NP News: Adthrive Rebrands as Raptive: What Does This Mean for Bloggers? + 2 Weird Niche Sites…

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More news from Google.

They’ve announced they’ll be removing the Page Experience report and mobile-friendly test from Search Console in the coming months.

So how will this affect you and what workarounds can you use instead?

We’ve got you covered!

In today’s episode of Niche Pursuits News, Spencer and Jared dive into all sorts of important developments in the world of online business and niche sites.

The guys discuss the recent Google algorithm update – which has impacted an estimated 40% of sites, including some non-review pages. And of course, they delve into Google’s decision to replace the page experience report and mobile-friendly test with a more holistic approach.

You’ll get some help on how to optimize your site for a great page experience, unraveling the confusion surrounding core web vitals, general page experience, Google Page, and speed insights.

Including some important pointers on which alternative tools can help with website audits.

Also important to site owners, AdThrive has rebranded as Raptive, shifting its focus to enterprise customers and possibly expanding into an influencer network.

Learn how this company has evolved over the years, from CafeMedia’s acquisition in 2016 to being acquired by private equity firm ZMC in 2018, and how it strives to meet the needs of creators and enterprise publishers.

Spencer also shares his experience running the Boston Marathon, and why it’s the most prestigious marathon in the US.

We also get a sneak peek into their exciting new projects. Spencer shares an update on his faceless YouTube channel’s monetization journey, while Jared discusses his newsletter.

Finally, we learn all about two unique niche sites: cockroachfacts.com and marathoninvestigation.com.

The former is a surprisingly well-developed site with a range of content on cockroaches, while the latter investigates and exposes marathon cheaters.

Overall, it’s another great episode, full of insights and pointers to help you stay on top of things and make the most of your marketing efforts.

Jared’s new YouTube video mentioned in episode.

Watch Full Episode

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Spencer: Hey everyone. Welcome back to Niche Pursuits News. I’m your host, Spencer Haws, and I have Jared Bauman with me. Jared, how you doing today? 

Jared: Very well, very well. Good to be here again, looking forward to this week’s and we got a bunch of news to cover as always. 

Spencer: We do indeed. Yep. It’s it’s been a good week for a lot of reasons.

There’s some interesting changes in the industry that we will talk about. But also on a personal note I ran the Boston Marathon on Monday, so just a few days ago. I was in Boston, ran the 120 seventh annual Boston Marathon. It’s, it was my third time to do it, and it was a great experience. It was, it was a lot of fun.

Boston knows how to get people out to support marathon runners. The crowds are large people are, you know, cheering y. So, had a great time. Had my whole family out there to cheer me on the last half mile. So anyways, it, it was a great experience. I enjoyed doing it. Why? 

Jared: And we were gonna talk about marathons later on today, by the way.

We, but why I, I was thinking about this before. I didn’t get a chance to ask you how it was so always good to get the update. But why is the Boston marathon’s considered like the biggest one, isn’t it? Why? 

Spencer: It is, yeah, pretty much. It is the most prestigious primarily because it is the longest, well, two reason, it’s the longest running marathon in the United States.

127 years. Yep. Right. So 1896, I think. It’s been running annually. So for that reason it’s, you know, historic. And then the other one is, it has qualification times to be able to run it. You have to be, you have to run another marathon fast. To be allowed to run the Boston Marathon. So it’s prestigious in that, that regard.

People worked for many years to try and qualify and get in. I was one of those, worked for many, many years to try and get in. And, and so I did, I qualified three times and, and just ran it. So that’s the, the two main things. And then, Boston’s just a cool city, man. They, they shut down the city for Patriots Day.

It’s a holiday, a pay to holiday for many of the employees there in town. So they all come out and watch the marathon. And of course you get all the elite runners that are out there. Elliot Kipchoge ran the marathon. He’s the. Probably greatest marathoner of all time. He was expected to win, but did not got sixth place.

Anyways, for those that know and understand marathons, so lots of reasons. Boston Marathon is just a cool experience, so cool. Very cool. Yeah. So we won’t, I, you know, I could spend an hour talking about marathons, but I know the people listening to this are not marathon runners for the most part. So let’s, let’s chat other business news, shall we?

Let’s get into it. Yeah. And so sort of the, I think what will be our biggest story of the week is that AdThrive has evolved a little bit and changed their name to riv. So Adri and Cafe Media are now raptor riv.com. Is the big change and you know, this is pretty new. Was it just either yesterday or the day before maybe?

Yeah, something like 

Jared: that. Monday or Monday or Tuesday. They’ve been teasing it for a little while. If you’re. You know, an adri or a rap member, whatever, if you have a website with them, they’ve kind of been saying something big’s coming. I think it was April 18th, as I look here in my email, so Tuesday it looks 

Spencer: like.

Right. And so I am gonna try and just share, you know, they did a big news release, PR news wire here and kind of reading through this. You try to, we’re we’re trying to tease out why did they make this change and, and how does that, Ad Thrive customers or ad thrive advertisers, right? For everybody listening to this podcast.

And if, if as I read through this they mention the word sort of enterprise, they’re making a lot of changes to kind of meet the needs of enterprise customers. It. It’s, it’s sort of vague, right? It says, Hey, we’ve evolved. I’ll, I’ll read the quote from the ceo. He says, our company has evolved while we remain the largest ad management company and continue to invest significantly in ads.

We’ve expanded our services and solutions to match the needs of the creators and enterprise publishers. We serve our new brand. Raptor reflects that transformation. It positions us best. Us to best support our creators now and in the future. And it unlocks a first of its kind opportunity for advertising partners to connect with our amazing creators, to create impactable content, exciting experiences, engaging media solutions, and more creators are the future of media, and Raptor provides access to the best.

