#31 How Perrin Grew a Brand New Site to Over 100,000 Monthly Visitors in Under a Year By Building a Content Machine

Most of us here are either marketers or entrepreneurs. We like talking about money. We build links. We optimize. We launch products. We promote, promote, promote.

But we often skip over one of the most essential parts of internet marketing: content.

And no: I’m not talking about that “content is king” B.S. I’m talking about content as an engine--an engine that needs to be built--but also an engine that can run totally on it’s own if you build it right.

I’m talking about content automation.

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Here’s the difference it made in my business…

I started my current site in January of 2015.

I didn’t have much of a budget, and hadn’t experimented much with automation.

Sure, I’d outsourced before, but it was still a terribly inefficient process.

In the first two months of that site, I wrote 60,000 words of content.

No joke.

That’s about as much as a novel.

It was insane.

It occupied every night and virtually every weekend.

More than that, though, I was totally and completely burnt out.

I then paid a couple writers to write another 50,000 words.

This saved me some time, but my training was crap, so I ended up spending almost as much time editing as I did writing.

By the end of February, I’d published about 75 articles, and I felt great about my site, but I knew that I would never ever do that again. I did not enjoy it.

I felt like a slave to my own business.

I spent the next couple of months focusing on marketing, and when the site started to earn a bit of money, I wanted to grow by adding more content.

I’d already decided I wasn’t going to write another 60,000 words, so I started to develop an automated content production machine.

I’ll tell you more about how exactly my machine works like below, but before I do that, I want to tell you what the end result looks like.

My site’s been live for just over a year now. This is my post section:

How to automate content

That’s actually not all the posts for the site. I’ll be publishing another 40 or so this month.

And here is the growth of the traffic​:

​Clearly, there is a correlation between posting more and getting more organic traffic.

On average for the year, I’ve published about once a day. Remember, though, that I only really started making money and building a content machine around the 7-month mark, which means in the last 6 months, I’ve published roughly 200 posts.

I’m basically publishing as many posts as I can afford.

As the site grows, I’ll likely scale up content production even higher.

How is this possible?

Well, I built a machine. And, honestly, it took a long time. I spent about a month refining all the systems that make up my content factory.

When I was developing my machine, “hands-off,” to me, meant that I didn’t want to touch any part of the editorial process.

Writing. Editing. Posting. None of it.

I wanted other people doing everything.

In other words, I wanted my machine to eat keywords and spit out content.

I basically wanted it to be a Roomba: working around the clock while I was doing other stuff.

Content automation machine

Source

And man… let me tell you: it is a gooood feeling. The only thing I do these days is keyword research.

Then I hand off the keywords (and transfer some money, of course), and a couple days later, amazing, quality, edited, polished content appears on my site.

It feels like magic.

This is convenient, of course, but the most important part of this is that I’ve been able to focus 100% on marketing and growth, which has been a major factor in the success of the site.

Here’s the thing to remember: the growth of my site isn’t (or shouldn’t be) static.

Because I’m not writing, I can do more marketing and tweak monetization, so each piece of content will be (probably) earn more.

That will allow me to publish more--especially since I have a working content machine--which, in turn, will make more money…

...you can see where this is going. It’s a snowball. You just have to get it going.

Why should I even worry about automating content production?

To anyone who’s gone through the headache of scaling a site, this might seem like a stupid, obvious question.

In fact, I’d say automated content production this is one of the things people want most. I see questions like this all the time: “Can you outsource all your content?” And the next question is invariably, “How the hell do you do it?”

In other words, content is a major pain point for lots of marketers.

I suspect that’s because internet marketing often attracts a highly technical crowd--people who like solving puzzles and creating systems, and often, these are not the people who enjoy creating content.

And a lot of the time, site builders find themselves in situations where either (1) they are stuck creating all the content themselves, or (2) because they don’t understand content and writers, the systems they create require more resources than they save, resulting in a negative ROI.

So it’s painful. That’s a given. We all feel it. Having a 100% hands-off system that generates amazing content that appears on our sites by itself is… well, the dream.

But what’s the business case for content automation?

1 - Content is arguably the biggest time-suck for any site, and if your site’s making money, writing content is not a good use of your time.

Here’s a reality check: if you’re going to be a serious internet marketer, at some point, you need to transition from grunt work to higher-level strategic activities.

