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#128: Neville Medhora – Making millions with remarkable copywriting

December 06, 2022

#128: Neville Medhora – Making millions with remarkable copywriting
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Neville Medhora is the creator of Copywriting Course and SwipeFile.com


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EPISODE DESCRIPTION

Neville Medhora is the creator of Copywriting Course and SwipeFile.com.

Neville first flexed his copywriting skills by helping Noah Kagan write emails AppSumo, which led to their highest sales days ever. Neville created Copywriting Course in 2012 (then spelled "Kopywriting Kourse") and generated more than $2 million in course sales within two years.

In this episode, you’ll learn how YOU can get better at copywriting, how Copywriting Course has changed over the years, why Neville has leaned more into community, and the opportunities Neville is focusing HIS attention on in 2023.

Full transcript and show notes

My interview on Neville's podcast

Learn more about Copywriting Course

Follow Neville on Twitter / YouTube

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Transcript

Neville Medhora  00:00

People will respond saying, I know you're trying to sell me something today yet I read the entire thing. And I read it five times this week and you're trying to sell me something five times this week. Why am I opening your newsletters if I know I'm going to be sold?

 

Jay Clouse  00:11

Copywriting is one of the most valuable skills that any creator can learn. And today I'm talking to a legendary online copywriter who cut his teeth by writing emails for Noah Kagan and AppSumo.

 

Neville Medhora  00:23

His emails horrible and I was like, I just found this email stuff like called copywriting. Let me try applying it to your email list. We did, highest sales day on AppSumo ever.

 

Jay Clouse  00:32

That success led to Neville creating an online course in 2012 called Copywriting Course, and that online course has generated more than $2 million in sales in just a couple of years.

 

Neville Medhora  00:42

So many people were asking about it, there was just so much demand. You can just tell in the anecdotal results from the replies to the email, like why am I reading this? How are you doing this? Why is this so funny to me?

 

Jay Clouse  00:53

So in this episode, you'll learn how you can get better at copywriting, how copywriting course has evolved over the years, why Neville is leaning more into community and the other opportunities that he sees and has his eyes set on for 2023. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode. As you listen, find me on Twitter or Instagram @jayclouse. Tag me, let me know that you're listening or watching. If you're here on YouTube, leave a comment, subscribe to the channel. That's enough for me, let's talk with Neville.

 

Neville Medhora  01:33

I was running a rave company. So I've never been to a rave in my entire life. And I was running a rave company in college and then after college called House of rave, I don't know if exists anymore sold in 2011. And it was e commerce company it was drop shipping which back then innovative idea. Now it's like very obvious. And around that time I was I had all these emails and I was going to this thing. My friend David Gonzalez and Austin does a thing called Internet Marketing party. And all these people they were like my email list is my ATM email is where the money is all that crap. So I had about 7500 customers on the email list and I never email them. So I started sending emails in newsletter format, which like big images by now buttons everywhere, thinking like, Man, this is gonna get a lot it actually lost money. So I spent 80 bucks a month on the service to send out emails and I made about 40 bucks a month sending out the email, but not to mention all the last time and everything. And so from that I was like I guess email is not that great. And then another buddy was like you should read the Gary Halbert letters called the boron letters or the boron letters by Gary Halbert. I read that and I was like, hmm, maybe I'm doing the selling stuff all wrong. And that's what I learned term copywriting. What are the boron letters? The boron letters were Gary Halbert is famous copywriter kind of a shady guy, not super shady, but a little bit, he was a direct marketer in the 70s and 80s. And he wrote these letters from jail because he was arrested for mail fraud for his direct response. He obviously gives the reason why he thinks he's in jail. But hey, there's always two sides of that story. So, so it's a little bit of a controversial thing. It's a little bit dated, just remember, if you do read it, it's a you know, three decades old. So just take that to heart. And he wrote these on how to sell. And I printed them out on the request of my friend and read them. And it's kind of crazy how he gets you to go to the next page. Like he'll leave a story hanging at the end of the page and be like, and the reason that I made so much money was and you're like, Shit, I gotta turn the page. Then you turn the page. He's like, See, I knew you would come here. And you're like, Oh, he got me. So I learned all these like different little psychological hacks from that that letter and it was fantastic. So many copywriters have got their start from the boron letters. They're free online. And so I started reading that, and I was like, let me send out a newsletter for house rave of sale based on what he's teaching. So I sold one product, I told people different uses of the product. They didn't even have any images. And last all my other newsletters had tons of images. And it was one of my highest sales days ever. And it was like, huh, that kit that's interesting that that happened. And overnight house of rave turned from an SEO company hoping just people found us on SEO and bought to an email marketing company. That's where most of our income came from. Then I, Noah Kagan, one of my good buddies, who may you may know, he started building up Sue off my couch. And it was kind of taken off, but his emails were horrible. And I was like, I just found this email stuff like called copywriting. Let me try applying it to your email list. And we did highest sales day on AppSumo ever. And then we did it again and again and again and eventually hired a bunch of writers to replace myself. And so from there a bunch of people reading the app sumo newsletter. I didn't have my own newsletter at the time. And I was writing all of them. And people respond saying, I know you're trying to sell me something today. Yet I read the entire thing. And I read it five times this week. And you're trying to sell me something five times this week. Why am I opening your newsletters? If I know I'm going to be sold? And that was the most common question we got. And I was like, well, there's this thing called copywriting. And of course, I was answering this question 100 times, so I was like, let me put this on video and we ended up selling it as a thing called copywriting course. And I think circa 2012. The original version came out. It was just really to answer all the people's questions of like, why is this? Why am I reading this? And I could be like, hey, just buy So watch this and it'll tell you why. So that's how copywriting course came about and ended up becoming its own company.

 

Jay Clouse  05:04

You're telling the story and I'm having this this funny thought where I think I'm a genius, like your previous business. Did you use the term raving fans?

 

Neville Medhora  05:13

Raving? Oh, man, see, now I wish I could go back in time, that would have changed the whole thing when it sold into 2011.

 

Jay Clouse  05:21

Be a completely different course. Interesting thing about this, though, I think a lot of people when I talk to them about the power of email, they're like, Yeah, doesn't apply to my business. These people don't read emails, you wouldn't necessarily think that people go into raves are opening their email, buying things because of email. But they are, it seems like this universal connection point people still open emails, read emails, and for the most part, it doesn't matter what your niche is. But curious if you you've seen the opposite.

