NP News: YouTube Reduces Monetization Requirements, Time Removes Paywall, and 2 Weird Niche Sites
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Interested in setting up a YouTube channel?
Spencer and co-host Jared Bauman of 201 Creative explore some exciting updates for content creators today on Niche Pursuits News.
First up is a new announcement from YouTube that they're lowering the threshold for channel monetization!
While content creators used to need 1000 subscribers and 4000 long-form watch hours, now you need just 500 subscribers and 3000 long-form watch hours in the last 12 months to start earning money on the platform.
Jared and Spencer talk about why they think YouTube changed the rules, and they also discuss other ways to monetize using the platform, such as channel memberships.
Then they move on to talk about how Time magazine announced its plans to remove its digital paywall and give everyone their content for free. Their plan is to monetize with display ads, using the same model many bloggers and content creators are using.
The hosts move on to discuss data in a SEMRush report that revealed interesting statistics about search engine users, like the percentage who change their keywords before clicking and how very few searches led to clicks on the first result in the SERPs in 2022. It’s clear that user patterns of search are changing. What does this mean for us?
Jared and Spencer also discuss a recent article in Search Engine Journal about Google making its feedback form more robust. According to Twitter, this move will set the stage for more negative SEO, and the hosts share their thoughts on the implications. Will the positives outweigh the negatives with this new move from Google?
In the Shiney Object Shenanigans portion of the podcast, Spencer talks about recent developments with his faceless YouTube channel.
Although the channel was making $80 to $90 a day, a copyright claim has almost eliminated all of his earnings. His appeal was ultimately denied, and he talks about his plans for moving forward, as well as other ideas for faceless YouTube channels.
Jared finally reveals more details about his YouTube project, which will revolve around read-alouds for social-emotional learning by his wife, a seasoned school counselor. She'll be working on this project all summer and Jared will report back on their progress.
In the last section of the podcast, Spencer talks about a weird niche site he found years ago based on a scene from Star Wars where Darth Vadar screams. The site was getting around 30k visitors per month back in 2015.
Although the original website no longer exists, there's a copycat site now, but it only gets a few thousand visitors per month.
Jared talks about the site he found called Awkward Family Photos, created with user-generated content. He talks about how the site is monetized using ads and how it’s ranking for 20k keywords even though it's just a photo site.
As it turns out, Spencer and his family play the Awkward Family Photo board game all the time. This example certainly makes you think about creative monetization opportunities you might not have thought about before!
Once again, Niche Pursuits News is coming at you with a thought-provoking episode on YouTube, legacy publisher strategies, changes in Google, unique side hustle ideas, and creative monetization techniques.
Don't miss out! Tune in and listen now!
Watch the Episode
Spencer: Hey everyone. Welcome back to the Niche Pursuits Podcast. We are recording an episode of this week in Niche Pursuits News, and of course, I'm your host, Spencer Haws, and I have my co-host with me, Jared Bauman. Jared, how you doing?
Jared: Doing well looking forward. We got some new types of topics this week. It's not just AI for, well, for once in a while, so it's gonna be a good one.
Spencer: Yeah. It's lots of AI news, but we've decided to move away from that this week at least. And talk about some other things cuz there actually are a lot of interesting things always happening in the industry. And so I think we're gonna just cover a couple of Search engine news, content creator news that I think are interesting.
So definitely people are gonna wanna listen into the news topics that we cover. And then of course, for returning listeners, they know that we cover two other segments of the podcast here. We jump into sh shiny objects shenanigans where Jared and I discuss our side hustle projects that we have going on, things that are not our main business.
But that are interesting and maybe keep us excited about trying different things. So we'll share some of those things that we're working on. And then finally, we will cover weird niche sites. Jared and I both have a weird niche site, something that's off the beaten path, something that's a little bit different the, that we'll share usually in the humorous vein if you will.
And this week is gonna be no different. So let's jump into the episode, shall we, Jared?
Jared: Let's do it. Let's get started.
Spencer: Very good. So this week in the news first of all is YouTube made a big announcement. YouTube announced that they actually lowered the requirements for content creators.
And so in order to get monetized. On YouTube, the requirements have been lowered now, and so you need only 500 subscribers where before it was a thousand subscribers in order to get your channel monetized and then you also need 3000 long form. Watch hours in the last 12 months or you can have 3 million short views in the last 90 days.
I don't know what the short views requirement was previously, but I do remember that the long form watch hours was 4,000 hours previously, and so now they've lowered that down to 3000 hours and 500 subscribers. So any thoughts or opinions on why you think that they've made this change?
Jared: Well, I mean, I think video is becoming more prominent and a lot more large brands are leaning into video. I mean, as we've talked about in the podcast before, like the influencer program at Amazon, but that's not, you know, inside of that they have so many new things like shoppable videos. They have Amazon Inspire.
Obviously TikTok has been eroding market share for a while, so I think they're just trying to. It's, it's really nice to see, like, there, I think they're just, we're finally seeing this a bit of a renaissance in big, large brands trying to actually make it a little easier for content creators to make money on platforms rather than making it harder for them.
So I think that that probably from a high level, has a lot to do with it. Certainly it's still not easy to monetize on YouTube. Like this isn't now to the point where you turn on a YouTube account, publish a couple videos, and expect to be monetizing a month later. But this is this is a lot better in many ways.
Right? I think it's, I think there's a lot of things about this to make it a lot easier.
