WP Sharely Review with Shane Melaugh
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How To Use Content Lockers Without Annoying Your Audience – with Shane Melaugh

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Episode 120

Using “content lockers” on your websites can be HIGHLY EFFECTIVE in increasing Facebook likes, Twitter tweets, and Google plus ones, but at what cost? Do you really want to annoy your audience by forcing them to share something in order to get something that was already free anyway?

Shane Melaugh, the creator of WP Sharely, is on the show today to talk about the proper use of content lockers and how you can use them to PLEASE  your audience, not PISS them off.

Watch the show below: Duration: 32:24

Stuff mentioned in the show

 

Raw transcript

Episode 120: How to Use Content Lockers Without Annoying Your Audience – with Shane Melaugh

Mike: Hi there everyone! Welcome to Episode 120 of The Mike from Maine Show, the place where we do daily interviews with successful online entrepreneurs. This is your host, Mike Thomas. And today on the show I have Shane Melaugh on to talk about his content locking plug-in WPSharely. First off, we need to really kind of explain what a content-locker is. And it’s a way of taking something, like a link or video or even some texts and putting it so that someone has to Like it or Tweet or Google Plus it, whatever in order to be able to have access to it. So, I’ll give you a great example of how it’s been used right on WPSharely’s sales page. So, you got the three ways — the three different ways of buying this. So, you’ve got The Professional License, The Multi Site License and The Single Site License. The Professional is 240, The Multi Site is 95 and The Single Site is 60. Now, if you look right here, it says “Chop these prices in half right here:”, and this is where the content locker comes in. So, the lower prices are locked right now, click one of the buttons below to show this page and instantly access the lower prices. So, if you click on Like and share it, let’s see here then. These lower prices have opened up. So, I could have done that with a Tweet, I could have done that with a Google Plus, but yeah it’s just a — it’s a really cool way of really increasing your Likes and your social progress in record time. And in this video on the sales page, Shane actually goes to a case study of how it really increased his shares on his content. He had great content that was getting lots of comments, but wasn’t getting lots of likes and shares and whatnot. So, I thought — when I first saw this, I thought okay, cool. This is a great way to get lots of more social interaction but I also don’t want to piss off my people who are coming to mikefrommaine.com because okay, they expect that every time they come, they’re gonna have the interviews. And then, someday they come and everything is all locked up like — it just didn’t feel right to me. Like if they wanna share, they’ll share and if they don’t wanna share, they won’t. So, Shane’s on today to talk about how to do content-locking in a none-spammy, not cringe-worthy way. I think you guys are gonna like it. Here’s Shane.

Mike: We are here today with Shane Melaugh, which I’m sure I pronounced that wrong. Shane, how do we say your name? Shane: Shane Melaugh would be the —
Mike: Shane Melaugh.
Shane: I mean, I think you’re pretty close.

Mike: Thank you, thank you. Welcome to the show, Shane. Shane: Thank you very much. Hi, Mike.

Mike: Let’s get right into it and before we talk about today’s topic, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and kind of what you do.

Shane: Yes. Well, I think there are many ways to describe what I do. I could say that I’m the CEO of my own company, I could say that I’m an online marketer, I could say whatever. What I do is I sell stuff online, that’s what it comes down to. I create products and I sell them online. And I’ve been doing this for a couple of years. I started out, I think like many people, I started out with an entrepreneurial drive. I knew that I wanted to do something for myself but I have no idea what. I have no idea what I was doing. And my first attempt, my first you know, thousand or so attempts to this were absolutely cringe-worthy when I think about them now. And of course, failed horribly. But you know, in the process of trying this over and over again, I somehow came to first selling stuff offline, then on ebay, then on ecommerce store and now, selling digital products that I create myself or have created for me.

Mike: Okay. So, primarily you’re now making your income through creating your own products, releasing them through your own systems on your website and that’s how you’re making your income.

Shane: Yes. Yes, that’s it.

Mike: Nice. Well, today what I wanted to have you on and talk about is specifically, we’re gonna talk a little later on today about a product that you’re releasing but the thing that — it’s a content locker for those that don’t know. Can you kind of explain what a content locker is before we get into the topic?

