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Journey To A Site For Writers And Content Buyers - Deadline Included!

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by charliebrooker, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I've been making money online for ten years. Over the past three years I have moved into freelance writing.

    My rates started at $5 per 500 words, but within 3 months I was charging $15 for "basic" content. Now I don't really get out of bed for less than $25 per 500 words and have a few regular clients happy to pay that and more.

    But I have an itch that is not being scratched. I want a website that generates income and gives something unique back to the MMO community. I love organising and running sites, so it is something I am passionate about doing.

    One thing I've noticed is how bloody frustrating it is to get a decent writer. Sites like Fiverr are a lottery for example. I haven't got much knowledge of BHW based-services, but I'm sure some suffer from the same issues: lack of reliability, disappearing, claims on quality and "native" writing that don't hold up, and of course passing off the worst sort of spun or barely-legible shit as something that will "sky rocket" a website.

    So I got to thinking and came up with a way to bring quality writers and buyers together in a new way.


    Why A Journey Thread? Don't You Have Better Things To Do?

    This journey thread is marketing, I admit that. Some of you people are going to be buyers and the sellers, I hope.

    But I believe one thing many people ignore when setting out online is to have a proper strategy for starting their online business, a REAL business plan.

    With a background in project development as well, I'm hoping this thread might give some value to anyone starting out.

    I'll be updating it once per week, probably at the weekend, so don't expect frequent updates or answers to questions. Hey, I'm busy launching a business here!


    The Initial Plan

    1. Site development. This will include a core script purchase, followed by some development work to weave in the unique features it will need to run a writing services marketplace. I'm in negotiations with all of that right now.

    2. Keyword research for a blog on the domain that will be launching this week to start building some context.

    3. Join every single relevant site and forum I can to prepare the ground and network.

    4. Identify and connect with influencers on Twitter in the niche to hopefully seed some leg-up publicity on launch.

    5. I have pointed 175 twitter accounts at relevant accounts to follower the followers of, using Twidium Inviter (plug for you there boys). My goal is to gain around 50,000 followers in the niche by launch (hey, make sure you follow back new followers, it might be me!).

    6. Identify 50 guest blogging opportunities in the MMO niche and negotiate high quality guest articles for publication during the launch (who would turn down a free $25 article? We will see.)

    7. Identify and prepare advertising text, banners and locations and budget for a one month launch campaign.

    8. Commission a series of enticing pre-launch video's using a rather lovely lady. She's working on my scripts already.


    That's the main stuff, there are about 50 other minor things to do, but that should give you an idea of the scale of it. I can't disclose my budget for all of this, but it's certainly not insignificant!

    I also won't be sharing the domain anywhere here, not even in PM. I don't want to fall foul of the mods and rules, and I think it would disrespectful to try, so please don't ask. Once it's launched I'll upgrade my account and stick it in my signature!

    The site launches on 1st October. So there you have it, a journey thread with a hard-coded deadline.

    Tally ho!
     
  2. elfgirl

    elfgirl Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This seems like almost exactly what I am trying to do. If you would be interested in talking, hit me up
     
  3. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Quick update.

    The site code is now being developed and should be in place for dev testing within two weeks.

    I have now searched and found over fifty places that have current published posts (ie, the sites are not dead in the water), and accept guest posts. Some are ambitious, but a post on just one of them would probably in itself sustain enough traffic to make the new site viable.

    One thing you may have noticed is that I have not really mentioned SEO or linbuilding for SEO.

    This is because it is going to be a marketplace site. The problem with those types of site is that you need active buyers and sellers, you need an initial critical mass that then builds itself. If buyers or sellers are not in equal quantities then the site fails. It's a problem things like new forums also suffer from.

    So SEO can wait for a few months. My pure focus is on traffic generation pre launch to the new video landing page and notification page, and immediate post-launch traffic.

    Oh, and if you have a decent seo/marketing site/blog and would like a quality blog post, then drop me a PM.
     
  4. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    What a day!

    How hard would you think it is to find a free helpdesk script or plugin that is also responsive to all devices? In 2015?

    It took me two hours. Just loads of crappy wordpress plugins and poor scripts.

    Anyway, I found one, installed it, skinned it and added the core articles to a knowledgebase. So the site support is good to go.

    On the development front, the site mods are underway now and it looks like I can start UAT next week on all features with some friends involved.

    Twidium now has 300 accounts loaded and auto-following every single day. My followback looks to be about 10%, which I don't think is too bad, considering I'm following around 6000 people a day, all in the marketing niche.