 

Neville Medhora  05:50

And maybe this might be a little side tangent on that story. But like, here's something interesting, so I would respond. I've sent out these emails, and actually got some good advice. So what happened is ravers are 16 years old and have $0 So imagine their budgets for stuff they buy $20 with the stuff they asked 9000 support questions, and and they're just they're just very anxious about their order and all that stuff. Then I realized I would get a couple big orders from party planners and wedding planners. And I started realizing, especially from like the Gary Halbert letters, I'm like, What is your actual target audience and I was like, well, ravers have no money. party planners have unlimited money. And so like MTV bought stuff for me like 1000s of dollars with the lights for Battlestar Galactica or sorry, whatever, ABC ad or whatever the network is, MTV bought a bunch for like an award show. And I was just like, oh, party planners are where the real money is. So I actually started noticing like, Okay, I need to shift my target audience of rave to actual party planners. So that was another thing I just started learning just about the psychology of selling is like, who's actually buying your product?

 

Jay Clouse  06:47

Man, alright, I'm gonna take this tangent one step further. Because something I've been thinking about lately is in my audience, and the audience of my friends, almost no Gen Z, unless they're big on TikTok. And I'm thinking to myself, like, is it because we aren't attracted to marketing that audience because they don't have money yet or is it because there's a fundamental disconnect between how we're creating and how those people like to consume? And will they age out of that? Will the TikTok generation adopt email in five years, ten years or do we have to fundamentally change?

 

Neville Medhora  07:23

Yeah, I mean, a 15 year old doesn't have a house doesn't have a mortgage doesn't know what a 401k is. They're in a whole different stage of life. So yeah, one, they may not have a lot of money. I don't think that's the only reason. But I also think that because like they actually have a good currency nowadays with social media, which is likes, retweets, shares, all that kind of stuff, which is nowadays very valuable. So those people are valuable. It's just that they're not in the same stage of life. They're not thinking about the same thing I am. I'm thinking about like, what's the best electric leaf blower outside? And yeah, that's so far removed from what I was thinking when I was 15, right? I think that's probably the reason.

 

Jay Clouse  07:54

I think the answer is ego. We have one of those we bought it from I think like Lowe's, big fan, big fan of Ego, leaf blower and lawn mower and string trimmer.

 

Neville Medhora  08:04

Gosh, should I went DeWalt, DeWalt?

 

Jay Clouse  08:06

Well, I mean, that's, that's right and true. They probably have some good copywriting. The thing that's interesting about these these letters, the boron letters, you're describing, like a cliffhanger in book form. And I know people will talk about like open loops, but I've never heard of it, like between chapters as like almost a television style, cliffhanger. Do you do that between newsletters or videos? Or how do you how do you use that method right now?

 

Neville Medhora  08:32

Well, I think it's actually a very common thing in videos where with a YouTube video, what happens is people do a preview of what's going to be and so they're like, like, no, we'll do like, I'm going to knock on a bunch of yachts, and they'll show like the biggest yacht, it's like, well, I run a and then it's like, Hey, I'm okay again. And then they so that's it simple version of eclipsing. The other place where I think you see cliffhangers everyday, you might even use them is on Twitter threads, right? So people say, I became a millionaire by age 22. And here's how I did it. That's a cliffhanger because now you want to click on that next thing, you get involved in the thread. So I think cliffhangers are pretty, pretty common. And a good way to kind of surmise why people should care about something. I used to think it was actually kind of like a scummy thing. Like if your content is good, they'll watch it. But actually, what you're doing is telling them like why I should care. So if I want to say if I'm interested in why this person became a millionaire, and how they did it. That's why I'm going to read that. And so it is giving you a little summary. But yeah, cliffhangers are all over the place nowadays. They're still there.

 

Jay Clouse  09:25

How much do you think about that idea? Why should I care? Because that's come up for me a lot recently. And it's not language that people have historically used a whole lot. I don't think or maybe I've just started paying attention but that seems to be the language I'm hearing more and more of like people want to care make me care. Why do I care?

 

Neville Medhora  09:41

Because there's more I think there's more stuff out there right like I mean, growing up there wasn't there was like a lack of a lot of content that you can get and now there's unlimited content, right? There's so many YouTube creators so many tick tock, so many Instagram, so many articles. It's difficult yet to say like, you know, I literally don't have enough time to watch all this. Why should I care about a specific thing? I think That's, that's probably the reason why that's become more important. Also, yeah, I mean, you want you want to take time and effort to read things that are going to be applicable to you. So I think you should show why people care. Also, it's a good thing to ask yourself about your own business. So for example, we run a copywriting course you have a community and people stay on for several months to several years. And I thought, like, why would someone buy it? Like, let's say someone joins for a month and leaves? I'm like, for some people, that's actually sufficient, right? And so how can we make people stay for a year, but like, actually want to stay for a year? What What will we do? Why should they care? And it's a great question to ask about your service.

 

Jay Clouse  10:36

I love that. Yeah. It's such a great question to ask about your service. And I love what you're saying about reframing the the hook that we hear about with Twitter threads as a cliffhanger that actually just makes it like more fun for me to to engage with and ideated on. Yeah, you're working with, you're working with Noah on the copywriting for app Sumo, you realize that there's something here it's working? When did it become an idea to make a course because I think you're talking about like the early 2010s. And I don't think courses were nearly as as widespread then.

 

Neville Medhora  11:05

It was like, it was like a novel idea back then it's like, whoa, you could record videos and sell them just remember, like, I mean, it's it's hard to understand now. But like, back then YouTube was not really quite the platform, it is now no one thought about like growing on YouTube, YouTube was used more like a free video host. Like we couldn't share videos back then. And then YouTube was like, we'll just do it for free. And everyone's like, well, a free video host is essentially what it was. And so we started packaging those videos and selling it. And the reason it came out was actually out of pure demand. And I think that's why it did so well. It became like app Sumo is like number one best seller right away. And the reason was, so many people were asking about it. And not only so many people, but so many business owners were like, how can we do this for our own business? Right? And how can we send out emails that people like to read plus also, you know, we can sell them each time and they like being sold? And so that's, I think that's why it did well, there was just so much demand, you could just tell in the the anecdotal results from the replies to the email, like, why am I reading this? How are you doing this? Why is this so funny to me? All that kind of stuff, people asking questions, like, do you put the sales at the top, like, all your buttons are like this? What what does that mean? And I was like, Oh, this is perfect to just go over all these top questions. So literally, what I did was I took email responses, and looked at everyone's top questions and made chapters out of that, that that was the course, which still to this day is roughly the same format.

