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Open AI Sued by New York Times Over Copyright + Google Update on NYE?

Welcome back everybody to the first Niche Pursuits News Podcast of 2024! 

Jared and Spencer kick off the year with another great episode, offering a close-up look at all the news in the SEO, AI, and website creation world.

This week they start off discussing the Google update on New Year’s Eve

, with people noting volatility in the SERPs and even upticks in traffic in a reversal of the effects of the HCU.

How difficult is it to gauge SERP changes that happened around the holiday period? What changes in traffic has Spencer noted on Niche Pursuits between December and January? Listen to find out their thoughts.

Watch the Episode

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The next topic Spencer and Jared cover is The New York Times’ announcement that it’s suing OpenAI and Microsoft.

Millions of articles from the NTY were used to train the OpenAI model, and a lot of the content that was used was behind a paywall. Meanwhile, the media outlet spends millions of dollars to have professionals write and produce its content, and now OpenAI is using that information freely and making it available to everyone. 

Notably, this includes information from The Wirecutter, with the result that the NYT isn’t collecting the affiliate commissions. 

But what’s at the heart of this lawsuit? Could this set a precedent for how copyright law is interpreted? Does the media company have a strong case? Tune in to hear the discussion.

Still on the subject of OpenAI, Spencer and Jared talk briefly about its offer to pay publishers between $1 and 5 million in compensation for their content. They agree that it’s far less than what publishers should get, especially considering that the NYT could be earning over 2 billion a year.

What’s going to happen moving forward? Can AI be contained at all?  

Google seems to be moving ahead with, and making changes to, Bard, and now it’s going to implement its Google Assistant with Bard. Bard will power the Assistant to make it smarter and to make better recommendations. But how will this affect content creators?

In other Google Bard news, a paid version of the tool is coming, which hasn’t even been announced officially by Google. How was the move to a paid model discovered? And how might the payment plans work? Listen to hear Spencer and Jared’s predictions.

In the Shiny Object Shenanigans portion of the podcast, Spencer talks about his year-long experience in the Amazon Influencer Program. He made $6179 in December, and his entire revenue for the year is $17k+. Although he officially started in January, it took him a while to ramp up video production.

What is Spencer’s plan moving forward? Listen to hear what he has in store and why he’s approaching his side hustle in this way.

When it’s Jared’s turn, he shares some surprising stats from his Amazon Influencer Program side hustle. Although his December numbers were good, coming in at $4026, his November earnings were higher. Overall, for the year he earned $18k+ and although he started in May, he took a different approach to video production than Spencer.

He also talks about progress with his Weekend Growth newsletter and YouTube channel and how he has finished the year with just under 4.5k subscribers. He shares some of his monetization methods as well as his inspiration for starting this side hustle.

As for the Weird Niche Sites of the week, Spencer goes first with an Online Stopwatch, a simple website with a free stopwatch and countdown timer. It has ads everywhere and also offers a premium paid stopwatch feature. Who might this type of subscription appeal to? 

With 2.2 million organic visitors per month, according to Ahrefs, and double that according to SimilarWeb, could this site be generating around $50k per month in ad revenue?

Jared’s Weird Niche Site is National Today, which highlights the current holidays around the world. This DR81 site ranks for 1.4 million keywords and has organic traffic of 4.4 million, but what does Jared discover when he scrolls down the homepage? What type of content are they publishing? Don’t miss their thoughts on this ultra-successful site.

And that brings us to the end of another episode of the podcast. We’re hoping you feel up-to-speed on the latest happenings in the industry, excited to start your side hustle today, and inspired by some weird websites that are killing it online.

See you next week!


Spencer: Hey everyone. Welcome to the niche pursuits podcast. This is the very first episode of 2023. Uh, we did a year end kind of recap last week where we talked about the top three, uh, podcast 

Jared: episodes. Wow. 

Spencer: You know, this is like, uh, people will forgive me. I’m sure because I’m probably not the only one to make that mistake.

I’m like, what did I do wrong? Well, right off the bat, you know, niche pursuits podcast, let’s, let’s call it the first one of 2024. 

Jared: That sounds, I hate to really drive it home, but we actually released an interview on Wednesday in 2024. So this is actually the second part. That is 

Spencer: a good point. This is the first one we’ve recorded in 2020.

Jared: All right. We’re off to a good start now. Here we go. But if 

Spencer: this is your first time tuning in, like just expect this for the full hour. Right. Um, hopefully you guys enjoy this. It’s, it’s meant to be more of a banter show about the, uh, the recent news that are in, uh, the industry. So, you know, we, we talk a lot about the digital marketing news, SEO, content creation, uh, and then of course we talk about side hustles and some weird niche sites, we talk about all of that.

Some of it’s serious, but, uh, you know. I still think we’re in 2023. So it’s going to take me a while to get up to speed here. Um, but having said all that, Jared, what do you think? Should we do it? 

Jared: Yeah, you know, I was thinking about how we started this news podcast series in 2023. And, um, so 2024 will be the first year where we kind of do this consistently throughout the entire year and have a full, you know, assuming we do this through the whole year, have a full 12 months of news episodes behind us.

So I’m looking forward to this year and consistently again, carrying the charge of doing this news podcast every week. 

Spencer: Yeah, that’s a good point. Do you remember what month we started the, the news episodes? Well, I 

Jared: didn’t look that up. Well, speaking of just the randomness of the, of the podcast, I actually went back and looked it up first off.

Do you know how many podcasts we did in 2023 in total across the interviews and the news? And then I’ll give you the information when we started the news podcast. 

Spencer: Well, only because you, you shared that number with me. Oh, did I already share it with you? Yeah, I, I was, it was, uh, was it 96 or 97? 

Jared: 97 episodes in total.

We almost broke 100 episodes last year. So close. Yeah. So close. And so we, I went back, we started the news podcast, a news segment, which is what you’re listening to right now, um, in March. So, in the third month of last year. 

Spencer: So we’ll definitely do more than a hundred episodes in 2024. That would be the year.

So, uh, look forward to a great year with all of you listeners. Appreciate it. So having said all that, let’s get to the news. Uh, Google as usual, didn’t take off the gas pedal towards the end of the year. Uh, in fact, uh, there has been a lot of chatter that there was a search engine algorithm update. On New Year’s Eve, right?

So right before the end of the year, um, people were starting to see a lot of volatility, uh, in the SERPs and I’m going to just share this, uh, article at search engine round table, uh, Barry Schwartz, of course, is always on top of this, you know, on, uh, December 30th. So I guess it’s not quite New Year’s Eve when he started to see all this the day before New Year’s Eve, but the tracking tools were showing volatility in the SERPs.

And, um, you know, I checked, uh, a couple of my sites and it is possible that I saw a little bit of volatility, a slight uptick on one of my sites that got hit pretty hard with helpful content update appears to have a little bit of an uptick uptick towards the end of the year, early this year, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

I don’t know. 

