Transcript: Travel & Local Sites in 2024 – Alex Cooper, WP Eagle – DS517

Doug: Hey, what’s going on? Welcome to the Doug show. My name is Doug Cunnington. And today I chat with my friend Alex Cooper over at WP Eagle. This was a live stream that we recorded a few weeks back. I can’t remember exactly, but we talk about his new project, his new website and overall brand that he’s launching.

And just recently launched the website. It’s called Estepona Life. And it’s a local. Kind of hub of a brand where he talks about his city, his town that he lives in, in Spain. So we get into some of the details on that, the challenges that he’s experiencing, the overall sort of content and niche site world, and how he’s approaching this new project with a different idea about the content he’s producing, the monetization and so on.

It is a live stream or it was a live stream, but we’ve tried to edit it down. My great assistant, Callie has edited this so that there are not too many off topic, random questions from the chat. And we kind of go through. So we do answer some questions, but usually they’re. Relevant to the topic. Anyway, if you want to check out Alex’s channel, he’s over at Alex Cooper dash WP Eagle, that’s something you could look up.

We’ll certainly link to it so you can get to it. And that’s in the show notes and description there. And you can check out his new website, Estepona Life, which is where he’s publishing the web content for this project. Additionally. He has a really cool, uh, website in general, uh, wpeagle. com. And I will point out, he has a WordPress theme called popcorn, which I’m an affiliate for, I’ll link up if you do want to check it out.

Anyway, Alex is a cool guy. He’s a friend of mine. We text each other occasionally, and I hope you enjoy this interview. Definitely check out his stuff and we’ll catch you on the other side.

Intro Music

Doug: Hey, what’s going on? Welcome to the Doug show live. Today, we’re going to talk about how to launch a travel site or a sort of a local site in 2024 with all the changes. And I have my good buddy, Alex Cooper from WP Eagle. How’s it going today?

Alex: Good. How are you?

Doug: I’m good. Yeah, doing really good over here.

It’s getting, getting a little warmer and we’ve been going out hiking and you know, it’s kind of summertime here and it is getting quite warm, even though there’s still a lot of snow in the mountains, but yeah, things are great. And we haven’t caught up in a little while. So I’m excited to talk about all the news out there and hear about what you’re doing.

Alex: So when you say warm, what kind of number are you talking about here?

Doug: So you’ll have to convert it. It’s been like in the eighties. Like 80 to 85. So I think that’s like in the high 20s or so. Well, that’s like 27. Yeah, that’s warm. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So it’s like significantly warm, but it cools off at night and in the morning.

It’s, it’s pretty nice. So.

Alex: Yeah, that’s similar to what I did down in, down in the South of Spain here is about 25, 26, 27, which I think is, yeah, about 18.

Doug: Yeah. Yeah. So it gets a little warm, but it cools off at night and it’s, it’s very dry here too. So, but like I said, there’s a ton of snow is still in the mountains.

Like, I think it probably was snowing up at high elevations today. But anyway, today we’re going to talk about your new site. We’re going to talk about some of the recent videos that you posted. Plus we had Google accidentally leak, or we don’t know if it was accidentally, but like Google leaked some.

Alex: Are these leaks ever accidental?

Doug: So. Right. Yeah. And, and I mean, they’re very, they’re very smart there, but yeah, there’s been a lot more chatter. And in fact, in my other podcast, Mile High FI, I, this was a couple of weeks ago. I was like, I stopped using Google as my search engine in AirQuotes and I’m using DuckDuckGo.

And I switched over to Safari primarily. And, you know, there’s some, Google products that I use like docs and the full suite of sheets and docs and a couple other things. So it does work better in Chrome, but it’s still usable in Safari. But I’m just like, you know what? It’s a little thing that I could do.

So yeah.

Alex: Well here’s a little thing you can do. If you’d like your Chrome based browser, I’ve been using ARC. Have you heard of ARC? It’s a real sweet browser. It takes a little bit of getting used to, which is like all these things, like a lot of people, they don’t want to switch browsers because then when you’re trying to do stuff, you’ve got to think a little bit more, haven’t you, because you know, you’re just kind of used to where everything is on Chrome, but ARC is a Chromium powered browser, so all your Chrome extensions and all that stuff works perfectly fine with it, but it doesn’t give all your data to Google and the interface is just really slick and it’s really nice.

You can just, you can kind of get rid of the bars and everything and just have a full screen experience. And then when you need to access your stuff. It’s really cool. And the stuff that you use all the time, like maybe Gmail and Google Docs, they kind of, you can have them as kind of like little apps.

Check it out. ARC browser. Really cool.

Doug: Gotcha. Yeah. May need to do that. Well, the other, you know, related I’ve used max for like 15 plus years or so. And I started using the mail and calendar app. That is, it’s on my machine and it works fine. I just usually would be in Chrome using Gmail and whatever. But anyway, I’m like, ah, I’ll use the native apps and see how they go.

But anyway, yeah, there’s a lot of use on iPhone

Alex: It kind of makes it all fit together nicely.

Doug: And it works pretty well. So no complaints. Well, let’s let’s get into it

Alex, you have experienced the same thing as, as many of us where like we had sites going, we were marching along with content websites, and then things changed a lot last fall, then in the winter and then in the spring, and then there were other updates. And generally there’s a lot of people just kind of giving up on SEO.

In fact, you mentioned just before we hit go, Matt Diggity, our buddy Posted on X on Facebook, which we’ll probably read out a little bit of it, but he says SEO is dead, not completely. And then he went on a little bit further, but basically he was like, things are kind of different now overall, but yeah.

Can you talk about how you’ve been pivoting a little bit in some of your recent content on YouTube?

Alex: Yeah. I mean, I’ve been doing a lot more social media which has been fun and. I guess my new site is about where I live here, Estepona, which is a up and coming tourist town. I mean, when I first started coming here, not many people knew about it.

Now, a lot of people know about it and a lot of people are coming here. For better or for worse. A lot of the locals maybe are not so happy that there is so many tourists now appearing. They’re building hotels everywhere. There’s a lot of redevelopment. The Paseo which is down the front by the sea is, it’s all been completely redone.

There’s flowers, there’s fountains, there’s palm trees. You know, right next to the beach is complete paradise. And a lot of people have discovering it and they’re like, wow, I’ve got to, I want to come here on holiday. I want to buy a place here. So yeah, I’m doing an English website. There probably will be a Spanish version in the future, but yeah, sharing things about where to go, what to do, where to stay, what to eat how to keep the kids amused, what to do when it rains.

All that kind of stuff. So my new site is a combination, which is not quite live yet, but it’s almost live. It’s a combination of directory. So I’m creating pages about pretty much every location. It’s going to take a little while, but I’ve got plenty of time. I’m starting with the locations and restaurants and cafes and bars and hotels that I know.

And, um, yeah, and then I’ve got a e commerce site. I’ve thought doing print on demand, but I should have put one of the t shirts on, I’ve got a few of the t shirts they’ve started to arrive cause I’ve ordered them and we’re wearing them around town. A lot of people have been saying, wow, where do I get those t shirts?

So that’s exciting. Then I’ve got the kind of standard content. that you’d expect. Articles on things to do when it’s raining, where to get a great cup of coffee, what to do with the kids, the best Instagram spots. I’ve got a whole lot of keywords that I’m working for on that. And the other thing I’m trying to really push for on the site when it’s live is user generated content.

Because I’ve, in a lot of sites that haven’t been hit so bad, I’ve got a lot of user generated content. So I’m proactively within the articles and just within the design of the site. And I did share all this in a recent video, asking people to Post their experiences and their comments and their thoughts on various locations.

So, yeah, it’s exciting. And with regards to social media, which is probably the fifth big part of it, I’ve started the social media already. It’s already been going for over a month, maybe two months, and I’m just really loving it when I go out, which I obviously go out every day, walking around the town, I see stuff going on and I’m just videoing stuff, taking photos, then using buffer, which is.

