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This Week in Niche Pursuits News: What Jobs Will AI Replace? Google Releases Bard! 3 Weird Niche Sites.

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This Week in Niche Pursuits News: What Jobs Will AI Replace? Google Releases Bard! 3 Weird Niche Sites.

Welcome to another episode of “This Week in Niche Pursuits News!”

This is a show where we talk about the most recent industry news, share success stories, discuss our shiny objects, and reveal a few weird niche sites we’ve run across.

In today’s episode, I’m joined by co-hosts Jared Bauman and Jake Cain.

Watch Niche Pursuits News

“This Week in Niche Pursuits News”

Google Bard opens up to beta users.

OpenAI release paper theorizing which jobs will be eliminated by AI:An Early Look at the Labor Market Impact Potential of Large Language Models

“Now That’s Impressive!”

Shiny Object Shenanigans

  • Spencer’s “Faceless” Youtube channel now has over 580 subscribers.
  • Jared continues to grow his Weekend Growth newsletter
  • Jake is using Hubble AI tools to create a trip planner, hashtag generator, and more

“One Weird Niche”

  • SaveTabSoda.com/. Tab Soda was discontinued by Coca Cola in 2020. Passionate fans are trying to bring it back
  • PrisonInsight.com. Making $3,500/month – 100k pageviews. Ads only.
  • Dog-Checks.com

If you want to get more of this type of content, be sure to join the Niche Pursuits Newsletter here where I share similar topics 3 times a week.

read the transcription:

Spencer: Hey everyone, Welcome back to the Niche Pursuits Podcast. I’m your host, Spencer Haws, and this is another episode of a show called This Week in Niche Pursuits News. Now, Jared and I released the very first episode of this particular type of podcasts last week, and it was really well received, and so we’re gonna do it again.

So, Jared, welcome back to the show.

Jared: Thanks, we have an episode two, we didn’t know if this was gonna go. 

Spencer: That’s right. And it went really well. We had lots of great comments on YouTube. A lot of great feedback, a lot of listens, and so it went well. Let’s do it again, and we’ve got a second co-host with us.

Jake is with us. Jake, welcome to the show. 

Jake: Hey, thanks. Glad to be here. Hopefully people still like the show after I’m on it, so I feel like you’ve got a lot of pressure. . 

Spencer: That’s right. You gotta. You know, and people are probably familiar, at least longtime listeners are familiar with you. You hosted actually a few episodes.

You’ve been on the podcast a number of times, so Jake is part of the Niche Pursuits family. So welcome, great to have you here. So as a reminder, if you listen to last week, we actually cover four different show segments, right? So the first segment that we do is we cover industry news, digital marketing news, and really just a segment now that we’re calling this week in Niche Pursuits News and then the second segment of the show.

That we’re gonna cover is something that is called now. That’s impressive. This is success stories, maybe niche websites or businesses that we’ve run across that are just doing something very impressive recently. The third segment that we’re gonna cover here is shiny objects, shenanigans. And this is where Jake Jay’s Jake, Jared and I are gonna talk.

Some of the side hustles that we’re working on, things that are just interesting to us. And then finally we’re gonna cover one weird niche where each of us bring a sort of weird niche site, something with a unique angle to the show that we’re gonna talk about that hopefully just sparks some ideas for listeners.

So having said all that, Let’s jump into it. Before we cover our very first topic, I just wanna remind people that in addition to the podcast, I do have a newsletter that I send out three times a week. The Niche Pursuits Newsletter is actually formatted very similar to this podcast in, in that it covers a lot of news.

Success stories, even some weird niche sites. And so if you want to read similar things that we’re covering here in the podcast three times a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, get an email join the newsletter. It’s niche pursuits.com/newsletter. Okay, so the very first thing, I’m gonna let you kick this off, Jared you have a news item that you wanted to share here with Google Bard.

Jared: Bard is here. Which by the way, can we spend 10 seconds talking about the awful name or ? 

Spencer: Yeah. Where we come up with this, we’re talking about 

Jared: Google, which is such a cool name. I feel like Google is a company such a cool name and like the future of search is here and we name it. Gonna have to, gonna have to get used to that.

Okay, so Bard was released this week. A lot of people got an email. That’s how it was released. It would be an email to your inbox. It was released to the US and UK only. I do know of a lot of people who were overseas in other countries that VPN n and were able to get access that way. Just, just saying.

It’s only been released in English. Early word on it is that, It rarely is citing sources. So that was a big topic of concern, right? Like, hey, where are they getting their information? Are they gonna kind of take content from publishers and just surface it in their AI chat bot? Are they gonna give sources?

There’s been back and forth. So there’s been, you know, testing that’s been going around and there has been some use of sources, although not exactly a. It, it also seems from reports to struggle with to struggle in areas where you think it would kind of get it. Like with, for example, search intent being so important to Google.

It seems to really under have difficulty like understanding areas that have multiple meanings or complex, you know, ideas. So anyways, yeah, Bard is here. Obviously. Last week we talked about chat, G p T four and Google was quick to get Bard out the door this week, so I, I think you guys played around with.

Spencer: No, I’ve just joined the wait list. But I have not had a chance to play around with it, so I’d be curious. Yeah. Jake, I don’t know if you have, or Jared, if you have, but I have not seen how it operates exactly. 

Jake: No, same here, man. I hopped on the wait list just to check it out, but haven’t, haven’t seen it firsthand yet, but yeah, I, I’m curious.

I, I don’t know my, my early thoughts on it and I have no idea how it’s gonna play out, but, , you know, when this was first announced and everybody was kind of freaking out, is I wonder if it’s going to be, people kind of freaked out when they started doing the rich snippet thing, right? Yeah. Where they just sort of give you the answer to a lot of those q and a simple questions up front and they kind of have the link, but how many people really click through that, you know?

So like the zero click searches. So I’m kind of curious if it’s gonna. , not much you knew about nothing but similar to that. Right? Like maybe a better experience of that. So like the same people who already weren’t gonna click through to your site, they asked how many ounces are in a cup or whatever, and they’re not gonna come read your article about that.

Like, are those the people that still aren’t gonna click anything with Bard and Right. Are most of the people that are really looking for like a resource and they want to read up on something, there’s still gonna be a visitor. Like that’s the way I’m hoping it plays out. But I don’t know. I guess we’ll all 

Spencer: find out.

Yeah, exactly. And it’s I don’t know if we know too much, maybe correct me if I’m wrong, about how exactly this is gonna be implemented, right? Yeah. I think right now you can get on the wait list and maybe try out Bard, you know, it’s just sort of lives on its own, right? Kind of like Chad, g p t is just kind of on its own.

But eventually, yes. I mean, you have to imagine that Google’s gonna implement something right directly in the search results. 

