Resources for Buying and Selling Online Businesses

How To Cut Your Paid Advertising in Half and Boost Revenue


Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, a content marketing agency focused on increasing ROI and generating leads and sales. He is also the author of Mean People Suck, where he details how professional empathy wins over a negative culture in any situation and industry. He has over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and previously worked for companies like NewsCred, SAP, ICR, and Nielsen. Michael graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a degree in English.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [04:53] Michael Brenner discusses the time it takes to build your brand’s organic rankings through quality content
  • [08:58] Why your content should solve the consumer problem to generate interest
  • [13:17] The importance of creating effective and interesting content headlines
  • [15:28] Michael talks about AI writing and editing services and the benefits of outsourcing for your content
  • [21:54] What is Marketing Insider Group’s timeframe for increasing and converting traffic?
  • [25:12] Michael shares the best tools for promoting content and details the inspiration for his book Mean People Suck
  • [32:06] How Marketing Insider Group can help you grow your audience while reducing your ad spend

In this episode…

How do you write engaging content that solves a consumer’s problem? Is it possible to reduce your ad spend while improving your ranking, generating traffic, and boosting sales?

Creating SEO-driven content begins with writing an engaging article from beginning to end. According to Michael Brenner, you have the opportunity to capture your audience with your headline, the first sentence, and the first paragraph — the first impression really counts! Michael says that about 80% of people will only read the headline before engaging with the content. So how do you create content that instantly grabs consumers and converts them into customers?

In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Joe Valley sits down with Michael Brenner, CEO at Marketing Insider Group, to talk about writing and publishing quality online content to grow your brand’s traffic and leads. Michael discusses how to demonstrate industry expertise through your content, the power behind an effective headline, and Marketing Insider Group’s typical timeframe for generating ROI.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.

There is no wrong reason for selling your business. However, there is a right time and a right way. The team of leading entrepreneurs at Quiet Light wants to help you discover the right time and strategy for selling your business. By providing trustworthy advice, effective strategies, and honest valuations, your Quiet Light advisor isn’t your every-day broker—they’re your partner and friend through every phase of the exit planning process.

If you’re new to the prospect of buying and selling, Quiet Light is here to support you. Their plethora of top-notch resources will provide everything you need to know about when and how to buy or sell an online business. Quiet Light offers high-quality videos, articles, podcasts, and guides to help you make the best decision for your online business.

Not sure what your business is really worth? No worries. Quiet Light offers a free valuation and marketplace-ready assessment on their website. That’s right—this quick, easy, and free valuation has no strings attached. Knowing the true value of your business has never been easier!

What are you waiting for? Quiet Light is offering the best experience, strategies, and advice to make your exit successful. To learn more, go to, email [email protected], or call 800.746.5034 today.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:07

Hi, folks. It’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.

Joe Valley  0:29

Hey, folks, thanks for joining me for another episode of the Quiet Light Podcast greatly appreciate it. This particular podcast is of great interest to me. It’s a great subject on writing content for your SaaS service or e-commerce business. Yes, I said it e-commerce and content together, married together. It’s with Michael Brenner from Marketing Insider Group. He’s been in this business for decades. But now he’s got a team of 35 writers that write for other people, e-commerce, SaaS, b2b, whatever it might be. That’s what they do. And so I picked his brain throughout this whole interview on a number of different topics. The first one was content length, how long does it need to be in order to grab Google’s Google’s attention? Second was frequency how often do you need to publish content? Do you do it monthly? Do you do it weekly? Do you do it daily a combination thereof. And then last, in that regard, how long does it take to get some traction, and he talks about that, in terms of getting traction in terms of rankings. And then if you’ve got a physical product or service that you’re having people pay for how long you start to see conversions. And then the big thing is the return on investment, you start to see your if you’re using an agency like Azure, if you do this on your own, you’re starting to see the cost benefit in three to four months, when you’re starting to break even on your spent. And then in another three to four months, when you get to the eight month mark what he’s seen with some of his clients who spend $80,000 a month on paid media, they’re able to scale that down to $40,000 a month. And if you go all in with all his type services, which means a daily post, a weekly post, a lot of posts every month, you could run up to $4,500 a month sounds like a lot. But you’ve just stopped spending 840 $1,000 a month in paid media. So you’re spending 80. Now you’re at 40 plus another 4500, you’re saving over $35,000 a month on paid media to get more revenue and more conversions. Their goal at marketing insider group is to make sure the conversion rate is equal to or greater to your paid media. They’re not just looking to spam stuff out there and have lots of eyeballs with no conversions. They’re very, very focused on conversion. And they share a monthly report on the total increase in rankings and everything like that, click throughs and all all sorts of things. It’s fascinating. I could go on and on and on about this, because it’s a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Because this is what I did. With my last e-commerce business. I wrote good quality content over time, and Google rewarded me and I was able to reduce, reduce my my ad spend pretty dramatically there was a point where I was spending $50,000 a week on adspend. And I was able to drop that down quite a bit. So join me with Michael Brenner from Marketing Insider Group, listen to it, through the whole thing. He gives some great tips throughout the entire podcast. Here we go. MichaelBrenner, welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast.