 

Jay Clouse  12:19

That's crazy. And I watched the presentation you gave at hustle con like eight years ago, Sam introduced you and said that you had done 2 million in sales in the past two years. Was that real? Was that true?

 

Neville Medhora  12:31

Probably. Yeah.

 

Jay Clouse  12:32

That's crazy.

 

Neville Medhora  12:33

That was eight years ago. I don't know about those specific years. But But yeah, that sounds about right, probably. Yeah.

 

Jay Clouse  12:37

That's crazy. Was anybody doing online courses to a degree like that? Then, like, who are your models for this?

 

Neville Medhora  12:43

People were doing online courses. They were a thing and I think actually the direct marketing community which is like kind of the more shady like direct response like you should buy this and that there's like a 20 minute video sales letter that doesn't say anything except gets you drummed up and tells you that the secrets behind these closed doors. I think they I've always paid attention to that community. Even though I think a lot of the stuff they sell scummy, but they do interesting psychological things. And one of the things they were selling back then was like PDFs. Remember back in the day, you can sell a PDF totally print Yeah, you sell PDF for 97 bucks now it's like I don't think that would really work all that well. And then and then they started selling video courses. And I bought a couple because I was just like, I'm curious like it's for example. This was interesting. You remember on Xbox I used to be like this like Red Star of death or something like if your ex Xbox red ring of death. Yeah, it was it was I didn't play Xbox, but I knew about this. It would it would just totally brick your Xbox. It was just done. And I remember a guy doing really well on Clickbank remember Clickbank I think it's definitely still around little some shady products on there. But it was just killing it. And the number one thing was like a PDF on how to fix the red ring of death.

 

Jay Clouse  13:51

Oh, my gosh, you put a towel around it.

 

Neville Medhora  13:52

I remember thinking like, what a what an interesting thing. Like, I mean, I feel like you could have just published that as a blog post. But they published it as PDF, did a little bit of good marketing. And it's just like, people really wanted to save their $400 machine. So spending 50 bucks to do it was was pretty good. And back in the day, like YouTube, obviously, of course wasn't as fleshed out. So nowadays, you could probably just search YouTube. But that was a that was a great open eye awakening thing of like, Hey, I don't want to make all this content for free. Because it is it was difficult, especially back then to make and edit videos and publish them and host them. It was hard. And so you had to charge something. That's where courses came about. I'm happy to talk you've done a community and all that kind of stuff and haven't talked about like the evolution of courses because that's very interesting.

 

Jay Clouse  14:34

The fascinating thing to me about like that progression of you know, selling a PDF and then courses we've had books for what, centuries?

 

Neville Medhora  14:45

Or 1400s, yeah, maybe.

 

Jay Clouse  14:48

That medium isn't new to us anymore. So like the pricing on an average book just continues to drop like we have expectations or like a book if it's going to be above 30 bucks. Like are you kidding me? And yet There was a moment in time where we're like, what a PDF, I can download this thing. Yeah, take 100 bucks for it. And then it became courses. And it's like, oh, yeah, like this is hosted behind a wall a couple 100 bucks, sometimes like hundreds or over $1,000. And every time there's like a new modality for delivering information, cohort based courses, I think are kind of in this space right now. There's, there's like, this newness that allows you to create higher perceived value on average, it seems, I'm just wondering where that's gonna lead, you know, like, what's, what's the next thing?

 

Neville Medhora  15:31

It's, I don't think it's even perceived, I think it's a technology thing, right. So it's not a human thing, or brain is the same. It's just back at. So in the 1400s, the only way you could disseminate information was using a printing press, right? That was the only way you can quote unquote, scale information. And then the Internet came around, and you're like, you'd sell a PDF, you could sell a text file, right? And then the internet got better. And then you could sell video. And then mobile phones became ubiquitous, and you could sell videos and watch them on your iPad, your mobile phone, your desktop, your laptop, it doesn't matter. And now obviously, we have like things like watches and stuff, which is not a great media consumption tool. But I think the next one, I wish I had my VR set right here, because these all time, VR, so VR, AR is going to be a gigantic leap forward in education. And then also just like some of the AI stuff to where it's gonna get personalized education, instead of me saying, like, here's chapters, I think you should learn, it could kind of read you and tell you exactly what you need to start with or skip. And so I think that's where it's going. And so every time there's a new piece of technology, it's hard to make content for that, like right now, do you know how to make a VR game fully?

 

Jay Clouse  16:32

No, I actually not.

 

Neville Medhora  16:33

Not really, that the tools are still pretty rudimentary, it's pretty for very tech techie type people. And so it's going to be hard to create those virtual reality experiences are going to be expensive at first, but then they will drop in price. And so I think just as tech moves for, we get new advancements in that. And then at some point, will eventually end at the point, and this is decades away, where it's just almost like your phone, like I download the Zoom app on my computer, and it just knows how to use Zoom, eventually will probably be like, download jujitsu and boom, you know it something like that will be fully in the matrix. So where it's going, I don't know, maybe to that. But in the next few years, I can say what I'm seeing is, and I think me and you have a little bit of a jump on it, because the technology is still kind of brand new. You're you have a community, correct? Yeah. Yeah. The lab and you use circle that so? Yep. So circle that. So is probably the only good community software I see out there. And the other ones are forums. So we went forum. And the reason is, because we have to post like 20 pages on our things. Right. So circle.sl has small little blurbs that you can do, and which is great for most communities. For ours, we have to post a whole sales page and give feedback on it. Right. And so we had to go to the forum route. But the community software out there, I bet j you have not seen like really good community.

 

Jay Clouse  17:44

So I almost started one.

 

Neville Medhora  17:45

Yeah.

