“People First” vs. AI Content: How to Outsource and Scale Quality Content with Carlos Meza
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Today's guest on the Niche Pursuit podcast is Carlos Meza. Carlos is the CEO of Crowd Content — a thriving content publishing agency and marketplace that has recently acquired Content Refined and Rocket Content AI.
Carlos talks to Jared about all things content and what it takes to produce the people-first content that Google wants from blogs and websites. He provides tips and advice on everything you need to know about creating quality articles, whitepapers, and blog posts that rank well in search engines.
You get advice on the importance of creating an outline and how to do this effectively for your content. Moreover, there's advice and tips on the fundamentals and what it takes to make an authentic piece of writing.
If you're at the stage in your business where you need to branch out and scale your content production, Carlos provides tips and advice on how to do this effectively and the pitfalls to avoid. Many people make mistakes when moving from writing their own content to scaling it up with paid writers, so it's great to get Carlos's thoughts and expert advice on this.
In addition, the conversation focuses on AI (artificial intelligence) and how it will play a role in creating content moving forward. Finally, Carlos gives his honest opinion and shares some significant use cases and ideas on using AI technology for content creation now and in the future.
Other Topics Discussed:
- Why content is so important for SEO
- What exactly is quality content
- Steps to outsource and scale content
- The importance of data and facts
- SEO approach to content
- Questions to ask yourself when creating content
- Cluster approach to keyword targeting
- Is AI suitable for content briefs
- The differences and services offered by Crowd Content, Rocket Content and Content Refined
- Plus more
Content is still king and critical for creating blog posts, articles, reports, product descriptions, etc. It can be the difference between success and failure, so getting expert advice from an expert in the field is crucial and a must-watch and listen for anyone.
As always, take notes and enjoy the episode.
Links & Resources:
- High-Quality Content Writing Services | Crowd Content
- Content Refined - Content Marketing Refined
- Rocket Content
- Carlos Linkedin Account
- Crowd Content Twitter Page
watch the interview:
read the transcription:
Jared: Welcome back to NichePursuits podcast. My name is Jared Bauman. Today we are joined by Carlos Meza, who is the CEO of um, Crowd Content. Welcome on board, Carlos. Thanks for being here.
Carlos: Oh, thanks Jared. Thanks for having me. I'm very excited.
Jared: It's, uh, it's good to have you on. So you guys from crowd content just recently acquired Content Refine.
Now we had narcs on, I was trying to figure out before we got on the recording here, maybe nine months ago, I'm guessing, and he talked a lot about, about content creation and, and what he's seen from working with so many brands. So today we're, we're gonna be diving into content and talking content for websites.
Before we kind of get into the nitty gritty, can you give us some background on yourself and, and talk about how you got into. Into crowd content and, and your.
Carlos: Sure. . So I, I, I said I'm a rehabilitative banker, so I was a corporate banker for, for, uh, so don't hold it against me, but
Jared: Okay. It's okay.
Carlos: A good part of my life.
I, I, I was, uh, working for big banks, you know, like Citibank and, uh, and the likes, uh, 13 years. But funny enough, I was, uh, I'm an engineer by training, but, uh, I think banks find engineers very useful as we know, a lot of math . So we're heavily math trained, so I, I really never get a chance to, to, um, to use my engineering for other than, than, uh, than finances.
Uh, so I did that for a good chunk of. Of my, my young life, uh, after, after school, um, I started in Columbia, moved back to Canada, uh, with, with one of the banks, uh, with HSBC back then. Uh, but then after a while I just realized that I wasn't just, I wasn't happy , like there is something that is not. That is not, uh, really something missing.
And it's funny, when I met Spencer, uh, the first time and he, he said, I used to work for, for Well Fargo, I, it felt so identified. But you know what, And
Jared: yeah, I was gonna say, Spencer has a back a banking background and so it seems like we, we tend to have a, maybe a little bit of a, of a community that's growing from x banking into, into content and websites.
Carlos: Well, and, and, and I think it's just you're there. Uh, and you see so many businesses and, and I met so many entrepreneurs and they were still most successful and just very interesting people. Right. Uh, they just were different. Uh, and I, I was always wondering what would it be to be on that end of the table right on this end?
And you, you worked for a big bank, you know, like Wells Fargo or Cibank is, you're just a tiny mouse and a huge wheel. You're just a, another clogging the wheel, right. There's like, I felt my soul was, was dying every, a little bit every day and I said, Look, I need to get out of this before, before it is too late.
Uh, because it's very easy to be trapped in a very comfortable life with a pension and benefits and all that stuff. I had a young growing family. And I said like, if I get, if you know, oh, I had a third kid on the way. And I said, If I get more comfortable in this life, I'm never gonna this, I'm never gonna step out and I don't wanna get to, to, to my midlife or 40 and say I never tried it.
So you fast forward, I decided to quit the banking life. Uh, I raised a fund, uh, looking for acquisition. So, or first acquisition was a SaaS company. Uh, and I went to run a hundred people SaaS company without not knowing any, nothing about running SaaS companies. So, but I did that for a, for a few years and then after that, so we, I exited that company and, uh, I, I was thinking about the next thing and I was fortunate enough to get a call from a group of investors.
I said, Hey, we have this amazing company out of, uh, British Columbia. We want you to take a look at. We might need somebody with like, with, uh, with your profile. To help us take it over, buy close the acquisition and maybe, you know, help us run in the future. But why don't you go take a look. So I looked at the company and fell in love right away.
