🧭 The Blueprint 002

Snapchat is a golden goose, Wayfair experiment gone wrong, Tiktok's master plan, creative Nike ads, best stock photos

Happy Sunday!

Welcome back to The Blueprint, a series where I share a “behind-the-scenes” look into my journey as a full-time creator.

Let’s ride ✌🏼😎✌🏼

AUDIENCE GROWTH

We had another huge week of growth.

It feels like I’ve taken a step forward in both the quality of my storytelling and the consistency of delivering great videos (tips below on a new storytelling format that seems to be crushing).

Here are the biggest things that changed this week:

  • 👻 | Snapchat is absolutely popping off. I haven’t started monetizing there yet, but I think there’s an opportunity here that most are overlooking. Did a deeper dive below breaking down how to play it

  • 🚀 | My YouTube Shorts are also starting to hit. For the first 6 months, nothing was working on YouTube. In the last 2 weeks, I had one get 79K views and another get 117K views. Only thing I can point to is using higher quality imagery/graphics — there seems to be a higher bar for quality on YouTube compared to other platforms

  • 💰 | Instagram (and Facebook) enabled Ad Splits on Reels. So far, the payout has been super low, but I expect this will ramp up if Tiktok maintains their high CPMs. Make sure you turn this on (go to Professional Dashboard Settings → "Ads on Reels”)

POSTS & EXPERIMENTS

I had two pretty viral videos this week. Interestingly, one popped on Tiktok/IG and the other popped on YouTube/Snapchat. Here are links of you want to check them out:

  1. 💣 | Christopher Nolan wanted to drop a real bomb: Watch on TT | IG | YT

  2. 😱 | AI Video is getting scary good: Watch on TT | IG | YT

  3. 🛋️ | Is this the future of furniture shopping: Watch on TT | IG | YT

  4. 🧲 | Superconductors: Watch on TT | IG | YT

Swinging and Missing…My Wayfair Experiment

I thought it’d be helpful to share a quick look into the psychology behind a “failed video.”

I only have one goal when picking video topics…find diamonds in the rough. The best videos are when I share interesting things that few people have seen before.

I thought I found an absolute gem with Wayfair’s “Digital Design Studio.”

It’s a table that lets users place and orient cards which magically render furniture in the exact position on the display screen. If you like interior design, this is the bee’s f*cking knees.

To find this, I was in a wormhole on Wayfair’s R&D site. I got there by seeing an announcement for Wayfair’s AI tool Decorify.

That led me to this AMAZING blog post walking through a seven year R&D journey with several prototypes to get to the working version of Digital Design Studio.

I knew Decorify was a 6/10 story. But this…this magic table thing was dope.

So I thought, okay, no one has seen this. If I can just tell this story in a unique way, this is going nuclear.

I had 3 story paths I could take:

  1. The product: Look at this cool thing I found…here’s how it works

  2. The R&D team: Here’s a couple crazy things Wayfair’s R&D team has launched…one of them is this magic table

  3. The journey: Watch this crazy 7 year journey to build this magic table

I chose option 1. I thought option 2 would be too surface level across multiple ideas and option 3 would be too hard to grab the user. Both would take to long to show the diamonds.

With option 1, I could show how cool the table was visually in the first 5 seconds and hook the viewer.

I made the video…and it flopped everywhere. It was my worst performer on every channel this week 😩

And it was a head scratcher because I thought the video was solid. Only thing I can point to is that the hook could have been better.

So psychologically, when this happens, you just have to move onto the next one and forget about it. It sucks, but as long as it was a good rep, that’s all you can do.

It’s like golf.

When you duck hook your 7 iron into the bunker, you don’t call your mom. You take a long sip of that luke warm High Noon, grab your sand wedge and get back to work.

LEVELING UP

👻 Snapchat

Apparently Snapchat is the golden goose that everyone was ignoring because they pay the highest ad splits to creators.

There’s 3 ways to post/monetize on Snapchat:

  1. Snap Stories (think of these like IG Stories that are shown to your followers on your public profile)

  2. Snap Spotlight (think of these like Snap’s Tiktok style algorithmic feed; non-followers can stumble upon your content)

  3. Snap Show (this is your own Snapchat show that appears on the “Discover Feed”)

To qualify for this, you need to have:

  • 50K subscribers on a public profile

  • 25M views or 12K hours of watch time in the last 28 days

  • Post at least 20 snaps per day in 10/28 days

Now, this is a fairly high bar to hit. Not only do you need a pretty large audience, but also, you have to be posting a lot of daily stories. I don’t qualify yet.

But once you qualify, Snapchat will start slotting ads in between your snaps and give you a share of the ad revenue. Reports are that this is as high as a 50% split. (Ex: Snap charges advertisers $3-$8 per 1,000 views. Let’s assume $5. If you’re getting 25M views per month, and Snapchat pays 50% ad splits, you’re making $62,500 per month on your share of the ad splits). I know…holy shit.

This is where I’ve been posting my daily short-form videos.

To qualify for monetization, you need to have:

  • 1K followers

  • 1K views in the last month

  • Post 10 times in 10 different days in a given month (5 have to use Snapchats Camera, Editing, or Music

So overall, pretty easy conditions to qualify. For me, I didn’t realize I needed to use Snapchat’s Camera, Editing or Music.

I haven’t been doing that which is why I hadn’t qualified to this point. I like editing everything in Premiere, but am hoping I can find a super subtle filter that doesn’t affect the look of my video, but will still count to satisfy the required conditions.

It’s unclear what the ad split for these looks like, but I will pursue and report back in a future episode.

The other thing I’m experimenting with is my own Snap Show.

This is what shows up on the Discover Feed.

It’s a bit more involved to get a Snap Show, you have to apply to Snapchat and get approved. You can apply here.

When approved you’ll have to package videos together to create 3-5 minute episodes and program them inside of Snapchat’s back-end tool.

It’s quite tedious tbh.

But once rocking and rolling, Snapchat pays you a share of the CPMs on ads shown throughout the show. I’ll report back with more metrics on how this is going in future weeks as well.

AROUND THE WORLD

Here’s a collection of other interesting finds, tools, and creators I’ve seen this week that I thought were worth checking out…

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