Jared: Google’s been interesting about this, right? Because they’ve said that it’s. Intended to replace search. It’s more for creativity. You know, I can’t remember the exact language they’ve used, but they’ve been very clear, like, well clear after they botched the launch and their stock price drop a bunch, but clear now and it’s not intended to replace search and more of a creativity tool.

I wonder how that’s gonna, like you said, Jake, impact the way they roll it out. You know, is it gonna replace search features or is it gonna kind of be an additive to search 

Spencer: feature? . Yeah. So time, time will tell, you know, we’ll, we’ll kind of take a look at it. I kind of lean towards what Jake said in terms of I don’t think it’s gonna be like an immediate, like no longer getting clicks to your website, right?

It’s gonna be more like a, a, a rich snippets or, you know, maybe a knowledge panel or something, right. That, that maybe even most people don’t even use. I, I have no idea. So, so we’ll see. Very interesting developments happening from. You know, also related to artificial intelligence open AI just this week released a full study where they looked at the jobs that would be impacted by artificial intelligence and in particular tools like chat, G p T.

And so they had a full study report that they just released. And it gave some of the you know, occupations that will no longer be around potentially. Right. Or at least that will be. And so let me actually share my screen here of it’s, you know, in a PDF here. And I’ve, I’ve scrolled for those viewers here on YouTube.

They can see this. But we’ll talk through some of these. So I don’t know if you guys can see this but this is basically, it lists the exposure that these occupations have with artificial intelligence, right? Interpreters and translators have an 76.5% exposure. For example, you know, survey receivers 84.4%, mathematicians, tax preparers, financial analysts, writers and authors, web and digital interface designers all have a hundred percent exposure, which I assume means they could be fully replaced by AI , right?

Yeah. . And then there is one interesting one down here. Search marketing strategists. Mm. This is with the highest variance, right? So 14 point a 5% variants. I guess that just means they really don’t know, you know, in their models, right? Some might say it’s 80%, some might say it’s only 60%. Anyway, so I think that’s kind of a broad term, you know, search marketing strategist.

There could be a lot of different aspects. The do or. Get replaced. Now, here’s the jobs that open ai, according to their study, says, will not get replaced by artificial intelligence, if I can find that. I thought it was on page 29. 29. Yeah. There we go. Thank you. So if you take a look at these agricultural equipment operators, athletes and sports competitors, cooks, short order cement, masons, concrete cutter.

Fish cutters, dishwashers, dredge operators. I think you get the idea. There’s a whole list here. These are manual labor type positions, right? And so if you’re in one of these positions, you’re safe basically from artificial intelligence. And so the one interesting thought that I have is that if you have a college degree and you’re a knowledge worker, like your job is in.

Right. But if you didn’t go to college, like you’re safe , right? Yeah. Or, or if you’re doing manual labor jobs. So what do you guys think of this? Like, kind of what’s your take? Yeah. Do you find anything interesting about some of this from open ai? 

Jared: Well, I mean, clearly AI is gonna have a big impact on some jobs.

And I mean, with what you’re able to put into. Like chat g p t and get answers back. It’s pretty phenomenal. You were talking last week about getting help on homework, you know, so I, I wonder if tutors on there as well, right? Like, there’s some things that just seem like they’re really in danger, you know?

But at the same time, I, at the, you know, the attitude I keep bringing to is I was around as a professional photographer when the transition from film to digital happened. Mm-hmm. , and it, it, you know, it wasn’t ai, but the digital camera seemed like AI compared to a film camera. . Remember there were days when, as a professional photographer, you couldn’t see the back of your camera to see whether you took a good picture or not.

you know? And so it was almost like having ai and what it became more about now was other factors in your photography, the experience, the branding, the marketing, all that kind of stuff. So, you know, all these jobs, it’s gonna be interesting to see how AI incorporates with them. I doubt many will disappear completely, but will just change in the way that people consume them and interact with them.

Jake: Yeah, same. I you know, one thing that’s just amazing to me is all this stuff is rolling out is like, how quickly it’s all changing. You know what I mean? Even from like a few weeks ago, like stuff that I’m doing with my business that I’m trying to incorporate, some ai, like how I’ve thought about it has changed just from weeks ago, by new tools that come out and all this stuff.

And so it’s just, it’s so fast moving. It almost feels foolish to make predictions. I was kind of surprised on that list that like translators was like 75%. I feel like that’s a. one that it could be really good at. And then the one that could be interesting is like accountants and stuff like that, which, you know, nobody likes that kind of stuff.

It had that at a hundred percent. I think it, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of tools get developed around that kind of stuff, you know what I mean? Cuz that’s an industry I feel like they could, TurboTax and all that stuff exist, but you know what I mean? Like if there are some really cool AI generated finance tools, right.

That seems like that could be pretty exciting. But I mean, who knows, man, it’s. It’s happening very quickly. 

Spencer: I think. I think that’s right. It it, it’s changing kind of by the minute here. You know, I think there’s companies that are probably already working on tools for every single one of those right.

Occupations that we just mentioned, right. That are building that next tax preparation software where, I don’t know, you just upload your, your documents and like it’s done. Right. And, and they’ve optimized for every tax loophole you can find. Right. automatically via. So we, we live in just very interesting times in particular, you know, as bloggers and and niche website creators.

I’m trying out new things with my site, you know, with Chad g p t plus. I know you guys are as well, and so I guess just keep listening, you know, as we find out things we’ll, we’ll share what’s working for us. So, okay, we’re gonna move on to the. Segment of our show here and it’s called now. That’s impressive.

This is where we bring something that we’ve either a success story or something that just we’ve found very interesting here recently in the past week. Now, before we do that we gotta pay some bills. We’ve got just a quick sponsored spot from Link Whisper. And for listeners that are somehow unaware, I actually am the creator of Link Whisper.

It’s an internal linking plugin that I created outta my own need about three years ago now. Jared, Jake, do you guys use Link Whisper? I do every hour . I love it. Every hour. That’s, that’s a lot. I mean, 

Jared: not me personally, but someone on the team over here uses it. Yeah. Yeah. We, we use it a lot. You know, privilege to, to, to help you out with some of the back and forth in the early days.

So it definitely, I mean, you know, link internal linkings, it’s difficult and it’s, it, it, it really makes short work out of the 80 20 of it, right? Like, you know, getting 80%, 90% of the internal linking you need done in minutes rather than, you know, what can sometimes seem like ours. , 

Spencer: Jake, how do you use Link Whisper?