Spencer: Yeah, absolutely. And I, I, I mean, in, in some ways it's kind of like, why not even from YouTube's perspective, because it, it's not like they're putting in a bunch more effort in order to unlock the monetization, you know?
Feature, right? They, they actually increase their inventory of ad space when they have more videos that are available. And so I guess they, they don't allow you to monetize from day one just to make sure you're kind of a legit channel and a legit person, if you will. You've actually got some following, so I don't think this will ever go down to like zero subscribers, like just, Hey, monetize from day one.
But this is a step that makes a little bit easier. And then in, in this tweet, they also do mention you can apply to the partner program to unlock access to super. Thanks, super chat. Supers stickers, channel memberships and shopping and. I will just say I am not real familiar with all of these other ways that you can monetize your channel other than I, I guess I kind of know what it is, right?
You can give a super thanks or a super sticker I guess to, you know, say, Hey, I really love the content that you're putting out there. Here's, here's a. A sticker or a thanks, right? You pay for I've never used any of those to monetize my channel. I don't know if you know anybody that's using stickers and super chats and super thanks and all these things, but that's kind of another interesting avenue that people can follow.
Jared: You might be interested in channel memberships. We do have a client that does make use of channel memberships. And you know, you've talked in the past, I think, during shiny object shenanigan segment about, you know, different potential ideas for a sub channel, if you will, or a subgroup of niche pursuits that's a little bit more engaged and a little bit more premium.
So, you know, I think that that's we don't need to get deep into it, but channel memberships might be something that niche pursuits could take advantage of. I, I don't know much about the rest of it to, as it relates to
Spencer: what we do, you know, Yeah, that's a, that's a good idea. Kind of a light bulb there of, you know I, I talked last week about kind of doing some of these 30 day business channel videos.
Yep. For niche pursuits. And so maybe there could be some locked content that's more in depth, more, you know, with, with individual people participating in this challenge or just other content that if people really wanna dive deep and be sort of a member, maybe, maybe it's behind a membership directly on YouTube.
Jared: Here, here's an idea, like maybe we do the, you know, we do the weekly podcast interviews with an expert and you know, maybe at another time that week or right after the interview's done, the, the membership group would get to log in and actually have an open q and a with that with that interviewer, you know, for example.
Spencer: like that, maybe. Yeah. Yeah, I like that. So if you're watching on YouTube or listening anywhere else, go ahead and leave a comment down below and let us know if you like that idea, if you like some sort of. Additional access to podcast guests or other additional content where maybe there's a live q and a and you can get involved in the process.
We did not plan on talking about this on this episode. Could we ever, just so it's clear you know, but hey, that's kind of an interesting idea. So leave a comment and let us know. So Other news that is interesting is that time is going to remove their digital paywall. So Time Magazine of course, is.
A hundred plus year old organization that started publishing magazines. I don't know what year, and maybe it says what year in this article. Right. But it's a very well known, trusted brand. And then turned a hundred this
Jared: year, Spencer. Oh. Oh. It did? Turned a hundred this year. Yeah. I
Spencer: didn't realize that either.
I nailed it. I nailed it. A hundred years. Man, that's a, wouldn't that be cool if you had a company that existed a hundred years from now? And so you know, they always charged for their magazines. Of course. That's how it worked. And the internet came along and they didn't really know what to do with the internet.
And so I think it says here in the article yeah. Some, some form of digital paywall since 2011. Right? They decided to put basically the whole archive of their magazines behind a paywall. So if you wanted to access, I think both their new magazines and all their old magazines, you had to pay for it.
And they currently have 1.3 million print subscribers and 250,000 digital subscribers. And they've now made the decision to no longer charge for. Anything digitally you can. They're removing their paywall, so they're actually going to be getting rid of, if I'm reading this correctly, 250,000 digital subscribers.
Yeah. They're basically saying, Hey, we're not gonna charge you anymore. Anybody that comes to the website gets it for free and they're gonna monetize with display ads. They're really gonna rely on advertising on their, their website for that. And so, It's kind of interesting in a couple of ways, right?
And I'll let you chime in here, Jared in a second. But my, my reaction to this is, man, that's kind of cool. It, it sort of Is in agreement with the model that we tend to follow, right? That, hey man, you can optimize and, and monetize your site really well. Just with display ads you can make a great amount of money.
And so time is going to lean into that model of, Hey, let's just rank more content and make more money on display advertising. And so that's, that's the other. Piece of it here is that they probably will get a lot more rankings in Google, because I think they're gonna make their, their archives indexed in Google.
And so, you know, a hundred years worth of magazines, you just have to imagine that, hey, they're gonna have a lot more pages ranked that previously were not indexed because they were behind a paywall. So they're gonna get more traffic, they're gonna get more display ad revenue, and they're making the bet that that's going to.
Make up for the 250,000 loss subscribers, if you will.
Jared: I mean, we just got done talking about memberships, right? And the YouTube side of things. And here we are with a story that kind of goes the opposite direction of that. But I agree with you. I mean, you know, times. Well, let me walk through a little bit that the article does talk about that.
I think it's interesting. And then it'll, it'll kind of add on to your point, Spencer, like if you read this article, and I encourage people to click through it because what you're, what you get to see is that they kind of unpack all the experimentation that time has done over the last 12 years, which I find fascinating as a marketer because I'm always like, man, if I could remember interviewing Sean Hill and he gets to work on Forbes magazine when you worked there and it's like you could try things and get results so fast, you learn so much, and in many ways, we get to learn a lot about their experimentation.