So it says a lot without saying a lot, that’s a good way to put it in. And if I recall, at some point here, they basically say May something, May 1st, maybe May 3rd. Here it is Wednesday, May 3rd. They’re gonna sort of announce what a lot of these real changes are. And so reading between the lines, here’s just my first.

Instinct is that okay? They are positioning well for enterprise. And if you go to riv.com, which I’ll share this new tab, it’s brand new website, new look, new field. If you go to riv.com, I don’t know if you can see it, but if I hover over my tab, the very first word, sort of the meta-description of riv.com is enterprise Daptive.

Right? And so they clearly are going after enterprise customers, right? They’re. Growing. And then the other thing is they’re, they’re making some changes and, and some of the wording and phrasing makes it sound like they are becoming like an influencer network as well. So they’ve got the ad. So I think that they’re gonna bring in some of this influencer.

Sponsorship Opportunity Network as well between enterprise customers and creators probably. Right? So enterprise customers can connect with all the bloggers to pay for sponsored posts to run media packages, right? Social media promotions, other types of promotions, right? In addition to ads. That’s, that’s sort of my reading, my take on this.

I don’t know. Jared, what do you think on some of this? Yeah, 

Jared: would. Man, there’s so much to kind of dig into here. Most of it, all of it’s speculative cuz the, the, the news release was pretty vanilla, you know? Sure. Kind of more of a, of a, it’s almost like a branding relaunch at this point with Yes.

Details to come further. I mean, I, one thing I found fascinating I’d like to get your take on is I, when I spend a little bit of time looking at this, I, I hadn’t really realized the connect. Between Adri, cafe Media, the history there you know, we’re, we’re kind of used to, in our world, it’s adri, that’s what we know it as, but yet we all kind of ubiquitously know a bit.

We always see at the bottom a cafe media company or a cafe media brand or whatever it is they say. I’ve never really thought about the relationship between Cafe Media and Adri. If you dig into it, I know you did as well. Cafe Media acquired Adri a while. And then there’s been some 

Spencer: I’m gonna share oh yeah, there it, they give some details, right?

What are they? Yeah, 

Jared: what? Walk through that. I don’t have that page in front of me, but 

Spencer: Yeah, it’s yeah. So let’s actually go back to, to Adri. So Adri was acquired by Cafe Media and that was in 2016. Okay. Right. And so Adri was. You know, their description here is a lifestyle, digital publishing and ad monetization.

Right? They’re the ad network, the, the adri that we all know and understand, right? Cafe Media acquired Adri in 2016. Cafe Media is the world’s largest ad management service. I don’t know exactly other than maybe they are some of the ad tech behind Adri a little bit, and they sort of married and joined forces.

Unfortunately, I, somebody you. That knows this history a little bit more. And the difference between Cafe Media and Adri could, could speak to that. But they joined forces in 2016 or Cafe Media, you know, acquired Adri. And then Cafe Media was acquired by Z M C in, I believe it was 2018. And I remember I saw that somewhere.

I may not find that right now. And they’re 

Jared: basically like a venture capital 

Spencer: firm. Yeah, they are a private equity firm. Private equity. Okay. Yeah. In 2018 here, I did find it ZMC acquired Cafe Media for an undisclosed amount, right? And so, yeah, it’s a private equity company that is, is quite large, right?

They’ve had 10 acquisitions, nine investments, two exits right. And so we don’t know How large you know of a company it is, but here’s some of the companies that Zmc owns. Mm-hmm. Adri or Tive just being one of these. 

Jared: Right. So I think that’ll play into some of the things maybe we’ll get to in a little bit that history.

I think it might be important that. People kind of hear that history because I hadn’t connected those dots. And we’ll, we’ll get into that a little bit. Yeah. Another thing I think is interesting is, is you really did zero in on the enterprise, and that wasn’t something that AdThrive previously was known for, or at least positioned themselves on.

As a matter of fact, you know, I think we always kind of thought about Adri and Mediavine targeting very similar kind of clientele and there’s so much debate about which one’s better, which one, you know, if I’m a food blogger, which one should I go if I’m a lifestyle, that kind of thing. It seems like with this they might be, here’s a, here’s the analogy I think of.

For a long time a company like a Market Muse has been the enterprise solution for on page optimization efforts. And then we had the introduction of a company like Surfer that came in and provided a lot of what Market Muse historically would do, but we, bloggers couldn’t afford. They provided that at a level, a price point that we could afford.

Now granted, it’s not affordable until you have some measure amount of traffic, and so then we also saw a lot of. Other I don’t wanna say knockoffs, but kind of similar type feature brands, like a phrase for example, that would pop up and be a much cheaper alternative we see on AppSu stuff. And it’s almost like phrase was positioning themselves for the entry level market for surfers, certainly for an intermediate market.

And, and Market Muse was always the. The, the enterprise solution, man, I feel like maybe we’re gonna see that develop in the ad management market where we talked about Azo a lot last week and how awesome they are. They have no specifically for entry level blogs, they have no traffic requirements. If AD Thrive, now RIV is positioned themselves as this enterprise solution.

Does Media Vines slot in is that kind of middle ground solution that, that, that would fit the needs of a lot of blog? That aren’t enterprise yet, but, so anyways I’m rambling, but it’s, it’s interesting to kind of walk down that path a bit and see as the positioning develops in the market, matures.

Spencer: Yeah, I think it is clearly a positioning play and we saw a response from Media Vine. Okay. That, that dovetails very well in into what you’re saying here. So Adri feels like they’re kind of going up market, they’re, they’re expanding their services and they’re embracing enterprise customers trying to reach more enterprise customers.

