The Open AI Drama, New Google Features, the Best Black Friday Deals, and a Weird Cloud Niche Site
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Welcome back to another episode of the Niche Pursuits Podcast, where Spencer and Jared cover the latest news in SEO, AI, affiliate marketing, and content creation.
As always, there’s a lot that happened since the previous episode, and they talk about the best Black Friday deals, so don’t miss this one!
The first news story they cover was the major upheaval at OpenAI over the last few days. Essentially, the board ousted Sam Altman as its CEO due to a lack of confidence and trust in him.
This led to a whirlwind of events: other employees quit in solidarity, he was hired by Microsoft, and then the board at OpenAI changed course and hired him back.
Watch the Episode
What does this all mean and how will it eventually play out? How did Sam and Microsoft really fare in this debacle? And how does this ultimately impact content creators? Tune in to hear Spencer and Jared’s takeaways.
The next bit of news they cover is that Google is testing out a “Simple Search” function, which would allow users to filter their search queries and simplify them.
How exactly does it work? What does this mean for the Search Generative Experience? What is Google really doing as it implements all of these changes? And what does it mean for bloggers? Listen and find out.
The next topics are about shopping, which could not be more appropriate, since it is Black Friday after all.
Google is now using AI to help people shop for their holiday gifts. Spencer and Jared discuss how it works and show the demo. Essentially, AI will help refine gift categories and help people find exactly what they’re looking for. The new functions even let you virtually try on clothes!
In other shopping news, Amazon has announced that, on Black Friday, its Prime Video will feature shoppable ads, allowing users to scan QR codes to make “instant purchases” during the NFL game.
Speaking of shopping, as it’s Black Friday, Spencer and Jared forgo the usual Shiny Object Shenanigans portion of the podcast to share some of the biggest and best deals they’ve seen this season.
They talk about special discounts on Spencer’s tools, like Link Whisper and Rank Logic, as well as on Jared’s photography course. To save big on the best tools, check out the Niche Pursuits Black Friday Deals page!
As for this week’s Weird Niche Sites, Spencer goes first and reveals Rhyme Zone which, as the name suggests, identifies words that rhyme with your chosen word. The extensive results are organized by syllable. But what’s really shocking is how much traffic the site gets! It’s off the charts!
How is it monetized? And what could it do better to earn more from ads? Listen to the episode for all the details.
Jared’s site is a bit more whimsical: Cloud Appreciation Society. This weird site features everything from the cloud of the day and cloud of the month to a “Recent Clouds Spotted” section.
It also has a very cool UGC feature that Jared and Spencer discuss, as well as the possibility of buying a membership. Is this DR69 site ranking for a lot of keywords? How is it probably doing in terms of revenue?
And that brings us to the end of another episode! Hopefully, you feel like you’re in the loop and caught up on recent happenings with Google and SEO. See you next week for another jam-packed episode!
Spencer: Hey everyone. Welcome back to this week in niche pursuits news. I'm excited to introduce the news to you to cover some things that Jared and I are working on our weird niche sites and a whole lot more. So Jared, how are you doing today?
Jared: Very well, very well. I'm excited to talk about the news. I, you know, just kind of coming back from our company retreat.
I feel a little out of the Out of the, out of the loop here. So I had to kind of spend the morning refamiliarizing myself with what's going on in the news, but I'm ready to go.
Spencer: Yeah. Now you were gone over the weekend, weren't you? Because one of the biggest items, uh, news items happened over the weekend.
Uh, so, uh, maybe we'll jump right into that because this is one of the most bizarre sort of corporate. and CEO ousting that I've ever seen. Um, of course, everybody listening to this probably already knows it, but it was like such big news that we at least have to talk about it. Uh, open AI ousted Sam Altman.
Has the CEO of of Open AI the board did, and now the board was comprised of, I think, six members. Um, none of them are actually, um, stockholders or hold any stock in the company. Uh, so it's sort of this outside board that just said, you know what? We don't trust Sam. Uh, we're going to oust him as the CEO.
And I don't know that the full extent of all the details of reasons why we're given other than their comment of, um, they didn't feel like they could trust him. I can't remember the exact, uh, wording was. But essentially, um, lack
Jared: of transparency and candor, I think
Spencer: was there. You go, yeah, that that's right.
Uh, and you know, there was some rumors that Sam was going to start up another company or something and they got wind of it and that may have had something to do with it. Um, but, uh, that was on Saturday. Sunday, Saturday, Friday, I think
Jared: Friday, I kind of pin where I was and I was getting text messages while I'm out hiking.
Spencer: Yeah. So that was Friday and here we are by, uh, you know, basically by Tuesday, the next week, uh, Sam Altman is back as the CEO. Uh, there was so many, uh, complaints, uh, other people within open AI quit their jobs and said, we're leaving with Sam. We're out of here. And Microsoft of course, stepped in, uh, immediately and said, we want Sam, like Sam, like, we don't know what's going on, but we want to work with you.
Please come on, work on the Microsoft team will basically allow you to work on these AI projects that you. You know, want, want to work on and we'll make it happen. And so for a brief period, he was at Microsoft and like 500 team members from open AI signed a letter said, Hey, we're leaving as well. We're out of here.
And so the board and everybody reversed course, and now they. Have brought back Sam on a CEO of open AI. So if you missed all this news, open AI is back to kind of where it was. Right.