In 2011, like you said, they started with a paywall. It was a hard paywall, but then later that year, they added it to a hard paywall for all their archives. So everything went behind a paywall. Then in 2015 and 2016, so five, four or five years later, They begin to experiment with metered paywalls, which we're familiar with.
I know, I think New York Times does that. You get two articles or four articles a month to read. That triggered after a, a reader visits a website, a certain amount of times returned to the hard paywall in 2016. Then in 2021, it returned to a metered paywall across its whole site, including its archives, and then went back to where we're at now, which is opening it back up to everyone.
So I, if I were to read into that, I'd say the data is mixed. And at the end of the day, this is another move in the direction of, Hey, let's let's try to increase our, our footprint as much as possible, and then rely on, well, what we talk about on every single week here, right? Like, rely on ads, rely on email subscriptions, rely on ga additional types of content vehicles that are perhaps paid or monetized in a different way and.
I do think that's encouraging. I do think it's validating and, and when a big brand starts to go, the route that that we go, like, you know, it's not indicative, but it certainly is is something to pay attention to.
Spencer: Right. I agree. And I should have mentioned that this article is Published on axios.com.
So if people wanna find the article that we're referencing here, and then I like this sort of the big picture, right? This statement here, it says, legacy publishers are still trying to figure out how to make money online. Right? I love that statement. Because that's here, that's what we talk about all day, you know, every day.
And You know, is how to, how to monetize and make money online. And these publishers that have a lot of baggage that have been around for a hundred years. I mean, that is a, a major undertaking to just, I don't know how many, periodicals, you know, how many magazines they've, they've published, right?
They have this huge backlog. What do you do with all that? Right? I mean, millions,
Spencer: millions of articles in this article. Of articles. Yeah, exactly. And so that's something that they're clearly always been grappling with. And you know, we didn't dive into the financials, but usually when there's all this testing, you know, every couple of years they're tweaking and changing things.
It means they're probably not. Making as much money as they want. They're either losing money or just not making as much money as they want. Right? Yeah. A lot of, lot many times these large organizations are not profitable certain years just because they have huge staff and overhead and support and all this stuff.
Whereas Individual publishers like you and I, we can be nimble and quick and, and we don't have a lot of overhead, right? We've got a couple freelance writers and, and we do the editing, right? And so we have that advantage, right, for listeners is that if you are a niche website owner or a blogger, you actually have a huge advantage over a.
Companies like Time Magazine in certain regards, because you are so much smaller, you can act quick, you can jump on the trends or the changes in the industry, and you can be more aware of what's going on in Google, hopefully, because you listen to the niche pursuits, news episodes and kind of make speaking of yeah, kind of make those changes real quick.
Jared: speaking of, boy, wouldn't it be fun to have somebody, if we could, from Time Magazine on to talk about these last 12 years of experimenting and why they're going that route and what the opportunities they see in the future are?
Spencer: Yeah. Well, we, we know who owns it. It's you know, it's right here.
Mark Benioff. Mark Benioff, right. Billionaire acquired it a couple years ago. So let's reach out, I'm sure. Get 'em on podcast, podcast like ours these days. Yeah. You never know. You never know, but true. Don't ask, don't get. That's right. But, you know, that would be interesting. I, I bet there's somebody in the time digital marketing department.
Yeah. That you know, so if you're listening Time Magazine, we would love to get your opinion on this. Well, it
Jared: looks like they're searching how to make money online and, you know, spend, you rank very high for niche, some of those terms, so That's right. They might be listening. You, you never know.
Spencer: Right, if they just add the right keywords, something about how to make money online with publishing or make money online with niche sites or, you know, they'll, they'll find this.
So so there you go. I, I think this is, this is fascinating to me. Anyways, I don't know if people listening in find this fascinating, but I, I just, I love to see what's happening in the publishing industry at large, of course, because we talk about a lot. You know, small publishers all the time on, on the podcast, we bring on the owners all the time.
And we are competing with the huge organizations like Time in the SERPs, right? For, for individual keywords sometimes. And, and so it's interesting you see the moves they're making and you know, what's our, what's our competition doing? And so I find this fascinating.
Jared: I agree. And there's some other tidbits in there about what other like Gannett, the us the US' largest local newspaper, what they've done.
Courts Spotify, Netflix, Disney Plus. So, you know, there's a lot of other stuff you could deep dive and they have links to that. And you know, I found myself going down the rabbit holes. I read this. Yeah. But I agree with you like. Staying informed about high level marketing news is, is really good. It does help us be better publishers in our very small businesses that we
Yeah, absolutely. So let's move on. We have a, a two other, what I'll call quick hit. News items here that, we'll, we'll try to be brief. We'll, we'll see what we can do. But they are interesting developments nonetheless. And so Jared, I think you had one here on a report put out by SEMrush that I'm gonna share this tab right now.
It looks like there was a tweet by Morty Oberstein that put it on your radar. Of course, Morty was on the podcast just two weeks ago, I guess. Yeah, very
Jared: recently. I mean, you know, I think we dove into a similar report a month or two back, but drawing out some insights. I like the way you put it that you probably missed.
Well, we did, if they were in that original report. We did. And they were some interesting ones I thought. They're watching on YouTube. You can see the graphic in front of you. There's a couple ones I'll just call out that I think are interesting. Would love to get your take on it. 29% of users say in Google or another search engine, they switch from one keyword to another before they actually click.