Jake: Yeah. Same, you know, I’ve been using it since the early days. A lot of times it’s just simple stuff that I have my team trained on, so it becomes part of the publishing process. So just try to make sure, like we don’t have any orphan posts, so like posts that exists with no link back to them. So like right after we do it, we go run that report and like find the most relevant spot and add, you know, one to three like relevant links and it just takes an extra couple of minutes rather than going back.

editing the post. So it’s just one of those things that once it’s like into your system, that way it saves you a ton of time and it’s well worth it. So, yeah. Yep. Big 

Spencer: fan. Awesome. Thank you guys. So if people listening want to go check out Link Whisper, they can go tolin whisper.com and I do have a $15 off discount if you use the Discount Code podcast.

So go to link whisper.com, add to your cart, and then at the checkout screen, enter the. Podcast, you’ll get $15 off link whisper if you wanna check that out. All right. Jake, you’ve got the first item here on the, now that’s impressive segment of the show. Why don’t you tell us what you found? . 

Jake: Yeah. So I was gonna talk about this koala again, AI writing tool which I heard about and I feel like a lot of people have been buzzing about.

I heard about it from John Dykstra, the Fat Stacks newsletter, which I’m on. I’m, I’m a big fan of John’s, like, I feel like we have a very similar philosophy for building sites and he’s very much like a content snob, I feel like, is the, the sense that I get. So when he put out a pretty heavy endorsement for like an AI tool, I was.

I feel like I should check this out. And they also have a pretty sweet lifetime deal going on right now. So anyway you can do some nice free testing with it, but I’ve used. Jasper and tools like that, just kind of playing around with it. And we use AI strategically, but I tell you what, this thing does have some really impressive things about it and it’s simplicity.

So, you know, just putting in a topic and then you’re able to, it’s able to kind of pull sources from the internet live, so like it will link to like references and things like that. And it also gives you an outline which you can change before it actually runs the article. And anyway, yeah, I’ve.

Maybe an hour with it, you know, just kind of playing around with d different topics and yeah, like if you’re somebody that’s in that world using a tool like Jasper, I would give it a look because it’s, it’s pretty darn impressive, man. So but yeah, I just saw that like 48 hours ago. But it’s pretty cool if you’re looking for, for a tool in that space.

Jared: Jake, you, you kinda labeled yourself a bit as a content snob. Just borrowing the term by the way, not assigning that too, but ha have you figured out how you’re gonna use it? Have you, you know, kind of taken it for a test drive in terms of how you’d use it on one of your websites? 

Jake: I’m working on that . 

Spencer: Fair enough, fair enough.

So 

Jared: good enough to, to, to, to lean into, I guess, is what you’re. . 

Jake: Yeah. Yeah. For, for certain types of content, you know, and I think that that’s and the content saw, I, I was referring to, I feel like John is kind of like that, like about his writers. And so he said for now he’s kind of using it for like social media content.

So probably that for now, like lists where you don’t, you know what I mean? Lists of ideas, lists of inspirations, stuff like that. I feel like it would do an excellent job with that. And if you have a team in place that can come back and add custom images and those sorts of things, like. You know, build that into a nice piece of content.

So that’s probably where I would, I would start with it for sure. But yeah, it’s an interesting tool. I like. 

Spencer: Yeah, I’m doing a kind of a live chat here on the screen for, for viewers here and, you know, just write a list of the 10 best WordPress plugins for seo. It’s cool, it, you know, it pulls up the actual sources, right?

It, it gave me a nice list here and, and pulled up the, the sources for that, which, yeah. I, I don’t know that chat g PT Plus does that. It usually doesn’t pull in sources or links. I feel like the G P T four is doing that 

Jake: a little bit. Is it? Okay. But if you go to the Koala writer Spencer, that’s obviously we don’t have to do, do a full demo.

This is the one that’s that’s kind of the impressive one, I think like that Gotcha. Actually creates like a full article. Right. So you start with, you have to have the paid version to do G P T four. Yep. But you start with the target keyword, and then you can like, set up some things down below, like presets as far as like tone of voice and.

how long you want the intro to be and stuff like that. And then basically it will give you an outline on the next page to which you can edit, right? So if you wanted to add, kind of do your own research, which I like, you know, add in some more subheadings of things you think you should cover, take some things out and then it will write the article.

So it kind of has that step in place, which I kind of like, it gives you a little bit more control over the output. And then yeah, the, the final result that I’ve seen is it’s been really. . 

Spencer: Yeah. And you know, it’s interesting because all of these, of course, are layers on G P T four, right? Right. Yep. But it’s, it’s cheaper, right?

Like it’s $20 a month to get G P T four on your own. This is nine bucks a month, right? And so it adds, adds some layers maybe that make it specific to writing blog posts, et cetera. Now, I, I will just say that I’m not an affiliate for Koala. I have not used it. But I’m gonna sign up as an a. Real quick.

So if anybody listening wants to check it out, I’m gonna assume I’m gonna create this after the show. But you can go to niche pursuits.com/koala, we’ll see if I can get you you know, anything special there by the time this is released. So alright. Jared, what do you got for us? Well, 

Jared: I, I I believe that next on the list, Spencer, is you, is actually me.

I think that you, you’ve got a double whammy here and now that’s impressive. 

Spencer: All right, so I saw a story about Baremetrics. Now, I don’t know how familiar everybody is with Baremetrics, but it’s basically an analytics tool that you can upload your, you know, if you’re, you’re selling a software tool or you’re a SaaS company, you’ll use bare metrics.

To help you understand your monthly recurring revenue, your churn rate give, y’all create a p and l automatically, right? Like tons of stats is, is what this tool does. And somebody posted that the, the team over at Barometric changed their pricing. They increased pricing by two and a half times, just maybe six months.

And the reason they did that is because they purchased the company. So the original creator of Barometric sold the company maybe a year ago, and then the new company that bought it, they increased the price like two and a half times. And what’s cool is that Baremetrics shows the stats live of the company.

It’s an, it’s an open company so you can see the exact revenue. demoing their tools. So I’m sharing the screen, and this is showing bear metrics. You can see that their monthly recurring revenue is $261,612. That’s the, that’s as of today. This is live, this is their real business, right? We, we can see everything.

So it’s, it’s very cool way to show off their product, right? This is Bear metrics, but it’s the stats for barometric the business. And what’s interesting, so if I go. All time. This created a lot of buzz when the company was sold and then the new company increased prices by two and a half times.

You can see this huge spike , right? Their recurring revenue went from 191,000 a month to 334,000. Everyone’s like, whoever sold this company was an idiot. They should have just increased prices and doubled, you know, almost their recurring revenue. But now what’s happening is you can see over time, The recurring revenue is essentially in a nose dive now coming back down closer to that original 191,000.

So the question is, was increasing price by two and a half times a smart move or a bad move? And I, I don’t know that I know the answer, but I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on this. I mean, on one case, yeah, they’ve made a lot more money over the past six. , but now they’ve got a business that’s in decline.

But maybe they have less customers that are willing to pay higher price. What do you think? 