Jared: And that’s what some of the chatter was about. This is the first one I’ve seen any real chatter that. People in bulk, somewhat bulk, I guess, more than one, were claiming that there was some helpful content reversal. Um, you know, we’ve seen updates come out since the helpful content update from September, but most of them didn’t seem to have any impact on sites that were hit specifically by the helpful content update.

But this one, There was chatter about it amongst many people that said that they saw some reversal item. 

Spencer: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And there’s tons of, you know, of quotes and chatter. I mean, you can read into that as much as they want, but some of them are mentioning, right, the helpful content update, uh, and other things related to that.

Um, and so, uh, It’s kind of funny just because I know last year, I don’t remember the date, but it was right around the end of the year, right around Christmas, that there was a major Google update that came out, it just doesn’t seem like Google takes any time off for the holidays at all. 

Jared: And it’s very difficult to measure.

Any sort of update and its results on your website when it is around the last call it two weeks of the year because for the vast majority of websites. I know this from under an agency. So we look at so many different websites, but for the vast majority of websites, your traffic is either going to swell or decrease around the holidays.

Anyways, you know, it’s going to do one or the other. And so. Not that this is the only way to analyze it, but you’re really looking more at, um, SERP positional changes. You’re looking more at maybe in Google search console, your average position changing for certain pages, rather than maybe necessarily just traffic fluctuations, because a lot of sites really dip a lot from a seasonal standpoint, the week of, you know, Christmas and New Year’s, or they go up a lot if you’re in the fitness space or the health space.

So also tough to kind of look at these things and analyze it. You can’t really go to Google analytics like you normally might. 

Spencer: Right. Uh, and that’s Actually, the exact case in for niche pursuits, believe it or not, uh, that December is usually just kind of a ho hum traffic month. A lot of people are, like you said, on holiday, maybe not thinking quite as much as starting a side hustle or something.

They’re kind of just wrapping up their year. Uh, whereas January, I’m already seeing the first few days of January search volume is always much higher because it’s maybe it’s a new year’s resolution. Hey, I want to start a side hustle this year, or I want to. Grow my business or my blog. And they’re looking for those sorts of things.

So traffic on niche pursuits is drastically different from the last two weeks of December to the first two weeks of January, just because of that search intent, um, that sort of search habit that, that people have. Yeah, 

Jared: we have a couple of clients in the fitness space and I’ll tell you the first. Three or four days have been, you know, just as always, you’re like, Whoa, people care about exercise 

Spencer: and fitness.

Yeah, exactly. Right. Um, so we’ll, we’ll continue to share what we see over the next couple of weeks. I’m sure, you know, there will unfortunately, or fortunately, you know, be more updates from Google, probably even this month or some sort of tweak, uh, that is to be made. And we will be sharing it right here on the podcast on this news episode.

So the next big story that we have here, uh, is one that, that kind of happened that started over the holidays a little bit, people may have heard about this. Um, but, uh, the times, the New York times. Sue’s open AI and Microsoft over AI use of copyrighted work. And, uh, I know a lot of examples have been shared of this, but the gist of the story is that.

Millions of articles from the New York Times were used to train the open AI model, right? To change up that large language model and a lot of that content that was used, uh, was behind a paywall, right? Um, that even now, if you use, I believe if you go to Google Bing, you can kind of get around New York Times paywall.

You can get articles that supposedly you can only get access to if you’re a paying New York Times subscriber. But if you use Um, you know, being chat, which is powered by open AI, uh, you can sometimes get behind that. So that’s part of it. Uh, and then the other part is just that so much of this copyrighted content, this news, uh, content that, uh, the New York times spends millions and millions of dollars on journalists, researching, producing this great content, and now open AI is using this and kind of making this information freely available to everyone.


Jared: some of the information, which we’ll get into, not all of the information from the Times is accurately being used. We’ll, we’ll, we’ll tease that. 

Spencer: We will, we will indeed. And then one other interesting thing from this article that I wanted to point out is that it specifically Mentions the wire cutter here.

Uh, and I don’t know where the paragraph is, but in summary, it basically was saying that, um, open AI or being chat would recommend products a lot of times and would get those recommendations from the wire cutter, often quoting, you know, Several paragraphs that are direct quotes from the Wirecutter, right?

And the New York Times isn’t getting those clicks, isn’t getting those affiliate commissions because people just read about that recommendation, then they go to Amazon or wherever and they buy that product instead of clicking that affiliate link. And so essentially the affiliate links are removed. New York Times is bringing that up specifically.

In this lawsuit that they filed against open 


Jared: Yeah. Here’s, here’s the line about the text results from being, however, did not link to the wire cutter article, which you and I’ve been complaining about on the podcast for a long time. It’s both Google bar, Google SGE and, um, and chat GPT. And they stripped away the referral links in the text that Wirecutter uses to generate commissions from sales based on its recommendations.

Spencer: It’s uh, so it’s a big deal, you know, it’s, it’s the bottom line, right? And here’s just another quote, decrease, decrease traffic to Wirecutter articles and in turn decrease traffic to affiliate links subsequently lead to a loss of revenue for Wirecutter. So I love that kind of the heart of this deal or this lawsuit is like.

Affiliate marketing, right? The New York times is upset that they’re losing revenue, um, in multiple ways. But I love that the wire cutter is, is kind of core to that as well. 

Jared: This story has a lot of layers to it. You know, I mean, uh, it says in this article that the times approached the New York times. I don’t know why they call them the times.

Is that like a. That’s not a lot when I was, is that just like, am I supposed to know that it’s called the times? But anyways, I’ve always called New York. Yeah, sure. Okay, learn something new here every day, right? New York Times approached Microsoft and open AI back in April, you know, and I feel like this, that was pretty early days for all this, you know, I mean, I know chat.

Yes, he came out in November, but S. G. E. didn’t really come out until I think. April or May, maybe March, April, May, someone that time. So really, that was kind of the early days of seeing what it was going to look like for AI to kind of rip our content away from us. And it looks like the Times immediately went to Microsoft about the concerns and possible resolutions, and it just didn’t get anywhere.

Um, which then in the article here. Uh, there’s a quote that says that OpenAI has expressed surprise and disappointment over the lawsuit, um, while Microsoft declined to comment. So, um, I don’t know what there is to be surprised about when you’ve been in conversations about this since April. But, um, yeah, I mean, this article does a good job of outlining the fact that this is, you know, it’s almost like.

When we have these landscape shifting types of events and we almost end up waiting for something like the U. S. Supreme Court to weigh in, or we almost, I’m not saying this case will go to the Supreme Court, but just we haven’t seen an anti, um, uh, uh, sorry, a suit, a lawsuit about something related to AI to this magnitude, and this could be one, or maybe this will create a domino effect that could create precedent about how, uh, copyright law is, is, uh, is, is, is adjudicated to be infringed upon, you know?

Spencer: Right. And a lot of times when we use AI, we know that it’s summarizing essentially, right? It’s, it’s, um, taking all this knowledge, right? We feel like it’s going to this huge knowledge base that it’s been trained on, and it’s kind of summarizing a bunch of different pieces and providing that best answer for us.

