Late Night Listener Feedback
I got some feedback over on the iTunes side of the house that got my attention. It’s from an author named Texas Actor. I’m going to guess this is Tommy Kendrick again. We talked about Tommy last week, he has the Actors Talk Podcast. We’re going to talk about that in just a second.
Tommy says, “I listened to 30+ episodes in a week. Am I nuts? Well, maybe. But the show really is that good.” He goes on to say some nice stuff in the review and leaves a five star review.
Tommy, if that was you, thank you very much.
There’s a couple of cool things about this that are worth mentioning with regards to the iTunes review. The first thing is iTunes reviews are really important to me and the show. If you’re digging the show and you want to support it, the best thing that you can do for me is to head over to LateNightIM.com/itunes, that will take you to the iTunes page on the web. If you click on the link there that says, “Leave a review,” it will open up your iTunes and you can leave a review (five stars are very much appreciated) and some comments about what you like about the show.
iTunes uses this information to weight the rankings in the iTunes search engine. So when people come searching for internet marketing, internet business, affiliate marketing, or whatever it is that they’re looking for, they will decide which shows to return to the searcher based in part on the strength of the reviews. That helps the show be discovered by listeners and it’s probably no surprise to you that it’s one of my goals to grow the show as big as I possibly can. It’s a huge help to me for you to leave a review in iTunes. If you’re interested in supporting the show, that is very much appreciated by me.
The other thing that’s interesting about this thing is engagement. Tommy is an actor out of Austin and you might actually recognize him. I recognized him from years ago when he appeared on some episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger, which I used to absolutely love. One of the things that got me hooked on that show is that it’s filmed in the Dallas area, so when you’re watching Walker, Texas Ranger you can see all these things in Dallas. It used to be fun to sit there and try to identify those. Chuck Norris, in addition to that, is a really good guy, he’s a legit nice guy. So I used to watch that show years ago and I knew Tommy looked familiar to me, so I was checking him out and you can check him out on IMDB.com.
There’s another thing that I wanted to talk to you about in terms of Tommy and his podcast, that is that if you go to his podcast website for the Actors Talk Podcast and you’ve never been there before – I assume this is how it works, I haven’t actually talked to Tommy about this – if you go there for the very first time ever, like I did, you land on a squeeze page where Tommy is wanting you to do one and only one thing, which is capture your email address. That’s a really important principle in internet marketing.
Capturing email addresses is really critical, as we’ve talked about in the show before. One of the few things that you can get in internet business that no one can take away from you and that will always be yours, one of the real assets in an internet business that you can actually capture is an email list. That’s a really important idea, even for podcasters. You can reach them, drive traffic back to the show, and perhaps even promote something to them.
In Tommy’s case, I can imagine tons of applications for having an email list, including drumming up support for particular projects that he might be working on in the future. The main thing I think for podcasters is just letting people know that there’s a new show out and getting them back to the website to watch the show, in the event that they are not subscribed in iTunes.
If you’re like me, you may be subscribed to more podcasts than you can actually get to. So if you’re reminded to listen to a podcast then you’ll go check it out. The same thing is true for blogs. I am subscribed to more blogs than I can actually read, so if I get some kind of prod or if I hear in social media about some article that’s been released on a website, that makes me more likely to go check it out. So this is really good marketing strategy.
What’s also really good about the approach that Tommy uses here is that there’s only one action for the person to take on the page. There’s not any choice. Your choice is to leave your email address – that’s what Tommy wants you to do. He’s not dirtying up the page with 14 other things that might distract you. He has some proof on there, he shows some of the shows that he’s been in down at the bottom of the page to let you know that he’s a real legitimate actor.
The other thing that he does really well on this page is he engages with video, which actually held me on the page. It’s one thing to read something on a page, but here I hear Tommy’s voice, which I’m also going to hear on the podcast, and I see him in front of a studio microphone set up, and he looks like a real pro. All of that stuff helps give me the confidence that I need to realize that this is going to be worth signing up.
Good job on that. I encourage you to go over to the Actors Talk Podcast to see that, that’s a good execution of a squeeze page.
Tommy, I want to thank you very much for that feedback. I very much appreciate it.
To the rest of you who have a few minutes to head over to iTunes and leave me a review, I really appreciate it. Honest feedback is very much appreciated there. I love five star reviews, but I’ll take whatever you think is appropriate. I hope to see you over there. (LateNightIM.com/itunes) Thank you so much.
