Reader Challenge Roundup: Creating a YouTube Video and the Next Challenge

YouTube Reader Challenge“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” -Joshua J. Marine

Every few months, I offer a new challenge to my readers.

In November of 2010, I asked you to write a Pillar Article, which resulted in 51 posts, over 200 hours of writing, tens of thousands of additional visitors to your blogs and one person even landing a book deal.

In January of 2011, I then asked you to write a List Post, which yielded 1,003 “things” in a total of 63 posts that were shared and spread all around the blogosphere.

Two months ago, I then asked you to step out of your comfort zone and publish a YouTube Video, and the results are what I’m happy to share with you today.

Here is what a few people told me after participating in this particular challenge:

“It took me WAY out of my comfort zone, but it was actually REALLY fun. I plan on doing many more videos for my site, and of course getting better.”

“I wouldn’t say it’s a good video, but it was worth it just for the experience of realizing that even a pretty bad video isn’t really anything to be afraid of.”

“Pat ~ I am excited to tell you that you inspired me to (finally) create my very first video for my website! Wow. Terrifying is right! But I did it!”

And this is what it’s all about – taking bold actions, doing something different and having fun with it. I’m so proud of my readers who participated, and of course I’m happy to share some link love to all of them here on the blog for their hard work.

Below is a list of the submissions in the order that I received them. I don’t expect you to watch them all, but pick one or two that seem interesting to you and check them out if you have time.

Grown in the City: Urban Homesteading

How To Get The Best From Testimonials

Mobile List Builder Tutorial

How to Make Money Online from School, Books, and Magazines

9 Internet Marketing Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

Sound Harvesting 101

How to Detect Nofollow Links

9 Ways To Recognize You Are Motivated And Excited About Something

How To Put an iPhone Voice Note on a WordPress Blog Post

Tools I Use – Blog Blueprint

Square Eyes or Genius? Are Online Educational Programs Good For Your Child?

Writing For InfoBarrel To Generate Passive Income

Foscam FI8918W Wireless IP Camera Demo

Top 20 Traffic Methods Countdown (Part 1)

Super Simple 10-Minute Binding for How to be Happy (No Fairy Dust or Moonbeams Required)

SHN-001 How to start learning Spanish

How to Make Change Easier

Elimination Communication How-To #2 – Pottying Baby On-the-Go (In the Car) / Timing

Don’t Do This (

What is Your Why? (Soldier of

To Multitask or Not

The Secret To Great GarageBand MIDI Drum Tracks

How to Navigate The SortPrice Website

Video for Search Engine Optimization Laid Bare Part 2: Competitive SEO Keyword Research

POWER Protein Balls Recipe

Drug-Free Headache Relief

Airbed Air Mattress Ozark Trail

The 5 Not-Secrets of Success

Bla Bla Bla Bla… Bla Bla Bla (podcasting 101)

Real Estate Investing Referral Network

Sidekick Seeks Superhero

Networking Like a Pro

How To Safely Move Your iPhoto Library to Another Hard Drive

How to apply blusher – makeup lesson by Maninder Krishnan Singapore

Fitness Motivation Today: Ab Circle Pro

How to use Clone Stamp to remove people and things from pictures using Adobe Photoshop CS5

The College Investor’s Guide to Screening Stocks

Baby Mermaid and Friends

How To Use Photoshop Ebook Cover Actions And Templates

Wedding Slideshow Tutorial – Getting Started Wtih Animoto

En sockerbagare (a baker) – från

Creating Text Hyperlinks In WordPress

Canadian Free Flyer Intro

A World of Inspiration Intro

I do my best to keep track of all of the submissions myself, but as I do get hundreds of emails a day some submissions may have been accidentally missed. If that’s the case, please let me know and I’ll check my archives and make sure you get included.

Here are some interesting stats regarding the video submissions:

  • A total of 44 videos were submitted for the challenge.
  • The total playing time of all the videos combined is 3 hours and 36 minutes, which is an average length of about 4 minutes and 54 seconds per video.
  • The total views of all submitted videos (since publishing this post) is 5,538 views, which is an average of 126 views per video. Not bad for 2 months!
  • The most viewed video has 1,420 views.
  • The longest video is 14 minutes and 57 seconds.
  • Only 25% of the videos show footage of the actual speaker or narrator.
  • 63% of the videos are “tutorial style” videos.

Again, a job well done on all of the videos, and a huge congratulations to those who published their very first ones!