In some cases, that may be true, but really in, in this particular case, I mean, open AI or Bing chat, I don’t know where, where they got these examples from exactly. But, um. Is is copying the answer directly like it’s just flat out plagiarizing the answer like it’s quoting verbatim a lot of this. And so I do want to share this screenshot as well.

This is actually from the lawsuit. This is sort of in some of the supporting documents, the actual lawsuit and you can see here in red, you know, is output from GPT four and then the actual text from the New York Times. Everything in red. Is what was copied verbatim word for word. So anything in black is the only difference in the text.

I mean, if you look at these pages, it’s just, I mean, it’s 90 percent is red or you’re being generous. This is 99. 5 percent uh, in some cases, right? And of course they pulled out the most egregious examples, I’m sure. But in several examples, it’s just. I mean, it’s several paragraphs, long paragraphs. This is just straight copied from the New York times.

So they have a strong case here. And so it’s going to be really interesting as it goes up the chain. If it, you know, if it’s not settled here, how far up it goes. Oh, 

Jared: but you know, Spencer, according to the verge, we’re the ones who are ruining the internet here. 

Spencer: That’s right. Uh, you know, this is clearly 

Jared: the internet.

This is clearly what the internet needs instead of us. Darn SEO is 


Spencer: the internet. That’s right. We, we don’t need the journalists or the bloggers to write the text. We needed an AI to tell us what the journalists wrote so that we can then read it exactly helps out a lot, a lot. Uh, I agree. So, um, you know, related.

Related to this case, um, is some competent compensation, I guess, that, uh, OpenAI has offered to publishers. Do you want to talk about this one? I just pulled up this article. 

Jared: Well, I mean. We’ve gotten ourselves into situations on this podcast where it’s very clear that Spencer and I don’t really understand the macroeconomics of billions and millions and large scale financing.

I think you asked me a couple of weeks ago about my, what I thought somebody’s income was, and I might’ve been off by a multi multiplier of hundreds of millions, you know, but suffice to say with all that being. We do understand that Google’s revenue from advertising is in the many, many billions and these large scale language models are valued at hundreds of, you know, many billions and hundreds of billions of dollars and all that.

So with that in context, I didn’t, I didn’t have to be, uh, very brilliant to understand that when open AI. Is offering publishers somewhere between one to 5 million to in essence, license, or use their content. Pretty obvious. That is far undershooting the value that a publisher should get, but that’s what they’ve done is it’s come out in the story that open AI has offered publishers.

As little as 1, 000, 000 per year to license their content to then use for their large language modeling. And, um, suffice to say this has not gone over very well with large publications because the money they stand to lose from OpenAI taking their content is obviously far higher than that. 

Spencer: Right. And, you know, when you think about The New York Times, how large of a publication it is.

And we don’t know if, you know, OpenAI offered 1 million or 5 million a year to the New York Times, but it’s, it’s a drop in the bucket, right? Um, I just did a quick Google search. The New York Times, it appears to have made, I think this is quarterly, quarterly revenue, the most recent quarterly revenue, 591 million.

Less than 1 

Jared: percent by 

Spencer: four, right? Yeah. Yeah. Um, of their quarterly, right? It’s, uh, what’s 600 million. So 2. 4 billion a year is how much New York times is making in revenue. Yeah. Um, anyways, it’s 

Jared: miniscule, you know, Glenn also had. Quoted a bit of a backdoor analogy in terms of how much the wire cutter was making specifically and we talked about that a month or two ago and it was, I don’t know, I feel again, I don’t want to get, I don’t want to say it wrong again, but I feel it was a, you know, well over a hundred million dollars, um, a year they’d grown it substantially and, you know, even then 5 million to, as we saw in the previous article, rip off their content and not include the, the, the, the affiliate links, not worth it.

Not at the slightest. 

Spencer: So, um, I mean, overall it, again, it’s just open a high is in the news. It’s kind of the, the largest model that’s out there, the most commonly used. And so it’s just really fascinating to see where it’s going to go, what’s going to happen legally. Um, I, I don’t know how you contain this though, right?

Like even if open AI is sued and says, Oh, you can’t use copyrighted content. Who’s to say that other models aren’t going to pop up that maybe aren’t as legal. They’re offshore there, you know? From some other country, um, that they do just, you know, whatever, we don’t care. Um, so I don’t know how you contain AI, um, but it will be interesting to see what happens going forward with this company and other, uh, similar companies as well.

Jared: Certainly these companies have a lot to defend and they’re going to. Make waves and go down fighting one way or the other. I’m not saying they’re going down, but whatever will be the case, they’re going to go down fighting on it. So, 

Spencer: yeah, exactly. And, you know, very related to this, you know, we’ve got, um, chat GPT, uh, has their model and then we’ve got Google barred, right.

And, uh, we can. We can see that Google is continuing to make developments in Bard. I mean, we just talked about this a couple weeks ago with the Gemini Pro, this new big model that they’ve got that’s more advanced and now they’re going to implement, um, their Google assistant with Bard. So basically Bard is going to power the Google assistant to make it smarter, to make better recommendations, um, sort of it’s your everyday assistant, right?

That you can ask questions. And it can, you know, hopefully understand what you’re asking a little bit better because it’s this generative AI experience and can give you answers. Um, and so that was expected to happen, but it sounds like, you know, that’s officially going to happen. Does it give a date when that’s happening or if it’s already happened?

Um, don’t know next few months coming in the next few months. 

Jared: We’ve got a couple of barred stories and I know one of them. It’s happening very soon that we’ll get to in this one. I’m not as sure about. 

Spencer: Yeah. It looks like this one is, um, uh, assistant with Bart is coming in the next few months after Google tests it with limited number of trusted testers over those months.

So in the coming months, um, you know, I don’t know how many people use Google assistant or how that’s going to impact us as publishers. Uh, exactly. Other than to say, Hey, Yeah. They’re, they’re using this model, um, with, with, you know, mobile devices, go Google assistant now is, um, using it more and more frequently.

And, uh, so if our content is being used for that, that could be. Good or bad. I don’t know. Um, 

Jared: I don’t use Google assistant very much, so I don’t really have a ton to comment on it here just to be candid. But, um, you know, certainly there’s a lot of ways that I could see this playing out effectively and nicely, you know, in a way that would be helpful with the ways that people use Google as it is.

Um, and this, like you said, this was expected to be coming for quite a while. 

Spencer: Yeah, exactly. And, um, so also related to this, another Google bard story that we have to share here today is that Google is preparing a paid version of bard. Um, and I guess this wasn’t announced by Google officially, but it was sort of an internet sleuth found this, um, in some of the code, I guess, um, of, of one of the pages.

That Google has related to Bard, um, this particular user kind of found in the code that, Hey, uh, there was a line that says, uh, you will be able to quote, try Bard advance for three months. After that test period, you will likely have to pay for the service is what they’re sort of saying. They’re insinuating from that line.

So yeah, there was a line there in, in the webpage of the code, not visible, uh, from my understanding, but within the code, uh, that, Hey, Google barred advanced is coming. And because you’re getting it free for three months, that. Must obviously mean that is a paid tool that is, is coming down the 

Jared: road. Yeah, it’s a new service part advanced and it’s perceived it might be a part of Google one.