Shane: Sure, yeah. So, a content locker is — basically, it’s a lock that you can — imagine you have anything on a page, you can simply select part of that page and you can lock it and that part of the page becomes invisible to your visitors until they perform a social share. So, they send a tweet or they give it a Google +1 or something like that. And once they do that, then the hidden content is

revealed. And this hidden content can be anything you want. It can be a video, it can be a link to a special offer, it can be a coupon code or whatever. But the idea is just that you have something that is hidden that your visitors can reveal by performing a social share.

Mike: And I think for a lot of people, this kind of a plug-in — this kind of a way of bribing people into sharing their stuff is very attractive because everyone knows that you want to — everyone wants to get shares on Facebook. You wanna get shares on — or Tweets on Twitter and Google Pluses because it’s gonna bring more people to your website, it’s gonna give you more SEO value, all these so many different advantages. But it just comes to a point where — okay, you might ask people to Tweet your stuff or to Like it and even if it’s amazing content, they’re just not doing it. So, people lock their stuff and I’ve seen even some of the most non- internet marketing internet marketers do this. People like — they’re Mark Thompson who’s – there’s two Mark Thompsons. I’m talking about the one that is English and —

Shane: Yeah.

Mike: He’s doing it and he’s very much against scammy, hype-y things. So, how can you use this content lockers without seeming like the internet markety scheezy, scammy kind of person that’s just kinda — people are gonna come to your site and go, ‘Ah. So, I don’t actually like this. I’m not actually sharing this. Like, I have to do it in order to get this in sale.’

Shane: Yeah, I know what you mean. So, first of all, I do wanna like point out the reason I made this and the reason I use it myself is also because of what you said, because of the effectiveness of it compared to other stuff. So, I was — social media has always been, and still is, a very difficult thing for me to master. That’s — I feel like my social media skills are like very far behind everything else I do. And you know. as an example, I have a blog and I have many blog post with more than a hundred comments. I have many blog posts that get thousands of visitors and some of them even hundreds or thousands a month. But I practically get no shares, even on blog posts where clearly the content is great. I have hundreds of people, even comments, telling me this is fantastic and I have something like 20 shares. I was getting desperate, like how do I get people to share my stuff, right. So, and the content locker works extremely well. I’m getting anything between 15 and 35% of visitors sharing something if there was a content locker on the page which is a huge advantage over less than 1% if there is no content locker. But yes, so what you say is — how do I do this without pissing people off, right? I think there are a few things to keep in mind here and the first is, there is a way — there is a specific thing you can do to make sure you don’t piss people off. And this is true not just for content locking, this a general principle that applies to content locking, to opt-ins, to selling things, to upsells and so on. Okay, I’m gonna talk about that in just a second. But the first thing I wanna address is that, you have to see that whenever you put up any kind of wall, you’re always going to lose conversions. And that truth is, you know, people might come to your site for example and look at it and say, ‘Well, there’s all these free content here. That’s great. It’s all free’. But the truth is, it’s not free because there is a cost for any kind of content and that cost is attention and time. Now, if you look at your video analytics, you have all these video interviews, right? If you look at your video analytics, I’m sure you’ve seen that there’s a very steep drop off from the number of people who start watching the video to the number of people who actually watched the whole thing. And this is independent of how good the interviews. The best interview in the world will still lose probably 50% or more of initial viewers within two minutes, right. So, what that means is that there are lot of people who are not willing to pay the price of time and attention to get the benefit that you offer. And I’m sure there are people — I’m sure there are interviews on your site which are extremely valuable and I’m sure there are people that start watching these interviews and if they did watch them and they did apply the things they learned, they would get a huge benefit. But they don’t. Okay. So essentially, without even trying, you’re putting up a wall and it’s keeping people from getting the benefit. And it’s obviously it’s no one’s fault but you know, it’s there. So, on my website and in my business, there are three – no wait, there are four types of essentially walls that I put up. The first is, you have to pay attention and time. The second is, you pay with a Tweet or a Facebook Like or something like that, a social share. The third is, you pay with an opt-in. There are certain things you only get if you opt-in to my mailing list. And fourth is, you pay me money to get something, right. And you never get a hundred percent conversions, so you’re always keeping people out. And whenever you do this, there’s always the risk of people getting pissed off and telling you, you shouldn’t be charging this. Even with free content, they might say this video is too long, I’m not gonna watch it, right? You should make your video shorter. Well, fine. Okay. But when it comes down to it, they are simply not willing to pay the price. And that’s just part of business, alright. And you can’t please everyone. But having said that — having said that, there is a very specific way in which you can put up these walls that pisses people off and a different way in which you can do that doesn’t piss people off. And it comes down to a very simple principle: Do not keep people, do not deprive people of something that they already felt entitled to. Alright? So, let me give you an example. A typical example is with upsells, alright. So, in most businesses when you buy something, there is some kind of an upsell or back-end offer somewhere in the funnel. Now, I remember a couple of years ago, I owned a few websites and I was not paying — I wasn’t doing anything with them anymore, so I thought I might sell them. And because I have no idea about selling websites, I decided to buy a course on how to sell websites. And so, there was this course that someone recommended to me and on the sales page, it basically said you know, this guy apparently made a living, selling and buying websites and he was going to teach me all his secrets. Okay, great. So, I bought it. And this upsell video, the immediate upsell after the purchase was basically, if you buy this next thing, I’m gonna show you my best secrets in how to sell websites and get a high price. And I said, wait a minute. That’s what I just