I appreciate the few who just turned the camera on and spoke for a few minutes, unedited with no fear – I love that. I also must say there were a number of well edited videos as well. Two notable ones that come to mind are:

  1. How to Safely Move Your iPhoto Library to Another Hard Drive by Curtis. This was his first YouTube video for his website, which is awesome because it’s really well done.
  2. Grown in the City: Urban Homesteading by John. Even though the topic isn’t that interesting to me (no offense!) I could not stop watching because of the way it was presented.

And as promised, I randomly selected one person who submitted a video to the challenge to receive a $50.00 Gift card, on me. So, congratulations to Pavel for winning!

With every challenge I am more and more impressed at not only how much great work people can do, but how a lot of those people needed something like a challenge to get it out of them! It just shows you that you really can do whatever it is you want to do, you just have to find the right motivation to take action.

The Next Reader Challenge

This next challenge is a big one that could drastically increase your authority and status as an expert in your niche:

I want you to create a report, document, white paper, manifesto or mini-eBook about anything related to your industry, niche, website or business.

(Update: A few readers have asked if something like an e-Course in an Autoresponder series or a video course would be okay – and I say, for sure!)

This is obviously a project that is a little bigger than a blog post or YouTube video, so I’m going to give you a little more time. Also, I’m going to give away two (2) prizes:

  • One (1) $50 Gift Card to one random submission.
  • One (1) $100 Gift Card to the best entry, judged by me.

Here are the rules regarding this particular challenge:

Challenge RulesYou can choose any topic that you wish, one that you feel would best suit your audience. It could be a tutorial-style, how-to type document (like eBooks the Smart Way), or a thought-provoking psychological piece.

It’s up to you.

Here are a few specific rules about this challenge:

  • The final product should be the equivalent of a minimum of 5 content pages in length (i.e. title pages don’t count!).
  • It must be given away for free to your audience. Again, this project is a great way to get readers (new and existing) to read your content, demonstrate expertise and authority in your niche and hopefully virally spread word about you and your website through the power of sharing.
  • You may choose to give it away as a free gift or “lead magnet” for your email list, (similar to how I offer eBooks the Smart Way here on SPI after ), but it’s not required.
  • It must contain at least one graphic inside. I say this so you don’t just write and write, but you think about the presentation and how to break up the monotony of text with some interesting and relevant graphics. For proper use of graphics on the web, please see my Ultimate Guide to Finding and Using Image post.
  • It must go live for the first time on your site after the date of this post. If you had been working on it for the last month or so, but go live with it after today, that’s totally okay.

How and When to Submit

Submissions should be given to me by July 31st, 2011.

Send me a message via my contact form with a link that announces your report, ebook, manifesto (or whatever you wish to call it) on your site, and I’ll be sure to include your link in the roundup post I publish in August.

Again, you’ll distribute the PDF file yourself on your site, but send me a link so I can share it here on SPI.

Check out my eBooks the Smart Way page for an example, and I recommend you read the guide and use some of the tips to help you with your project.

Good luck, start planning now, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Cheers!

p.s. I’ll be participating in this challenge too, although of course I am not eligible for any of the prizes. You should see a new report from me sometime before July 31st, 2011.

p.p.s. If you send me a 2-D Image of an eBook or Report Cover, I’d be happy to turn it into a nice looking, 3D cover for you and your site, free of charge.

“Even when opportunity knocks, a man still has to get up off his seat and open the door.” – Anonymous

  • Cristina

    Congrats to all the contestants and especially to the winners.

    I really love the new challenge. This is what I needed to push my ebook since I don’t know why it’s stuck right now.

    Thanks for amazing challenges, Pat.


    • Zach Crawley

      Yea, I’ve been struggling with starting my new e-book that I was going to release later this month, but this motivated me a bit. Can’t wait to see who wins!

  • Moon Hussain

    Hey Pat,

    This is a great idea… I have also been thinking about creating another mini-report for EIP so this definitely kicks it into gear. Am I throwing my gauntlet into the arena? *gasp*

    Here we go :)

  • Sam Baker

    This is awesome and very timely for me! I have been “planning” to add an opt-in form for my site for sometime but haven’t done so since I don’t have a “lead magnet” type free product yet. I will use this challenge to get me going.

    One quick question through – does a 6-10 part eCourse count? It meets most of your challenge requirements except, instead of being one big pdf, it will be several different “lessons” (setup for delivery as an auto responder series).

    Whether it counts for the prizes or not, I’m in :) Thanks for challenging me into action!

    • Pat

      Sure Sam, that should be fine. I think it accomplishes the same thing, so I’m all for it! Thanks for asking, and good luck!