Jared: Well in theory it’s easier to operate a company with less customers for the same pri, you know, for the same. , but it’s also a lot harder to grow a company that’s in decline versus continue to grow a company that has upper trajectory.

For sure. I mean, I understand the, the, there is a, a long held business philosophy that in like instead of incrementally tic-tac raised prices here and there, like just go for the price point you’ve now established you need to be at and deal with the churn and the problems and survive that. . I would say that if this is part of like a really well thought out, thought out, long-term strategy, they haven’t, you know, they haven’t you know, it’s a nose dive, but it’s not, it’s not terrible yet as part of a bigger strategy.

It could work. It could definitely work. But that, that, that, that, that nose side doesn’t 

Spencer: look good. No, it doesn’t. And it’s just, it’s very interesting because the, the original founder of Barometric was always very public on Twitter about sharing his revenue stats and what he was doing in the. And so it was just this, this huge deal, you know, when the new company raised prices and, and so in a way he’s being a little bit vindicated.

I’m sure he is actually enjoying seeing this decline. The, the original founder , it’s like, okay, few. I wasn’t like terrible about kind of keeping prices where they were. So, we’ll, we’ll see how that goes. But if anybody wants to check it out, they can go to demo.baremetrics.com. You can see the live. Anytime, you know, there’s lots of companies that share their numbers publicly.

You know, I often go look at Convert Kit. They share their numbers publicly. It’s kind of fascinating to see these businesses. How’s Convert Kit doing? It’s doing really well. , I was looking at it I think yesterday just because I was on barometric. It’s like 2.8 million recurring revenue a month.

Well, geez. Cause they were, their 

Jared: prices recently. I don’t know, a year, like a year ago. Two maybe six months to a year ago, I think. Yeah. 

Spencer: Yeah. They’re doing really well. There you go. Yeah. That’s crazy. It is indeed. All right. I’ve got one other one here that’s more in the niche site space. So, Ian Nuttle is pretty public on Twitter as well.

He recently sold a package of two sites through FBI FE International and. , he sold them, I believe he said mid six figures. He didn’t give the exact price, but he said he sold them for mid six figures and he was willing to share the websites. So the first one is visual fractions.com, and I’m gonna share that here, right?

And so it’s, it’s got calculators, you know, conversions. Fractions, right? And. . I think I need to go. Are you guys seeing an a’s uh, screen now? I think I might need to stop sharing. You know what I’m see visual fractions. Oh, now you don’t aps. Yep. Yeah. And then I just pulled up visual fractions on a hf, so you can see it’s an oppressive site, right?

Like he mm-hmm. grew it quite quickly. He has used, I believe, for both of these sites, primarily programmatic s. And so he’s a programmer. He finds lots of very similar, you know, keyword phrases and builds out, you know, pages in a programmatic way. So the second site that he sold in this package was worksheet genius.

And apparently he just found a way to crank out a bunch of worksheets. , right? . So it’s kind of an interesting niche. I’m just pulling some of these. . Okay, so 

Jared: this would’ve applied nicely last week for your your tutoring example, 

Spencer: Spencer. Yeah, you’re right. . It would’ve. And so I’ll show this one here also in a rs, right?

So both of these sites, you know, getting over 600,000 organic visitors 

Jared: among, and we know a tends to short it. I mean, those are some impressive keyword and traffic numbers. 

Spencer: Yeah, absolutely. And so anyway, it’s just kind of cool so people can check those out. You know, worksheet Genius and visual fractions.com.

Just something I ran across. He sold it for mid six figures, so, I don’t know, half a million dollars, $600,000, something like that. Nice little exit. And uh, all through programmatic seo. So in very interesting angle there. 

Jake: Are you guys doing anything that’s in the programmatic vein at all in your, in your.

Jared: a little bit, and we’ve had some success with it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It’s, it is very intriguing. It gets, I don’t know about you, but every time I, I see an example that’s using programmatic seo, my heart kind of flutters a bit. Like, it really gets me excited,

Jake: I agree actually. Yeah. I’m, I’m kind of fascinated by it. I’ve actually communicated with Ian a little bit via email. Just sent him some newbie type questions in that world. Just trying to wrap my head around it because. at one level, the concept seems simple, but then like the, how do you actually do that?

That part I don’t really get, but smart guy, man. I love that aspect of the site. You just showed how it’s, you’re sort of building a worksheet on the fly, like, you know, like you’re checking these boxes. I want it to be about this and a little bit more difficult. Like, I have no idea how he pulls that off, but like, I think for people that can do that, like it shows the power of like having an interactive tool like that, you know what I mean?

Like, Diversity can be, if it’s something that’s like truly helpful yeah, it probably like really easy for ’em to build. I don’t know, , 

Jared: but that is I would say I don’t want, I don’t wanna label it like more advanced, but certainly like the more basic programmatic sites you might think of are like, what’s the population of Geneva, Switzerland?

And it, you know, pulls a data set in and you know, so it’s the sites that you just had up Spencer that, that Ian made, there was a lot more going on for those. And you know, so I think that that’s, , you know, feather in his cap. Like he’s really building out sites that are a little bit more substantive than kind of some of the basic programmatic SEO stuff you might 

Spencer: think of, right.

Yeah, I think he’s got the skillset, you know, he is a programmer so he can kind of do it himself and tweak it and customize it. Whereas us, you know, people don’t have programming skills. You know, we’re kind of learning as we go. And if 

Jared: you fall in on Twitter, every, every third tweet he shares, I’m like, I don’t understand what he just said.

I don’t really that. 

Spencer: But there’s gotta be somebody smart listening right now to this podcast that maybe it’s gonna spark an idea for ’em. They’re like, I could build that. That would be so easy. Right? Yeah. And so that kind of leads us into our shiny object shenanigans. You know, programmatic seo, maybe a little shiny object that we’re, we’re looking at right now.

But this is a segment where all three of us are gonna just share kind of what we’re working. The side that is not our main business, not our main focus, but something that’s fun. So I’m gonna give another update on my faceless YouTube channel. I talked about this last week in the episode, and I think when I shared that, I’m gonna be looking over to another screen here.

About a week ago, that channel had 394 subscribers on it. And this is a fully outsourced channel. You. The face of the creator is not on this channel at all. Right. And so we’ve got voiceovers and some editors and, and we’re putting out videos. So it went from about 394 subscribers a week ago to now 591.

Wow. Now, nice. This is, yeah, thank you. This is still like a small channel Of course, but we’re trying to get that thousand subscriber mark where we can finally monetize it. So we’re getting close, like at this rate within like two. We’ll be there. We can finally monetize it, see what the RPMs are like on YouTube, and kind of go from there.

