9 Tips On How To Pay Off Your Debt Fast

Like so many people (the average Canadian owes $1.71 for every dollar of disposable income), you may find yourself trapped by debt. Paying off debt can feel like an uphill battle, and the longer you wait to take action, the harder and more expensive it can be. Sisyphus anyone?

However, there are steps you can take now to help you pay off debt faster, and even have the advantage of time working for you instead of against you.

This blog post will give some some practical tips on how to get yourself out of debt. Fast!

1 – Re-Frame Your Credit Cards

Credit Card companies love to give credit. It's how they make money. And they make a lot of money. Even taking into account bankrupcites and uncollectible debt, companies like Visa and Mastercard are very profitable.

9 Tips On How To Pay Off Your Debt Fast
Visa Revenue is in the Billions!

But just because you have a credit card, doesn't mean you have to spend it. Many people mentally consider money available to them (in the form of unused credit) as money they can spend. This is a common mistake – and one that credit card companies exploit ruthlessly.

Don't make this mistake. It's not your money. It's literally money belonging to Visa or Mastercard. It's simply the option to borrow money at a high interest rate. Never forget that.


2 – Cut Expenses

The next thing to do after re-framing who the available credit on a credit card belongs to is to cut expenses…ruthlessly. Being in debt means that you are living above your means and you are literally spending more money than you actually own. That's a recipe for disaster.

9 Tips On How To Pay Off Your Debt Fast

So look at what you are spending and decide what to cut. You absolutely must cut some expenses. Spotify & Netflix subscription. I'm looking at you, kid!

“We've seen that the average number of subscriptions per-person has doubled over the last 18 months.”

Yahya Mokhtarzada – Truebill

There is a cool app called Bobby that tracks your recurring subscriptions and helps you see what you are paying for subscriptions. I really like this app, because:

a) it's the cutest squirrel you'll ever see and
b) it helps you see all your subscriptions in one place.

Bobby - Track subscriptions

Another thing Bobby does is that it lets you see the subscriptions you pay annually – just because you chose the pay annually option to save a bit of money, you still need to consider this a monthly subscription.

This is also helpful if you want to add in things you might pay quarterly, like car insurance payments or water utility bills. One of the problems people have with budgets are lump sum semi-regular payments that are hard to quantify on a monthly basis. Bobby can help sort that out for you, as typically those are under-estimated.

Trim is another service that can help you cut down unnecessary expenses, and even negotiate with lenders to reduce your debt. The key is to really reduce the amount of (unnecessary) subscriptions and other expenses you can cut.

Are there lower cost service providers you can switch to? I recently switched from Telus to a self-serve phone plan at Public Mobile. I love it. Same service for almost 1/3rd of the cost.

By the way, I highly recommend Public Mobile if you are in Canada. They run on the Bell towers, so coverage is excellent across Canada.

3 – Convert Personal Expenses to Business Expenses

I run an online business, and that entitles me to certain business deductions. You should always take advantage of any tax deductions you are entitled to. The problem for most people is that just don't know how – and often their accountants don't ask the right questions.

You may, in this new gig economy, have a side hustle. Maybe you do some writing on the side. Or you started a YouTube channel, or maybe you do some influencer work.

(By the way, this is a great platform for getting started as an influencer even if you don't have a larger social following.)

9 Tips On How To Pay Off Your Debt Fast

All of these things open up the door to converting expenses you would normally have no deductions for – to being tax deductible. For example, if you have a business, printer paper, new software and even that new camera you've been eyeing all become valid business deductions.

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that even if you deduct expenses, you still have that expense, and any deduction you take reduces your overall income. So it's best not to make a purchase at all. But if it's something you need, and you can write it off, that's better than not writing it off.

Obviously, you need to track these expenses and be able to show the purchase receipts.

I use an app called Taxbot that allows me to write off the portion of my car expenses I use for business, and it also allows you to easily write off expenses – even if you don't have a separate business bank account. Here's how I use Taxbot to do that.

4 – Get a Second Income

Being in debt means that you spend more than earn. So maybe you need to earn more. This could be starting a side hustle in your spare time, or it could be a second job. There are also lots of opportunities where you can work remotely.

COVID-19 has opened the eyes of many business owners to the fact that remote work can even be more effective than a toxic workplace environment.