You know, uh, sometimes I know called one drive and these kinds of things. Um, the link, the URL that is actually listed in the code apparently. Is to, uh, is a one dot google. com link, um, uh, with, you know, barred advanced basically. So yeah, how fun is that? That it’s, it’s in the code and that’s kind of how it was discovered.

It’s, it’s embedded in there. 

Spencer: Yeah. And so, um, you know, it’s, I would assume it’s kind of a direct competitor to chat GPT plus, right? Yeah. Google probably sees the, Hey, chat GPT. I don’t remember what the revenue is, is making 20 billion a year. That’s a nice little, uh, pie that maybe we can take a big slice of.

Uh, so let’s, let’s release our Google Bard advanced model and that can be a new revenue stream for them. So that, that’s appears what it’d be. Hey, Google’s going to be this, this, uh, direct competitor of open AI. 

Jared: Yeah. And again, this is, uh, perceived to be coming up very soon. Um, uh, because it’s already in the code.

Uh, and you know, we’ve talked about it. Like we’ve talked about more from an SGE standpoint and what Google is going to do about ads. As it related to SGE, but certainly Bard’s the same kind of part and parcel topic, right? Like. Google’s an ad platform. That’s, that’s what, how they make their money. Like, you know, yes, they’re a search engine, but they monetize that search engine with ads.

And so BARD was always, we always had this question about how they’re going to work ads in. This isn’t working ads in, but this is a monetization path for them. Yeah, for 

Spencer: sure. So, um, you know, probably a smart move on Google’s part. You know, there’s, uh, clearly, uh, the, the market has been proven that people are willing to pay X number of dollars, you know, 20 a month is what chat GPT pluses, right?

Um, and so they are probably going to price it similarly, um, maybe slightly less. I don’t know. Um, and, uh, they know that there’s a market out there, so we’ll, we’ll see what happens. We’ll see if it’s any good. And, uh, we’ll probably do some comparisons. You know, we’ve done a few of those here on the podcast, uh, in the past, so maybe we’ll, uh.

We’ll see if the pro version of, uh, Google Bard knows who the, uh, host of the niche pursuits podcast is or not. The, the 

Jared: difference that Google has is that they can bundle this with a lot of other options they have, whereas chat GP doesn’t really have any other products that they can bundle it with, you know, so, um, you know, almost like, yes, you know, bundle it with one drive or bundle it with some of their premiums, um, stuff.

Um, maybe even, and again, I don’t know if this is what they’re doing. We don’t know, but maybe use it as like a loss leader to drive, um, uh, to drive, uh, subscriptions for other services they have, or to bundle and drive subscriptions for bigger, higher prices, uh, services they have. So it’ll be, I’m intrigued.

I’m not as sure they’ll do it for 20 bucks a month. I think they could do it for 20 bucks a month, or they might do it as, you know, a bundling, you know, try to get people onto some of their other products as well. Like maybe 500 gigs of Google drive space plus Barb. Premium or whatever, advanced, you know, I don’t know.

We’ll have to see. 

Spencer: Yeah. Yeah, we’ll see. I’m sure they’ll come up with an interesting, uh, approach pricing model, uh, marketing campaign. So we will keep everybody posted, uh, right here on the podcast for sure. Okay. I think that covers the news for this week. Um, and so what that means now is that we’re going to jump into our shiny object shenanigans.

These are our side hustle projects that things we’ve been working on things that we’re excited about that maybe aren’t the core of our business, of course, but we’re still putting a little bit of time testing out the model, that sort of thing. And I know both of us are going to report once again. Um, On the Amazon influencer program.

Uh, it just feels like it’s the appropriate thing to do. Uh, the year just ended. And so we have, you know, for me, I have essentially a year worth of data. I know 2023 was also your first year of doing it, although you started May or June. And so we can talk about that. Hey, here’s our first calendar year of doing this, and here’s some results.

And so I’m going to do just that with mine. And I recently tweeted about this. I kind of shared my results for December. Amazing, uh, December Christmas season, of course, is really good. Lots of people buying and, um, we talked about this previous on the podcast, right? Some of the gift ideas that, uh, we had done videos on.

Those are what really made up the bulk of this. And so on, uh, the screen now I’m sharing my screenshot for December of. 2023 is a full month. So the amount of commissions that I made from the Amazon influencer program was 6, 179, uh, which is amazing. Uh, the graph tells a really interesting story. Just looking at it, uh, you can see the clicks and earnings just were.

Up and to the right through about the 16th, uh, of the month. Uh, and of course people started buying less and less as Christmas approached quicker and quicker. You know, they didn’t have enough time to get that product shipped to their door. And so the number of clicks and earnings dropped, I mean, drastically.

Um, it went, it peaked at just over 500 a day for a couple of days. Uh, and then by the, you know, 19th and 20th, I don’t know what that number is, but I was down, you know, back down to maybe 100 a day. And then after that, pretty much through the end of the month, it’s definitely been less than 100 a day. Um, buying slowed down significantly, but I’m very happy with the over 6, 000, um, for the month of December.

Uh, and then in addition to that. Uh, my total revenue for the entire year is, uh, 17, 678. Uh, so that’s, I started in officially in January. Um. You know, I posted a few videos and then a few more in February. It took me a while to ramp up. Um, but by the end of the year, I was doing, you know, two to 3, 000 a month, the last few months, uh, of the year.

And then of course, 6, 000 in December. And, um, so we’ll see where this next year goes. I do plan on continue. Continuing to upload a few videos every month. I have some people helping me out, create videos. So whether that’s, you know, 30 or 40 videos a month for the next couple of months, I’m going to continue doing that just to see how January, February kind of play out.

Um, but yeah, it’s man, it’s. It’s been awesome. Obviously huge month. I’m super excited to get that check, uh, in the mail. And then it looks like I’m going to just reinvest it here, but, uh, it’s cool to see the revenue coming in. And the fact that I didn’t even know about this program basically 12 months ago, right.

Uh, is, is, is just cool. I love seeing it. So 

Jared: I mean, by my math, December was 35 percent of your revenue for the year. Wow. 

Spencer: Roughly. Wow. Yeah, you had a massive December. It was a big December. 

Jared: What’s funny is my curve. My graph looks, I feel like almost identical to yours. Yours is just higher at every single level.

You know, we’ll talk about my numbers next, but yours is just very similar looking, but very hot, a lot higher. I had the same dips around the same time here. I will say, just curious on your thoughts on this. My thought on Amazon with their prime and so many people being on prime and their two day shipping and all that, I thought was it like the, the growth curve we’re seeing, but continue a little further past the say 15th or 16th of the month.

You know, like it really started to drop off around the 15th and still got 10 days before Christmas. You know, I kind of thought that might’ve carried on a little longer. 

Spencer: Yeah, you know, I sort of did as well. I, I also do wonder if the Amazon recommendation ended and changed a little bit towards the second half.