So this has just been super fun. Again, I, I’m working with a partner on it. I’m just outsourcing. I’m, I’m investing, I’m paying, and, you know, I, I have a partner doing all the work, but I love checking in. It’s, it’s, it’s just fun. that’s 

Jared: more than 50% subscriber 

Spencer: growth in one week. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s insane.

The one thing that we’re doing that’s a little bit different this week is we’re creating some shorts YouTube shorts, cuz my partner felt like, hey, doing a bunch of shorts might get more subscribers cuz we can Yeah. Pump out more videos quicker and that might help us, help us get subscribers. , that strategy appears to be working this week.

So Cool. That’s where we’re at. All right, Jared, what you working on? 

Jared: I hope it works. Like I said last week, on so many levels still, still trying to you know, carve out a little time each week to build out the the weekend growth newsletter and email list. You know, we do a lot of list building and email marketing for clients at my agency.

I’ve never knuckled down and kind of started to just share stuff that I see working, whether it’s on my own websites or some of the websites we manage. So you know, every week trying to send out one email trying to do that for 12 weeks or three months. And we talked about that last week a bit, so we sent out another email.

You know, it’s still just trying to make sure I’m finding the right topics, I think. As now it’s week three. I’m, I’m trying to make sure, like I, I go after the topics that people might be interested in, but I’m not really sure exactly what people are interested in. Cause I haven’t been doing this very long.

But the email that went out on Tuesday all the emails have gotten over a 50% open rate. 

Spencer: So that’s a good sign. Excellent. Yeah, that’s very good. It’s a good sign. 

Jared: There’s, you know, some, some good interaction. So I I think the next thing I want to try, I’m gonna say it publicly here, is to try to make.

Five to 10 minute video about the topic I’m emailing out as well. And so we will see if I can do that, but I’m gonna try to do that for the next email that goes out next week and make a little video because I know you know people, a lot of people like to read your newsletters. Super popular. Spencer, obviously, you know, people read it three times a week, but you know, some people want to consume that content via maybe video.

So we’ll we’ll give that a shot. We’ll give that a shot. . 

Spencer: I like it. So is the idea to build a YouTube channel is, is that where the videos are gonna live to kind of be in two places? They’ll live on YouTube? 

Jared: Yes. Hadn’t thought about building the channel out, but . Yeah. Yeah. We’ll, we’ll put that down as a 

Spencer: goal.

There you go. Yeah, let’s do it. right here, right now. Commit as of 

Jared: 30 seconds ago. It’s now a goal. , 

Spencer: that’s why we do this. Yeah, 

Jared: yeah, yeah. No no, it’s a good point. I mean, yes, I think that’s, that’s an obvious natural next step to 

Spencer: that. Awesome. Sounds good. . All right, Jake. Yeah. What you working on? 

Jake: I love this topic.

Shiny objects are like my life. So like I’ve been it’s a real problem. Fortunately, you know, I’ve got about 10 or a dozen or so sites that really like make the money and I’ve like systematized those to a point to where like, the writers, the editors, et cetera, like it’s all kind of going right. And so I can spend a lot of my time just like tinkering with things, cuz I feel like it.

energy. But the tool that I’ve been playing around this week, it is connected to some of my sites, but it’s called hubble.ai. And I feel like I keep talking about ai, but connected with the founder his name’s Derek. Really nice guy. But it’s an exciting tool because they’re building like no code, low code type stuff where you can sort of use the power of AI to build kind of simple tools.

And so how I’ve been using that some real examples is kind of like a, like a. Let’s just say like a hotel comparison type tool, right? So you can upload your own data sets, right? So I was taking like information about particular properties, like hotels, putting them into the tool, and so it sort of knows that information and then you can kind of, they’re building out like a chat type interface.

But right now it’s more like a form or you can ask questions like, Hey, what’s most important to you? Like, , you’re going with just just a couple, or you’re bringing kids, like do you want to have a big pool? That sort of stuff, right? Like you ask those questions and then it can kind of plug that into the data and then give you, like, AI can basically provide the best answer.

So sort of like a trip planning type tool. The other way that I’m using it is I’ve got a site where I just built like a hashtag generator. So like sometimes people, you know, they might. Unique hashtag for like an event or you know, a family reunion or whatever, right? So for my purposes, I’d built a form that kind of collects what you need to know.

So like, what’s the name of your family? When’s it happening, where’s it gonna be? Are there any other nicknames or inside jokes? Like that kind of stuff is the form that I built. And then, On the back end, you kind of giving it instructions kinda like you would with chat g p t or whatever. Hey, give me some hashtag ideas that include this, this, and this, and make ’em funny and use alliteration and all of these instructions that the user doesn’t see, but they’re able to, to get that output.

So anyway, I’ve been yeah, playing around with that and it’s kind of in its early days, but they are like making very quick advancements and developments to the tool. But so yeah, if somebody’s out there that wants to kind of play around, , you know, you’re not a real techy person. It’s very easy to use.

might be able to build some, some cool tools like that. So I’ve been playing 

Spencer: around with that this week. Yeah. So is the idea to kind of I embed these on your site, is that kind of how they live? They live on your site and you’re trying to get people either on your email list or further down you know, a funnel to make a.

Jake: Yeah. That, that’s exactly what it is. So like, in my case, like the hashtag generator in particular the niche that I’m in actually has a lot of search volume. And so there are people out there that have that tool. So it’s, you know, kinda like having a calculator or any other, you know, interactive tool on your site.

So we essentially wrote an article that like, has some ideas and like general tips for like building your own hashtag. And then we also have this hashtag generator, you know, that’s kind of at the top of the page. So that, that’s how I’ve been using it is to. Add some interactive content. 

Spencer: So that’s, yeah, I’m hoping to Engagement.

Yeah. Rank adds engagement, keeps time on page longer potentially. Right. 

Jake: Maybe build some links, you know, like if mm-hmm. people like it and share it, that sort of thing. Right. So and then, yeah, it was, took me like a couple hours to build, you know, I mean, it could take five minutes, but after doing a lot of tweaking and back and forth and getting it just right, you know,

Spencer: It’s pretty cool. That’s awesome. That’s really, yeah. And, and, and Jake is like the perfect person to talk about shiny objects because I I love it. We could, we could do a whole show about like all the little, like variations of, of stuff you’ve done and little projects you’ve done. Yeah. You know, we, we hop on a call every once in a while and we talk about kind of what’s our latest project, and Jake’s always.

Something. Right. Some something new. So I love it. This is this is good. Okay. Let’s move on to our final segment of the show. One weird niche where each of us bring one weird niche site or something unique that we’ve run across in the past week. Something that is maybe not your standard like niche site that targets a keyword that everybody else is trying to target.

Right. So let’s do it. Jared, looks like you’re up first. 