Do you have any skills? Why not start selling a service on Fiverr? There are gigs you can perform for doing simple tasks like running software you may already own. A couple examples are doing keyword research for somebody – or perhaps create pins for them in Canva.

Maybe you're crafty? You could start an Etsy shop for free and start selling some of your awesome creations. Show the world your skills!

5 – List Out Your Credit Card Debts

Open up a Google Sheet and list of your credit cards along with the minimum payments and the interest rate.

9 Tips On How To Pay Off Your Debt Fast

You have to have a clear view of your problem before you can find a solution.
Here is a site that has some calculators that give you insight into how much you're actually paying toward your principle vs your interest when you make payments.

This can help you prioritize which debts to pay down first. Be sure to include all consumer debts you have in addition to your credit cards, which could include medical bills, student loans and car payments.

6 – Debt Snowball Vs Debt Avalanche

Now that you have all your consumer debts listed out, you can pick your plan of attack.

Instead of randomly paying more to this card or that card every month, the best plane of attack is to choose to use either the Debt Snowball or the Debt Avalanche method.

Both allow you to consolidate your focus around a particular strategy and pay off your debt faster. This ensures that your drive down your debt with an intensity and focus.

Dave Ramsey often uses the Gazelle analogy to explain this concept with a line from the Bible:

“If you've signed surety, my son, do this. Give no sleep to your eyelids, no slumber to your eyes, and deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, a bird from the hand of the fowler.”

Proverbs 6:1-7


The Debt Snowball Method

With the debt snowball method, you pay the lowest loan amount first, regardless of the interest rate. This will give you the quickest win and knock off the smallest source of debt the fastest.

You pay the minimum amount to all the other debts and throw all your extra money at the one card until it's gone.

One of the main benefits of this method is that with those early wins, you can feel yourself getting out of debt and start to hardwire a new pattern with debt in your mind.

The Debt Avalanche Method

The Debt Avalanche method is a little different. With it, you pick the highest interest rate, and tackle that first. Again, you pay only the bare minimums on the other cards and pay as much as you possibly can to the highest interest rate card.

Technically speaking, this is can be a wise method, but it can also be a little more challenging to set the pattern because you won't necessarily reduce the number of your debts as quickly.

7 – Go Used

Consider selling your car and getting an older used model. This can save you thousands of dollars each year.

Another thing you can consider is if you can reduce your household to just one vehicle. This may not be possible if you live in a rural area, but if you live in an urban setting, this can save thousands of dollars each year.

By getting rid of a car, you not only reduce the auto payments, but also the gas, maintenance and insurance associated with that second vehicle.

This is a handy calculator that you can use to see exactly what kind of savings you can achieve by changing up your car situation.

8 – Get a New Credit Card with a Low Interest Rate

This is a little dangerous, because you're actually opening up more credit, but if you can get a teaser interest rate and transfer your debt to that new rate, you can come out ahead.

A good example is if you have a credit card at 21% interest and you can get a 1-year teaser rate for 0% – that would give you relief from that heinous 21% and as long as you didn't use the extra credit, you would save money.

Be careful using this method and be sure to re-read the first step in this article.

9 – Sell Some Stuff

We all have stuff. What can you sell (or rent) to earn some extra income?

Maybe you have a stack of books you'll never read, or an old computer, or guitar, or maybe you have boxes of CDs and only listen to Spotify now. (Hopefully you're on Spotify Free and have ditched the Spotify Premium subscription in Step 2!)

Give away or sell these things. You can make some extra money, and you can free up space and chi for new energy to come into your life.

Remember, you need to change up your action if you want different results in the future. So don't just read something else. Start making those changes now!

Any other tips you think I missed? Let me know in the comments!

Bitbuy Review

I spoke to the team over at Bitbuy and they told me about what's going on a Bitbuy and what makes this exchange unique in 🇨🇦. Be sure to check out my Bitbuy review video below where I do a thorough walkthrough of the platform and features, fund my account and make a live trade. (You might be surprised at how low the fees are, as I was in the video.)

bitbuy logo
BitBuy Logo (new branding)

First up, Bitbuy is the ONLY crypto exchange in Canada that has 100% fully insured crypto holdings. Yep. Any Bitcoin you have on the platform is insured by Knox Insurance based out of Montreal… automatically. And at no extra charge!

