Transcript: Overcoming Digital Content Challenges – Alex Cooper – DS498

Robot Doug: Hey. It’s the Robot version of Doug. I am filling in for real Doug.

This episode is from a livestream that I recorded with my buddy, Alex Cooper from WP eagle. I invited him to chat, really just to catch up.

We talk about working online in digital marketing, S. E. O., niche sites, and as content creators on You Tube.

We get into the details of Google Algorithm Updates and AI usage, plus the rapid changes with AI.

Alex shares info about his wordpress theme, Popcorn. I’m using popcorn for the site of my new podcast. I’m not ready to share the title yet, but the show should be launching at the end of March. So keep your eyes peeled for that.

Do check out Alex’s channel and website. Check out Popcorn Theme. They have an easy to use demo import feature so you can get up and running fast. Also, you can check out Descript which generated this AI voice in my time of need. While my deep, scratchy, sultry voice is highly desireable for some, the rest of us don’t want to hear it.

Anyway, check out descript for audio and video editing and so much more. I’m an affiliate for both so I get a commission if you buy something.

That’s it. Let’s get to the show!

Doug: Hey, what’s going on? It’s Doug Cunnington here and this is the Doug show live. I have a special guest today, Alex Cooper from WP Eagle. I was missing his live streams and I thought, well, I’ll just rope him in and I’ll have him come on my live stream. So Alex, how’s it going today?

Alex: Yeah, well, good. Thanks for having me on.

I’m pleased to be here.

Doug: We, a lot of people know you already. You have an Awesome YouTube channel and we have like a lot of cross pollination in the audience But for the people that don’t know you can you give a quick intro on who you are and what you do?

Alex: Yeah, sure. i’m alex. I’ve got a youtube channel as well.

It’s called wp eagle it’s about wordpress and it’s about making websites with WordPress, including niche websites, affiliate websites. Um, so it covers a broad range of topics with WordPress kind of involved at some point. So SEO as well and, and all kinds of things. I got quite well known because I built a niche website in public over the course of a year.

And it was lucky it was back in the good old days a few years ago. And it was quite successful. It generated a good four figures a month and I was able to sell it for a nice. It’s quite high five figures, and yet I shared the entire experience on YouTube. So yeah, that’s me.

Doug: And we’re going to cover a lot of topics today.

We have a ton of sort of topics and questions to get into things we’re working on. We’ll talk about algorithm updates. It’s been like the hot topic probably for the last six months. Like you can kind of just keep talking about algorithm updates and people are impacted or they’re worried about it. So we’ll talk a little bit about that.

Talk about that all day. Hand in hand. Is AI and SEO just in general, dealing with the algorithm updates and then how Google is dealing with it and kind of our, our core content for you and I, Alex, or at least for a handful of years was niche sites and just general digital marketing. So we’ll talk a little bit about that too.

So Alex, I mentioned that you weren’t doing as many live streams and you and I text occasionally, and I know you’ve been working on some other stuff.

So what have you been spending your time on say the last six or eight weeks or so?

Alex: So I’ve been working quite a lot on my WordPress theme that I work with. With Phil and Carl Broadbent, another fellow YouTuber. So, we’ve just got a brand new feature where basically we’ve got some demo sites, or starter sites, or templates, I don’t know, whatever you want to call them.

To make it a lot easier for people to get up and running with websites, so I’ve been working on them. Just released one yesterday and another one today. So that basically means you can get up and running with the theme really quickly. You can just decide, okay, I want to set up a travel site and then we’ve got a nice travel layout.

You can import it one click, you’re good to go. Change your logo, switch out the content and you’re good. So we’re working on that because popcorn started off as a theme, very focused on niche websites and as the trend at the moment seems to be. Moving away from niche websites. So maybe we could talk about that in a bit more detail, whether niche websites are a thing of the past now, and we’re not going to be using that term anymore.

So we wanted to give popcorn a lot more flexibility, and it was already flexible, but we were kind of just angling it down that way. So wanted to make people aware that you can use it for all kinds of different websites. And speaking of travel, I’ve also been doing a lot of work on my New project, which is a travel related website.

It’s about the town that I live in here, which is in the south of Spain. It’s called Estepona which there isn’t much content on the web about this place, but it’s blowing up in terms of tourism. A lot of people coming down here from Europe and America as well in Canada. So I want to put together a good resource for people that are visiting the town about restaurants and bars and car rental and hotels and all that kind of stuff.

So like today I was around on my bike taking photos of bars and restaurants and and that kind of thing to put that together. And again, we’ll talk about this a bit further, but I think that kind of content is going to be key as we move forward. That real, genuine, authentic content where you’ve. Been to the restaurant, you’ve eaten the fish, you’ve taken photos of it.

And you’re sharing that experience on the internet.

Doug: Do people ever recognize you in town there?

Alex: I’ve only ever been recognized twice from YouTube.

Doug: Where was that?

Alex: That was once in London. And once it was a taxi driver. I think it was actually in my hometown of Bedford. Someone recognized, have you ever been recognized?

Doug: No, only at, uh, conferences, but that doesn’t, that doesn’t count. So it was surprising cause it was, it was a, uh, FinCon, it was like not in our space. So it was before I had anything in that space, but people were like, Oh yeah, I saw like keyword research stuff. So,

Alex: yeah. I don’t think we, we do this to be celebrity

Doug: No, that would actually be a huge pain in the butt. But I was going to say, if you have a travel, if you have a travel blog in the space and you’re like, Oh yeah, I live here. Like this is where I get coffee. Then you start having people following.

Alex: Well, yeah, I’m thinking I will become more well known and I’m hoping that I will then also get.

The best service at every restaurant and cafe that I go to the best prices. I probably will be on the house every time, you know?

Doug: Yeah, that guy’s Alex. He has the, he has the channel.

Alex: All right. The influential travel blog. Yeah. And make sure we treat him well. Give him the top table.

Doug: And I was playing around with the popcorn theme, which people could check out.

I’m an affiliate. There’s a link in the description, but I was checking out the one click import, which is awesome because that’s the thing, like. Especially me, you know me, Alex, I don’t want to mess around with the features. I’m like, that looks good enough for me. Let’s just bring it in. I don’t want to customize things.

So I was pretty excited

Alex: You don’t want to build stuff from scratch, which was kind of as it was, you know? Yeah. It’s very hard, you give someone a blank piece of paper, it’s very hard to create something. You give something that’s already there and ask them to change it and make it their own, it’s a lot easier.

Doug: So, you have been working more on, on Popcorn and you did migrate your site over to Popcorn and the, the Pro Blogger, I don’t know what you’d call it, but, like that specific setup.

Alex: We call it Pro Blogger, I couldn’t think of a better name. I didn’t want to call it WP Eagle, but yeah, it was a, I put together that design. I basically was inspired by WP Beginner.

Doug: Okay, perfect.

Alex: So it’s based on that kind of design.

Doug: Awesome. And there’s a few more that you’ll be adding for the content on YouTube.

I’ve also noticed you’ve been spending time really going back to your roots. So can you talk a little bit about that? Like going back to core WordPress stuff?

Alex: Yeah. As I say, I think the whole vibe in these websites. Is it a bit of a low at the moment? And I, I’ve noticed a lot. And I’ve just, from what I’ve heard from my subscribers and my viewers is that a lot of people were hit quite badly.

With the recent algorithm updates and. It’s it’s been disheartening a lot of people have felt like throwing in the towel And in fact, I think some people have thrown in the towel And that means that they don’t want to hear me talking about niche websites or sharing too much about it Or they’re just not gonna watch it So yeah, my channel was originally built on WordPress and on WordPress tutorials and on sharing good products So yeah, I’ve been going back to that and It also kind of ties in with popcorn, which I want to grow.