  • Austin @ Best Tennis Rackets Headquarters


    This is a great idea! I had planned on submitting a YouTube video but didn’t end up making one… I’ll be sure to complete the mini eBook I’ve been working on for one of my sites and send in the submission.

    Thanks again for all your great info and calls to action!


    • Austin

      Quick question… I’m actually working on two lead magnets right now. Can I submit both?

      • Pat

        Sure Austin – the more the merrier, however I will only be able to count you once for the contest part of this challenge, and when you submit you’d have to let me know which one you want me to look at. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • mike

    can the book be comprised of content already existing on our sites? i was already planning on doing this, with some additional bonus content mixed in.

    • Pat

      My eBook, eBooks the Smart Way, is actually 95% made up of content from posts that I had once written on SPI. There’s just something different about having it presented within an eBook type format that can yield fantastic results.

      So definitely! That’s a great idea! Thanks Mike!

  • Vic Dorfman


    Would a free video course be OK for this challenge?


    • Pat

      Sure Vic! I’ve actually updated the content in this post to include not just PDF documents, but things like eCourses and Video courses as well. Cheers!

    • BA pass

      see how they are making moneasdy, and understand how they profit from purchasing your traffic.

      Pr backlinks available

  • KimP

    I love these challenges. Thanks for another great one and congrats to all of the participants.

  • Joe

    Pat, I’ve been staring at “draft e-book” on my to-do list for weeks now. I fully intend for this to be the final shove towards getting that done. Then I will have no excuses left for getting that e-mail list started.

  • Eric

    Great idea, Pat. I’ll definitely be in!

  • Benny

    I’m on this! Need to grow my blog and subscribers so creating something free is something that’s been on my mind.

    really like the p.p.s bonus. That’s an amazing offer. Thanks Pat!

  • Onibalusi Bamidele

    I’ve got some pretty cool videos to watch from the above list!

    I love how you help, inspire, and motivate people Pat! I will be taking part in this next submission for sure and considering the fact that I was recently thinking about creating a free report for my blog I think this is the best timing.

    Thanks so much and have a great week,

  • Herman

    I am quite new on the Internet and started my blog only two weeks ago. I am learning such a lot from you Pat, thanks. I am going for the challenge just to get something going. You are such an insperation to me!

  • Colby

    We’ve been following the blog for a while now, but we must have missed last months challenge. Anyhow, we’ve been procrastinating on getting an eBook together on puppy training and this months challenge should be motivation enough to get us going. We already downloaded and started reading eBooks the Smart Way. Finishing your book will be the first step towards completing this challenge. Thanks!

  • Tom

    Good post and good comments as well. My brain is thinking about some ideas and it would be a good try to test out an eBook. For me that would prep me for my release which I’m shooting for next season.

  • Cara

    Thanks for these challenges, Pat! I never would have tried the video thing if you hadn’t basically dared me. I’m glad I did it, even though the quality is pretty bad on my video–I was surprised to find that I didn’t look like nearly as much of an idiot as I feared. If I practiced, I could probably get to be decent at making videos. I wouldn’t have guessed that before. Thanks for broadening my horizons!

  • Sarah Russell

    Congrats to all the participants in this challenge – looks like some great content was generated!

    Looking forward to finally jumping in and participating in the next challenge myself :)

  • Paul

    Hey Pat, Thanks for challenging me to create the video but I have to tell you the first video was very time consuming but getting easier. I will definitely be in the next challenge! Keep up the great work!

  • Remco

    great new challenge…..will follow up.

    and thanks for the adding my video: “To Multitask or Not”


  • Cooln

    I am new to this blogging world and haven’t create any youtube for myself yet. Do you think it is suitable for beginner when they are not good at being in front of camera? Anyway, I will still take note and continue learning.

  • Rivka Kawano

    Wow – some how I totally missed this challenge, but did it anyway, lol. It wasn’t super exciting, but a big step just to do it.

    And guess what, creating a free e-book was next on my list, although I had something a little more basic in mind. Thanks for the challenge, it will push me to create something really great, and within a time frame too. :-)

  • Pavel

    Thanks for this opportunity, Pat! My entry is under “Baby Mermaid and Friends” – yes a bad name I know, but I take as a learning opportunity. The video is about our first iPhone application, so that’s what I should have put in the title.

    Making the video was pretty difficult, but thanks to Camtasia the pain was bearable. :)

  • Bojan

    A lot of great videos and I didn’t record a single one, yet! I will correct that mistake!

  • Devin Elder

    Thanks for the add Pat! Congrats to all first time video posters – a big step indeed.

    It would be interesting to see which videos got the most clicks. The niches are all over the place, so you couldn’t draw any conclusive results, but it would be an interesting case study on titles.