That is freaking awesome!

Not only that but Bitbuy has a few other benefits going for it.

Bitbuy Bonus:

Get a bonus when you deposit $250 on the platform. Note: you don't need to trade all $250, but it's a great ROI to make that deposit!

Bitbuy Vs Shakepay Vs Newton:

They have the lowest fees. I compare the fees to both Shakepay (which I love) and Newton – and Bitbuy comes out with the lowest fees.

How does that work when Newton and Shakepay both claim to have zero-commission trading? It's the spread. The spread at Bitbuy is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than both of those popular exchanges.

Bitbuy Fees:

Bitbuy values transparency, and they show the actual fee paid in your transaction reports, which is great for writing off those fees at tax time. I really like that they are no trying to pretend there are no fees, and instead are focused on providing liquidity and low fees as a reputable exchange should.

Bitbuy Security:

Bitbuy has a username vs email-based system which is nice, and they have exceptional security. I think this is one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada.

Bitbuy Review
Bitbuy has hardcore security.

Bitbuy has been independently audited and has verified that they have exceeded their internal mandate of 95% of the funds in cold-storage. (This means your 💰 is safe when you have it on their exchange.) You can read the summary of the audit here or read the full report here.

Bitbuy has a very simple interface. I would rank it as the next in ease after Shakepay. This is ideal for most investors, but they also have a full advanced trading platform that has the order book, customizable charts and all that stuff for the ButBuy Pro Trade features.

Bitbuy Altcoins

Lastly, they have a nice variety of altcoins, some of them less common, which allows a 🇨🇦 investor to dig into some very cool crypto projects without the trouble of going to an external exchange like Kraken or Bittrex.

If you do want serious exposure to altcoins, I highly recommend Kraken and Bittrex. Currently, Bitbuy supports these crypto assets:

bitbuy altcoins
AAVE and LINK are coming in May to the Bitbuy Crypto Platform

Bitbuy has 2 new altcoins dropping this month, AAVE and LINK, and the Bitbuy team promised more on the way.

All in all, I loved the experience with Bitbuy and I was surprised by how low the fees were.

Use this link to create your account and get a bonus on signup.

Bitbuy Review & Tutorial With Live Purchase

Bitbuy Apps:

I love checking stats on my app. So having a good app is important to me as an investor.

bitbuy ios app review
Bitbuy's gorgeous new app

Bitbuy has a newly designed iOS and Android app. These make it easy to place trades quickly if you are on the go. I was impressed with the number of positive reviews of the App in the App Store, and part of the video I go into the app.

Bitbuy Team

Recently the Bitbuy team shared a wordcloud that described the work environment over at Bitbuy in Toronto. I thought I would share it so you get a different sense – and internal perspective of Bitbuy.

Bitbuy Review

Bitbuy API:

Bitbuy also has an API. The API can connect to trading software if you are doing a certain volume, or to read-only for free. You can request this from the team. The API connects to tracking platforms like Koinly and CoinStats (who have an awesome lifetime deal right now!)

Bitbuy Video Timestamps:

00:00 Bitbuy Review
1:19 Bitbuy Security Features
2:21 Fully Insured BTC
3:35 Proof of Audit Report
7:05 Main Features
8:58 Support
9:57 Bitbuy Apps for iOS and Android
10:17 Altcoins supported
11:43 Express Trade
13:37 Transaction History
14:27 Pro Trade Features & Tutorial
18:43 Bitbuy fees
21:37 Bitbuy Review & Summary

Bitbuy Summary

I really enjoyed the experience of buying crypto from the Bitbuy App. They really are a good exchange to use. The Express Trades are very simple to execute, while you can look at the order book and see advanced charting data. This makes it easy to develop as a trader and crypto investor.

I LOVE the fact that the fees are not only super-low, but the spreads are low, and the fees are transparent, not hidden. I feel that Bitbuy respects it's customers by being transparent on this issue.

Lastly, I'm excited for the future of Bitbuy. They already have a nice selection of coins, and they are committed to slowly adding more coins as requested by their growing customer base, which is about 40,000 users right now.

Lastly, any Bitcoin you have on the exchange is 100% insured at no extra cost. This is a nice little perk, especially for people who are a little scared of BTC's volatility but are starting to understand that this is an asset class you can't afford not to invest in.