Like a scheduling tool for social media to schedule a whole lot of stuff up to Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest Twitter, or X YouTube as well, and even TikTok. And it’s all growing really nicely. I mean, I have pushed the button a few times to boost a few posts, but only the odd euro here or there. And yeah, it’s getting good, good growth.

And in fact, just today I was sitting in a cafe and there was a couple of people there. tourist that we’re kind of looking for their hotel. And I said, Oh, you’ll probably want that hotel over there. And he’s like, yeah, yeah. I saw a video about it. And in fact, I think it was your video. So that’s kind of cool.

I said, when you go to the hotel, you tell them that you found out about the hotel. And that’s happened a couple of times. There’s a few people, I was at a cafe that I did a video at the other day, and someone said, I watched your video. That’s why I’m here. You said this place does good food and good coffee.

And you were right. So The more of that I can get, then I think I can get to a point where I can start to encourage businesses to pay. So far, the way they’re paying me is with like free food and drink and stuff, but that’s fine. Ultimately, I’m going to try and get some sponsorships and sell advertising and things like that.

Doug: So much to unpack. So social media is a big portion of it. And I know we’ve, we’ve chatted before, and you’ve actually published a couple of videos where you mentioned like, Hey, I published a few hundred posts, 433 posts to social media in the last two months. And here’s what happened. So. With the business model overall, how are you thinking about monetizing?

And again, you know, I see, obviously we have the print on demand, so that’s pretty straightforward, but you also mentioned keywords. So what’s the overall monetization strategy?

Alex: Wow, multiple, yeah, the e commerce, which I’m excited to explore because that’s not something I’ve done too much of, but I, I figured that with some really good t shirt designs and other merchandise, hats and mugs and whatever else, cups and maybe some good Facebook ads that might work really well.

The other monetization is through selling probably banner space, but also maybe sponsored content. So I’ll write about a hotel or I’ll write about a cafe or maybe on my article where it’s like the top 10 places to get a good cup of coffee. I may pay for placement at the top of that article or maybe charge for placement at the top of that article.

So yeah, doing business deals directly with local businesses here. And I have already had a couple of people interested. One of them was a real estate company, so that could be quite interesting. I guess that might be another opportunity. If people have got real estate that they want to advertise or maybe places to rent, I could maybe have a billboard.

So yeah, there’s gonna be a lot of direct deals. Initially I, I was thinking about affiliate and I think I’m still going to pursue affiliate. So I’ve signed up with travelpayouts. com, which is kind of like a, an agency for travel affiliates. They kind of bring all the travel Affiliate programs together in a one kind of nice place.

I guess they’re a network, maybe a bit like ClickBank, but for travels. So yeah, when I review a hotel, I’ll have a booking. com widget or something on that page so people can check availability, book a room, and earn a commission that way. And then maybe something like Mediavine or Rapture or, you know, I’m not too sure about the future of those kind of things.

What are your thoughts on on that traditional model of slapping ads all over the site?

Doug: I think. I would prefer the direct deals that you mentioned just because the margin so high there’s always a trade off. So you’ll have to find the people. Court them and then run the deal and negotiate and all that stuff.

And then, you know, you could make it like a quarterly deal or every six months, so you don’t have to like renegotiate all the time, which is, would be a pain in the butt. But I mean, those companies like MediaVine or Ezoic, like they’re taking a big chunk of like the revenue. So if you cut out the middle person, then you can just take a lot more home.

Plus, I mean, you, you hit, I mean, I think we often think too small with we’re like, Oh, we could do some affiliate deals and do some stuff. And it’s just what we were used to. But you mentioned real estate. It’s like, there are professionals that are doing stuff and they’re spending a lot of money on marketing and it’s a big ticket item.

Right. And there’s a bunch of other stuff too. Like, I mean, if you are doing directories and stuff, like there’s other professionals out there that. Would benefit from advertising and they’ll pay so much more than like our traditional, just generic ads for the general population, for people that are like, I might want to go visit Estepona.

Alex: Like, yeah, it can be super targeted, super relevant, and hopefully super productive for them in terms of the ROI. I think if I get it right. So yeah, I’m kind of at the point now where I want to build up the numbers on, on social media and when the website launches, which it’s going to be next week, I’m sure I keep saying, and it’s going to be next week, but then I keep writing more content.

And then I’m like, Oh, I really need an article about that. So I can link to that. And then, Oh, I need to, I want to talk about that place and I haven’t put them on the directory. So it’s like constantly just adding, adding more content, which is fine. It’s fun. But yeah, I need to get to a point where I press the button, but yeah, I want to get some good numbers up so I can have like a media pack or something where I say, you know, I’ve got 2000 Instagram followers.

My posts get this kind of reach, get this kind of engagement. So I’ve got some numbers that I can present to people and cause that’s what people want to buy, I guess. And I guess that like a sponsored Instagram post could be another way of doing stuff as well, which I’ve, I’ve had been experimenting with.

There’s a cafe down the front and they wanted to do some fitness classes. And so I’ve been filming them, which was, Terrible, you know, filming women in Lycra doing exercise. It’s tough work. Someone’s got to do it, but they’ve, I’ve seen that go from nothing. And a lot of the messages have come through Instagram.

And now, like this morning where they did it and there was about eight or nine ladies and this is like the third week now. So it’s, you can see it growing obviously with a little bit of word of mouth, but a lot of them have seen it through Instagram. So there’s definitely value in that, in just you know, selling an Instagram post about whatever someone might want.

And for that, I do need to have a certain level of following and some numbers about reach and engagement. So, yeah. I can sell it, you know, a couple hundred bucks for an Instagram post would be okay.

Doug: Are there other sites that you’ve seen or brands, cause you’re doing a full suite of content, social media, you got the website, you got YouTube, you have short form video.

Are there any sites or examples of brands that are six months or three years ahead of you where you’re like, I like what they’re doing and I can see how this business model could work?

Alex: Yeah, there’s one, um, in the next town along, which is a, is a bigger town, I will say, and is a more established resort town.

It’s Marbella. You may have heard of Marbella. Marbella. Some English people may call it Marbella, because it’s double L, but obviously in Spanish that’s pronounced with a yuh sound, so it’s Marbella. Very popular, very slightly upmarket town, I guess, but yeah, there’s a website there called, uh, Marbella Life, I Marbella lifestyle.

So not a million miles away from Estepona life. And yeah, it’s very popular. You can see how they’ve monetized with selling advertising. Got very big social media following and it’s just run by a couple from what it looks like. And it seems to be doing, doing really well. So yeah, that’s kind of what inspired me to do my site.

Doug: Is there sort of an active chamber of commerce or other Essentially small business owners in town where they meet up and then the city, like the city council, and they all kind of help each other out like, can you go to those meetings and basically just be like, Hey, I’m trying to do this thing and it helps all of us if, you know, you help me out with some content or whatever.

Is there something like that there?

Alex: I think there is. There’s definitely a rotary. Okay. Rotary. So that’s maybe a good place to start. But yeah, there is certain, there’s got to be some other business groups. I haven’t really explored it, but yeah, that’s a good idea. I’m sure there must be. I know that there was, um, there’s like a remote working group.

I saw that, but I don’t know how relevant that would be, but that might be just fun to go to where, you know, like a load of nomads, digital nomads turn up and work together. Gotcha. But yeah, that’s a good idea. I’m sure there, there is various coffee mornings or breakfasts.

Doug: Yeah. I feel like, you know, you could.

show them how to do some social media stuff or whatever, and just be helpful. And then you have your platform that you’re growing and you can all work. I mean, everybody wins, right? If you’re all, I mean, cause you’re not a competitor. You’re just like, I want to help you guys bring in more business, whatever their business is.