That's a third of people that do that. That is to me, Fascinatingly high. Another one that I thought was really interesting and not really good news unfortunately, but worth talking about only one in five searches led to a click on the first result in 2022. Now, we're used to flaunting the data that has been done previously where anywhere from 30 to 36% of clicks go to the first result, and that drop into 20%.
I don't think it's because people are now clicking on number two, number three, number four, with a higher percentage. I think it's because more zero click search results and, and all the other stuff we're experiencing is happening. But two two pieces of data that I thought were worth at least sharing here and and also getting your take on.
Spencer: Yeah. Now, do we think that these two pieces of data are related? Oh, when you think about it, one in five searches led to a click. Well, this is saying the top number is saying. 30% of people switch from one keyword to another before they click. Right. So is that the reason you know, people maybe are just trained better at using search engines?
Yeah. Right. That you, you type in one thing and you kind of. Quickly peruse the results and you're like, ah, that's not quite what I meant. And you add a modifier right at the end or something, right? You switch your keyword. 30%, 29% of people are, are doing that nowadays. And so maybe that is what has led to one in five searches actually getting a click, which is maybe a slight.
Change in perspective. Again, I, I have no idea if this is what's happening, but perhaps you know, it's a slight change in perspective from, oh man, nobody's clicking on results or not as many people are clicking on results because Google's providing all the answers. Maybe it's because they tweak their keyword and then they actually are clicking on results.
They're, they're real.
Jared: No. Right. That changed my perspective just now. I hadn't thought about it that way because I've, I've always been trained and just thought like, oh, zero click searches are because doggone it, Google's given 'em the answer and they're not going to my content. Yeah. But the reality is maybe they're getting, certainly we see that the user patterns of search are changing and it's, it's becoming more robust and people are using longer tail search queries now and these kinds of things, and so you're right.
Maybe they look at the results, including maybe what Google is providing. Snippet wise and that sort of stuff, and say, you know, I, I, I, I have the tools in my tool set now to actually tweak what I'm searching for and I'll do that again. That, that's an interesting perspective. I hadn't thought about that.
Spencer: Yeah. You know, I'm just trying to bring some positivity to the conversation here. You know be bullish on blogging, but, but I. I, I think, you know, that would be my hypothesis, right? If, if, you know, looking at this data, if I were to write up a master's thesis, this, this would be my hypothesis, right? Is like, I like that.
Jared: I, I like, I like your hypothesis better than mine. I'll tell you that.
Spencer: So if we did some math, if I had my calculator, we could actually calculate okay, one in five searches. But maybe, maybe we change it to one in five searchers. I don't know how you phrase that, right. Is, is actually, you know, one in three actually do wait led to a click on the first result.
Is that what we want? We want more, you know, one in three searches actually do lead to a click. Right. Instead of one five. Yeah. Whatever that is. Right. Exactly. Right. So maybe it's 30% higher than whatever, you know, one in five is. So that I, I don't know again, just an opinion, but I think that would make sense.
Jared: again, falling down your point, like you certainly make more money on ads. Make more money on conversions, sell more affiliate products, the more of a, the, the right person that shows up on your article. Right? So you know, we, we talk about clicks, we talk about page views, we talk about these sorts of things, but in reality, and this is what I work a lot with at my agency, it's like page views are only one metric.
Like they don't lead the business. You know, and I know in my agency we have to get a lot more in depth on that with clients. Like what type of client, what type of readers are, are, are arriving. How far down the buying funnel are they? And so in theory, a modified search approach is gonna lead to a more qualified person coming to your website.
Certainly if you're more of an affiliate marketer or selling direct products, walking down that hypothesis, you're gonna hopefully see higher qualified people coming and a higher you know, a higher revenue per visitor in that regard.
Spencer: Absolutely. So these were supposed to be quick hit items. Yes. So I'm gonna just move on.
We could talk about that one. I'm fascinated by that one. But there is a search engine journal article. Google announced this. So all the search engine news covered this, but I just have search engine journal pulled up that Google aims to improve search quality with new feedback form. So Google had a feedback form, but they.
Tweaked it and made it more robust, I guess. It, Google has redesigned its search spam report form broadening the types of search quality issues users can report. And so it's they're hoping to get more feedback from users. Right. And it says user feedback significantly influences Google efforts to improve search result quality.
Right. And so I can just scroll and you can kind of see I think you'll see this. Yeah. You can kind of see where you can report spammy, deceptive, or low quality webpages. Right. And so this is the idea is that normal searchers, if they see something, They, they throw this in the form. Now the worry is at least according to doom and gloom, Twitter if you will, SEO Twitter, at least a couple of people, right on Twitter is like, well, if Google makes it that much easier, you know, to report different types and, and report more websites, is that gonna just lead to a bunch of negative seo, right?
Your competitors are gonna then just spam this form with a bunch of. You know, reports saying, ah, you know, Jared's website is trash. You know, he needs to be taken out of the SERPs. That's the negative view on it. But I don't know. What are your thoughts?
Jared: I mean, in the, in the name of trying to be brief.
Yeah. It's gonna happen. Yeah. And hopefully though the positives outweigh the negatives and hopefully the general masses embrace this. Yep. And the general masses report sites that we don't want ranking above us and. We're all frustrated when an update rolls out and we're like, how in the heck is that spammy side ranking above me?
And I put all this, and so hopefully this. Hopefully the 80 20 is that the good sites still win more than they lose in something like this, but yeah, it's gonna, it's gonna happen. Yeah. I mean, you know, you've been, you know, I've been in this industry long enough to know that it's probably accurate.