Want to get started with Bitbuy?

Click here to create your account.

Any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

GoPeer Review

My personal experience using GoPeer, a peer-to-peer lending platform for Canadian investors.

GoPeer Review

So what exactly is GoPeer?  GoPeer is Canada's first consumer peer-to-peer lending platform for Canadians. They have been featured in the news here.

What is Peer-To-Peer Lending?

Peer-to-Peer Lending is also known as Crowd-Lending or Alternative Lending.  It is a unique way to earn credit card-type interest without putting up a lot of capital.

Normally, if you are looking to get a loan, you would have to apply for a line-of-credit through a bank or a credit card.  However, peer-to-peer lending offers a unique alternative to traditional lenders.

GoPeer Review

How Is GoPeer Different from Lending Loop?

GoPeer offers consumer loans to individuals. And they allow unaccredited private investors (like myself or any Canadian) to invest in consumer loans. Lending Loop offers business loans to businesses. And they allow private investors to invest in business loans.

So GoPeer offers Canadians peer-to-peer lending on the consumer side, while Lending Loop offers alternative lending for the business side.

If you're interested in learning more about Lending Loop, I have a detailed blog post about my experience with that platform.

How Much Can You Earn From GoPeer?

You can earn credit card type interest. Take a look at a screenshot from the marketplace and you can see how you can be earning between 11.7% and 25.4% interest on your money.

GoPeer Review
GoPeer Platform Dashboard

Is GoPeer Legit and Safe to Use?

GoPeer is a registered in all provinces and territories, and is headquartered in Toronto, ON.

GoPeer is not accredited by BBB, has been established for two years and does not have any reviews on the GoPeer BBB page.

They have 29 ratings on Google Reviews, with an average rating of 4.5 across all ratings.  The negative reviews were mostly people complaingin that they got denied for a loan.

gopeer reviews
GoPeer Reviews on Google

Yes, GoPeer is legit and safe to use. All investments can be risky, and because of the de-stabilizing nature of COVID, it would be prudent to only invest money you can afford to lose.  I like the GoPeer model, however, because of how they vet their clients.  You do need typically a 600+ credit score rating to be approved, and the credit score is shown in the marketplace as one criteria to evaluate which loans you will invest in.

Peer-to-peer lending is not correlated with the stock market, which makes this a good addition to any portfolio, in my opinion.

How does GoPeer Work?

GoPeer is a lending platform that allows you to invest in micro-loans to individuals.  It is a peer-to-peer lending platforms that essentially is an intermediary between borrowers and private investors, allowing average folks to lend money directly to other individuals while earning a substantial return (interest rate) in exchange.

These P2P platforms leverage the power of the multitude to make capital available for businesses to operate and grow the economy.  And for investors, they allow you to diversify into multiple loans, as low as $10 per loan, which reduces your overall risk.

How can I get a peer to peer loan?

You can apply to get a loan here from GoPeer using this link and get $30 back when you may your first payment.  You should have a solid (600+) credit rating, as GoPeer has a proprietary method of evaluating who they will make loans to. 

Reddit has become a source of due diligence these days, but there are not many reviews on Reddit about GoPeer.

Is P2P lending a good investment?

I like P2P lending because you can earn credit-card level interest rates of return.  This is significantly higher than parking your money in bonds, money market accounts, or even a high-yield bank account.

One drawback of P2P lending is the time frame.  You can't liquidate your investment early, so you will have some money locked in for the duration of the loan.  Most loans on GoPeer range from 3-4 years in length, during which your capital illiquid.  I should point out that each month when the loan is repaid, you do get a bit of principle and interest back.

How much does it cost to start peer to peer lending

To fund your account you need to make an initial deposit of $1000.  However, this seems to be more of a barrier-of-entry as you can withdraw most of it after creating your account.  The minimum you can invest in any loan is $10.  This low amount allows you to spread even a meager investment of $100 over 10 different loans, which reduces your overall risk.

Which Loans Should I Invest In?

That depends on your risk profile. Best practice is obviously to spread your money amongst the maximum amount of loans. I tend to favour loans that are C+ or better. Here is the criteria you will see that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether or not to invest in a particular loan.

GoPeer Review
Sample GoPeer Loan

I look at the credit score, the reason for the loan, the debt to income ratio, and the annual salary as a starting point.