So it kind of makes sense to do that.

Alex: And I guess, I mean, I’ve got a lot of these things. I could let people do something for free to start, start the ball rolling and just see what kind of response they get. And then once. Once they get a response, they’re obviously going to want more, I guess.

Doug: And I bet, I mean, some of this stuff, you could even, you don’t even, you know, have to talk with them about it or whatever.

You just start sending them traffic, start creating content around it. And then they’ll, they’ll be like, who is this guy? Like, why, why are there more people coming in from this post? And then, then. You don’t have to sell it. Like they will come asking you about it.

Alex: Yeah. That’s the dream, I guess. That’s a great way of doing it.

I mean, I’ve had a few people criticize or at least comment and say, well, but it’s not a particularly big town. It only gets, I don’t know, 250, 000 visits a year. How are you ever going to make money? So I don’t know. I’m going to have to see. I’m gonna have to be creative, I think, but I think with the right, putting the right people in front of the right people or the right businesses, you say that’s very valuable to them.

So if I can charge a good price. a good rate for that, then maybe I don’t need the big numbers that, you know, traditionally we think we need in order to make money out of like Ezoic or affiliate where you, you kind of, it’s more of a numbers game, isn’t it? So I think it’s going to be more about quality than quantity.

Doug: One thing I love to do when I visit a new place is take like a walking food tour. And you mentioned that you’re, you know, you’re eating food and you’re checking out the restaurants and coffee shops and all that. So I don’t know if you would want to do it, although you’re fun to hang out with. And I think you could do like, Hey, I’m doing a walking food tour.

I have these relationships. And the cool part with those type of tours is if I go to a restaurant, I want to try all the stuff they’re well known for. But I don’t want to order like five entrees for like one person. So you just get like a bite. So the tours that I’ve gone on, basically, you go to these restaurants, you get their best three things, and then everybody shares it or five things or whatever.

And then I get a little history lesson. I get to walk and check out all these restaurants. And then if I like a place I can go back, of course, but it’s just a fun way to do it. So have you thought about like,

Alex: Yeah, that’s a good idea. We’ll get a group of friends and just, just do that and film it. Yeah.

That would be good. Yeah. I mean, I thought about doing that with the ice cream. I want to do an article or a video about where to get the best ice cream because there’s like I don’t know, 15 different ice cream shops here. So, that would be like, get the kids together, a group of kids, and we just go out and we go to all these different shops and just try ice cream at each one and film it.

Maybe to get it kind of consistent, we just pick one flavor, like chocolate or vanilla, and just try that at each one and find out which one’s better. And get the kids to kind of all rate it. And hopefully they don’t throw up by the end of it.

Doug: Well, that’s a great idea for a piece of content, but I was, I was thinking more like you run a food tour and people pay you like a hundred bucks and then you take them to like five places over two hours and they get to try all this stuff.

And then you tell them about like, Hey, I went to this place first and they’re well known for blah, blah, blah. The founders are, you know, longtime locals. Something like that.

Alex: Yeah. And the other idea that I got at affiliate gathering was to maybe do some kind of discount card where I speak to again, restaurants or whatever, and they accept this card and maybe give 10 percent off the bill or something, and then figure out, yeah, maybe they, they pay to join this or I don’t know, I guess there’s some way of making it work.

So yeah, they’re getting extra business cause people will go to the places that accept this card and yeah. Yeah. That was some idea that it was quite late at night when we’re talking about that.

Doug: No, no, no, that makes sense. I mean, it’s they, they would potentially run more ads in there, but you could do like test runs and figure out like how other companies monetize it.

But I would suspect like you just get the discount codes or whatever, and then you sell the card for 20 bucks, but they could save like a hundred if they go to all the places. Right.

Alex: So that the companies don’t pay as well to be a part of it. I don’t know.

Doug: Yeah, if you get enough

Alex: people, yeah.

Doug: Okay, so one other thing you mentioned is keywords.

And, We’ll get a little bit into some of the Google stuff going on, of course. But how are you thinking about keywords these days? You, I think you even created a video, you published a video and it says niche sites, no more. And usually niche sites or authority sites, we think of keywords, like it’s largely keyword driven.

So what keywords are you looking at? What kind of strategies are you using these days for this site?

Alex: I’m still doing the standard keyword research. I. Use some SEM rush keyword data. I’ve been using the output method. I think with what I’m doing, the competition is so low. I mean, the main competition is probably TripAdvisor, a couple of other small hobby sites around the town, which haven’t been updated that often on if they are updated, they’re not particularly good quality.

So yeah, it’s kind of standard keyword research stuff that you would expect. And it also seems that a lot of people, especially when they’re here, they’re searching on google. es, which I think is a couple of algorithm updates behind where you guys are. I mean, we haven’t, we haven’t got the AI overviews.

Are you seeing that over there? The AI overviews?

Doug: I stopped using Google, but uh, yeah, I saw it around.

Alex: Yeah. And I heard they’re turning it down a bit.

Doug: Yeah, there was a lot of funny stuff that I think I just saw it shared around, but yeah, there were, it was really bad advice for maybe some weird queries and stuff, but, but generally.

It was bullshit. Powerful kind of stuff

Alex: and food stuff, wasn’t it? Yeah. Yeah.

Doug: Yeah. Yeah.

Alex: So, yeah, I mean, and I’ve found that I, I’m already ranking especially for restaurant name and review. I’m able to get up there with TripAdvisor, especially if I do a YouTube video, the YouTube video, even though the channel is is small, it’s only, I don’t know, maybe nearly 200 subs. The competition to say there is no other content like it, a video review of any of the restaurants here. So if I do a review and just say, you know, restaurant, a review, it will rank first page, maybe. Two or three from the top in the video section. So yeah, generally I’m, I’m going for the searches around particular places, but then also for things like the best bacon sandwich and best cup of coffee, they’re ranking well.

I mean, my site isn’t live yet, so I don’t know how well that’s going to rank. It’s going to be interesting to see.

Doug: Yeah, I’m curious about that because I mean the thing is like hopefully fucking Forbes and Business Insider are not going to be publishing like the best coffee in Estepona.

Alex: No. When they start coming after that.

No, I’ve decided to revise it for sure.

Doug: So, okay, so pretty standard and for my new podcast, Ranking Revolution, I interviewed Kyle Roof, which the interview won’t come out for a couple months yet. But basically he was, he was like, yeah. Still using keyword golden ratio, like it still works. And he runs it through another sort of filter or two, which is basically the avalanche method, which is a whole, whole other thing to get into, which we won’t today, but basically it’s like, yeah, the same stuff works, like things are changing, but go after low competition keywords and make sure you’re going after keywords that your site can rank for.

And it sounds like with a pretty small town that you’re working with, it’s Probably going to be fine. Like what’s the population there?

Alex: Good question. I think it’s around 70, 000. It’s got to be more than that now. It’s good. That’s the 2018 data. So that was six years ago. Okay. Pretty near a hundred thousand now at a thought.

Doug: Okay. So pretty good sized town and a lot of visitors come through. So it seems like a pretty solid.

Alex: Yeah, that’s the, that’s the living population, uh, visitors. And of course it’s kind of seasonal, I guess a lot of people come in the summer. Okay. Right. Okay. 250, 000. Yeah. International tourists every year.

Doug: Okay. It’s a pretty solid.

Alex: Yeah.

Doug: Do you have any expectations on when you’ll start earning money? And if so, which channel do you think it’ll come from first?

Alex: I think e commerce will go quite quick. I’ve already, uh, some people have already asked where they can buy the t shirts, so that’s promising. Okay. Yeah, and then as soon as it’s live, I’ve got two, two warm leads on people that are interested in sponsorship. So I’ll probably approach them and kind of package it up as a founder’s offer as a, you know, be the first I’ll do your special deal kind of thing just to try and get the ball rolling on that.