Hopefully this form just actually goes to like a real human, like, you know, when a certain site has a certain number of reports, it, it goes to some other, You know, level and it's like either human or, anyways, we could, we could dive into what happens, but I agree, hopefully if you really are creating a quality website, even if competitors, you know, sort of try some negative things, which very likely will happen it won't really matter at the end of the day.
So anyways, interesting development people can check that out and see, see the form that's available. So all right. Whew.
Jared: Hey, that wasn't bad. We're at 25 minutes.
Spencer: We're 25 minutes in. So very good. We are going to now move to our shiny object shenanigans and You know, I've talked about a couple of different things.
I'm gonna go back to talking about my YouTube channel that I have my faceless YouTube channel. And not to be confused with the Niche Pursuits YouTube channel, not the Niche Pursuits YouTube channel. Yeah.
Jared: I forget that not everyone listening has listened to every episode we've done in the news each week.
I forget this all the time.
Spencer: Exactly. And so I have a YouTube channel that I partnered with somebody that we are publishing content where we don't show up in the videos. And so I should clarify, other people do show up, other faces do show up in the channel, but we call this a faceless channel because it's not any clips that we created ourselves or we're not in the channel.
Right. And so long story short the channel was earning like 80 to $90 a day. And I think I even talked about this previously, a couple of weeks ago that one of our videos did get a copyright claim. We appealed that decision. Well, the appeal came back denied. And so we have not been able to overturn that decision.
And so let me. Share my image. I show just how drastic this has been. So this is like a negative share, right? Usually I try to toot my own horn. But this one is, Hey, sometimes thing do, don't, don't go perfect. Right? And, and this is like such a hands-off channel. Like, I have never uploaded even a video, right?
Like, my partner's doing 100% of all the work. I just talk about it. No, I, I funded it. Right, and, and so I'm a partner in that regard. But you know, you can see that the channel near the end of May was making 80, $90. One of our videos that has about a million views, just shy of 1 million views over the life of the video was getting the bulk 99% almost of all their earnings on the channel.
And so that's the video that got the copyright claim. And then our earnings, even though it looks like zero, it's, you know, one to $2 a day that the channel is still making from all the other videos that we've published. And our appeal was denied. And so where we're at right now is that we could either try a second appeal or we could just move on and publish.
You know, we, we have planned to publish another 50 videos. We plan to go the second route. We're gonna just. Sort of give up on that video. It's still getting tons of views. It's just not making money because that video got demonetized. We're not gonna repeal it because we're afraid Google will look even harder, or YouTube will look even harder at our channel, and we're not as confident that they might just channel wide demonetize us.
So we're, is that a thing?
Jared: Is that, do you have any precedent on that?
Spencer: I, I believe that's a thing. Okay. I believe that essentially if you get a, a couple of strikes, they can just make the decision of like, you know, what your, your channel looks like. It should just not be monetized. Yeah. So yeah, that's pretty much all that I wa wanted to say.
Again, it's, it's not a like motivating update, but this is a real update and I think people find it interesting. This is my side hustle, you know, this isn't my you know, my family's still gonna be able to eat. We're gonna be okay.
Jared: I guess the big question for me and just. For people listening probably maybe would have this from a very high level.
Like is there anything you would do differently at the outset? Knowing what you know now, or is it No, this is, these are the risks. We knew this is the way this type of channel works. This is just what it is. You know,
Spencer: so a, yes, this was the risk that we knew with this type of channel. But b, what would, what we could have done different is pick a different niche without giving away like what this channel is.
It's hard to explain, but essentially we are using clips from, call it other. Videos, right? Mm-hmm. And so all of those videos are copyrighted, but you're allowed to use small segments of videos, and if you add original commentary, that does take care of it. And we, we actually have one, a couple of copyright claims on this channel, right?
That you two, we appealed them. YouTube looked at it. And overturned it and said, you know what? You're good. You're within the guidelines. So we're, we're really toeing the line, right. That, that we're, we are within the guidelines, but this one video maybe we use too long of a clip. Right. Or we don't know exactly.
You know what, yeah. You know, the, the line is, I mean, we essentially know that, hey, we are using like, I don't know how to explain it, but let's say you're, you're summarizing you know, a, a tennis match that was, you know, published by nbc, right? Like, like we're using the clips from nbc, like it's, it's copyrighted material, but Yeah, because it's clipped into shorter, you know, segments with commentary like that typically.
You know I forgot what the phrase is, but that typically you don't have to worry about it, but we are towing that line so close that it's like nbc, in this case it was not nbc, but nbc, you know, has the copyright claim and YouTube said, yeah, we're gonna uphold what NBC says so well, and so I
Jared: think it's interesting just to share then that I think in general, there's a couple things going on here and it's not necessarily.
A like a doom and gloom about faceless YouTube channels. Right? Totally. That was just a strategy. And then what this is the result of is copyright stuff with the way YouTubes works and all that kind of stuff. So there's other ways you could approach a faceless YouTube channel that don't involve this, and maybe that would work too.
So, you know, just people
Spencer: listening, right? Oh, totally. There is so many ways you can do a faceless YouTube channel. Like you don't have to use clips right from other. People you could do AI generated YouTube stuff that could be interesting. You can do like almost PowerPoint presentations where it's just graphics, right?
Well, you, you have a script and, and read it and it just shows images. Right. And then Go ahead.