I mean, we can clearly see that with the new website here, they’ve got a whole, you know, enterprise, you only have two options. Creators, enterprise, or you know, login. Or apply. Right. And so on the other hand and I saw this, I’m in the Media Vine Facebook group and the CEO of Media Vine posted basically, Hey, there’s been a ton of news in the industry, although he didn’t reference AdThrive clearly.

That’s what his post was in response to. And he wrote a blog post called and I’ll share this now called We Are Still Media. And that, that’s all it’s titled. Again, he does not mention, Adri does not mention any of the tive or any specific changes, but it clearly is in response to these changes.

Right? And he basically says, Hey, we are still kind of an advocate of the blogger. We are. We still answer to you, our publishers, and he goes on to say, Hey, we we’re not answering to shareholders, to investors. We’re not part of a, a publicly traded company. We’re not part of a private equity firm, right?

We’re not answering to the board. We are just a privately held small company. And you know, here he’s saying, you know, we’re not, we’re not controlled by a board or shareholders or specific metrics like ebitda. Our roadmap is in our hands. And so he’s trying to position the media vine as, Hey, we are the advocate of the bloggers.

We are here to best meet your needs. We’re not answering, you know, to, to some big shareholder that is just trying to get us to, to increase our bottom line more. Even if that means abandoning potentially some smaller bloggers so we can go after enterprise customers. Yep. So this. All sort of speculation, but it appears that the blog post and the evidence sort of, that’s what’s happening in the positioning of the market that Mediavine is.

Clearly trying to position themselves of, Hey, we’re sort of in this ground of, we support bloggers. We you know, we advocate for bloggers, we have great customer support. We’ve got these additional products like Grow and our own video player that, that support these bloggers. And it appears that Adri is positioning themselves of.

We now have more products and services for enterprise customers. So, so I think you’re, you’re about right that, hey, we’ve got like an ezoic that has no page view requirement, right? Which, 

Jared: that was a movement down market from them or the last couple years, and we talked about that last week. It used to be, I don’t know, 10,000 I feel like.

So that 

Spencer: was down market. That is exactly right. And then Mediavine are they still at 50,000? 

Jared: I think so. Maybe it went up a 

Spencer: little bit. 50,000 to a hundred thousand? Depends. I think it’s 

50 

Spencer: roughly. Yeah. As the entry level. Yeah. And then, and then Adri now is I mean they’ve always had the a hundred thousand traffic requirement.

Do we see 

Jared: that go up? You know, do we see that 

Spencer: go up? But did we see that go up and, and do they feel like, Hey, we’re gonna expand and make so much more money from enterprise customers, this new influencer network that I’m, you know, I’m creating out of thin air trying to read between the lines that I think there’s going to be this influencer opportunity.

So we’ll see. It’s interesting. It certainly feels like that’s the positioning that these three companies are making. 

Jared: Couldn’t agree more. I, you know, one note on that, I know both being. Having websites with both AD Thrive and Media Vine and just talking with other people. I know for a fact Media Vine, and I believe Ad Thrive as well.

They have some offerings in there about influencers, like, Hey, get connected with brands. I don’t get the impression that it’s very successful for most people that I talk to, speculating, but most of, most of the people I, I, I talk with don’t really get much from that. If they. Say a big media bundle where they do a sponsored post and a video and these kinds of things, they tend to get it on their own relationships.

And we know influencer marketing is huge and being used by a lot of brands. So I can see that being a play where they, an ad thrive wants to say, man, how do we crack this? How do we crack the proverbial nut here? How do we get our publishers, these types of opportunities? And then take a little piece of that.

That’s probably a pretty big market opportu. 

Spencer: Yeah. Yeah, I think it is. And so is it smart business for them? You know, maybe so, you know, maybe they’re gonna grow the bottom line. Is it does it change things for, you know, sort of call it the mid-level blogger? I, I, I don’t know that either. Right. And so, so it is a change, something to keep your eye on and just be aware of.

Adri is now Tive appearing to expand offerings. We’ll find out exactly what that is. May 3rd it looks like. So maybe, 

Jared: we’ll, maybe we’ll talk about that on that week’s on that week’s niche 

Spencer: person, I’m sure we will. I’m sure we will. So I think that’s all that I have to say about that. Right.

Great. You know, interesting to see media v’s. Response to that as well. So, so fun and interesting times. So our next subject that we are gonna talk about here is Let’s, let’s touch on the recent Google update. Last week we talked about the Google Reviews update. It’s no longer just the Google product reviews update, right?

It’s all types of reviews. And so I put a small poll out on Twitter asking my audience, and I just did that last night before I went to bed. So it needs a little bit more data maybe, but I’ve got 156 responses. Let me share my I basically asked my audience, Hey, what changes have you seen to your traffic in the last week?

It’s been a about a week since the. Google reviews algorithm update happened. What are you seeing? So about 16% of people are saying that traffic is up more than 10%, and 58% are saying no major changes. They’re not seeing much. And 25, 20 6% are saying that traffic is down. More than 10%, and we’ve got a few comments here, but not, not a ton of insights necessarily on the types of sites or anything like that, but we can clearly see that, hey, there are some changes.

You know, that’s, that’s an impact for, you know, about 40% of sites are either up more than 10% or down more than 10. 

Jared: It’s it, it obviously probably still has about a week to go. These updates seem to take two weeks. Now, I don’t know why that is or how they’ve landed on that, but the rollouts tend to take two weeks.

We, you know, we probably said it here before, but this could all change. Sometimes they’ll, you know, roll something out and then reverse it or, or something like that. But it doesn’t seem to have had much of an. As other updates. Certainly, although I have seen several people talking about how they don’t, they’ve seen dramatic changes in traffic on articles that have nothing to do with a review.

Spencer: Yeah, that’s very interesting. 