It was a small company where I was running again, a hundred hundred people company, and this company had like 50 employees and it was very small, but it was just going like a rocket, right? Was growing real really fast. Had an amazing clientele and the space, I just fell in love with the space, the, the, the seo, digital marketing.
I, I thought to myself, look, This thing is gonna explode and covid, uh, the pandemic is just making it accelerating that process. So this is gonna, this could be a home run, doesn't matter. It's small because we're, I, I have an opportunity here to make it really big the next few years. So I decided to, you know, pack my bags, move my family all the way from Ottawa to bridge Columbia.
Well, it wasn't a hard decision. Victoria's also, um, to be fair, it was a nice decision, but really I just fell in love with, with the company. Fell in love with the industry. So yeah, we bought crowd content out of the founder. The founder has been doing it for over 10, 11 years. I think he was. He was ready to move on and, and, and just kind of step back a little bit, you know, has to bootstrap and grind it out for, for, for a decade.
So he was now, he wanted to take some liquidity, some chips on the table and let somebody else help him get to a next level. So he rolled over some of his equity. We bought most the equity out of him and then I took CO as CEO crowd content that was, you know, at 2020. So it's been a great ride.
Jared: So I'm really fascinated to hear about your entry into this space, but from a very different angle than the vast majority of us.
A lot of us, probably the vast majority of us, we get into it for maybe the same reasons. We want freedom from the workplace from being a cog in the wheel, but. We go about it by starting a website or by, uh, becoming a writer or et cetera, et cetera, Maybe doing SEO services for other companies, and we get into it that way.
You went about it by acquiring a company and a company that does these types of services. What about it? From the outside was so attractive to you about this space. You said you fell in love with it, but why, what, what's so attractive about this space? And maybe compare it to some of the other spaces that you've seen as in your banking career and why, why you like this one so much?
Carlos: is one of the things that I learned very early on when I was starting to look into acquisitions. Um, it was about tailwinds, right? There's nothing like sailing. When you have the wind on your back, it's a much, is much easier. Uh, so when you look at the tailwinds, so eCommerce, right? Just the, the digital marketing in general, uh, and content, right?
So everything like you, you put all those things together and everything is just points in the growth and growth. Hides, not hides, but helps you upset a lot of mistakes. We're all gonna be mis make mistakes, um, but growth is always when you have the growth on your back, it's easier to make mistakes and keep going when you don't have the growth on your, or the wind on your back or in a more mature industry.
Your execution have to be, uh, you know, flawless or you have less room for error, right? So if you like me, I must still, I still consider myself a rookie CEO after being doing this for five years, right? I'm not, I don't have 20, 30 years of running companies to say, Okay, no, exactly what I needs to do and the execution, this exactly what I need to.
So a, a person like me with, uh, who is still feeling like a rookie ceo, I need a lot of room to make mistakes. But again, I think. These, or industry has also demo democratized, uh, the economy and entrepreneurship in a way. Because really you can't just start a, a website from the corner of your desk mm-hmm.
from whatever in the world. And then you can start, kind of, start very profitable, uh, and very fulfilling business from wherever you are. Right. A lot of people have heard the stories. They, they have their nine to five job at a big corporation and they can start their. About their passion, something that they're, that they're passionate about, they can start, start writing about it.
They can become a very successful entrepreneur. So that part also kind of, uh, I, I really felt was amazing helping people, uh, helping freelancers on one end to have a, you know, um, access to, to, to be interesting jobs. So helping the writers to do that, and also helping entre entrepreneurs to achieve some of their dreams or helping them grow.
By, you know, giving them a platform to find, uh, to find content, uh, or, or produce content in a, in a very effective way. So all those things with the growth, I think that was there very interesting to me.
Jared: It's interesting you took over, you know, at 2020, which was the start of a pretty big shift in the world and whatnot.
Did that pose any interesting challenges to walking into a company where the world was changing all around you and you were trying to still figure out what was really going on in this space and with the company?
Carlos: Yeah, of course. So we, uh, we spent a lot of time looking at that, um, and looking at how the company behaved throughout the pandemic, or at least, So we closed the transaction in November, so we had the chance to look at what had happened when the pandemic hit, right.
So March, April, May. And it was very interesting because, and I don't know if you saw this in, in, in, in, in the industry, So pandemic hit March and April. March and April. Everybody is like, Okay, nobody, nobody moves, nobody gets hurt kind of thing. So nobody did anything. So every, everything, everything, pause.
And I think we were all trying to figure out what is gonna, what is gonna happen with this whole pandemic thing. But then May and June came back with Avens when people realized, all right, this might be open opportunity. So people in e-commerce or encounter in digital or in digital assets, you know, they realize, okay, now there's a huge opportunity.
Cuz anybody that wasn't. Need to come online and people that work kind of somewhat online need to go hard at it. So, um, we still, you know, uh, the, when look looked at the number, the company's numbers, March, April, were kind of, you know, whole to almost froze like, you know, um, decreased 70%, but then May, June, July, it was all that pen top demand came back with avenge and really started really taking off.
So when we close a year, In, despite the acquisition, I know on the pandemic, the company had grown up 40, 50% that year alone. Uh, despite, you know, being in a, an impressive event on the middle of a pandemic.
Jared: Whew. I, I can only imagine. I mean, you know, obviously it's kind of like how you describe it. Like the world went on pause for all, but it was pretty quick when people realized like, Oh, moving to digital is going to be the way of the future in so many industries, So many industries had to go from a brick and mortar to a digital environment, and this was the push they needed.
So I can only imagine that, that, like you said, that, that the, the groundswell must have started to work to in your favor after a couple.