Jared: Let's see a couple of, I think this is really interesting for a couple of reasons. I think a lot of people will be interested by it.
I mean, we're not, uh, Spencer and I don't run companies that have, uh, boards of directors that govern us. And you know, we're not, uh, we don't have any equity back in our company. So a little bit out of, out of water here, but, but, um, the board got rid of. Uh, Sam and really because of a, it's a very mysterious sort of scenario, right?
They just kind of said lack of candor and they haven't really come clear about that even now to this day, but I think it's really interesting when you look at some of the details here. So Microsoft owns 49 percent of open AI. They do not own 50%. They do not own a controlling majority. They also don't have a seat on the board, right?
They have no seat on the board. And I believe from what I've read, that's because of the nature of AI and trying to keep this as a altruistic nonprofit sort of environment. We know that they've, the company has shifted from straight nonprofit to a very complicated sort of nonprofit sort of for profit structure.
So this was bound to happen. Microsoft sees tons of dollars on the table. I'm now projecting, but they see tons of dollars on the table and they see that open AI is really leading the charge in what is fast becoming the leading tech growth market. Going forward, which is AI, and they don't have a seat at the table.
They own it, but they don't have any controlling interest of it. So when Sam left, I'm curious, did they see an opportunity to basically say, cool, we'll just take Sam and all that he's doing and bring it inside of, uh, of Microsoft and bypass all this. And then I'm wondering what happened when Microsoft had to reverse course and almost give Sam back to open AI.
I'm curious now, do they at least get a seat at the board going forward? I'm just kind of curious how this all plays out. Cause this is all about. I mean money at the
Spencer: day, right? Oh yeah, absolutely. And that's what it sounds like. You know, reading the news is that Microsoft, there's definitely changes happening to the board from what I understand that's still playing out.
That is a big, yeah, several members are gone. Sam's going to get a seat at the board. It sounds like Microsoft's going to end up, um, with a seat. And, uh, we'll probably expand, um, a little bit as well. So, so we'll see where that all ends ends up. So when I say, uh, open AI is the same today as it was, you know, a few days ago.
Well, that's not really true. There's now, um, some different seats at the board who controls it and moving forward. Microsoft, it feels like has a little bit more power and it feels like Sam has a little bit more power. And so I can guarantee you that probably not anything crazy like this is going to happen again in the future without Sam and Microsoft being a part of that.
Jared: A lot of analogies were drawn to Steve jobs when he left Apple, got fired by Apple. Uh, and then 12 years later came back and led a resurgence and all that and true to the nature of AI and the fast moving pace that we, uh, that we live in with the world of AI and how fast things change. It didn't take 12 years to bring Sam back.
It only took.
Spencer: There you go. That's right. Everything's faster in the AI world, I guess. So how does this impact, uh, content content creators, right? We, we use open AI as bloggers. You know, the, these are tools that we're definitely, um, either using directly or a lot of other tools we use via API with the open AI.
Um. And so it's, it's fascinating to follow. Um, but any other insights on how you think this impacts us, uh, directly why this is so important to follow.
Jared: Well, I mean, if we take a step back and look at it, you know, the board of open AI seems to have been more in favor of a slower approach to AI, a more cautious approach.
Microsoft seems to have had the position of a more, um, advantageous or more accelerated approach to AI. I think now that the Microsoft. Sam side ended up winning this little, you know, tussle. We'll see a more accelerated version of a open AI and chat, you BT hitting the market, you know, maybe a little bit more ungoverned and I'm really reading into it here, but I think that that's clearly what Microsoft wanted out of all this.
That's why they brought Sam in when he got ousted. Um, you know, Sam doesn't just represent Sam, right? He represents. All of his contacts and all of his deep, deep, deep inner interactions with the investors and stuff. So I guess that's about the only other thing I think on a day to day basis, the opening, I just continues on as it is, you know, we just see a different board and different people write the paychecks.
Spencer: Yeah, exactly. I mean, it's super fascinating. Um, this company, well, the company's, um, older than a year, but chat GPT, the, the big breakthrough product is about a year old at this point. And so talk about things happening quickly, uh, that that's what's going on, right. Um, all constant changes and, uh, you know, Tools that are evolving and getting better and better every day that, uh, are making our jobs as bloggers, hopefully easier.
Um, but of course, as we've talked about, it impacts Google blogging, the content world in a whole number of
Jared: ways. Yeah, it's been a crazy month. I mean, you know, obviously, uh, opening. The week prior, you know, had a huge summit where they launched a ton of new things. They launched GPTs, right. Where we can all create our own GPTs.
And, and then this happened. I mean, it's been such a month in the world of open AI, uh, you know, specifically related to chat GPT, not even the large, the larger AI sense, just in the chat GPT world. So.
Spencer: Yeah, no, it's very exciting. Um, so let's go ahead and move on to our next couple of subjects here. We actually do have a couple of topics, of course, related to AI.
Um, but, uh, we are going, and I guess this next one kind of does, and I don't know, um, it's something called Google. Simple search, or at least something that's being tested out. Uh, and so search engine roundtable, um, recently had an article, uh, that, yeah, we've got pulled up here that, um, basically you have the ability to, it looks like click a button called, not click the simple search button, but it allows you to kind of filter your search query to simplify it, right?
So you might do a query and then it has some tabs underneath that. To click, um, looks like, I don't know, am I getting this right? You can click simple search and it kind of, uh, impacts the results that you're seeing.