Jared: And you know, there could be a lot of different theories behind that. But I, I do think that’s interesting. I thought I’d at least point that out. You know, last week we said, Hey, you know, the, the update’s just starting. Go check some. Are articles that are, that are review focused, you know, to maybe take a look at the top trafficked ones you have on your site and see if there’s been any changes.

Maybe actually look across your whole website if to see if you’ve had some big changes across, not review non review pages. So that, that’s an interesting tidbit there. We’ll see if that, if that carries through the whole update. 

Spencer: Right, because they’re clearly trying to expand their definition of product review to be all, all types of reviews.

Right. I think they even mentioned in their, in their release sort of reviews of like hotels or travel related things. At least I know I talked with one person that owns a, some, something similar to that. Not exactly travel. Talk about their niche specifically, but had mentioned that, hey, this is not a product review, but is like, it has review elements in it.

And some of those articles were impacted, they were seeing a downtrend on, on some of those articles. And so Google has sort of applied this similar algorithm to a, a broader. Set of articles, types of content, and so if you’re seeing that impact, reach out to us. Let us know. Respond on the Twitter thread.

We’d love to see what’s happening for your sites. Like Jared said, there’s probably another week or so before it’s finished rolling out, and maybe we’ll have a little bit more. Specific data that we can look at in terms of types of content that were hit. But maybe it’s kind of wide across the board.

Maybe this product reviews update or this reviews update is reaching into things that aren’t really reviews a little bit tangentially. So interesting to look at for sure. Oh, okay. So let’s let’s see. Jared, I think maybe you had one other sort of news. It. That maybe I’ll let you introduce and we can chat about here for a second.

Yeah. 

Yeah. 

Jared: I think there’s been a couple, I’ll say smaller announcements in Google. This week. We love to talk about Google on this, on this podcast. And by the way Spencer, this might be the first one that we are not gonna address ai. At least it’s not on the agenda. 

Spencer: Wow. I didn’t even think about that.

That just occurred here right now. Yeah. The, of the four or five episodes we’ve done, AI has had a center stage. So it has, it has a list. Give people a break. 

Jared: Yeah. Yeah. Get the cool off. Cool. The jets there for, for just one week. But anyways, I digress. Google has come out and said that the page experience report is going away in Google Search Console.

And now the, they didn’t say to my knowledge when that was going. Core web vitals will remain in Google search console. HTTPS report will remain. And the mobile the mobile friendly test is also going away. And so interesting. Yeah, I know like it’s very, it’s very odd that the mobile friendly test is going away because they even said that doesn’t mean mobile usability isn’t important for success with Google search.

It is. But they didn’t really tell us why this is now better for us. The page experience report is going away and I think that it’s gonna change. I guess that’s probably the best way to put it. They’re removing the existing page experience report and replacing it with content around quote unquote, what Google thinks is a good page experience.

This change will happen in the coming months. I’ll read the line that they gave. The page experience report was intended as a general guidepost to some metrics that. Good page experience, but not as a comprehensive assessment of all the different aspects. Those seeking to provide a good page experience should take a holistic approach, including following some of our self-assessment questions covered on understanding page experience in Google search results page.

And, and we’ve talked about those before. You know, those are like, Do your pages have good core web vitals? Are they secure, you know, https does it display well for mobile devices? So it’s, it’s ironic. I, I’m, I’m not surprised, but Google is basically removing some reports, but then also providing at the same time this update that says that helpful content should have a good page experience.

And they also announced that this week, right? Google’s core ranking systems, and I, I’m quoting them look to reward content that provides a good page experience odd because you just took that report away. Anyways, site owners seeking to be successful with our systems should not focus on only one or two aspects of page experience.

Instead, check if you’re providing an overall great experience across many aspects. So confusing times. I’ve gotta be honest. I mean, yeah. I will say that there’s with clients at our agency, like there is confusion amongst clients between the core web vital. The general page experience, the general Google Page, speed insights, and the core web vitals.

So I could see how streamlining some of these singular reports, they give you the ability of, and maybe maybe moving towards a more streamlined and holistic approach would be effective. I’ll be honest. So the timing is odd that in one announcement, You say helpful content must have now good page experience.

And then in the same week you announced the helpful, or sorry, the page experience report is going to go away. That’s a bit odd. I, 

Spencer: I sometimes wonder if these changes happen because Google’s such a large company, two different departments. Two different departments, employees not talking to each other.

Right. Teams not knowing what the other team is doing. And it’s like Google Search console team is like, ah, we’re gonna remove this, you know, report at the same time. You know, another team’s announcing this big thing, you know, I wonder if there’s some of that that goes on. It would be nice if they talked to each other a little more to, to make that a smoother transition.

But yeah, it, it, it is interesting. Little bit of changes. And they had a list of am I on the right page here? They had a list of questions to ask yourself or, or to ask about your website to make sure that you are having a have a good page experience. Yeah. You wanna. 

Jared: Develop Google Developer page there.

And I can read through them if you don’t have the tab. Yeah, maybe, maybe 

Spencer: read through those cuz I, I don’t think I pulled up the tab. Yeah, no problem. So ahead of time. So 

Jared: they, they basically said, Hey, helpful content. Must have a good experience. Answer these questions for your website. And so I’ll just read ’em out loud.

Do pages have good core web vitals? Our pages served in a secure fashion. Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them? Does the content lack an excessive amount of ads that distract firm interfere with the main content? Do pages lack intrusive interstitials? How easily can visitors navigate to or locate the main content of your pages?

And finally, is the page design so visitors can easily distinguish the main content from other content on your site. 

Spencer: Yeah, so that’s a list of questions that people can go through and ask about their own sites to make sure that they’re providing a good page experience. I mean, I think it’s things that we probably all know, but it’s good to check in and, and you know, review from time to time.