If you’re the guy writing all the content, you just won’t have the bandwidth to focus on real growth. You won’t be able to market as effectively. You won’t be able to build a serious brand. You won’t be able to develop a network.

When your business starts gaining traction, you need to be the engine of growth, and you cannot do that if you’re spending most of your day writing and editing blog posts.

2 - Automated content systems can produce way more content than you can on your own (and remember, content = traffic)

You’re just one person. There’s only so much content you can write. And, be honest with yourself, how much content could you realistically write every month?

Even if you were writing at a superhuman pace, how long could you keep it up?

And would it cut into your marketing activities?

Hint: no one person can scale content alone.

Believe me.

I’ve tried. Before getting into internet marketing, I was a writer for a living for almost a decade.

I spent 10 years learning how to generate lots of content, and even I burnt myself out on my own sites.

Systems are better.

Systems don’t rely on one person (not good ones, anyway).

A system can break the monumental task of scaling content into manageable chunks spread over a larger number of resources.

Here’s another way to look at it :

Suppose you have 10 articles to write, and each one takes an hour.

One writer operating at peak efficiency could write 10 articles in 10 hours (of course, realistically, there’s no way that would happen--it would probably be more like 15 hours spread out over a couple days).

But 10 writers could get all 10 articles written in about an hour.

Obviously, there are other things to take into account (e.g. the resources it takes to train and hire writers, making sure your writers have enough work), but I hope you can still see the theoretical value: systems scale. You don’t.

In other words, if you are your only resource, your content production has a built-in ceiling. If you have a good system with a positive ROI, you can scale it to the moon and back.

And, of course, if your content has a positive ROI, you want to hit the “publish” button as often as you can, since printing content is essentially the same as printing money.

DISCLAIMER: You should NOT automate content when you first start a site.

This question makes me so damn mad: “Can I just automate everything?”

Almost always, it’s a brand-new site builder who feels overwhelmed and just wants to pay someone to do everything for him.

So I want to set some expectations before I give you the keys to the Batmobile. You really should not automate content when you start a site.

Don’t hurt me. Let me explain.

Starting a site requires a lot more than writing a few articles and building a few links.

Starting a site is essentially a courtship between you and the readers in that market. You want to woo them. You want them to come to your site and like it enough to stay, read, and click--or even subscribe.

You can’t do that if you don’t know them.

You need to know what questions they’re asking. You need to know which products they’re buying. You need to know their general temperament. You have to know what makes them happy, and you have to know what pisses them off.

For my money, the best way to do that is to get your hands dirty and write some really well-researched articles.

Why is this the best way?

Because you learn so much by simply writing some articles--especially in a new niche. To write just one article, you’ll have to read 4 or 5 other blog posts, usually authorities in your niche. You may have to look at products and read reviews. You might review some of the most popular affiliate products.

And if you don’t know your own niche, you can’t outsource or automate ANYTHING. How could you? You wouldn’t be able to train anyone to do anything--or even know what was good work and what was bad work.

I typically recommend you write at least 20 articles for a new site to get to know the market and to get a good read on your audience. Here’s my point in a nutshell:

Can you automate everything? Yes.

Should you automate everything at the beginning? No.

When should you automate? When you’ve got a successful site and want to scale.

What’s the #1 rule of content automation? SIMPLICITY.

Real quick, I just want to show you some of the ridiculous content workflows I’ve seen. I’m not trying to put anyone down here. And the people who came up with these aren’t bad people.

I’m just trying to say that their content workflows are totally stupid, and they should feel bad. Check it out.

Ridiculous content automation

Source

...because we all need a "listening" phase in our content workflows...

What in the living hell? It's like Pan's Labyrinth in here:

Terrible content workflow

Source

...and this is what happens when everyone in your department has to feel like they're being productive. 

Man… I can’t even tell what’s going on in the graphs. Can you imagine trying to automate every part of that process?

It would be a nightmare.

Before we dive into how to build your content automation machine, I’d like for you to take one piece of advice and file it away: for this to work, you need to keep your machine as simple as possible.

I see the opposite all the time, and it destroys what could otherwise be well-oiled content machines.

Instead of breaking the process down into a few easy parts, people create these gigantic workflows that take a magnifying glass and a graphing calculator to figure out.

If that’s you, stop.

Go simple. I'm going to show you my workflows below, but here's a sneak-peek example just to show you how simple it is.