Jared: Oh, I was just gonna say, I, you probably haven't even heard it yet. I just did an interview that will come out on the podcast in the coming weeks with an individual who is. Doing a faceless YouTube channel very successfully not involving any of the strategies you just shared.
All right. You're gonna have to
Spencer: stay tuned for that one. I love it. I love it. Very good. And so, yeah,
Jared: we have an example of one coming
Spencer: up very good, but, but I will just say that yes, we knew the risks of this channel going in. And so we're, we're gonna keep publishing, like I said, another 50 videos is, is.
Scheduled to publish and, and we'll kind of see where it is at that point. I mean, if we can get this back up to a thousand bucks a month, that would be a win for, you know, what I invested in this channel. So.
Jared: Very good. Well, thank you for sharing the lows and the highs. Right. Cause, you know, it's, it's nice to see the lows.
I I, I, I will probably speak for a lot of people when I say that, you know, it's not nice to see the lows, but it's nice to see the, you know what I mean? Yeah. We
Spencer: try to keep it real. Right. We're not trying to, we're not trying to sell anybody anything. We're just like reporting on the news. We're reporting on our side projects, keeping us honest, so,
Jared: I guess that means it's my
Spencer: turn, huh?
Yeah. Yeah. Let's see what you got going on here, Jared. Let's
Jared: see here. All right, so I got a couple things I'm ready to publicly talk about the YouTube project we're doing this summer. All right. Ooh lemme pull up my notes cuz I had to get 'em from my wife because I don't think I, I still don't think I'm gonna say this right.
So, a little backstory a couple weeks ago I said, Hey I think my next shiny object sit. Shenanigan it's going to be a YouTube channel that I, I think I'm gonna do with my wife. It's gonna be my wife's YouTube channel. I'm just there to help her now. So some backstory, I've been kind of teasing this.
We've been putting together the building blocks over the last couple weeks. Summer break started this week. So we're kind of, that was our go live period. My wife is a school counselor, so she's been a school counselor for probably 15 years now. Everything from high school to middle school to grade school.
She's at the elementary level now and started really picking up. Over COVID is she needed to find new ways to impact kids. And you know, a lot of different things that she was working through, but one of them was read alouds with kids over Zoom and these kind of things. And Without making a long story, really long, the concept for the YouTube channel is read aloud books by a school counselor.
Oh. And so this type, this is called biblio Therapeutic Approach to Social Emotional Learning. That's what I had to write down. She's an expert in it. She's all fired up about it. She cares deeply about this stuff and its impact on kids and a lot of parents and kids turn to YouTube. For read alouds, especially as it relates to social emotional learning.
So like you know, getting bullied or struggling with anxiety or just focus or there's different books out there that kids get read. And so that's so long and short of it. We have our first 60 videos mapped out. She's gonna be filming these videos and we don't have a velocity schedule set yet cuz you know, she's like, I don't know how long it's gonna take me to do these.
I might be really good at it cause I do it every day at work. Or I might be really. Not good at it on camera. So but that's the channel and that's what we're gonna be doing. And we're gonna be trying to film as many videos as can, as we can this summer. And then when she goes back to work for the new school year, we'll kind of circle the wagon, see how much content we got out, and see where we're at in terms of views and subscribers and all that kind of stuff.
Spencer: That's really fascinating. I think it's an interesting idea. So will she just be reading a book aloud on video? Is that essentially what's going on here or is there like additional tips or explanation along the way throughout the video? So the plan
Jared: is to read the book aloud? Yes. Whether she actually reads a physical book with like an overhead camera or digitizes the book.
We're looking into and still trying to figure that out. Like, which one is the best way to go? What's the right way to go? You talked about copyright stuff. Gotta make sure we, you know, check all those boxes and make sure we're, we're doing that right. Intro and conclusion. Film the intro, film the conclusion.
With like a talking head at the camera explaining why this book was chosen, explaining how it can help, that sort of thing.
Spencer: Okay. That's really cool. I like it. That's a fascinating niche, right? That, that that's what we do here, is we talk about. All the different avenues you can go. She's clearly an expert, it sounds like, right?
With, with all her years of counseling and don't ask me to repeat the Biblio learning phrase, but something along those lines, you know, that bigger words than we
Jared: normally use here on the podcast. That's for sure.
Spencer: Real, real, real experts doing real things out in the world. Does make you
Jared: question a little bit what you're doing with your day anyways.
Spencer: You know, hey, we got it pretty cushy here. Someone's gotta do it. Somebody's gotta do it. That's cool. Well, I'll be fascinated to follow along. So it sounds like you guys are gonna be starting pretty quick then. Yeah.
Jared: I mean, be tempered in your in your expectations on videos. Like we got a vacation coming up and, you know, we're still working at the kinks and so, but yeah, it's definitely happening and so we'll just, you know, it's okay.
Like, like I said, we'll report the good and the bad and. I anticipate some weeks where we just don't get around to it probably. But we'll see, you know we'll see how, we'll see how it comes together this summer, and we'll just, we'll keep everybody updated all summer long as we're doing that, and hopefully people will enjoy the updates.
And you know, we haven't talked about this style of YouTube channels, so it'll also be something fun to talk about in our shiny object shenanigans coming up. Yeah,
Spencer: absolutely. All right, cool. I am interested to, to hear progress on that. For sure. So having said that, let's move into our final segment here where we talk about weird niche sites.
I love talking about it. I know you love talking about it. I think the listeners enjoy it. So we scour the web, all corners of the web to pull out these gems that we find each week. And maybe I'll go first just since you just went with your thing and so we'll mix it up. You can bring us home at the end.