Niche Site Duel 2.0 Plans
Today for the main segment of the show what we want to talk about is Niche Site Duel 2.0. Pat performed magnificently in Niche Site Duel 1.0. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Niche Site Duel, let me catch you up a little bit.
Pat Flynn a couple years ago now had this Niche Site Duel idea where he, in front of everybody live and in full Technicolor, was able to build a niche website. He selected a keyword, a niche area, he targeted that keyword with content, he built backlinks, and he was able to get a site ranking. He was able to monetize that site with Adsense and he’s tried several other things as well. That site ends up making something between $1,500 and $3,000 per month from Adsense revenues.
The thing that was sort of amazing about that, and this is one of the magical things about Pat, there’s lots of things to learn from Pat, but here’s one thing that amazes me about him that all of us need to think about; where some person might have seen a $5 or $10 a day website that maybe made $300 or $400 per month, Pat was able to see a website that made $2,000 or $3,000 per month and really dominates an industry in the area of new information for people who are interested in getting security guard training.
This is sort of the difference between doing something cool and doing something great. Building a website like the Corn Sheller website that makes $10, $30, $50 per month is cool. If you build 1,000 of those, that’s a lot of money every month. You can do that, and people have. What Pat did was sort of that plus he made it amazing, he had a bigger vision for it, and he ended up with something that makes 100 times more money a month.
That’s something to think about, exactly why that went down that way. How come Pat thinks so much bigger than some other people and what can you do to think big about the projects that you’re doing?
So that was Niche Site Duel 1.0, that has been well documented and you can go over to Pat’s website and find that. I think if you go to NicheSiteDuel.com it will take you to that.
For Niche Site Duel 2.0 Pat challenged people to do it again and he’s created an interaction area for that. This time Pat is thinking even bigger. Basically what Pat is saying, at least my interpretation, is if you’re going to go to all the trouble to build a niche website, you might as well build something that’s more like a business than just a way to collect money. You ought to build something that helps people. That’s very consistent with what I always talk about on the show.
He’s going huge, in my opinion, with this food truck site. He has imagined a niche where people really need some help, he thought about this for a long time and you can find out about this on the blog. He identified something that he was interested in where there was a big gap in the market and that was in the area of food trucks.
So he registered this website, FoodTruckr.com, and he has massive plans for this, not all of which he has revealed. Basically he’s going to try to create the best resource in the world, I think initially for people who own food trucks, but I am suspecting eventually this will also be a resource for people who are looking to buy stuff from food trucks – I don’t know.
He started out with the keyword “food trucks for sale,” which was a great keyword. I did a little keyword research on food trucks just to see what was up and I found something on the order of 2,000 long tail keywords in the food truck niche. There is some competitions in food trucks, there are some apps on iTunes, there’s stuff going on, but food trucks as a pretty cool thing are relatively new in the wild. Food trucks have been around for the last 100 years probably, when I was a kid we used to call them gut wagons and they would come to work sites and they would have really crummy food that you could buy, but at least you had food you could buy.
Food trucks have turned into a gourmet thing, I think born out of that idea that every once in awhile one of those food trucks would be totally awesome. So these people who want to be gourmet chefs, I think in general, and are really talented but don’t have the $500,000 in capital to start a restaurant can take $50,000 or $75,000 worth of capital and start a food truck and gain notarity, and there are a lot of advantages to that.
So that’s what’s going on with FoodTruckr.com.
I’ve gotten some feedback from some people that are totally intimidated by that idea. Let me emphasize, I don’t think it’s appropriate to be intimidated by Pat’s approach. In fact, Pat has been very clear about how he’s approaching. This is not a 75 hour a week project for Pat. I think this is something that almost anyone can do with a little thought and imagination. Still, I think the scope of this thing that Pat is doing is bigger than what a lot of people are thinking of or expecting when they think about the kinds of things they might want to do for the Niche Site Duel.
It’s actually true for me. If you look at me personally, I’ve got my day job and in addition to that I have a podcast that I’m trying to grow, and in addition to that I have affiliate websites that I maintain so that I’ll have something to talk about on the podcast, and then in addition to that I’d like to participate in the Niche Site Duel. So from my point of my view, any Niche Site Duel activity that I did would be fourth or fifth down on my list of very important things to do, but I still think it’s worthwhile.
So I got feedback, some of which we’ve talked about in previous episodes, of people who also for whatever reason, sometimes misguided, sometimes real reasons that are very valid, they want to take on something the size of a food truck. What they’re interested in is something that’s more of a formula, “If I do this then I’ll end up with a site.”