I keep it as simple as humanly possible. Here’s why:

  • The fewer moving parts you have, the fewer people you’ll need to train and hire, which will significantly reduce your spend.
  • Writers are very easily overwhelmed people. If you can make it easy for them, you’ll find it easier to hire, train, and retain great writers.
  • Project management becomes an order of magnitude easier.

This really should be common sense, right? A workflow with three processes is much easier to automate than a workflow with a dozen processes.

But workflows are funny, man. People love to overcomplicate them--just… for the sake of making something fancy.

Just remember: our goal is to get this process completely out of our hands, and to do that, we need to make it as simple as possible.

Gael's Notes                 

Heck yeah, Big content costs a LOT of money. I understand we all want the best all the time but looking back now, I wish we had spent less on many pieces of content that had no particular goal in our content strategy and spent more in other areas like PPC or Design.

Here’s a quick overview of the 3 pillars of content automation.

In the spirit of keeping things simple, I break content automation into just three parts: sourcing your writing, training your writers, and editing & posting.

Of course, developing each of these requires it’s own explanation, process, strategy and tactics. But let’s chat about them all for just a minute, so you can have a picture of the overall machine in mind when we start diving into the details.

  • ​Sourcing your writing. This means finding some to transform keywords into content. We'll talk about all the different ways you can do this below. 
  • Training. Training covers everything your teams need to create a blog post and post it. Almost always, this takes the form of an article brief (instructions) and a tutorial video.
  • Editing and posting. This is everything that takes place after content is written to ensure it meets quality standards and goes live on your site.

Step 1: Sourcing Your Content

I want to give you a slightly controversial piece of advice: if you’re trying to automate your content production, either pay more for better writers or hire an editor.

It’s just so much easier.

Lots of people will disagree with me on this. Chris Lee, for example, infamously pays $5 for articles (Chris’s $5 articles turn out really well, by the way; he just spends more time editing--and, as another note, the last time I spoke to Chris, he told me his own content system has evolved, allowing him to hire a full-time writer).

And I’m sure you’ve seen a few sites out there throwing up hundreds of low-grade articles, hoping to ranking for anything.

In fact, most newer internet marketers go into their first attempts at automation trying to get the dollar-per-article cost as low as possible.

Don’t do that. Pay more. 

If you hire good enough writers, you won’t have to spend any time editing them. None. And editing is probably the second-biggest timesuck after writing.

I tried to source articles for $5. It worked. And if your goal is to keep raw dollar costs low, you should do it. But I spent almost as much time editing those articles as I would have just writing them myself. That's a massive trade-off.

Remember our goal here: we want to automate while making a profit.

If your operation is profitable, it's not that important to spend more per article, and if your content is better, you have more chances to make your site profitable.

To do that, we’ll try to either (1) hire writers who can edit themselves or (2) hire someone to edit for us. Both of those will cost more than $5/article, of course, but they’ll also allow you to completely step away from the content creation process.

What are my sourcing options?

#1 Hire and train a single writer

#2 Build a small team of freelancers

#3 Use an agency or a marketplace

What do we do?

Gael and I have different preferences.

Gael loves scaling. Gael also has a lot more money than me.

Gael used to source content primarily through marketplaces like TextBroker. He wanted a lot of content quickly, and with marketplaces, you can order hundreds of articles at a time.

However, TextBroker proved to be a bit too inconsistent. So, Gael hired two full-time writers and one full-time editor. Gael wanted people he could train to write the Health Ambition way, so he hired some awesome, professional writers from UpWork

I have a lower budget and prefer a slightly more personal touch, so I use a combination of an agency (wordagents) + a small team of regular freelancers.

I use an agency with a project manager to source “easier” content (although it’s still great stuff--mostly because I have an awesome relationship with my project manager, and he takes care of me), and I use two top-tier freelancers for “hard” content (usually affiliate content or stuff I’m using for skyscraper campaigns).

How you source your content will depend on what your site needs, your tolerance for management, and your budget. Do what works for you.

Step 2: Training Your Writers

Training is arguably the most important part of content automation. It’s certainly what most people get wrong.

And most people get it wrong for the reasons mentioned above: they over-complicate it.

We don’t want to do that.

It’s crucial that your training is:

  1. clear
  2. simple.

​Why? Because we want to be able to give ANY writer the training materials and get a good article back.

I’m telling you from experience managing dozens of writers over the last four years: that won’t happen unless your training is clear, simple and, ideally, short.

