Thoughts on Content Refined Services?

harrytwatter

enjoy it while it lasts
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
134
Likes
69
Degree
0
Been having a good time ordering 10-20k packages but I'm my own bottle neck at this point getting things formatted, adding images, optimizing meta and finally publishing on my site. No I'm not a perfectionist but I want each post to have a featured image, body image, handful of interlinks, and digestible paragraph chunks/sub-headings.

Content Refined has some pretty decently priced monthly services where they do keyword research AND publish to your site. I'm also aware of how successful a marketer Jon Haver is via following his blog and podcast interviews. Still, my instinctive perpetually paranoid SEO reaction is "man that would be a fantastic way to steal niche ideas/article ideas to copy".

Question 1: Anyone used Content Refined? Thoughts?
Question 2: Is my copycat fear ungrounded?
 

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
Moderator
BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
5,129
Likes
9,819
Degree
9
Question 2: Is my copycat fear ungrounded?
No, but if you're successful you won't remain a secret for long. So the move is to move faster than everyone else so they can't catch up.

I've created a training center full of text and video walkthroughs for every role and I'm hiring people to go through these steps for me. I've not brought writers in house because there's so many good options out there.

I'm personally doing exactly what you're complaining about now, which is taking the written content and formatting it with headers, paragraph sizes, internal links, on-page, etc. I'm pre-loading a bunch because the first person I've got ready to go is the person seeking images, editing them, and adding them to the articles. Then I'll replace myself as the formatter, which I agree, it's a pain and time consuming but fairly critical.

Having just looked at their packages, their prices are pretty high but dead on for successful B2B (as opposed to solopreneur SEO stuff). For the current process and hires, I'll be getting it done for well under half of the cost. But I'll still be acting as project manager and I did have to develop the training center, film the videos, etc. But that's a one-and-done thing that's done now. You'll pay them for that every month and well as cover their profit margins.

Bringing it "in-house" is going to be much cheaper, but still more hands on, especially at the start. But once your operating procedures and training are optimized, on-boarding should be easy and scale should be easy to reach.

I even coded a bot to double check the work at the end, for all the on-page and technical stuff that needs to appear.

I only rambled all that to give you another perspective. If you have the time and the skills, you can keep your ROI high by doing this for quarters on their dollars. If you just want it done, this seems like a decent price. One thing I noticed is it's like 48k words over 6 months. I'd want that much every month, you know. Do they have the throughput to do that monthly? Dunno.

As far as Content Refined goes, no clue, haven't used them. I'm sure they get the job done correctly. Jon Haver has been around the block many times for a long time.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
563
Likes
379
Degree
2
No, but if you're successful you won't remain a secret for long. So the move is to move faster than everyone else so they can't catch up.

I've created a training center full of text and video walkthroughs for every role and I'm hiring people to go through these steps for me. I've not brought writers in house because there's so many good options out there.

I'm personally doing exactly what you're complaining about now, which is taking the written content and formatting it with headers, paragraph sizes, internal links, on-page, etc. I'm pre-loading a bunch because the first person I've got ready to go is the person seeking images, editing them, and adding them to the articles. Then I'll replace myself as the formatter, which I agree, it's a pain and time consuming but fairly critical.

Having just looked at their packages, their prices are pretty high but dead on for successful B2B (as opposed to solopreneur SEO stuff). For the current process and hires, I'll be getting it done for well under half of the cost. But I'll still be acting as project manager and I did have to develop the training center, film the videos, etc. But that's a one-and-done thing that's done now. You'll pay them for that every month and well as cover their profit margins.

Bringing it "in-house" is going to be much cheaper, but still more hands on, especially at the start. But once your operating procedures and training are optimized, on-boarding should be easy and scale should be easy to reach.

I even coded a bot to double check the work at the end, for all the on-page and technical stuff that needs to appear.

I only rambled all that to give you another perspective. If you have the time and the skills, you can keep your ROI high by doing this for quarters on their dollars. If you just want it done, this seems like a decent price. One thing I noticed is it's like 48k words over 6 months. I'd want that much every month, you know. Do they have the throughput to do that monthly? Dunno.