So my next kind of videos that I got planned, uh, going to be tutorials on creating websites with popcorn, creating a travel website, creating a blog, restaurant website, kind of quite niche specific, but you know, quite detailed tutorials too, and helping people get running because. I want to grow my channel.

And to be fair, it was stagnating. I don’t know how your channel seems to be growing quite nicely at the moment, but mine was stagnating. I was doing okay in terms of pulling back a few subscribers. They would watch every video I posted, you know, a couple of thousand or whatever. But in terms of growth, it was, it was flat.

And I think that was because the whole vibe of making money online, niche websites was also kind of flattening as well.

Doug: I have so many follow-up questions. Quick little note. I am just running ads, so I talked about it in a previous livestream. Yeah, and I think I texted you too, Alex, but I mean, you, you told me, Hey, check out the promo tab on YouTube studio, which I,

I drug my feet on that and I was occasionally running some ads just to test on Like traditional AdWords and those did not convert very well as soon as I checked out the promotion tab It exploded just like you said it would but you saw some maybe volatility, but I

Alex: yeah I wasn’t sure of the quality of those Subscribers and views and if I call recently the video where he I actually felt that it had a negative effect on his overall channel.

Doug: I It’s interesting, so I’ll, I’ll let you know later, but I was like, this is Seems like it’s a low quality subscriber. They, they don’t interact, they don’t watch any of the other videos, it seems like. It seems like they watch like two seconds and then hit subscribe.

I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s one of those deals where. If it works for a little while, and then it goes away, that’s cool. The good part is I, as much as I can, it’s a little hard to separate it. I don’t give a shit that much, but I’m like, people care if you have like 100k subscribers or something beyond.

Because once they get, only people that tried to start a channel, once they try to start a channel and get subscribers, they realize it’s pretty hard. So anyway, maybe it’s I, I have like a huge back catalog of videos, which you did too, but Yeah, I’m just buying subscribers right now if you just cut through all the bullshit, like I’m literally just testing it out and it’s rather inexpensive.

So question Alex, you said it seemed like it was low quality subscribers. So you were like, Hey, I’m not even going to worry about it. That kind of thing.

Alex: Yeah. I’ve stopped it. I’ve, it felt like buying subscribers on Fiverr

Doug: But it’s straight from YouTube. It’s straight from the feet of our, our Lord YouTube.

Alex: I know they come in from fruit via Google ads of some description. And it also seemed kind of lumpy.

I don’t know if you’ve seen that, like it wouldn’t do much. Then suddenly there’d be like, bosh, thousand subscribers.

Doug: I think what was happening for me, yes, it’s like that and it’s like in one hour, but I think it’s just like they, they don’t throttle the advertising budget. They’re just like, they turn it on and most of the subscribers are not in North America or English speaking, which is totally fine with me, but I think that like ads are cheap there.

So I think that is what’s happening. So it’ll spike and then it like kind of comes back down. I have no clue. I mean. I, I suspect the YouTube ads would take every single penny. If I put like 100, 000 into an ad for one day, I bet it would just spike like they use a whole thing, you know? So, so anyway,

Alex: interesting story about Google ads.

So over black Friday, I wanted to run some campaigns on Google AdWords for popcorn theme. And I only wanted to run it over the black Friday time, you know, maybe. The thursday the friday, maybe the saturday or I don’t know about three days. So I was like, okay Well, we’ll spend like a hundred bucks a day a hundred dollars a day budget set it for a hundred dollars a day I think okay on sunday or whatever.

I’m gonna just come in i’m gonna turn it off Of course what google do is they say? Okay, you’re gonna spend a hundred dollars a day They don’t look at it on a daily basis. They look on it on a monthly basis So that hundred dollars a day is worth what three thousand a month And we were already quite through the month.

I don’t know how far through the month. So they just took, you know, they took about 1500 over a couple of days, even though the budget was set as a cap of 100. And then you go back to them and say, I didn’t want to, you know, spend all that. And in fact, I’m not going to ever run Google ads again. Can I have my money back or at least some of it back?

And they’re like, no, that’s just how it works. And the other thing is, we didn’t get any conversions or maybe one conversion. It was like terrible.

Doug: Got it. Okay. Yeah. So to follow up on and just move on from that, I’m just testing it out. It’s kind of interesting. I I’m not, you know, all these YouTubers burnout, I’m not connecting my self esteem with the number of followers I have.

It’s just an interesting thing that is going on. And it’s not even interesting enough where I could like tell the story later and be like, Hey, I’ll be on your podcast. I’ll tell you how I doubled my channel in six months. Because I’m like, it’s kind of BS. They don’t even watch the other videos, but it’s just, I don’t know.

I’m checking it out.

Alex: In a week or so, you’ll be getting that plaque, huh?

Doug: I think so. Yeah, it’s coming up. It’s coming up. It’s insane. Like, just anyway, we’ll move on from that. But we do have, I need to say hi to Sarah, Edward’s wife, who doesn’t believe that we’re live right now. So what’s going on? Yes, send us a question.

Okay. So related to that, you have been YouTubing for many years. You’ve had some, you know, viral type videos and just really Oh, a good catalog that you’ve produced. You’re sort of shifting focus and interest in creating content sites. It’s lower right now. How has it been publishing videos that are a little bit of a pivot where maybe they’re not getting the same number of views as what you would expect?

Alex: Yeah, it’s been fine. It’s kind of expected. And I’ve actually, I’ve been thinking about this. I don’t know if you’ve ever done this. When you publish a video on YouTube, there’s a little tick box that you can tick or untick that says. Push this video out into the feeds of your subscribers or something like that.

You’ve seen that tick box? Yep, I know it. So, I’m thinking that tick box is for when you create a video that you don’t think is going to resonate with your subscribers. That way it doesn’t go out to them, it doesn’t get a low click through rate, and it doesn’t end up being a dead video. You know, because we all know that it’s the first day or two in a video’s performance that really affects how well it’s going to do.

Google send it to a few people. If it gets a good click through rate and a good watch time, it’s going to go out to more. So yeah, the videos that I’ve been creating, the ones like the best WordPress themes for churches, the best WordPress themes for affiliate websites, premium WordPress themes. I know that they’re not going to resonate too well with my subscribers because my subscribers probably already have websites, but those videos have been built for search.

And in fact, They do quite well in search. You do a search for a few of those terms, you’ll find my videos come up quite well on the Google search and also in YouTube. So they were built for search and I’m thinking now actually I need to be more careful with that tick box and maybe for those kind of videos untick it and the ones that are aimed at search.

I still do make videos for my subscribers. I’ve done a couple of vlogs this week where I’ll just make them as I’m walking around town and I love making those videos. They’re super easy and quick to make and they’re just like a brain dump. And they do resonate well with my subscribers because they’ll get a thousand views in a day.

But that, those views will be purely from subscribers and I don’t expect to get anything from search with them. So yeah, it’s kind of interesting. You make videos for different people and a video that may work well in search might not be the best for your subscribers. So yeah, I’m not worried about those low views.

I know that they’re a slow burn. And as they start to rank better in, on YouTube search, they’ll, they’ll grow over time.

Doug: It’s tough to deal with mentally sometimes, but you already, you knew what to expect. Yeah. I know for me, I got away from creating videos that would bring in new audience members. So it was almost all for the existing community, which leads to stagnation, but it’s It doesn’t burn me out, but it’s, it’s really tough to balance that.

Cause you really, I mean, you probably need to do at least 50 percent of your content on really growth and bringing in new audience members. What kind of ratio are you looking for?

Alex: Yeah, I’m thinking of about a 50, 50. I want to keep, I love my community and I love my subscribers and I love the people that regularly watch every single one of my videos and they always leave comments and engage.