Yeah, because I don’t think some of my videos were showing up in the number one spot or showing up, you know, in the carousel like they were before. Um, so I think there may have been some tweaks, but I haven’t really analyzed that. I was on vacation the last, um, you know. Half of the year half of the the month basically didn’t didn’t dive too deep But there could be some of that going on as well.

Jared: Well, congratulations. I mean, I think well, thank you. Let me ask you With these numbers officially, you’ve kind of teased it in previous episodes, but you know plans for 2024 remember Spencer it is 2024 now plans for influence over 2024 anything now you’ve got Q4 in the books, it’s done and dusted. Given that December alone was 35% of your revenue, you have to be pretty excited about Q four’s results.

Like what does that look like then for 2024 for you? Are you gonna change the way you do things? Carry on. I mean, um, last I checked, I think you were right around a thousand videos. You could do another a thousand this year, you know? 

Spencer: Hmm. I am gonna continue. Um. I don’t, hmm. I don’t know if I’ll do another thousand videos.

I right now I don’t plan to, right. I don’t plan to do, I mean, that’s almost a hundred videos a month. Probably not. You know, I, I think I’m going to kind of settle in the 25, 30, 40 videos a month, uh, for the next couple of months and kind of just monitor it, right. If I, if I start having 3, 5, 000 months. Um, right.

That’ll, that would spur on the, the investment, but if it kind of settles back into like, okay, 1, 500 or 2000, it’s like, eh, is it really worth it to do more than a handful of videos every month? 

Jared: I hear you. I hear you. Yeah. Yeah. I, I, I, uh, I can see all that logic there. I mean, It’s also hard, especially with yours, like with 35 percent of your revenue coming in one month, it’s hard to wonder like, well, is that going to be how it is next year?

You know, because a lot of my revenue is based on in this past year, December performing so well. So, you know, it’s hard to, 

Spencer: yeah. And the one, one other thing I do wonder about is just what is the shelf life of all of these videos? Right. Right. Uh, you know, my videos that did great this Christmas, are any of them going to be shown next Christmas, or do I really have to record another thousand videos to have a, you know, a Christmas or a year that’s roughly the same as this year?

I don’t know that answer. And so, uh, that’s why I kind of want to, uh, play it a little bit more cautious in the first quarter here. Just kind of see, okay, do all of my videos fall off? Did they all stay on? What does the math look like there? So, and 

Jared: I mean, And we talk about this when it comes to different niches you pick for a website, like if you’re going to pick a niche in the tech space, you have to know that you’re going to be updating content and having to do new product reviews much more frequently because the tech space changes so much more rapidly than maybe if you picked, you know, I don’t know, more.

kind of stable, uh, uh, environment. Right. And so if you’ve reviewed a lot of say tech products, uh, you know, that could affect the volatility of your results going forward on those videos versus if you, you know, uh, filmed a lot of underbath underwater basket weaving products, for example. 

Spencer: Yeah. The, the one or two products that are out there, I’m sure for underwater basket weaving.

Uh, but yeah, agreed. You know, if, uh, if you’re in sort of a evergreen niche for a niche. Well, even, even if the videos are all evergreen for Amazon influencer, it’s just, I don’t know how their algorithm really works, right? Do they, they place newer videos higher up? I would say that’s, you know, probably some weight to that, but I don’t know how much we’ll see.

Well, Jared, what about you, 

Jared: man? It’s a. I feel like you and I were mirroring each other in so many ways, but December was just such a weird, different direction for us. My numbers for December were pleasant. They were good, but mine were much, mine were lower than November. You know, November I made about 4, 200 a month, uh, that month, which was nice.

I think in October, if memory serves me correct, I was at about 1, 700. So it was almost a tripling, you know, probably two and a half times. And so December was out of the gate really strong, but. Had the same tapering off effect that yours did I finished the month at four thousand and twenty six dollars Um, and so another very good four thousand.

Yes. I did stay above that four thousand dollar number, which I was kind of hinting like I thought it was going to be close given the trail off and just doing some guessing. So ended up just above 4, 000, which, um, which is good. It’s funny if you do, if you add up our November plus Decembers, we’re almost dead even.

Um, and so your November was a lot lower than my November. Your December was a lot higher than my December. Um, so. Interesting. I don’t know why. I don’t know. My Black Friday better than yours. Your December did way better than me. So fascinating to have almost two different case studies happening live for the audience to kind of hear about.

There’s many different ways to make that money. Now I did finish the year at about 18, 780. So I did stay above you for the yearly total. By about a thousand dollars. And I did start at the end of May. So certainly I guess I got off the ground quicker or something. I did do a lot of videos out of the gate where I think you talked about how you didn’t do many out of the gate.

That might be the big difference 

Spencer: there. Yeah. So kudos to you. You ended up with a higher revenue for the year. Um, And, and you did a lot quicker. Yeah. And you know, six months versus 12 almost. So 

Jared: if anything, maybe one of the things you could pull out from, again, just two guys. So I wouldn’t take this to the bank, but, uh, maybe if you do get on the Amazon influencer account, maybe one thing to learn is go heavy in the beginning, if you can, you know, get a lot of videos out there, maybe that helps your account get seasoned.

We’re guessing. Very much guessing, but those are the only extrapolations I can get from maybe our two little use cases. Um, uh, and then I think we’re about, we’re about neck and neck. Do you have any videos you have? I finally found my total. It didn’t reappear, but I found a way to count. So I’m at 1031. So I did finish the year with 1031 videos and we both broke a thousand.

I know that was kind of a little goal. We had a little tease we had going back and forth, but we both did hit that goal of a thousand videos. Yep. 

Spencer: Um, I don’t have my number right in front of me. Let’s see if 1042, I’m still stuck at my 1042 that’s, that’s where I was before. It looks like we didn’t do anything over Christmas break, so 

Jared: you can be forgiven for that.

So, um, yeah, so I think, you know, Amazon influencer was one of the side kind of hustles I started throughout the year. It’s kind of nice to tie a bow on that. Um, and then the other was, was weekend growth, which hasn’t gotten talked about as much in the last couple of months because certainly, you know, Amazon influencer is just ripe for talking about during Q4.

But, um, you know, I just started weekend growth and in the email, uh, newsletter in, uh, March, um, started YouTube channel in April. So it’s just like our pod, our news podcast. It’s pretty darn new, um, but finish the year with just under 4, 500 subscribers. It’s not a bad first year. I don’t know. I don’t know. I didn’t really have a number of mine.

I wanted to get to a thousand in the first three months, but beyond that, I just was kind of. Didn’t really have a number beyond that. And um, you know, I, I, I won’t, I won’t say that I was tracking the revenue generated from weekend growth very closely. It is a line item that our bookkeeper reports on. Um, because mainly I kind of thought of it more as a side hustle, something that would contribute to the agency, would contribute in a lot of other areas, but I’ll say that looking at the revenue numbers that came back for the year, it was noticeable, you know, like, and so.

Um, you know, I mean, I know you’re not all into this newsletter thing, Spencer. You’re kind of hating on it lately on Twitter, but I think the newsletter thing, I think there’s something there for listeners that there’s, that’s an 

Spencer: opportunity for people, a real business model there, right? This new, this new fangled thing, this, yeah, this new fangled thing called a, called a newsletter.