Doug: Okay,

Alex: and then and then yeah, then I’ll think about maybe doing some sponsored posts. I’m still earning from WP Eagle as well So I’m still working on that as you see I’ve been publishing quite a lot of videos Still working pretty hard on that

Doug: Yep Okay. Well and before we move on to WP Eagle, so Probably the ecom stuff looks pretty good now and it sounds like it’ll be pretty soon because people are already asking which is a good sign Do you have any expectations on how much you can earn per month, say, or per year from the site?

I know it’s really just a guess, but what do you think? You know, you, it’s a 70,

Alex: my target is just, I don’t want it. I don’t need to get up to millions. I want to get it two or 3000 a month. Maybe to start with that might be a good, good place to start. And I reckon I can do that with a few, a few good deals locally, and then a bit of e commerce and then.

Maybe with a bit of affiliate, but I think the affiliate will take a little while to get going.

Doug: Okay.

Alex: For example, with booking. com, they, they like to have established sites. I think you have to be live for at least three months for that. Even think about it.

Doug: Gotcha.

Alex: But yeah, I mean, even, even flights, car hire, all that can be done with affiliate links.

Doug: Yep. Alright. So yeah, so a few thousand. And then how long do you think it’ll take for that kind of stuff? You know, you could bake in the wait period for and other stuff or whatever, but yeah, what, what kind of timeline?

Alex: I’m think six months. I mean, I think this summer might be a learning experience and just to kind of find my feet in terms of what’s working.

And then, although people do visit here in the winter, so I dunno. It’s all a bit of an unknown, which is why I’m still working on WP Eagle. And the great thing is, I mean, again, I’ve had some cynical people always saying that I’m only doing this project because I want to sell more theme because I did a kind of behind the scenes of the site video just the other week.

And obviously I built the site with popcorn theme and I talked about some of the other things that I’ve been using, a few plugins here or there, all of which of course had affiliate programs, which of course I’m going to use affiliate links. Anything I use. I don’t see a problem with me promoting it with an affiliate link.

And yeah, there’s a couple of cynics saying, oh, well, you’re just making that site so you can sell more popcorn. That is not the that is not the reason i’m doing it. The reason i’m doing it is because I do want a fresh new project that hopefully can stand on its own two feet. Yes, it’s great because it’s now given me a fresh Energy in WP Eagle because i’ve got something I can talk about.

I can do stuff on Estepone in life and it’s a new case study for me. If you remember, I found my feet or did very well on YouTube with my last case study, best roof box. So this is, feels a bit like that. I can. And i’m happy to share it because I feel like it’s quite difficult to copy Unless someone watches my channel in estepona and feels like copying me head to head and lives here If you’re not living here, I think you’ll find it very difficult to copy me because I can just create content I’m living it i’m breathing it.

So i’m happy to share it I’m going to share everything in terms of the business deals I do in terms of how i’m monetizing it how i’m building it But that is not the reason i’m doing it. And yeah, if I if I sell a bit of Popcorn theme or get some affiliate commissions from, from Printify or from Kittle or whatever, that’s fine.

But ultimately the two are actually, they’re kind of bouncing off each other, which is good because I was kind of running out of motivation and steam with WP Eagle and it’s kind of, let’s say brought some more energy back to that.

Doug: And this live stream is brought to you by Popcorn Theme. No, I’m just kidding.

Check out Popcorn Theme though. It’s pretty good. I’m using it for Ranking Revolution. Yeah.

Alex: I mean, the thing is, I mean, with Popcorn Theme, Popcorn Theme is, I guess we’ll talk about this as well, is feeling the effect of the entire disruption that’s happened recently in the niche space. Sales are way down.

People just are not building websites anymore or they’re not building them with popcorn theme when they were. And of course a popcorn theme was positioned and designed and created for niche websites. So of course it’s going to feel the fallout. Yeah. But yeah, I mean, but it does give you an insight into where people are at and, and yeah, going back to, you know, people like Matt Diggity and just the general vibe is.

That people just are not doing websites at the moment. They’re not doing seo. They’re looking at social media They’re they’re thinking outside the box and just everything’s been turned upside down.

Doug: Yeah

Alex: But yeah, I mean going back to matt diggity’s tweet if anyone’s seen it It’s it’s quite interesting because he’s basically obviously known very well known for sto But yeah he’s saying that Seo should be ignored and the kind of feel that I got from the tweet is that he feels kind of sorry for google that google are just They’re getting hammered by lawsuits and the threat of AI and just other things.

And they’re kind of scratching around desperately trying to save their business. And in the fallout of that, we’re all getting, getting affected. And as you, you’re starting to boycott Google. And I think, I mean, ultimately, where do you think it’s going to end for Google? Or where does it going to end as a whole for the internet?

I think are we, are we just going through a big seismic shift at the moment? And that’s why everyone’s

Doug: Is that a real question? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think definitely a shift happening. I don’t, I mean, I don’t think, I don’t know if Matt said he actually felt bad for Google, but I’m like, I don’t really feel bad for them.

They were bad partners. They were dishonest. It’s a big company, right? It’s a faceless company to me. So I don’t really give a shit. And they’re, they don’t treat us like we matter at all. And when it comes down to it, I mean, like I, if you read the subtext of the stuff that I’ve been saying and the things that I’ve been working on, or like that you’re working on or other people that either a podcast or YouTube or somewhat, uh, in air quotes, like thought leaders, like we have other products, we have an email list, we have other things that we’re working on.

So it was never like, I’m only working on the small. Niche websites and the people that are only doing that, like no matter what traffic channel they were on Google or Facebook or Pinterest, like there’s always changes that are external that they have to deal with. So if you are, are not diversifying your whole thing, your whole business, then you’re going to run into some issues.

And I mean, I have run into issues in the past, but it was always like just a portion of the business. And. I mean, I think the skills of SEO will serve you in other places, but like, I mean, you’re, you’re putting a lot of effort into the social media platforms, which is where a lot of people are turning these days or, or Pinterest.

And. I mean, you, you’re going to run into the same issues. Like you’re going to have like burnout issues. Algorithms are going to change. They’re going to start charging you to reach the same audience that you were reaching before. It’s like all the same shit again. And you know, you, you have other products though, and you have multiple traffic sources.

So you’re able to, to be nimble, but it’s like, it’s going to lead to the same place. So. I don’t know the answer to the question.

Alex: I think, yeah, ultimately, I mean, the way, the way we, as Matt says there, the way that we have been searching for stuff is kind of archaic and in a way, and the way that AI is going for sure is, is going to change, especially the way for, we search for simple information, like, you know, how many legs does a horse have or, you know, can ducks eat bread?

All that kind of stuff is, is you don’t need an article or do you, I don’t know. Theory, the AI has to learn off something, but. Yeah. That information is already there, so it’s already learned to you. Well,

Doug: Well, I can’t remember what I looked at. But, you know, where’s the

Alex: best steak in, in a town? Do you trust an AI for that?

Or do, or is that when Reddit and TripAdvisor do become useful? Or a video of someone with the steak?

Doug: Yeah, you know what I like to do, for, yeah, I wouldn’t trust AI. I wouldn’t trust like the trip advisor stuff either. Cause like, basically I went to like, go walk, find a place and then like ask people, they’re like, Hey, where should I go?

Cause there have been so many times, like my wife wants to look up everywhere. Like she’s like, I’m going to plan this whole fucking thing out and know exactly where we’re going all the time. Not that extreme, but like, she wants to like, let’s check some reviews and do this. And I’m like, let’s just go walking and then we’ll find somewhere and try it.

And we’ll see how it is. We won’t be tainted by like some person who had a bad experience. Cause they were, you know, they had their kids with them and they were having a bad experience overall. Like it’s completely isolated. Like you could just go in open and like, Hey, is the server good? Like, is the food good?