Jared: I don't really understand a lot about it. I have not been able to replicate it, but I mean, I think what I have up in front is the article on search engine.
Uh, or SEO, you know, searching round table by Barry Schwartz. And, um, you know, I think he says it best. It may dumb down the search results when you want something more simple. Google shows the simple search. Um, and it, I mean, it, it just seems like, sorry, am I reading too far into this? But is it, is it just, um, is it another?
Strike against SGE and its success in the market right now.
Spencer: Uh, maybe so because yeah, as I understand it and a couple of people mentioned on twitter that it removes the SGE Results, right? If you click this simple search it then removes any SGE, uh results that may have been included. So um, and again, I
Jared: would Over the last six months, we've gone from a massive SGE window everywhere all the time, to a lot more queries that result in a very simplified or refined SGE window, to now potentially the ability to actually not even get an SGE window, but even Simplify the typical Google search.
Spencer: Yeah. You know, and I don't know if it's just because we've been covering the news here on this podcast every week, or Google really is trying to innovate and change search results faster than ever before, but I feel like there are so many experiments happening that I've never noticed this many in the past.
I mean, just last week we talked about, I think, three different things. We had notes and, and, you know, sort of personal perspectives and, um, you know, being able to follow. Uh, topics of interest. And now we've got this sort of simplified, the simple search, um, that's all happening. And so, so many things are being tested as partly a response.
I imagine to AI, right? They're trying to figure out, okay, when does SGE work? When does simple search work? When does personal perspectives work? Um, and we're seeing so much happening. It's, it's fascinating to me. I feel like it
Jared: used to be like. You'd see all these tweaks in, in search, but it would be, it would be like, Oh, the favicon is larger now, you know?
Right. Like, I'm used to seeing those kinds of tweaks, but not like, Oh, Hey, the very nature of the search engine result page as drastically shifted again for the fifth time this year.
Spencer: Yeah. It's like, they're trying to alter before. Like you said, it was like more about the layout of the page and things that happened, you know, it went from blue to
Jared: green or something.
Spencer: And now it's the nature of how you search. They're trying to. Change. It feels like, um, how we actually search. It's not just type in a box, but it's. Hey, type this query, click this button, maybe you'll get AI. Maybe you won't, maybe you'll see something you're interested in because you clicked the follow button at one point.
Um, so anyways, just, just fascinating. Another tidbit for people to be paying attention to. This is one of those
Jared: things that you and I spend so much time talking about. It's like, yeah, things were probably like my dad boots up the internet and he's like, Oh, that's, that's weird. It looks a little different today.
Yeah, let's just be, you know, whatever we spend hours talking about it.
Spencer: Oh, yeah. Well, in half these things that we talk about, the real world will never see these will all be Google test labs that we'll talk about for months and then they'll kill off simple search in a couple months, but such as life. So,
Jared: but again, just have to comment on it because that's what we do here.
Another strike against SGE, another small. And really more of a moral victory though for the blogger out there. Yeah,
Spencer: I think so. I agree with that So, um, so hopefully yeah, that's some some good news. I like I like that spin on that. Um, that's very good. So Um, and then sort of the next two topics that we have are gosh I mean, they're they're about shopping here.
We are we're at black friday season and you know I suppose I should have opened with that here on the podcast is that Happy Black Friday. Um, you know, we are releasing this episode. It will be Black Friday. And so hopefully everybody had a great Thanksgiving. Thanks for listening in on Black Friday. And, uh, we are actually going to be talking about several Black Friday deals.
you know, kind of coming up, we thought it would be fun to kind of share some of the best deals that are happening today that we're aware of. And so it just seems appropriate that we have a couple of topics related to shopping, um, that are, that are being released and tested right now. So, um, the first one is, uh, Google that you can get.
Generated gift ideas. So you've got this pulled as pulled up, uh, how, how does this work?
Jared: So, you know, I think we're all used to typing something like the, the analogy they give here is, uh, let's see great gifts for home cooks, but you'll now see a variety of subcategories. And so they kind of are basically allowing you to almost choose from popular.
Search queries inside of the main query. So kind of think seed keyword and then secondary keywords to then refine what you're looking for. Um, and they're using AI and SGE to, to kind of navigate this. So the idea is great gifts for home cooks, but then they're saying, do you want a specialty kitchen tool and gadget?
Do you want gourmet ingredients? Do you want a kitchen appliance? And then from there, the shopping results that Google has traditionally offered will. Um, we'll, we'll spiral down and whatnot. So it's, um. I wouldn't say it's revolutionary, but I think it's indicative of what they maybe want to do with SGE going forward, especially in light of some of the things we've been talking about, where it isn't necessarily working as well for standard
Right. So it looks like they're using the generative AI to suggest additional categories or to refine the gift ideas that perhaps you have that, um, is smart, right? They want more and more people to buy. They want to be able to display more ads within the shopping results. So it's kind of like, you know, if you've got a.
Uh, a red hot visitor searching for shopping results. Like let's make them just keep, you know, figuring out new ideas, which again is smart. Um, if I go to Google or Amazon and I type in what's a great gift for a nine year old boy, right. My son's age. Um, I would be tempted with here's some additional, you want science based ideas.
