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In a Norton 360/Lifelock television commercial, comedian and retired late night talk show host Jay Leno discusses the importance of choosing a specialist to handle tasks you can’t or don’t want to take care of yourself. It’s a great principle that many successful people employ, including ace copywriter Bob Bly, who says he has someone pick up his business suits and take them to the cleaners for him because he’s too busy doing what he does best.
In other words, hiring people who do what they do best frees up time for you to focus on what you do best.
My 8 Years as Chief Operations Officer for a Content Agency
In 2006, I answered a call for writers on a content writing website. I’d been struggling to start my freelance business for about six months. Still in the startup phase, I sent my application and waited to see what would happen. A day or two later, a man named Chris McElroy responded. He wanted to see samples of my writing. I sent some. He hired me.
He offered me $10 per article to write SEO content articles for his clients. I thought, This man must be crazy.
At the time, I had no clients of my own and was down to my last $10. Literally, my wife and I had $10 in the bank. I struggled with understanding how I was going to earn a living writing articles for $10 a pop. Nevertheless, with no other options, I accepted the offer. I quickly learned that I could spend 15 minutes researching a topic by Googling it and then spend 45 minutes writing 10 articles on the topic using slightly different keywords. And those articles would achieve high rankings in Google’s search index. I could make $100 an hour writing spam.
I’m glad we don’t write content that way anymore, but I learned something by working with Chris McElroy. We worked together for eight years. We eventually increased our prices to $30 per article. At one time, we managed 50 daily blogs and thousands of articles each month.
One week after hiring me to write articles, Chris asked me to write his clients’ blogs. Ten of them. A month later, he asked me to manage the content production so that he could focus on sales. With that arrangement, we built that content business to over $30,000 a month in revenue. We had a dozen writers working with us at one time, all of whom I managed and taught how to write articles and blog posts. By hiring me to manage the business, Chris was able to scale the entire operation in a way that he could never have done on his own.
Launching Taylored Content LLC
In 2013, at the height of our operation, I made a bold move. I decided to go on my own and launch my own freelance content business.
Taylored Content would go in a completely different direction. I focused on higher end content and sought a different type of client. I raised my prices and offered premium blog and article writing services, ghostwriting, and more. Eventually, I’d write white papers and books for my clients. I liked it a lot better than running a spam content company because I was producing high-impact authority content for clients who understood the value of such content. They were happy. I was happy.
I still write for those clients. But I’ve also taken on editorial roles for online publications. In fact, in 2018, I was editor of two separate online publications that served two different but related niches. In February this year, like a lot of other people, I was taken by surprise when COVID-19 started to chip away at my business. Clients slowly started cutting back on their marketing budgets.
Despite this huge black swan event, I’m confident of the future. This too shall pass. But I’m also acutely aware that the companies with the best chances at survival are those companies that recognize the market opportunity today consists of positioning themselves for emerging on the back end of this crisis stronger than before. That requires an investment in marketing.
Why a Content Manager is Good for Your Business
During the financial crisis in 2008, I was still working with Chris McElroy, we lost much of our business when clients began to cut back on their marketing budgets. Most of them were real estate companies. Nevertheless, we stuck with our business plan and came out of that crisis still strong. The main reason we were able to do that is because we didn’t give up.
The principle employed by Chris, Bob Bly, and Jay Leno is still a good, sound principle. It’s a great principle during good times and bad times. No black swan event will change the fact that hiring a specialist to do what he does best will free up your time to focus on what you do best. That’s why I advocate for companies with a need for ongoing content–and that’s virtually any company with an online presence today–to take their business to the next level by hiring a content manager. You want someone who understands the value of niche content, how to properly SEO that content, and to make that content searchable. These are all skills I’ve developed in the 14 years that I’ve been producing content online.
Companies best poised to emerge from the current crisis and scale their businesses using content marketing are companies that fit the following profile:
- Own multiple niche websites in need of regular content
- Serve no more than two or three niches, but preferably just one
- Are currently earning respectable revenues from their content
- Exist in a market that is rising or that was rising prior to January 2020 when the coronavirus crisis first took root in the U.S.
- Work with freelance writers to produce their content
- Companies spending 5%-10% of their revenue on marketing with a good percentage of that contributed to content marketing
Content marketing has become very important to businesses of all sizes and in all niches. The more competitive the industry, the more important it is to leverage content marketing for lead generation and customer acquisition. If your company does not currently have a content manager, you can improve your chances of emerging from the current crisis in a better market position by investing in one. Let the content manager carry the load on pushing your business to the forefront of your audience’s mind while you focus on the day-to-day operation of your business.
Are you the CEO of a company without a content manager? Sign up today for a free consultation, or call 717-253-2306.