Instead I was to make a series of videos to drive traffic to a squeeze page, build a list and sell products. This didnt work out so well… Maybe because I didn’t put enough work into it (probably this), maybe because the model was wrong, maybe because the niche was wrong, for whatever reason, here are some quick results:
I made 24 videos – first problem as the target was at least 50 – and you can see them here: http://www.youtube.com/user/stopsleepapnea
The videos so far have received 878 views.
From those 878 views I received about 85 visitors. ~10% CTR (Click Through Rate)
From those 85 visitors, I received 12 email sign ups to my squeeze page. ~ 14% Opt In Rate
From the 12 visitors, I have sold 1 product for a comission of $10.
Granted I only spent about 2 days in total making the squeeze page and the videos, but this is still not a great result by any standard.
Tips from Videos
I wanted to give a few tips I learned from making the videos. I have been working on projects I find much more interesting than this one, many using videos such as the free course I built on how to make an online store. So I have learned lots. And this was my first forte into video so I am glad I did it.
To make these videos, I used three different tools:
- Microsoft Powerpoint – Create a slide show (Use Open Office if you don’t have)
- Cam Studio – Screen and audio recording
- Windows Live Movie Maker – Editing
These are all free and easy accessible tools that anyone can use to start making videos.
For the content, I used PLR (Private Label Rights) content that you can find around the web by searching. This is basically content you can buy for really cheap and brand as your own (I spent less than $10).
Few tips I want to share when making the videos.
- Make your videos short and varying in length
- Create a strong call to action at the end with clear instructions – “click on the link below and sign up to our newsletter to get xyz”
- Create long outros to your videos after your call to action. This means the user has less of a chance of being distracted by the related videos that pop-up and will more likely click on your link.
- Use Tube Mogul to distribute your videos to multiple video directories
Why did I Fail?
The main reason this project failed was not enough traffic to the videos. There are thirdly main reasons for this.
Firstly, I didnt make enough videos… If I had made 100 videos, I would have had at least 4 x the visits. Probably more because the chances of one or two of them becoming popular and getting many hits is much greater.
Secondly, I didn’t market my videos. This is huge. I didn’t build backlinks or get comments to videos thus they sailed by unnoticed.
Thirdly, I didnt pick a ‘video friendly’ niche. Sure my competition research was sound, but logically I think I was off. Sleep Apnea is not a visual topic and not many people are searching for it on YouTube. If I had picked something like Golf Swing or something more visual then I think I would have been in a better situation.
Well, if you have visited http://sleepapneastop.com in the last few days then you may have noticed it is no longer a squeeze page (a page designed to get just name and emails like http://www.eshopwiz.com) but is now a blog.
I have decided to turn it into an auto blog cluster.
I may talk about this in the future, but for now all you need to know is there are hundreds of blogs running on it that all look like this:
As usual, there is nothing better than a good failure to keep you on your toes. Besides the video marketing, I learned lots about squeeze pages, list building and a whole lot more. Plus the project is not yet dead, taking a new direction.
Oh, I also learned I don’t like learning about, reading about, talking about or making videos about sleep apnea. Thus why the auto blog route. I couldn’t stand to make more content on this subject 🙂
My strategy has been a little different from the traditional strategies that most of the other guys have been using. And I am not sure if I have picked the correct strategy or not, but at the very least I am learning lots which is the most important thing. Including picking up some awesome linking strategies from makemoneybuzz.
The main reason I chose this route was to experiment with video. With screen casting, driving traffic to and from videos as I am working on another project which is due to launch in a couple of weeks. I knew this and figured I should get some practice in before going full force on a project that I am more comfortable with and that has much larger potential.
The site that I have chosen is http://www.sleepapneastop.com
This was actually the first squeeze page I have ever designed right after going through some training on how to build them.
Here is what I did.
1. Installed WordPress and downloaded a free squeeze page theme from wordpresssqueezepage.com. I’m not going to show you how to install WordPress, there are plenty of guides out there including guides written up by the other participants of this competition. But if you have any questions, just ask.
2. Registered with Aweber to give me pretty email sign up (opt in) boxes and to track and manage my email campaign. Aweber is an amazing piece of software. You can build all sorts of sign up boxes, set up automated email responses, split test emails, track clicks. Basically do anything. If you are thinking of doing any sort of email marketing, get Aweber.
2. Crafted a story around my product. Taking this angle can seem a little on the morally grey side. Again, this is just an experiement. And we all know that stories sell. So I crafted a story about a guy named Peter Evans who used to suffer from sleep apnea but managed to fix it and now he has the secrets to show you how.
4. Created a small, relevant ebook that I give away for free by rewriting some content I found on the web. I think its only about 1000 words and took me a couple of hours including formatting. This gives people incentive to sign up and get the free report. People like free stuff.
5. Built the squeeze page. A few things I have picked up before and after I built the squeeze page:
- Don’t have big flashy header images. Just have a simple, red title.
- Make sure that your op-tin box is above the first line. The line refers to the first thing you see when the site loads up. You shouldn’t have to scroll down to see the sign up box.