It’d be nice if, if maybe there was a report that, you know, did that for us. But and there are, there’s lots of tools out there that, you know, lots of auditing tools. What, what are some of your favorite auditing tools Jared to kind of look at websites and figure out if, if there is a good page experience for a particular website?

Yeah. 

Jared: I mean, our two go-tos are still ahs along with screaming. You know, screaming Frog is a little bit more of a kinda like intense type of audit tool, but it the type of stuff that it gives you is absolutely fantastic. I, I’ve watched over the years, ah, rfs, you know, pull different types of things from that.

We’ll also generate a report that gives us a really good look at and it’s a shame because if you go into Google Search Console, that page experience report does have a lot of really valuable things that I, I do think that people should look. For their website. You don’t need an age refs. You don’t even need a a screaming frog to go in there and see things.

You know, if you go, I guess it’s not the page experience report, it’s a page report, but if you’re wanting to audit some of your content for these types of experiences, Go into Google Search Console and look at pages where they say are crawled but not indexed. So that’s a really clear indicator if you have a lot of pages there discovered, but currently not indexed duplicate content, server errors canonical tags.

So you can learn a lot from Google Search Console without needing some tools like an HFS and a screaming Frog, although those kind of pull the data together in a much more organized fashion. 

Spencer: Awesome. So let’s move on to our next segment here. Let’s move on to what we call shiny objects, shenanigans.

These are things that we’re working on this side, not the main focus of our business. You know, maybe not the biggest revenue driver right now, but maybe it’ll be a nice new revenue stream down the. And so I’ll go first. I am gonna bounce back over to my faceless YouTube channel and so this is something that I’ve been sharing of course on the podcast.

Last time we mentioned that, hey, I had hit a thousand subscribers. And we could get monetized, we could submit our application to get approved for Google ads, sent Google ads on the channel. And so we did that. And it took I don’t remember. It was less than a week. Yeah, I think or close to a week where we got a response from Google.

And unfortunately it came back and said, after somebody has reviewed your application, you are reject. What for to, to, to be monetized that. Oh, yep, that’s right. So I’m sharing the drama here first. And I work with a partner on this. He’s, he’s the one that’s really doing all the work. He emailed me immediately and said, you know what?

Don’t worry about this. They’ve gotten a appeal process and you can appeal this. And as long as you document all your reasons of why, You are, you know, should be approved. You can get approved. And what I didn’t know is that they actually ask you to record a video and submit it. That’s showing why you should be approved.

You know what, what did the. What did they get wrong? And anyway, so you can appeal the process. And I was like, ah, okay, sure. If you really think that that’s gonna work. I mean, Google just overturning things. He’s like, don’t worry about it. So he did that. He appealed it. I believe it was within 24 hours we had a reversal.

What we got approved. It 

Jared: was crazy. Someone watched the video within 24. 

Spencer: It, it was within one or two days. You know, I’ve been traveling, so I’m a little fuzzy, but I, it was pretty quick. They, they watched it. We got approved and so our channel is monetized and it is making money now. So our. So, so interesting because if it were, honestly, if it were me and I saw that I didn’t get approved, I’d be like, yeah, I probably shouldn’t have got approved because, you know, it’s one of these, you know, you do kind of combine clips from other things and, but in, in their guidelines, we are definitely following their guidelines and we just had to point that out how we were following them.

So it’s been approved. So the very exciting numbers. I’m gonna be looking at this other screen because I’m not sharing publicly what my channel is just yet. This is maybe a little juvenile, but this is the case. We have made exactly $4 and 20 cents and today is April 20th. Hey so it’s interesting, you know.

Anyways we’ve made exactly $4 and 20 cents. The RPMs are super low right now, but it’s only been a couple of days. It’s $2 and 71 cents per 1000 views, so nothing super exciting. But that may change, right? I think we need to give it a few weeks to really see what our true RPM is going to be.

But it’s exciting. We’re, we’re up. We made our first, you know, almost five bucks and so now we’re gonna ramp. Any 

Jared: idea? I mean, I, I’m trying to pace it, but maybe just for people who are catching up for the first time, how, any idea how long it took from maybe first video creation to this point? How fast you guys got to the thousand subscribers, the, what is it, 4,000 watch hours, these two things I, roughly speaking or what you need to get qualified and then qualified and now earning money.

Spencer: Yeah, so it looks like we published our first video on February 1st and two and a half months. Believe it was early to mid-March. So month to month and a half later is when we hit a thousand subscribers, if I’m remembering correctly. Oh, no, you just hit ’em two weeks ago. Two weeks ago. Oh, so that would’ve been two months.

You’re right. Yeah, you’re right. Yeah. Yeah. So so that would’ve been about two months total to hit 

Jared: about two months to hit it, yeah. A week or two to 

Spencer: get through all the and then a week or two to get through the approval process and You know, we published gosh, I should have had the numbers, you know, pulled up.

But it’s something like 20 videos on the channel. And we, we’ve paused publishing. So our last video was published on April 3rd. And we’ve done this intentionally so that we could get to a thousand subscribers. We’ve published a bunch of short videos. We then removed all those shorts because you don’t make much money on those.

The, the only intention of the shorts was to get a thousand subscribers. So that’s kinda what we’ve been doing the last couple of weeks is getting those up, removing those, and now we’re gonna get back to creating our long form videos. And so our traffic and earnings should start increasing here over the next month.

So did, 

Jared: One more question. Did, did they give you a specific reason or even a general reason why your application wasn’t accepted? 

Spencer: They did, they did give reasons. It was sort of related to potential copyright issues. Like I said we do combine clips from other, like videos and if you, if you don’t sort of have any commentary or original content layered on top, You know, you can’t do that.

Yeah. And so we kind of had to prove that point that, hey, we have some original stuff going on here as well. So that, that was primarily what it was. 

