I’m a publisher at heart.
My business is publishing content, most of it being informational instead of promotional.
Even my articles with affiliate links aren’t very promotional. This probably explains why my affiliate revenue pales in comparison to ad revenue.
It’s how I’m wired.
I know plenty of marketers though. It’s interesting talking to them because content publishing is a foreign concept to them. They don’t understand it at all. I’m often amazed at how they don’t get it. But then they probably are equally bemused by my lack of selling savvy.
They’re wired to sell.
They love selling while I love publishing content and attracting website visitors.
The two are very different.
With Fat Stacks I sell stuff, but the lion’s share of selling is via content. Sure, I do promos, but they aren’t sophisticated. I’ve had marketers contact me saying my sales pages are lacking. They’re right. Being salespeople, they offer me their services to improve them. I’m sometimes tempted but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet.
The reason I manage to sell some courses and earn some affiliate commissions is most people who buy anything from me have read my emails and blog posts, maybe watched some vids and maybe listened to some podcasts. They like the content so buy the course(s).
It’s called content marketing.
While the focus is on content, it’s still different than purely publishing.
I don’t mind content marketing but I don’t like it as much as content publishing.
Marketing, in all its forms, is very hard for me. It requires planning, logistics, tech and a lot of thinking.
Content publishing doesn’t require much of any of that. It’s so simple.
1. Find a topic.
2. Publish article.
3. Rinse and repeat.
Marketing on the other hand has many moving parts.
1. Create an offer.
2. Plan out and create a sales funnel. Create segments and rules and sequences.
3. Test said sales funnel.
4. Tweak offer.
5. Test ad buys.
6. Tweak ads.
7. Tweak offer.
8. Tweak funnel.
9. Test test test.
It’s a merry-go-round of testing and tweaking.
There are so many variables.
It’s hard to keep it all straight.
It’s actually exhausting for me.
If it’s so exhausting why do I sell anything at all?
I sell because I can largely do so with content marketing, which I can manage.
Other marketers tell me that my sales process is lacking badly. I agree, but I have no interest in improving it.
Again, I’m leaving money on the table. I leave plenty of money on the table.
Examples of how I leave money on the table with my niche sites:
1. I don’t leverage my niche sites to rank for more buyer intent content nearly as much as I could.
2. I don’t tweak and test affiliate offers on my niche sites (at least I don’t do much of it).
3. I dial back the ads. AdThrive tells me I could add more ads, but I use my judgment and dial them back with consideration for the user (that’s not to say I’m not aggressive with ads though – I am).
4. I don’t build links. I could get more traffic if I invested time and money in building links, but I don’t care for the process or the risk. Since I can do well without building links, I forego it, even if it hurts my bottom line.
5. I don’t launch YouTube channels for all my niche sites. YouTube can be an extraordinary source and brand builder for almost any niche, but vids aren’t my specialty at this time, so I seriously restrict my YouTube efforts. If ever I were to go big into YouTube, I’d need to hire personalities which is big bucks. I’m not there yet.
I know all of the above hurts my bottom line… in the short run.
I say “the short run” because if I force myself to continually do things I don’t like or am not good at, my business will suffer.
My energy will wane.
I’ll lose focus.
Most importantly, I won’t enjoy my days as I do when I focus on publishing content.
Bottom line: It’s okay focusing on tasks that don’t maximize your bottom line.
Much of this business is figuring out what not to do.
While it may seem like a bad idea to forego revenue opportunities, you can’t do it all, nor should you.
Get rid of the mental clutter.
Stick to what you’re good at and that comes easy to you. You’ll be better off in the long run.
If you’re good at selling and get a thrill out of it, do it. While I make it sound hard above, that’s because it’s hard for me.
For the marketing brains out there, it’s a natural process.
What if you love everything about the content publishing model but aren’t big on some aspects of it like keyword research and/or writing? Or don’t have time?
Maybe you love on-site SEO (this can be a fun and lucrative focus IMO).
Or maybe you have more sites than you can handle and need to offload some KW research and writing.
If this is the case, you could try Content Refined’s KW research and content production service (use coupon fatstacks for the $.08 per word rate – includes KW research and content).
So far this year, I’ve launched several new niche sites. I can’t do all the KW research for them so I started having Content Refined do it along with writing the content.
I did a test batch of KW research and articles with Content Refined several months ago. That content is starting to rank now so I published a case study on it here.
Overall, I’m happy with the results so far.
So I ordered new batches for most of my new sites to grow them without much involvement. My approach with new sites is to toss up all kinds of articles relevant to the niche, start getting traffic, then carpet bomb specific topics that have legs.
I’m in the topic test phase right now which I’m leaving that to Content Refined.
Am I also using WriterAccess for these new sites?
Yes, I am also using WriterAccess. I’m using both. For any niche, I usually have a long list of keywords to go after just because I’ve been at this for so long. But for new ideas, I’m leaving that to Content Refined (coupon fatstacks for $.08 per word for KW research and content).
Yes, I’ve ordered a batch from Content Refined for Cyclebaron.com that I should have published in a couple of weeks. I’ll specify which articles they are when published.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.