Jared: All right. So there’s a little bit of a backstory behind this one that I, I wanted to go look into. Back. So my mother is a avid tab soda drinker. And talk about, you might remember tab soda referenced in the movie Back to the Future when Marty wants to get a tab.

That’s right. And uh, it’s, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a popular eighties drink that died off quick, unless you’re my mom and two other people in the Southern California area. But she was passionate about it. And when in 2020 Coca-Cola, the, the brand that owned it sunsetted it, they killed. and my mom’s been devastated ever since, but

But um, I got to thinking about it and I went looking and sure enough, there is a website that is called save tab soda.com. You got it up on the screen if you’re watching on YouTube. Yep. And there is a passionate group of fans that are heavily lobbying to bring tab. . If you go to Google Trends, I’ll tell you, interest does not seem to be dying off in tab soda.

You know. Yep. There you go. Yep. There’s a huge spike right there when Google when was announced they were killing it off, but Yep. There’s a look at that nice recent spike right there that might be from this podcast, . 

Spencer: Oh yeah, we’ll double that after this is the least exactly problem. 

Jared: If, if you go to Etsy, this is our eBay, sorry, not Etsy.

If you go to e. It’s not uncommon to see people selling one can of tab for $50 or higher. , 

Spencer: geesh. Oh, I love it. 

Jared: Anyways, obviously all joking aside, there is a passionate group of fans that are doing this, and I don’t really, I don’t really know the monetization strategies around building something with this, but clearly there’s community, right?

Like there is a, there’s a community here and where there’s people that are, , you can almost always find ways to monetize. I don’t, I’d love to hear what you guys think. Just off the cuff, maybe crazy, weird monetization angles on this, but there’s a loyal group of people, there’s a passionate fan base, there’s a community that can be made and there’s nobody else doing it.

Yeah. 

Jake: I mean, my first thought is just like merch, you know, like people that wanna wear. Shirts and stickers and all that kind of 

Spencer: stuff. Right? Like kinda show I’m proud to you. He’s co following, right? Yeah. Mm-hmm. . Yeah, I think that’s a good idea. My, another angle might be like beyond just tab maybe have a whole website dedicated to discontinued products.

Yeah, there you go. And, and just write articles or like references like Tab was in Back to the Future and you have an article about that, you know, everywhere it was mentioned. I don’t know. So you could have all these people that. Had some product they were passionate about in the sixties, seventies and eighties.

Yeah. Or nineties or whatever that, that are gone. Maybe you have a whole website about that. 

Jared: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, even if just, I mean, right there alone, search traffic could drive a lot of you know, ad revenue, you know, could just be a simple play right there. 

Spencer: Yeah. And maybe it’s low competition because like, who’s gonna write about tab?

I mean, it doesn’t exist , right. So, That’s true. I You have it. That’s a good one. That’s cool, 

Jake: man. So are you gonna buy that on eBay then for, for like a Christmas present? Is that the plan? 

Jared: It crossed my mind. I think I’m gonna shop for a deal, you know, I’ve got a couple months here where I can try to find a good deal.

Maybe I can get a six-pack, you know, an or best 

Spencer: offer 

Jake: listing 

Spencer: there. Find a two liter for 20 bucks, you know, or something. Yeah, yeah. All right. Awesome. Jake, you got an interesting one. . 

Jake: Yeah. I saw this on Flip a and the guy that’s selling it, maybe he was on the podcast. I recognize his name. His name’s Ron Stefanski.

Is that somebody 

Spencer: you guys know? Oh yeah, yeah, I know Ron. He’s over at one hour Professor. Okay. Is he, 

Jake: I guess he’s the seller of it. So this is his site. Oh, okay. I mean, he’s got his name and stuff on there, so I’m not like disclosing any kind of secret info. But anyway, yeah, so Prison Insight and he was kind of sharing the story and I was just going through the listing and basically, according to.

Stats that it had on there, like the average numbers I had, it’s like making 3,500 bucks a month on average, like just over a hundred thousand page views on average, according to the, the flip a listing. It’s making all that through just display ads. But essentially when you go through the site, like I pulled it up in aaps, like, it’s just, they basically cover things like the visiting hours, like how to send letters, how to, how to make phone calls to an inmate, that sort of thing.

So the audience that it’s catering to, I guess, are people. Family members or loved ones that are like in jail. And so there’s all these different federal, state, et cetera facilities. And that’s pretty much it. So they rank for like, you know, like if you just type in the whatever, whatever correctional unit, like they’ll be on page one for that and you go and they’ve kind of got that basic information and that’s pretty much it.

Like it seems like they have some q and A type content. But yeah, I thought it was kind of a weird niche and it’s interesting to me because. . A lot of people think about that, right? Like what niche to get into. And I know for me, like a lot of my sites are on hobbies and stuff like that, , but it’s just, it’s always like re-energizing and fascinating to me when I find these, because like to be in the incarceration niche, right?

you would never think, at least me, I mean, it’s very boring information, right? Nobody’s like excited about it, but it serves a purpose. Like people are looking for it and it’s. , you know, I mean, he says in the listing like, he hasn’t touched it in a very long time. Like he literally does nothing to it. There are no, there’s basically is no upkeep, you know?

And so yeah, it’s just fascinating because it kind of, it to me like things like this shift your perspective a little bit. Yeah. Like if there’s somebody that’s out there that’s trying to think about, you know, , what niche should I get into? And that sort of thing. . I don’t know, man. Well, every once in a while you uncover some of these, right?

Where it’s just like, ah, I would’ve never thought about that. But this guy’s crushing a hundred thousand page views a month, you know, three grand a month, totally on autopilot, like mm-hmm. . It’s 

Spencer: pretty impressive. I’d take it. 

Jared: A lot of the advice out there, right, when you’re starting your website, first website maybe like find SL your’re passionate about all that.

Not bad advice by the way. , but you know, like the boring businesses, there’s a lot less competition usually, right? Because yeah, it’s not really a passion for a lot of people. And so you, you know, like as as you consider if you have the wherewithal to kind of, kind of get vetted in and really produce what you need to, to, to rank a site, like boring niches boring websites can be really attractive because nobody else is necessarily competing for it as much.

Spencer: Yeah. Yeah. And I love some of these keywords. I thought pretty cool. Yeah. You know, can you have nails in prison? Can you have Facebook in prison? Why do inmates get paid? Just things I, I’m on the same page. Never would’ve thought about, you know, this kind of being a niche and never really thinking about, Hey, there’s this much search volume.

Yeah. There, there’s actually this many people searching for all these correctional facilities and, and all these questions. Yeah. Surrounding it. He’s done a nice 

Jared: job. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a nice looking website too, you know, like the new buyer is getting a site that maybe it hasn’t been updated much, but you know, it’s got a nice little logo.