Carlos: Yep. Yeah, exactly. That's how, that's how it went. And I think since then, uh, really, uh, I think the, the pandemic accelerated the digital transformation process by, by maybe half a decade or a full decade, right?
Cause a lot of people that was, weren't online and weren't had plans and, you know, maybe to do it in the next five, 10 years, they just had no option. Otherwise, they wouldn't exist. Ah, it's
Jared: interesting. Well, let's talk about 2022, and we're recording and obviously beyond, but you're now knee deep in content.
You're knee deep in working with a team of writers and a team of content producers. I'd love to start off by getting your perspectives on why content is so important for SEO and any. Kind of global or, you know, large, high level insights you've learned about content as it relates to seo for, for websites, for prop, for web, uh, website owners, excuse me, and
Yeah. Well, it is just, um, it's really a fundamental, um, is the main thing around seo, I think from my perspective, is content, right? Because at the end of the day, you know, Google's mission is to organize the world information, right? I think that's, that's how it goes. And content if information, so, Like they said in finance, cash is king.
In SEO content is king, right? So it's, it is very hard to have an SEOs strategy if you don't have good content. People come to Google to find stuff. Mostly information, right? Or um, or to just know how to learn something, how to do something, to find something. So, and Google wants, or not just Google, but the search engines, they wanna provide this amazing service to their user.
Uh, and give the information they're looking for. So the only way to do that is with good content. So that's why, you know, uh, the main pillar of any SU strategy has to be, uh, strong content or high quality content.
Jared: Do you have a specific approach that you guys recommend taking when it comes to content?
And I know that's a very open ended question. I'm sure it depends on a variety of factors, but content's such a big game. It's such a big term. It's such a big world. And for someone just starting. They might be able to get their mind around the idea. Okay. Content's really important, but do you have anything you've seen or any approach you guys take that you feel works a little bit better when you get to the specifics of it?
Carlos: Well, yeah, like I said, that's a very big question and I'm just trying to figure out where, where to, where to start, where to tackle, uh, best for your, for your audience. Um, but I think, I think it's about principles, right? So. We should create content thinking about a human of the rn, right? And it is what we call it, people first content.
I think, uh, Google calls it people first content, right? Some people, I think, come to the industry thinking about the end result, right? I want to, I want money. I wanna have my own business, and. The content on the SEO is a means to an end, but the problem is that then they're using the content as a tool to get to that end goal, which is create, you know, traffic and create money, but they're not thinking, I need to provide value to my users so I can earn value from them.
Right. You know, so I can earn the right to, to, to earn money out of that. And the way to, to, to, to, to do that is with quality content, is the reader, is the user gonna come out of, you know, when they leave my. They're gonna leave satisfied thinking, I, I, I got something out of this side. I got something out of these content.
So in terms of principles, they're like, create content, thinking about the user. What is best for the user? Why are you trying, what is the message? What are you, what is in it for them? Right? Then you connect with them. Don't think about how am I gonna monetize my eyes, my ads, like how can I, is is about the content.
Fir content first and then, and then everything follows, right? So the content is really the start. If you're in the content game, if you're a, uh, affiliate websites or, or you're a polisher, um, Content should be the start of the show. And then you should, you should approach tackle your content in how can I create the best experience, the best quality that I can for my users.
That's really, I think, a way to approach it. Now we can get into tactics and how to do all those things. How to think about quality content and how could, how to use content to, to, uh, to increase your traffic, but, To your question, how do we approach con? I think it is about first principle and it's about all about quality and it's all about the user experience, all about the reader, because that's very aligned with what Google and the search engines want.
Jared: piggy, so piggybacking off that is perfect. Piggybacking off that, what. We could go and read what Google has outlined for us on what, you know, people first content is. It's very amalgamous and kind of theoretical and doesn't ease very many specifics to say the least. And, um, what, what, what, what, in your opinion or what have you seen even better is.
What, what, what would people first content be like, What is quality content? Maybe is it some examples you can give us some, some structure or some frameworks around what that looks like?
Carlos: Yeah, so I can give you some, some, some thoughts here. There are a few ways that you can, you can think about people first, content or, or content for humans.
One is like have, have your own. The content has to have its own voice as its own personality and, uh, people shouldn't be afraid to express their opinion. But you gotta be careful. Make sure that this is, you differentiate what is an opinion, what is a fact. But, um, I think, uh, people want to hear what do you, why do you, what, what do you have to say about, about, about a topic, right?
And I think that content is gonna perform much better than just blend neutral, non position taken content, right? Because you wanna create that authority, but you know, have your own voice. Let your content have personality. Make your content, like you're talking like a conversation, right? Like we're, uh, unless you're writing something extremely scientific, you can have a bigger conversational and, and people wanna read how people talk, right?
I don't want something that's gonna be very dense and heavy. Uh, I'm very, you know, extremely technical. So, you know, create something that's gonna be easy to read and is gonna be engaging, but have your own voice. Have your own personality, have your own opinion. Now your their way to create, um, high quality content is have data, like, and have, If you can have a original data and, and, and facts, that's, that's gonna be.
Uh, it's gonna make your your content stronger. And why is that? Because okay, you can have an opinion. That's, that's awesome. But it's nothing better than an opinion supported by facts and real facts that maybe you took the time to gather yourself. Right? Or even, you know, I, I've, I've heard great articles, but they cite different places.
You know, these data and these data, these are statistics. Nothing better than, you know, supporting your, your opinions with facts, with data. And it's the same. We're having a conversation. And if I express my opinion, I can, you. Put some data behind it to, um, to support that, that opinion that I have. And, uh, another way to have, um, Good quality content is half actionable, the insights, um, or, or, or really teaching the user how to do something, right?