So I don’t want to forget about them and I enjoy making the vlogs and publishing them. But yeah, I was, in fact, the last few months, my channel has been in decline. It’s been, I’ve been actually losing subscribers. And that’s not a nice analytic figure to see when your subscriber count is in the red. Um, there’s a couple of reasons for that.

I think the content I hadn’t been putting out much content, I hadn’t been streaming and I just haven’t been uploading as much as I could. And it also goes back to what we’re talking about a minute ago as terms of I did run some ads and I’m wondering if some of those paid for subscribers are dropping away now.

Thankfully now I’ve done a few videos that are for search and stuff. The subscriber is back in the green and it is growing again and I’m hoping I’ll hit 70, 000 the next couple of weeks.

Doug: Very cool. Well, let’s, let’s switch gears a little bit to the algorithm updates and you have a couple of sites kicking around.

Most of them are in public, I think, but yeah, did you like individually get hit and impacted by the recent updates?

Alex: No. Okay. No, I didn’t. And I don’t know why. My two sites, I mean, they’re nothing, they were both just set up as experiments and demos. In fact, the first one is snack eagle, which is about food.

Snacks, specifically. It was originally Best Corn Popper, and it was set up as a website to demo and showcase what popcorn themed could do, and it was like, well, we need a niche, and I was like, well, The theme’s called popcorn. So let’s do popcorn. So I started just doing a website about popcorn and then expanded it out into pretzels and potato chips.

Or crisps as we call them in the UK. And yeah. It’s got quite a lot of human written content, that site. But they were just writers. Not people that were particularly excited about popcorn or anything like that. And then more recently I’ve been adding some AI content to it which has been heavily edited.

My other site, Can You Wash It? Was, I started that site before ChatGPT. It was in the days of Jasper. Those good old days. Jasper, one of the very first AI writing tools. And my theory was to create short, punchy, to the point content. So, can you wash a dog with bleach? That is a real search term, by the way.

The answer is no. Here’s why not. So, you know, kind of real quick answers. And then of course, ChatGPT came along and ChatGPT answers those questions very succinctly and quickly. Anyway, so anyway, yeah, Can You Watch It was full of AI content. I think it’s up to nearly a thousand posts now. And I’ve kind of doubled up the content because I create an English post and then I translate it into Spanish.

So it’s got a Spanish section as well. And yeah, both sites, they’re not growing but they’re not in decline. And I know from SEO experts that that’s. And ultimately they probably will get hit if your impressions are not growing. Yeah, that’s not a good sign in Google’s eyes. So I’m not sure what to do with them.

They probably need some links, more links, but I don’t know. And in terms of money, it’s very hard to monetize the snack eagle one. I mean, it’s monetized with Amazon. It pulls in, I don’t know, between 30 and 50 a month. There ain’t a lot of money in a bag of popcorn or even in a popcorn machine. And then we, can you wash it?

I’ve run it with some of these Ezoic ads for a while and. It was just a trickle of money. It’s, it’s going to need a lot more traffic to make any proper money. But yeah, they’re going sideways, no major hits. But then I’m aware of a lot of other people and others in the space that have spent thousands and thousands and thousands on human content, built up massive sites that were growing month on month.

It was, they were going to the moon. It was happy days that have just been absolutely destroyed.

Doug: You know, I’ll come back to you in a second about some of the stories that you’ve heard, but I did run a poll, which was inspired by Edward about whether or not people thought niche or authority sites would recover in 2024 from And Google updates that we’re sort of correcting the previous updates and we got 155 votes in the sad thing is the, the results of this don’t matter at all.

It’s just a fun thing to do. Cause Google doesn’t look good. Yeah. So, 62 percent said yes. They thought sites would recover in 2024 and 38 percent said no. So kind of interesting. And Alex, what do you think? Do you think some changes and more shuffling is going to happen?

Alex: I think we need to be very clear on what we mean when we say niche website.

I think that’s the trick here, because the niche websites that I used to make, you used to make, we all used to make, were sites where we would pick a niche, you know, we’d say pick something that you’re interested in, that would help, but other people, most people wouldn’t, they’d just think, okay, well, dogs, that sounds interesting.

I know people with dogs. A lot of people have dogs. It’s going to be great. There’s lots of things to write about dogs. They probably didn’t even own a dog. And then you’d create content, or you’d pay writers to create content about dogs. And there wasn’t any real personality in the content, or heart, or experience, or knowledge, really.

It was just researching or regurgitating other people’s information. And that’s what a niche site was. And I think those kind of sites are probably best gone. They weren’t really serving too much use. I mean, the site I sold for a lot of money, I mean, it was all about roof boxes. I only ever owned one roof box, but I was writing about all sorts of roof boxes and whatever.

And when you think about it, how much value was I really adding? Only a very small amount, really. So I think those kind of websites are gone. I think, as I said earlier, going back to my new project here, the travel website. If you are passionate about something and you do have experience and you do have knowledge on it, and you are able to share it in a interesting and entertaining and engaging way, I think your site’s got a future.

I think that is exactly the kind of content that Google wants to serve to its users, either on YouTube or on Google search. However, I think the other problem is, is that at the moment, the algorithm and Google themselves, are very confused when it comes to picking out this content. I just don’t think that their technology, however complex and sophisticated the algorithm is, I still don’t think it understands what a good bit of content is.

Can’t read it like a human and go, this is a good bit of content. This is trash. So it relies on things like branding, which is why they always rank Forbes number one. And they always rank these other high authority sites well, because they just. Assume that the content is going to be okay because Forbes, the content’s always okay.

It’s like the old saying, when I used to work in it, you never get fired for. For buying IBM, I guess at Google or whatever, you never get fired for ranking Forbes because it’s never going to be terrible. No one’s ever going to lose their money or get some health problems from reading an article on Forbes.

So I think Google have these ideas of what they want to serve. And yet the algorithm is unable to distinguish what really is good content because they still use the old things like links, links. Links, I think mainly, so, so it’s easily manipulated. So I guess that’s the problem really. That even if you do create fantastic content, there still is a chance that you, you won’t get the exposure that you deserve.

Doug: I’ve been pivoting a little bit as well. Over to what I’m interested in, like complete parallel with you, Alex. So I’ve been more interested in creating podcasts and YouTube and that sort of thing. So I’ve been talking more about that and building a brand, literally same kind of thing you’re talking about a little bit less time.

There will be a blog component in what I’m working on, but kind of smaller. Do you. Add in, or will you have other layers aside from the blog? Are you going to have a podcast or you’re going to have YouTube? What other stuff, social media, whatever.

Alex: Yeah. I think you have to have all of them now. I don’t think a website is enough on its own.

I’m always worried if you, if I was just just to depend on a third party platform like YouTube, because you don’t own it, you don’t have any control over it, you hear about people losing YouTube channels or whatever reason. Google just doesn’t like you anymore and it’s gone. So I think you do need to have a mix.

So for my new travel website, for this to find a website, yeah, we’re going to have a website that’s going to be the main focus, but it’s going to have also have a YouTube. It’s going to have Instagram. It’s going to have Pinterest. I’m going to, I want to cover all of the social media platforms. Cause I just think it’s essential to.

To spread yourself and that this has come from experience as well over the last year or whatever, and you know, you’ve been through it as well. There’s been certain changes that have happened and it can really knock you. If you have only a few income streams or a few sources of traffic, and one of those gets taken out, it can be hard to recover from that.

So I’m going all in on kind of, diversification in terms of where I’m putting my content.

Doug: For, so you and I have been doing this kind of thing for a little while. You’ve been an entrepreneur for. many years. You only had a couple jobs, right? Just for a few years anyway. So it’s easy for us to say, all right, we’re going to do a diverse platform.

We’re going to have multiple different kinds of mediums that we’re working with for a beginner. Like, what would you recommend where if someone was starting from scratch and they’re like, should I do everything that you just said, Alex, or should I just kind of focus on one? And if so, how would you guide them?