Jared: Well, congratulations. I mean, yeah, I, I know I, I love this project because, and maybe not the exact intent of how you’re using it, although, although I love the case study, but I think a lot of us have in the back of our minds just what a faceless YouTube channel might be for our website, you know?

And. Not a primary revenue driver, but an add-on for something we’re already making money on as a brand and to expand that brand. I know. I’m very keen on watching along just to see what, what it looks like, what the process is, is, is also maybe looking at that as an opportunity. 

Spencer: Right. Yeah. And a lot of it, I think just comes down to hustle and just getting the content out there.

Right. 20 videos in. You know, whatever it is, two months, you know, that’s, that’s a, that’s a fair number. Right? Take some time. Take some time and some effort. As you well know, and we’ll transition here into what you’ve go got going on, because I know you published your very first YouTube video just today.

I think 

Jared: I, it, I, I was telling you before we started recording, it’s funny because without realizing it, having to come on here and talk about our shiny object gives a little bit of a. For something that normally doesn’t have deadlines. Shiny objects for most people, they don’t have deadlines. You get to ’em when you can.

Yep. Most of ’em fizzle out. Some work out, but it’s like a little mini deadline. So, yeah, I arrived right at the right before the podcast started recording today. We got that first. Video that I’ve been talking about published, and again, for those who are catching up for the first time I’m trying to start a newsletter.

Send one email a week committing to that and grow a newsletter for the SEO community. And then I took one of the more popular. Emails that we sent out and we made a video out of it. And and there it is, I’m sure. 

Spencer: And there, it’s on the screen now, so 

Jared: Yep. It’s on the screen. Oh, there it is.

Yeah, it’s on the screen right now. And so, you know, did not just simple recording, but, you know, got it edited went out and found tested some different people and got these different things put together. A video that’s a little bit more edited and polished for YouTube. We’re gonna embed that in the blog post, which I’m gonna talk about in a second.

So yeah, landed on a great video editor. We went back and forth for about a week there. And I think, you know, it’s 11 minutes. It’s a little longer, but, you know, we gotta, I think we’re trying to shoot for five to seven minutes on these videos, but, I, I, I, I waffled too long in, in, in, in the videos I created.

So the poor editor could only do what they could do. But I think we’re gonna move forward now on doing more of these because we’ve, we’ve kind of landed on a good process. Yeah. 

Spencer: Yep. And that’s the thing. It does take a while to figure out the process to kind of get the studio and the audio and everything set up just right.

Although I think you’re probably ahead of the game because you record the podcast that helps. You’ve got the lighting and the microphone and everything already, but that can take some time. And then, yeah, figuring out the editing process and, and, and everything. So congrats on getting your first video out there.

People can go over and, and watch that one if they want. And you’re continuing of course with the weekly newsletter. So 

Jared: Yep. Weekly newsletters going out. We’re gonna send one out here in a little bit. And so I think we’re on week six of that. We’re nearing, we’re fast approaching a thousand subscribers, so absolutely.

I think we’re right around 900, right under 900 or so, so we’ll see. That might be a milestone to celebrate coming up here. If we could break a thousand. So subscribers. I think so. It’s just kind of a vanity metric. I don’t get to monetize with that sense, like on YouTube, but, you know, still a nice number to shoot for and feel good about.

Spencer: Yeah. That’s good. Yeah. Hitting a thousand subscribers with a a newsletter is definitely something to celebrate. And so yeah, con congrats on that. I know you’re working hard on the newsletter and so yeah, we’ll keep sharing some updates as far as that is concerned. 

Jared: Now once I hit a thousand, I’ll share a couple of future goals I have for it at that.

Nice little tease for people to stay tuned in coming weeks. 

Spencer: Yep. I guess that means you’re committing to continuing to do it. So some added pressure from podcast listeners so you can keep putting in the effort behind that newsletter as well. So now to my favorite segment of the show, we are at one weird niche.

This is. Each of us are gonna share one weird niche site that we’ve come across in the past week or so. And I don’t know, do you wanna go first or do you want me to jump in? Either way is fine with me. 

Jared: Your call, I’m ready to go. If you want to if you want to talk about if you wanna talk about a subject that most people do not want to talk about, 

Spencer: let’s, let’s do it.

Let’s let’s have you go first and share your nice little find here with us. Perfect. 

Jared: So today’s, and I will say Spencer, I did lean on the Niche pursuits community for this one. So I took a page outta your playbook. You’re forgiven. I didn’t have to ask. Somebody reached out to me and said, Jared this is a great one.

So shout out to Al. And I have to admit, I think this is a fun one because people don’t really wanna talk about this. Talk about weird niches. Cockroaches, we are talking all about cockroaches today. 

Spencer: I love it. Cockroach facts.com. Oh, man. Yeah. Take us through this. Yeah, 

Jared: if, if you might, you might be glad you’re listening on the podcast today, because what we have in front of us are some very close up images of cockroach.

If you’re a bit squeamish, you might want to turn away. We gotta pop up with cockroaches. I mean, it’s just cockroach heaven here. Get it all. So this is a website that unlike a lot of the websites we’ve been talking about thus far, and that’s why I wanted to talk about this one actually. Is this one’s really more developed out as a traditional website that a, like a typical listener might do.

It’s a nice theme. It’s organized nicely. The articles from all intents and purposes from a quick glance look really well done. You know this looks like the type of website that I might. When you know, somebody in our, in our circle of people that we know sends over, right? It is it’s been around for a little while but let me see some of the stats here.

We have, it’s a DR 39. There’s about 111 pages on it. According to H Refs again, H Refs gives an estimated traffic of 75,000 monthly visitors. Nice. And let’s see here. A couple other things I wanted to highlight. So if you wanna navigate over to the about page there again, like what we’ve been talking about in so many of the niches, the weird niches we look at is how just underdeveloped these things are.