Where can I get started with GoPeer?

You can use this link to get started with GoPeer.

You will earn $30 when you invest in your first loan as an investor, or when you make your first payment if you apply for a loan from GoPeer.

If you do have any questions, feel free to reach out in the comments or privately via my contact page.

How Arcade Games Put You In A Flow State

If you don't know what a flow state is exactly, I'll get to that… but first a quick rant about games: One of the things I hate when playing a game is the upsells. Ugh. I get enough of that in the digital marketing space.

Sometimes you just want to let loose and play a simple arcade game – without upsells, without having to install another app.

Who else has too many apps already junking up their screen?

So I found a site recently that has some simple, arcade-style games you can play without any additional apps or software. Yep, old school fun!

It's easy to jump right into a simple arcade game without having to learn 50 new controls, like Red Dead Redemption 2, for example.

How Arcade Games Put You In A Flow State
Red Dead Redemption 2: Takes hours to learn the basic controls

Remember back to when you were a kid at an arcade? Simple controls. Simple instructions.

A Look Back In Time

I remember my Dad used to take us skiing almost every year, and usually we went drove from Toronto, ON to Mansonville, Quebec where there is a ski resort called Owl's Head. Owl's Head, as I recall, had a restaurant with individually packaged Grissol breadsticks with sesame seeds, which I devoured like crazy, and a little arcade room with a Pinball machine and a couple of arcade games.

So when skiiing was over for the day, the kids could log a couple hours exploring the hotel and hopefully playing a few games in the old arcade room.

Why Arcade Games Are So Universally Appealing

So what makes simple games more fun?

I think it's the simplistic nature. It's you vs a computer using simple controls and trying to complete a task. The reason it's pleasurable is because it locks out the thinking part of your brain. It's like a rest for that part of your brain that gets stuck on work, or things to worry about, or an ever-expanding to-do list.

What is the State of Flow?

When you're playing an arcade game, you're locked in. Your focus is at a peak.

To be honest, that's one of the reasons I love playing soccer also. The focus you need means that everything else melts away. All the problems disappear and you're in the game.

I've known about this concept for over a decade, ever since I read a book that changed my life. The book is called Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, and it's by a brilliant guy called Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Yeah, try saying that correctly the first time.

If you're short on time, here's a quick Ted Talk about Flow:

Now, I'm going to make a jump here and state a theory of mine.

How To Instantly Make Yourself Feel Great

Playing simple arcade-style games puts you in a flow state. If you have enough competence to compete, you can put yourself in a flow state by playing games. And I would further argue that simple games tend to put you in flow better than a bunch of expensive games.

Now, there are some exceptions to that. For example, since playing FIFA 21 is ultra-competitive, it can put you in a state of flow. Also, if the storyline is very compelling, as it is often in the sad tale of Arthur Morgan in Red Dead Redemption 2, it can put you flow.

Sometimes a really good movie can put you in a state of flow. But if you find yourself pausing and “checking something” while you're watching Netflix, then you ain't in flow yet, honey.

The Apple Secret

It's no doubt that Apple is a smart company. Apple Arcade launched in 2019 with the same goal – to bring you simple, flow-inducing arcade games. It's clear to me that they wanted to give their customers that feeling you can only get from a simple arcade game.

There's really nothing quite like it.

But Apple Arcade is a monthly subscription. And you know what, thousands of people are paying Apple for the joy of playing simple Arcade games. But there is a better way. The site I found has just as many games, but without a monthly subscription. Double-win! Thank me later.

I just played this game and lost!

How Arcade Games Put You In A Flow State
Funny Soccer

But hey, there's always next time! And I had fun. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger said in the Terminator, “I'll be back!”

But the quickest way to put yourself into flow? Playing a simple game.

And there's whole bunch of them over here on this free site.

So, if you feel stressed, or bothered, or can't get that massive list of things you need to do out of your head, and you need some quick relief. Try playing an arcade game. You'd thank me, but you'd be in a state of flow and you wouldn't even be thinking about me anymore!

Stop! You’re Writing Your YouTube Descriptions All Wrong

YouTube is a behemoth.