Did I enjoy myself instead of going in with like, this is a three and a half star. So, I mean. It’s just too much data. It’s like, I don’t want to look that shit up basically. I don’t know.

Alex: No, that makes sense. But yeah, so I I think ultimately maybe Google is doomed in a way in terms of the way we are going to find information and search and

Doug: yeah.

Alex: it’s going to be interesting times.

Doug: We have a question from Matt. Are you using AI to write articles? And if so, how are you using AI for the website content?

Alex: No, I haven’t really been using AI at all. I’ve been deliberately trying to annoy it. There was a couple of articles that I did and I’ve kind of re rewritten them.

I just, I really want to get. articles to carry my tone and my personality. So that’s lost with AI. And also the AI information has not been great. Sometimes I use it as a starting point for like, so I was writing an article on the best Instagram spots. Again, that’s just some keyword research. It seems that people search for where to take Instagram photos when they go traveling, that was bizarre to me, but.

It’s a real thing. So AI threw out a few ideas and I was like, okay, yeah, that’s some good ideas. But then as I’m thinking, I’m thinking, well, that’s a good spot. And just don’t go around town and go, that’s a great spot. You know, on top of the mountain is great on top of the tower down by the pool on the beach up there where you get the view of the sunset.

So, yeah, I kind of use it as a way of kind of giving me inspiration and getting me started, but then I’m completely rewriting and I’m not letting the AI actually write the article maybe as just a source of ideas. So I can see how bad it is and then correct it with my own real world experience.

Doug: How the tables have turned.

You were talking all about AI a couple of years ago and I was like, no, no, no. Now I’m using AI for this. I’m not, I’m feeding your voice into it and I’m just reading what it says here. I’m not even actually thinking on my own anymore.

Alex: I say, I mean, I don’t know. I, uh, I had to write articles now looking back.

Yeah. That was, that was never going to work. Was it?

Doug: No, no, no. I mean, it did for a little bit and then it didn’t. So,

Alex: Because now that is basically what you have in built into Google with AI overview. It’s just like a, a mini article writer written in built, built into search engine. Yeah.

Doug: Matt also asks, is the new site considered a directory site or a review site?

How would you classify it?

Alex: A bit of both. Yeah. It’s a directory site and a review site. So the directory pages have directory kind of information. So. They’ve got a map, some pictures, some images of if it’s a restaurant, there’s pictures of the food, there’s pictures of the location. I’ve written a little bit generally kind of more descriptive than review.

So, you know, here you’ll find some vegan food and they’ve got a high chair and there’s a great outside seating area and the wifi is pretty good, that kind of thing. And then if it is somewhere that I’ve been have actually visited and tried out, I will have a little kind of. Editors comment sort of box where I will add my comment, but ultimately the directory is is just the facts.

I’m also using some plugins to pull in Google reviews. I’ve got the opening hours on there, some nice icons for the different facilities so you can quickly see if they’ve got air conditioning or Wi Fi or whatever. The reviews come more if I created a video. About the place. So if I have created a video, I will stick that on the directory page as well.

And that will be, be my opinion. And I haven’t actually done any, any bad reviews yet. I guess I need to get some balance. I’ve just been going to the places I like.

Doug: Yeah, that’s fair. That’s fair.

Alex: I also don’t want to upset anyone too much,

Doug: right?

Alex: Cause that’s the other interesting thing. And I guess the other angle, the other I’ve created a Facebook group which is growing quite nicely.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the Facebook group, but. When I was speaking to Nina, I met Nina at Affiliate Gathering Affiliate Gathering, Nina Clapperton. And she was all about Facebook groups in terms of get better reach and all that kind of stuff. So, but the other night I was, I got quite well, just getting attacked in my own group by someone who incidentally I had met a few years ago, but they’d got a real bee in their bonnet about what I was doing and the fact that I wasn’t a local and that I was a foreigner and kinds of stuff.

So I guess that’s all part of it, but. You know what that’s like when you put yourself online Regardless of what you’re talking about. There’s always going to be someone that what takes a pop at you

Doug: People are mean out there. You just have to have skin,

Alex: but yeah, when you’re an admin, you can block them. it’s fine

Doug: Jim also asks have you considered niche site ladies, recent blog posts to become more news centric? My local city site seems to have a mix of directory and the usual travel blogs and local news. So have you thought about that much with sort of the news? Yeah.

Alex: I have covered a few things. I don’t want to be a journalist because there is quite a lot going on and I feel like if I went down that route That I would want to try and cover everything and that would probably be too much for me to do So if I occasionally see something Maybe little bits of news. I will post it like and that that’s what I’m using my group for more Actually, I’ll post in the group as myself rather than as Estepona life and and share little bits of Bob’s like Oh, they put the fountains back on which they have because we had a water shortage and now it seems we’ve got some water so the fountains back on or You know this new cafes opened or You know simple little bits of information like that But no, I don’t want to become a news site per se.

I don’t want to be like the local newspaper anything like that

Doug: Yeah, and I think the danger there is if you’re not super interested in it, and then it works then You are stuck doing a thing. You don’t like doing because it makes sense, right if there’s not other people covering it and you could actually like Go and talk to Whatever the rest of the people

Alex: would be that journalist kind of person. Yeah.

Doug: Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. And, and the thing is like, I, like, it doesn’t sound, it doesn’t sound interesting to me unless that’s the stuff that you want to do. So even if it works in the short term, like we don’t know what Google is going to, I mean, I think even if Google came back and they corrected some of the stuff that they changed, whether they had unintended consequences or it turned out exactly like they wanted.

I mean, I think. Unless someone’s starting brand new like they’ve lost a lot of trust and I don’t think Most of us who were impacted would be like, yeah, i’m gonna do the same thing before I think we’re all like, all right, we’re not going to work with these people. These are bad partners.

Alex: Yeah Yeah, once you get burned once you generally don’t go back and touch the fire again

Doug: Matt also also mentions.

How long do you have to live somewhere to be considered a local?

Alex: Wow, that’s a good question

Doug: Yeah. And I think, yeah, some people are always going to have an issue with, with it. But I mean, the point is like your opinion matters because you have a specific perspective and there’s other people with a similar background that want to know your perspective because it’s similar to them.

Alex: So that’s a lot of people who ask me about, you know, creating content about. Actually moving here because that’s a big thing that people are doing right now. They’re looking to buy property. They’re looking to get a visa. They’re looking to bring the kids over. They want to know about putting kids into school, learning the language, getting the paperwork sorted, buying a property.

And I have experience in all of that. So yeah, it’s, it’s a, it is a foreigner’s perspective, I guess, in a way. Which I’ve always said that’s what it’s going to be because that’s all I can give. I’m not, I wasn’t born here and, and I know some locals here and maybe I’ll bring them on board to give me their opinion on certain things, but I know their opinion generally will be there’s too many tourists.

It’s kind of strange. And then you get this in a lot of tourist places is they depend on the tourists, but then it’s like a love hate relationship, you know, they like, they like them because they bring money and they keep the economy going. But then. They also push house prices up. They also make the place really crowded in July.

Sometimes they misbehave. It’s kind of, yeah, it’s one of those things when you live in a, in a tourist place, but I think that they’d miss them if they didn’t come for sure.

Doug: So you outlined sort of the, the plan from a traffic standpoint, the monetization. Where do you think you may run into issues?

Alex: I think you mentioned burnout.

I think that might be an issue. And I think that’s one of the problems with a social media first approach, social media needs feeding continuously, whereas at least with Google, we could feed it an article and it might then serve that article many times. Again, this is another reason why being a journalist and having a new site isn’t appealing to me.

