Thursday, February 4, 2016

Niche Site Project Call #4 with Perrin & Colleen: Launching Your Site and Grinding Out Content

Hey, gang! Perrin here, and I’m delivering our fourth coaching call.

First, we’ve had a brief hiatus, so let’s take a second to cover what’s been going on with Colleen’s site in the last couple of weeks.

Well… we launched!

We’re at a pretty exciting point in the process. We’ve officially launched Colleen’s website. So it’s up and running, and, believe it or not, it’s actually starting to look like a real thing. Cool!

I took last week off, but that doesn’t mean Colleen did! She’s been hard at work.

If you remember our last call, we’d found a bunch of great keywords, and we were working on ways to organize them into a cohesive site architecture. In simpler terms, that means we were prioritizing the keywords we thought were easiest and organizing them into categories.

Having done that, it was pretty easy for Colleen to set off on her own and start putting in a bit of elbow grease. And, so far, in my opinion, she’s doing an excellent job. In the last 10 days or so, Colleen’s been able to publish about 12 articles, which is an excellent start.

It’s easy to forget how rewarding this is.

You’ll hear Colleen talk about this a bit in the coaching call below, but I figured it was worth mentioning—and will hopefully be motivating—but seeing a new site start to materialize is really, really rewarding.

Not all sites work. There’s always risk. You know the drill. However, there’s a very fun sense of hope and excitement when you start a new site. And this is especially true for Colleen, who’s looking to turn this site into a full-time income and create a new career/life path for herself.

This is when it starts to feel real—when it starts to feel like you’ve finally got a bit of clay in your hands: something to work with.

So, my not-so-tactical-and-more-emotional advice is: power through and get 10 articles up, and make the site look nice. Most of the time, if you’re like Colleen and me, you’ll feel 100x more motivated.

That said, we hit a few snags…

It turns out that Colleen is a perfectly normal person, so she (unsurprisingly) doesn’t enjoy sacrificing all of her nights and weekends to write 5,000,000 words every day of the week. She realized pretty quickly that something had to change.

As you’ll hear from her on our call, she does enjoy writing about the stuff in her market. She does enjoy learning (from my point of view, she’s already more of an expert than 90% of the general population). But the raw hours it takes to get that first batch of content published was wearing her down.

And believe me… I know the feeling.

So, we pivoted (again).

Notice a theme here? We’re pivoting—on something—in just about every single call.

That’s good! There’s no step-by-step system for SEO. It’s fluid, and you have to adapt. You have to adapt to your market, your budget, your circumstances, and any number of other things. So that’s what we’re doing.

Colleen’s being super smart about this. She’s doing a fantastic job writing, but she knows she doesn’t want to slog through the huge stack of keywords we’ve got much longer.

So, we decided to make a few changes.

First, we’re going to publish 40 articles instead of 60 (to start). We’d originally wanted to publish 60 articles on the site. And really, more content is almost always better from a pure traffic and revenue perspective. But there are other things to take into consideration.

We had to stop for a second and seriously ask ourselves, “Is it better to launch with 60 articles and start marketing three weeks later? Or does it make more sense to publish a smaller—but still strong—batch of articles and start marketing sooner?”

Because Colleen is getting burnt out on writing, and because we’re trying to be efficient, we figured the best tactical move was to publish 40 articles and start marketing as soon as possible. That’s still a lot of articles (I started aPennyShaved with only 15 articles).

Second, we’re going to publish fewer categories. We’d originally thought Colleen’s site would have about five categories. That’s just how the keywords were organizing themselves, and we figured we had more than enough content to fill up 5 categories.

However, since we’re going to reduce the size of our initial batch of content, having five categories just doesn’t make sense. That would mean that each category would only have eight articles. I suppose that’s alright, but—just going by our guts—it feels like a better play to write 20 articles in two categories. That’ll give the site a lot more depth.

In other words, we’re niching down.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we’ll never expand into those other categories. As the site grows, we’ve got that option. We’ve already done the keyword research. But for now, we’re going to aim for fewer, but deeper, categories.

We’re also going to dip into our budget to outsource some content.

This is the main topic of our coaching call this week.

Colleen and I decided that we want to get this baby out in the market sooner. We also figured out that, while Colleen is an excellent writer, it’s not her favorite thing in the world to do. So we’re going to outsource it.

I want to point something out here, though: with the relatively small budget of $500, you can’t outsource both content and link building. You have to pick one.

There are a lot of things you can spend money on when you build a site. Logos. Infographics. A virtual assistant to help you post. Someone to help you build links. Really, it’s easy to spend money.

Colleen made the decision to spend most of her whole budget on content for the sake of speed. That means we’re going to be doing almost everything else ourselves. And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how tough link building can be…

Is this smart? Or is it the dumbest think we could have done? I suppose we’ll find out! And I think the main takeaway here is that sometimes you just have to make a call and take a swing.

How are we going to do that?

We go over this in detail in the video. You can also read my article about hiring and managing writers here. But, in general, there are three main ways to outsource content.

  • Hire an agency
  • Hire a friend
  • Hire a career/professional writer from a marketplace

I’ve done them all. I’ve used just about every content agency out there. I’ve hired tons of friends—from old college friends to Spencer’s uncle to my dad’s old assistant. And, of course, I’ve hired professional writers from Elance and Upwork.

There’s no shortage of writers in the world. But there are some pretty serious pros and cons for each, and if you happen to land on a bad one, it’s very easy to lose money.

This is the most important thing for us: it’s absolutely critical not to lose money on writers, since our budget is so small. Every dollar has to count.

If you’re curious about the exact method we’re going to try (or the methods I currently use for my own site), check out our coaching call below.

If you would rather listen to the audio only, you can download it here.

Wrapping it up…

All in all, we’re super stoked! The site’s starting to come together, and we hope to be ready to show it to you guys soon!

What do you think? Outsourcing is always a pretty hot topic here, and for a lot of folks, it can be a major road block. Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments!

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