What they’re looking for is something like the Corn Sheller site, only maybe bigger with more income that could provide truly passive income for them. So I thought that’s what I’d try to do for Niche Site Duel 2.0. So here’s what we’re going to do and we’re going to talk about it on the podcast.
I’ve already started, so let’s talk about what the general plan is. My idea is I’m going to do this completely out in the open. I had already kind of started this when Pat announced Niche Site Duel 2.0. I had started working on it, but, like a lot of things in my life, I got distracted and I didn’t finish and I didn’t do even that much. So we’ll pick up where I left off, we’ll talk about what I’ve done already, and then we’ll see what we can do with this.
What I think you could choose to do for Niche Site Duel 2.0 and what we’re going to do is to think of a niche that is something that matters to you. I’m not going to use the word passion here, because passion is one of those loaded words that when you use it that word it conjures up ideas that this is your life’s calling and you have this burning desire inside of you to do this thing, and now that you’ve discovered that you’re an unstoppable force in the space. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m just talking about something that you’re interested in.
I’ll give you a list of things that you might consider. Things that you know that you need to do but that you’ve done. Things that you want to do that you’ve never done. Things that you’re curious about but you’ve never explored. Things you commonly help people with because you know how to do them, but they’re not necessarily your focus in life. Those kinds of things make really good niche topics, because you have enough peripheral interest in them that you can actually get enough focus and leverage over something to make a website.
My dad is interested in coins, so maybe a niche website on coins would be something for you. I like to scuba dive, but I don’t really do it all that often. I love to do it, but I don’t really spend all that much time thinking about it. Maybe if I built a website on scuba diving, maybe I would spend more time scuba diving. Those sorts of things.
I’m coaching little league baseball, maybe little league baseball is a place where we need some niche websites about how to coach kids to play baseball. Those exist, by the way, but it’s a great example because it’s something that I’m thinking about a lot. As long as I’m thinking about it, I might as well use that energy to build a website.
Taking that sort of approach for niche selection, this is not kind of approach a lot of people will teach you to go follow the money and find the money. Start off by trying to find something that you’re sort of interested in.
A lot of you know that I’m about six feet tall and I should weigh – well, if you read the charts that the government puts out, I should weight like 180 pounds. I’ve never weighed 180 pounds in my life, I think I was born at more than 180 pounds. I’m sort of a bigger guy. If you measure the size of my wrists they’re above average, so I’m not going to weigh 180 pounds, but I should weigh under 200 pounds. Right now I weigh about 245. If I weighed 200 pounds, that would be awesome and I would still be in the yellow for thee BMI chart that you look up on the internet, but my doctor would be really happy if I weighed 200 pounds instead of 245.
Just for round numbers, let’s say I need to lose 50 pounds. Let’s say I had a target weight of 195 pounds. That’s actually what I wish I weighed; I wish I weighed 195 pounds. The problem is that I’m not really that serious about it. Like most goals that people have that they don’t achieve, I’m more interested in sitting in front of the computer working on my internet business, I’m interested in eating great food, which I love, I’m interested in drinking Belgian beer. I’m just not interested in losing weight, I’m not very focused, I don’t get nearly enough exercise. I have lots of issues that I think are typical of middle-aged men who need to lose weight.
So a good niche website for me would be in the weight loss area, because I am interested in losing weight, I just don’t have the focus. Maybe having a website in that area would give me a little more accountability, keep it top of mind for me, and give me a little more focus. One of the reasons to build a niche website could be to help yourself achieve some goals.
I’ll tell you another thing that’s true about me. I’m into electronic gadgets, so one of the nicknames that I’ve picked up over the years at work is Gadget Man, because I often have the latest Apple gadget, the latest iPad, and I have all these goofy things in my office. I have a ball in my office called a Sphero, which is kind of like one of those balls that cats chase around with a tail on it. You put it on the floor, but this one is Bluetooth controlled and you can control it with your iPhone. You drive it around with your iPhone, so I’ll drive that around in the office.
So I’m into gadgets, I’m a podcaster, I build websites, I love technology, I’m a technologist by training, so I love electronics. One of the things that I’ve always been interested in are these electronic pedometers, like the FitBit. I was talking about the FitBit to my brother, who is an attorney in Austin. He told me he was going to go buy one and then three of four months I finally saw him again and he had lost 40 pounds. I was like, “Oh my god, how did you do that?” Well, he used the FitBit to do that.
Now, if you put the pieces together, I’m a guy who would like to lose 50 pounds, I have a brother that by now has lost 50 pounds with this thing called the FitBit, and I have a FitBit myself and I’m generally interested in these kinds of electronic gadgets. It’s obvious for me that what I need is a website about losing weight with a device like the FitBit.