 

Jay Clouse  17:46

Yeah, it was terrible. Like, I tell the story now. And it's people came and wrap their heads around it. I got into this world, because in 2017, I was facilitating online mastermind groups, and I had to teach people how to download zoom in 2017, not long ago at all. And then I had a Slack community on the back end, because like, well, we want to talk more than once a week, I was so frustrated, like Slack is built for enterprise. And the economic model makes no sense for community. And just in the last few years, we've seen circle and Geneva and mighty networks. And I think those three products are kind of in a race to build basically the same product, but it's gotten a lot better. And it's it's been a material difference in my businesses here almost a third of the revenue that I've generated for the businesses here in the community.

 

Neville Medhora  18:30

Well, another thing, there's some great community software out there, you didn't mention, it's called Facebook, it's called Instagram, it's called Twitter. And so a lot of that. So Facebook groups, by the way, is what killed forums on the internet, the internet used to be full of forums, and then Facebook groups comes out. And everything's better about it, right? Like, you can join any group and you're already logged in, you can go on any device, you're already logged in forums, blow as on all this stuff. They're just not good that the stuff we use, the one I use is like probably the best one I've ever seen. So it doesn't have a lot of those problems. But back in the day, especially forums are so bad that you couldn't post really long stuff on Facebook groups. But I think that was almost like a feature more than a mug. Like it kept things small and interactive. And you can chat really quick. And so Facebook groups is kind of where most groups are. But I think most content creators like you and myself, we want to own our content. We don't necessarily want it to be on Facebook, we don't want you to log on to our group and then also see a pictures of your aunt's dog. Right. That's kind of what Facebook does. And it's a little bit distracting. Also, a lot of us don't like being on Facebook all day. I mean, nothing against Facebook, I just don't like being on all day. And so we'd like running our own group and having control over it. And so I think you're gonna see a lot more course creators go to like this monthly group community type thing. And the reason I think that that's going to increase is because the technology is finally finally there. And you can charge tonight instead of $97 for the PDF or $97 for a set of videos. You can charge $97 for a community of people where people meet each other do projects together have outcomes together. It's pretty fantastic. So it's not higher perceived value. It is higher value.

 

Jay Clouse  20:01

Yeah, totally. There's most most things that you want to learn and get better at. It's not like, oh, I acquired the skill. And now I have it, and I'm good forever. It's like, No, you actually need to continue to upskill and learn the new things. And a community is actually a really good delivery mechanism to help you do that over time. After a quick break, Neville and I talk about how copywriting course has evolved over the years. And later we talk about his challenges and goals as a creator. So stick around, and we'll be right back. Welcome back to my conversation with Neville Medora. I wanted to talk to Neville about the evolution of copywriting course over the years, because when he started this in 2012, we didn't even have core software like we do today.

 

Neville Medhora  20:41

Funny story on that the first password protection I had was like I wasn't good at JavaScript, I knew how to do some. So I just looked it up. And it was like literally like in the HTML, it would just read or if you typed in the right password, which was in the HTML, if you've just viewed the source, you see a simple script that says like, if this has typed in this box, redirect them to this URL, and it was a URL that was like, it was like copywriting course, comm slash XYZ eight, two, it looked like it was randomly generated. It just gobbledygook I made. And so that was the password protection, it was so sure. Yeah, and so So originally, it was a set of videos that you would watch, right? So a set of videos and a couple of PDFs, that you downloaded it just like a typical course, back in the day. And then I eventually made my own website for it. And then the website eventually had a blog on it. And then that started catching on. And then that ended up becoming the full time thing. And then as of March, this year, we went full forum, meaning I actually got off of WordPress. So I used to publish on WordPress, then have my community as a separate thing. And then now what I do is the forum is the first thing you come to, of course, there's different permissions, you can't actually enter the forum if it's private. But the point is, we've moved away from this, like, just like, I'm going to publish something, and hopefully people see it, too. Like this is all community, it's just community first, I think you're gonna see a lot of places like that. I believe your your site is kind of like that, too.

 

Jay Clouse  21:59

Yeah, pretty similar. I mean, we we have the forum, I actually have two community platforms, which I would recommend to absolutely nobody unless you're selling a copywriter? Well, here's here's the thing. So with circle, I think it's a great forum tool. There are obviously limitations that limit somebody in a position like what you're trying to do historically, I don't think that their their chat is very good. Like their real time communication is just really lacking in my opinion. So we use Geneva and have one channel and it's just like a social hangout real time fun thing. There's one other space that just has a text base posts to say when to use this versus circle. And it basically says, Never unless you just want to like chat and have fun. And that's been pretty effective. But you really have to educate people and have a pretty tech savvy audience to have two platforms. But yeah, like the only way you interact with it really is, is the forum itself.

 

Neville Medhora  22:50

You know, even even WordPress, so WordPress is the standard for people who don't WordPress is what 40% of the internet runs on. And it's great for publishing stuff. But I think it's so stuck in 1999, like, using WordPress in 1999 is the same as using WordPress today. In fact, I'd say today, it's even worse because they've got these like weird editors, they refuse and it's all it's all wonky now. And so I was like, well, if I'm going to deal with all this tech bullshit anyway, I'm just gonna like go full forum in that case. And so one of the problems with using WordPress was I would publish my blog. But then on the forum, we have a cool, we have cool news feeds and top topics and New videos are added all the time, we have all these like interactive features that you expect from something like social media. And it was very difficult to to embed those things onto WordPress, like you'd have to create custom widgets that embed and sometimes they mess up. And then when it goes to mobile, it looks all weird. And so I was like, let's just do that. And so you can actually go to copywriting course.com/stats, you can see a feed of exactly what's going on. A lot of people will say like, we have an active forum, I'm like, You know what, I'm just gonna show you that we have an active forum. Like there's no like, it's it's live updated, you can see that you could actually see our website traffic, you can see swipe file.com traffic, you see all our social YouTube traffic, and you can search, browse, poke, prod, whatever you want, you can see everything in there, we started doing stuff like that. And I think open communities like that are going to be you know, the spirit of the internet pretty soon. Whereas before, it was just really hard. Like you can't even share your Facebook group sets. Like you can't there's no way to really do that. And so I think that's going to be pretty fun. I think we've done some innovative things in the community.

 

Jay Clouse  24:18

You mentioned that this is one of the better form technologies you found, what's the underlying forum that you're using here?