So if the user walks away from your article or from your piece of content, say, Oh, now I know how to do the thing that I, I, I want, or at least I, I'm walking away with one insight that is gonna be useful for me. Right? So again, when you walk away from the content or from the, or from the. There you feel satisfied that now you knew you knew something that you didn't know before.
I make it again, informative, educational side, the, your sources, right? Um, so, so those are some of the things. So there are some questions that you can, when you're writing content that you can ask yourself to test. Okay? Is these, is this content good? Content is the quality content. So is it helpful? Right?
Again, and I know I'm repeating myself, Just be very honest, read your content, is is, is this gonna really help somebody if you're just, you know, taking a bunch of pieces of all their articles and just meshing them together and just throwing them on a, on a side, is that really gonna be helpful? That's one of the guy, the, the guidelines from Google.
Don't just take pieces from all from other sites and putting 'em together and just add your own flavor. Make it unique. Right. Does it demonstrate that you have experience? Right. Are you or are you. Guessing or speculating, right? So let's say if you're, if you're, you have a travel site, can you demonstrate you travel to the place and then you have pictures, or you have somebody that went there and, and have firsthand experience?
If you're talking about a product, like did you really try the product yourself? Do you have a video? Do you have picture of the product? Right? That's gonna be more, more, more helpful. You're doing our product review than just, you know, citing all the feature. But, but if you have something that's really gonna give you more insights, uh, to a user, then that's a way to, to test your content.
And the, the other question could be, Is there a reason for people to listen to me or listen to, to my, to my author? Right? That author is known that authors, uh, have some authority in the, in the market. So there's, there's some, some questions that you can ask yourself to test that you have high quality content.
Jared: How would someone who is following those guidelines, And I really wanted to lean in on your experience, your topic of experience, and you talk, have you used that product? Have you been to that location? Have you, um, et cetera, et cetera. Right? How would someone work with a content agency like yourself to help them scale content, but still retain or be a part of that experience level?
Let's say I'm a travel blogger and I just went somewhere and I did a lot of activities there, but. I want to hire a content team or company like yours. How would I, you know, like how do you guys work in that? How, how do you recommend someone think about that if they're the person right now who's doing all the writing themselves, but hitting scale and hitting problems with growing.
Carlos: there, there are many ways to create a process, uh, to create that authoritativeness, right, And create and translate that expertise. And sometimes people, you know, get confused. A writer is, is somebody that's conveying information. The writer doesn't necessarily have to be the person that does everything, does experiments goal, right?
So I myself, sometimes I use writers to help me put these ideas together. I sit down with the writer. And I can give them my, this is what I want the content to be. These are my ideas. And the writer just makes it a really nice piece because I'm not a writer, right? I'm a manager. I'm not, I'm not training writing, and I don't know if I can even write well.
So that's the difference. So if you, if you have the expertise, let's say you have a, a travel website and you are the one traveling, maybe you, you do, you have your, the recordings of your travel, you have your notes, maybe your voice notes, what. Or advice to clients is create pretty good outlines to spend the time to create a, a content outline, a content brief with resources that the writer can use to produce a really nice piece of content, right?
And then you can, if you're the expert, then you can fact check it and buy and put your name on the article and byline the article. You don't have to write every single work, but you can fact check it. We have a process for subject matter experts where we pair. Really good subject matter experts with really good writers.
A lot of people sometimes come to us, Oh, I want a doctor to write my articles. Well, there is no MD that is gonna write an article for a hundred dollars. You know what I mean? They're making a thousand dollars an hour. They're not, but, but we can find some MDs that are willing to fact check your, your an article.
Right? And who's to say that that indeed is also gonna be a good writer? That's very rare . You know what I mean? So we, we really, what we do is that we pair really good writers, Golds writers. With a strong SMEs in different verticals. So we have an scalable process otherwise would be very hard to scale, right?
If you want a doctor trying to write, uh, 50 articles, that's, that's not gonna happen. Or at least not in an affordable way. So we have created these workflow. We have a writer, then we have the SME fact checking the, the piece of content, and then we have an editor that put all those two pieces together, make sure it flows, that it reads nicely.
There's, you know, the grammar, the style, everything is, is tight. So, but my advice is spend the time up front really good outlines. So you have the, you, you, you garbage in garbage shot, right? If you produce really good inputs for the writer, the writer's gonna be able to produce a really good piece and then you can put a.
You compare the writer with an expert, whether it's yourself or uh, uh, an expert you hire or to a company like ours, and then you can have that expertise added to, to your piece of content. Does that make sense? It does.
Jared: It does. I actually wanna keep going down this road. I love this. I love that we're landing here, and I'm gonna be a little stereotypical, I'm gonna kind of juxtapose maybe the two extremes and ask you for your advice because.
A lot of people who have their own websites and who are growing their own content sites, right now, they land maybe in one of two camps. They will do all the writing themselves, and that's a great way to maintain quality and and maintain control. But it limits your ability to scale. It limits how much you can put into the business.
and then you have maybe the other side of the camp where people either get frustrated with that or don't even start that, where they come out swinging and they just outsource all the content and have a very, very hands off approach where they're not involved. I keep feeling like you're talking about kind of living in the middle and being a part and having an authority and, and being able to convey your expertise while still relying on a writer or a writing team to help you scale out so you can kind of focus on it.
You talk about outlines what other tips you have for, for living in the middle for. A content creator that still has all this experience that gets conveyed to their, through, through the articles, but doesn't have to be the one writing all of them.