Michael Brenner  3:32

Thanks so much, Joe. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Joe Valley  3:34

Good to have you here. I’m excited about this. This topic. As you know, we folks listening we always have a pre podcast recording interview, just to get to know each other a little bit. And my background and history prior to Quiet Light was the last business I had was an E commerce business where we wrote good quality content over a five year period and got rewarded for it. And that’s kind of what Michael’s agency does, but he’s gonna give away all the tips and secrets today about how to write good quality content. But Michael, tell us a little bit of about what the Marketing Insider Group does so that folks understand who you are and what your background as before we jump into some of that. Yeah, for

Michael Brenner  4:15

Yeah, long story short, you know, 25, almost 30 year career in corporate sales and marketing. And in my last role, built out a what we call a content marketing program for a large software company that that was the largest provider of leads and revenue from the marketing organization for the company. And so I built built an agency Marketing Insider Group, because I’m bringing all of the years of corporate marketing frustrations and experience into trying to solve this problem for b2b SaaS, e commerce brands that really want to own the conversation in their marketplace that drives to sales without having to spend money on you know, advertising all the time.

Joe Valley  4:54

How long does it take to really get organic rankings when you’re writing good quality content?

Michael Brenner  4:59

Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot there. There’s a ton of factors. And there’s, you know, tons of experts out there in the SEO space that will give you all kinds of different answers, we find it’s about three to four months, even for a brand new domain. That’s writing and publishing consistently good quality content.

Joe Valley  5:14

And what does that mean consistent? Is it every day, every week, every month?

Michael Brenner  5:18

Yeah, we actually have done a lot of research on on answering the mathematical question. And that’s what I love to say, like, you know, we hear this quality quantity debate in the industry a lot. And I say, Listen, it’s really not a question, you need to publish as frequently as good of a piece of content as you can and, and what the data shows we looked at 1000s and 1000s of websites, is that when you go from infrequent to frequent or inconsistent to consistent, you’re gonna win, you’re gonna see, you know, a return on investment. The inflection points are pretty clear, one article a week, and one article a day. So what happens is, you’ll see some growth, if you’re publishing, let’s say, once a month, you’ll see an acceleration of the curve about 3x, when you go to once a week, and a continuation of that acceleration to about 5x, when you go to once a day.

Joe Valley  6:09

So that how long are these articles? So the once a month, I could picture being 1500 to 2000 words, once a week, maybe the same? But once a day? I mean, we’re talking four or 500 words, what are we talking about?

Michael Brenner  6:22

Yeah, we only do 1000 words or more for our clients. Because, you know, Google is looking at Google’s not looking for length, necessarily, but it’s looking for depth of expertise shared. And, you know, unfortunately, word length does contribute to that in their algorithm. And so we start, we used to do 750, that was 900 words, now, it’s 1000. Words, we do throw in a longer form piece of content every once in a while for a client, on what we call shorter tail keywords, you know, like the name of the category they’re in. But yeah, generally, it’s about about 1000 words, we feel is enough a length to demonstrate expertise to Google, and to the audience’s that read it to to warrant higher search rankings.