It’s, it’s laid out, easy to read. It’s super simple, right. I don’t know what kind of theme that is, but it’s just a simple theme. Clearly is, is made for people to come read, get what they need, and, and have a good 

Jake: experience. Didn’t you have a guy on the show the podcast that did like a DMV type 

Spencer: site?

Like Yeah, yeah. dmv.org. Yeah. dmv.org. Yeah. 

Jake: And it’s, I mean, it’s basically like sharing similar site thing, right? Like a government institution, right? Like the, the boat, the motor vehicle thing, right. And just kind of put it together in. User friendly way and I don’t know, maybe there’s something there, right?

So I feel like a lot of government sites like state by state and it’s gonna vary and it’s not laid out really well. You know, like if you could take some kind of government thing and like just present it in a better way, like that might be a niche right there, you know, like it seems to work. . Couple of examples where it’s worked clearly, so, 

Spencer: yeah.

So good one. Yeah, that can give people some ideas might spark some different ideas for them to start a. The last one that I have that I ran across this week just so niche. So I, I don’t know, I never would’ve thought of this, you know. So the, the website is dog-checks.com, so dog checks.com with the dash in the middle.

I guess I better share my screen on this one. This is literally just a site where you can go and order check. That has a picture of your dog on it or so good of dogs. So good. Wow. Right. Dog checks. Like that’s, that’s not what I was 

Jared: expecting. , when I first, when I first saw this on the agenda, I thought, is this like a name thing or like a dog name thing?

No. Then I pulled it up like, oh my gosh. So you can get your dog on your checks. 

Spencer: Yeah. And like, I don’t know that this is gonna be making a lot of money, but it’s just a weird niche site I had to share. I mean that’s the whole website. It’s all. Finding, you know, a, a breed of a dog or, I think you can upload your own picture somewhere.

But what’s interesting is all of these that you click on, it’s, these are all just affiliate links, right? Whether you click more info, well, I’ll do that. It, or whether you click buy now, it goes to carousel checks dot. , they have an affiliate program that I was looking earlier, pays like 35%. Right. So it’s, it’s just an affiliate site.

They’ve got tons of listings of dog checks. Right. And I, I was looking at the traffic. It’s not a lot. Right? There is not a ton of people I think, searching for this particular term. 

Jared: Did you see the backlink 

Spencer: profile? I didn’t look at the backlink profile. It’s a DR. 70. Is it 

Jared: really? That’s, I think so. I just put it into, yeah, put it into H address.

50 70. Wow. 

Jake: I wonder if one of these like credit card companies makes where you can like upload your own photo to credit cards if they could sort of pivot into this century. and start doing custom dog credit card affiliate offers. So now those are pretty lucrative, right? ? Yeah. Dog, dog 

Spencer: cards. , I mean, that’s what I was gonna say is my first thought is like, well, do people really use checks very much anymore?

But yeah, if they move to, you know, debit or credit cards maybe that’s the way to go. But yeah, and like the whole website is just listings. Like it’s, I don’t think there’s any content from what I’m seeing. You know, I’m not, see, yeah, it’s just order, check, 

Jared: take back what I say. It’s a DR. 70, but not because it’s got great back links,

So something else, something else going on there. But yeah, . 

Spencer: Okay, well maybe, we’ll, it is a Dr. Dive into that, but, but it is a Dr. 70, but it’s a DR. 70, but, so I, like I said, don’t know if it’s making much money. Probably not, but just an interesting niche, a weird, a weird niche. But 

Jared: who knows? I mean, like you said, those affiliate commissions aren’t bad.

I mean, it doesn’t get much traffic though. But what a weird, what a weird niche. 

Spencer: Yeah, yeah. There you go. So hopefully for people listening in, you know, one of those ideas maybe spark something that they can go out, they can start a site. There, there really are just so many ideas. There’s gotta be millions of different sort of niche sites that you can create, some of which maybe are a hundred percent reliant on Google, some of which are maybe not reliant at all on Google, right?

Maybe it’s a viral niche or just has a good PPC angle right there. There are so many ideas out there that people can explore. If anybody’s running across an another interesting or weird niche site, send it our way. We wanna keep doing this every. . So I think we got it. Got through our whole list here, guys.

What do you think? How’d we 

Jared: do? That’s it. We covered it all. 

Jake: I guess we’ll find out in the 

Spencer: comments, . Yeah. How we did. 

Jared: I don’t know, but we covered it 

Spencer: all. . That’s right, that’s right. Hopefully people enjoyed this. Jake, thanks for coming on. We’ll maybe have you on again in the future. And Jared, of course.

Thanks for being here. As always, really enjoyed it. Thanks guys. We’ll see you. And just final note. As a reminder, anybody that wants to get more content like this, they can join the Niche Pursuits Newsletter. They can go over to niche pursuits.com/newsletter, where I send out similar topics three times a week.

Thanks again, everybody for listening.



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AFFILIATE MARKETING

NLRB Drops Expanded Joint Employer Appeal

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NLRB Drops Expanded Joint Employer Appeal

The proposed expanded joint employer rule, which an International Franchise Association (IFA)-led coalition challenged in federal court, was defeated Friday when The National Labor Relations Board dropped its appeal of an earlier ruling in favor of the coalition.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

“This announcement means that the latest attempt to implement joint employer is finally finished and represents a landmark victory for franchise small businesses in communities across America,” Matt Haller, IFA president and CEO, said in a statement. “The franchise business model is the best vehicle for American workers to generate upward mobility and create small business ownership from all walks of life. Make no mistake: while today’s news means the current threat is behind us, IFA will remain vigilant against any attempts to target the franchise model or our members.”

Related: Find Out Which Brands Have Ranked on the Franchise 500 for Longest, Earning a Spot In our New ‘Hall of Fame’

Some form of the Joint Employer Rule has existed for years, but in 2023, the NLRB expanded it in a way that directly impacted the franchise industry. Under the proposed expanded version of the rule, two companies — say, McDonald’s and a McDonald’s franchisee — could more easily be considered “joint employers” of the same employees. That would make McDonald’s legally liable for any labor violation committed by one of its franchisees, even though McDonald’s itself did not hire and does not manage that employee.

Although this is the end of this attempt to expand the rule, attorney Jim Paretti of labor relations law firm Littler Mendelson recently told Entrepreneur what the NLRB’s options are moving forward. “The short answer is that the board can keep trying to write a rule,” Paretti said. “They can go back to the drawing board, try again and write something more narrow.”

Read More: Bloomberg Law

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The Top 5 AI Tools That Can Revolutionize Your Workflow and Boost Productivity

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The Top 5 AI Tools That Can Revolutionize Your Workflow and Boost Productivity

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Discover the top 5 AI tools for marketing and content creation that every marketer needs to know! As AI transforms the business landscape, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. In this video, I dive deep into essential AI marketing tools that can revolutionize your workflow and boost productivity.