Boy, how do I preface this exactly? You know, this is one that I heard about. A long time ago, I was actually at a business conference in, I don't remember what year, but it had to have been like 2013 ish, like a long time ago, 10 years ago. And the founder Iisha looked up who, who the founder was and who created this.
But he just thought it would be really funny to create this website that star Wars fans will know. There's like, The scene anyways. It's, it's Darth Vader screaming No. And so he created the website no.com. It's with, I don't know how many os in in the domain name. So let me share my screen. So that is the original website, which I just found out today does not exist.
Like it Okay. It went down. Yeah. And so why am I sh sharing this? Well I'll explain it in a second, but I remember at the conference he was talking and sharing numbers and it was getting an insane amount of traffic, right? People would, for whatever reason, type in, you know, how how many os they would put in their search query.
His website would show up, and it would, you would hit a play button and it would scream. So this website went down, and I don't know if that's why, but a copycat came along. And so now I'm gonna share this one, which is, there it is, no me. Right? And I don't know if people will hear this when I hit play,
but it is, it is just the clip from the movie of him screaming. No. Is all it is. People think this is hilarious. Apparently. Huge Star Wars fans. And so let's let's go to AA res because I want to, you know, share, share this. So if I put in the original website, You can see that back in the day, and this only goes back to 2015.
Mm-hmm. But back then it was getting, you know, upwards of 30,000 visitors a month from Google, probably more directly. And I think earlier days it was doing even better, you know, like I said, 20 13, 20 14. So that's fascinating in and of itself that you can have like just this, not even a real word, like a, just an end with.
A dozen os after it, like rank number one in Google. So that's maybe an idea, like are there any like something similar, one less O one, less O or I was just thinking are there any other phrases that are like other words, right? That if you add a bunch of characters, like in a screaming, you know, way Yes.
Or something else from a movie where it's just a phrase that's ridiculous. Right. You could have a whole website dedicated to that. And then if I put in the current you know, I guess competitor, I found this because I searched for the phrase this pulled up as, you know, number one or number two, it's not getting very many you know, 2000, oh, am I shy?
This? Yes. Yes I am. Yeah. You know, a couple thousand visitors a month, right? So if I do mostly what you get when you search on Google now is like memes of images. You get the video pack at the top, right, and then the number one is the, the one that I just shared. But a lot of people are probably just clicking on these videos, so.
Jared: Well, my, my first thought was, is the original available as an age domain to purchase? I don't know. And it looks like it's locked up. Looks like it's locked up by somebody. So okay. I didn't see when you were sharing but I'm sure it had a decent number of backlinks from getting that sort of traffic over the years.
Spencer: I bet it does. I bet it does. Yeah, and I, I wish I remembered, but it used to get like a ton, you know, it a DR of 66 80,000 backlinks.
Jared: That's a domain. I don't know really where, where you'd go with that. Maybe an ode to Star Wars, kind of, yeah. Maybe website. But I mean, if you wanted to make like a content type site or any type of website out of that domain that's now just, you know, Unable to just not even loading, right?
Spencer: do, you could do a meme a day where it's just that sound bite of No. And like a gif. That is something, right. Some current event. Right. We're coming into political season, so whatever political candidate does something right? No. Do you
Jared: remember We should, I should actually look this up for a future niche site, but like I remember one time.
My friend, I asked him how to do something and he sent me either a website, I think it was a website, and it shows the person like typing what you asked the person into Google. It's like a, I like it passive aggressive way to tell someone like, look it up on your own.
Spencer: I know I could use that a lot on Twitter and Facebook.
You know, a lot. Yeah. Yeah. Every DM I get uhhuh, or most dms I get like, here, I Googled this for you, but Yes. Yeah,
Jared: exactly. That's basically what it was. Like. I could imagine, like if somebody asks you something like, do you want to go to so-and-so this weekend? You could just send them this website. Right.
And the answer for them.
Spencer: That's right. But like, There's gotta be somebody creative out there that, not necessarily just this phrase, but some other angle of some other word or screaming phrase from a movie or something. Right. That there's, there's opportunities you know, to create just weird niche sites
Jared: out there.
Oh, I mean, You could make like 200 of those, right? Yeah. And just one pagers and just see which ones go. You know, I'm thinking of all the Seinfeld quotes that I grew up on, or, you know, all the different thinking of John Cusack with the boombox over the, you know, and him screaming from with the, from that, in that eighties movie.
Or, you know, you could just start rolling down all
Spencer: these, there you go. There you go. So somebody do that and let us know how it goes for you. So that's what I got.
Jared: All right. I like it. I like it. Okay, so I'm on the hook now. I've got one. So this has been around a while, I don't think quite as long as a matter of fact.
I did look it up. It's been around since I believe 2009. Now, this is a, a bit of an ode to my my photography days, right? This one came on the market when I was a professional photographer, and it certainly made the rounds in the pro photo scene, and it is, Awkward family photos.com. It is. Boy, if you just wanna laugh, it is a, a fun website to peruse the ones they have up right now.
I just to be clear, aren't quite as indicative of how brilliant some of them are. They're most popular ones, yes. Are just they're just great and they always add a nice witty caption below it. And and so it's, it is so just to, to, to go through it's, it's user generated content to my understanding.
I think at one point it was a person doing oh, there's a San Diego one right there. Yeah. Look at that. That's, that's my hometown. But there, I think at one point it was one person doing it. I think it was a photographer, to be honest with you. I didn't have the time to kind of drill into it, but it's now very user generated.