Alex: I think that’s going to depend on the content you’re creating, the niche or the niche that you’re in, because some platforms definitely lend themselves more to certain niches. For example, if you’re doing something in fashion or something like that, Instagram and Pinterest. Would probably be a good place to go.

I think you should always have your own website I really think that is important that you have a domain name that’s brandable ideally and that you have your own Center point where all the kind of social media and other platforms kind of orbit that that central website So that’d be my first thing get the website done And then it’s really thinking about what are you able to create content for?

Are you confident enough to start doing YouTube? And I know that’s a hard question because a lot of people say, no, I’m not. And I think we were all maybe a little bit nervous before we started doing YouTube, but then you put out a video and it’s absolutely terrible. But yeah, if you’ve got any kind of inclination, I think YouTube is a great way to start.

And yeah, don’t worry that your first video is. I’m going to be terrible because they will hopefully get better over time. And don’t worry too much if you haven’t got the fancy camera and everything like that. You can do it on your phone and that kind of thing. So yeah, it really depends on the niche, but for me, it’s always been YouTube and and my own website.

Doug: Were you a big writer before just blogging?

Alex: No, no, I’ve only recently started getting into writing more for wpeagle. com, which I relaunched. I’ve decided that it was always my ambition to create videos and then create an article around the video. But I got lazy over the past years and just did videos because It’s easier for me just to sit in front of a camera and talk than it is for me to, to write stuff out.

Doug: It takes forever. Like with all the screenshots and stuff.

Alex: Yeah, but then it’s so satisfying when you do craft a nice article and it is full of nice images and maybe a video and some well written texts, well formatted texts.

Doug: When you walk around and do the vlog style, what are you recording on?

Alex: My iPhone 13, a couple of years old, it’s broken on the back and I also use.

Uh, I can’t see it now, but it’s a Rode, um, kind of lapel mic, labia mic.

Doug: Okay, and it just hooks up to your iPhone so you don’t have to

Alex: Yeah, it’s got a normal, 3. 5 mil on it. I think I originally bought it for my DSLR, but then I’ve got a lightning 3. 5 adapter. So put that in the bottom. When I was at affiliate gathering, I was using my phone as well to do all those interviews.

And I had a a road shotgun mic for the iPhone, which worked pretty well. So again, that just plugs into the lightning and then points. Forward or backwards, depending on which way you put it in. I think that’s the key thing with video. Most people will put up with bad editing on bad cameras, but bad audio. No.

Doug: I agree. A hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah. And those, I mean, you’re getting like. You know, a good premium brand road, but they have, there’s other brands out there. So if people are like, ah, I can’t do it until I buy the, whatever you probably, I mean, the iPhones are really good, probably Android too, but like the iPhones are so good.

Like I wasn’t sure. I thought you may have one of the, some kind of action cam, a DGI, whatever. I don’t know, but it’s just your iPhone. Cause they look good. They look pretty good.

Alex: Yeah, they do. Sometimes it gets the light a little bit wrong with this if it’s very bright behind me, but generally it’s fine.

And if I’m paying attention, you know, you can press on the screen and get it to focus. And even with the audio, if you’re not in a particularly windy place or a particularly noisy place, you can even get away without a mic. The iPhone is good enough that it will pick you up. And if you’re indoors, you’ll be fine.

Doug: All right. Switching gears a little bit here. Let’s talk about the use of AI tools, how they might change in the next year. What do you see coming our way? You were using Jasper for a few years before it

Alex: really caught

Doug: It was horrible then I stand by it, but yeah, you eventually got me around Alex. I credit you with that a hundred percent

Alex: just talking about Jas.

I do feel for Jasper. They were one of the first, they, they, they kind of pioneered the AI writing before GPT. I mean, they were obviously plugging into the open AI, um, API. And the other strange thing with that company was the cycle they went through. They were so full of energy, so excited, so positive. And, you know, they had a vibrant community on Facebook.

They had a vibrant affiliate community as well. And I had their CMO come on a live stream with me and we were chatting about Jasper and how. Fantastic. The product was going to be and, and, you know, and we all, those of us that were talking about Jasper and I was using it a lot. I was, let’s say, built a site with it.

And, you know, I did quite well as an affiliate out of it. And now they’ve literally kind of gone to zero. It feels like that they, you don’t hear from them. You don’t see them. In terms of my affiliate income. So that’s an indication of, um, how well they’re doing because it was a recurring income, although they did change that, which kind of had a bit of a bad smell to it, you know, send us some customers, you get a lifetime commission.

Oh, by the way, we’re not doing lifetime commissions anymore. After you’ve sent us a load of customers. I always think that’s a little bit out of order, but yeah, that as a company, they went for a strange side because. Cause basically ChatGPT came along and did what they do better and cheaper. And so in terms of AI, it’s disrupting everything.

And I just recently canceled a few of my keyword research tool subscriptions because I find myself using BARD and ChatGPT to generate keyword list or keyword clusters or any of that kind of stuff. I mean, of course it doesn’t have a nice interface like those tools, but with the right prompts, you can get the same data.

And in fact, I really trust. The data, especially from Google Bard in terms of keyword research and that kind of stuff, because It’s only going to be getting that information from Google itself. You’d think so thinking that the area that does intrigue me and I think could disrupt again, what I’m doing in terms of WordPress, in terms of popcorn is AI web design.

Now there’s a couple of tools that started to appear that do this. That’s going to change everything again. If you can just sit at a computer and say, right, create me a, design me a website. It’s going to be a blog site. It’s going to be about travel. I want it in red, green, and blue. And you know, I want a nice picture of the top, the navigation, basically just talk like you were talking to a web developer and it just does it.

That’s going to be, that’s going to be a game changer too. So I don’t know, AI has got so much potential and it’s going to disrupt so many things, so many things. Graphic design, it can do some such cool stuff. I mean, some of the photos now when you see the latest version of mid journey. It’s crazy. I mean, I’m pretty sure I can still spot an AI photo.

Um, a guy gave me a pamphlet the other day for a kid’s art class and had this picture of a child on the front spraying some stuff. And I’m saying, Oh, that’s an AI photo. He said, no, it’s not. The next day I said, Oh, you’re right. It wasn’t a photo, but he couldn’t tell. I mean, maybe I’ve just got a little eye for it cause we’ve been working for it for so long, but.

I guess in six months, we won’t even be able to tell.

Doug: And it moves so fast. It moves so fast in the last, whatever, 18 months or whatever, especially with the, with the graphics and stuff like that. So Oh, BARD for keyword research. Would love to see a demo. Alex, can you just talk us through like maybe how someone would use BARD or a similar tool.

Alex: Okay. Um, let me just I got it here. So yeah, I just did a, um, what did I say? Am I able to share my screen? I don’t know.

Doug: Maybe give it a shot. I don’t know if I have to give you permission.

If so, I don’t know what to do.

Alex: I can do this. You see that?

Doug: Oh yeah. Let me, I’ll pull it up. There you go.

Alex: So this is what I just did. I was doing earlier. I wanted some ideas for doing best, whatever in Estepona we say for the travel website. So I just asked by using the alphabet soup method.

I’m not sure if that was a term that came from income school. I’m not sure. Uh, use the alphabet soup method. Give me some keywords in the format of best and then start in Estepona. And then here we go.

Nice. You know, I’ve got a good, you know, a hundred or so article ideas there. So yeah, it’s just asking it. And I could probably have expanded that query and said, give me low competition keywords using this alphabet soup method, or maybe not. So just think about the keywords you want and give Bard a very specific prompt and you should get what you need.

Doug: And I see here, it’s. It’s only providing like three per letter and I’m sure you could say, ah, give me as many as possible. Give me

Alex: three new ones for each one. I don’t know.