When I bring on a new writer, I give them three things:

  • An article brief
  • Article examples
  • A video tutorial of both the instructions and examples

Let’s break these down.

What is an article brief?

An article brief is a set of instructions for a given article. It’s the outline. The roadmap. The checklist. It’s the single most important training document you’ll create, so it’s the most important to get right.

Here’s what I include in my briefs.

  • General guidelines. These include purpose, tone, length and grammar/style.
  • An outline for each section. What should be included in each section + word count.
  • A list of sources and examples. Anything that will make research easier.

Here’s an example. This is for a short, informational article, and I like to give my writers a bit more freedom with these pieces, but it’s still a good example of the kinds of briefs I create.

Article Brief Outsourcing Writing

Why a tutorial video?

A tutorial video is a visual walkthrough of both the article brief and examples. It’s meant to bridge the gap between written instructions and the final product so the writer can see it with his or her own eyes.

Again, these should be simple. And don’t explain everything. Remember: they have a copy of the instructions, and they can read. For the most part, draw attention to critical elements, and then discuss the structure of the article.

Here’s a video tutorial of my video tutorials.

Try to keep it under 2 minutes. It should be short and very to the point. It should not be you rambling for 10 minutes.

What about examples?

You’ll also want to provide your writers with examples. Be careful here, though.

Writers will often follow your examples more closely than your brief.

So make sure you show them articles that are very close to what you want them to write.

If I don’t have any examples of a certain type of article, I’ll create it myself.

In fact, that’s what I prefer to do; writing one amazing example article can save you hundreds--or even thousands--of hours of editing over the lifetime of your site

Where do I put all this stuff?

I prefer to put everything on my site.

First, it gives your writers one place with all the information. I typically create a brief, a tutorial video, and a list of examples for each type of article on my site.

Then, I’ll create a password-protected page writers can log into.

That page will have a section for each article type as well as a section for general guidelines (tone, style, grammar, etc.).

Your other option, of course, is to email everything to every writer when you hand out assignments, but we want to automate this thing as much as possible, and that takes more work. In my view, a simple training page is is the most efficient way to do it.

Training in a nutshell…

Let’s look at this from a bird’s eye view.

A writer starts working with you. They start with zero instructions. You give them

  1. a simple, one-page article brief telling them exactly how to write and structure articles
  2. a short, clear tutorial video where you show them exactly how the brief translates to a live article
  3. a list of examples that look exactly like what you want the final product to look like.

It’s not overwhelming. It takes 5 minutes to consume. And they now know exactly what to do. It makes it extremely easy to start right away, and it makes it extremely hard to make mistakes.

That, my friends, is how you arm your writers for battle, and they will love you for it.

Step 3: Editing & Posting

I hate editing and posting content.

It’s the bane of my existence.

For me, it eats up more time than anything else by far.

This is especially true if you’re using a service that requires editing and a high-end, front-end editor like Thrive.

In my opinion, this is one of the most important things to outsource.

That said, posting articles to WordPress is also one of the easiest things to screw up.

There are just so many things that can go wrong.

Every WordPress theme is different. Every article is different.

You might want things to look a certain way.

You may need someone to log into a stock photo account.

And the list goes on.

The solution, as it was with writers, is amazing training documents for whoever will be uploading.

Here’s what your training documents should look like.

First, you’ll need two documents, just like you did with your article training:

  • Written click-by-click instructions
  • A click-by-click video tutorial

When I say “click-by-click,” I mean it.

Show every single click. Every tiny option you take for granted. Everything you think is a given. Show it all and document it. This is the biggest difference between these documents and those you used to train writers: these training documents need to be as detailed as possible. They should still be extremely clear and very simple.

But they must show every click.

Here’s an example of my posting instructions (honestly, these are not as good as they should be; I just have a really good writer/poster who’s figured it out).

How to post to wordpress

I’d then create a video walking through the instructions step-by-step, click-by-click.

However, since, while posting can be taught to almost anyone, editing is a “deeper” skill. Here are some of the ways you can combine the two.

Option 1: Edit & Post the content yourself

Option 2: Train your writers to post (Perrin's preference)

Option 3: Hire a dedicated editor and poster

Option 4: Hire both an editor AND an uploader / poster (Gael's preference)

Step 4: Refine Your System

...Phew…

That’s a lot to take in. I want to quickly review why we’ve spent so much time on this stuff before talking about how to turn it into a system.

