How To Autopilot Your Blog – Managing a Website With Zero Hours a Week
For so many reasons, I decided to change strategy for my online business back in 2011.
I realized, if I ever wanted to sell my online business, it couldn’t require ‘me’. Michael wasn’t for sale, just the business.
That’s something a lot of top bloggers get wrong. They work on building their brand, they make it all about themselves and then when they lose interest, they aren’t able to do anything with their blog.
I didn’t do this just so it would be easier to sell. I also didn’t want to have to work on my websites, day after day.
I decided I wanted my business to run on autopilot. Basically, It had to grow month after month, with no work required from myself. Here is what I decided I wanted:
- I didn’t want to have to write posts
- I didn’t want to manage blog post schedules
- I didn’t want to have to work with advertisers and continually monetize my site
- I wanted to continue to get lots of traffic
- I didn’t want to have to draft emails to subscribers, do my social media etc.
So how was I able to do this?
IncomeDiary’s Guide To Website Management
1. Getting People To Write For Your Website
I didn’t want to deliver content that was less valuable than what I have published before. That wasn’t something I was prepared to do.
The first thing I tried was to recruit guest bloggers. They would write content and in exchange, they would get a link at the bottom of the post going back to their site.
I quickly discovered this wasn’t going to be good enough. The majority of guest posts were way of being high enough quality for the site. Often they had low word count, bad spelling and just in general, not helpful.
Even when I got guest posts that were good, I didn’t want to accept them because I wasn’t a fan of the idea of linking to their site. I want readers to go to the next page on my site after they read a post, not to a guest bloggers site.
After this, I decided to try paying people to write.
This has worked well. I pay between $100 and $200 an article and I can tell you, at that price, I get great quality, a lot of long term traffic and I make my money back quickly. Some posts have made me $1000’s. Paying for content also meant I didn’t have to give a link at the bottom of the post to the authors website.
2. Publishing Your New Blog Posts
When a writer has finished their article, they schedule their post to be published at a agreed upon time and day. So for example, we often publish content 3 days a week at 2pm GMT, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
WordPress has a scheduling system built in which lets you set the time and date a post needs to be published. Often, writers may finish a post a week earlier then it’s needed and will set it up to be published the following week, when they know it needs to go live.
This works well for us. Not only is it good for me running the site, that I don’t have to manage the writer, but I also think they enjoy it because they don’t get managed.
3. Marketing Your New Blog Posts
The majority of my regular readers subscribe via email for updates from the blog. Every time I published a post, I had to draft it up and send the email via Aweber.
Aweber rocks and does what I want it to, however, It was taking me 20 or so minutes each time to get the email out.
I decided I would be better of using their blog broadcast function. This feature automatically emails your list every time a new post is published. I was able to make it look like I had written the email myself. Not only that, I got my web designer to create a custom email template for it as well.
Once I set this up, every time I published a new post, all my subscribers get an email automatically, letting them know to come to the site and read it.
This is the majority of the marketing I do for a post. The idea is, create amazing content, get people to read it, they share it, they link to it and through that, I rank high in Google.
4. Monetization & Passive Income
The next thing I had to figure out, was how to make money from my site without having to do anything.
When I first started making money online, I would sell advertising.
If you have advertisers, you have to firstly find them, negotiate, work with them to get the deal and then they may change their mind, so you have to constantly, add/edit/delete the adverts and sometimes, more often then not, have to start over again with the next person.
One thing I noticed when I use to sell advertising, is a lot of people buy ads to promote affiliate products.
Affiliate marketing is when you promote someone elses product and if someone buys, you get a commission.
The great thing about it, is you don’t have to do anything once you add the link to your site. Here is a good post about how we make money from affiliate marketing.
Another way I make money on autopilot is selling my own eBooks and software. Now this option may not require me to do any work once it’s setup, but it does require paying someone to manage support.
5. Conclusion and Moving Forward
I hope these quick tips helped. Month after month I grow my business yet I’m not around doing the work.
My main focus now is to get more writers and more blogs online. Writers are a large cost but for me it’s worth it. At least long term.
Nick Tart wrote on his blog about how every new post is worth 1320 new visitors a year. For me it’s a lot more. Every time I publish a post, thousands of people rush to my site to read it. Out of all those people, I only need 3 to buy an affiliate product and I’ve made a profit on the post. The importance of me telling you this is, you may not make your money back in the first day or even the first month but over a year, buying an article pays for its self, at least it does for me.
INVESTMENT is king. People often think spending so much on all the blog posts I have bought is a waste of money. But looking back, if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
One of the most important things I have done for building successful websites quickly, is investing in them.