Joe Valley  7:05

And in your experience, which is vast, this can and should be done for, you know, the guy that owns the direct to consumer grilling apron site, or somebody that’s got a SaaS business on, you know, organizational stuff, or b2b as well, it’s not just content sites is writing content, where people are selling services and physical products, is that right?

Michael Brenner  7:31

Yeah, I mean, we’ve seen it with jewelers, we’ve seen it with fashion brands, work, we’ve seen it with, you know, in depth, b2b software that you know, has 21 decision makers and a CFO that needs to sign off. The only thing you know, the areas where I would say it’s a little more challenging is if you know, if you’re doing you know, Facebook, or Instagram ads, for something that’s kind of an instant, consumable, you know, emotion decision, then it can take a little bit longer. But if there’s any kind of if the buyer is looking for any kind of education, or wants to be part of an ongoing trend, which a lot of ecommerce brands are, then content can work to bring in the right traffic.

Joe Valley  8:14

Okay. All right. So let’s theoretically say I’ve got a grilling apron site, how do I start? How do I know what keywords to use and make sure I’m getting the right title tag? And I haven’t done this content development for over a decade. Now. I know I wrote a book, I know I’ve got a website. But I’m not constantly posting content. So assume that everybody else listening is the same. They just don’t do it. Because they’re doing paid advertising and doing rankings on, you know, Amazon or on their, you know, organic site with paid ads, but they’re not developing content. How do you determine what keywords you’re going to write about? And is there a density where you get too dense? And Google’s going to be like, Yeah, you’re just keyword stuffing all that? Where do I find that stuff? How do I figure it out?

Michael Brenner  8:59

Yeah, I mean, it’s, you know, this is kind of our secret sauce, I think, in a lot of ways, but some of it is really just changing your mindset. And so almost every brand, almost every business owner there. So, you know, it’s like the curse of knowledge right there. They’re so engrained and intensely focused on the product that they sell, that we forget who the buyer is, right. So let’s say it’s grilling aprons. Right, what problem does that solve? You know, does the consumer have a grilling apron? Are they a barbecue enthusiast? You know, do they love meat? What are the trends in the grilling industry? What’s the latest recipes that are being shared recipes is a great example, especially in the in the food space for ways that you can sort of generate interest for a product that maybe maybe maybe the recipe itself has nothing to do with what you’re selling. But if you’re talking about, you know, the best slow cooked pulled pork, there’s a pretty good chance that the person reading that might be interested in acrylic aprons, you know, so it’s like thinking about the audience and the buyer that you’re trying to reach and what they care about the things that they want to know creating that kind of content slowly, obviously, you want to start to lean into what you sell and the features and benefits and those kinds of things. And most business owners already have that. And they’re already pretty good at explaining that. You got to create the context for the for the solution that you’re solving.

Joe Valley  10:15

Interesting. All right. So people kind of know what their customers want and need, and they should talk about it and maybe less things out, then do they need to look at, you know, the keyword search tools to tell people well, I should be really focused on sell my website versus sell my online business? Like, how do you how do you determine that aspect? And where do you look? Yeah, so

Michael Brenner  10:40

I mean, the the, we have about 35, writers on staff, and a lot of people will ask us, you know, does your writer have expertise in industry a or, you know, vertical B? And in most cases we do, however, we hire for curiosity. And so to answer your question, I’m looking for writers that can Google something they know nothing about, and read the top 10 answers from from Google search results and write a better article than what they saw. Or write an article that’s informed by what they saw. And that’s all your audience needs to understand, I think the business owner out there, you know, if they, if they have a pretty good understanding of the keywords that their audience is looking for just Google one or two of them, read the top 10 articles and write what you think is a better version or a informed version.