If I was going to have a website like that, here’s what I would do. I would think about what I wanted that website to be about and I would do keyword research and try to determine whether or not there were enough people searching online to justify working on that kind of website. Weight loss in general is huge, it’s massively competitive, but it’s huge. The reason that it’s massively competitive is that there’s a lot of money to be made. FitBit is huge, there are tons of people online searching for and buying FitBits. There are lots of ways to be an affiliate for FitBit through Amazon and other programs, so monetizing is not a problem.
I would do that keyword research, which I did and we’ll talk about that in future episodes, there are plenty of keywords, there’s plenty of traffic. It’s a little bit on the competitive side, this is not one of those hidden niches that you go find that nobody else has found like the Corn Sheller where you can suddenly rank number one. But if I built a really strong website, I’m pretty sure that I could rank for long tail keywords in this niche.
What could a website like this be about? It could be about the FitBit, but that’s pretty specific. What I think it’s really about is if you take it up a notch, it’s about FitBit and other electronic devices that help you lose weight. That’s pretty broad. After doing some thinking and not a lot of heavy research, what I decided on is a website that’s about electronic pedometers.
I’m going to start by focusing on the FitBit, because that’s what’s incredibly popular right now, but there are several other devices like this. I actually expect Apple is going to come out with an Apple watch and some other things that are going to tie into this industry. There’s the Nike Fuel band, there’s lots of stuff like this. Right now I’m thinking FitBit, but I want the website to be broad enough that I can expand it to other products so that I can do product reviews and I can answer frequently asked questions.
Here’s the other thing. I can blog about my own personal weight loss journey. That gives me some kind of personal angle on this website that I can really connect with people like me who need to lose 50 pounds and they can see my example. I can have before and after pictures of my journey. I can talk about my struggles, I can talk about logging food, which you need to do with the FitBit and it’s kind of a pain. What do you do when you go to a restaurant and you don’t know exactly what’s in the food, how do you log that? There’s lots of search engine traffic over what the calories are for certain items.
There’s all kinds of opportunity for a website that’s about a guy who wants to talk about the latest in electronic pedometer technology, about walking for health, about tracking his own fitness journey, and talking about all that’s going on with that. That’s a lot of potential content.
So that’s what I’ve decided to do for Niche Site Duel 2.0. This is a lot smaller project, I’m talking about a website that, not including whatever personal blogging I end up doing about my own fitness journey, this website has 50 pages. It’s product reviews, it’s frequently asked questions about the products, it’s posts targeting particular keywords, it’s a 50 page website. It’s not a five page niche website, like we’ve talked about in the past, but it’s a 50 page website. That’s what we’re going to be doing for Niche Site Duel 2.0.
I’ve already registered a domain name for that and I’ve already put up the first piece of content. What we’re going to do is go back, look at the keyword research, use the domain that I’ve already registered, and I’m going to tell you about that in the next couple of episodes. We’re going to identify content that we want and because we’re busy people, you and I, we’re going to outsource that content. I’m going to talk to you about how I outsource it, we’re going to talk about the places that I use and the job orders that I write up, the exact language that I use to get the best writers.
We’re going to post that content, I’m going to involve my VA, and we’re going to talk about the instructions that I give my VA and what we use for the website, which templates, and how we do the graphics, and all that sort of stuff. We’re going to take your feedback and probably implement some of that feedback on the website as we go. And we’re going to do all of this over the next couple of months between now and springtime.
In the meantime, for my own selfish purposes, I’m going to try to start blogging on this website about getting down to 195 pounds. That will create content for the website. I’m probably going to do some video blogging as well, so that I can build up a YouTube channel for this website.
There is all kinds of stuff that we can talk about. Again, what I’m trying to do is create a project that’s in between the kind of impressive greatness of the Food Trucker website and the ease and not so impressive of the Corn Sheller website, so this is sort of the in between thing. The goal here is to completely reveal to all of you what goes on with this website and we can see whether or not we can do something amazing, see what it costs, and see whether or not it works, whether or not we’re smart enough to do this.
For backlinking we’ll use things like Rank Crew and other things that I’ve been interested in lately. We’ll just see if it works and we’ll be 100% completely transparent about it. You’ll find out that we’ll either make something amazing, make something sort of interesting, or make something that fails miserably. That’s the way these things always go, it’s going to be one of those three things. We’ll work through that all together and if it goes great, we’ll talk about what went great, and if it goes horribly wrong, we’ll talk about that too. We’ll be in full transparency mode, as we always here, on the Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast.