It’s very time sensitive and you have to continually keep publishing and keep feeding it. So yeah, the moment I’m okay. And at the moment I’m finding it, um, fairly. Easy to do and there’s still plenty of things I need to take photos of and make videos of and and obviously as the town changes and stuff happens, I can do that.

But yeah, it’s a beast that needs feeding all the time. So there is a risk of burnout there. I think, I don’t know. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll, I’ll start to help get some people to help me with that.

Doug: Okay. Yeah. I was going to say, what will you do? So just offload some of it, maybe some other things entail.

Alex: I think I could ask some friends and maybe make some offers, you know, if you see something cool or whatever, get some photos, get, make some videos and, and I’ll, I’ll take them off your hands for sure.

Even if it’s just raw footage, I’m happy to edit.

Doug: Yeah. That’s the, that’s the rough part with social media and you mentioned like Facebook groups and stuff. And it’s I think with my other podcast, Mile High FI, my co host, like really wanted to do a Facebook group. Cause he heard they work really well.

And I was like, I’m not doing any of that shit. Like if you want to do it, I’ll pop in occasionally. And I only go in like once a month, but it’s actually like, it’s fairly well engaged. Like people do like them, but it’s just not my. Not my thing and

Alex: Yeah You need to I think you need to find good people to help you.

I’m already finding that. Yeah. Okay, so I’ll just like Already in the group six seven posts that need approving or whatever And I know that they need to be approved fairly quick. Otherwise you got a date so I think it’s getting some people that just want to be moderators and want to help with the groups and getting finding a Few of those good people to help you run it and then Going back to the kind of user generated content.

It’s a bit like that. The group will start to grow itself Through users sharing things and posting things,

Doug: right.

Alex: But you do have to have those moderators. But then as they start fighting with each other and whatever, you’ve got to break that up

Doug: Yeah. Yeah. It seems like, yeah, there’s always people that are like ruffle feathers, even if it’s like a positive group overall.

It’s like someone still is like, well, actually,

Alex: so yeah.

Doug: Okay.

Alex: Yeah. I, I, I found that already. And I don’t know if it’s just social media in general, but, or just the internet in general, that the more negative side always seems to be the loudest. Yeah, Metro reviews, for example, generally people post more negative reviews.

I think then positive reviews. You have a great experience at a restaurant. I think it would have to be fantastically great to inspire you to go and leave a Google review or a troop advisor review. But you get a, you have a bad experience. I think you’re far more likely to leave a review, a bad review.

Doug: Yeah.

Alex: And it was the same in my Facebook group. So along the beach here, there’s some showers. It’s like to rinse your feet off to get the sand off your feet. It’s fair enough. And, and they’ve all been off for a while, obviously, because of the water shortages. And I heard that the fountains were coming back and that maybe some water restrictions were going to be lifted.

So I put a post up saying, you know. Anyone know when the showers on the beach are going to be back on? And the negativity, the attacks I got was like, well, don’t, you know, we’ve got a water shortage. Surely it’s far better to, you know, have drinking water than wash your feet. Why don’t you get a bucket? And just, wow.

I didn’t, the kind of fallout from it was intense. Oh man.

The negativity is always the loudest.

Doug: Content idea from Ryan. I’m looking to get a digital nomad visa to move to Spain. So any info on that would be great. I’ve seen travel sites and Tik TOK people team up with solicitors as an affiliate. So just some ideas there.

Alex: Yeah, I mean, that’s a good point, actually.

So I’ve been using an advisor to get my visa, which is the Digital Nomad Visa. I’ve just, in fact, filed the paperwork for it. Should be through very soon. Of which there is a lot of paperwork. So, yeah, that’s a great idea. If I write a little bit about how I’ve done it, I could then link off to my advisor and maybe arrange some kind of kickback on that because it’s not cheap to hire an advisor to help you or a solicitor to help you.

But yeah, it’s it’s basically It sounds like it’s a really cool thing the digital nomad visa But when you drill into it, it’s slightly out of date and it kind of it should be probably called the remote worker visa because it kind of Wants you to have a foreign company that you’re working for So say maybe you work for microsoft or some bank in london and they let you work remotely Then you’d be a good fit for the digital nomad If you’re someone who has some niche websites and earns affiliate income from all over the place You There’s not enough boxes on the forms for that.

So, you know, the way I’m structured is that I still have a company in the UK and that’s the foreign company that I’m working for my own foreign company. And that kind of then fits with the digital nomad, but yeah, I’m going to share all that experience. Gotcha. But yeah, the visas, I guess it’s the same for pretty much any country.

You have to take professional help with it because it’s just so confusing.

Doug: There’s so many, there’s so many places to make a mistake in the forms and blah, blah, blah. Yeah.

Alex: And different paperwork, like said that they needed a CV. What, a CV? For digital nomad, you know, I guess most people that you know, and I know that have been working on the online space for a few years, probably don’t even know what a CV is anymore, let alone have one.

Why would they need, what indeed would they put on it? You know, they’ve been doing some YouTube videos and making websites for the last 10 years. I mean, how does a CV even look for someone who works online?

Doug: Yeah.

Alex: Yeah, I just made some stuff up.

Doug: Yeah, I was going to say it should be pretty easy. That’s something you can use, uh, AI for.

Alex: I’ve worked on myself and yeah, yeah. So yeah, you need a CV and obviously then there’s other basic stuff. Like you need health insurance. You need to have a clean criminal record. And you know, you, there’s a lot of boxes to tick.

Doug: Okay. So as we are wrapping up, cause I don’t want to keep you too long.

Let’s see anything else with the YouTube side. You have gone back to your roots with some WordPress specific posts and plugins and stuff like that. How’s that going? It is like, is it boring to create that content?

Alex: Um, no, it’s not boring. It’s been fun. A couple of the recent videos haven’t been okay. So I have taken a couple of promotion paid.

Have you done this before? I’ll take, I kind of needed, I needed a little cash flow for where everything’s going on. And I get people all the time coming into my book saying, I’ve got this plugin. I’ve got this thing. Will you make a video about it? And generally I just delete the emails, but I thought, okay, I’ll try a couple if the plugin or the product seems interesting.

So yeah, I, so I did a, um, I’ve been doing some stuff with brainstorm force. I don’t know if you know those guys, they’re the people that developed Astro theme. They’re an Indian company. They seem very friendly and fine and they give me some products and some money and they said, and they’ve also been very very hands off, I guess is the way they’ve just said, here’s a product.

Do some videos on it rather than I did one the other day which you may have seen which was fun as well It was a performance plugin again. It was a it was a paid product placement post YouTube video they pay me some money and they said check out the plugin and I said, okay I’ll take a look at your plugin if it’s good and it seemed good I’ve tested on a couple of my sites.

I was getting a hundred on Google page speed I created a video What I thought they wanted, it was just one of my usual kind of videos. I said, I’ve got this site. It’s getting like 75 on Google page speed. Let’s put this plugin on. Let’s see what happens. Recorded it all in real time. We’ve got a hundred.

Perfect. And I thought that’s great video. I published it, which I probably shouldn’t have done. I should have probably sent it to them for review first. And it got up to 400 views and they went, ah, take it down. It’s not what we wanted. Because I’d said this plugin could give you a hundred out of a hundred and they didn’t want me to make any outlandish promises.

So yeah, I’m experimenting a bit with that. I’m also, I say, doing a lot of stuff on Estepona life, bouncing between the two and sharing that. So that’s fun. I’ve been doing some more live streams. Yeah. The difference is you don’t get the dopamine hit with the WordPress videos. So if I do like a review of a plugin, my subscribers generally won’t engage with it.

Or I did a tutorial just the other day on how to add a pop up to your WordPress website, which I thought was a really good tutorial. And the plugin is free and it’s really good. And the pop up was really good in terms of, you know, if you want to build an email list with a pop up, it’s perfect. But that kind of content does not get the kind of engagement, like if I do a quick video about Jamie saying something bad about Ricky.

