Finding an Angle and Profit Stream for Melee.co

iniartworksmallThis week I have found myself a unique angle to grow Melee.co as well as a potential profit stream.

Hey guys and welcome to another episode of Instructions Not Included, the podcast about me Ryan McLean as I try and make a decent living online. In terms of my online business On Property which is my main source of revenue, it has been going really well.

My partnership with Ben who’s the buyer’s agent and referring people on to them is generating enough profit for me to get by. It is also building up what I like to call a buffer fund. The way I look at my business account is not how much money I have in there but how many weeks of runway that I have.

I know that my own products basically pay for all of my online expenses plus I’ll probably get a little bit of profit from that. So anything in my bank account is basically runway. It’s basically savings that I’m using to live off so I draw a certain portion of money each week.

Back in December you may remember I actually ran out of money and I didn’t have enough to pay myself what I would normally pay myself each week and so I was slightly behind. Luckily I scraped through and was able to get enough money that I didn’t have to draw from savings. But I’ve slowly been growing up a buffer fund and I’ve now got a buffer fund of about 12 weeks so that is about three months.

In Australia it is kind of coming up to tax time in a couple of months. The end of June is the end of our financial year and so a portion of that will need to go towards tax which means I don’t really have three months buffer fund but at least I have enough money to pay my tax bill which is obviously very important.

I have started a new website because that’s what I do called melee.co. This is a domain name I actually bought exactly a year ago. Well, it’s not exactly a year ago but a year ago this month. I bought it because I was getting into Melee. I found it interesting and I thought maybe I’ll do something in this space in the future if I do become passionate about this game like I thought I would. And lo and behold I have become very passionate about this game and I’ve actually found an avenue to build up this website into something that could potentially be substantial enough to generate some profit and to generate some income for me. I’ve done 15 episodes or something like that.

I started back in March and I was just documenting my journey as a Melee player. If you don’t know what I’m talking about – Super Smash Brothers Melee – it’s a fighting game on GameCube that is quite competitive. So basically the biggest tournament got about two hundred thousand people watching the grand finals. I play this game competitively so I started a website about it called melee.co.

Little over a month ago I started documenting my journey as a player but I did know that this wasn’t going to get many people interested in it. This was more just for me to fulfil my desire to create content about something that I love. Therefore I created this and it basically had no views. I can go ahead and check on YouTube for you if you want to know. I’ve had just over 10 views like the last month. Therefore it is not very many views at all on this channel. And look, I expected that.

I thought this would be something that would be great to document and to look back on over the years. And often I find that when I start in a niche and I am not a hundred percent sure what to do I just start with something and see what happens. So I started this YouTube channel. The stuff was going on the website but I didn’t have the website set up properly. I didn’t have my theme set up. I didn’t have it looking nice or anything like that.

But then the other day not that long ago, it was on Friday the 22nd of April – so a little over a week ago I decided that I’m going to take the next steps (something I’ve been thinking about for a short period of time) and actually start to interview pro players.

This is something that I feel there’s a hole in the market as there are a lot of people out there talking about the top 10 players in the world but there’s basically nobody talking about the top 100 players. And so I thought a good approach for me would be to approach those top 100 players, get interviews with them, interview them, share that and then obviously get those players to share with their audience as well. These are players that are just I guess undeserved in terms of people creating content about them and they have some interesting things to add and benefits to add to the community.

I had this idea a few weeks ago but didn’t really do much with it. I got my virtual assistant who is absolutely awesome – I got her to generate me a list of the top 100 players, their names, what character they play, their Twitter accounts, etc, which was quite easy to get from the website that does the top 100 rankings. So she pulled that.

On Friday I just decided that what I was going to do was to just tweet at some pro players and see if they would be interested in interviewing me. Rather than going from the first player working my way down to the second best, the best, etc, I actually kind of went backwards starting at a hundred, working my way up the list towards number one.

