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

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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18 Comments for this Post

  1. Vivian

    Vivian

    Just wondering you mean 40 articles to start the blog, Does it mean to let google index your new site after 40 articles or when is the good time to let google to index the content? How often you post for this 40 articles?
    Thank you.

  2. Justin Young

    Justin Young

    Believe me! I feel her pain… Starting out in a new niche is exciting, but can be a daunting task. I think i’m going to try Elance for my next writer and then just edit their work after they write something, if it isn’t how I want it. My challenge is getting vids out with my articles, I think this is important, but it’s SO hard when you’re running a company along with a blog and youtube and facebook and… wooo i’m out of breathe, lol!

    – Looking forward to more helpful info!!

    Thanks,
    Perrin

    • Doug Cunnington

      Doug Cunnington

      Hey Justin,
      Man, sounds like you have a lot going on! Let me know if you need any help with the hiring…like if you need some templates for job postings. Good luck

  3. Kelly

    Kelly

    I outsource articles all the time. I got burnt out doing it and its lovely not doing it anymore.

    Would love to know more about outsourcing backlinks though – is it quite straight forward to do? Will that be covered or has it been covered and I missed it?

    Thanks

    • Doug Cunnington

      Doug Cunnington

      Hey Kelly,
      Outsourcing backlinks is tricky! There are some gray hat approaches, which I’ve moved away from like the Niche Pursuits crew. You really have to trust your provider and know what they are doing. It’s pretty tough to find good people on Upwork and when you do, it’s usually expensive. The gray hat companies are less expensive but very risky to work with.

      I suspect Perrin will cover outreach & promotion really well.

  4. Gigi

    Gigi

    Do you ever launch a new site using press releases, especially one that you plan to turn into a brand with your own products? Do you know a reliable paid or free press release distribution site?

  5. Ree

    Ree

    This was a great coaching session. I got some real actionable tips that I’m going to put into practice right away. I’m also going to try my hand at hiring writers; the info you shared, Perrin, about providing templates was so valuable.

    I do have a question though. If you hire out product reviews or comparison posts, do you let the writers pick the products or do you tell them which products you want them to write about. I assume that when you give them the template, the product links and keyword(s) are included. Right?

    Thank you so much for opening the kimono and letting us all have a look at how it’s really done!

    • Doug Cunnington

      Doug Cunnington

      Hey Ree, It’s better to tell your writers what to write about until they understand what you are looking for. If you leave it up to the writer, then you are leaving it up to chance.

      I find that giving the VA as much detail as possible is always best.

  6. PM Mama

    PM Mama

    Exciting update!! 🙂 I’ve launched my first site for this year, too. It really IS rewarding to see it start coming together and look nice, going from a few batches of content to a nicely put together site.

    I started this year with really big content goals on my blog, and after a lot of hard work with the initial content pieces, realized I would end up having to outsource some. I found that having the meat of the article outsourced and then writing the intro and conclusion helps to save the budget a bit and get longer posts.

  7. Matt Not Cutts

    Matt Not Cutts

    You guys touched on a really good point in this call, self-motivation and self-dependence. I think that this is the most important skill/personality trait that you can if you are going to make it in this business. Keyword research is a close second.

  8. Enda

    Enda

    There is always a risk when being coached that you forget you actually own the site…and it is your reponsibility…easy to forget sometimes. Writing the content is without doubt the toughest challenge in getting a website up and out there..it is just plain tough…so thanks for the tips…they helped me a lot. Front loading is a really good way of putting it and it can be real effort but worth it for sure.

    Not sure where you are buying your content…sounds very expensive and with little or no budget not that practical either..but I get it when the site is making money. I would never hire friends as friendship and business seldom works well together.

    Thanks though…all very interesting stuff

  9. Joe Burrill

    Joe Burrill

    Best call yet, I really liked it!

    I personally have always struggled with writing (Bad speller and am super slow), so have always leaned towards outsourcing content. It is hard to justify doing this for a site that isn’t earning any money and so it is easy to under pay and get poor quality (happens to me WAY too often).

    I would love to see some of those sample templates Perrin mentioned at the end. I think it would go a long way for me in my content management journey.

    Thanks again!

  10. Tim

    Tim

    I think you should spend your money on things you can’t produce yourself. In my opinion it is a bit of a waste to spend your budget on writing, because you can write yourself.

    Spend it on skills you don’t have.

  11. Doug Cunnington

    Doug Cunnington

    Hey Perrin & Colleen, Outsourcing is a good idea even for the smaller budget…

    1. It gives Colleen a much-needed break.
    2. It gives Colleen practice dealing with writers and VAs.

    I hear people that are frustrated with a writer or VA and then find out they provided horrible instructions for them. Maybe they only give the VA a headline to work with…

    Another big issue is that people try to pay bottom dollar and that usually doesn’t work out well at all. You have to pay a fair wage for good work. There are people on the other side of the screen trying to do good work for you.

    Keep up the great progress!

  12. Jeff

    Jeff

    It’s totally understandable that writing a good amount of content yourself and not outsourcing all of it is a great way to understand your market and audience, but it makes me wonder about people that buy site. How does that process go? How do you just jump into someone else site and quickly learn their audience and niche?

  13. Alex

    Alex

    A great insight on content outsourcing. Getting a good writer is always a hustle but once you get one who is giving you at least 80% of what you need, You can coach him/her to match up with your full expectations.
    Thanks a bunch Perrin & Colleen!

  14. Leo

    Leo

    I have a question about this topic. I am creating a new site, and I am writing some rather long articles. Thus far all of my articles are more than 2k words, but I only have 5 articles so far.

    Do you think it would make more sense to write smaller 600 word articles to get pages in google, and then go back for more exhaustive pages later or continue along my path.

    Also, is there a minimum word count or page count for submitting a new site to google? I have not put any adsense links or amazon links so right now it’s just a lot of content.

    Thanks

  15. Terry

    Terry

    You need to get the audio figured out…I have to keep adjusting my audio all the way up to here Perrin and then all the way down for whenever Colleen comes on, its getting annoying cause I can hardly hear Perrin and when Colleen comes on its 10 times louder and just blasts from the speakers. The last project call was the same way and just had to shut er down cause I couldnt stand turning volume up and down during the entire call and now this one as well.

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