Joe Valley  11:24

But what if I Google a keyword that doesn’t get that many searches every month? How do I get him? That’s my point is, you know, could there be just a minor variation of the keywords where it’s getting a million searches every month versus 10,000? How do I

Michael Brenner  11:38

do that? Yeah, I mean, well, first of all, there I, I have yet to see a search that doesn’t have any search results, or search volume. And there’s a lot of, you know, like, for example, in the research we do for our clients, we do share with them the volume of search that tools estimate keywords have, and about 75% of the keywords that we’re suggesting they focus on have the tools, they have no search volume, but if I type it in Google will say this has, you know, a million people searching on it every month? What are those tools, so that semRush is one or SEMrush, Ahrefs Moz are some of these tools, but they don’t know everything. And the point is, they’re scraping the entire web every single day, and they can only go so far. And so you know, I think common sense comes to play, right? So it’s like, you know, six things you need to look for when buying a, you know, grilling apron. You know, you might be surprised at how many people are actually searching for a long tail, you know, a relatively long string of keywords like that. And so again, you know, Googling it yourself, you’ll see, I have never Googled something and really not gotten a search result. And unless you’re, you know, unless you’re talking about, let’s say grilling aprons in you know, Poughkeepsie, you know, that are brown, you know, once you get that deep, you might start to see some struggle. But if you’re talking about anything that that is really, you know, relatively close to something somebody’s going to search where you’re gonna see search results.

Joe Valley  13:01

How important is that title? Like you just talked about six types of whatever. How important is that? Is that important to the to Google? Is it important to the reader? Or both? And how do you make sure you’re getting the best type of title, we actually

Michael Brenner  13:17

spend more time training our writers on headline development than we do on actually writing because most of them, they know how to write. The headline is everything. I mean, well, the keyword that that that sort of, you know, informs or inspires the headline is everything. But the headline really is everything. And here’s the stat I love to use with our clients. Something like 80% of people will only read the headline, another 5% of another 5% or so folks will go on to read the first sentence, another 3% will read the first paragraph. So by the time you get to the bottom of the first paragraph, you’ve essentially captured about 93% Of all the people that you’re gonna reach. So focus on the headline focus on the first sentence focus on the first paragraph.

Joe Valley  13:59

Okay, it’s interesting. I’ll back that up. I remember the first listing that I launched at Quiet Light, you know, over a decade ago now, and it was one that my now business partner handed off to me. And he had it listed. Well, it wasn’t listed yet. He had this engagement letter signed, and everything was ready to go. I just had to write the teaser that goes online and the teaser that goes out in an email. And I wrote, you know, the subject line for the email and sent it off for him to review. And he’s like, that’s not very interesting at all. What’s special about this business? Why would I click this? And that’s one of the things that we teach as well as preach, I guess, right? We’ll review and, and give feedback. But it’s all about that first click. People are scrolling. They’re distracted. They’ve got two or three screens now and their phone. We want them to stop and pause and click OK. So that’s, that’s really important. So if you want to really just get started once a Week, skip them once a month, don’t bother, once a week, and then once a day if possible, and all of those no less than 1000 words. What are your thoughts on, you know, AI as a writing service? I’d know nothing about it. I’ve seen some headlines on it and see people that are trying to use this type of service, where it’s you put in a bunch of keywords and artificial intelligence can apparently spit out a article total crap.

Michael Brenner  15:27

I mean, I’ve tried, you know, there’s a couple places like Scott Copyscape can write landing pages and web pages for you I’ve tried their service. There’s a couple other services out there that use GPT three, which is the sort of AI engine that’s been developed to write human human sounding copy. There’s another version of it coming out soon. GPT four, what we’ve seen is that those engines are not yet quite capable of writing and engaging article from beginning to end. That sounds like it was written for a human on a relatively obscure topic that isn’t news or sports space. So The Washington Post’s uses GPT three to create. You know, I’m a Philadelphia Sixers fan. I don’t know when your podcast is going to air, but we just tied up the series to two here in the NBA Finals. It could write an article about how well the Sixers did they, you know, this was the score at the end of the first quarter. And the first half, etcetera. Michael, how old are you? I’m 5050 years old.

Joe Valley  16:28

Okay, you so you are six are sad because of Dr. J Back in the day. 100%. We to me too, and I was and I’m from Maine. So I wasn’t a Celtics fan. I was a six year chef. Alright, we won’t go off on that tangent. All right, so So let me pull

Michael Brenner  16:41

it through. But yeah, the bottom line is, is we’re not yet seeing AI able to generate, you know, a an article that can rank for search.

