We have been making niche travel sites for just over 2 months now and we seem to have a fairly efficient and cost effective way of doing things at the moment. While i’m not going to go into the entire process in this post I’m going to lay out how I manage my very small team to create around 50 niche sites a month at a very good cost per site, (around $30-$35 or so). In the short time (just over 2 months) we have been doing this we have managed to make over $500 in affiliate sales using hotels combined and i’m confident if we can increase the number of sites we have we can increase the number of money we can make per month. We need to start getting some return on all the money we are throwing at this.
The goal for this whole gig? Our goal for the travel niche sites is to make around $3000 a month which will be enough for us both to live off in SEA. We can then use this passive income to free up our time, reduce the risk and invest in other projects if we want. I’m actually wanting to scale this process and start making more sites but that may be a little risky right now with the position we are in and the other things we currently have going on.
Currently our team consist of just 2 staff members. Both of which work at home and have various skills in SEO, writing, general admin, wordpress, online research and so on. It’s great to have people on the team that have more than just one skills so if a piece of the process changes they are able to easily adapt. Both these guys do not need a great deal of supervision and get the job done without me needing to micro manage them and overall they do a fantastic job. Without these guys this whole process would not work.
How The Team Works
So like I said there is 2 people on the team. I have set 1 staff up as a “manager” of the project who basically knows the whole process from start to finish and could almost be left on autopilot if needed. The 2nd staff member is more a content creator/researcher who pumps out content all day. Here is the breakdown of how we work
- Comes up with ideas to change and improve the process
- Some SEO and linkbuilding
- Keyword research
- Managing team
- Making sure process is working and everything is on track
- Purchasing new domains
- Changes nameservers on domains
- Sets up WordPress on the sites
- Sets up all sites with themes, plugins, links and pages
- Content creation
- Edits content
- SEO and linkbuilding
- manages our travel niche authority sites
- Updates facebook, google +, Pinterest and so on
- manages other staff member
- Helps with posts on LBD
- Content creation
- Edits content
This may be considered a risky strategy having just one staff member who knows everything and has to do multiple tasks. but there is no other way to do it when you are starting out. Perhaps if we were making 300+ sites a month I would have 1 person doing each specific task in the process so they could get faster and more efficient at doing those tasks but at this stage it’s just not possible. Also it is a little risky if that staff ever leaves I won’t have anyone to take over. But I have faith and trust this particular staff would stay for the next staff to be trained before moving on and not only that most things have been well documented so that if she were ever to leave It would not take long to train someone else. But for now i’d much rather keep my staff happy with their job and keep them with us long term.
I have trained my main manager on this project in a few different ways-
- Google Docs- with step by step “how to” guides on how to do a particular tasks. This documents where a huge pain to set up and need to be tweaked every so often but overall it is worth it . I have made the documents very easy to follow and clear so almost anyone could start reading and get the idea.
- Camtasia- For more complex tasks that I could not explain easily in Gdocs. All these Videos are saved and can easily be shared with the next person if a staff leaves or we grow the team.
- Skype Screen Share- When I have a quick update thats a little hard to explain but not worth making a whole video on showing my manager how to do whatever task in the new way is made super easy.
- Skype Chat- Try to use this as less as possible for training and overall as its a waste of time because its not recorded and can not be used again. This is used just for updates and feedback from the staff as well as management.
- Pass On- My manager was able to pass on the training to staff 1 on the research and content creation that we are after because the manager is so well trained and knows exactly what to do.
I Try to keep daily management to a minimum because it wastes everyone’s time. Micro management not only wastes my time following up on the staff but also wastes my staff members as they cannot get the tasks done whenever I am talking to them. We have a HR manager that makes sure both staff are online, working and checks screenshots randomly so this is something I don’t have to do. My manager on the project simply sends me a daily report at the end of every shift outlining the key tasks complete. This is very easy for both the manager and myself and quite efficient. I can see in 5 minutes less what has been done and if anything was done wrong. This is good to have as sometimes I will see in the report and see some small mistake or correction that needs to be made. Without this report the problem would continue and would go unnoticed.
I generally try to be kind and considerate to my staff especially on this project where I am working directly with them. I never wanted to be an ahole boss as I have worked for them in the past and personally my work level drops when working for these grumpy big headed bosses! I also try to be very flexible if a staff needs to leave early for a birthday party no problem. I think all this plus more goes a long way and helps create a good harmony in a team. Even small things like jumping on Skype to say a quick “good morning” can make a difference.
So the plan to manage growth will be to add 1 or more staff members in the next month if we can increase the sales we have already achieved. However I am walking a tightrope as this project is perfect for most our VA’s we have on our team with remoteworkmate.com and if ever we are to lose a client with remoteworkmate Id love to throw them on this project keeping them in a joblong term. But at the same time I don’t want 5 people on this project right now so growth heavily depends on remoteworkmate our main money maker at this stage until this niche site project makes more money. But all being well I would like to add another staff as a content writer. Then I could get my current content creator to be trained by the manager with all the training documents I have already created in the whole process. This will make everything more stable and we can start pumping out more sites.
Hope you have enjoyed seeing how our small team works for this particular project. Ideally id like more people on this and to make it more automated but for now its not really possible. What’s your experience with working with team? How can I improve what i’m doing? any tips? Would love to know your thoughts so let me know in a comment below