bought, right? Now, that’s the kind of thing that pisses people off because I thought the deal was you were gonna tell me everything you know about selling websites. And now, you’re telling me, ‘I’m not gonna tell you anything or I’m not gonna tell you everything unless you give me more money’. That pisses people off. And so, if we get back to content locking, here’s a very simple example. If you have a blog post and you say you know, the top ten ways to — I don’t know, to get more traffic. My top ten tips to get more traffic. And people started reading and after Tip No. 5, it says you have to share this content to get the other five. It will piss people off, because the deal you made with them is that they would get their– they feel entitled to ten tips, right? If you call it ten tips to get more traffic and at the end it says, No. 11 Bonus Tip, if you like this stuff, share my content to get another one. No one will complain, right? Coz everybody got exactly — like, it’s like a deal, right? Your title makes a promise, you fulfill the promise and you simply — it’s just a nudge, right? It’s just a nudge. You just say, ‘Hey, did you like this? Well, if you share it, you get some more’. And you’ll see that people are very, very happy to do that and that’s where you’ll get — where you’ll easily get 35, maybe up to 40% of visitors sharing their content. So, that’s —

Mike: That’s where — and that’s where I would see like — I was thinking okay, if I were to put this on my website, where all my content — all my interview content is free and people have been coming to my site and they’re used to getting it for free. If I was just one day to send out my email, tell people that, ‘Here, come check out my interview’, and they get there and the video with us talking now, let’s say it’s locked and you have to like it in order to watch it, then I can see definitely, like I promise them the interview. I said, ‘Here, come watch the interview’. And if they want to get it, then they have to do something. That kind of imply that it’s free but one idea that I think, kind of following your train of thought would be, okay they watched the video, there are people that paid with their time and are interested in it and wanna get more. Perhaps, we have something that says, watch the bonus tip with Shane where he talks about something specific where maybe we can’t promise it to them before, some bonus footage or something like that. Would that —

Shane: Even they —

Mike: Go, go ahead.

Shane: Yeah. Or even — see, the thing is, if you’re already — if you have something like on your site, you have an interview or on another blog you have content. You’re already delivering value in your content and the things is, you can give these people that little nudge because they already like it. If you ask them, if you call them on the phone right after they watch the interview and you ask them, ‘Did you like it?’, they’d say yes. Well, would you be willing to hit Like on Facebook? They’ll say, yeah. Sure. Yeah, they probably would, right? If you were face-to-face with them. But because it’s anonymous and it’s on the internet, they just — they don’t feel excited to do it. Now, you don’t even have to give value with an interview. You could say, here’s the interview as promised. If you like the interview, you can share this, I will show you the out take or Shane says something completely embarrassing and we have to cut it out. There’s no real benefit in that, it’s just funny. And even just a little thing like that and even if it’s not really that related, but people have already gotten the value, they like it and they go, ‘Well, okay. I’m gonna give it a Like just to see what they’re talking about’, right? But here’s the thing, this is a way you can use the content locker in regular content. But actually, this is not the way I use content lockers. The way I use content locker — coz I have a very specific way of doing this and basically, I sell — the way you can use them is you can set up traffic loops essentially. You can basically use a content locker to create a little engine that just creates social momentum and traffic. And if you want, I can talk about how that works.