As far as Content Refined goes, no clue, haven't used them. I'm sure they get the job done correctly. Jon Haver has been around the block many times for a long time.

Are you just posting the content on the company's (or your dropbox) knowledge base and hoping that the employee would go through it and learn? If that's so, you're neglecting your employees. You gotta mentor them, understand them, and walk them through the process. A huge irritation of many solo-entrepreneurs is that contractors are not doing as they're instructed to do. A huge reason why is that the contractor has a different understand than the entrepreneur and the entrepreneur didn't do a good job of explaining it across the cultural differences, language barriers, educational differences, and so forth. You really gotta check that your employees are learning the materials correctly. This might sound simply for formatting text, but once you get to a level where the work is abstract, it is very much a requirement.

For example, let's say you want to hire a social media person for your website with the goal of obtaining viral traffic. How would you communicate that in a video? Simply giving them step-by-step instructions would not be enough, as the environment the steps were created in might not be the environment they'll be working in -- times change. They need to learn the abstractions of their job to do it well and they need to feel rewarded from doing a good job. This reward isn't a paycheck but feedback from whatever they're doing. So, for the formatter, it might be an OK from the bot. For the social media person, it would be tweets going viral and getting likes and being retweeted.

So, yes, you're on the right path but you gotta pay more attention to your employees. They're not robots and you can't set it and forget it. You're actually moving up from a solo-entrepreneur to managing publishing company.

As for @harrytwatter, your paranoia about them copy catting your business is unfounded. Competition exists and it's not their competitive advantage to copy your business. Their business is helping you with your business and they know it.

As for competition, Marx said it best that, in a perfect economy, where there's perfect competition and every company is doing everything to maximize profits, profits will go towards zero in the long run. Don't be stupid, set up competitive advantages, prevent competitors from competing, and defend your stake in the market. If not, you'll be squeezed out.

Thank you.
 

bernard

BuSo Pro
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
1,676
Likes
1,313
Degree
4
@Philip J. Fry

Any recommendations on making sure your employee is feeling ok with the task and level of feedback they're given?

I gave a lot of feedback in the beginning, but I've been very busy and kind of neglected and I just dumped a bunch of similar tasks on an employee who asked for them, but I feel like she might not really like those tasks as much as she thought.

Just ask them if they're bored with it?
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
563
Likes
379
Degree
2
@Philip J. Fry

Any recommendations on making sure your employee is feeling ok with the task and level of feedback they're given?

I gave a lot of feedback in the beginning, but I've been very busy and kind of neglected and I just dumped a bunch of similar tasks on an employee who asked for them, but I feel like she might not really like those tasks as much as she thought.

Just ask them if they're bored with it?
To tell you the truth, I’m not really good at this. My employees know the SOPs and are appreciative of their job. We let a lot of people go during Covid and the ones that stayed know that I took a lot of steps to save their jobs. We even hired some people back. They’re doing good work since they know they’re appreciated.

as for what you ask about. It sounds like you gave a lot of tasks to an employee who might not like the task. That’s fine. Is she appreciative of the job? Or is she just doing it for a pay check? If it’s the latter, it’s ok too if the employee is mature and diligent.

I really don’t know what else to say since I could use more management mentoring myself. IMO that’s what separates good managers and bad managers and good companies from bad companies. No one wants to go to a workplace that they dread. At the same time, happy employees work harder, go father, and get more done.

how about this. Have a meeting with her and tell her that. Don’t be a simp and don’t make it romance but just ask her if she likes her job. All relationships are two way in my opinion.
 

bernard

BuSo Pro
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
1,676
Likes
1,313
Degree
4
@Philip J. Fry

Well, it's a remote job, so we only talk on Slack and Asana.

She's been terrific though, which is why I want to make sure she is happy with the tasks and feel appreciated. As you said, she is a mature person, who gets stuff done and is very proactive, it has been a great experience.

I think I will reach out and have a chat and just vibe with it and see if I there's anything coming up.