What you will learn
In todays podcast, we’re talking about scaling GREAT content. Not your 2011 spin-style scaling, or even passing off hundreds of keywords to an agency or writer.
This is how to scale without sacrificing the quality of your content. And as difficult as it seems, it’s very possible if you have the right system in place.
To get other episodes in this mini-series, and for bonus content, check out the series home page.
Difficulties Of Scaling GREAT Content
With Health Ambition, we used to hand keywords off to writers and barely check it before publishing. It worked in a sense that we ranked, but the content didn’t do it’s job properly, which is to convert visitors to subscribers and customers.
It also makes link building very difficult because webmasters aren’t stupid enough to link to bad content. It doesn’t matter how good your outreach template is, if your content sucks, everything else will suffer.
We’re a massive fan of the 80/20 (or Pareto) principle and we use it a lot within our business. When it comes to producing content, however, it just doesn’t cut it. The internet is full of mediocre content and you need to be able to rise above the noise.
The ROI on content is exponentially higher as you get to the top percentile of quality in your industry, so the Pareto principle is biased in this case because it’s the top 20% of content that gets 80% of the value. (Probably closer to 5/95 in this case.)
Another principle we follow, is to start off by doing this stuff yourself. We highly recommend writing your own content at the start (at least), because this will give you a stronger feel for the niche and the core topics of that industry.
A content template is a document that outlines the structure of your article. It should also include some background on the website, the target audience, who the persona is, etc.
Breaking your content up into different structures can be difficult, but it’s doable. A lot of our content on Health Ambition right now is what we call “best X for Y” content. (Examples: “best fish oil supplements for bodybuilding athletes and runners”, and “best amino acids for vegans and vegetarians”.)
Everything about this content type follows an identical structure. So I’ll do a brief overview to give you a better idea of how this works.
- Present the top 5 products being reviewed
- Explain what these products do
- Explain what to look for when choosing the best one
- Explore each of the top 5 products (star ratings, pros/cons, commentary)
The Benefits Of Templating Content
By outlining articles like this and giving writers clear instructions on things like how to add images, insert link, use heading tags, etc. — you automatically benefit in a number of ways.
#1: Writers don’t have to think about structure, they just focus all their efforts on the writing which almost always leads to higher quality work.
#2: It keeps our articles consistent, regardless of how many different writers we’re using. And of course, it still requires checking over to ensure quality, but it’s much more streamlined.
#3: Mistakes are minimized, which reduces editorial costs. Something that is CRUCIAL when you’re looking to scale up.
#4: The time you save having to edit articles is MASSIVE, and it doesn’t take complex math to realize just how much time that is:
- 1 hour editing 500 pieces of content = 62.5 days of work
- 10 mins editing 500 pieces of content = 10.5 days of work
Also keep in mind, writers can help to improve your template if they’re experienced. After all, they’ll have a much better perspective of your templates if they’ve been applying them.
(If you’re an Authority Hacker PRO member, we have an entire blueprint with content templates already laid out for you. Click here to jump straight to it.)
Hiring writers isn’t difficult. In fact, it’s actually pretty easy.
The key distinction to make is that, while hiring any writer is easy, hiring GOOD writers is a whole different ballgame. And it’s also one of things that can make or break your online business.
The first critical piece of advice I can give you is, don’t compromise. We just went through another round of hiring on Authority Hacker and we were prepared to hire nobody if the right person didn’t present themselves.
As for how much to pay a writer, most people will give different answers to this.Answers vary to this. Our view is, after 2.5 cents per word there’s little to no correlation to how much you’re paying and how much you’re getting back.
We generally pay our writers around 3-6 cents per word depending on the niche, but it all comes down to supply and demand. In the health niche, for example, there are a TON of specialized writers so the price is more forgiving.
One way to immediately lower costs is to offer job stability. Long term contracts can actually lower costs significantly and allow you to hire quality full-time writers for around $2,000 per month.
Regardless of how “good” the writer is though, you won’t get the best results unless you provide a solid content brief for them to follow.
I’ve spoken a lot about our hiring process where we use a filtering process based on a varying number of stages. You can find more details in this podcast.
(And if you’re an Authority Hacker Pro Platinum member, check out this webinar we did on hiring freelancers, including job ad templates, etc.)
Now, while we’ve been discussing the ins and outs of scaling great content, it’s also worth considering what happens AFTER that content goes live on your blog.
Just like with your content templates, you need to develop a repeatable process that you can use every time you hit publish.
This is definitely something we’ve been working on ourselves, more specifically, looking at how we bring people back to our sites.
This could be a whole podcast by itself, and in fact, it will be.
Watch out for tomorrows podcast episode where we tackle this topic head on, and reveal what it takes to build “a snowball of traffic to your site”.