They have a total monopoly of an entire section of the internet – and arguably the largest and most important growing segment of the internet, which is video. Now, before you talk about how much video drives IG and TikTok, YouTube is a different platform because people go there to LEARN new things and RESEARCH before buying a product.

youtube is a video monopoly

Transactional Traffic

If you look at the transactional value of YouTube visitors vs TikTik viewers… it's not in the same league. Advertisers value people closer to the end of the buying cycle. But, honestly, YouTube dominates all levels of the buying cycle.

In order to market your product or service, you need to get a prospect to DO something. You need to get them to feel something (maybe regret, FOMO, desire, curiosity, compassion, greed) and subsequently take an action.

👉That action is usually clicking on a link.

If somebody watches your video on YouTube but never clicks, that's ok because they are consuming your content on YouTube's platform, but for the marketing needle to move, you need to get that viewer to click on something and take them off the platform. This goal is contrary to YouTube's main objective, which is feeding you a constant supply of videos geared towards what will keep you watching endless videos on their platform.

YouTube knows the most valuable metrics for their platform: watchtime, which means keeping viewers on THEIR platform. And they have a sophisticated system designed by some very smart people to keep you surrounded by enticing video thumbnails just a click away. (There was an interesting section in the documentary, The Social Dilemma where one of the creators of the YouTube Suggest Algorithm, Guillaume Chaslot, a former YouTube Engineer, stated he regretted creating it because it was designed to create polarization.)

It's a good watch if you haven't seen it:

One of my favourite quotes from the movie is:

Algorithms are opinions embedded in code.

-Cathy O'Neil Author of Weapons of Math Destruction

But, that's a side note to this topic, which really about getting better and more measurable results from you YouTube marketing actions.

What Action Should Your YouTube Viewers Take?

If your goal is to generate revenue from your YouTube marketing efforts, listen up! If you put up a YouTube video, your main marketing metric should be generating link clicks away from YouTube. You want somebody to click over to your site and download a white paper, or register for a webinar, or click over to an affiliate page (and buy) or go to your online store and buy, or even go to your blog and immerse themselves in your content.

Stop! You're Writing Your YouTube Descriptions All Wrong
Where are you sending your viewers?

So… are you tracking your clicks from YouTube?

If not, you should be.

The 2 Ways To Get Clicks From Your YouTube Videos

There are 2 main ways YouTube viewers can click your links.

First is in the comments section. This is why you should ALWAYS pin a comment and have a link in that first comment that everybody is going to see.

This is a prime spot to display a short marketing message and call-to-action.

The second way is in your YouTube Description. Your YouTube description is gold, and you are likely not using this space effectively.

So what is the value of your YouTube Description? Well, think of it as an advertiser. The way Google (and subsequently YouTube) makes money is by selling ads to advertisers via a bidding system. This is the same as every social media platform. They are monetized by ad revenue.

Here is a blog post that explains how to run YouTube Ads if you are curious.

And with YouTube, you can see which keywords are more profitable than others (meaning advertisers are willing to pay more per click for each click) by using a tool like WhatsMySerp. This is one way of evaluating which keywords you should be writing more content about.

Some keywords are very profitable:

Stop! You're Writing Your YouTube Descriptions All Wrong

That is what advertisers are paying PER CLICK, not per lead.

So think of each click you get as worth at least a click from an ad you are paying for, and maybe more. Why might you consider link clicks from your description to be worth more? Simple answer.

Bias.

Everyone knows when they click on an ad, they might be sold something, but when you click on a link in a YouTube description, the viewer is not sure. Sure, it could be obvious from the text that it's selling something, or that it's an affiliate link, but it might be just informational. A non-incentivized click could be worth even more.

So, are you tracking or measuring the clicks you are getting from your YouTube Description?

I see many people who are not.

peter drucker

“What gets measured, gets managed.”

– Peter Drucker

If you don't at least measure your links, you have no ability to improve or make changes to improve your marketing results.

You will never know which links are more appealing to your audience. Guessing is not a strategy. So it's important to measure.

Some people use something like Bit.ly to track how many clicks you are getting. This is helpful, but if you are using the free version of Bit.ly, like most people are, you can't update the links if you want to change the URL they are going to. At some point, this will be a problem and you will lose profitable traffic.

Personally, I use Linkalytics.io which is a link tracker/shortener and which allows even free users to update the links. (Side note: I hate dead links. No matter what happens, you will end up with dead links. It's just part of the internet.) So using a link tracker gets a rough number on how many people are clicking on your links.