 

Neville Medhora  24:23

Envision community but then heavily modded. So for example, a lot of these for every every platform you have no matter what it is, circle that so envision anything, they're all gonna have their pros and cons. And the cons about a forum is that they're designed to be forums, they're not designed to be blogs. And so the blogging features are very like they exist, but they're not good. And so we had to we had to build a lot of stuff like I mean just even pretty URLs, you know, says like, I want to say Jay Clouse interview WordPress says j dash clouds dash interview, perfect. Most blogging software says copywritingcourse.com/ 86523jay and you're like, what is that? And so so we had to like build that functionality. And there's a lot of little little dumb behind the scenes things that are not interesting to talk about here. But it a lot of that had to be rebuilt for that reason.

 

Jay Clouse  25:13

So this is this has been a very material part of your income, if not the main source of your income for the last like, almost decade, right?

 

Neville Medhora  25:19

Oh, yeah, I'd say consulting was actually a big part, too. I haven't been doing as much but man, consulting is great. Are you still doing that? Yeah, I try to do well. So not as much, I try to cut it out, just because the problem with consulting is that it relies on me. And that's it, I only get money for that hour or for that project. Whereas with the business, everything I do, you know, can compound, technically. So I still reserve Tuesday as a consulting day. So if someone wants consulting, I send them up a price sheet. They buy time, and it's only on Tuesdays from like a certain time to a certain time.

 

Jay Clouse  25:52

That's interesting. And maybe I'll follow up on that. But what I wanted to get to was how have you marketed this course over time? Because you know, in years 4, 5, 6, when it's not necessarily new anymore, how have you kept interest up in and gotten new students in the door?

 

Neville Medhora  26:06

Well, I've always been a publisher online. So I've always published I had a blog called Never blog.com Still is up, but it doesn't really do like it used to. And it was one of the first financial blogs. And so I liked publishing online already. And I did this for free before people knew you can make money on the internet. So I like publishing stuff online. So fortunately, we got a lot of SEO traffic, I think just through social networks, friends, I know all that kind of stuff, companies I'm involved in, people started hearing about copywriting course. And so they would sign up their marketing teams or solopreneurs, would sign up to get their stuff reviewed, or just learn to be better and optimize their stuff. And so fortunately, through that, we did a lot of SEO stuff. So before it's become a copywriting course of the case. So before we change the domain name, we're getting about 450,000 Organic visits a month. Now we're down to about 52,000, a month that I'm trying to get up to 200,000 this year. So that was a big avenue, and then the email list, there was constantly new people coming into the email list. And the new thing that I don't know if this is a segue or not. But the new thing is, we kind of reviewed where a lot of the traffic and income and everything is coming from. And the things I'm going to focus on the social networks are Twitter, number one, and then YouTube number two. So I'm focusing on getting 100,000 followers on Twitter, 100,000, on YouTube by the end of the year.

 

Jay Clouse  27:17

Definitely gonna talk about that. Why did the change to the URL result in such a drop in traffic?

 

Neville Medhora  27:23

Originally, that the reason was, we thought everything would actually go in place. So I bought the copywriting course, with C's domain, the person I bought it from was using it as like some kind of not shady, but this weird affiliate site. And what happened, ciliates, the affiliate world goes real dark real quick. So what happens is they just put all these these links on porn sites and crazy sites, just like garbage garbage links. And so we have 1000s and 1000s. And what we did was disavow which means just like, say, like, hey, these aren't ours. We said these aren't ours, but they actually had some good links to like, they had links from like CNN, AOL, like all those who were like, Let's keep those. And what happened was, we ended up hiring a very high price SEO consultant. And he actually discovered we found a bug with Google. I won't go into all the technical details. But when we submitted the bug, and it got resolved, we found a bug in Google, which was, to me, I thought that was kind of cool. That is cool. But it was funny, because actually, like all the other search engines, such as being actually redirected all our traffic, fine, Google missed anyways. So whatever the reason was, that happened, and so a lot of our traffic got dropped. Now, here's the funny thing. When you lose 450,000 searches a month in organic, what do you think happens to your business?

 

Jay Clouse  28:33

You'd think it could go down, you know, nine times.

 

Neville Medhora  28:39

That's what I thought. So let me tell you, nothing happened. And that was a little bit dissuaded by this. And it was kind of interesting because we were we always like I'm a copywriter. So I'm like, if I'm worth my salt at all, I should be able to write something that's technically the best article in the goddamn world. And that means I'll be number one on Google. So we weren't number one on those things. But here's the thing a lot of our traffic came from calculators and generators so for example, a big thing was a thing called the Death calculator that predicts we tell you stats when you're gonna die now do you think the person typing in when am I going to die is really looking for like copywriting advice? No, no, that's not a good search. Another one that I have I think what it's still one of our top things podcasts name generator. So someone's just like I would like to start a podcast let's see if there's a generator out there they find our site do you think they're gonna sign up for copywriting course? It's a far fetched, right so there's there is conversion, but I'll tell you right now, podcast name generator converts at point zero 2% Wow. So of all the 10,000 visits, I get from it a day that it's like nothing and they're not even like relevant customers, right. And so for that reason, one of the things we're doing for the next iteration is I'm trying to get it 200,000 Organic with a 2% conversion across all SEO traffic. So that's that's the next step. So relevance SEO traffic is good. Random search traffic is good for vanity numbers to say like we have a million searches a month, but ultimately if it doesn't bring in traffic, actual customers, who cares?

 

Jay Clouse  30:01

I invested pretty heavily in SEO at one point last year, and it worked really well. Articles ranked in the top three traffic came, subscribers came. Unfortunately, most of those subscribers were in developing countries. And so even with price purchasing parity on my products, like it wasn't really a good fit for them as customers, which meant I was actually just increasing all of my bills. And not like necessarily helping things. But man, that type of job I imagined in the in the beginning, at least, that had to have been like a sickening feeling.