Carlos: Yeah. And I think this is all come, come down to what are your strengths?
If you started, if you started a a content side, Did you start a content side? Because you are a true writer and you really are passionate about writing and writing really good informational pieces, then that's fair and fine. But then maybe you need to, you know, outsource your website, you know, setting your website and all your SEO because that's what you're good at.
But if you are good at being an entrepreneur and maybe izing and finding new opportunities, and finding new niches, and finding new, new, new, uh, topics, then that's what you're good at. Then get somebody that is good at writing so you can, you can, you know, exploit. That combination or get the best of both worlds.
What I'm trying to say is we all need to be very honest to ourselves on, on, on what are we good at? And I know when a lot of entrepreneurs are starting off, they wanna do everything themselves, right? And it probably does the right thing to do at the beginning because you wanna understand the process, but then if you really want to scale, you need to decide.
I might is where's, where am I gonna get the biggest bang for? For my buck? Me writing the pieces myself or me focusing on the opportunities out there and how I grow these, these little business. Do I grow it by monetize and looking for new, new niches, new topics? What is it? And then you, you decide, and then the rest that you're not good at.
Then you hire people for or outsource or, and I know it is very easy for me to say. Some people might be listening. But I can't even afford to hire myself. Right? Yeah. But at some point you need to think about what, How much is my time worth? Right, and then put a price to that and say, Look, if my hour is $150, right?
If I think I'm worth $150, can I hire somebody to do other stuff? You know? Because you don't want to pay yourself $150 to do stuff that you can outsource for $50. You know what, what I mean? If you can get somebody to do that, For, uh, a fraction of your personal cost or your opportunity cost, then why? Why not do it?
So the best clients that we have are clients that. Spend a good amount of time at the, at the front end and are very collaborative with us as well. So at the beginning, they set out their, their strategy. They set out, you know, this is what we want to achieve, this is the research. And they give us really, really good briefs.
They have a really well thought out style guide, and we're able to capture their voice, their tone, their intent. And they, they're very good at communicating that with us, and we're get very good at understanding it. And then, you know, we keep an iterated process, right? They're not like, Okay, now, now I'm done.
And then I, I talked to you in six months when all the content is done. It's more like, Hey. We almost sometimes have to force our clients to give us feedback on every piece because if the, the feedback is what makes us better, make sure that we're hitting their, hitting their, their bars. So it's a very collaborative process.
We're, we're almost an extension of their team, right. So we, and the reason we, I think we have been successful. It's because we spend a lot of time at the front end with the clients understanding them. We've spent up to six weeks trying to understand all their goals, their process, what they trying to achieve, their voice, their tone, um, all things that they want.
And then after we launch, uh, now we're in full launch. We, or in a scale up pro, uh, phase with a client, we go back feedback. Like on a, on on every piece of content, right? And then we, we need to recalibrate, uh, because goals change and, and, and things change along the way. We keep doing that. But it has to be, uh, something in the middle.
It cannot be, you know, do you do everything or you do nothing, And then just fully hands up. It has to be a very collaborative approach because, you know, content is, is a little bit of an art, right? So it's not, it is not that.
Jared: Yeah, you're right. Yeah, it has to be somewhere in the middle cuz both sides eventually will fail if you're trying to scale.
But maintain that, that expert and uniqueness about what your website is. What other tips do you have for scaling content, whether it's on a process or a mindset or, I mean, what, what success stories have you seen where people have scaled content and done it successfully, um, throughout that whole process.
Yeah, so I think there are
Carlos: a few, a few steps that you can take. Uh, if you wanna, uh, scale content and to a scale. Content is about the process, so you need to really spend a lot of time at the beginning. Design in the process. Okay, so how am I gonna do my keyword research? How am I gonna come out with the topics, you know, how am I gonna create the outlines or the briefs for the writers?
Uh, how am I gonna do the editing? The, the, the review, the content, the e, the how am I gonna pair with an expert? How am I gonna publish this content? So, Is is good sitting down and designing that process. And there are many templates out there I've seen, uh, uh, uh, that will tell you how you should think about the process.
So spend the time thinking about the process after you thought about the process. Now assemble the right team. Okay, Do I need account manager? Do I need people to the research? Of course, the writer, the writers, the editors, graphic designers, su experts, a lot of things. People sometimes think about, Okay, I'm gonna get content, so I need a writer, but they forgot, Okay, I need somebody for the images.
I need somebody to polish it. I need somebody gonna gonna look at the SEO part. So maybe, maybe this could be one person. Because if you're a one, one person shop or a two people shop, that's okay, but you need to think about it, right? Like somebody has to do these tasks, uh, and what is the right team to do it, right?
Do you want to hire yourself? Do you wanna go, uh, to a freelance platform at work Fiber? Or, or, or a platform like ours? Um, Right. Assembling that team, thinking through, Okay, what is the team gonna look like after you assemble the team? Then you have to develop your content strategy, and it's gonna be okay.
Now I have my topics. Now I have my, my different keywords, and then my goal is to publish one article a week. Two articles a week, 10 a month, I don't know. Then you create a calendar so you stay, you know, kind of a road, right? You, you stay on course. Then now you have your calendar. You should create a style guide, even if it is a small, right, Even if it is like, This is my voice, this is my tone.
I want it to be informal. I want it to be formal. I want it to be, you know, first, uh, first person, second person, third person, right? I want it to be playful. I want it to be, uh, witty, right? Like all those things. It is good to think about. So especially if you're gonna use, um, if you're gonna start using either a, your own writer or an out.