Yeah. It’s, it’s fascinating. People should really look into that. Um, you know, yeah, I, I tweeted just today, right before this podcast that, Uh, just sort of like, why do people think newsletters are new, uh, and I sort of went on this thing of like, you know, A Webber was an email service provider. It created in 1998 and, uh, even before the internet existed, people were publishing newsletters.

Um, why is that the hot new thing? I don’t know. But, uh, Kudos to you, Jared, for jumping on this new, you know, jumping on the bandwagon of, uh, newsletters on the internet. Well, to be fair, 

Jared: I’ve been building businesses in the back of email for over a decade as well. So you did know what it was? Yeah, my last company, I think we sent over 2 million emails a year in our heyday.

All right. All right. Okay. All right. I, I do think that, you know, um, I think it is making a resurgence in popularity. I wouldn’t say it’s new, but it is certainly resurgent in popularity. 

Spencer: Yeah, yeah, I agree. There, you know, there’s, there’s been some popular tools, you know, and things that make it a little bit easier for the non tech savvy and, and that sort of thing that maybe make it.

approachable, um, um, to do. So having said that, I do want to ask, uh, about your weekend growth. I know your revenue is, was a little bit better than you perhaps expected. Um, are you willing to share like where that came from? Was that, was that sponsorships of the revenue? Um, do you include like, uh, was there any YouTube revenue?

Um. Uh, or was it, uh, I know you had your own product, uh, that you sold the, uh, the template, the checklist, I think, um, just curious what was sort of the big, big revenue driver there. 

Jared: Well, you’re lucky cause I just got my books back for the year for my bookkeeper. So I do actually have it right here. Um, yeah, so let’s see, there were a variety of things that people could, uh, take advantage of.

And I think that’s one thing. Like. I didn’t start offering ads in the newsletter until it looks like my first ad was in June, you know, so three or four months in. Um, and that, that was less than 10 percent of the revenue, to be honest with you, from the newsletter was ads in the newsletter. Um, and I could probably push that harder.

I just kind of, when it comes in, it comes in and that’s great. If somebody doesn’t reach out though, it doesn’t happen. But, um, yeah, I mean, I think along the way there’s, um, the, uh, photo, the photography course, um, for website creators, that’s there. There is the helpful content update spreadsheet that I put together.

That’s there. There is consulting that people can sign up for. That’s there. There, um, our website reviews, website reviews were the most popular by far people purchasing to have the website reviewed. We run a couple of reports. And I do like a 20 to 30 minute kind of over the shoulder video screen share of about seven different key areas that we cover.

Um, and so we did a bunch of those, but I’m also seeing, you know, a little bit in terms of affiliate revenue and affiliate commissions, kind of the standard way, you know, maybe a link whisper, um, has a sale and I, you know, kind of share it with my small audience and maybe share how I use it. And that would generate a little bit of affiliate commissions.

So I think. If you look at it from a whole, there’s like a lot of little things that have added up to be something that’s noticeable. 

Spencer: Yeah, no, it sounds like you’re building a, the right kind of business diversified in your income streams. Um, and that, that adds up. So cool. And yeah, that was a good reminder.

Jared: The revenue does include revenue from the YouTube channel. Cause I kinda don’t really know how to separate. I, I know how to, but I didn’t bother doing that. So it wasn’t all into the weekend growth banner, if you 

Spencer: will. Yeah, yeah, no, that’s perfect. Um, well, good congrats on the growth. 4, 500 subscribers is no small feat.

And, um, I will 

Jared: take a moment, Spencer. I mean, you know, you and I don’t spend a lot of time complimenting each other, but you did give a nice compliment to me last week on the podcast. So I’ve got to return the favor. I will be perfectly honest. I don’t think I would have started the weekend growth newsletter.

And I don’t, I know I wouldn’t have started the Amazon influencer program if it wasn’t for this particular part. Of the podcast, when you came with the idea of doing this weekly news podcast and having a side hustle, I looked at myself. I’m like, I don’t have anything worth talking about. And I can’t get up every week and talk about lame things.

And I’d always had the newsletter in the back of my mind is something I wanted to try, but I just never could justify the time. And I’m like, well, I got to do it. And then obviously by May or June, I was interested in you keep talking about the Amazon influencer program. So These side hustles ended up being a really good chunk of, of side income.

I mean, noticeably noticeable siding. And we talked about the 18 plus almost 19, 000 from influencer and then another revenue stream here in the newsletter and stuff. And so, um, yeah, this has been, uh, obviously started for the podcast to talk about, but man, it’s been fun and it’s been really productive.

Spencer: Yeah, that’s a good reminder. I guess I didn’t remember, recall that. I mean, really it’s essentially. It started for this segment of the show, you know, so you could have a side hustle to talk about. Um, and now it’s, yeah, it’s, it’s very real revenue. And you know, related to that, I have to think about all the, uh, you know, people I read about or see talking about different project or.

You know, businesses that they’re starting with her, that’s Twitter or Facebook or just friends. I know I talked to people at a conference right through a network and they’re like, I’m doing this interesting thing. You know, we have Kurt Schmidt on the podcast. He’s like, I’m doing this Google discover thing.

And it’s like, Oh, I want to do that. Right. Um, and some of those are definitely the shiny object, you know, problems, and you need to figure out which ones to pursue and reign it in, but there can definitely be one or two, um, things that. I know for sure there’s been one or two things in my business that have turned out to be huge things, um, that have changed the whole trajectory of my career in a way, whether that’s starting software products, you know, I ran an e commerce product for a little while, um, you know, and, and other traffic and revenue sources.

Um, and so as much as, um, you know, we have this segment and we kind of just, Hey, here’s our little thing that we’re doing. Um, It is fun. It’s hopefully motivational for people as they listen in, whether it influences their business directly, it certainly is helping the both of us to talk back and forth about our side projects.

Jared: And I’m sure since I had, you know, two projects go decently. Well, I’ll have a nice large flop this year. Just have to figure out what that flop is going to be. You know, just law of averages. 

Spencer: That’s 

Jared: exactly right. Because not all of these go well. And that’s part of the, that’s part of the game. 

Spencer: Yep. And I love talking about those two just as much, right?

There’s no magic bullet when it comes to running, running an online business. Like you can’t, you’re not going to hit, you’re not going to bat a hundred, a thousand percent. So, 

Jared: yeah, well, I have some ideas for things to try, um, in 2024, uh, whether probably more add ons to weekend growth and, you know, obviously we’ll keep talking about the influencer program and all those things, but, you know, I mean, I’m excited to continue to try to grow what’s already been started and perhaps, you know, try.

Another side hustle as well this year. 

Spencer: So awesome. That sounds good. Um, I will have mine as well Just like 

Jared: with the weird niches. We’re always looking for ideas to try So if you have a new side hustle that and again, it doesn’t have to be new Don’t worry. Spencer won’t uh won’t attack you in the comments Uh, you know, he’s, he’s gotten his newsletter rant out, but any side hustle idea you’re thinking about starting in 2024, let us know in the comments, you know, and, um, we’re always looking for some new ideas to try out.