That’s my plan. We’ll start talking about that a little bit each week, or at least every other week. Next week what we’ll talk about probably is the keyword research that we need to do for that, how we did that, and what I decided about the keyword research, so you can kind of follow along. Then also in the next episode or two we’ll talk about how I selected the domain name and what things I considered when I was picking that domain name.
The other thing that we’ll need to talk about here is the content strategy for the website. I do not have time to write 20 or 30 pages about the FitBit, so we’re going to have to figure out exactly what to do in order to get some great content on this website to get rolling. That’s what’s coming up in the next few weeks. I hope that sounds good to you. We’ll keep you posted on the progress there.
Tech Tip of the Week – Revisiting HitTail
For the tech tip today I wanted to revisit a recommendation that I’ve made in the past, a tool that I was using, and give you an update in light of the new changes with Google search. Previously I’ve recommended the tool called HitTail.
What HitTail does is it watches the keywords that come into your website. You put a little script on your website and it keeps track of how people reach your site through search. It collects up those keywords and it does research on each and every keyword, and looks at the pages you’re ranking for those keywords, and recommends to you keywords that you should target with your website. It’s really cool for generating post ideas.
One of the really neat things about it is that integrates with Basecamp. So if it recommends to you that you should write a post on this kind of corn sheller, it will put that directly into Basecamp and then you can assign that task to your VA directly, or however you manage that kind of work in your workflow.
With all the changes in Google, a big chunk of that data is starting to go away. What I’ve seen is that the number of recommendations that I’m getting from HitTail are starting to go down. Actually, my use of HitTail has been a little less than what I anticipated, so I went over to my account to downgrade it from the level that I was at to the next lower level to save a few dollars every month. I didn’t cancel it, but I downgraded. When you change the level of your account you have an opportunity to contact support, so I did that and I asked them about this Google thing.
I asked them what they were doing. I wanted to understand if they felt like there was going to be a work around for this and try to understand whether or not their service was going to go away completely. I got a three stage answer that didn’t totally satisfy me, but I wanted to share it with you here since I had previously recommended the tool and I wanted to make sure that you were up to date on this.
The first thing they wanted to point out was that with changes to the Google Keyword Tool and the fact that there was less and less keyword information available, they make the point that each keyword they do find for you and provide is even more valuable than it used to be because these things are getting so hard to find. I’m not sure I understand their logic there. The issue that I have is that they just don’t have a lot of good data to work with and is the tool still going to be valuable. For me, that doesn’t really answer my question.
The second point they make is they’re still seeing keywords from between 10-50% of the total keyword traffic, depending on the niche. It’s not great, but it’s a lot better than zero. I totally agree with that. The question is will Google ever cut off 100% of the keyword data. I have a feeling that Google actually will do that. Their point is well taken, right now there is still enough signal coming through from Google that the HitTail service is still valuable. I agree with that, that’s why I kept it.
Then he makes the point that they don’t charge for keywords. They analyze a certain number of keywords every month and in your keyword quota they don’t charge you for anything that comes through as “not provided.” I didn’t actually know that, so that was good information and that’s good of them to do it that way. So you’re only getting charged for the keywords that actually do come through.
I still recommend this service. It’s not quite as magical as it used to be and we need to keep an eye on it in the future. It is really inexpensive at the lowest level, so I think it’s worth playing around with if you have a niche website and you’re looking to figure out what your next content should be about. HitTail is still something that I like to play with and I’m still using it myself. You can find it at LateNightIM.com/hittail.
Wrapping Things Up…
That wraps it for today. I hope you enjoyed this and I hope you’re excited about my Niche Site Duel 2.0 plans. We’re going to talk about this. Understand that we don’t know what will happen. A lot of people who talk about building websites and all the money you can make on the internet talk about their successes, they don’t talk about their failures.
I will tell you that I’ve built a lot of websites that for one reason or another went absolutely nowhere. A lot of times it was because I lost interest in them, but sometimes it was because even though I tried as hard as I could, I wasn’t able to find a way to make them profitable. Every niche marketer that I know has this experience. If you’re running into gurus that are telling that everything always works out great and it’s easy to make money on the internet every time and there’s never a failure, they’re just lying to you. Watch out for that.
We’re going to talk about this thing as it happens and we’ll tell the truth about it and reveal the statistics, all of that. It will be a lot of fun and hopefully we’ll all learn a lot from that project.
Until next week, we’ll talk to you soon.