There was one person that I was trying to get on the show that kind of inspired me to start this and kind of inspired the idea of interviewing pro players. I thought I would get him on first as an honour to him so I contacted him through a whole bunch of different methods and he just never responded. So I thought I was going to reach out to these pro players. The chance that they would respond was probably going to be pretty slim to none. So I would contact maybe like a bunch of them and see what the feedback was.

I contacted 13 players thinking maybe one or two would respond to me and lo and behold I had a massive response. And think about this – I was tweeting at these people so I had 140 characters to work with. Not a lot and even less when you take into fact that I had to be at them on Twitter – 130 characters or something like that.

So far I’ve already done two interviews. I’ve got five more lined up. All of the 13 people that I got in contact with I was able to organize seven interviews so that’s more than 50%. I thought I’d get one or two but I got seven and so I’m kind of overwhelmed with how many interviews I need to do. There are quite a lot but it’s good to say this is the response I’m sort of getting and in future I’ll probably contact less people at a time just because the response has been so good and it has been hard to schedule things given the time zone differences between me and these pro players who live in America.

Therefore my avenue is that I’m going to interview pro players. I’ve already done two. Basically we talk about their back story, what got them into the game, how do they practice, how do they get better, what they see for the future and just having a conversation with them about the game. I’ll be contacting them, interviewing them and then I’ll be sharing that through YouTube, the podcast and also on the website. I might even publish it to Twitter.

I’m not actually sure if you can do that or not but everyone who plays this game really connect with each other on Twitter. So that’s something that I need to consider as well. And then hopefully we’ll get the flow-on effect of these players who have been interviewed. As they’ve been featured they would want to share it with their audience and as a result we’ll get some flow-on from that. We’ll see how it goes. This is the avenue that I’m going down to grow my audience.

Also, in terms of profiting from this because this is unique content and because I’m not using copyrighted material, etc, I can make money through YouTube advertising. Therefore this isn’t going to be something that makes me $100,000 per year. However, this is something that I enjoy doing, something that I’m passionate about and the great thing about YouTube is that it’s fairly passive income once it is set up and once we got the episodes there it kind of generates income.

And while I’ve got income coming in from On Property, generating external income, generating more passive income, separating my income just from one side and generating multiple streams of income is a big goal of mine. So if I can do it in this niche that I’m passionate about even if it becomes like $100 a month or something like that I don’t need it to be thousands of dollars but it’s an extra source of revenue for me and it’s something that I’m passionate about.

It may change in the future and I may have product ideas or things like that. I’m not a hundred percent sure but I’m excited about this. I’m having a lot of fun interviewing these players. I’m having a lot of fun creating this new revenue stream.

The niche website that I started has started picking up and getting decent traffic. That’s something I need to work out – how I am going to focus on this niche website as well. I kind of need to get my head around how am I going to run so many different websites because at the moment all my focus is on running On Property or running melee.co but I want to be able to improve all of my websites. I therefore kind of need to get a process down where that becomes easy and I haven’t really worked that out yet. That is something that I’m working towards.

Also, another thing that I wanted to say was I’m doing kind of like an experiment with melee.co.  In a lot of cases a lot of websites, a lot of businesses they try to interview the best people in a space because once you get the best person or the most well-known person it becomes easier to get everyone else.

In the property space, now that I’ve interviewed Steve McKnight it’s easier to get other people. In the Melee space if I interview top players like Armada, Hungrybox, Mango etc, it would then lend their credibility to me to get other players. But I’m interested to see if I do it the other way around – if I interview lower-end players, first of the top 100 if that will I guess encouraged top players to be interviewed by me because I have already interviewed all these other players who aren’t as good as you or aren’t as ranked highly as you maybe I should interview you as well. I wonder how that will go.

I’ll see how it goes because this is an experiment for me but it could be a good approach. At least in this particular space in order to work my way up to the better players and to get them to say yes. I would say, “Look I’ve interviewed all of these people who are lower than you on the rankings but I haven’t interview you yet so maybe I should interview you.”  Again, it’s an experiment. We’ll see what happens.

That’s it from me today guys. That’s what I’ve been working on this week. I hope that you’re having a great week working on your business. Until next time if you want instructions go and buy some furniture.

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