    The cool intro to the promotional video has been delivered. A swooshy effect with music and my site logo coming into view. Very good for $5.

    The big problem is six weeks of school holidays have begun and I have a five year old. So work is going to be in the evenings, which is not ideal.

    Tomorrow night I'll be reaching out to every single site I'm targeting for a guest post, hoping to get a response and a name.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  5. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    More progress today.

    The initial promo video has been stitched together and put on a landing page.

    Tomorrow I'm going to fire up Twidium accounter and do a blast from 200+ accounts to push people to the landing page in order to get email optins for a launch notification email.

    I've also just noticed this thread is only rated three stars. What else you do want to know?
     
  6. Geared

    Geared Newbie

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    Looks like you have a good plan in progress mate. Is it costing much to have the website built up?
    When you get to the stage where you need Freelancers to offer their services on your site let me know. I'm a freelance writer and I'd be happy to place an Ad on your site and become a regular user/tester.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Geared - the base script is £250, then I'm having around £500 of mods added. It's going to be a top-notch and responsive marketplace. Oh, and listing your service will be free, the site will take 10% of sales fees (half what most places charge).

    Update:

    I have a problem and I don't know what to think about it.

    The site is going to be for writers to sell their services, like on Fiverr/seoclerks, but it's going to be vetted so only quality writers get in, not any old "native" writer/company.

    But I'm thinking I should allow Web 2.0 creation services in there. But they are mostly spun crap aren't they? I want to keep the quality high on services listed, but do people just accept that web 2.0 blast services are spun crap? Are there well written web 2.0 services out there??
     
  8. 11krage

    11krage Newbie

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    Sounds like a thorough project mate. Will it just be hiring content or will people be able to sell/buy content via download, so pre-writtern content they can buy and download?
     
  9. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    There will be the ability for sellers to upload a content listing, define it's topic, paste an excerpt and grade it for quality. People can then pay and instantly download it. So it's going to be a place to hire a writer, order content or download content for instant use.

     
  10. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    UPDATE - Total Project Spend: $1400

    Been a tough couple of weeks!!!

    Had some technical glitches which have taken time to iron out. But the site should be ready by the end of the week and allow people to sign up as buyers or sellers, but no listings will be viewable until launch day.

    I'm looking for quality writers with a track record (forum thread or freelance profile) and I'm looking for a Web 2.0 creation service as well, so if you are either of those and you'd like a burst of business from 3rd October then drop me a PM.

    On the prep front I've created another ten Twitter PVA accounts (from EmailMaster who does a great job delivering fast) and set them up with some fresh proxies (from instant proxies, I think they have a sales thread on here). They are now "nurturing", which means following 10-25 people a day, with long pauses, and only unfollowing after nofollowback within 14 days (all using Twidium inviter).

    I'm also busy writing content for a blog that will be in a subfolder of the main site, only 3 1k articles added so far, but that's going to be ongoing at two a week.

    My next job is to nurture 10 PVA facebook accounts and join every IM group I can find.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  11. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    The site is finished!

    Thank FUCK for that. Ben a struggle, with two developers letting me down. But the third turned it around in three days.

    So it's onto marketing.

    I now have 200 twitter accounts working away in a bot, plus Facebook accounts doing the same.

    Now I'm creating blog content to give some search context to the main site. I am also writing 12 articles that sites have asked me to send them after making initial contact.

    Blog commenting strategy is underway, using scrapebox to harvest and then find targets to drop good comments.

    I'm also looking at using Disqus profiles - anyone had any success with using those to get traffic?

    Forums - joined a ton and got profiles ready to rock.


    What else can I do???
     
  12. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

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    So is it pretty much an empty marketplace right now and you're trying to drum up interest? You might want to actively recruit people to use your site (though this would take another significant investment). Charge your writers no fees and give new users a certain credit toward their first purchase or something. I'm actually intrigued by what you're doing. Let's talk.
     
  13. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hi - sent you a PM

    To generally answer.

    There already is significant interest through my other marketing channels, and I have several good providers lined up to participate - but I would like a few more and have targeted a couple of providers I may invite in to fill gaps in the offering (mostly Web 2.0 creation/content services).

    Everyone is going to be actively invited pre-launch, and post launch applications will require the provision of information to demonstrate a track record in delivering quality and service levels. The level of participants will be balanced so that there are not too many services for the buying traffic, so I am aiming for it to grow in a balanced manner, unlike sites like fiverr where there is just a never ending stream of newly created crap service listings.