Joe Valley  16:50

So for me, though, if I think about, you know, AI, the problem is I can come up with all the titles, like come up with concepts and ideas and certain keywords that I want. But nobody can write about. Not Not many people without experience can write about, you know, five top things that should be in your ad back schedule. I don’t know how AI is going to do that. But if they did be a lot easier for me to edit an article than it is to actually write it. Yeah. So is that a sort of baby step type of thing for people if they want to try the AI to then edit the articles to make them sound more human? Like, are they just so bad, that it doesn’t flow properly to what you want it to flow to?

Michael Brenner  17:33

Yeah, it doesn’t flow and it makes nonsensical statements. And that’s, that’s what’s, you know, kind of the problem with AI right now, it doesn’t understand context, as well as it needs to again, there’s another version coming out soon, we’ll test it. As soon as as soon as it works, we’re going to we’re going to use it. But what we’re finding actually, to your point, it’s really interesting, there are AI based editors that are better at editing than writing and Hemingway app, or the Hemingway editor app is a great example of one that we use ourselves to. It identifies you know, passive versus active voice, and identifies complex words when a simpler word will do. And identifies when you know, paragraphs or sentences are too long. Those kinds of things are quite formulaic. And they’re really those tools are really good at identifying

Joe Valley  18:17

and mean way editor app. Now. We’re replacing our editor, she’s going off on new adventures, do we need to have an actual editor because what we’re talking about is just basic writing, and grammar. Because you know, we’re all very successful entrepreneurs that took remedial English, right? So we need better writers for the stuff that we’re trying to say. But sometimes ecommerce is spelled nine different ways. And we want it all done one particular way. Can we input, our choice of spelling for certain keywords, and the Hemingway app? Not

Michael Brenner  18:53

know today, it only looks for, like I said, active active versus passive boys complex words, complex sentence

Joe Valley  18:59

structures. Alright, I’m still going to look at it. I like I like the sounds of it. Okay, so can you give me some case examples. So for people listening, that are currently running a SAS or a service business, or an e-commerce business, where you took somebody on as a client, what their current rank what their previous rankings were, and where they are today and how the whole process worked?

Michael Brenner  19:20

Yeah, for sure. Yeah, we have a one b2b SaaS client, our actually our oldest client, they’ve been working with us for almost four years now. They were doing they were actually doing about one article a week, it was generally coming from the founder, he was spending a good four hours on it, you know, time he didn’t have and a lot of it was pretty focused on the product, you know, what they were doing features and benefits, why it was doing what it was doing. When we started with them. We identified that you know, the category name, keywords, what the audience was interested in trends, insights, started writing two articles a week almost immediately doubled their traffic leads followed, right, right. You know, from that. We now do four articles a week for that. I’m almost four years in, they’ve more than quadrupled their traffic and where the biggest source of new customers for them, they’re spending and I’m happy to show their spending, you know, five, six grand a month. And you know, and if you do the math that comes to you know, less than a couple $100 per lead on a, you know, on a pretty decent MRR monthly recurring revenue for them. So, so the ROI is there and they continue to invest. That’s one example for b2b SaaS, we had a services company, sort of an outsourced telemarketing agency, they came to us within actually, the first week, one of their sales team shared an article that we created, I think, was the first or second article we created, generated a lead out of that, sharing that on LinkedIn, for you know, $60,000 in revenue. Now, that was kind of a one off but but you know, you can find this case study on our website, we tripled their their traffic in less than six months, and quadruple the number of leads they work

Joe Valley  20:56

and what’s the what’s the website? Is it,, you’ll see more case studies there, for sure.

Michael Brenner  21:05

And then finally, ecommerce, we have a, we have a basically a sort of a organic makeup company, their FBA business and, you know, we’re largely relying on ad sales or advertising to drive their sales in a somewhat unsustainable rate of spend. And so they started working with us, and we’re essentially able to lower their cost of ads, you know, ad spend by 50%. And with that same 50%, that we were able to kind of take from them have tripled the amount of sales that they’ve gotten. So again, you know, different How long did that take it, that one took a while to say, you know, makeup is a pretty competitive industry. Yeah, organic makeup is a pretty hot trend. And so I think it was seven, eight months before we were able to show return on investment. The best thing about what we do though, is, is usually it’s three to four weeks, and you can already start to see the traffic trends go up, we will always want to make sure that there’s an equal amount of conversion on the traffic we’re getting. So we’re not getting more converting traffic than you might get from, you know, an effective ad spend. But if we can get the same conversion for a lower rate of cost, you know, then it’s obviously going to drive return on investment. So we were getting better traffic, it was converting on average, it just took a while for that return on investment to outstrip the ad spend, just clarification

Joe Valley  22:23

there it’s converting on averages is the organic, generally converting at a higher same or lower rate than paid.