Do you want outdoor based ideas? Do you want. X, Y, Z, right? Um, I could see how you could really go down the rabbit hole with some
Jared: of this. I mean, we were driving home yesterday as a family from our, our two Oh, one creative company retreat and whatnot, which I talked about last week on the podcast. If you watched, I was actually in our cabin recording.
Uh, glad to be back here, by the way. Yeah. The setup is significantly superior here. Yes,
Jared: sound great today. Yeah, much better. But I was driving home. My wife and I were talking about, Oh, Hey, it's, you know, time to start talking about Christmas gifts. And, you know, the kids have their headphones on the back and they're watching their stuff and we're talking.
I'm not kidding you for a couple of hours, she was browsing. I would just look over on her phone. She's browsing Amazon and I don't know exactly what she was doing, but basically she was getting ideas, right? She was browsing on Amazon for different ideas. She kind of started with like an idea like, Oh, we need this jacket for our daughter, right?
A snow jacket. And, but you could see she was almost using Amazon to browse and it really called out what this, I think is trying to do. If you know, you want a pair of iPods, you go and you buy the pair of iPods. That's not what this is for. This is where the person who's saying, you know, what we have on the screen, Mike.
Uh, puffer jackets, like ideate, talk to me. Like, I don't really know exactly what I want beyond this kind of concept.
Spencer: Exactly. Yeah. Shop similar looking items shop. Um, yeah. Related items. And, uh, so yeah, super, super smart on, um,
Jared: Google's part. Did you see that you can try on clothes now with SGE?
Spencer: I didn't see that.
And I should have, uh, tried and done that live here on the podcast, Jared. I know I
Jared: was thinking about it, but we've had so many technical issues. I don't dare try this. So you can actually take a piece of clothing that the model, what we have on screen here in front of us is a J crew, organic cotton, something or other button down shirt.
And you can basically. Pick from one of 40 models to try to find the model that looks closest to you. And then they will put that pair of clothing on that model. Oh,
Jared: And so you can kind of try to find if you're there or if you're buying for someone, I guess you would pick the model that most closely recognizes them.
Um, uh, you can select from 40 models ranging in skin tone, body shape, height, and size. So you can make a more confident decision. How far are we? Away from just being able to upload a photo of yourself. And I mean, it can't be that far at this point. I,
Spencer: I don't think so. And in fact, I could be wrong, but I think there might be, uh, services that do that already, um, Google isn't doing that, but I think there are other shopping apps that are entering these waters.
Yeah, you just upload a photo of yourself, and it'll show you what you look like in the close. Um, I haven't tested that, so somebody can call me out if they know of one that, uh, works really well, or if it doesn't exist, if I'm just dreaming. Um, but yeah, kind of fascinating, uh, for sure. Hey,
Spencer: Yeah, I was just going to say, I don't like to shop.
I don't like going in stores. So this is all great news for me, right? Anything I can do to, um, not have to go try on the clothes or pick up the item. Make my life easier is even better. So, uh, but this next one that we're talking about here is for Amazon. Right. So, um, during the, um, is it during the super bowl or is it just during, um, Friday's first, Oh, Oh, black Friday.
That's right. I guess it's a black Friday game.
Jared: Yeah. There's a black Friday NFL football game, which I think is, yes. Uh, it's on Amazon prime video. They got the rights to this game. Yep. And boy, this is next level advertising, right?
Spencer: That's right. So, um, during the game, they're going to have shoppable ads that you can basically scan a QR code and make instant purchases.
Um, if you're during the game or during the commercial breaks, I guess I, you know, we'll see how that all plays out. But, um, really interesting. Uh, this does remind me of the Super Bowl ad that Coinbase did, um, I believe it was last year that was wildly successful, where basically they had a QR code that was just bouncing around the screen.
Um, and, uh, didn't say a whole lot. I don't know if there was any words anyways. Uh, it got a ton of people to pull out their phone, scan the QR code, and then they, you know, signed up for Coinbase, uh, start trading crypto. Um, you know, so that did a. Apparently way better than I would have imagined a QR code bouncing around a screen did.
And, uh, I, I doubt that's why Amazon is doing this, but I mean, since COVID QR codes are a part of life, whether we like it or not, they, they are here to stay and Amazon's tapping into that. Pull out your phone, scan this, buy right there while you're watching the, uh, Black Friday football game.
Jared: Here's what I'm hoping for, Spencer.
I'm just hoping, now this is equivalent to winning the lottery, I realize this, but I am hoping that one of the shoppable ads they present on screen will have one of my influencer videos on it.
Spencer: That, you know what, like, that would be... That would be the ultimate, like, I think you'd do pretty well that day.
Jared: You'd log in the next day and just be like, wow, I guess black Friday on the influencer program is good. 3000 percent increase.
Spencer: I had a thousand people buy this item. Like what happened? Uh, that would, that would be awesome. I guess
Jared: I'd probably turn shoppable ads off, shoppable videos off for that. But yeah, kind of a fun tie into our, um.
Our influencer stuff, but I mean, I'm, I, I hope we get to hear how this does. Um, I don't really watch the NFL, but I'm going to try to watch the game or at least part of it on just to see how they, you know,
Spencer: deploy this. Yeah. I think I'll pull it up as well. And so by the way, I was
Jared: going to say, if you're listening, that's today.
Uh, or you might've missed it if you're catching it over the weekend. So, um, you know, that's right.