Doug: So you could end up with hundreds of keywords and then probably tell it to put them in topical clusters. So you could prioritize.

Alex: And put them into a nice column that I can copy and paste into Excel or whatever.

Doug: I feel BARD to be really helpful, especially like if I’m researching, if I’m researching something and I know there’s a YouTube video on it and just say, Hey, summarize this video.

I mean, huge time saver.

Alex: There we go. Oh, he’s doing it there. Oh, wow. It got to F. I don’t know why it didn’t do anymore.

Doug: Okay. Perfect. Yeah. So I think for so many of the tools like, like normal, you just have to be a little creative about it. And. They’ll do, you know, whatever you want them to do.

Alex: Well, I can’t see, but he always did does the same. And I said, I like to use bar because I just have a feeling that the data may be more accurate, but maybe not, maybe do, but do one on both and see, we’ll see what kind of. Uh, results you get and you can never have too many keywords, I guess, but as you say, you could ask, but then or check to be teacher cluster them together to sort them by competition or by volume, get you get your plan done.

And you’d have to normally pay hundreds, if not thousands for tools like that. I see a lot of people are canceling ahrefs at the moment. Is that a tool that you use?

Doug: I did for many years. I was sharing an account with a friend, but I think they started to lock it down a little bit. And then when I tried to log in, they’re like, Oh, we shot you an email.

And I’m like, so I haven’t used it in a while.

Alex: Yeah. And we started, they moved to like a credit system, didn’t they? You do a couple of lookups and that’s it. Your credits are done. And yeah, a lot of that stuff. I still like those tools for competitor research. You know, when you stick in someone else’s domain and it gives you.

Their links and their traffic and I always think that’s quite useful And i’m not sure how you would do that with ai yet, but maybe you could maybe I just need to ask bard How many inward links does this domain have would it answer that?

Doug: It’s probably, if so, they’ll probably lock it down. They’re like, Oh, we don’t want, we don’t want people to know too much.

Alex: What are your thoughts on AI now? I mean, cause you’ve, you’ve come full circle on it.

Doug: I use, so I’ll talk about how I use it first. And then I don’t really have any big predictions, but the AI tools are fantastic.

I use them a lot for research, like I mentioned. So before interviews, usually what I’ll do. Is put in maybe a few bullet points about the topics I want to cover. Maybe specific questions I’ll put in the bio of the person. Maybe I could just send the about page to one of the tools and then say, Hey, I want to cover these things.

Here’s the bio. What are questions and topics? And that’s a great way to just use it as a research tool. And I’ve done a lot of interviews. So usually, I mean, I could wing it anyway, but if I have some to lean on, Alex, you and I are sharing a sheet right now, which I literally did that. I put in one of your videos.

I was like, Hey, let’s talk about this stuff. I put in a couple of ideas of my own, but then it phrases it. If we get stuck, which luckily we both like to talk. So we don’t even,

Alex: we never have any dead, dead air. It’s fine. And that’s chatGPT mainly. Is it?

Doug: I use Bard in this case, I think, but I usually have like one tab with Bard, one tab with chatGPT, and it just depends on like what I’m specifically doing.

I use Claude

Alex: Bard anyway? Where did that name come from? It’s terrible, I think. I don’t know. I don’t know. It’s pretty Bard.

Doug: Um, and then, The other thing I’m doing, we were chatting before, I’m using Descript for like video editing and transcription. That has Some AI capabilities in it. I’m sure they’re just calling chatGPT, but those are great. It’ll give you a show notes. It’ll give you timestamps, which is a huge time saver. And

Alex: I saw that they’ve added some features where it could even pick out some of the best bits of like a stream on, you know, pick out the interesting bits. If you want it to clip them up into shorts, have you tested it?

Doug: I haven’t either. We’ll try it on this.

Alex: I just saw the headline. I thought, well, that’s pretty cool.

I do. I’m aware that the thing I tried another tool that did that and. It wasn’t too bad actually, it did pull out, I mean there was a few bits that it got wrong, but in terms of It’s quite labor intensive to go through an old stream or a previous stream for an hour and a half and try and find the good bits.

Doug: Yeah. And I’ll, I will test that out. Like one thing I did do was just, I put in like a transcript of a full interview or whatever. And I was like, what are the redundant parts that could be edited out? And. Chad, GPT did a pretty good job. It was like, this doesn’t support your main thesis. This is redundant, whatever.

And it would give me the timestamp so I could go in and take it out. So a little clunky, but I didn’t have to read whatever, 12, 000 words for an hour long interview. So, yeah

Alex: that is cool. So I think that’s the main thing. I think AI is not going to take over the world. But people using AI will take over and people that use AI will certainly outperform people that aren’t using AI.

Doug: And I think, so I haven’t been using AI to. Publish like new content very much. One thing that I’m still working with my VA on this, we have say it’s a monologue. It’s a monologue of a podcast, right? And I want to have a blog post out of it. So I’ll still go on tangents and have little personal stories, but for the.

The blog post you want that to be a little tighter and I’m experimenting taking, you know, finish audio or video content and turning that into a blog post in my own words because it is based on my own transcript. Yeah. Like you wrote it. Yeah. Correct. And

Alex: My favorite for that is Harper. Have you tried Harper?

No. Harper. ai, which is the one that you Jaume did a video on it a while back. In fact, he did it in my video, I, you know, which you are in, I think, the one with the best AI tools. His pick was Harper, and that’s how I discovered it. And it’s a little Chrome extension, so you can just be on YouTube looking at a video, and you can create an article from it, and I find the output much better than, say, Koala, because Koala also has a YouTube video to article tool, but I always find it goes a bit waffly, whereas Harper seems to be a lot more concise and deliver something that’s very readable from a, from a YouTube video.

Doug: And I wonder, I wonder if BARD would do a good job because it has a YouTube video already, right?

Alex: Maybe. I think most of these tools, they read the transcript and if there’s no transcript, then they read the automated captions. Right. Richard Ranger said, I hope you don’t mind that I used Harper to make comments on your YouTube videos.

That’s weird. Nice.

Doug: So, and then as far as like predictions, I don’t know, I mean, I, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some completely different thing that we didn’t think of where a tool is being used and it ends up working out really well. I’m just not surprised any, since we’ve had so much change in the last 12 to 18 months, I’m not surprised about any.

Anything popping up where it can disrupt like a whole industry.

Alex: Yeah. I think it’s going to disrupt so many writing, graphic design, web design, software design. I don’t know. We’ll see. Talking about disruption. What do you think? I guess you’ve seen it of the, uh, Apple vision pro.

Doug: You know, I’ve only seen a couple of commercials for it.

It looks really stupid to me, I guess

Alex: Yeah. Just as a, as a future vision, it’s like the first iPhone, which was terrible. You couldn’t even shoot video on the first iPhone, but now look where we are and we’re making entire videos on my iPhone. But if you can just think of maybe some of those sci fi movies that you’ve seen in, in a few years, and it probably is only going to be a few years, maybe five years, and people are just wearing glasses.

With stuff overlaid in terms of augmented reality. Yeah. I think it’s going to be really bad for society. That’s just as I walked out last night, walking the dog, there’s a restaurant just up here. And it’s quite a fancy restaurant. And there was a table, there was about eight people sitting around the table.

I’d say maybe six of them were just sitting on their phone, just kind of texting. I mean, there were younger people, I guess, which, but then if you can imagine that you have to get your phone out and you’re getting notifications coming into your field of vision on your glasses.

Doug: It sounds bad. Yeah. I mean, to, to your point, when I see like most of the people that I hang around with, especially locally, like.

We’re not on our phones too often when we’re next to each other, right? Like sure, whatever you have

Alex: I think that may be the generational thing. You see the younger people, they are all the time. They sit, they’ve got their phone in their hand their entire time.