Mike: Yeah. I mean, is that gonna be specifically related to WPSharely?
Shane: I think, you can — I think you can do this the same thing with all content lockers. I have — Mike: Well, go for it.
Shane: Assuming that they’re flexible a flexible as WPSharely.
Mike: Ok. Go for it.

Shane: Yeah. So, here’s my favorite use of this is to put an online advertised bonus on a thank you page behind the content locker. So, here’s what happens. People come to my website and they opt in to get a free content and that’s what they get, right? They opt in to the thing that they were promised and they get that on the thank you page but on the thank you page, it says, ‘By the way, you can get something that wasn’t advertised before but that’s also awesome if you simply take two seconds to Tweet, Like or Google + this. And so, they make and do the share and they get a link or they get a new video or something like that. Now, this is again — this doesn’t piss anyone off because it’s you know, again I’m not depriving anyone of something that they were expecting to get for free. And all it does is, it gives people the opportunity to get something other or something else that’s awesome in return for what’s essentially a very, very low price and what you can do now is you can set the — and this is, I don’t know if you can do this with all

other content lockers but which you can with WPSharely is you can set the link that will be promoted with the social signals to be a different one than the page that the social locker is sitting on. So, essentially you can have a social locker on your thank you page and you can send social traffic back to you opt-in page where people will opt-in, see the social offer and do shares, send traffic back to the opt-in page and so on, alright. And that’s, so — and let me give you an example coz there’s here another thing. When people talk about social media and social traffic, there is much talk about the viral effect, alright. And that’s one of the things that is really attractive about social media. It’s possible — it’s theoretically possible that you create a piece of content, ten people see it, they love it, they share it. And each one of those ten people shares it with ten more people and they share it with ten more people and so on. It was a huge — it’s a snowball effect, in the end the entire internet has seen your awesome video or whatever it is. Unfortunately in reality, that doesn’t happen very often. And I was getting tired of this kind of thing and I was trying to find out how to get more social shares and more social followers and so on. I constantly sought this kind of thing, you know. How to make viral-bathe content and you know, if I was like writing really good content and well thank you very much. I’m creating good content it’s not really — you know, it doesn’t seem to be helping unless you already have that social momentum because I’m sure you know, someone who’s an internet super star and has billion followers can essentially post a piece of dribble and get 5000 shares.

Mike: Yeah.

Shane: So, someone who is no one because they’ve only just started can post a most amazing piece of content and nobody would ever know about it. So, there’s this unfairness involved as well. So, I was getting tired of this kind of fluffy advice on social media. And the thing is, see, if I were — if I were a bit more sleazy than I am, I would sell my content locker and sell WPSharely by talking about the potential, by talking about how theoretically you can unleash this firestone of traffic and this viral effect blah blah blah. But in reality, that’s not how it works. And in reality, that’s not what I was after either. What I want is something that works reliably, because if you tell me to create a — I don’t know, a viral image and share it on Facebook, that will not work 999 out of 1000 times. But if you put a content locker on a thank you page, that works 35 out of a 100 times in terms of you know, 35 visitors out of a hundred will share that. And so, it gets you more social momentum every single time you do that. It works every single time and it works reliably. And let me give you some real numbers, okay. So recently, by using the content locker on a sales page, I got — within a span of 12 day, I got a total of 540 shares, okay. That’s 201 Facebook, 216 Tweet and 123 Google +. Now, first of all, I don’t have a single piece of content that ever got that amount of shares ever, alright. Seriously, my best content — I have a piece of content that has like 250 comments or something, everybody loves it, it ranks highly for its term in Google, it has about 70 shares. So, that’s pretty good result right there.

Mike: Yup.