Spencer: Turn on the game right now. Um, It could be because, um, I know on Thanksgiving, they have games that are like 10 in the morning Pacific time. Right. And so maybe Friday will be roughly the same. Let's see. I'll try to find one that will be here while we're talking.
Yeah. Pull that up. Uh, so
Jared: it looks like it's on it. 12 p. m. pacific. There you go. 3 p. m. eastern and that probably puts it around 8 or 9 p. m. in the uh, european
Spencer: market. Yeah, so so pull up the game and uh, you know buy something on amazon, you know while you're while you're listening to that That's what they're hoping for listening to this So thanks for
Jared: glenn gabe for either for catching that or finding out.
I don't know where he got that from But that's um, that's who we're sharing it with
Spencer: Yeah, exactly. And so, um, you know, speaking of black Friday and Amazon influencers, you know, clicks are way up for the Amazon influencer program. I know you've been saying that your earnings are way up. So it's, it's kind of fun to see.
I think, I think we'll do like a, a post mortem after, after the holiday season, I think we'll share all our results, what's happening. Did
Jared: you see what I pulled off while I was at our cabin up in Lake Tahoe?
Spencer: Uh, I don't know. Remind me. Got
Jared: you off guard. I, well, you know, you and I, we don't see everything each other does.
No, I was up there and about two days in to stay in this cabin. I look around and I'm like, that's a nice coffee maker. I should make an influencer video about that. And so then I walked around the cabin with my app, you know, you can scan stuff. And then the morning before we left, I carved out two hours and I made 26 influencer videos in the end.
Spencer: No way, dude, look at you see that smart opportunistic. You're staying at a nice cabin. They probably got some nice stuff. Um, that's the way to do it. Yeah. So pay for your trip, you know, if you earn some commissions. That's what
Jared: I mean. I mean, there's some, some very high end. So there's a bunk bed that my kids slept in.
Like the thing was expensive. Let me tell you. Um, what else did we get? We got a couple of nice coffee makers, uh, a refrigerator, a Samsung refrigerator. I mean, who knows? Wow. Cool. And the fun thing is I had used all of it for a couple of days, so I actually felt confident talking about it. Like I, you know, when you get into a new place, like you kind of got to figure out how the coffee maker works.
You don't have to figure out how to use every feature, but you have to figure out how to brew the coffee. And I had done that. So I, I could confidently talk about the features I had used.
Spencer: There you go. So, um, I love it. Always taking the opportunity to earn a buck. That's good. Um, but yeah, that, I mean, that is very relevant though.
I mean, Black Friday's here. We're doing Amazon influencer videos. Uh, but we also have other deals and we wanted to kind of take this section instead of doing our normal. Side hustle shenanigans, just kind of talk about some of the biggest black Friday deals that we're aware of. Kind of share what's going on out, uh, in the industry today.
So now of course I do own a couple of tools myself, and so I'm going to lead off with those. Uh, but these are big deals. So link whisperer, my internal linking plugin is 30 off. 30 off, uh, today and, uh, through next, uh, Tuesday, uh, I believe it is. So it's like, um, the dates are wrong on this screen. I'm going to fix those, but it's the 24th through the 28th, uh, is actually when, uh, the deals are live.
But, um, It's 30 off all plans. And what is even makes this even more interesting. I think, um, is that a little inside scoop here is the prices for link whisper will be going up by 20 in the new year in 2024, the price is going from 77. To 97 a year. So if you get it now, uh, it's 47 bucks for the year and that's locked in forever.
Like as long as you're subscribed, your annual price is 47. If you wait until January 1st. Your annual price is 97. So you're, you're really saving like 50, uh, off the normal plan here. So it is a big deal. It's the biggest discount we do all year. And even next year when we do black Friday, it's not going to be this cheap.
So, um, my might as well jump in now and get it. I got
Jared: the heads up on that from Josh, actually a little, I got a little inside scoop as well, which, which really does make that a really powerful discount. Um, it's kind of like 50 percent off because next year it'll be a hundred, you know, whatever, 97 bucks, but right now it's 49 bucks or
Yeah, exactly. It's a big deal. It's a good tool. Yep. That's a great tool. And if you're listening to this, uh, after January, I apologize, but a link was for still a great price, even at 97, uh, for the plan. Uh, and then, uh, rank logic is another WordPress plugin that I have. Uh, we have just released the Google analytics.
Integration. So if you don't like looking at Google Analytics for, uh, you can use rank logic. It's right there within the WordPress dashboard. You can get all your page views sessions and you can slice and dice the data based on author or date or so many other metrics and you can get it for 30 off during Black Friday.
So same price. It's 47 a year. For rank logic, uh, go ahead and snag that one. Uh, if you would like to check out rank logic. And so, uh, there's a bunch of other deals. Um, basically if you. If you just Google niche pursuits, black Friday, or if you go to it's, what is it, niche pursuits. com slash black Friday, cyber Monday deals, kind of a long URL, if I'm honest, so I don't expect a lot of people to type this in, but, uh, we've got a list of how many were there a dozen or so, uh, deals that you can check out.
Jared: I'm just looking for mine, uh, Spencer.
Spencer: Oh, geez, uh, did you go all the way to the bottom and maybe in the footer all the way down
Jared: there? Yeah, I even, uh, I just keep scrolling. There's a lot of deals here. I just don't see mine.