Doug: You know who else is bad with it? Old people.

So, like, our parents generation, like, they don’t, they’re like, I’ll do whatever I want anyway, you know? But they’re, like, stuck on the phone, scrolling on Facebook or whatever. But, yeah, I see what you’re saying, because I know everything is changing faster. And we just had, like, a big disruption with AI. So I could see Potentially the device is getting more sophisticated where they’re actually usable and the price is okay.

I still just like the AI writing tools, just like with Jasper. I’m like, I don’t see it happening. Like we’ve been promised this kind of thing for a long time. And like virtual reality stuff still kind of sucks. And like people get motion sick. And so that’s in my head, this is a little bit different and Apple’s pretty good product design, but they’re not all home runs.

But it could just be, like you said, five years, everybody’s wearing these glasses and no one’s, you know, they’re like

Alex: I’ve got to find it. Just wear glasses instead. Yeah. Or it gets to the point where you’ve got, you know, Elon’s chip directly into your brain and you’re getting your, your notifications just piped straight into your neural nervous core.

I don’t know. Whatever you, I don’t know. I think 20 year old me would be really excited about it. But now 40 year old me is like, this is not good for society. It’s not good for us as humans to have technology strapped to our face. No, I don’t know. Yeah. The systems from like the nineties, the headset was like the size of a table.

And then you’d go in and you’d be in some weird, horrible polygon world, but yeah.

Doug: Yeah. So I agree. I don’t think it’ll be a good thing in like, I mean, I have most of my notifications like turned off on my phone anyway, and I have like an iPhone 10, like I need to upgrade, but I’m just like, all right, it’s still working.

Knock on wood. I don’t drop my phone very often. So sort of side question, one interesting thing that like I’ve observed this for a few years. There are some sites that haven’t been. Impacted very much by some of the updates. A lot of times these are older sites. They’re like five, 10, 15 years old. And I still, it’s interesting.

This is kind of a meta thing where maybe you and I can appreciate it more. Hopefully the audience appreciates it too, but like it’s the people. They have sites that are like 15 years old and they’re like, Oh, you just have to write good content and like, you know, do, do the good, do a good job. And it’s like, well, you can’t give advice because you started your site 15 years ago.

So unless you’ve done one in the last couple of years, and that’s one reason why I’m like, I need to talk about what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years, not starting new sites. I haven’t been starting new sites for a few years. So what’s your take on that? Just people dispensing advice when maybe.

They should be dispensing different advice because they don’t have any relevant new information and their deal they’re operating on a completely different playing field than we are. So any thoughts on that?

Alex: I think that could be applied to a lot of things. I think, yeah, if you’ve been doing it for a long time, you’ve got a whole load of experience.

You’ve got a whole load of reputation. You’ve got a whole load of authority. It makes it a lot easier. New science is hard. And there’s always been the Google sandbox, right? But kind of in a parallel tangent, you go onto YouTube and there’s a lot of. Very successful people now that are on YouTube and they’re sharing their advice, they’re sharing like their morning routine, their, um, you know, they’re doing cold plunging and then they’re journaling and then they’re doing some breathing and they’re, you know, spending hours in the morning and they’re like, this is how you get successful.

And it’s like, that’s all the stuff you’re doing now at your point where you’ve made a whole ton of money and you’ve got plenty of time in the morning now to do all that stuff. But when you were starting and when you were hustling, were you really doing that? Is that what really got you to where you were or were you actually getting up in the morning and not doing any of that stuff?

You were actually just cracking on and doing some work. So yeah, I think you have to be really careful with advice and you’ve got to look at where that person is who’s giving that advice and what factors are different in their situation to yours when you’re just starting up and it’s, it’s, it’s hard when you’re starting up.

I mean, that’s, that’s, that’s just generally the message. And of course, if people are trying to get people to engage with their content or maybe sell some courses or whatever, people don’t want to hear that they don’t want to hear it’s going to be really hard and you have to put in a ton of work.

They want, you know, some easier, softer advice that seems like it’s more doable, I guess.

Doug: Yeah, no one wants to hear that.

Alex: No, but it is hard. And I think it is. Yeah. I don’t know what, if you were to start over today, what would you, what would you do? What would be your first thing? Would you, you wouldn’t set up a niche website, I guess.

Doug: No. So one thing I’m doing is I’m starting a new podcast. Did I tell you about this? So I’m starting a new podcast, SEO focused. More of the professional track versus like side hustlers. And I’m pretty much starting it from scratch. I will be using like everything I have to promote it. But

Alex: you say scratch, but you, you already have a reputation and a network.

Yeah. So to get some guests on that kind of thing is going to be easier than if it was scratch scratch, correct?

Doug: Yep. So I would, I would still similar to what you said, focus on a specific platform. And hopefully something you’re kind of interested in. You don’t have to be passionate about it. That’s advice from people that already like became successful.

Like just be a little interested, but focus on the one platform, whatever you connect with more, it could be, you know, writing. It could be audio, could be video, but I would say those, those would be the three. Um, I would stay away from social media unless you’re really into it, but for me, it’s like way too volatile and at our advanced age, Alex, you know, in our forties,

Alex: I guess you don’t include YouTube in social media.

No, when you say social media

Doug: I don’t, it’s a blend. Of course, YouTube is a blend. So good distinction. There’s a. There’s a part of YouTube where you can get a compounding effect of, you know, creating a large catalog of videos, maybe having like search or natural, uh, organic suggested type growth where there is the social component, their shorts.

I’ve been playing around with the community tab in the last week or so. So there’s some other pieces, but like. From a, again, compounding effect. I think publishing on YouTube, you do get that where if you go to a short form platform, it’s like, you kind of have to keep publishing.

Alex: You have to keep feeding the meat, the beast.

Yeah. And we’re talking Tik I guess those kinds of platforms, even Twitter, Twitter rewards you if you tweet regularly, for sure.

Doug: Really? And the thing is, like, again, in our advanced age, I don’t have the hustle. I don’t want to keep doing shit all the time and, like, be on the treadmill. And there’s going to be other people who have, you know, a, a better work ethic than me, they’re, they’re hungrier, they’re going to go after it.

So I’m not going to compete on that. And for everyone else out there, like you, you might be hungrier, you might be able to do it, but eventually you’re going to burn out. And even if you don’t think you will, eventually it becomes work. And then you just created a job you hate, which is a horrible place to be in because you could only blame yourself.

And you know it, and you’ll try to blame other stuff, you’ll try to blame the platform, but it’s your own fault. And it’s really hard because if you keep, like you’re saying, Alex, if you feed the beast, you get good feedback. You’re like, well, I have to keep earning money, so I need to keep tweeting so I get more email subscribers so I can sell the thing.

And you’re like, fuck, I hate this. And

Alex: then burnout is real and it will get you,

Doug: especially if

Alex: you’re in a, in a thing like we are, which is it’s a creative space, right? Putting, creating videos and content is creative. And when you have to be creative every single week or every single day, it takes a lot out of you.

Doug: Yeah, for sure. What’s the closest you got to burning out and being like, all right, I can’t do this

Alex: anymore. Well, quite recently. I mean, the other thing to consider as well, when you’re doing YouTube and. Content production, social media, especially as you say, if you are on TikTok or Instagram and that if stuff starts happening in your life that maybe you’ve got to take care of and maybe has an effect on your mental well being, it then becomes nearly impossible to present yourself online in a way that you want.

And that’s what I found recently. You know, my marriage and stuff has been going through some problems and other stuff. And when you got that stuff on your plate, it’s very hard to put yourself on in front of the camera and come across as you need to come across and as your subscribers and as your community expect you to come across when you’re not in the right headspace, you know.