These. This is very developed. I mean, when you think cockroaches, I don’t know if you would think of an about page. This well built out, they feature scientists on their webpage that are editors with PhDs. I mean, I don’t, you can’t get a PhD in cockroach that I know of, but. Clearly they’re experts in something related to the science of it.

And you know, obviously we know like there’s a play to Google for E E A T. Sure. You know, and I, I, you know, I don’t know if it’s just that or if these people are really actually that involved, but I, I thought that is really interesting to see. Spencer, you’ll, you’ll be pleased to see this if you just go to pretty much any blog, any post there.

Although I did provide one of the notes, if you wanna pull that up, like they have some great internal linking. I, I think. A dead-on ringer for for a potential link whisper customer. You might wanna look them up. Cuz they do a great job. They make custom graphics for almost every single one. So anyways, yeah, I think all around a weird niche that’s being done 

Spencer: very well.

Yeah, it is. And you know, I had, I had to catch myself from chuckling too loud as you were talking there because I, I look at some of the topics and I’m trying to understand what this means exactly, cockroaches for kids. I mean, that’s one of their menu items. I, I, I don’t know what that means exactly.

Right. It’s, it’s a whole category. I mean, I guess. How to draw a cockroach nim, how to draw a cockroach lifecycle. I guess that’s kid related. So why would Pokemons never have existed without insects? Okay, that’s a fascinating article. I’m sure the Madagascar hissing cockroach, so they’ve got a whole kid section, right?

You can, you can do your artwork. And then roach free recipes. What does that mean? I saw 

Jared: that, and I have to admit, I didn’t even click on it. I was like, boy, you know, I’m hitting the edges of my cockroach. A 

Spencer: simple five step guide for getting rid of cockroaches. So it’s a recipe, I guess, for getting rid of cockroaches is what it is.

Not food related. At least I hope not. I was 

Jared: wondering if maybe it was stuff you can, you know, like all natural home remedies to get rid of them. Like maybe if you make like a lemon syrup at, you know, attract them or, you know, gets rid of them or something. 

Spencer: I don’t know. I mean, I’m sure at least one of our listeners is fascinated enough they can read up on all the recipes the roach free recipes and can maybe fill us in.

But yeah, getting cockroaches out of your car. 

Jared: So we have an upcoming interview that I’ve already recorded, but it has not gone live yet. I, okay. That’s gonna release very, very soon. I say very soon. I don’t even know the schedule. That’s that’s your, that’s your ballgame. But I did record this interview and it’s with someone who started a very prominent pest website and talked through a lot of the ways that he made a lot of money on this.

One of them was through selling pest products as an affiliate. Another one was through recommending local exterminators in the area and getting paid per lead. And so as I look at this website, obviously it got a very heavy ad play. I didn’t see who the ads are, but they look like one of the ad management companies we’ve probably talked about earlier today.

Yeah. But I mean, so much opportunity if you’re searching for how to get rid of cockroach, I’m imagining most people searching about cockroaches or searching about how to get rid of ’em in some capacity. Like so many opportunities for affiliate and lead gen on this website. And little t Stay tuned because we got a great episode coming out about this 

Spencer: this space.

I love it, man. We’ve got so many hooks to keep people coming back. We, we don’t plan this stuff. It just falls in our lap, guys. This is, this is awesome. So anyways, so I, I also will share I’m over on SimilarWeb, right? That, that shows total traffic as well. So they show that, hey, this website’s probably getting 101,000 visitors a month.

And you can kind of see traffic sources and engagement where it’s coming from. I have to imagine that I don’t know when’s pest season, it’s when it warms up, right? So probably things are gonna just, cockroaches are gonna start coming out the woodwork here April, may, June, I think is gonna be the fun time for cockroach facts.com.

Anyway, so. Good find. I love it. Gave me a a little chuckle on a couple of the articles, so that’s always means it was a good find for sure. So I’m gonna share one now. Yep. That is super relevant this week. This is one that I thought of mid podcast last week while we were recording. Those that were listening will remember that the light bulb moment went on and I said, ah, I know one, it’s related to running.

I ran the Boston Marathon and today I’m gonna, Marathon investigation.com. That’s right. Marathon investigation.com. This is an entire website where it’s run, I think by a single person. He writes all the articles where he. Investigates and researches marathon cheaters, people that maybe started the marathon and then halfway through took a bus to the finish line to get there faster, and he investigates and he calls ’em out and writes out articles and said, so-and-so cheated and hears all the evidence of how they did it.

It’s, this is one that I’ve been following along. I’m a fan on their Facebook page. Every article that they post, I probably read cause it pops up in my either feed or Google Discover or whatever. You know, like this recent one, Houston Bib, swapper Still’s age group win from 12 year old G Girl. So basically meaning that somebody else ran with somebody else’s number.

So this particular person ran with a 12 year old girl’s number and won the whole age group. The fastest 12 year old when this person is probably, you know, 30 or whatever. So Y and, and again, basically it comes down to cheaters. People wearing other people’s bibs, you know, cutting the course, all that sort of stuff.

Jared: I had no idea this was a was a thing. I mean, I learned all about bib swapping in the five minutes I, I looked to site over. I didn’t even know that was a thing. 

Spencer: That is a thing. And going back to the Boston Marathon, people do this because it’s prestigious to be able to get into the Boston Marathon.

And so what you do, some people have done is you, you buy a bib, a number under your own name, and then you get one of your fast friends. You say, Hey, I’ll pay you 50 bucks if you go run this marathon for me with my number, and then I can go run Boston and act like I’m super. Wow. So people do that and they, it 

Jared: makes sense if you’ve cried and where there’s yeah especially like, I mean, I running’s not my, my, my gift.

