It doesn’t matter what online marketing role you end up in, whether it be brand building, lead-gen, product/servic...
Have you ever had that moment when you feel that you have found a diamond in the rough? Well, I’ve experienced that awesome feeling just recently.
I’ve worked with freelancers, and I think this is the right time to show my thanks to one of them: A content writer who offers me journalist-level content writing skills that makes me want to keep his service for myself – but I just couldn’t do that. You can find his contact info at the end of this article. But for now, read on.
I’ve been working with Chad Stewart, a copywriter from Canada, for two years, and he has written hundreds of articles for me. He has been a copywriter for years, and he surely knows how to write compelling articles.
But recently, I’ve noticed that this guy has something that is more than just content writing. Insight. Experience. Uniqueness. At coach level, I suspect.
Writing hundreds, even thousands of articles throughout the years have given him the ability to analyze topics really well (so, guys, if you want to be knowledgable, or even an expert, start blogging!) I sometimes ask for his suggestions about my websites, and he’s been helpful.
The last discussion we have offers me a new insight on what Chad can offer me. I think to myself, “Holy cow – I hired him to write me articles, and now I also get a free coaching session. This is awesome!”
Chad is currently writing for two of my sites, BizEpic.com, and Uptourist.com. The former is in the business niche, and the later is in the travel niche. Both are doing alright, but I can’t figure out how to grow both faster. The traffic is stagnant and even worse, both are not making a sustainable income.
I talk to Chad about my plan to lead both sites to a new direction, and ask him what he thinks about my plan. To better explain it to you, here’s my email and Chad’s reply. Epic.
Please note, I omit some details about my last talk about a project, but everything else about my two sites stays unedited.
Here’s my email:
[removed an irrelevant project talk here]
It’s a coincidence, but I actually want to discuss about the changes for May 2015 onward about the short posts: The bottom line is, we gotta stop doing those 🙂 Since you’ve mentioned it in your email, let’s get on to details right away, shall we?
Here’s the situation:
For BizEpic.com, it’s been a year with stagnant growth (sure, there are spikes of traffic, but it’s a hit-or-miss.) I will take your suggestion to focus it on personal development (maybe 80% personal development, 20% miscellaneous) – in fact, if you noticed, I’ve changed the “motivational” category into “personal development”
For Uptourist.com, the posts are more socially engaging than the BIzEpic.com ones, but they don’t convert well (e.g. regular visits/newsletter signup – not good.) I have a plan to overhaul Uptourist.com and take it into a niche market (any suggestions?)
Off the record, both sites are on the red every month. I need to get more advertisers on board, but I need to show traffic. Not that your article is not awesome, but as you said, longer-form content seems to appeal more to visitors – and in my experience, that also the case for advertisers 🙂
So, while sticking to my usual monthly budget, please suggest how many long(er) post you suggest for each BizEpic.com and Uptourist.com
And here’s Chad’s advice:
[removed an irrelevant project talk here]
Love that you’re changing the focus on BizEpic man. It seems that’s what your visitors like most. Sorry, the sites aren’t paying off, but glad you’re staying the course.
UpTourist? Well, if you read my posts, you’ll know that I’m partial to backpacking and most people who’re reading up on travel are too! Shifting the focus to this niche still leaves all the options for posts such as hotel recommendations, destination reviews, and suggestions, along with all the budget related stuff. I’ve always kind of thought your focus on the hotel/flight finder is a little too non-specific. There’s nothing wrong with having them in the UI, but I don’t think you have the resources to make it a true hotel/flight review and service type of site. Really, that’s a niche that requires that you or employees/contributors would have to travel around a lot — using and reviewing these services.
Worse, I’m sure you’ve noticed that most of the content on YouTube, etc., isn’t very good when it comes to reviews of hotels or airlines. I’ve spent hours wasting my time wading through so-called “reviews” and most of them are bullcrap; either way too promotional or not really offering any sort of professional review that a viewer would use (the view counts and likes on these reviews are very low too, meaning there’s probably no way you, I, or anyone else can possibly spin them into a viral post on UT.)
I’d suggest that if you can’t swing more on the budget:
Three 400+ word articles per week on BizEpic (with videos embedded and meant to support, but not always necessarily the focus of each post — i.e.,., giving a synopsis/rundown of what was said).
Daily post of the same length as BizEpic on UT, using mainly backpacker-friendly content (really this is not much different than what my posts focus on already, but I do feel obliged sometimes to mix it up and do hotel reviews, airline-related posts and such, which rarely get any traction with social engagement).
I think this niche plan makes the most sense from an advertiser perspective on UT too because there’s no limit to the products they (backpackers) would need, whereas an occasional or twice-yearly traveler might only be interested in buying a suitcase, cheap flight, package vacation, etc. Whereas a backpacker is always looking to find useful gear and their globe-trotting nature means they need to replace shoes, hiking boots, backpacks, clothing, etc. all the time because they’re changing climates quite often. They’re also compulsive about flight deals and cheap transportation — an advertiser’s dream really, even though many are very budget minded about their purchases.
Don’t take my advice unless you agree though. If you’re stuck for a plan, then research is better than just going on a whim and listening to my biased advice. I’m just the paid help. 😀
Have you explored furthering your reach by joining forums or any other platforms to find people who need what the sites offer?
All the best,
I don’t know about you, but I think that Chad’s suggestions are simply brilliant. He’s not only helping me with my need for quality content, he’s also providing me great advice on how to transform my websites.
So, to pay it forward, here’s my advice to you, my dear reader: Build a relationship with your staffs and freelancers. You never knew what they can offer you beyond the scope of your projects.
One more thing: There ARE gems out there that are yet to unearth – keep on looking for great people that can help you run your business, and once you found them, do what you can to keep them. And yes, money is not always the right reward; you need to awaken the potential of your staffs and be sure that you involve them in your business decision-making. You’ll never know the value your staffs can bring to the table.
Chad – I thank you for over-delivering. You’re the man!
If you want some cool articles written for you – which may also include epic business advice, you can contact Chad Stewart at CopyStud.com
Cover photo credit: Wikia
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