You need to think this true because again, the writers are, people are, are their, their mission is to convey information, but they need good input so they can create a great output. But it's good for you because the, the moment that you want to scale, people need to capture how you wanna sound. What is the personality of your, of your website, right?
So you need to create that style guide and. And think it through, then I would launch a pilot. Cause now that you have the, the, the, the process, you have the, the team, and you have your content calendar, you, you shouldn't just go pedal to the metal. You need to test it out. Just if your goal is to create a hundred piece of content, Okay, let's launch five under these process.
Let's see how it goes. Let's work out the kinks. And then when we work out the Kings net, now we can go full scale, right? Cause is, and even if after you go full scale, after maybe the next 20 pieces, you should stop and, and, and keep recalibrating until you feel comfortable with the process, right? So it is good to do a pilot phase at the beginning and test how this process so you can work out the kings because you don't wanna do it with a hundred piece and now go and have to rewrite them all right?
You want. You wanna fail, fail fast with, with, with, with a small sample. And then when, when you know what, what works and what doesn't, then you kind of scale up. And then now that you have done all this, now you, now is the, the time to scale up and then watch rings and repeat. Right. ,
Jared: that's a good, that's I think, If people are interested in how to scale their con, that's a good, that's a good five minute outline.
You can probably listen to that a couple times, take some notes. That's a good outline. Especially the part about not going too fast. You know, a lot of times people will kind of figure out their process and then put in the time, right? They'll put in that time to come up with a process. But inherently, there's always something that's gonna be a little bit broken or just need improvement.
And if you go pedal to the metal for a hundred articles, man, you're gonna have to go back and you're have to fix all a hundred of those, even if it is just a small little thing. But testing that process, making iterations, and then once you finally have it really locked and loaded, then going forward, I think that's a really.
You know, a really good thing I wanted to highlight that you said.
Carlos: Yeah, and I think it, it is one of the, the biggest mistakes that we see when people try to scale content is going, uh, too much, too fast without a proven process. We have seen ourselves, even with clients that we, that haven't, you know, they, they haven't worked out is because they try to, you know, they try to run before the can't even crawl, right?
So you have to follow the process because going too, Is is likely gonna gonna break up. We have seen it. Uh, so trust me on this one.
Jared: Taking a bit of a left turn, but I wanna get your thoughts on it. There's, we've talked a lot on this podcast about the different, I'll say, approaches to content creation. And when I mean approaches, I mean, some will focus on really, really long tail, low competition keywords.
And so they'll take the topic that their website. It's about, and they'll just try to find as many low topic or uh, low competition keywords as possible. Others will advocate for maybe more of what's called like a cluster approach or an approach that's gonna be focused around getting topical authority.
So they'll find all the topics that they think a website about this would need to cover, and they'll write those. Some will be lower competition, some will be higher competition, but their goal in that case would be. Topical authority. You work with a lot of brands and a lot of content creators. What are your thoughts on which approach to take, or if there's maybe a third approach or a different approach that you see working the best today?
Carlos: I really like the the cluster approach and really a thought, the topical authority approach, because again, it's very aligned with people first content, right? You wanna become the place you go, and so, Uh, what, what we, what I like personally about it is that your, your readers are not gonna come only for one question.
They're gonna come sometimes for all the questions, right? So, I wanna know about garden tools then, or maybe about this one, Garden tools. But maybe in the back of my head I would, because I'm, I'm, I'm passionate about garden. I wanna know about all these other garden tools, but if you focus on, you know, that cluster, like everything around GAR tools, why not be the authority, I think.
Is better off to, you're better off being an authority in one topic or in one cluster in a couple clusters than trying to be, you know, a million of long tell keyword. You know, I don't know if, uh, you know, if I, if I, this is my personal opinion, the topic cluster gives you more authority, authority, and expertise.
So you're better at becoming one, one. And one particular topic, rather than becoming, uh, not an expert in many, many different topics, if that makes sense around the long tell keywords, because those long tell keywords can take you into rabbit holes and kind of drift away from the main topic, if that makes sense.
Mm-hmm. , I might make my prefer approach is, is, uh, topic clustering going really, really deep into one particular topic. Um, so yeah, you know, for affiliates, if they're in one, Be, be the best in that particular niche that you can, uh, rather than to try to be in a, in a, in a bunch of different niches or trying to go after these low, low competition keywords.
Jared: All right. We, we've been, we've been talking for a while. I, I wanna ask you, I feel like we have a good rapport, so I feel like I can go there with you, , but obviously in this year, even past years and in, in the future, AI content is starting to become both a buzzword overused, well used. We're gonna see a lot of the extensions of AI content in the coming years.
It seems as though it does. A place in writing going forward. What are your thoughts on AI content? What are your thoughts on where it does serve a content creator well, if any, and where it doesn't serve a content creator well? Yeah.
Carlos: Uh, I love this topic. You know, sometimes I feel every. Disrupt technology or every new technology, have this face right and have this boss face, you know, when the, the.com, anybody with a, with a URL now is making millions of dollars and everybody jumps on the train and you know, and then it busts.
But doesn't mean the technology's not good, it just means that because it gets so much buzz, you know, it creates a bubble. Right. You know, when electric cars came in, Decades or two decades ago, everybody was like, Oh my God, this is gonna change the world. But it takes a while for the technology to finalize, settle.
So I, I feel we're still a little bit buzz faced with AI content. I think it's, it's just a tool like, uh, like a lot of technologies, technologies are just tools to make things easier. Now, of course, the media loves to, uh, to, to open up the debate is, is AI content gonna replace human content? And I personally think it, it won't, it just will become a tool to make the writers more, more, more.