Michael Brenner  22:30

We’re always optimizing for traffic that converts at the same rate, as paid, it’s really hard to get traffic that converts at a higher rate. And it’s really easy to get traffic that converts at a lower rate, right I could I could spam audiences all day long with list posts about you know, what Disney Princess, should you be, you know, based on a couple of silly questions, that traffic isn’t going to convert for anybody. So it’s got to be buyer intent related content. And that’s how, you know, that’s the magic formula that we found that drives conversion.

Joe Valley  22:58

Okay, that makes sense. Now, are you interlinking articles, you know, if you’ve got one writer that’s doing most of the writing, obviously, they’ll get better over time. And they know that I’m currently writing about X and Y was part of that. So would they link to other articles? And how does that increase your, your organic rankings?

Michael Brenner  23:19

Yeah, it’s, you know, I hate to sell against anybody. But you know, link building services is something that we sell against all the time. And I’ll give you a quick example, why we include two to three internal links and every piece of content that we write. And our writers are writing to earn links from other sites to earn that for free. So we had a client, you know, reach out and say, Hey, I’ve got a link building company who wants to spend the same amount we’re spending with you for three or four links per month. And I was like, you know, Dave, you know, look at the article we wrote three months ago for you generated 700, organic links. We didn’t we didn’t spend any money for that. All you did was spend, you know, 500 bucks on the article 700, organic, organically earned links on that piece of content, because it was a great piece of content. So yeah, we include internal link building, we try to write so that it earns links from other site, we want other companies to say, hey, that’s, you know, there’s an article that covers that topic well, and we find it’s just a way better way to spend in investing in content, you know, publishing content on your site than paying to have somebody else linked to

Joe Valley  24:22

Are you linking externally occasionally as well?

Michael Brenner  24:24

Yeah, so all of our writers that this kind of how it works for us, and all we have 35, writers give or take three or four at any given time coming in or out, all of them, you know, they write on other sites as well. So we asked them if you know if there’s an opportunity to contextually link to one of our clients than they do. So we try to ask them to do at least once do that at least once per month. We don’t force them. We don’t demand that they do a certain client or a certain piece of content. We just ask them to include those and we generally get about one or two links per per client per month. Based on that, but again, it’s kind of, you know, the writers are doing it because they want to see our clients succeed. They’re doing it naturally they’re doing it, you know, in a way that makes sense for them. And we’re finding that works way better than any other approach.

Joe Valley  25:12

So with the clients that you’re working with, or they, you know, when a new article is written and uploaded to the website, are you promoting it? Are your clients promoting it through email through social media outlets as well? What are they doing? Yeah, what would you recommend anybody listening, that’s going to take this approach as well,

Michael Brenner  25:33

for sure. So we support them if they want for, you know, for an extra fee, or we we give them the tools that they need in order to serve themselves. And so I’ll point to my own website, we use MailChimp, you get, you can create a newsletter on MailChimp for free up to a couple of 100 subscribers. There’s a there’s a tool, you can Google, you know, RSS, automated RSS email newsletter for MailChimp. And you can see the code that you can put into one of their templates that automatically sends emails out to your subscribers every time you publish a new article. So that’s one way to sort of self serve an email.

Joe Valley  26:11

So it’s tied into the website. So when you launch it, it, it detects it and then sends it out to your email list.