 

Neville Medhora  30:35

It was not good. Yeah, it wasn't great. Well, the main thing was, I wasn't so much missing the SEO traffic because I was like, I'm sure we can get that back. It was it was the email collection, right. So if you can imagine, like, we were getting a pretty significant amount of emails from that. So that definitely dropped. And now it's back up quite a bit. But we've also taken that as an eye opening thing of like, let's go through our top things, and make sure we have custom downloads for each of those. And then also one of the interesting things I'm trying to do by the end of this year, next quarter, I'm going to focus on it. We're actually building this out right now, I want to make the best damn email subscriber ever, like on any website, Eliot will at least, let's say the copywriting space. So it's like, everyone is up to the jig, everyone knows that you grab people's emails now. Like, no one doesn't know this anymore. And so it's just like, I see this all the time. And I'm like, and I really want this. And so I'm gonna say, How can I make it so good, that people are definitely gonna sign up their email. And so that's, that's the next step. So should have something out next quarter for that.

 

Jay Clouse  31:29

I love that. And that's my last question before we get into some of these goals that you had, which is because we're all on social media, and to some degree, we're all we're all creators and marketers, and I think that the general consumer seems more savvy, does that make copywriting harder? Does it change the style you have to copyright? Does it matter at all? How are you thinking about this?

 

Neville Medhora  31:50

Does it change the style? Yes, I mean, is the copywriting course teaching different things than it did 10 years ago? Yeah, the psychology is all the same, the human brain hasn't changed in roughly 10,000 years. So that's all the same, but the actual methods so for example, the different practices we have you do this assignments, you know, 10 years ago, Twitter wasn't part of it. But now it's like, can you write a good tweet, because it's actually harder than people think, to write a very concise tweet. So those types of things have changed for sure. Absolutely. I think also Balaji Srinivasan coined this term, he coined it but he's the first type place I heard it called Full Stack, market, sorry, full stack influencer. So it's someone perhaps like you or me, that's doing your own producing, editing, writing, filming, edit everything above on screen to become a producer. So I think in copywriting course we go through how can we make you a better communicator across all these mediums? How can we make you a better inside of a community? How can make you better tweeter? How can make you a better YouTuber, all of those things are part of copywriting. So copywriting, I think, in its traditional sense of like just written words. I think that's not we've never only focused on that, by the way, what I think of copywriting is how do I get messages from my head to your head? How do I get messages from my head to a million heads, and whichever method mediums such as video or VR in the future, I'm down for so that's what copywriting is. So it's kind of interesting. copywriting is actually like expanded in its breath not contracted.

 

Jay Clouse  33:08

It applies to even video and audio. Even if you're not, like to me, it's Have you ever edited a video with descript. I have. It's not my current workflow, but I have done it. And it's kind of wild.

 

Neville Medhora  33:19

I used to think video editing was like its own thing, because you're editing like waveform illustrations and like pictures and stuff, the new the new generation of video editing is going to be like what the script does tried to script out contract. It's pretty amazing. It takes your video and you edit the script, and it does all the actual video splicing, it's actually come back to copy. I used to think it was a different skill. Now I'm like, No, it's back to writing now.

 

Jay Clouse  33:40

Have you trained to scripts to know your voice?

 

Neville Medhora  33:43

Yeah.

 

Jay Clouse  33:43

So you could just make we were talking before start recording about your podcast and reading your newsletter, you could make a podcast where you're not actually recording it all. It's just trained on your voice.

 

Neville Medhora  33:52

Totally. There was 100% in the cards in the future where people just write and then the video the video is made and then dolly to mix the images for a video and everything. Yeah, it's like you just write and the computer makes all the rest. Yeah, it's 100% happening.

 

Jay Clouse  34:07

That's all on the editing side. But you know, I feel like really great people on video. They're basically copywriting in their head, or they understand some of the psychology and the points are trying to hit and they're just able to write verbally in real time. And it's remarkable because at the end of the day, like all the same principles of copywriting apply to whatever medium you're talking about. And if you can't do that type of performance on the fly. Yeah, write it out, script it out. I still script the intros of the show.

 

Neville Medhora  34:34

Here's, here's like, incorporating course we always try to get people to write I say like, if you want to become a good welder, what do you think you have to do more of like weld? Right? It's a repetition type thing. So if you're writing a lot of tweets, or tweet threads, let's say you start noticing, oh, if I hook if I tell people a hook in the beginning, I'll probably get their interest, which will be make it easier for me to get them stick around for the whole story and be interested in the whole way. And so when you're telling a story in real Life, you notice yourself taking that example. And instead of being like, Jay dude, I found something like I found this one community software that you're not gonna believe what it could do. And then you're gonna want to hear the rest of that, right? So you end up, you start noticing yourself talking like that even more. It's kind of funny as you start doing repetitions on Twitter already platforms.

 

Jay Clouse  35:20

When we come back, Neville and I talk about his goals as a creator for 2023. So stick around. We'll be right back.

 

Jay Clouse  35:27

Hey, welcome back. A little bit ago, Neville mentioned that his current goals include 100,000 followers on Twitter, 100,000 subscribers on YouTube, one audio episode per week, and 200,000 Organic visits per month. So I asked him how and why he came to those goals.

 

Neville Medhora  35:43

So there's four goals, specifically, Twitter. Number one, why is that at the top of the list, these are kind of like an order of importance. I never thought I would say this because Twitter used to be a joke. I mean, back in the day, 10 years ago, Twitter was like a joke. You're 16 years old talking about you ate toast for breakfast. That's what it was. Now, it is kind of like the town square of the world, right. And so during the pandemic, I was watching a couple people like David Burrell was talking about writing, a couple of people really popped on Twitter. And I was watching it and I was like, I am on Twitter a lot. I don't really participate. All I was doing was sharing my blog posts links, so essentially spamming my own Twitter feed. So as I started posting tweets, I started realizing the time from meeting people on the internet through Twitter, to the time from talking to them in real life or over the phone. So just like you and me, which is Twitter's where we met is so unbelievably fast. I've never, ever in my life experienced that from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, nothing, nothing even compares. And the type of people that I like, or kind of people like I go to Silicon Valley every summer. One of the reasons is I like nerds, I like nerds and all Twitter is is nerdy people. They're people that are not good on Instagram. They're not really good on YouTube, but damn, they're good at Twitter. And so that's it's where my people is. And so I learned a lot. But not only that, I meet people, I DM them, and then they come to my house and we co work. So I've noticed this so easy that I thought okay, for all the things I want to do, for example, get better at YouTube, be on other people's YouTube channel, be on podcasts, Twitter, if you get more popular emote, more notoriety on it, you start noticing it's just easier for everything. If I DM someone, I instantly get things back. I've had conversations with billionaires over DM, I've had conversation with celebrities, all these types of things are so much easier if you just have a large social following. And so that's why Twitter, I want to get to 100,000 I have that means I have to 4x my audience and five months, which is the hardest goal on here in my opinion, actually, yeah.