Spencer: Oh, interesting. Did you pay your sponsor fee or? Oh, I did not. Oh, okay. No, no, I'm going to add that we're recording this a couple of days before Black Friday.
So I will add it on the page. We noticed that right as we were hitting record, but I will give you the chance to Explain the deal right now, which is even better, Jared. Fair enough. You're right. You're right. Read
Jared: it in live. What's the point? Well, I got a couple of black Friday deals myself. I talked last week about, Hey, uh, kind of with the weekend growth launch last year, this week, this gives me like the first year to ever participate in a, in a black Friday thing.
But, um, yeah, we talked about it last week. Well, we're going to continue the 50 percent off for the website. Photography made easy course through black Friday and cyber Monday. Um, and so if you, if you didn't hear about it last week, you can use the code niche pursuits. To get 50 percent off that course, which puts it at like under 75 bucks.
Um, and with all the EAT stuff, HCU stuff, like for 75 bucks, you can learn how to take awesome photos with your smartphone. Add them right to your, uh, your, your blog, your website, credit for those unique images. Uh, for those who don't know, I, I feel like everybody now knows I used to be a professional photographer, so that's why I made the course, but that's at, um, weekend growth.
com slash photo dash course. Um, and then the other one, the official black Friday deal, that was really the one year anniversary, uh, deal, the official black Friday deal is for website reviews. Those are really popular where we do, um, where we do, uh, like we review your website, uh, 20 to 30 minute review with analysis.
And, um, uh, provide some, some data behind that really popular for, for Black Friday. If you make a purchase with that, you also get a 30 minute, uh, consulting, uh, 30 minute consulting session with me for free. And so that's a 200 value and you can use the code niche pursuits to get that. And that's it. We can growth.
com slash website. Dash review. So yeah, those, those website reviews are, are, are pretty popular, especially post HCU. Um, although I had to do one for niche pursuits. com, you know, as a little roast, if you will, but obviously clearly very successful post HCU. So it wouldn't, it wouldn't be too bad of a roast.
Spencer: Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, anytime you can provide tips and strategies for what niche pursuits. Can do like, I'm open to that. So,
Jared: uh, I appreciate the perspective that one person had who signed up for the website review. They're like, my site's been doing great through all these updates, but I really feel like if I just get one insight, it's worth it.
So I don't think you're going to find much, but even one thing would, would, would be worth it. You know, when you look at kind of the longterm, how much it costs for a review versus, you know, what it could. But you could find it in the discovery.
Spencer: Yeah, exactly. It's, um, it's kind of interesting because running a blog that is growing quickly and has a dozen writers and editors kind of like niche pursuits, like there's a lot going on and I am absolutely certain that if an outside set of eyes looked at it, like it would be helpful.
So, um, having Jared and his team look at your website, uh, would always probably be a great idea. So, um, so it's a good deal. A couple of good black Friday deals coming from you as well, Jared. So, um, listeners can check those out. Um, I think that's about it for black Friday deals though. Um, can I know people,
Jared: can I go way off screen?
This is not in our agenda folks. So Spencer might just cut this out. If it's awkward, you'll know. Um, I wanted to ask you about a little bit of a side hustle topic that we've been talking about, and I don't want to miss the momentum of it from this week. You've been doing a bunch of YouTube lives. How is that going?
How, because we publish all the podcast episodes on YouTube and we've talked in the past about how podcasts, hour long interviews aren't really best for YouTube, but how are the lives going? Like, are you noticing anything different there that you can share with people in terms of, uh, live and yeah, just all that
Yeah, I've been really surprised at how well the lives have done on YouTube. Um, if I'm honest. So, uh, Like the last slide that I did, which is last Friday, I would have to look, but, uh, it's got like 7, 500 or almost 8, 000 views, which is, which is really high. Within the first couple of days, it had over 5, 000 views, um, which is really high compared to what a normal podcast or an hour long, uh, interview would do.
And so I think that YouTube pushes those. A lot when they're live. Um, you know, I'm sending a bunch of external traffic because I've emailed my list. So several people join right away and I think they see that and then YouTube pushes it to other people that might be interested as well. And especially while it's live or within the first 24 hours, I think they push it pretty heavy of like, Hey, this just happened.
It's live or just was live. Uh, and so that's my theory. And that's because that's what I've seen on my last couple of YouTube lives is that. They do really well in like the first week. And then after that, it's kind of like a normal, you know, video that it still gets some views, but you know, isn't sort of taking off.
Um, I will just say that you can't just treat the YouTube live, like. I don't know. You can't just put, Hey, Spencer and Jared talk for an hour in the title. You need to try and write some email copy or not email copy, some headline copy, um, to make it just like a normal YouTube video, I'm doing custom thumbnails, so it's very clickable.
You know, it's enticing. People want to be, uh, they're intrigued by the title and click it. So you need to do all those things. But I found that the, the lives are doing Yeah. Quite well. So it's, it's kind of been fun. It's just an interesting
Jared: concept for people who maybe have a YouTube channel for their website.
Right. And it's one of many things they're doing right. And, and they, they create content, they press schedule, and they move on. I'm just so curious how people listening could. Kind of incorporate. I know my mind's going for one of my websites that has a YouTube channel that does well, like I've never done a YouTube live before.
And I'm just, you know, so that was going to be some of the questions I had, you answered all of them. So thank you.