Download the free ‘AI Success Kit‘ (limited time only). And you’ll also get a free chapter from Ben’s brand new book, ‘The Wolf is at The Door – How to Survive and Thrive in an AI-Driven World.’

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4 Takeaways For Franchising From the RNC

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4 Takeaways For Franchising From the RNC

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Kicking off hours after an assassination attempt on a presidential candidate, the Republican National Convention took on heightened significance this year. In my role as President and CEO of the International Franchise Association (IFA), I traveled to Milwaukee for a policy roundtable entitled “Franchising, the American Dream,” with U.S. Representative Kevin Hern (R-OK), who is the co-chair of the congressional franchise caucus, McDonald’s franchisee Jimmy Williams, and hotelier Jyoti Sarolia.

Matt Haller and Jyoti Sarolia Credit: Matt Haller

To be clear, IFA is non-partisan and does not take sides in presidential campaigns. We will be in Chicago for the Democratic National Convention in August, and we work with anyone from any party who champions our priorities and fights for our franchise small business owners. That’s also why we partnered with POLITICO and CNN with Milwaukee-based Batteries+. We created a brand activation at the POLITICO/CNN Grill, where over four days we gave away wireless battery chargers to over a thousand attendees, communicating the economic benefits of franchising to convention-goers, with a QR-code that linked to IFA’s Open for Opportunity campaign.

Related: Check out the 2024 Franchise 500 Ranking

Political conventions are always exciting, and this year was no different, especially after COVID-19 curtailed the in-person festivities in 2020. The buzz and energy were palpable. In my conversations with various stakeholders from all walks of life, certain commonalities emerged. Here are four of them.

1. Unions and franchising are not incompatible

The fiery speech from Sean O’Brien, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, got people’s attention. It marked the first time a teamster addressed the RNC in its 121-year history. The Wall Street Journal headline read, “Trump Courts the Union Vote.” The GOP is not used to speakers at their convention railing about “economic terrorism.” But as O’Brien pointed out, the Teamsters have supported Republican candidates before, including Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

For the franchise community, O’Brien’s presence served as a reminder that we have a compelling story to tell and we need to tell it.

First of all, our model provides nearly 9 million direct jobs, and not a single one is being outsourced overseas. Second, jobs in franchising pay up to 3.4 percent higher wages and provide higher rates of paid leave and other benefits than those at non-franchises, according to data from Oxford Economics. Third, franchises ARE small businesses, and that is the benefit of our business model.

Related: 7 Ways The Expanded Joint Employer Rule Would Hurt Franchises — And Your Wallet

While we are not going to agree with the Teamsters or other unions on much, one thing we do agree on is that policymakers should be focused on creating good jobs right here in America, and that’s what the franchising community is doing. Even when our brands open new franchises overseas, we are bringing money back ashore to the U.S. via the royalty stream paid to operate a U.S. brand abroad, creating a net-trade benefit to the U.S. economy.

We must push back on the idea that the franchise model and unions are incompatible. It’s false. We can and do have both. It is true that the union’s top policy agenda, the PRO Act and an expanded definition of joint employer, and franchising cannot co-exist, but unions are not inherently an opponent. It’s their history of policy priorities that would bring down franchising that we oppose.

2. Franchising is re-aligning party lines

Second, the traditional political and party lines are re-aligning, creating another golden opportunity to expand the franchise tent. For example, public polls have shown former President Donald Trump receiving as high as 30 percent of the Black vote — nearly three times higher than the 12 percent he earned in 2020.

Here again, franchising has an important role to play. Franchising has higher rates of business ownership among women, veterans and minorities. In fact, more than one-quarter (26 percent) of franchises are owned by people of color, compared to 17 percent of non-franchised businesses.

1721501763 1 4 Takeaways For Franchising From the RNC

Paul Calkins (IFA), House Speaker Mike Johnson and Matt Haller (IFA) Credit: Matt Haller

As Clement Troutman, an IFA member, U.S. Navy veteran, author, and Maryland-based Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisee, wrote in a column for the Washington Times observing Juneteenth, “the last few years have been challenging for Black entrepreneurs. From challenges accessing capital to a disproportionate impact stemming from the pandemic, Black small business owners face major obstacles.”

Clement noted, “Franchising can help, but only if elected leaders do their part in creating the right business environment.” These are wise words and lessons that all candidates should take to heart if they want to expand their political base of supporters.

3. J.D. Vance has sided with franchising in the past

There was a lot of scrutiny on Senator J.D. Vance after his selection as the vice-presidential nominee, and nearly every conversation I had with members of Congress and others in Milwaukee centered around what to make of Senator Vance’s selection. In the event of a Trump victory, many view him as the natural GOP standard-bearer in 2028. Throughout his two years in the Senate, Vance has raised eyebrows by deviating from traditional Republican orthodoxy. For example, he has marched on union picket lines and famously praised Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan as “one of the few people in the Biden administration who I think is doing a pretty good job.” Yet when it came to franchise issues, particularly joint employer, Senator Vance sided with franchising. When the stakes were the highest during this spring’s repeal of the joint employer rule, Vance stood with us, and that is telling.

4. The next president will have a huge impact on franchising

Members of the franchise community — like all voters — are assessing their presidential choices through the prism of past policies. We have a sense of what a second Trump and Biden administration could look like by evaluating their previous time in office. Certainly, IFA is focused much more on economic and regulatory visions than we do on political ideology. What is the plan for job creators?

Related: Decoding the Massive Impact of the NLRB’s Joint Employer Rule

For example, the individual tax provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) are set to expire next year. The law significantly restructured numerous aspects of the federal tax system for small businesses, including reductions in individual and corporate tax rates, a new 20% deduction for income from pass-through businesses, 100% bonus depreciation for capital investments, and a new limitation on the deductibility of business interest. The GOP platform expressly calls for tax cuts and many Ways and Means Committee members who will write the next tax law, including Chairman Jason Smith of Missouri, Vern Buchanan of Florida, and Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania, have all highlighted the importance of ensuring pass-through businesses like most franchises are treated fairly in the next round of tax reform.

Beyond tax issues, the next president will choose their own FTC chair, who can in turn update the Franchise Rule, something that hasn’t happened since 2007 — the same year the first iPhone was introduced — and will make appointments to the NLRB, including the general counsel, who is arguably the most powerful position at that agency.

The stakes are high for franchisors and franchisees alike. We do not vote as a monolith or along strict party lines. But one thing is clear, the list of issues facing franchising is long, and the importance of having a seat at the table is more important than ever. Thanks to the support of so many IFA members, and what our brands, franchisees and suppliers do every day, I’m confident that whatever November brings, franchising will continue to thrive and IFA will be at the forefront fighting for the best interest of franchising.

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