There’s one reason.

If you’ve hit a bullseye ALL this stuff:

  • You’ve found a good writer or a source for good writers
  • You’ve trained your writers properly and created amazing briefs
  • You’ve found and trained someone to edit
  • You’ve found and trained someone to post content

...if you’ve got every single one of those things in place and running at peak efficiency…

Making a system becomes extraordinarily easy. You only need two things:

  • A way to keep track of content
  • A way to get content to the next person in line

To keep track of content, I use a simple Google Sheet. You only need two columns: (1) keyword/topic and (2) status. Do NOT clutter up your spreadsheet with a bunch of useless crap. All you need to know is what article it is and where it’s at.

Most of the time I handle this myself. If you’ve hired a higher-quality agency, they may even take care of this part for you.

To move content through your pipeline, it’s imperative that you train your team members to communicate. By that I mean that your writer should email your editor, and your editor should email your uploader, etc.

Remember: the goal is automation. So remove yourself when you can.

Importantly, that does not mean you should NOT communicate. You absolutely should check in with your team members. It just means that they should be the ones moving the content along. It should not have to come to you at every step of the process.

Here are a few sample workflows based on the systems described above.

The simplest possible workflow (and the one I prefer: just you and a writer who also posts.

Here’s an example of a workflow with a writing source and dedicated editor/poster.

And here’s one that includes both an editor and a poster.

Gael's Notes                 

Given the fact that we have a slightly bigger team and use Asana instead of email for Health Ambition, I thought I'd ask Mark to give you a little walkthrough of our communication system:

Wrapping it up…

This is just the way I do it. However, if you’ll allow me to toot m’horn, I do think my content machine is much more efficient that most.

All I do is email a list of keywords to my writer and everything else takes care of itself. It took time. It wasn’t easy. I had to go through bad writers, failed experiments, terrible agencies and crappy editors to find a system that worked.

But now, it just… eats keywords and sh*ts content. And it feels goooood.

I’ve honestly been trying to wrap up this post for like four days.

I keep thinking of other stuff to put in.

I also know this stuff is daunting.

So do me a favor?

Hit me with questions (or your own content-automation tactics) in the comments below, and we’ll use that space to flesh this thing out.

Sound good?

Perrin Carrell
 

Hey there :) I'm Perrin, part of the Authority Hacker team. When I'm not blogging about Internet Marketing here, I help businesses improve their online presence, and, of course, I run a couple profitable blogs of my own.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 51 comments
The Dude - May 16, 2016

Question before I read the whole thing: is the text different from the podcast?

Reply
Pedro Pereira - May 16, 2016

Really interesting article. Content is the always king on SEO :)

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Muhammad Imran - May 16, 2016

Nice post with all the details and citation. Great one.
By the way, You’re the Perrin who was in Spencer project, in which Spencer (Long Tail Pro) teach a newbie???

Thanks,
M Imran

Reply
Vin - May 16, 2016

Thanks for the mention, Perrin!

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Jeff - May 16, 2016

Great stuff! Thanks for outlining your process. Are you (or are you considering) also automating the post-posting work, i.e. social media/sharing/outreach/distribution of the content?

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    Perrin Carrell - May 16, 2016

    I don’t automate most of this stuff, but Gael does. At Health Ambition, each blog literally gets it’s own outreach campaign as soon as it’s posted. It’s amazing.

    Reply
Mange - May 16, 2016

Hi. Thanks for the article. It proves my way of thinking is on the right track…

Regards,
A fellow #entreprenour and writer

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Josie Darthy - May 16, 2016

What’s a reasonable rate to expect to pay for content (specifically curated content) $5 seems low but very appealing for budgeting reasons. What range should be expected for a decent or good article to be written?

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    Perrin Carrell - May 16, 2016

    I always say pay more. In general, cheap content = bad results.

    If you’re doing everything right, even “failed” content should make back that $50 (about what I spend on $1,500) in 3-6mo. Gael made a really good calculator to work out your content ROI in the member’s area; it’s great for understanding exactly what you can afford to spend.

    Reply
Steve - May 16, 2016

Hello Perrin

Impressive work and impressive post!

What’s your feeling about long form content v short form posts? I note that your process is largely geared around blog sized posts.

best

Steve

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Gerard - May 16, 2016

Amazing read as ever from you guys. I’m chugging away at writing my own content (per your point about feeling your way through your own site / niche to begin with) but thinking ahead to how I systematise the process. Really great to see how it is possible with some perseverance. Nice one guys, keep up the A+ work.

