An interesting discussion arose over at PPC Super Affiliate Amit Mehta’s blog: Is it easy to create content, which ultimately drives traffic and generates profits, at an attractive price?
Amit and I are in obvious agreement that niche sites can be very profitable. As Amit notes:
Yes, $1k-$2k/month is fairly typical for the amount of revenue that I generate from my content sites just free traffic. Small compared to what I make from PPC from these site, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a great source of long term revenues & profits, especially if you continue to add content and get backlinks to your site.
That $1k-$2k/month can grow to $1k/day, I know one affiliate who have done this in 6 months by ranking high in Yahoo and MSN.
Certainly, niche sites can provide nice long tail income, especially if you’ve built a critical mass of niche sites.
Amit’s experience of talking to one super affiliate: I had a chance to speak with some other very successful super affiliates. I talked to one guy who was running 500 affiliate offers at one time, making $20-$50/day from each one. WOW!
Is fairly typical of a number of Super Affiliates I’ve worked together with.
But the one limiting factor, especially if you’re not already doing this regularly is:
How do you generate original and more importantly “sticky” content.
Tim notes in the comments to Amit’s post:
Thanks for addressing the issue of content creation. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m curious to know where you are finding writers who work for $5 a page. Most of the eLance article writers I have seen who actually have a good command of English and write well charge a lot more than $5 a page. Maybe IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not negotiating enough.
It would be great if you could share your Ã¢â‚¬Å“insider strategiesÃ¢â‚¬Â on quality content control and selecting the right people to outsource to. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve found some great people on eLance, but theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not insanely cheap not do I want to insult them by nickel-and-diming them down to nothing. I think what Amit has said is that if you find someone good, expect to pay them well because theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re in pretty high demand.
The reality is that you will get what you pay for. Proven quality costs.
A workaround is to find new guys on sites like elance, workaholics or rent a coder, who’ve yet to establish themselves and might be willing to do quality work on the cheap in order to build some positive feedback.
If you’re going along this approach, you might like to farm out a batch of 3 articles, and solicit 10-20 freelancers to work on your project. You could then do a ‘survivor’ style elimination and work with your favorite 2-3 writers.
The important thing to note is that you need to spend time scanning and headhunting quality. You might be really lucky and have a talented freelancer fall into your lap, but it’s not likely to happen.
In terms of negotiating a good rate, as a business consultant I look at three dimensions when working with a new prospect:
- What’s the level of trust/engagement?
- What’re the long term prospects?
- Am I merely a contractor or could I potentially be a “partner in profits”?
Addressing the trust/engagement issue, you need to establish rapport with your writer, make them feel comfortable. It’s just like any real-world, face-to-face relationship. If you feel secure with the person, the relationship will flow very smoothly.
You could demonstrate your commitment and explore the long term prospects by:
- Making an upfront payment for the job
- Making a long term commitment (contracting 500 pages of content over a 6 month period)
- Banking on your credibility (You’ve established yourself as an authority and as a credible person within your industry, haven’t you?)
Although it’s an online work relationship, many of the dynamics of physical relationships come into play.
You might’ve heard of several successful Internet Marketing partnerships where 2 guys met on a forum, decided to work on a project together, and ended up as partners. You might also have heard of an Internet Marketer who advertised for a programmer on Monster/Craigslist/LinkedIn/a forum, got someone to work on a couple of projects, found a good fit and eventually ended up as partners.
A number of the joint ventures I’m working on have also originated from forums. Whatever you might think, Internet Marketing is still a people/relationship business and at the end of the day, it’s not merely what you know, and who you know, it’s also a matter of how well you know them.
A cynic once told me, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.
There’s an element of truth in that, and keeping that phrase in mind, will help you go far in this business.