And at this point last year, I hadn’t heard of the Amazon influencer program, for example. So, 

Spencer: yeah, no, that’s a good point. Yeah. We’re, we’re truly, hopefully building kind of a network here where we can chat, whether it’s here on the podcast or just with whatever group we’re in, you know, share ideas and maybe one will percolate up to the top that we’ll try out.

So. Very good. So our final segment of the show here is weird niche sites, and, uh, we hopefully will not disappoint you today. We have both found a weird niche site and, um, you know, I’m up first here, it looks like. And so I’ll just go ahead and jump right into what I’ve got, uh, to share. Um, I don’t know that we’ve shared.

this type of site exactly. Um, but we have shared similar sites in terms of it’s a site that sort of provides data if you will. Um, and so my site is online dash stopwatch dot com. You gotta have the dash there. So online dash stopwatch dot com. And it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s just a free stopwatch that you can use either a countdown timer or stopwatch.

You just click it and, uh, it goes, right? And that’s, that’s pretty much it. Um, but it’s totally free to use. You can use a full screen countdown timer, right? I can put in, uh, let’s see, 10 minutes and, uh, start that. 

Jared: With the, uh, uh, UI as a, as a tertiary option. That’s 

Spencer: right. It’s an afterthought. Just get it to work and, uh, MVP for the win MVP and just stick with it.

Um, Oh, super full screen. I don’t know what that is. Here’s a little, Oh, there’s so, so we’re in super full screen now. Now, um, this 

Jared: has got to be the most accurate stopwatch of our scene because you’ve got. Seconds and minutes and hours. But if you look in the, uh, the, the smaller text there, is that like mil millionth mil 

Spencer: seconds?

Yeah. Milliseconds. You know, I, if I pause it, we can get the exact, right. I mean, 

Jared: that’s down to five decimal places in the second anyways, in the millisecond range. 

Spencer: Yeah, so quality, quality for sure. But, um, you know, not surprising that this, this is an ad based business. I mean, ads are everywhere. I can see five, four or five, um, sort of large ads, uh, ad units, you know, right here on the one screen.

Um, and then, uh, what I did find interesting is that, you know, they’ve got this beautiful, colorful button here that. Has a, uh, has a, has an ad here, uh, in between, um, before you get there, but you can pay for premium. You can get a premium stopwatch and pay 24 a year, uh, or group access, which is 30 premium accounts for just 96 a year.

Uh, and so if you look at some of the features, um, I do find it interesting that, you know, they have this column for free and premium and. Almost all the features are also, you know, included, right? You get all the free timers and tools, the great free features, uh, but no ads is a big one. Um, and a few other things, you know, people really want to do that.

You can add your own logo. You can save and edit, add titles, have your own page, right? Uh, I have no idea. I have to imagine it’s not a lot of people opt for the annual plan. Uh, but. It sounds like probably a lot of teachers are using this. Yeah. There’s a lot of things for classroom, uh, timers. You can get just things that, uh, you know, are, look more animated, right?

You got this egg timer, um, right? Full screen. Um, let’s see what that looks like. And there you go. Oh, I got to hit start. And then it’s got, you know, it’s got the sand falling through the, uh, the hourglass timer here. 

Jared: Oh, I think we’re missing on the screen here. Oh, 

Spencer: I’m not sharing that one. Sorry about that.

That’s okay. Oh, there it is. Yeah. Oh yeah. Now we’re, you know, so they’ve got a couple of different animated options, you know, things that are probably. Exciting for first graders or second graders, uh, that you can use. But, um, so 

Jared: Spencer, no joke, my second grader got that exact egg timer for Christmas and she’s so stoked on it.

Spencer: Oh, is it? Oh, an actual physical one. She got 

Jared: an actual physical one. She really wanted it for brushing her teeth and it looks, it’s even yellow, just like that. It’s hilarious. You brought it up like a first or second grader. 

Spencer: That’s right. They don’t have to use their app. Yeah, they can they can use the physical timer and it’s a 

Jared: good point because I first saw this my first thought was okay Seriously, this is one of those sites that made a lot of sense until the iPhone came out and then we all have a timer in our iPhone but at the same time As you look through the options there, you can see it’s heavily focused on school.

When you looked at the options for paid, all of a sudden, when you look at the school mindset, you could see a school buying that, that more high end one, the higher priced one for a bucket of teachers, right? For second, third, fourth grade teachers at a whole school. Like clearly this is targeted towards teachers, school of some sort.

And I can see it like, you know, you’re a teacher, you got your, your egg timer and like, how’s the class going to know how much time is left, but you get this. I’ll call it cool. With air quotes, you get this visual of how much time is left. You can put it up on the screen in the school, in the classroom, and the, the kids can see it and kind of have a better interac.

Yeah. Okay. Maybe there, I mean, there’s a lot of teachers out, there’s a lot of classrooms out there 

Spencer: and I use, um, I, I don’t know if IU have used this website. Maybe I have, but I, you know, I use timers all the time when I’m testing out, if I’m gonna record a video or something, and I only want it to be a minute.

Right. I kind of time my script or something like that. You know, I practice a lot of things, time timing, uh, all the time I’ll pop into a website and click go. So I’ve even used these websites. Oh, and it makes a noise. Uh, apparently that’s startled me ends. So time is up. Uh, maybe we should talk about your site.

Before we do, I do want to share like how much traffic the site is getting. So over on a, a trough. It’s getting a lot of traffic. It’s getting 2. 2 million organic visitors a month, and it’s sailed right on through the helpful content update updates here. Uh, it’s done phenomenal. I mean, it’s, uh, in the past year, it looks like traffic is almost doubled.

Um, and so it’s doing very well and it ranks for. Probably exactly what you think it’s ranking for, you know, online stopwatch, online timer, classroom timer, countdown timer, 10 minute timer, stopwatch timer, et cetera, all these timer stopwatch related, uh, keywords. Uh, and then overall, uh, I will just show similar web here.

It looks like it’s getting about 4. 2 million visitors per month, uh, per month is what it shows according to similar web. So it’s, I mean, it’s doing really well. I mean, this is somebody’s full time gig. Clearly, maybe multiple people are supporting this business. I don’t know. Um, but it’s, uh, yeah, kind of a cool, just very specific niche, kind of weird niche site, if you will, that, uh, is definitely making somebody a lot of money.

Jared: I’m only guessing at this point, you know, knowing what I know about RPMs, I imagine the RPMs are a little lower on a site like this, just given who’s probably looking at, but 4. 2 million visitors is probably 50 grand a month in ad revenue. 

Spencer: Wow. Wow. Yeah. Um, and I don’t know what ongoing development is needed.

It doesn’t look 

Jared: like 

Spencer: much, you know, they’ve got a couple of fiber gigs, gigs to design, you know, the egg timer and the countdown timer, uh, uh, I mean, and beyond that, it’s, 

Jared: it’s works. Did you look at, I’m just looking right now, they got over 8, 000 pages. I don’t know what they need all these pages for, but there are a lot of pages, it looks like.