So what I did with Linkalytics was setup a “Campaign” called “AMTV Default Text” which tracks all of my link clicks from my YouTube Description box – so I can see as an entire group how many clicks these links are generating. (You can see the screenshot from part of this campaign below.)

Stop! You're Writing Your YouTube Descriptions All Wrong

And when I changed all my YouTube description links, I was surprised to see how many links were being clicked. The image was taken after about a week and a half after tracking the links from my YouTube Description box from a small channel with only 4K subscribers.

I also got some insight into which links were being clicked more frequently, some of which surprised me. Now that's a good thing because I'm no longer just guessing which call-to-actions in my YouTube Description box are resonating with my viewers – I have actionable data.

I want to point out again, all of these clicks are free. Sure, it takes time and effort to put up YouTube videos and optimize them, but once you do, you start getting free link clicks each month.

And I will say, compared to other social media platforms, YouTube gets me the most free clicks to my websites.

The 2 Parts Of Your YouTube Description

Now let me break down how I see the YouTube Description. There are 2 distinct parts to it.

The first part is the text about the video. This is going to explain in text to YouTube's algorithm and to viewers what the video is about. This is my SEO-pumped description specific to that particular video. I always write a short article/description about the video which I think of as a short, stream-of-consciousness article that I write on the spot.

I also make sure to include 3 hashtags (which YouTube will hyperlink under the video player.) I often include Chapters to boost my video SEO and also to make it easier for viewers to skip to the parts of the video they want to see. This section may include a link or two that are specific to that video.

But the second part of the YouTube description is the EXACT SAME for all my videos. This is the default text description that I set in Youtube here:

Stop! You're Writing Your YouTube Descriptions All Wrong

And it's important that it's exactly the same for each video. I'll explain why in a second.

This second part of my YouTube description is my money section.

I link to affiliate products that I love and that convert well. I link to landing pages and webinar opt-in pages that will help prospects get on my list and into my funnel. I include a call-to-action to encourage viewers to subscribe, leave a comment, and to follow me on different social media platforms.

With each video I put up, I get more and more eyeballs on these important links every month… for free. It doesn't even matter what the video is about. It will get clicks.

Side Note: Another important reason to track your links and use a link shortener is to create curiosity. A naked affiliate link will chase away clicks, while a cloaked link will encourage clicks through curiosity.

Which would you rather click on?

https://hoply.io/secrethack
or
https://artlist.io/artlist-70446/?artlist_aid=andrewmurraytv_926&utm_source=affiliate_p&utm_medium=andrewmurraytv_926&utm_campaign=andrewmurraytv_926

Pretty obvious, right?

The Secret Of The Bulk Update

Now here's why it's so important to keep it the same for each video: Bulk replace.

You can use bulk replace to update sections of your YouTube Description all at once. And if you put up videos regularly, you will find this truly an oasis in the desert.

Pro Tip: I use a tool called TubeBuddy to do that. TubeBuddy is free, but has a paid version with more features. Use the coupon code AndrewMurrayBuddy to get 20% off the paid version.

If I want to add a new link to my default YouTube Description, I replace the old one and add a new one. And I never have to waste time going through each of my 500 videos one-by-one doing mind-numbing, brain-contracting work.

Here is a video showing how I bulk-update to add a new link to my YouTube default description:

See the kind of time that saves? It's magic! Plus, it allows me to be flexible and test out a new capture page and get traffic to it immediately! It feels good, right?

There is one more thing I want you to know about your YouTube Description links, however, and that is that you can drop a retargeting pixel on everyone who clicks on your links. Linkalytics allows you to add your pixel, let's say for Facebook, and embeds it into the link, with your visitor non-the-wiser.

So while you are getting new clicks, and tracking new clicks, you're building up a list of active people you can run retargeting ads to – who already know who you are.

Retargeting is the easiest and lowest-cost way to drip your toe into the waters of paid marketing. Plus, you don't need to actually “target” your ads, since you are advertising to a very responsive targeting group already. (And targeting is the #1 mistake people make when getting started with paid ads.). So, have I got you excited about the potential you have in your YouTube description right now? What are you waiting for?

Create a free account with Linkalytics right now and start getting more results out of your YouTube videos.

Happy tracking!