Michael Brenner  26:17

Yeah, basically, MailChimp, looks at your website every 24 hours and says, Is there a new piece of content if yes, send out this, you know, this formatted email out to the display to do that to MailChimp is the only one I know of there’s a I know that there’s a there’s a plugin for Adobe’s Marketo called, or deliver it. Those are the only two that I’m aware of. But you know, I’m sure HubSpot and Salesforce and all these other sort of email service providers are adding that functionality at some point. We also, you know, we do recommend that, you know, companies share every piece of content out to social, all of the social channels that they’re engaging on. So LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you know, and you know, there’s different rules. So Twitter, you know, share the crap out of it three, five times a day, nobody’s gonna care, you know, because the feed so fast, LinkedIn, share it once Instagram, share it once Facebook share at once, every piece of content we publish, we recommend our clients share at least once on those platforms. For you know, for a small fee, again, we do support that for them as well.

Joe Valley  27:24

This is fascinating, you know, I wrote this damn book that you’ve read, thank you for reading it, I appreciate it. And I’ve promoted it via podcasting, which I really there he goes, I really should have done. I mean, it was good, you know, because I think it’s a very conversational topic. But, you know, my last ecommerce business was successful because of a combination of paid, and organic content. And every time we launched a new article, which really, really, we only wrote an article, I think, once a month, and we were back then look, this was 2010, the rules have changed. It was anywhere between 15 102,000 words, and it took time, because it was a research. And basically, it was covering every thing from, you know, digestive system in the body. And it worked, but very different. You’re starting to see, you know, some traction after three or four months, but, you know, if I, if I decided to not post anything, and just write 50 articles or 100 articles, and then post them all at once, is that going to make any difference in terms of ranking and traction? Or is it best to just post them as they come out? Yeah,

Michael Brenner  28:43

I mean, Google is we don’t know this, because Google never shares their secrets. But we can infer that they’re looking for a lively breathing living website. And you know, that something that’s alive has a rhythm. You know, it’s you breathe in, you breathe out, you know, your, your heartbeats, how many times per day. And so that’s why and we actually have a client that launched, they’re in the the FinTech space, launched a new a new platform. We started working with them six months before launch six months, we were writing enough content for them to publish one article a day for the first six months after launch. So we were backing up the content. Once they launched, though, they published, they were only publishing once a day, even though they had, you know, six months time, let you know, what’s the what’s the math, there is like 180 pieces of content. Yeah. And so they had 180, but they only published and scheduled them out once per day. And then you know, once they got through the first six months now, there were nine months in, I think we’re publishing maybe twice a week. But it allowed their website to go from zero to 60 in a relatively quick period of time. You know, and we wouldn’t have gotten there if we published all 180 articles on day one, because, again, Google is looking for okay, it’s a new site. Does it have a heartbeat? Is it breathing? Is it alive? Same thing with My book, you know, I launched I wrote a book called Mean People Suck. I love it. I love the title. Yeah, you know, and it was a fun passion project. For me, trying to try to solve some of the problems I saw in corporate cultures, I’m sure a lot of your entrepreneurs out there are entrepreneurs because of the mean people they worked for. And that’s why I wrote the book. But what I did was I took the all the bibliography notes, every source that I used in the book, I handed that to my own team, and I said, Write an article, based on each of these sources, you know, so it was like, the Edelman Trust Barometer talks about how nobody trusts CEOs anymore, write an article about that, or, you know, the number of people that are unhappy with their jobs from the latest report, you know, write an article about why people are unhappy with their jobs. And so I actually wrote, you know, an article per week for each of the weeks, in the six months, you know, leading up to you know, how it is right, your birthing a baby, when you when you when you launch these books, and, you know, you’re like worried that the world is going to call your baby ugly. And so I wanted to make sure I had a built in audience and and actually sold quite a bit on the launch day, just because I built up a subscriber base, a fan base almost on our website, taking that same approach.

Joe Valley  31:08

That’s brilliant. Awesome. We’re just about running out of time here, Michael, I think this is fascinating. And because of my own personal experience, I think it’s something that everybody should jump on. And do. You know, paid media is only going to get more and more competitive, whereas the organic traffic is Evergreen. And if you can get to the top of the rankings, it’s work that you did in the past that you’re paying off for today, versus you spent media money yesterday, you got to do it again today. And it sounds like over time, you could reduce the total volume of content that you’re publishing from one a day to one a week or two a week or something like that. Yep. Yeah. Okay. Before we actually jump, how much does this cost? I know that if I were doing it and trying to write it myself, it’s gonna cost me time. And I could calculate what I make on an annual basis and see how much that cost is going to be. But if I’m going to use a service like yours, how how’s the billing work? What’s the what’s the deal?

