy or weird as we’ve done in past weeks, but I do feel like a lot of fun today. 

Spencer: Yeah, absolutely. No, I agree. It’s kind of fun to explore the world and it, it goes back and it taps into like my initial, um, self when I was creating niche websites, right?

I, I would find these weird, um, keywords, you know, I’d, I’d find things about ferrets and, you know, ferret hammocks and uh, you know, worm farms and all these things. It’s just like, man, there’s that many people searching on Google every month. For the best ferret hammock, right? Like, I didn’t even know what a ferret hammock was two seconds ago.

Um, so it, it taps into that, just that there’s a whole website dedicated to my ties and whole websites to, to Google Sheets. I, I just love that, I love exploring the different corners of the internet and the world and how people are either trying to make money or just having a good time. I mean, 

Jared: I remember.

At some point you’re talking about all the squirrel content you were publishing on. Yes. You know, it’s like how, who is some of the search queries? I don’t remember. This is years ago that you were talking about. But I mean, they were just so bizarre. I’m like, okay, I can see people searching about squirrels, like in a more functional manner.

But some of those questions were so bizarre that you were writing about Yes. Like what, 

Spencer: can you feed squirrels? Can they eat chocolate? Can they, I don’t remember. There was a lot of, yeah, a lot of interesting, uh, queries. People are interested in it. Yeah. So, uh, there we are. We’re here to serve the world and their questions, however weird it may be, we’re here to, uh, provide content, answer those questions so they can find our sites on Google.

Um, very good. Thank you Jared. Another good episode. We’re gonna wrap it up. Uh, if people wanna follow along with, uh, with me and what’s going on with niche pursuits, of course I got my newsletter. You can go to niche Newsletter and Jared will be back, of course, hosting another episode each Wednesday.

Those come out. People can follow along on YouTube or wherever you get your podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the Niche Pursuits podcast. So thanks again everybody for listening, and uh, thank you Jared. We’ll see you next 

Jared: week.

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