Pick His Brain!
I’d like to introduce Joe Graisbery for our ‘Pick His Brain’ session and I want to thank him for the participation.
He is successfully running a quality content creation service, https://seocontenthero.com/, and this platform can save you a major headache.
I do have in-house writers but I also leverage his service and it has been a great experience.
Since this post isn’t a promotion, I would let you pick his brain on content creation and syndications strategies which we all need.
You also need a service like this to scale if you don’t have a writing team. Please ask him anything and he will get to your question whenever he can.
Here are the rules.
1) I’ll let the thread go on until he passes out or he begs me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until bitcoin value goes to zero.
2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other’s success and strategies.
3) Please do not PM him and bother him. If you have a private question, ask for his permission on this thread when appropriate.
Why did you go into content writing business?
It originally began as a pool of resources for a couple of us that wanted to scale our SEO services.
When I started selling SEO, I quickly found that the core of it all was content + supporting content + links.
What’s your process for quality control?
The biggest part is properly vetting the writers from the beginning.
We employ a rigorous process to qualify them and we then assign our new writers items for our own agency first to help us figure out their habits before we use them for SEOCH.
It also helps that my wife has an English lit degree – she’s a huge part of the business as well.
How many articles per month do you produce?
We’ve had weeks where we’ve done over 300k words,
I’ll have to circle back after I’ve done a little math for this one, John King.
How would we apply your services to scale properly?
Great question, because this is essentially how (I think) we differ from other service providers.
We’ve got different levels of content purposed for various part of your SEO campaign, e.g. for local: The Standard for simple supporting topical articles.
Premium for things like service pages, and Platinum for client facing pages (landing pages etc).
Here’s an image that shows how it might be used for affiliate too.
I should also mention here that each level of content has different pricing so that you can achieve your goals without breaking the bank.
By having the option of paying only $1.50/100 words for supporting content.
For example, you could save a ton of money in areas where you don’t need absolute perfection.
How do you deal with elastic demand?
The content sales market is an interesting one.
There’s a definite area of cost that digital marketers find attractive and I think we’ve found it while at the same time delivering quality.
Costs for SEO can be quite expensive and I realize the challenges of achieving margins.
That’s the key with any scaled business is finding that sweet spot. With us, the larger the order, the lesser the cost.
That works for us because each business transaction requires its own individual process.
So we funnel that benefit right on down to the customer; less processes = a reduction in overall cost.
What’s your biggest bottleneck for mass content production?
I’d have to say the number of writers available at any given time when I receive a random large bulk order (let’s say 40k words).
It is for a level of content where nearly all the writers are already booked for the next week.
Is it a turn key approach on a per client approach?
We rely on our customers to supply us with all of the article details.
But we have several customers that have hired us to run their content campaigns and do everything from start to finish.
Including research, posting their articles, and even taking care of the HTML SEO elements.
It is likely that we’ll evolve into having more hands off services that you can order straight off the site in the future.
Do you have a sop for writers to follow?
I love this question (because I am an SOP freak) and the answer is yes.
We have a general SOP the writers follow and we have templates for various types of writing projects.
I’m real big on instructional videos and checklists. We also adjust to our customers’ requests first and foremost though.
How many filters do you have for quality control?
3 if you include myself!
What would be your idea of a content promotion strategy?
The most common thing I do is reverse engineer the competition, then do a little more
How do you manage the quality of your writers?
I think the key for us is our vetting system when we onboard people.
After that you’ve really got to study their individual habits for at least a month.
Since much of my time consists of hiring and managing writers, you get to know the signs
Is it true that Jeff Buckley writes ALL your content??
Hehe, I’m looking forward to buying “Jeff” (his real name is Bob btw out of his part of the business before the year is over.
Do you have plans to integrate an ordering and fulfillment dashboard into your service? If so what have been your biggest hurdles regarding this?
We’ve been exploring software for different aspects of the business.
The challenge is that our regular customers tend to have their own individual SOP & requirements.
But we’ve got a few ideas in the works to get a little more automated and customer friendly by integrating a custom codeignitor platform.
I also run a content agency (on the side). The LARGEST challenge, as both an agency, and for our own in-house writing team over the last decade is finding HIGH QUALITY writers at a price point that makes sense for the market. For those out there that know this struggle all too well, what recommendations do you have?
I agree, that’s the biggest challenge when it comes to achieving an excellent price point as a content vendor.
I could hire an unlimited number of writers with a higher budget, but the number of orders I’d get would plummet.
The bottom line is that you’ve just got to be really wired in and on your game and learn how to recruit and recognize talent.
And walk a thin line according to the old addage “you get what you pay for”.
What the best content structure for product reviews that converts well?
When it comes to choosing a structure.
For ranking purposes I’d suggest researching / reverse engineering what is currently ranking for the specific product & get the “template” there.
An area writers tend to miss the mark with regarding conversion is SKILLFULLY summarizing the benefits of owning the particular product and effectively describing the best features.
AVG structure might look like:
Most Important Features
Pros & Cons
Product Details (varies according to product type)
Discuss Cost & Value
Who is the best customer for the product
Do you do any niche? Some niches are quite technical and may require some experience or vast research.
So far we’ve been able to handle anything and everything that’s been thrown at us.
Sometimes we have to do custom orders for heavy research.
Have you tried different approaches to introduction and other parts to increase conversions on commercially targeted articles? Things like introducing yourself as an authority VS presenting something they can’t miss so they better continue reading VS humor, etc?
Introductions are extremely important. IMHO I think website content that converts the best consists of easy to read.
Purposeful information with a clear call to action.
What’s the most important thing that you care about in an article?
I would say that if the reader extracts value according to the purpose of the article.
Engage them from the beginning and follow through with substantive info, NOT FLUFF.
Do you use any tools to enhance the editing and QA process? eg. Grammarly, Copyscape etc if so why those tools and what for, if not, why not?
We use copyscape for new writers for at least during their probationary period, then we spot check articles after we’ve built some trust with them.
We don’t require all of our writers to use Grammarly, but we do use in in some cases to help with quality and assess it.
And also some of our regular clients require its use.
It’s a great tool.
You do have to understand how to navigate it’s flaws properly though.
The best writers will produce good work that does not require editing (many times they use Grammarly on their own).
But it does help to have a QA process where each piece is at least somewhat reviewed.
Does it make any sense to add the domain of the site to the alt tag? I know having an alt tag is important – but just wondering how Rank applies to the context of the alt tag.
Aside from making sure the alt tag is relevant to the image, and assuming you’ve fulfilled your alt keyword requ (a great practice is to make sure the alt has main kw for the page within it).
Perhaps use https://www.text-tools.net/ to see if there’s any descriptive words related to the image that could fill in any gaps.
Google considers alt text similar to how sub – heading text may be classified IMO.
Can your writers do quality vs reviews(for example: Kinsta vs WPEngine hosting) and if so at which package level? The Premium looks attractive if the quality is good.
The Premium is a good choice for that type of content.
Give it a shot!
How do you determine what style of content a client should use? I.e. should they utilize blogging vs video marketing vs infographics, etc?
We typically rely on the customer to first choose the medium, and it also helps for the customer to reference pcs that they like and would like to use as a template.
We’ve done a considerable amount of video scripts, infographics etc, so we also have existing best practices templates for those items.
Do you use content for link building purposes? If so, what’s one of your go-to content types to acquire links for local businesses?
Lately we’ve been doing quite a few ebooks and guides.
I’d recommend something purposeful like that which could be a source of information for visitors.