It says below it submitted on Instagram by so-and-so and so they've really mastered this user generated content sort of thing. And there's some really off the wall photos that you're like, how did somebody actually purposely take that photo? That is absolutely wild.
Spencer: I, these are great. No, I love these.
And they've, they've spun off games. They, there's a board game that we own. Okay. We might actually own one and two. My wife loves. Awkward family photos. And so, you know, you play a game where you get a picture and then you write a caption or something. Or I think there's one, there's one where you can write a caption.
And then I think there's another one that's like movie quotes paired with awkward family photos or something. And you know, it's kind of like you select your, your hand and movie quote and, and anyways, so
Jared: you, you've hit the nail on the head. Like, normally we feature these weird niche sites where we're like, boy, think of the monetization opportunities they could have if they just.
Well, these guys have actually done it. You know, they, they, they have a shop, they have all sorts of stuff that you can engage with. And I think it's, it, it's so into, they've done a good job categorizing the site, which you're seeing on the YouTube channel right now as well. And you know over, just to give you some of the stats, they are a, a Dr.
70. Actually Spencer, I was gonna see if you could pull 'em up in SimilarWeb. Yeah, I seem to, I can't get into my similar web for some reason I didn't have time to figure it out before the podcast. No, I've got, they're only ranking for 20
Jared: There you go. Yeah. There's age rest. So they are ranking for 20,000 keywords, which given that it's just a photo site says something.
They only have three articles for the record, so it's not like they're doing this whole content strategy outside of photos. Oh, wow. What is that? 41,000 predicted organic traffic from age reps. They've gone up and down over the years, some really interesting peaks and valleys, but they do have ads on the site.
I've gotta imagine with social media incorporated on SimilarWeb, we're gonna get a much higher traffic number.
Spencer: Yeah. I'm sharing that now it looks like 173,000 visitors. Looks like they've been dropping. They were at 237,000, you know, a couple months ago, but yeah, so at least a couple hundred thousand visitors a month probably.
I will say
Jared: that they've strayed topically a little bit. Probably when they started going user generated, like some of the stuff that gets posted is a little less. Awesome. You know? Mm-hmm. Which is, which is okay, you know? But I mean, when they were first coming out, man, every one they posted was just like cringe-worthy.
Like there was one, the first one I remember was, I wish I could find it, it's probably one of their most famous ones. There was a photographer who literally took a maternity photo in a professional studio and then photoshopped in where the stomach was the sonogram of the baby. And it was so creepy.
Oh, that's great. I just was like, to give you an idea of some of the early ones they had. And so I, I might try to find it while we finish it off, but anyways yeah, they've done a great job. Like, it sounds like you and your, your family actually buy the board game and which is amazing.
Spencer: We sure have. Yep. So we have played the Awkward Family Photos board game. So I, and I didn't even think of this website, so there you go. You know that they, but they definitely started online. They've expanded to board games. I wonder, oh, I found it. You found the original?
Jared: I think I did over, if I can send it over to you here.
Spencer: see what, see what we can do. See if we can, oh, it's
Jared: a category page. There it is. Nope, it's a category page. Oh, man. I was trying to be smart in the moment. That's all right. It's a category page.
Spencer: Sorry. We, we've got plenty of awkward fan photos for people to look at, you know? Hijacked
Jared: you too early there.
Sorry. But yeah, I mean, I, I think it's great that I bring a niche, a weird niche site to the table that. You and your family are fully engaged
Spencer: with? We sure are. Yep. We're into this kind of stuff. So yeah, we, we've spent money and, you know, if we had time we could probably look it up on Amazon and see how many copies of the board games they're selling.
Okay. Yeah. The website's maybe only a couple hundred thousand visitors a month right now, but they're making. You know, 50,000 a month selling the board game. Right. Board
Jared: mean, again, just to as we, as we close, but you know, like, man, I would never think to make a board game out of awkward family photos.
Right. But like that just shows you the possibilities that are out there for all of us. I mean, we don't even have weird, well I don't, maybe other people do, but like I don't have niches that are this bizarre and they found a way to monetize with an Amazon product. Pretty successfully. You know, like just the opportunity out there for everyone to sit down and really think through what other opportunities are leaving on the table that they're not monetizing with what they have going right now.
Spencer: And just to piggyback off that, you reminded me of another example of a blog. The oatmeal.com expanded into board games. Now the oatmeal is kind of a, it's a quirky, funny. Blogger, I don't know if people have, have followed along, but hilarious writer that he then created Exploding Kittens, which is a card game and wildly successful on Amazon.
And then they, they've expanded into multiple other board games. But it all started with blogging, building an audience, huge email list. And you know, his thing was always quirky and funny. Perfect fit for his audience. So yeah, maybe, maybe that helps people think of, of their own audience and, oh, man, what's, what's a product or an idea that I could use to monetize my audience as well, so, Awesome.
Good examples. Fun episode. I, I love the, the niche sites but I think we had some good news items. Side projects are, are moving along. Hopefully people listening in got some value out of, you know, everything that we're sharing here. But just staying on top of the industry. What's going on day to day within Google ai, other news in, in publishing.
So thanks everybody for listening. Of course. Follow along [email protected]. I do put out a newsletter a couple of times a week, so be sure to subscribe to that if you want more details. But Jared, any closing thoughts from you? No.
Jared: Another good one. Have a great weekend everyone. Thank you
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