  • Robert

    Thanks for including my video! I have a lot of vids to watch this week while I think about an e-Book!

  • http://http// Lev Pershin

    Thank you for great video Pat.Very helpful for me.

  • Eunus Hosen

    Congrats to contestants and the winners! Special thanks to you Pat for arranging such an amazing contest!

    Hope I’ll participate to the next contest. :)

  • Timo Kiander


    I was thinking of turning a very long post of mine into an e-book (by request of my readers). Does that e-book qualify for your contest?

    I’m already sharing a PDF of that post on my blog, but I’m making changes so that it’s going to be an e-book, rather than just random downloadable PDF.

  • Cynthia

    What a great list of videos! Can’t wait to view them.

    Regarding the new challenge, I’ve been thinking about what to write as a giveaway incentive for the email list I want to set up. This will give me a kick in the pants to get going on this. Thanks for the challenge!

  • Karo Itoje

    Hello Pat,

    Again I missed the last challenge, not because I didn’t remember but because… hmmm I have a small problem. Though one of the things I love doing most is meeting people and talking, somehow when it comes to doing it in front of a camera I become somewhat shy.

    That, and I am still not sure how to record a quality video without spending a dime.

    So even when I know how effective videos are, I am limited by these factors.

    Any advice or tips?

    As for the next challenge, that’s definite. My task for the next 2 weeks is to work on link building for my website. And one of the method I was looking to use is to create a mini-report or white paper, something that will go viral. So this challenge is like perfect timing.

  • Hector Avellaneda

    Dang! Looks like I missed the challenge. I’ll make sure and be take advantage of the next one!

    This was an awesome challenge Pat! I can tell you that a few videos caught my attention and I think I’ll be making some new friends really soon!

  • Biznes Internetowy

    Pat, I think that making challenges it’s god way to involving people on own website.

  • Javier

    Wow Pat! I was just working on something like this in the last few weeks. it’s almost as if you where reading my mind.

    I actually just finished adding the forms and everything to my website!

    I don’t know if it can be part of the contest. I might be a page short! but it is still very valuable information.

    Thank you for the inspirations.

  • Mark | Wealthy Affiliate Revolution


    The video exercise was cool. Thanks for forcing me to get outside my comfort zone. I learned a lot from participating. Kinda of psyched that I had the most views at 1,420.

    Even cooler is in the two days since you published this post my video has received another 740 views for a total of 2,160 views.

    You are a powerful man. :)

    Now I have to think hard about my topic for the next challenge.


  • Peter Hutyr

    Hi Pat, this is wonderful.

    You are giving us an opportunity to stretch our minds and become the best of us. I already created and completed my ebook report a few days ago. Does it qualify? And it has 12 content pages; well, if it qualifies, I will summarize it to fit in the ruling structure of 5 content pages.

    -Peter Hutyr

    • Pat

      Peter, it definitely qualifies. There is no need to summarize it down to 5 pages. The requirement was “at least” 5 pages…and really these are just guidelines, I’m not going to deny someone if they are just a few words short, and definitely not if there is more content. You’re all good!

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  • Patrick de Boer

    Hi Pat,

    this challenge combined with Mastermin post really make me use my time more efficiently by forcing myself to do these things. I am motivated to do it, but never seem to find the time (I know I know, bad excuse). So, hereby I present my very first e-book! I just finished it and hope that it qualifies! It can be downloaded from I do have a question though. Is there a clear distinction between a blog and a niche site? For you name yourself at your LEED website, but stay more anonymous at your securityguard Niche webste.

    The Netherlands

  • Justin

    Hello Pat,

    I am absolutely excited to participate in this challenge! It is really due to you that I am launching my new site, and this challenge will give me the extra motivation I need to finish my E-Book and get my site launched. Hopefully, it will help and inspire many people as yours has! Thanks.

  • Dog Canine Training

    This challenge combined with Mastermin post really make me use my time more efficiently by forcing myself to do these things.

  • John Varghese

    I finally got around to creating a Youtube video that I plan will be the first of a series of educational videos I create. This is only a short one to get me familiar with the process in a manner of speaking. I have certainly uploaded videos to youtube before. But this is the first one in a series that I plan to monetize.

  • John Varghese

    Oops I pasted a link to my blog entry referring to my first video. Here is the actual youtube link. How to modify the /etc/hosts file on a Mac. Now if you are thinking just vi it, think again. In OS X Lion, it is no longer trivial.

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  • John Jackson

    Thank you for everything! Audio/Video question for you! Do you record directly into your camera or into an external audio recorder?

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