So you can imagine those kind of videos, but then they kind of spike, you know, they, they do really well for a couple of days, they get free for 5, 000 views in a couple of days. And I’m like, wow, that’s pretty good. Whereas I know the other kind of videos. So for example, a couple of maybe a month or so ago, I did a video on how to add a Google map to your WordPress website.

It’s not exciting, but now I see in my YouTube analytics, it’s a steady trend. Source of views and that’s because it’s coming up in search. So it’s different. You’ve got these these kind of My vlog style videos which get a huge response very quickly and then die off because they’re quite time sensitive And then there’s the WordPress videos which are generally made for search I do target keywords like how to add a map to Google WordPress They don’t get much engagement to start off with, but they do seem to do well with search over time.

So, I don’t know. Is it exciting to make a video about adding a map to WordPress?

Probably not. It’s kind of useful.

Doug: Yeah. Yeah. I wonder like do you have a strategy on how many videos you publish for the existing subscribers?

versus Content that should grow the channel. Like you said, like you’ve, you’ve done a shitload of videos. I have to, and it’s just like, do, do I want to do another keyword golden ratio video because the other ones are like super old and it’s just not very exciting, but it could bring in new people, especially if I was like, after algorithm updates in 2024, here’s how KGR works.

So do you have any sort of strategy?

Alex: I think that would do well. But if now and maybe going forward, I don’t know.

Doug: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So how do you, are you like, I’m going to do half the videos for the existing audience, half the videos to grow, or how do you think about it?

Alex: I’m kind of doing it. Yeah. 50, 50, that’s my plan.

I mean, the vlog style videos, which always are popular and do really well quite quickly, they’re quite easy to make. I do need inspiration in order to do it. I need to have something current at the time to kind of inspire me to do it. i’ve got a whole list of wordpress ones that I want to do and yeah, they’re not as fun But i’ve now started getting myself into the habit of if i’m going to record those kind of videos I will try and do it in like a day or two get in the zone And just you know record and then edit like three or four in one hit So yeah, i’m trying to get the mix right though.

I am getting people saying well you’re gonna confuse The youtube algorithm with this So, you know, if I do a a review of a plug in, it will have a very low click through rate, and it will, you know, have a low low average view duration. And then if I do something like, you know, niche websites are dead, it will have a very high click through rate and quite a high average view duration.

People are saying that that could confuse YouTube, but I’m not so sure it will. I think YouTube are smart enough to know that maybe, you know, My audience are into slightly different things. Maybe. I don’t know. And then of course there is the search. Some, some are made for search and some are made for subscribers.

And I think surely a lot of channels have that mix.

Doug: I can’t remember where you

Alex: Where you create a, you know, a catchy thumbnail and a catchy headline that’s not got any keywords in it, really. But is there to, to kind of trigger your subscribers to click. And then there’s the other stuff which is, you know, How to add a map to WordPress, which is obviously for keywords.

I don’t know. What do you think? What’s your experience with YouTube? I see you’re up to 126, 000 subs. How’s that going? How’s, how are those new subs engaging?

Doug: Hold on. You asked too many questions. Yeah, yeah. But I’ll, I’ll answer all this stuff. This is a great, cause I was going to launch into that myself.

So I don’t have a strong strategy right now. I’m a little bit unmoored with like what content. That I want to create. So as you mentioned, like there’s some news type topics that we can cover. There’s some internal drama with personalities, like you had Jamie and Ricky on a live stream and I’m sure, you know, great interaction for a little bit and then dies off and like, no one cares after a week or so

Alex: the channels on fire. Yeah.

Doug: And it’s like, you know, we have to, we’re like, do we want to create that kind of content all the time? Probably not. And it’s interesting. And sometimes like it’s somewhat rewarding for us to create content like that. But for me, I’m a little bit, you know, scattered in that. I don’t know exactly what I want to work on, although I am interested in some of the You know, SEO news and things going on.

But generally I’m just like, ah, if I feel like it, I’ll create a video. I do these podcasts and the live stream. So it is shit on YouTube. So basically for me, I stopped caring about the algorithm. Cause like, it’ll get you to chase your tail. Right? Like we see this wherever the algorithms are, it’s like, do this.

And then they will, they change it. Right? Like it’s not. Directed at me or you or anyone specifically. It’s just like they tweak the algorithm. So I’m like, I’m not going to play along. I’ll just create the content that I want to do. I am up to, yeah, some hundred and 20, 000 subscribers. Right. And you told me, I don’t know.

Almost a year ago, you were like, Hey, I tested out the promotions tab. And I was like, ah, I’ll check it out. And then several months went by and I checked it out. And by then you had said, ah, I don’t think these subscribers are high quality. They’re not engaging with your content much. However, It worked. So I essentially added at this point, like 90, 000 subscribers in the last six months or so.

And I’m like, I’m, I think they’re probably going to close. I don’t know if they’re going to close the loophole or if it’s a loophole or if I’m doing exactly what they want, but it wasn’t a large amount of money. And I got my stupid fucking plaque, which is all, it’s all just a vanity thing. So I like, I was like, I am like, I see it behind you there.

And people, people care, but I was like, I’m not going to be too connected with it. But I’m like, if I could just run ads, like, that’s an interesting story. Although I haven’t gone around and told the story much because it’s not a very interesting one. They don’t engage. I’ve told a couple of people about it.

I say it on live streams. Occasionally I literally just ran ads and again, it really wasn’t that much money. I think it’s maybe if I. It’s a few cents per subscriber. They don’t, you can see that the videos that I don’t run ads to, because it’s a very low number of views. So, I just didn’t get the plaque.

I don’t know.

Alex: but that was my problem with it. I just I know when I, ever since I started YouTube, I’ve always had the goal of getting that plaque. And I just, I feel like I was cheating myself if I paid my way to it.

Doug: You want it to be pure and I don’t care. It’s

Alex: It’s no, exactly. It’s up to you.

And I see. Someone else, well, Gail from Authority Hackers is spotted. Someone else that’s paying to grow their channel.

Doug: I told someone else and they hit 100k recently and I was like, hey, you’re about 20k away. Do this. And I was like, you’ll hit it in like a week or 10 days. And he did.

Alex: Yeah. Yeah. It’s kind of weird.

It’s like Google and YouTube, they use, cause there used to be services that were just like and then you can just sell you the subscribers way before the, before Google did, you know, you could buy these, these clicks and these subscribers and these likes and Google were like, you should never do that.

That’s such a bad thing to do. And it’s like, they’re doing it now. They’re selling them to you now anyway. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Kind of weird. And even if you do promote a video, it does get a lot of views, but it doesn’t get any comments or likes, does it?

Doug: No, it doesn’t matter. No.

So the thing is, I did this on my other channel, Mile Hi Fi, so people could check that out. People could go research and see the growth there.

And basically, one of my friends who has another channel He was like trying to catch up and he got within we had like 2, 500 subscribers or so just natural growth or whatever And he was within I think 17 and he was texting me and he was like, oh, we’re gonna catch you and I was like All right. I’ll I’m the marketer right?

So I was like, let me tweak these ads and see what I could do and then A couple days later, he was like, what the fuck happened, man? Like you got 2000 subscribers in a couple few days here, like what’s going on? And I was like, well, I published a couple of new videos, but I also did these ads. It’s all bullshit.

And I haven’t heard back. So I should check in. I don’t know if I hurt his feelings, but he was the one who’s like, I’m going to catch you guys and we’re going to pass you. And I was like, well, let me, let me check this out. But you know

Alex: press the button quick.

Doug: It’s yeah. So you want to do it in a pure way, basically.

Yeah. That’s

Alex: Yeah. That’s the plan But yeah, my subscriber count has, has flattened recently.