 

Jay Clouse  37:36

The interesting thing about Twitter and by the way, to your point you just made not only can you interact with people that are hard to access, I lost my luggage on my honeymoon. And I swear to God, I got my luggage back because I made a stink on Twitter. And I actually like interacted with the airline employee. In DM, they were so much more helpful than the actual baggage recovery people it was insane. Anyway, the thing about Twitter is, it's not necessarily harder to go viral or get a lot of reach on your tweets. People in that platform seem more hesitant though, to follow based on one viral tweet or thread. It's it's interesting in that way, because other platforms, that's not necessarily the the experience, it's a lot more free flowing in terms of following. So what is your approach to doing this for x on Twitter?

 

Neville Medhora  38:28

Yeah, it's kind of funny, I was talking about some people I know that are very big on Twitter. And it's kind of funny, it's like, if you type in, like how to grow on Twitter, like on Google, look at any article, it's probably arguably the same stuff. That's the way it's like, it's like how to grow an email newsletter gulet and find those top 10 ways. That's how you do it. It's just the execution part is hard, right? So one being consistently doing my greatest weakness, my Achilles heel, my whole life is consistency. I have to fool myself into working I have to create a system. It's very important to me, because I'm not a consistent person by nature. So I made a system in place someone is heavily incentivized to make sure that we hit this, that we I'm using a thing called hype theory, where there's a bunch of these different schedulers. But I'm using high theory to schedule a tweet every day at schedule a thread, or at least several times a week. And so I'm using those and then also, I'm participating a lot more. So I just, it's part of my my life. Another thing I'm doing is I'm meeting a lot of people. So for example, in two weeks, I am hosting a Twitter meetup at my place, I kind of put the word out, I got a bunch of cool people, and they're coming. So that's kind of neat, too. And then the other thing is learning how to hack the algorithm a little bit and hack people's brains. How can I tell really good stories. So there's some really good stories in my past life that I've just never told on Twitter, I just never thought to make them threads. And so we're putting more of those out whatever the top 10 ways to grow and Twitter. That's probably what I'm doing. But I think more importantly, is I'm doing it consistently. So that has been going on for about one month. It hasn't been long. It was actually like mid month in July, that I kind of made this goal so far, even in one month. I have seen just the amount of engagement you get on things and people reaching out and people wanting to say, Hey, I live in Austin to Let's hang out has gone up tremendously. And so hopefully I keep it up through the rest of the year. And what happens is with any sort of growth curve is what happens. It's slow at first, but it compounds a little bit. So I'm hoping that happens. And I think this goal will be the hardest one for me to hit at the end of the year.

 

Jay Clouse  40:21

When you say one audio only podcast every week, you're saying that's different than the content you're putting on YouTube? You're not just pulling the audio out and putting it up?

 

Neville Medhora  40:29

Correct. And I think I'm pretty good. Like if, for example, if you said, Hey, Neville, what's the deal with taking taking notes or something like that? I bet I could tell you right now I go back and put out a little six minute spiel of why taking notes is awesome or bad. And I was like, what switches record that. And so we have this big list of questions we might system go through. And I'm like, Can I just talk about something I looked through there, and I'm like, I feel like I got it. And I just sit here at the microphone and talk. So instead of Hey, guys, welcome to my YouTube channel. And then we do a lot of editing and put it out. These are very low effort types of things to go to my podcast. So I just made a literally made this page yesterday, copywriting course, comm slash podcast, it's just a fee to the podcast, you don't even really have to subscribe. But I would love it if you did and left a review. And so you can go there and just see the podcast. And if you notice, if you just scroll down the list, it says like podcast number 131, the stupid email. And every single podcast is the stupid email my Friday email that goes out and I read it. That's the only thing that's been on my podcast for years. And so for that reason, it's never really grown. We're just like, it's just like an audio wave, someone's listened to the email, but doesn't have time to read it. And so I was like, let me just try putting these out more and getting better at this format. And so it has some rules, you might find this interesting, I can only write it on a post it note. That's it. These are my only notes I'm allowed to use. I'm such a note taker. I'm such a writer, that when I write this, I'm like, I'm gonna plan out the whole thing. I'm gonna write the whole article. And I'm like, no, no, I'm only allowed to write three bullet points, one line each. And then the rest has to be freeform, your brain has to get practiced at this. And so I'm making these different things. So the last one I wrote was about calculators and generators on websites and talking about this, you know, like we just talked about before about the website traffic. And I was like, that's an interesting story. I could talk about that. So I did 11 minutes and 30 seconds on that one shot. And I was like, let me put out more of these and just get better at storytelling. It's like a comedian going up on stage do reps. So that's the reason I'm doing that. That one's more for me. Hopefully, I can get the podcast going a little bit more. But at first, it's just going to be practicing reps for me.

 

Jay Clouse  42:25

In my experience and now talking to a lot of podcasters on this show, even you know, we've only been on YouTube for a couple of months. Now, I wish I would have done it so much sooner. Audio Only is the hardest medium to grow in my opinion.

 

Neville Medhora  42:37

There's no viral inherent growth in it. There's no viral aspect to it.

 

Jay Clouse  42:41

There's no discovery, for sure. But even shareability is so low, it's so hard for someone who loves an episode to actually share that thing with somebody. Because when you share it, you share the link from the podcast player that you used, chances are that I'm going to be the one that the other person likes. Some players don't even give you episode specific links. And if you do and you share it, there's no real sharing image other than the same cover art every time. And that's not compelling.

 

Neville Medhora  43:08

I wish someone at Apple would listen to me, I have some friends that work there. But they're all engineers, I'm just like Apple, this is your chance to make a social network. You suck at social networking. But podcast is where you have everyone you have the world by the balls here. And if they just added a like button to share button, the Link button the common button, it would be so much better. But they don't do it. And it's just like podcast has so much potential for this. But I think it just just Apple hold the controls on that. That's their the biggest one. And so I really, really wish they would do it because podcasting would completely change.