     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
  14. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Quick update.

    Life as always gets in the way, but I am still making progress towards a launch on 3rd October.

    I have tentatively started marketing via signatures on forums and am now starting blog commenting (using scrapebox to find open comments).

    I have slots available still for a couple more writing services/writers and I still would like a couple of Web 2.0/content linkbuilding services onboard. For some reason the ones I have approached to invite just don't seem bothered, despite it costing nothing to set-up a listing. If you are a writer or content link builder with a good track record, PM if you would like to see the site and get an invite.

    Twitter is being a bit of a git. I have noticed that if one account on a proxy IP gets suspended, they all tend to, I had three go yesterday. My policy of having no more than three accounts per IP seems sound on that evidence.

    So good progress on the site, it's basically an ebay in terms of listing and directly paying/transacting between the buyer and seller, with the ability to deliver work and manage work like you can through Fiverr. So the key difference is I won't hold sellers money in escrow - they get paid on checkout and can commence work knowing they have their money.
     
  15. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Wow things have moved along since my last update.

    Twitter is being a bitch, accounts being suspended for really subtle settings on twidium, so I've had to throttle things back.

    The solution is to create more accounts and keep them following at a rate of 10-20 a day I think, to protect my investment.

    The site is finished, with one last mess around cron jobs finally sorted out. So sellers will now actually get suspended if they don't pay their fees!

    Writing services are coming on board nicely. I really only have 3 slots left before I hit my target of launching with 20 on board. With a sale fee of 5% for those supporting me from the start, which is 15% cheaper than fiverr or SEOClerks, who wouldn't want to be onboard?

    Well actually, one area I'm stumped on is Web 2.0 creation services.

    They are content services so I'd like to have some of them listing as well. But only 1 of the ten services I have approached has signed up, and they were the only ones to reply.

    Would you like to list your service free, have clients pushed to you free and only pay a 5% of your sales cost fee. No brainer you would think in the cut throat world of linkbuilding services.

    So are they lazy, busy or stupid? You decide.

    If you run a web 2.0 service and you can see an opportunity when it's in front of your face, PM me!

    Total costs so far are $1700 but it's shaping up to look like being a great place to order content from writers safe in the knowledge that they have been vetted and spoken to and are being monitored to ensure they keep up the high standards I demand in my own freelance writing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
  16. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    ONE WEEK TO GO!!!!


    ....and I'm taking the weekend off.


    You know, I thought long and hard about it as there is still lots to do.

    But on reflection I figure that having a break for three days will give me a fresher outlook going into the last week before my site launches.

    I think sometimes we all underestimate the damage mentally that working on a computer for hours a day in a high-stress business can do.


    Everything is ready to go. Still two slots available for writing services of the 20 I am letting in. If you want to hit the beaches in the first wave and benefit from taking the early writing sales then drop me a PM.

    Next up is Jr VIP so I can stuff a banner in all of your faces.....
     
  17. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    OK, the journey is all but over now guys and girls.

    The site is ready to launch. With everything that went into it, plus twitter accounts and proxies and outsourcing for minor tasks, the total spent is just short of $2000.

    The site launches on Saturday 3rd October and the marketing campaign swings into action that day, with a lot of automation and some subtle "planted" advertising ready to go live.

    In terms of initial marketing, it is in three phases:

    1. Social work. Mass twitter accounts, sending links, viral images etc. Plus me engaging with key adopters. Also Facebook group targeting.
    2. Mass blog commenting, Q&A sites and other "semi" link building/traffic methods.
    3. Long term advertising partnerships and regular guest blog posting.

    It's been hard work, but I have gathered together a group of writers with a proven track record in delivering, and they have service listings detailing their services ready to go live. If you are a writer and you are interested in getting involved, there is a link on the site to submit your service for consideration.

    What's the site? I'm not sure I can link directly to it in this thread, but you don't have to look far to find it ;-)

    Thanks for reading.
     
  18. Alma

    Alma Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Very exciting and interesting journey!
     
  19. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks! I'm excited. As a writer I know how it can feel to get crap delivered, and I'm hoping to get a group of writers together who buyers can depend on.

     
  20. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    A final update to say the site is now live. Marketing starts right now with forum posting and a MASSIVE twitter campaign which kicks off tonight (UK time).

    Thanks for reading and if you need written content, or you're a writer sick of paying Fiverr 20%, or you just want to watch the video with the pretty girl in it, then check it out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015