- Also, above the line should be short, punchy and with a strong call to action towards the sign up box. The aim here is to get people to enter their email addresses. Nothing else. Your headline should sell the majority of the people.
- If a reader isn’t sold on your headline, start going down into benefits of the product, then into your story.
- Finally try to capture with another sign up box.
- Use a light background (which I am not doing!)
- Split test your squeeze page using Google Website Optimiser (which I am not doing!)
As I said, this was my first squeeze page so its probably not the most awesomest thing ever. It was an interesting process and so far I have learned a lot. More experimenting to come and soon I will start to show results. Between Blogworld and my other new and exciting project, this site has been about 2% of my time so its definitely not where it should be but I still think it has potential so will keep slugging away at it slowly.
This is part of the building a niche site from scratch series. See the first post here.
I have already done all of this so I will try to think back to exactly the process I went through, plus chuck in some new stuff I learned after I already selected my niche.
The first thing I wanted to do was select a niche that I know pays. This niche site is not supposed to be a passion site, it’s supposed to be a site that is going to make money both medium and long term.
So I did a few searches around the web for sites that talked about what niches are high paying. One of the consistent messages was that to choose a niche where people are desperate for a cure, they want to fix a problem that is impacting their life and they are willing to pay for it. The other high level profitable type of niche is to help people make money, bring on the “make money online” niche which is probably the most crowded niche out there.
So I decided to go with the former, and started looking into Health Niches. My criteria for selection was a high paying niche, with high search volume, low amounts of video content and plenty of PLR content.
Some of the niches I looked at were:
- Weight Loss
- Stop Smoking
- Stop Snoring / Cure Sleep Apnea
- Teeth Whitening
I ended up going with Stop Snoring / Cure Sleep Apnea.
I chose this for a few reasons.
The analysis I did on how much the niche was paying was a combination of PLR content, reviews on other sites of high paying niches, number of products on click bank and the Google Competition ranking. You can see this below in the competition bars. The higher the green bar, the more people are paying for adwords advertisements. And both bars are close to full meaning there is money being made in this industry. Plus on my basic assumption that people would be willing to pay to cure their snoring and sleep apnea and get a good night’s sleep.
Here are the basic search volumes on the niche chosen. There are of course many long tail keywords also searched to follow with this.
As you can see, there is a high volume of searches for both topics.
Relatively Low Video Content
There is also a very large amount of competition in Google in terms of web content.
But, there wasn’t very much video content relative to the search volumes.
I ended up choosing the domain www.sleepapneastop.com
With the strategy I am taking the domain is not overly important. I don’t plan to spend the time building links and ranking this site in the normal manner, because it’s a highly competitive industry and it will be very difficult to rank for the target key words. I don’t have a team of V.A.s to help me so I am moving forward with the video marketing strategy and am going to try to build a mailing list.
I have already built an opt-in sales page which I will discuss in a later post. I also want to make a few different versions and split test them to figure out which one converts the best.
There has been lots of buzz on the web about Pat Flynn and Tyrone Shum’s Niche Site Duel – where they are basically going through the process of building a niche site and documenting the whole process. As someone who is looking into this space and currently running a couple of niche sites, I thought I would join along in the fun.
A niche site is a small website targeted around a certain ‘niche’ or small topic which is designed to bring in revenue. The revenue will either come from advertising, affiliate marketing (selling someone else’s product), building your own product and selling it or selling services off the site.
Pat and Tyrone are already more than a month into their challenge and are doing really well. Patt has already made $20! So if you are interested in this kind of thing, I definitely recommend checking them out.
My Niche Site
I already have a couple of niche sites up and running that are starting to gain some traction in the search engines and I will continue to work on them. But this niche site is going to have a slightly different flavour to the ones that Patt and Tyrone are working on (I thought it would be worth contributing something a little different than just rehashing what has already been said). They are building sites that they want to rank well in the search engines and are driving traffic by building micro sites and writing articles to build back links and drive traffic to the sites. This is the same technique that I use on some of my other sites. But for the purpose of this experiment, I will be trying something a little different.
Here’s what I plan to do.
- Find a niche that pays
- Register a domain and build an email opt-in sales letter
- Make 50 videos and post them up on the internet
- Build an auto posting network to market my videos and potentially further market the site in the future
- Try to build a list of 300-500 people
- Either build a product to sell to the list or push an affiliate product in a launch manner
- Continue to market affiliate products to the list
I have already done points 1, 2, 3 (20 of 50 videos) and 4. I will write them up over the coming weeks and report on my progress.
The main reason I have chosen this route is to experiment with video marketing. There are a few benefits of taking this route. Firstly, after some research and testing, making content for videos is lots quicker than writing content (in my case anyway). Secondly, video is a less competitive space. There is just less content out there, especially for weird, obscure niches. Thirdly, and this is a big-un, you can use PLR (Private Label Rights) content and it is not picked up as duplicate content because it is video marketed. This is huge if you are trying to create content for a niche you have no interest or prior knowledge in. There are also some downsides, such as not having control over the sites that push traffic to you (such as Youtube etc) meaning it can be a bit more hit or miss on how well you rank and how much traffic you receive.
Either way, this is more of an experiment than anything else so we will see how it goes.
Let the games begin!