Michael Brenner  32:06

Yeah, I mean, what, you know, like, I think a lot of your entrepreneurs were trying to build a recurring service. And largely, because it’s the consistency that works. And so that’s why I really pivoted my business from consulting to one off content creation to recurring weekly content, you know, as a service. I mean, it’s a new category, content as a service. Yeah, we can, we can bookmark that. But yeah, so you know, we actually, you know, we pay our writers we do sort of, you know, we charge a base on a monthly basis for our clients, it’s about $4,500 a month, for eight articles or two articles a week. I think if you do the math, it’s, you know, 500 something, or 600 something dollars per article,

Joe Valley  32:50

I was just going to do the math, that’s actually a lot cheaper than what I paid. I think I paid like 1500 bucks for an article every month.

Michael Brenner  32:56

Yeah. So you know, again, and with us, you get, you get keyword research, you get headline development, and you get the weekly content, as well as a monthly report where we use SEMrush, the tool that tracks organic search ranks to show you that it’s working. But we tried to build it all. And the way that we’re able to keep our costs down as our writers a love the fact that they don’t have to talk to people, we manage client service for the DEA, they love the fact that it’s one client that they’re working on over time. And so we’re able to retain good writers at a lower rate than I think other you know, sort of content service providers are because of that we only use English speaking, you know, folks, and we don’t, we don’t outsource it to the Philippines, which I think works for virtual assistants, but not so much for writing. And, you know, and again, we love it, because it works. And we send monthly reports out to each client. And, you know, it gives us a lot of pride to show them that it’s working. And so, you know, so it’s a pretty rewarding kind of kind of service to be supporting.

Joe Valley  33:53

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Any any last minute thoughts or recommendations for people that think they may be brave enough to go out and do this on their own versus hiring somebody like yourself? That’s got a few decades worth of experience? Yeah,

Michael Brenner  34:06

I mean, I would just say it’s, you know, while ads can give you a short term boost, this is this is a way to build a business for the long term. And and it’s, it’s compounding, you know, like your investment in your 401k or the stock market. If you invest $1, every week, you’re gonna see a return over time, our average client spends about 80,000 bucks a month on advertising, we’re able to bring that down to 40 and give them the same result for 4500 bucks a month. So that’s a $40,000 savings. Well, it’s a $35,500 savings. Yeah, so it’s the same result. Right? And that’s, that’s really, I think the way to think about it is, can I not reduce or completely eliminate ad spend because you want to find people that are going to buy right now based on a creative ad. But can you reduce your ad spend, build an organic, you know, audience that’s going to convert at the same rate, and have that audience as an asset for your business over time.

Joe Valley  34:57

I love it. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. How Have people reach out to you directly? Michael or get to Marketing Insider Group?

Michael Brenner  35:06

Yeah. So is the website, [email protected] is my email address. You know, I get a lot of connections through LinkedIn. So reach out to me on LinkedIn. You know, send me a note, if you saw the podcast app, be happy to spend to send over a free PDF of my book if I’m allowed to do that. So I’m not selling anything.

Joe Valley  35:25

But so that’s fine. By the Book folks get the audible, it’ll send the PDF as well. You know, people do suck.

Michael Brenner  35:33

They do. They do. So if you mentioned the podcast, I’m happy to send that over.

Joe Valley  35:36

Awesome. Awesome. All right, this has been great. This is fantastic. I think everybody should be doing this in addition to spending money and it sounds like it’s an amazing return on investment if they do it well for, you know, a few months to start to see the results. So thanks for your time, Michael. I greatly appreciate it.

Michael Brenner  35:52

Yeah, thanks so much for having

Outro  35:55

today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 And the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast, subject or guest, email us at podcast at Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

Thinking of Selling Now or Later?

Get your free valuation & marketplace-readiness assessment. We’ll never push you to sell. And we’ll always be honest about whether or not selling is the right choice for you.