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Lex - May 16, 2016

Perrin, awesome! Just what I needed.
Thanks.

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Dima - May 16, 2016

Hi, Perrin and Gael!

Thank you for this wonderful post! Perrin, you’re really becoming good content manager and content expert:). I didn’t understand what is exactly the role of uploader? Is it not a very simple task to upload your post after the editor work? I think one person can do that without a problem. And what about the graphic designer for the website? I think it’s very very important role. I think editor doesn’t do any editing to the images, only to the text. Does the editor edits the post in Thrive?

Thank you!

Reply
    Perrin Carrell - May 16, 2016

    Thanks man :)

    Uploading can be a pain in the ass when you (1) have lots of content and (2) use Thrive.

    Graphic design isn’t as important to start, I don’t think. It’s much more of a luxury, and most of us either outsource the design as one-off projects or do it/learn it ourselves.

    Reply
Ted - May 16, 2016

Hey Perrin,

I think the word epic is used way too much these days, but not in this case.
Very well done – thank you. I’ll refer back to this post often when the times comes for me, my site is still too young.

I can only get to about 5000 words per week, and some weeks it’s a challenge, but right now I like writing the content while the site develops.

One question, please. Do you write content for your email list, or just send an email and point them to content on your site?

Thanks again, great stuff!

Ted

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    Perrin Carrell - May 17, 2016

    I honestly don’t have a big list (it’s next on my to-do list), but, yea, I feel like you should be trying to connect personally to your subscribers. I’m really not an authority in that area, though.

    Reply
TopRankLife - May 17, 2016

Again great post guys. And the content itself is what I’ve been trying to do for last year or so.

At the moment, I’m outsourcing content to 4 article writers, but I’m still editing content myself. I have tried to train VA candidates for editing but didn’t work out for me.

And it’s really time consuming but keeps the costs low.

Will try your tips with detailed instructions and video guide for next VA candidate :)

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Chris Lee - May 17, 2016

Wow Perrin… this post could be its own training course! So many valuable tips. Outsourcing is definitely something I need working on. This was really helpful.

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Stephan - May 17, 2016

Hmmm… sounds all good. But where is the part that indicates how to find good writers at an acceptable price? Especially in niches such as digital marketing it’s not so easy to find good writers that aye not too full of themselves, but maybe I habe not been looking on the right sites. In other words : whete is the blog post about the “The top quality acceptable cost automated writer finder machine” …😃

Cheers
Great article!

Reply
    Perrin Carrell - May 17, 2016

    There are a select few niches–like Digital Marketing, where people only really listen to folks who are really DOING it–in which you really do need to do the writing yourself.

    Other than that, check out the section above about sourcing your writing. :)

    Reply
Steve - May 17, 2016

Hi again Perrin

Looking through your writer training and guidelines I am even more impressed. These were exceptional and a product of very focussed thinking. My second question relates to type of post and overall objective. Are you concentrating on blog posts from the point of view of SEO/link building and Adsense traffic or review posts and affiliate activity or something else? I am guessing you would want full control of affiliate related content?

Again thank you

Steve

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    Perrin Carrell - May 17, 2016

    Yea, good question. I used to do all my affiliate content, and there’s one category I’m still very hands-on with because it’s so technical.

    But, for the most part, as I got to know my writer and project manager, they started handling it. It’s really not too tough. It’s very similar to all other articles, but there’s just a bullet list of affiliate links.

    Reply
Dick Sijtsma - May 17, 2016

Interesting. Makes me wonder whose text we are reading right now, to which voice we are listening…..

Reply
    Vin - May 18, 2016

    Elvis. You are reading the words of Elvis, from beyond the grave.

    Don’t worry about it. This info is top notch, regardless of the author… but it’s most definitely Perrin!

    Reply
Gary - May 17, 2016

Excellent post and podcast! I outsource many of the steps BUT need to get myself out of the way more! Have much of the process documented but need to review and fine tune more. Then take that next step and GET OUT OF THE WAY! Thanks for the push!

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Jimmy Toan - May 17, 2016

Currently I am using only one person for writting nd posting. I just share the posts to my all social channels.
Thanks.