And, and I mean, I’ve had a friend recently who’s training for a half marathon, and he asked me if I wanted to do it, and I said, Nope. I can only imagine how good it’d feel to run a half marathon, but to run a full marathon, I mean, you know, of course if you didn’t run it, I don’t know how good it’d feel.

But I suppose the prestige of it is clearly driving. I mean, I’m looking, there’s over, there’s almost, there’s over 300 articles on this website. Gee. Yeah. Mm-hmm. 

Spencer: This is, yeah. This is a thing. No, it’s, it’s a thing. And you know, it, it is a very, very niche and it is a weird niche. But it’s so funny because I understand this niche so well, and, and I can understand some of the motivation.

You know, here’s an article about runner cot using Bib Mule in New York City to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Right? It, it’s prestigious. You get people that. I maybe don’t realize how hard a marathon is. Right. And they’ve shared leaning up to the marathon on social media, Hey, I’m gonna go run. You know, everybody follow along.

And then they get six miles in and like, Like, oh crap, this is, this is hard. And then they find a way to cheat, right? And they cut the course, or they get a ride, they take an Uber 10 miles up and so that they can post on social media after the race and say, oh, I ran it in this great time. Aren’t I fast?

Aren’t I great? And they get this sort of, this social, you know, accolades that they’re looking for. And so there are, you know, there’s some drivers for why people would try to cheat. And so this website calls ’em out, calls out the cheaters. It doesn’t get a ton of traffic from my, my search probably doesn’t make a ton of money.

It’s supported by ads. I actually think that this website could probably do a lot more. Yeah, he doesn’t post a ton. His last article is February 10th. Right. I think there’s a ton more that he could be posting and talking about to kind of be more in the gossipy running news niche that, that I would read and others would read.

But that’s my weird niche. I think it’s very relevant for this week, just being the week that I ran a marathon and kind of a fun one. Just outta 

Jared: curiosity, I mean, what types of, like what type of, you know, monetization angle would you go with on this? I mean, I wonder if it’s almost more of, I’m thinking out loud.

I think your classic like affiliate or ad play might not be the best way to monetize it. Yeah. 

Spencer: And that’s, that’s what they’re doing is they have an ad play right now. They ask for donations. You can see here as well. You know, I. If you were to go bigger if you built a large, like Facebook following or some social media following that would come back for these little obscure little tidbits, right?

Sort of gossipy things that happened like, oh, did you hear so-and-so ran this marathon? Or did you hear about this weird thing? I think you could get enough traffic to be monetized by ads. But then I would definitely build up the email list and then, you know, everybody on your email list is a runner and so that you could.

Expand from there. Either your own products or it is maybe an affiliate play with the best shoes or whatever, right? But you really need to kind of build the audience, whether email or social media, to get ’em coming back more and more frequently. 

Jared: Yeah. It it, it, I wonder, you know, there’s a big craze around communities on like a Patreon, you know, which obviously if you have your own website, you can kind of mimic a lot of those things with plugins and that sort of thing.

But this seems like a passionate community. If the author Derek, it looks like wanted to get more involved, you know, you could have a podcast, a newsletter, a YouTube channel, you know, interviews. I mean, you could really become much more than just a marathon gossip, although that might be enough alone to carry you there.

Right, 

Spencer: exactly. I mean, it’s clearly just a side project for this guy, but it’s one that I follow along and definitely a weird niche here that I don’t know if any of these cockroaches or marathon investigation sparks ideas for people out there, but that’s kind of the idea here, is just to see that there’s so many opportunities in so many obscure ways that you can build a website, you can monetize it, hopefully make some money.

And we’ve run across some that are. Quite large and can do quite well. So you never know how niche of an idea might be that actually can make good money. 

Jared: How about send marathon facts.com an ode to our cat facts reference a couple weeks 

Spencer: ago? You know, that one is always in the back of my mind of just.

Boy kind of combine the, the humor with like, the passion of the niche, right? I think you could go just about anywhere there, right? 30 

Jared: 30 marathon scandals in 30 days. 

Spencer: Yeah. I, you know, I, I would be fascinated if somebody signed me up where I got a text today about random, obscure facts or cheaters of marathons, right?

So, who knows? Somebody out there’s gonna, gonna do something like that, let us know. Yeah, true. Did we do it? Did we get through everything that we had planned here? Jared? 

Jared: We’re good to go. I think. You know, I think I mean, we, we left some things off the list, which is always a good sign. You know, I mean, we kind of have to, okay, like what Spencer says, we do have a rough agenda, but we kind of just roll with it.

It’s a lot more open-ended than the classic interviews that you’ll get. On a Wednesday. So so yeah, I think it’s a good one when we have to leave some stuff off because we filled the time so. Well, that means there’s a 

Spencer: lot of news to cover. That’s right. There’s always happening. Always news. In the industry.

A lot of the ad news that we talked about, maybe we’ll talk about ad networks again next week. I don’t know. But there’s always weird niche sites to cover. I’ve got a whole spreadsheet now, so stay tuned for more of those. I got a backlog. And of course we’ll keep you posted on our sort of side projects.

That we have all the time. So I just want to thank everybody for listening in or watching to this week in Niche Pursuits News. If you wanna follow along with me and niche pursuits for more news, other content, go to niche pursuits.com/newsletter. And of course, if you wanna listen to Jared more often, you can go to two places.

One is just listen to the Niche Pursuits podcast, and then your newsletter is, where can people go for that, Jared? 

Jared: Oh yeah. Weekend growth.com/newsletter. Very good. 

Spencer: Thank you everybody for listening in, and thank you Jared, and have a great week. We’ll see you soon.

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