 

Jay Clouse  43:39

They'd like a 15 year headstart, and they're gonna lose to Spotify in the next year. I'm sure of it.

 

Neville Medhora  43:45

Apple has such strong control. I mean, like if I if I pull up? Yeah, I guess Spotify is good. I don't really use it as much. But I wish Apple would do it.

 

Jay Clouse  43:53

The general market share is now about 50/50.

 

Neville Medhora  43:56

So what's your what's your YouTube strategy? What's what's going on here? Why, why did you get on YouTube?

 

Jay Clouse  44:00

Well, because there's discoverability you know, as big as the podcast has grown, like the podcast audience still dwarfs the YouTube audience. But the speed to get there took two years. And we're going to surpass that on YouTube in a matter of a couple of months. And the thing is, you know, something that I put into most of these episodes now is I have a short ad break where I say hey, by the way, there are more than 100 other interviews like this and audio only. So it's actually driving listens to the audio only show while being more shareable or discoverable and bring in people on YouTube. I wish I would have done that.

 

Neville Medhora  44:28

Full stack podcast, audio, video, social.

 

Jay Clouse  44:30

Yep, I wish I would have done it. But the hard thing is, you know, it's a it's a remote show. So to do it in a compelling visual way. That's not just like a side by side back and forth Zoom call, takes a lot of work and resources.

 

Neville Medhora  44:41

Yeah, I mean, I tried. I tried originally. So if you I don't know if your audience can see this. I guess we're on YouTube. But look, I can change around all the little angles and everything. Made a whole three set up camera like that's the that's the little podcasting station back there. If you can see. Yes. And so it made that and I actually did a couple interviews on my YouTube channel. I was like, I'm going to do one of these a week. He's kind of like obviously inspired by like Joe Rogan Lex Friedman, that kind of thing is going to do about content marketing, it's really hard to get someone there have a producer there at the same time. So you're organizing three schedules yourself, you're guessing your producer, then you're also taking notes, I want to do a good job. So I'm researching my guests. I'm reaching out to the guests, they have to be in Austin at invite them to my home, then we have to edit the damn thing. It was really, really, really hard to put out these interviews. And I also pigeon holed myself into this like content marketing, social media type of question line. And so it was hard to get people but with this remote thing, I can talk to you from wherever. And then also the the recording now is so good that you could honestly make this a pretty compelling YouTube video now. Yeah, before it was very hard. So I would like to work on the podcast little bit more. I would love to have you on my podcast also and ask you some questions.

 

Jay Clouse  45:48

I'm in. I'm in. Yeah, okay. Well, last question for me, then Neville is, what are you struggling with today as a creator? What feels like the biggest challenge for you to overcome? Is it just a Twitter thing or is there something else?

 

Neville Medhora  45:58

Ooh, interesting. I'd say consistency for me is always the biggest thing. I have some friends that are just they love consistency. They like knowing where they're go, I kind of thrive in chaos. And so having consistency has been interesting and learning how to incentivize people to help me. So for example, I know that I work harder if someone I think someone's looking at my screen. So I have people over to cowork all the time, either One quirk I do is I'm like, can you work on the same side of the table as me? That's so stressful. Well, it's like we could we could even be several feet apart, right? Then we'd have to be right next to each other. But it's like, I think they're looking at my screen. So I'm not going to go on read, I'm not going to goof off, I'm only going to do work, I work so hard, because I'm, I'm subconsciously trying to impress them with my work ethic. And if I'm home alone, I'm like, I'm just gonna goof off. It's so easy for me to goof off all day. And so that's one thing. So whether I'm virtually sharing my screen, or someone's watching me is fine. And then also just knowing myself, I'm very good at using tools to automate things. I'm big on automation. So I'm like, How do I make computer Neville do a lot of the work and real Neville can just like goof off. And so that's why using a tool like Hive fury, or whatever occur app or any of these things for Twitter is really good. Because sometimes I'm inspired to write a bunch. And I'm like, Oh, I got ideas flowing out, and I entered those in a queue. So they go out every day they drip out instead of all at one time, using those types of tools has been great. And then the other thing is just learning the medium of Twitter, social media getting better at that, and iterating it is nice to have someone else telling me like, hey, you know, I don't think you did this good or your audio was bad on that. It is nice to have like feedback like that. So if anyone out there wants to say, here's why you suck, please let me know.

 

Jay Clouse  47:31

And I'll tell you this is the other magic of community, your community people who join your membership, the people in the lab, those are the people that appreciate my work the most and also are like my biggest supporters. So you can get feedback in there so quickly that's so rich because they know you and they know your work and they know you're trying to accomplish and they want you to win or you can do things like this where you just do co working in public with the community and one is helping holding you accountable to actually being consistent to they're like holy shit I can see behind the scenes of how Neville does this.

 

Neville Medhora  48:00

Although believe it or not, the community co working is the least popular thing I do. Like by far by far yeah, very few people actually show up because don't want to watch you just work in for two hours.

 

Jay Clouse  48:10

Well, they gotta be working too, maybe it, maybe.

 

Neville Medhora  48:13

Group that showed there's like six people that showed up last time. They all stayed the whole time. It was great. Yeah.

 

Jay Clouse  48:18

Awesome. Well, I'll direct people to copywriting course in the outro. But Neville, thanks for being here.

 

Neville Medhora  48:21

Thank you. I wish we could talk more. I would love to have you on my podcast too. And normally, I try to leave a ton of time for these interviews and I was a stupid book something right after this today. But man, this is great conversation. Shout out to Dan McDermott who introduced me to you through Twitter, by the way a Twitter intro. Yes, yeah. Yes. So that's, uh, Dan. Great to meet you. You're doing cool stuff.

 

Jay Clouse  48:40

It still boggles my mind that creators can earn millions of dollars from a single online course or product, but people like Neville have it figured out. You will learn more about Neville. You can visit his website at copywritingcourse.com or he is @nevmed on twitter. Links to both are in the show notes. Thanks for being on the show. Thank you to Connor Conaboy for editing this episode. Thank you to Nathan Todhunter for mixing our audio. Thank you to Brain Skeel for creating our music and Emily Clouse for creating our artwork. If you enjoyed this episode, tag me on Twitter @jayclouse and let me know I'd love to hear it. If you really want to say thank you, please leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Thanks for listening and I'll talk to you next week.