Shane: Now, what — the result I’m getting here is, first of all, 540 shares in 12 days, pretty good. The traffic that comes in from that is 130 visitors from Facebook and Twitter. I was beyond idiot that I didn’t do a separate tracking and included Google +. I don’t know the traffic well in for that. Let’s just assume that’s it’s just 130 visitors generated by this social locker. That’s not a lot, right. That’s not a social viral traffic storm, right. But it is — I call them visitors, these visitors converted into four sales with a total value of $178. It’s again, it’s not lie. It’s not like you put the social lock on any sales page and the next day, you’re rich. But the thing is, I mean, first of all, there is value in that. You know, four new customers $178 is better than no new customers and zero dollars, right? But the thing is, there is — it’s a long lasting effect, it will just keep going. People will just keep showing as long as I keep this locker on there. And there’s also a residual effect of this. I mean, there’s some debate about how effective Tweets and Facebook stuff is for Google rankings. But I think nobody has to debate about Google +1’s, right? We know that a page with 120 Google +1’s is going to have better chances of ranking well than a page with none. And I try to get 123 Google +1’s on a sales page without a content locker, alright. So, there’s a residual effect and that’s why I use the metaphor of an engine. You have like a little social engine that’s just sitting there, generating a bit of social momentum that will gradually increase the amount of traffic you get, will gradually increase the rankings you get and also by the way, all these Tweets that you get, increase your follower count. Most of my Tweeter followers come from you know, people seeing the Tweet or re-Tweet that’s generated by Sharely and then following me because I attribute myself in that Tweet. So, it’s basically you know, it’s not some kind of a wonder machine but it’s a very reliable little system that you can add to your funnel that will just run like a little engine as I say and just help you get more momentum and more traffic in a relatively slow but reliable way. Of course, if you already have like you know, if you already have a big social presence, then the effect I’m sure compounds because as I said, social media is a really problematic area for me, so I have tiny following on Facebook and Twitter and so on. So, I can’t make that much happen. But I wanted you know, those are real numbers that you can get.

Mike: So, content locking and content lockers are not a new thing. There are already content lockers out there that do similar things. What’s the thing that’s gonna make WPSharely different from those and better, like what is the reason why didn’t you just go out and say okay, I’ll use one of these content lockers. What made you create WP Sharely?

Shane: I did initially. I did initially. I bought probably 5 or 6 different content lockers andI was never happy with them. So, apart from — when I found many at that time, you know, just compatibility problems, bugs and so on, that just wouldn’t work. But also, they

lack — most of the ones that I used lacks flexibility. So, I couldn’t get them to display the way I want it. I couldn’t have you know, the thing where you can share a different page than the locker is on. I couldn’t have that. With WPSharely, you can have separate links for Tweeter, Facebook and Google +, so you can do tracking as well. And it’s just very, very flexible, You can choose whether or not to display it at a mobile device for example. It’s just extremely flexible. It comes with all the options. I’m a really perfectionist, you know. So, if I have the plug-in that works but it doesn’t do that one thing that I want it to do, I just can’t live with that. So, I ended up creating WP Sharely and so that’s the first thing. It’s just very, very flexible. It’s very beautifully designed. This is another thing that I think matters. You know, if you have a well-designed blog or website, but then you have this ugly content locker on it, it looks out of place. It’s not nice. So, design is important to us. It’s also mobile responsive. So, it works on any kind of screen size. And what we’re doing is we’re adding new templates and new designs and we’re adding — we’re working on a better Facebook integration right now. And we’re looking into LinkedIn, people had been asking us for LinkedIn. So, if it’s possible, if it’s technically possible, we’ll also add LinkedIn to the choices that you can have people share something on LinkedIn and your turn for unlocking the content. And with that, I think that will send it apart quite comfortably from other content lockers.

Mike: One thing that I thought was really cool and what really grabbed my attention about it, even — for those listening, even if you’re not interested in buying it, just for — to see how this works, I would say go to the sales page. You have a part where you give three different prices, for I think it’s developers or personal, whatever. The different licenses that you can buy and then, right below it, do you want to cut these prices in half? Just Like it, Tweet it or Google + it and I was like, I just wanted to see what was gonna happen. So, I went and I liked it or something and it was just a very clear, the page wasn’t refreshing. It was just — opened up and yeah, the new prices were there, which — yeah, that was something that really hit me. It’s like wow, I could — if I was gonna even just use this piece of software for one thing, that will be something that I think would be pretty cool because it’s not like when you send someone to a sales page, if I say, okay guys — to my audience, go to Shane’s sales page and you’re gonna find WPSharely, I’m not gonna say, you’ll get it for this much. I’m just okay, you can go there and they’re gonna go there and they’re gonna find it. It’s not gonna be something that I have promised them. They’re gonna find the prices and all you have to do to half that is just to give it a little bit of social like. You can buy for the bigger, for the larger price if you want to, that’s available. But has anyone bought the more expensive version so far.