They could hear it. And then that just adds extra pressure because you feel like I need to live stream, I need to create content, but I don’t feel like I can and you know, it’s like a downward spiral. It can be quite, quite horrible.

Doug: How did you get, get through it?

Alex: Um, I’ve just been making some changes in my life.

I’ve been consuming quite a lot of content on YouTube and there is great content on YouTube. There’s a lot of people that share some great advice and just watching some people there’s a lot of young men that. On YouTube that have, I mean, it’s, you’ve always got to take things with a pinch of salt, but they appear to have got a lot of stuff figured out.

They’ve made a lot of money, they’re healthy, they’re fit, they exercise, they eat the right things, and they just got a level of, um, awareness, which they share, which you just make a few little changes. So I’ve, you know, I’ve reduced, in fact, pretty much zero now, my alcohol intake, exercising more, sleeping better.

And all of those little things actually become quite big things in terms of your mental clarity and how you can actually deal with life situations because if you don’t have those basic things right, even just, you know, Robert, um, Robert Jordan Peterson says, like, you know, make your bed, tidy your place, you’ve got a clean environment and you’ve slept well and everything.

It does make everything a lot easier. It’s weird. So yeah, I’ve just gone back to basics and try to fix up my life and that and then the rest is kind of, Don’t try and aim for the big things. Go right. I need to go and make a massive website with a thousand pages to make money. You know, maybe you just need to get to bed on time.

That would be a good start.

Doug: Well, we’re here for you, Alex. So you got, you do have,

Alex: I know that you’ve done, you’ve been in a similar situation where you’ve decided, you know, that to make some more healthy choices. Right. Yeah.

Doug: And I know, um, I did dry January. We did have a side trip, so we ended up. Having a beer when we were out in the mountains, but honestly, one of the biggest things it’s like, everyone’s going to be like, ah, we’ll make that big of a difference.

Get enough sleep, everyone, and it’ll change your life. Like it’s huge. I was listening to a podcast the other day and the host said like one of the biggest markers, they did like some research, some study, they basically like ask people, Hey, do you Are you in a good mood right now? Are you happy? Are you content?

Whatever. And one of the major reasons why people are not happy or content, they didn’t sleep well the night before. You just think about it, right? Think when you’ve been traveling, or maybe you just didn’t sleep well. The next day is not great. And then imagine getting like, Perfect sleep, like night over night.

It’s amazing. It’s crazy. It just makes a difference.

Alex: And it’s so underrated. You know, you think I’d often think that I’m doing a good thing. You know, I’ve got stuff to get done. I’ll just like burn the midnight oil and, you know, work late work to one in the morning and I feel like I’ve been productive, but actually for that little bit of productivity in the evening of a couple of hours, I’ve then destroyed the entire next day’s productivity.

So it’d been better just to leave that task, go to bed and come to it in the morning and I’d have done it probably way better, way more efficiently. And I’d have had a good day afterwards. So in fact, there was one of my favorite podcasts at the moment is the diary of a CEO. Have you seen that one?

Doug: I’ve seen it around, but I’ve never checked it out.

Alex: Yeah. Some fantastic guests on there. And he had a sleep scientist, Dr. Uh, lady on there had written books about it. And not only does it affect you in terms of your mood, but they say that night shift workers. So a night shift worker is defined as someone that generally goes to bed after 10 o’clock.

You could be a night shift worker, but probably let’s say if you go to bed after midnight. They generally their lifespan is generally 15 years shorter, 15 years because if you don’t get enough sleep, your body can’t repair itself and you’ve got a higher risk of cancer of diabetes of, of tons of stuff just from not going to bed a decent time.

And there’s a lot of research coming into it. Yeah, it’s just interesting that little, little things can really have a big effect.

Doug: Yeah, so if that’s like the number, number one thing people could take away, I actually wrote a blog post. It’s at DougCuttington. com Slash sleep. So for the last couple years, I’ve really Tried to improve my sleep and like the stats are through the roof.

I’m getting a lot more deep I’ve done a couple things. I mean, how are you tracking that? I just have an Apple watch So it’s not perfect data, but it’s like good enough

Alex: You wear that to bed? Yeah, okay.

Doug: I do, yeah. And Yeah, it doesn’t bother me.

Alex: Say again? When do you charge it?

Doug: When, usually when I’m working or like if I, when I pop in the shower or whatever, I’ll just put it on the charger.

So when I’m here at the desk. Yeah, they charge pretty quick actually, don’t they? Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, and I, I’ve used it for a few years. So even if it’s not fully accurate, it’s directionally, it gives me an idea like where I’m at. And yeah, I, I mean, it’s easy stuff, but it’s not easy to do. So it’s like go to bed at the same time.

Like have sort of a wind down routine and most recently probably in the last two months I’ve I’ve just started reading longer like fiction before bed So that means I can’t use my phone to like scroll through social media reels or something. That’s my poison, right? Real well,

Alex: they reckon any of that blue light stuff before bed is bad But then I, I, my major problem is I get into bed and my mind is just racing and I’m just trying to park my thoughts, but they’re coming in and I’m thinking about business.

I’m thinking about life, meaning of the universe and everything. And I really need some quiet in my head. It does. Do you find the reading helps with that?

Doug: A hundred percent. Do you read fiction?

Alex: I don’t really read anything. I just get into bed and go to sleep, try and go to sleep and then

Doug: yeah, yeah, read, um, read fiction.

Cause like. If you read a business book, then you’ll be thinking about business or problem solving. But if you read a fiction book, like I’m reading a lot of um, like near future sci fi kind of stuff. So, you get into the story, find some authors you like, and just I’ve been reading for like an hour to an hour and a half before bed.

So it like, really winds me down, so by the time it’s nine o’clock Again. I can’t emphasize, I’m an old man now, everyone. You go to bed at nine o’clock? Yeah, yeah. Sleep like a baby. The thing is though, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and my, I will think about, uh, business problems and all that stuff in the middle of the night.

So if I wake up at like three in the morning, sometimes it’s hard for me to go back to sleep because I am, you know, same thing you’re talking about.

Alex: Once your mind stops going, you’re like, oh.

Doug: Yep. And I’m like, don’t, don’t think about it.

Alex: You’ve never had children, but. Babies are terrible sleepers. That’s a weird phrase.

Doug: Yeah. Yeah. So, okay. We’re, we’re getting a little, a little of track

Alex: Off on a tangent, , you know, these kinds of things affect everyone regardless of whether you’re doing a niche website, YouTube or whatever.

If you want to do those things well, then these kinds of stuff’s important, right?

Doug: I want to highlight something and this is the stuff you and I would talk about anyway. We probably wouldn’t talk about niche sites. If we’re sitting around drinking some tea, you know, cause we’re now more mature. Um, but with the, with the burnout and with like doing a little work before bed and like, Hey, I’m going to, I’m going to put in and crank out a couple more hours, like we should all be focusing on how we can be the most consistent.

So even if you didn’t do the work that night. You can catch up the next day, and if you burn out, like you end up quitting or you stop doing work on that project for a long period of time. So really, it is better to just do a smaller, more manageable piece of work and put up shop, get a good night’s sleep, you know, read some fiction.

You don’t, I mean, I was reading maybe like 15 minutes before bed for a very long time. And now I just like got into a couple of books that I was into and I realized like, Hey, like, I actually. I’m sleeping better through the whole night. Maybe I should read longer. So, anyway, it’s so important to be able to like, start a project that you could like, finish and be consistent over a really long period of time.

Which, it’s tough to do on social media. Yeah.

Alex: Consistency is key to everything.

Doug: Alright. So, as we’re wrapping up here,

Alex: The thing is, it was I’m English. I’m from England and drinking and indeed in a lot of Europe and maybe not so much in America, but in quite a big way in America, it is ingrained into the culture drinking.