Spencer: Yeah. Yep. You're absolutely welcome. So, um, that kind of takes us to our final segment of the show here. We've got, uh, two weird niche sites, uh, always fun to chat about weird niche sites. And, um, so I'll, I'll go first here.
So I've got a weird niche site and we've covered things that are in the grammar and sort of vocabulary space. And I'm always just surprised at how well these sites can do. So I've got rhyme zone. com and it's exactly what it sounds like. If you want to. Figure out what rhymes with what you type in your word.
It can really be any word. Yeah. So if we see what rhymes with tree, um, , it'll pull up a bunch of words. Free Bri, uh, flee. What else we got? Flea. Anyways, knee free. We've got spending three a hundred different words with one syllable. Oh yeah. And you can look at two syllables, three syllables. Um. Anyways, and so it basically just North Sea, um, Snoopy, weighty,
Jared: uh, here we go.
Now we've got three syllables, absentee,
Spencer: Apogee, Cherokee, um, and, and it's just what it sounds like. It's a huge list of words that rhyme. With whatever input word that you use now, I'm sure people are using this for games, you know, grammar games or rhyming games they have on their phone or that you're trying to write minestrone.
You're trying to write a poem, right? And looking for that perfect word or when Jared. You know, writes his, his rap songs. He's got to make sure, uh, they're, they're just right. Um, and, um, but what is fascinating is how much traffic this site gets. According to a H refs, it gets like 3. 5 million. Organic visitors.
Wow. 3. 5 million organic visitors a month. Uh, now I don't have, um, a trust pulled up in front of me, so I don't know what the top keywords are, but we can imagine that, Hey, it's rhyming words, words that rhyme, and I bet some of their top queries are words that rhyme with. Blank, right. And this probably pulls up, um, the people, uh, can check out.
So, um, are you seeing display ads on the site? I
Jared: did on the homepage. Okay. On the left sidebar, we got an ad there. It looks like Ashley furniture in this case, black Friday sale. Uh, but I did not see one on the, uh, writ on the, um, like the rhyme page where we are, where the
Spencer: tree, the results. Yeah. Oh, interesting.
Yeah. I don't
Jared: see one here. Um, it's fully loaded with no, oh, there it is. Okay. Oh, there it is. Oh,
Spencer: it was one at the top. It's not, but that doesn't, it's not a sticky. They could be making more, a lot more money. Well, plus
Jared: on mobile, that's, I'm going to guess not even showing right. Or it doesn't show until you get to the bottom of the page and it certainly doesn't stick with
Spencer: you as you scroll.
So, yeah. So pretty simple site overall, um, that they. They do a couple other things. They've got a thesaurus
Jared: and I mean, sorry, but with that traffic, Spencer, think about if they just put in content ads, banner ads here between the syllables. So one syllable to two, two syllable to three. I mean, that would not be a bad experience for a user.
And I've got to imagine what up their income, like double it overnight. Right. At least. Yeah.
Spencer: I would think so unless we're missing something here that they're doing with the website visitors, but I don't think so. I agree It just needs probably more ads if I own the site, I would be testing out more ads I'd have one in the footer on the home page.
And Yeah, probably in the middle of the search queries there like you Explained so what is this sure what's going on on this page? It's
Jared: beer search. I don't even know what to do here browse Let's try tragedies. Uh, please enter a word to search for. I'll search for poem.
Spencer: No documents. Okay. I don't know what this is.
I don't know why people are searching, uh, Shakespeare's poem or, you know, tragedies and, and plays so much, but apparently they are. So kind of a cool site, rhymezone. com. Um, I just was fascinated with how much traffic it's getting. I mean, all
Jared: API driven, right? Just pulling from Some, some, um,
Spencer: database or API.
Yeah, exactly. I would imagine. So exactly. So you and those programmatic sites. Yeah, they're fun. They are. They're definitely fun.
Jared: Uh, today I have a fun one. This is a little more whimsical to say the least. Uh, this is the cloud appreciation society. Society. For people who love the sky, welcome artists, scientists, cloud spotters, and dreamers.
You've come to the right spot.
Spencer: Buy or renew a membership? Okay,
Jared: we'll get into that. Hold on one second. Cool your monetization jets there. Let's uh, I know though. Doing pretty good. Can you imagine buying a membership? We will get to that here in a second. So the homepage has the cloud of the day. Uh, Spencer, if you could, would you try to read what that cloud is right there?
Spencer: It's the cumulonimbus Oh, that's cap cap cap a lattice cloud. Yes.
Jared: Very good. I actually asked google to read it out
Jared: Yeah, you did very well with that I expected eastern arizona Uh, I know my clouds boy you do so they got cloud of the day, which as spencer read Um, i'm not gonna try to say because i'll even after practicing will make a fool of myself Um,
Spencer: we got cloud you tried to throw me under the bus.
Jared: I really did I tried to find a way to trip you up there. You did not fall for it. That was really good um I mean, it, it's, it's like a big repository of clouds, uh, and there's, there's a repository of cloud
Spencer: phrase I never thought I'd hear on this podcast.
Jared: Um, I have to say it's a pretty well done website.
So let's talk. I've got my notes. It looks nice. It does. So just some of the specs of the month.
Spencer: Yeah. I love it. It's just funny. Okay.
Jared: Meet the cloud that glider pilots surf like an ocean wave. I think, I think this cloud, you can see like a pilot in there. Um, uh, by the way, I'm not sure if you knew, but cloud appreciation day is on September 15th every year.