Doug: Yeah. You’ve been stuck. Yeah. Yeah. Cause you grew a little bit, but then you, you were over 70 K for a short time and then you, is it declining?

Alex: Yeah. I think they might’ve cleaned out some of those fake accounts that I bought from Google.

I don’t know. And it depends on the content I make. So if again, that kind of content that, um, I create for search, you know, how to add a widget to WordPress, whatever that does grow the channel because that is new, it’s coming from search. So, and I haven’t, I haven’t been doing that kind of content for a while.

Doug: So that reminds me, like, I can’t remember who I talked to, but actually it could have been the, my friend that I just interviewed Paul, but basically he and I live pretty close to one another and we hike and basically he said. That he kept doing videos to get new people in.

And it was like, it’s dropshipping. So it’s like beginner dropshipping videos. And he was like, he slowly was burning out, but he’s tapered back. But essentially it’s just like, there’s more people that don’t know about dropshipping. So I need to publish more and more of these videos. So I’m curious if I go and look just like at the feed, if it’s like every third video is like how to do more new dropshipping.

Cause I mean, the thing is like. If we serve our somewhat large audiences, right? Like yours is probably like naturally twice or a little bit more as large as mine. Cause I was at about 40 K before I started running these ads. And mine was stagnant too. It was going like pretty good growth for a while. And then I think at the end of 2022 Google or a YouTube changed the algorithm.

And my growth dropped from 500 new subs a month to about a hundred. Is that when you’re stopped?

Alex: Yeah, similar kind of time. Yeah.

Doug: Yeah. So he was like, yeah, I just started publishing more and more of those videos and he’s had pretty steady growth And good interaction like yours like when you have a good video.

I see a lot of the vlogs whatever it gets 1500 to 4000 views in a week or so something like that

Alex: But that doesn’t really grow the channel unless it gets a little bit of action on on social media or if i’m talking about someone else that helps You So if I talk about Ricky, or if I talk about Jamie, or if I talk about any other person that has a following, I will ultimately catch some of their following, obviously.

Doug: Gotcha. You know what we should do, man? We should create some kind of drama between us. It’s like the two nice guys, but somehow we get into an argument, and there’s some misunderstanding. And then, all, all like, I’ll call you out on other people’s podcasts, maybe Spencer’s podcast.

Alex: Yeah, it’s a great way to grow.

I think, in fact, I think you could do a whole podcast or YouTube channel just, like, scooping up the drama. You might have to make some up, but I don’t know if the SEO niche community is big enough and there’s enough drama, but maybe expand it out a little bit. Because there used to be that channel on YouTube, I don’t know if it’s still going, called Drama Alert.

Where he would, uh, what’s his name? Keemstar. He would just pick up on the drama between different YouTubers. And, you know, he grew a channel really quickly. Just love that drama. People would love watching a car crash. Oh, man. Huh, well, I don’t want to get involved in that kind of low level content

Doug: We’ll have to workshop the idea I don’t know.

I’m just in it for the subscribers. I really don’t care about the content You got you got the next plaque you got your on that was a million I think that would that would actually be a little expensive I suspect but you know what it would be hilarious I need to map it out and be like, all right, it’ll cost me like 8, 000 I could hit a million subscribers And no one, I know, I know it’s kind of,

Alex: I had never thought that this market was big enough, like WordPress or niche websites.

I never thought there would be enough eyeballs out there, but a friend of mine, he, he had a WordPress channel and he, I don’t know if he’s paid. I don’t think he’s paid, but he’s up to 1. 2 million now just from basically WordPress tutorials.

Doug: Really, man, that’s something else

Alex: Yeah. They’re all kind of how to. Videos for beginners probably okay, so as you say that’s how you grow channel you find them new people

Doug: yeah There’s there’s more new people out there so okay. We’ll, we’ll wrap it up here. Marcus says, are your subscribers actually helpful when it comes to engagement, generating money, et cetera?

Not really. It is purely a vanity metric. In my case and the thing that I did. And I think I published a YouTube video, so I sunset my course, I’ll, I’ll probably do another podcast course or accelerator, but basically I detached the monetary stuff from YouTube. So I don’t burn out because I don’t have to do a video and I don’t have to do a video that does well.

I could just do whatever I want. And that’s very intentional because I actually like doing the video shit and I like the conversations we have. And I haven’t been running ads, right? Like, so I used to do some ads on these live streams and otherwise, but with, I, and I had them back potentially, but But generally I have no I have very little skin in the game.

So for me, it’s purely a, like a number and the plaque behind me. It could, however, right. Once you hit a hundred K, like more advertisers might be willing to work with you. So it could help out, but at this point in time, I’m not doing anything different and it’s just, you know, Kind of smoke and mirrors.

What about you, Alex?

Alex: Yeah, I do. I was getting the game. I do run ads on my videos, but, um, I don’t know where I think it’s just the CPM is below, I mean, it used to be a good four figures, the YouTube ad revenue, and now it’s an okay three figures.

Doug: Okay.

Alex: I don’t know. And I still, I still obviously put affiliate stuff within my YouTube, but I’m not, I’m not trying to force too much content just to make money.

As you say, I think you should create content that you want to make. Yeah. And if that involves maybe a product or a service that you think is good, then you can make a few coins off it, then fine, don’t structure all your content planning around. What, what can I sell? I don’t think that’s going to be good for anyone.

Doug: It’s odd though, because we’re in a weird space because people are very nervous about like scams and they’re like, Oh, this person is just trying to make money. But I watch a lot of, um, more like lifestyle YouTube channels. So, people that do out outdoor stuff or van life or camping or whatever. And yeah.

They will integrate their product feature and add pretty well. And they’re obviously trying to sell the shit, like they put it on a harder sell than you and I would, but it’s entertainment and people are used to seeing commercials with it with entertainment and they’ll like fully integrate their, you know, battery solar pack thing for their camper and do like a, you know, A two minute ad in the middle of the thing of it.

Alex: Yeah. Yeah. No, that’s popular. A lot of that’s common.

Doug: Yeah. So it’s like some, it depends on the niche and I don’t know.

Alex: But yeah, a lot of the big, even the big podcasts and the big videos that I watched, you’ll be watching it. And then halfway through they’ll go and now let’s talk about our sponsor and blah, blah, blah.

And there’ll be two minutes of them just literally selling a product. I mean, I always skip that bit and I guess most people do, but

Doug: Yeah. All right. So Alex, let’s wrap it up. I know it’s getting late there.

Thanks for joining me for so long. Uh, where should people find you?

Alex: Yeah, WPEagle. com or just do a search on YouTube for WPEagle check out my Estepona stuff, do a search for Estepona Life. The website is at Estepona. life. So I guess we’ll do a video on how well random domain name extensions work soon.

But it’s got a nice brand feel to it. And, uh, yeah. That’s it. I’ve got nothing else to sell or say.

Doug: All right. And I’ll give a little plug for the Ranking Revolution podcast. You could check it out. There are lots of episodes. There’s about 30 episodes out these days. There’s a few solo ones out there and a lot of them are two part interviews.

It’s focused on SEO and marketing and at a higher level. So not beginner stuff. Typically it’s more advanced. So thanks a lot to the live audience here and we’ll catch you next week, probably. But we’ll see. So make sure you’re on the email list.

Alex: Thanks very much, everyone. Good to see you.

Doug: Thanks for checking out the episode. And thanks to Alex, like I mentioned before, check out his stuff out there. Popcorn theme. And his YouTube channel, he publishes a few times a week, most of the time. And if you have a chance, please leave a review for this podcast.

It really helps out and it helps other people find the show. If you really want to help out, you can download a bunch of the episodes that sends good signals out to the podcast players and directories and just. It lets them know that people like the show and it makes me feel good when I see more downloads too.

So thanks a lot for checking it out and we’ll catch you in the next episode.