Like, Like everything, right? Like back in the day when people were doing accounting and finance, they would use things by hand. Now we have Excel and now they are a hundred times faster, right? So I think AI has a place, and we'll have a place to help people be able to produce better content because they're gonna be faster and they're not gonna have to write every single little word.
Really how we see AI working out is that, you know, Helping, um, writers sometimes overcome writer block, uh, ideate, you know, play with, with words and erase with their paragraphs. Um, I, I there's some people that think ai, right? And you go push a button and then there's an article. Yeah. But that's not really how it is.
Um, it is a real, we call it Cori. So it's really the machine and the human writing together, right? So the, the human is still giving it a lot of the essence, a lot the, the input and the machine is just helping create paragraphs and idiot and, and come out with some of the, of the data that, that, that might be needed.
So we have, we actually, with, when we acquire content refined, We also acquire rocket content, which is one of their brands. Uh, and that's AI powered content. And the place for that kind of content is, is very cost effective for people that wanna, um, experiment with, um, With different topics or different keywords.
So, and this, this, um, this type company is not intended to, you know, rank first in the se It's intended for people wanna try, try new concepts and new, a new, a new ideas. So I come to us. We create a, uh, a set of articles for them to test them out, right? And maybe get them to try to, to at least get index or, and then when they, when they test those experiments, they say, Okay, this, this topic, these keywords, it worked.
Let's invest, let's double down on them now let's, you know, invest more in that content. And if not, then let's move to an next experiment. Right? So you want experiment with, uh, uh, low cost and, and fast. So this is a fast option to do that and a very, uh, cost effective option. And where I see I. It's gonna be a bigger part of our writing.
Right now we have that brand that is doing that particular product. But I think we are, we're looking for ways in how do we incorporate in our workflow to make our process faster so we're not, um, experimental with creating briefs by ai. So the Bay, the AI is gonna create a template or an outline. And, and then we can provide that to the writer.
Or can we, you know, uh, train the writers to use the AI tool to help them write faster? But I think it's really not, it's not yet to a point that is gonna replace good human writing. And I, what I think is gonna happen as Google keep pushing the bar of quality content. Good content will come, uh, continue to rise to the top.
And maybe there is gonna be a tsunami of ai, low quality content that is gonna push all that great content still to the top right. So I think, you know, you, you, there is a space for it. But people need to understand really, uh, that really good quality content is not gonna be created exclusively by a machine.
You cannot push a button in a hundred percent. Uh, article produced by, by, by, by one of these AI tools is gonna be a great, a great. It's not, and you can, you know, I read many of them that they of fluff or didn't make any sense, but I have read also good, uh, AI power, uh, content because they were coupled with a really good human that, you know, gave it the essence and kind of instructed the tool to go the right way.
Jared: You mentioned AI for article briefs. I, I, I, It's funny I have that on my list to ask you about and, and you just mentioned it a bit. Uh, do you, it sounds like you, you could see a place there for it, maybe harnessing AI to help brainstorm the right topics and then, um, and use it. And use it there. Yeah,
Carlos: no, for sure.
That's something uh, one of the things that we're testing and we, we wanna launch, uh, to offer our clients say, cuz creating a brief takes a lot of time, right? Sometimes the brief I seen briefs are longer than the article, right? This is, is it's funny. So, um, I think there is potential there, uh, because just creating instruction, creating templates and why not automating that part of, of the work, which is, and again, Takes, takes a lot of it.
Now there's, uh, just recently Jasper came with, uh, uh, art, AI art, right? And it's pretty cool cause you sometimes you want graphics and want, uh, drawings and then you can give this, this thing a few words and then come out with a drawing. So I think it's gonna continue to evolve. There's gonna be a bunch of different applications.
Um, but I mean, I don't, I don't know. This is me as speculator. I don't know if ever will replace, uh, good human. Because, you know, humans can still, I don't think, uh, a machine can be as creative as a human.
Jared: Yeah. Yeah, it's, it's certainly, it's gonna be interesting to see how all this progresses, but as someone who's, you know, working at the head of a large content producing agency, it's fascinating to hear your perspective on it, how to use it best, where it works best.
I forgot that you guys now also have, uh, rocket content under your, um, under your umbrella. So that's actually even more fascinating to hear you guys are actively working in ai. I mean, if I were. If I were to interpret a little bit about what I heard you say, you know, do you think there's a strategy with AI to publish a series of articles around a certain topic and then just let them sit and wait to see what index is, and then based on how Google responds to your site producing some of this AI content, then you circle back and then add human elements, or maybe even rewrite the entire article based on what you see.
Google, um, liking, indexing, starting to. Uh, it, it did. I did I hear that right? Is that a good synopsis of it?
Carlos: Yeah. Yeah. And we have seen it, we have seen it already. We have a few, Um, I ask, uh, Narcs, who is the, the business manager for, for country finance and rock content to give me a few, um, case studies of our clients and rock content.
And we, we see, you know, some of these, uh, some of them, um, uh, been able to index some, some new sites, some new pages and gain some, some decent traffic. So now the next phase is, okay, let's double down on the ones on the winner. Let's, you know, get rid of the losers, double down the winners, and now let's go and, and look for more, more opportunities.
And that's a, that's a, that's a good process for somebody that, that wanna experiment with concepts. Right? Is, is, is, uh, is a, is a very cost effective way to do it. Oh,
Jared: that's really interesting. It's very interesting. Well, let's talk as we close out here about, uh, about crowd content, and. How it merged or works with content refined.