Uh, ironically, I'll be able to remember that. It's my wife's birthday. Um, cloud appreciation day, cloud spotters around the world contributed photographs of their skies to our memory cloud Atlas. You can explore the memory cloud outlist, uh, out Atlas, excuse me, to see the skies contributed from around the world.
Um, and it opens in a new window. Uh, how do you do this? Share this tab instead. Oh, that's cool. Okay. There we go. Uh, and so you can see, look at this, Spencer. You want to talk about user generated content. And again, we're having fun, but boy, think about this for someone's website right now.
Spencer: Hmm. That's cool.
So it's got this globe. Wow, you can zoom in.
Jared: Yeah, if you're not, if you're not watching on YouTube, it's got this globe, this vision of the world. I can just click on parts of the world and, uh, in theory, I think if I click on this cloud, maybe I can see the cloud. Uh, it's loading very slowly. Uh, here we go.
So we've got clouds from Italy, Sardinia, Italy. Um, on this day on September 15th. Uh, I can go look at, you know, clouds from Rome and, um, You called it out. Let's talk about this membership. So I can go and I can buy a membership in the Cloud Appreciation Society for 34. 50 per year. I don't know exactly what I get.
But I get to be a part of this membership society. Um, you'll notice buttons at the top or dropdowns for their communities. They have forums, they have events. There's a sky gathering happening in 2024. Um, uh, you could buy this membership for somebody else. Uh, here, here's what it gets an enamel member badge, a certificate, a cloud selector wheel, cloud a day service, and 10 percent off the cloud shop.
Spencer: I'm still baffled. Um. I guess there's people that love clouds. Like I don't, maybe, maybe I'm just missing it, but, uh, why, why would they pay that much a year? Uh, so that's
Jared: crazy. Now the disappointing thing is that they are a DR 69. That's not disappointing, but they only rank for 3, 100 keywords.
Spencer: Not a lot of cloud keywords out there, I guess.
Jared: There are. That's the thing. They have 678 pages. They're ranking number 9. Oh, wow. For example, for Cirrus Clouds, which is a very popular search. Yeah, absolutely. So, I don't know how well this website is performing monetization wise. They are almost unlike so many of the other websites we look at in this segment.
Where we look at websites like your last one, where they're getting 3. 5 million visitors a month. And leaving so many monetization opportunities on the table. And we're always thinking like, Oh, what could they do? They could do this. They could do that. They could do this. This one feels like they have lots of great monetization ideas and very little traffic.
Spencer: Yeah. Interesting. You know, maybe, maybe there, maybe there's cloud conferences and people are just coming in droves in person to the website and buying their membership. I, I don't know. Maybe this is a multimillion dollar business and we just don't see it. We don't see the backend. Uh, I mean,
Jared: what are the odds?
But I mean, it's, uh, it's, uh, it's not good. It's not high, but what did we start the podcast with? Hope Springs eternal, right? Hope Springs eternal. Before we hit record
Spencer: today. Hey, that's cool. Hey, if you own the cloud website, what was it? Uh, what's the name of it again?
Jared: cloudappreciationsociety. org
Spencer: I love it, man.
It's so official. It's a dot org cloud appreciation society. This is good. Um, yeah, clouds. Hey, tree appreciation society. Uh, you know, name any animal like you're going to get a lot of people to care about these things. So maybe it's a great idea.
Jared: Oh, I think it's a fantastic idea. I mean, just knowing like what I know about.
Hobbies and niches and you know, like there is there's a passion behind so many things. I mean i'm thinking about like, uh Uh, our neighbor goes every month up, like drives an hour up into the mountains to, to, to bring his telescope and hang out with other people to look at stars, you know, and like, there's a, there's a, there's a passionate crowd for so many niches out there that, that if you're not a part of it, you think like what?
And then when you meet people inside of it, they're like, no, yeah, this is
Spencer: what I, this is what I do. Yeah, no, that's cool. So that, I mean, that's what you got to do when you're building a site is find a. Uh, a niche with a lot of passionate people in it. And then, um, yeah, really kind of service that community, right.
Content for that community. And, uh, you can do well, a lot of, a lot of different avenues you can go. So, uh, very cool. Hopefully people enjoyed the couple of niche, uh, weird niche sites. that we shared today. Um, again, happy Black Friday to everybody. Um, Jared and I are about to spend Thanksgiving tomorrow. Uh, I assume Jared, you know, with your family and that sort of thing, I'm gonna be doing the same here at home.
So I wish you a happy Thanksgiving and I wish everybody hopefully, uh, we'll just say hopefully you had a good Thanksgiving and Have a great black Friday, whether you're out shopping or just, uh, sitting on the couch with some hot cocoa, watching, uh, watching football, uh, and, and buying stuff off Amazon. I hope that goes well for you also.
Jared: And here's to a, uh, you know, a piggybacking on that, hopefully a profitable Q4 and black Friday shopping season for everyone out there, whether you're monetizing with ads and. You know, the increase, uh, in, uh, in RPMs that comes this time of year, whether you're, obviously you have products that people purchase through either affiliate income, like Amazon or, or your own shop, like hopefully you have a great and killer Q4 season.
Spencer: I agree. Hopefully everybody has a great Q4, makes lots of money, uh, during this time of year, but, uh, thanks everybody for listening and I hope you have a great weekend. Have a great weekend.
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