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Leo - May 18, 2016

Love how you use the templates. I’m actually in this stage of the site development process where I need to get more articles, and have found articles returned to me not to spec. I have written a template guidelines for my writers but maybe not as thorough as you. I’ll send the writers that link on how not write fluffy content, it’ll help tremendously. I’ll need to be more thorough in building the guidelines as it makes sense it would help in the longer term and getting closer to the quality I want.

I got to say, I have not posted on my new site yet, but I am already paying for writers. I am pretty knowledgeable about the niche, and that is why I can do this I feel.

By the way, how come this post is not in the blog? I had to get here via the podcast notes.

I mentioned this in the facebook group, but I feel its good if you can build a list on your site, even if you just send announcement to new posts to them.

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    Gael Breton - June 9, 2016

    Hey Leo,

    Yep, templates are mandatory to scale content the way Perrin, Mark and I do it. Good luck with your site!

    Reply
Matt - May 18, 2016

Hi,

Very interesting but I have a question. To make money with an article, it’s important that sometimes you sell something, or ask to subscribe… a final call to action for every blog post.

How do you manage that with your writer. Do you provide them the call to action to use in every article like: CTA = Subscribe to our newsletter, or CTA= Buy this or that… ?

Thank you

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    Gael Breton - June 9, 2016

    We either add CTA’s at the editing phase, or we have briefs that teach writers how to do it. We also have automated CTA’s with things like pop ups and advertising.

    Reply
Toki Castro-Tover - May 19, 2016

Hey Perrin,

Awesome info here :) I’m going to try and budget for the agency your using because your content method is the “dream” I would like to have.

Are you willing to share your AMAZING article briefs with the AHpro group?

;)

Toki

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Larry - May 25, 2016

Great breakdown of the the steps! Definitely very actionable.

I have a question when it comes to letting your writers/editors post. I’m guessing you give them access to wordpess to edit and post.

How do you make it safe such that they don’t mess up any other posts or you’re able to make sure what they post is?

Playing a bit of devil’s advocate, I know. But if you get unlucky with an unsavory guy on a bad day, it can happen right?

Would love to know what you think.

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Sheyi - June 7, 2016

Great article as usual.

Just a quick one, how many articles would you advice one to start with?

Thanks

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Christien - June 9, 2016

Perrin…this is a ridiculously great post! I too wish I’d just written the content rather than outsource it early on. As an entrepreneur, you have to get dirty and build that blueprint from the start. Thanks for this.

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Bhuboy Villanueva - July 24, 2016

Hi Perrin,

First, I am following you on NSP 3 , good job there. Hopefully I can be able to automate my content creation someday, when I am already earning from my site, as it is my plan to put back a percent of my income into it, or all at the beginning (like you mention in your podcast) for scaling it up. But for now, I will do all the work , since I barely earn from it through AdSense. Thanks for this

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Amanda - August 27, 2016

Hey Perrin, great post, it was exactly what I needed to get started building my own content machine!

I know you said in a previous comment that you are still hands on with your affiliate content but it would be very useful if either you or Gael could explain how you go about finding writers for affiliate articles.

Some of my questions related to this topic are…

How do you train writers to choose good affiliate products? Do you give them a list of products or allow them to select on their own?

How do you train the formatter/ editor to introduce affiliate links. We are currently using EasyAzon’s tutorial video but would love to hear your insights.

One other subject is how much you pay your writers for each type of article? I understand you might not want to reveal this but some ballpark numbers would be useful.

Thanks so much!

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Dane - September 26, 2016

Hey Perrin,

I was just re-reading this, and wanted to ask: how do you go about training your editor/poster-person to get them to find the right images to use?

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Mandila - October 27, 2016

We have tried outsourcing our articles to websites like iwriter and hirewriter but the result isn’t good , Once we have a good relationship with a writer and start to assign more projects to write about , the writers start to send fluffy articles.

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    Gael Breton - November 1, 2016

    Hey Mandila!

    This is why in the long run, hiring your own team, communicating with them, motivating them and letting them in on what their content is used for is a good way to keep motivation and quality up.

    Reply
Meg Marrs - October 28, 2016

When hiring an editor, how much do you pay them? Do you pay them per hour or per blog post? I’m assuming you find them on Upwork? I’m in desperate need of some editing help!

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    Gael Breton - November 1, 2016

    Hey Megan,

    For editors we usually use a per hour pricing as they are not really writing. a Per post pricing would push them to rush the work which is not what we want.

    Reply

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