Hollywood scriptwriters will tell you that the magic number for how long a script should ideally be is 102 pages. One page of script roughly equates to one minute of screen time. So a 102-page script will result in a 102-minute movie. And that’s the supposed best length for a film to be, because it’s not too short that the story suffers and it’s not too long that the audience begins to shift in their seats, or worse, fall asleep.
So it was with some shock that I registered that some of the video tutorials in Chad Hamzeh’s Traffic BlackBook course were 116 minutes, 157 minutes, and a whopping 166 minutes in length. Taking the ‘black book’ theme, Paul Verhoeven’s 2006 film Black Book – about the Dutch resistance in WWII – is 145 minutes in length and only gets away with it because it’s gripping and superb. Most other films flounder if they break the 120-minute mark. Chad’s video tutorials certainly flounder – and a lot sooner than 120 minutes.
For $47 you can access the 14.4-hour video course and digest the videos at your own leisure. Except that you might need an indigestion tablet to deal with the excess fluff and there’s not a lot leisurely about sitting through this course. It’s not that the videos aren’t generally informative – because they are – it’s just that I’m sure they could have been cut down. The 14 hours is spread over 9 videos and some might think they’d be glad of such an extensive running-time for the price they’re paying. But I’m not one of them.
Traffic BlackBook is based around the subject of increasing the amount of paid traffic to your websites and your email list that might result in sales. The video modules break down as follows: Introduction and Profit 101 (68 mins); PA Network Acceptance & Super Affiliate Habits (62 mins); Bidding Strategies & Mind Control 101 (157 mins); The Social Network (166 mins); PPV Sniper Targeting (116 mins); Media Buying Blitz (94 mins); Traffic Networks, The World Outside The Box (100 mins); Tracking (64 mins); and Where to From Here? (47 mins). This course focuses not only on the obvious pay per click and pay per view, but also on methods like media buys, Facebook advertising, social networking, banner advertising, and CPM marketing, amongst others. A lot of ground is covered in your 14-hour marathon and you’re left feeling unafraid of the potential of acquiring paid traffic.
The videos are mostly comprised of PowerPoint-kind-of-stuff, much like the over-long (and annoyingly undefined) running-time of the video on his sales-page. There’s a lot of word-slides on the video that correspond with the voice-over, and inserted images to give clarity to what he’s saying. Gripping and superb it is not: it’s bum-numbing stuff (or fanny-numbing if you’re American), and much longer than it needs to be.
That said, there are some nuggets of information if you can stay awake long enough to pay attention (at one moment I found myself counting the how many rungs there are on my radiator), and there are some interesting alternative methods for paid traffic generation presented: enough to warrant its price. You also get email assistance and Chad seems to be an approachable guy.
One down-side is the pricey up-sells, which include case-studies and more cost per action (CPA) training (you’ll find yourself wanting the latter one).
Ultimately, despite the over-long and quite dull videos (perhaps a few cuts to Chad himself, or more moving screen-grabs would have been more watchable), I did learn a fair bit of new information about paid-for traffic generation. If this type of marketing doesn’t scare you off, then perhaps it’ll be worth the endurance test of working your way through the course. Just make sure you have plenty of energy drinks and Kendal Mint Cake.