Uh, obviously you mentioned we had narciss on a while back, and content refined is a pretty established name and content creation, at least in this, in this niche. What, um, what led you guys to merge or to crowd control? Taking over content refined. And tell us a little bit more about if anything has changed in terms of, of those two brands.
Carlos: Yeah, so we have a, a pre ambitious acquisition strategy and a pre ambitious growth strategy. So we wanna continue to grow organically, continue bringing clients with our, with our main brands and, but also wanna acquire other, other, other, um, content writing platforms or content writing agencies because there is a very fragment.
Industry and we think there is an opportunity to, um, to, to consolidate and, and, and provide a better, a better, uh, value for, for the users and for the clients out there. So really, content fine was one of the first, uh, acquisitions that we did on crowd content. We a content writing platform with a, um, uh, with the freelance model.
You know, similar to two other platforms out there. So all of our writers are freelancers, but we have to business model. We have a marketplace. Pre Selfer. People come in, they do everything on their own. They find their own writers, they talk to the writers, et cetera. We have a manage services, which is really the high end enterprise kind of product, and we work, work with very large, you know, fortune.
2000 companies and very large brands, or very large media publishers, but there was a gap between those two. We see a lot of clients that are not a large brand, are not, you know, don't have the volume to be a managed enterprise client, but also need a little bit more help, uh, that just going solo in the marketplace and trying to do everything on their own.
So, uh, country finders and his team done a, they do a great job. To, to helping people that only have a URL and an idea . And they say, This is, look, I only have a site. I don't know really exactly what to do. I don't know how to even do keyword research and, and all these, uh, content briefs, so help me. Right?
And the content find has great packages for that kind of profile. They're really good for affiliates, uh, because again, these are, uh, mom and pops or, or, or somebody doing, or the car or the desk. They don't wanna invest a lot of money, uh, but also don't. The ability to hire an SEO expert, a, a researcher, all that stuff so they can come to, come to refine and have a more, you know, a little bit more handhold and a little bit more, um, more help around strategy and, um, publication, because we do all the, all soup to nuts, right?
So all the way from keyword research and ideation and topic, uh, generation brief. All the way to polishing. So it's a great solution for people that need a little bit more help, that don't have the kind of budget to be kind of, um, a fully managed service client and need more help on doing everything on their own as a marketplace client.
Also, the other thing that was appealing to us was the whole AI product. They had, they had lunch cuz we, we, we, we saw these AI. Topic coming up and coming up and say, Well, we wanna learn about it. We wanna kinda look at how it behaves. Is there really a, a value to, to the market out there with this product?
So it was, it was a good way to get into that, um, without having to start from a scratch and create our own product. So I think it's just complimenting our portfolio of services for our. It's
Jared: great. Good distinction. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Makes a lot of sense. Uh, well, Carlos, it's been really interesting to hear from someone at the top levels of content creation about, I mean the whole, you know, gamut of things we talked about.
I really appreciate you stopping by and, uh, introducing yourself and, and kind of lending your thoughts here on, on content creation. I particularly enjoyed all your tips on scale and how to scale that process. And not by doing it, where you just pull the pin and throw it over the fence and hope it all works out well, but by actually being a part of the process, but how you can get results at scale without having to do it all yourself.
So, uh, yeah. So anyways, thanks for coming on and, and bringing so much value.
Carlos: No thanks. I really appreciate the invite and, uh, yeah, giving me the opportunity to, to speak about our topic that I'm super passionate about.
Jared: So where can people catch up with you and follow along with what you're doing? Uh, tell us, also give us, uh, the, you know, the information on, uh, both crowd content and content refined.
Carlos: Yeah. Awesome. So look, uh, the crowd, content, family, crowd, content, content, refine and rocket content, and, and, and especially crowd content, we're all about quality at a scale, right? So people wanna have quality writing at a large scale. We are, we are the place to go. Um, we are really, really disciplined around making sure we have the best writers and we have, we can really deliver content to our client, uh, quality content to our clients or guarantee we have.
Love your content guarantee. That's our motto. Either you love it or it's guarantee that you love it or, or you get your money back or you're, or you, you will do the piece until you're, until you love it. So because we are, we are very proud and very judicious about making sure that we have high quality.
Counter find is a great place for people that. Right starting off or that have, you know, that don't have the volume or the resources to go, uh, to crowd content, but also need a lot of help. And rocket content is the place to experiment, to be playful with, uh, with some concepts and some some ideas, right?
And if you wanna seed some sites in a cost effective manner, That's the place to go. You can follow me on LinkedIn. I try to, to polish a, a valuable content for, people are interested in content marketing and, and, and, and lead generation things around digital marketing, uh, and Twitter as well. I'm a. Carlos J Mea Not very, not very easy to, to define Carlos.
J Mea one. Uh, LinkedIn, Carlos Mea. Uh, on our blog, we are trying to polish as, as much stuff as possible that is helpful. Like again, we're, we're eating our own, uh, our own dog food. So we polish recently an article around the, the, the May core. And it ranked very well because we, we put a lot of thought into it.
We actually got it to rank above Google's, uh, Google's article about the core update. Cause we put a lot of love into, into our own, into our own content. So go to our blog. There's very, uh, a lot of useful resources. We launch a bunch of webinars. We'll be having, um, you know, big names, uh, coming up. So we would try to give our, or, or, or our audience and our kinds and our prospects, you know, really good, insightful information around the whole content marketing.
Jared: I'll, I'll make sure we get some of that in the show notes too, so people can click and head over. Um, that's cool. . Regardless, thanks so much for joining us. Can we talk again next time? Have a good one.
Carlos: Thank you, Jar. You have a good one too.
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