It is and the more you look at it, the more you kind of think that’s weird. That’s that a drug that’s so bad for you that wrecks so many lives and destroys so many people’s health. is so tightly interwoven with our social interactions, with business, with, with, with everything. Yeah. And so that’s why, you know, English people tend to drink.

I mean, I started drinking when I was a teenager, you know, 13, 14 years old. And, um, yeah. It’s a funny thing, alcohol, and none of it makes any sense. Well, it does make sense because the alcohol companies are huge corporations and have huge effects on governments. That’s why it’s such a great part of our society.

And yeah, I could go on and on about that. It’s something that’s another podcast. That one, I’m working on that. So a couple of follow up things here. So Alex, well. Well, we see you do more live streams coming up this year. What’s kind of your plan? Which is subject to change? I’m just curious. Yeah, I do want to do more live streams.

Um, I don’t know. I’ve seen you do that. Maybe you can help me with this. I’ve seen you do some live streams and if you feel like it looks like you’re just, um, Just kind of hanging out, no real plan. And I’ve started to find that now, if I don’t have a guest or if I don’t have something really important to talk about, I don’t feel motivated to do a live stream.

Cause I, I fear that. You know, it’s just going to be dead air and it’s going to be a boring stream. But what, how do you get around that? Or do you just wait till you have a guest or some, some important topic to talk about? No, I mean, you saw right through my, my plan. So I was like, I need to get a, so I pinged you, but those other weeks, I literally, like I, I came up with decent headlines and they actually got some okay views.

Doug: And I had maybe three bullet points to talk about, but it was like, what are we going to do with niche sites in 2024? Because I knew early part of the year, people are thinking about that kind of stuff and it’s volatile. It’s a conversation that was going on. So I have the same fear because it goes back to what we talk about, where it’s like we have an audience.

The live streams are for the community. And it’s kind of tough if only like 10 people show up and it’s like it’s fine, but like we’ve done hundreds of live streams So like it’s not as novel and it’s kind of a bit of a chore if you don’t have something to do So I’ve somehow managed my energy level well enough so that even if it’s going to be a lighter topic, or if I don’t have much like, Hey, let’s just chat today.

I’ll go ahead and do it. But I am trying to get some more guests and I just need to plan ahead a little bit more to make it happen and make it a little bit easier because it is fun. Like really, it’s just like, invite your friends on chat with them about what you would, we’re going to chat about, and then you got a good show.

So, I’m not sure if that, is that useful at all? Yeah, it is, yeah. And maybe I need to just be more consistent again on the live streams. And yeah, I used to do it. And now I feel like my energy again is at a good place that I could probably do it. I think maybe it’s just because of my situation before that I’ve, I felt like I would struggle with the dead air, but now I feel like I wouldn’t because generally I get engagement and you know, I can just, Feed myself off the chat and the questions and the comments and, and yeah, if we go off on a tangent, like now talking about sleep and that that can often get some good engagement.

Alex: And then, you know, you can talk about that for 10, 15, 20 minutes. And it’s interesting. I think maybe I’ve just thought I have to talk about websites. And that’s maybe where I’m stuck. And especially right now. And I want to talk about that because it’s horrible. Um, that might be why, but yeah, I don’t, yeah.

More live streams, more guests. I love having guests on. It’s fun. And, um, Yeah, I want to try and pick out some, I think this year I’d like to have some guests from or some people on that are less well known people that have been doing well, but kind of in the background because there’s a ton of people that are good at SEO and websites and making a ton of bank and you don’t see them on YouTube.

So maybe trying to tease them out because especially at the end of last year, I don’t want to name any names, but there was a few people. That we’re just doing every single, um, podcast, every single live stream, every single interview and, and they were just kind of saying the same stuff and I get it. They want to, you know, they want to raise their profile, which is absolutely fine, but I think, you know, once you’ve seen an interview with one person once, unless you’re really into them, I don’t know if you want to keep seeing them all over.

So, yeah, I want to try and tease some people out that maybe don’t often share their stuff.

Doug: I think, um. People would love that by the way. Cause like sometimes people make the rounds or I’ve been going back through the archive for like niche pursuits. Cause Jared has done a really good job. Jared and Spencer have done a good job, like finding some stories that haven’t been told.

And a lot of times it’s from their audience. So I’ve pinged a couple of those people to get. Um, one thing I’ll suggest, which maybe we could both do, uh, individually, it’s just like, we’ll have a guest, but we could also like solicit questions from the audience ahead of time. So, you know, we could put that in our community, uh, tabs or whatever.

Get questions from the audience. Hey, we’re going to have so and so on. And that way, like it can flow a little better. You can deal with dead air, or like if you have dead air, you can ask those questions, but it kind of gives like, A, a path for you to do the show without having to do all the preparation and like carry the whole thing.

So,

Alex: yeah, that makes sense. You’ve done 2000 videos, Doug.

Doug: Yeah. Something like that. Uh, crazy.

Alex: Wow. I thought my thousand videos was impressive. That’s, that’s incredible.

Doug: I’m a big believer in quantity over quality and the videos, they support

Alex: that. You see these channels are like free videos and they’ve already hit a million subs.

What the hell is that all about?

Doug: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And the thing is like consistency over time, like a thousand videos is a ton also. And 2000 is just an absurd amount. Clearly. I just, it’s at one point I was like, all right, let’s see how many we could publish. And it’s a lot. It’s a lot. All right, man. Where can people find you?

Alex: They’ll find me at WP Eagle, just search that on YouTube, wpeagle. com. I’d love you to come check out the website. Um, I’ve got a, um, a course on there, a niche website, free course. Um, maybe I need to rethink that now. But yeah, basically, I’d love you to join my email list if you’re not on already. I do, I don’t send out many emails, but when I do, they’re pretty good.

So you want to check that. And yeah, you’ll find me on Twitter. I do tweet occasionally and, or X as it’s called. Um, but yeah, YouTube is the main place. So, uh, go check out my channel if you haven’t done so already. Although I think most of you watching are probably already, already in the family as it were.

Doug: All right. Awesome. Everybody check out WP Eagle, subscribe to the email list. If you’re, if you’re interested in this specific theme, it’s called popcorn. Um, and you, then you could customize it for your own. It’s the pro blogger, um, styling.

Alex: The travel template just came out today maybe or yesterday. Check that out.

Doug, have you got a discount code?

Doug: Probably, probably. I can’t remember. I don’t know

Alex: Let me just check, check that. I mean, there might be a little discount available if you use Doug’s code. Um, I’ve got the, got the codes right here.

Doug: All right. That’s awesome. Yeah. And I was going to say, I was looking for the travel theme cause I think I’m going to use popcorn for my new podcast.

Do you think the travel theme would be good for a podcast? What would you recommend, Alex?

Alex: I think we should create a theme specifically for a podcast. Find me your favorite podcast website. Send them over to me and we can be inspired by them. Okay. I’ll, uh Yeah, there is actually. All you need to do at the checkout, enter Doug for a fantastic 15 percent off.

Uh, that’s either lifetime license or, um, the month, uh, the annual license. Okay. So just Doug. Easy to remember.

Doug: Awesome. I’ll, I’ll add that in the show notes. So in definitely the best value is like to get the lifetime, right?

Alex: Uh, yeah, for sure. It seems to be the most popular, uh, in terms of sales, but you know, of course, awesome.

You’re going to be able to sign up for the annual and then immediately cancel their PayPal subscription as soon as they,

Doug: oh man,

Alex: people, that’s fine. You still get a year. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Awesome. Use the code to check that out.

Doug: Coupon code Doug, save 15%. And yeah, I’ll connect with you, uh, Alex on that. And we’ll hang on in chat for a minute here.

Alex: Perfect.

Doug: All right. Thanks. Y’all

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