It looks like they have dedicated bespoke pages to like a 15 minute timer, a 25 minute timer, a 30 minute timer. Um, a three minute timer. They have a ton of bespoke pages, but that seems to be fairly programmatic, you know? 

Spencer: Yeah. And then I, I didn’t scroll down, but they have a lot of, you know, duck race timer, horse race timer, uh, egg and spoon timer, right?

Like they’ve got a lot of individual timers that they put some effort into. So maybe they’re continuing. Um, 

Jared: they also have, um, You know, a lot of other interesting pages I’m just seeing here. Their timers definitely seem to be the ones that rank, but I’m just looking. Random group generator. Um, they have a 48 hours to days calculator.

Um, you know, so they have a lot of these calculators and stuff. So, you know, again, just, uh, they have rock. Rock paper scissors a chance game that you can play so they’ve got a lot of the things are trying for sure 

Spencer: Yeah, yeah, so I just clicked on the boat boy timer here as he rose to shore anyways, so That’s it maybe we’ll end it there Jared.

We’ll let you share your weird niche site, but this one’s kind of cool. 

Jared: Well My weird niche site is interesting I think a lot of people who are in the niche website space will find this one Uh, fun to talk about. I don’t, I don’t know if you’re going to get a lot out of it necessarily, but I think it’s fun to talk about.

And, uh, the website that we’re talking about today is nationaltoday. com. Um, and, uh, yeah, I think at first, there we go, got the screen at first glance. It’s, um, certainly grown over the years to be a bunch of different things, but it, it, it’s featuring the holidays. So I think we’re all, like, familiar with, like, Every day nowadays is a holiday of some sort right and 

Spencer: here’s today’s holidays in the right hand column, right?

There we go. So it’s 

Jared: dimple Chad day. Uh, I mean Apparently there’s national days for different names. There’s national Rachel day national Clara day Uh, Oh, today’s national spaghetti day. I don’t have to tell my family about that. We got some spaghetti lovers over here. Um, you know, so it’s kind of playing on this, this, the fact that there’s no shortage of, um, of, of holidays.

Uh, it’s, uh, before we get into all the things that it ranks for and that it is, it’s a DR 81. So I know if you’re a niche website, you’re like, that doesn’t, that’s not something I can relate to. Um, it’s, it, it ranks for 1. 4 million keywords. Um, it gets 4. 4 million organic traffic, according to Ahrefs. Um, uh, it, it doesn’t appear that it got hit by the, um, helpful content update, but by, but by one of the core updates, um, maybe the August one might have gotten backslid into that helpful content update as well.

And so I started kind of saying like, okay, well, I wonder what, what, what’s going on here, you know? I mean, there’s over 12, 000 pages. They tripled that page count in 2022. And I think. We can kind of see a little bit more about what happened here. Um, you know, their rankings are for like the number one for what holiday is it today?

That’s over 300, 000 monthly searches, but in 2022, they tripled the number of pages. And Spencer, if you go back to the homepage and scroll down a little, I think you’ll see something that we see a lot in the affiliate marketing world. Um, and so scroll down there and if you scroll down, you’ll start seeing some pretty random 

Spencer: articles.

Yeah, yeah. 64 toys for 8 year old girls. 

Jared: 85 toys for 9 year old boys. 

Spencer: Uh huh. 

Jared: It gets even more random. Gifts can kind of make sense. But at different points on the homepage you’ll see the best canned cocktails. The best string trimmer. Now there’s something really relevant for a holiday website. 

Spencer: The best respirator mask for smoke and dust.

Jared: Yes, that is highly relevant when you’re talking about holidays around the world. 

Spencer: Interesting. So they’ve gone deep in there to say, Hey, we’ve got a dr 81. Let’s write a bunch of affiliate related articles and see if we can make some. It sounds 

Jared: so early 2022 to say I’ve got a dr 81 and I’m already ranking for a bunch of stuff.

Like, how can I make more money on it? Let’s just write a best of article. I mean, we see. No offense, Forbes able to pull this off every day of the week and twice on Sundays, right? Um, this was started off as a website that clearly had topical authority around a topic around holidays and then, you know, all this kind of stuff and then went really wide and now in the second half of 2023, got the traffic cut virtually in half.

It looks 

Spencer: like wow, that’s uh, that’s really interesting. Um. It’s like, I really like the idea of the site itself, right? All of today’s holidays and, you know, fun facts about today or whatever. Um, and, and just national holidays in general. But yeah, it feels like they are starting to spread themselves a little bit thin going after all these unrelated keywords.

Jared: And, I mean, you know, I suppose to some degree gifts can make sense, like, I’m sure there’s National Boyfriend Day, there’s National, you know, Grandmother’s Day, and there’s, you know, all these different days, and so you could, you could really come up with a theory that, uh, that I think you could make this site have gifts, and you could make this site be gift related, especially if you tie it together nicely with that, with that day or that holiday, I think when you start getting into, Thank you.

The best string trimmers. I mean, you know, yeah, you, you know, you have a dad, you outdoor enthusiast, whatever, but it does just doesn’t pass the smell test. Right? 

Spencer: Yeah. Yep. Yep. I agree. Uh, and, uh, I, I also did, um, pull up similar web for this one. Uh, oh, that’s. I think that’s the wrong, uh, website. That’s the stopwatch one here.

Uh, for this one, national today. com looks like it’s about 3. 6 million visitors a month, so still doing really well, clearly still 

Jared: doing so well. Right? Like a refs had it at. Uh, 4. 4 million somewhere we have three point, uh, what’d you say? 3. 8 through at six. I mean, you know, still obviously with ads, um, they are getting affiliate commissions from some of their content.

It does look like the majority of the traffic is going to more like it’s donut day, not best string trimmers, but they still are going to make some affiliate income and then obviously the ad income. So they’re, they’re definitely monetized pretty well.

Spencer: Cool website. That’s a, that’s a good find national today. com. I hadn’t heard of that one. So a good site, good find. 

Jared: Ah, I feel like, you know, um, we took a week off from the weird niches and I had to kind of dust my investigatory skills off, but as always, we really appreciate the, um, The, uh, the listener contributions and we will continue to appreciate that into 2024 and beyond.

Spencer: That’s right. If you got a weird niche site for us, uh, reach out to one of us, you know, you can pick either of us and, uh, just let us know what you find. We’d love to share it on the podcast. If it’s your site, we’ll, uh, you know, we’ll read it out and we’ll analyze it a little bit, just like we did. So, uh, so there you have it.

Um, I’ve learned that we are now in the year 2024 and we have just finished our first podcast episode of. 2024, the one we recorded at least. And so thank you so much for tuning in everybody and listening into this week in niche pursuits news. It’s been a pleasure to kick off the year, uh, with all of you listening.

And thank you, Jared, of course, for joining me. It’s been a pleasure. Have 

Jared: a great weekend, everyone. We’ll see you back here next Friday.

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