Shane: Yes, we’ve had — I think we’ve had two sales.

Mike: Really?

Shane: One of them — yeah, one of them was by mistake somehow. And so he basically clicked on the wrong link and we refunded him half the amount to make that good again. And the other person, I don’t know — someone just want to have him pay us twice as much money as they needed to and he seems to be happy with that but yeah, most people share.

Mike: Yeah, maybe they really like you Shane. And they wanted to really thank you and — or maybe they don’t have a social account, coz that could be — I mean, that could happen. There’s people out there that — I mean, usually they have at least one of the three. Most people nowadays have a Gmail account and I think it automatically attach to your Gmail account, you have the Plus ability with it.

Shane: Yeah, I think so. Yeah.

Mike: I think so. They tried —

Shane: Anyway, I mean, if you have — in any case, you’re rarely more than 1 or 2 clicks away from creating one of these accounts even if you don’t have one. So — but yeah, in general, that’s you know, that’s not really been a problem. Nobody has told me I don’t have any of these accounts, so I can’t access this. I’ve — you know, and I’ve had used this for thousands of people now. So, that doesn’t seem to be an issue in general. And yes, the thing you see on the sales page — I mean, that’s one of the ways to use it obviously, really the only way I know how to get that many shares on a sales page. And as you say yeah, the way it reveals and the fact that the page wasn’t refreshing and so on, these are just kind of — this is the attention to detail kind of thing, but to me it’s really important. Like, I want it to be like that. I want it to be nice looking and elegant and so on. And that’s you know, one of the things that we really made sure with WP Sharely that’s covered.

Mike: And you know what’s — I think the most important thing which is really interesting is I found you to interview, I found the WPSharely to interview you by one of my friends on Facebook sharing the sales page, coming up — it came up on my timeline. I wasn’t looking for someone to interview then. I was off just doing my Facebook, wasting some time and that came up, I checked it out. I said, wow I like it. Let’s get Shane on the show, so there you go.

Shane: Yeah, it creates opportunity. I mean, that’s an entirely other factor that we haven’t even talked about which is you know, you actually get — you actually get your stuff out there in the social sphere and you know, as we can see right now, that can be very valuable in itself.

Mike: Definitely. Well, is there anything that we didn’t mention today before we wrap it up that you kind of wanted to put out there before we end?

Shane: No, I think that pretty much covers it — what a, you know, concerning Sharely and as you say, people can basically — that’s one of the things, if you wanted to look at the sales page, it’s bit of an experiment. It’s not your typical sales page because instead of a sales video, it’s basically a case study video and there’s a demonstration of how the thing works right on the sales page and — yeah, I wasn’t sure if that was gonna work but so far, it seems that people respond well to that. You know, to a less sales and less hype-y approach and yeah, so you can see what it’s about and test it out yourself right there.

Mike: Cool. Well, we’ll have the link to obviously WPSharely on the show notes on mikefrommaine.com. I think you’ve got a website IMImpact.com?

Shane: That’s correct. IMImpact.com.
Mike: Great. So, we’ll send people there if they wanna get in contact with you. Thank you very much, Shane. And I appreciate it. Shane: Thank you for this opportunity and I hope to talk to you soon.

Mike: I hope you enjoyed the interview today with Shane. Make sure you go to mikefrommaine.com/share to check out Shane’s WPSharely plug-in. And even if you’re not and just sitting by, at least go there, watch his case study video. That’s interesting just in itself and also, check out how he does his content locking on the site. It’s pretty cool to play with it. I also have example of content locking underneath the video on mikefrommaine.com. You can check that out and of course, all the links will be on the show notes. Thank you for watching and I’ll see you tomorrow.

  • March 13, 2013
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