Nick Jordan, also known as Nick, is the CEO and founder of Workello, a platform for assessing writer applicants' skills that helps content teams find and employ the best one percent of candidates. Over the years, he has grown four projects from zero to over 100,000 organic traffic per month. The largest grew from zero to 1.5 million organic visitors per month without the use of backlinks or technical means. This initiative helped his client move from the germination stage to a series B valuation of $210 million led by A16 and expanded his agency from one to forty-five writers and editors within two years.
In this article, Nick explained his SEO strategy to grow a site to 1.5 million organic visitors per month, how much content they were producing per month to reach that point, and how they structured that content to rank and receive traffic without paid link building.
Nick also discussed the process of recruiting the best writers, the training process, the promotion of writers to editors, and the instruction of new writers.
Being an Online Entrepreneur
Earlier in his career, Nick has sold two sites. The first one was an e-commerce store selling knives to Europeans which he sold for $1,000. While the site performed well in terms of metrics, it did not generate substantial revenue because 30 to 40 percent of the blades were confiscated by customs. The more blades he sold, the greater his financial loss.
The other site, doggypedia.org, was a content website that he grew to 100,000 monthly organic visitors. When he purchased the website, there was zero to very little traffic. Since he was unable to monetize the website, he sold it to Alpha Paw, a Dog Breed Center (DBC) brand. Nick had a great deal of traffic that required products, whereas the buyer had products that generated a substantial income. Nick believed the site to be worth more than the initial offer of $6,000 for it. He placed it up for auction on Flippa, and the highest bid he received was $30,000 from Alpha Paw's proprietor. People told him he could get a higher price for the website, but he saw an opportunity to establish a relationship and network with the said client.
Getting 1.5M Organic Hits Monthly
Nick could boost website traffic without developing backlinks. His entire strategy centered on producing content that Google could not display for any of the keywords he desired to rank for. Using the same strategy, he increased another project's monthly organic traffic from 100,000 to 1.5 million utilizing the same method.
In addition, he expanded a Pinterest account to 40 million impressions and a Google account to one million organic clicks. For one client, the traffic was so valuable that the client's company was able to go from a seeding stage to a valuation of $210 million.
The SEO Strategy
When analyzing the industry's most significant SEO results, Nick observed that integrations such as Zapier to HubSpot publish approximately 12,000 pages and generate approximately 10 million visitors per month. He stated that, on average, each page receives fewer than 100 visitors per month.
For him, businesses do not need to publish 600 pages per month to generate a substantial amount of traffic. He stated that he had published a total of 70 pages, which generated one million organic views over the span of two years. Additionally, he stated that businesses just beginning their content strategy can publish 10 to 40 pages per month, which is more achievable.
Quality vs. Quantity
For Nick, the only way to scale is after nailing the quality of content. He advised businesses to publish the highest-quality page of content that Google could display for the keywords they wish to rank for, and to do so on a massive scale. As one determines the quality, he or she should ensure that the type of content that is ranking is visible and then replicate it for all other search terms and keywords for which they wish to place. He added that it's not about creating the perfect landing page; rather, it's about creating landing pages for all the various ways people seek for the product's features.
As an example, he uses a video editing software. Businesses can select multiple product features, such as translation, resizing, prologue, and outro, and construct a landing page for each of them to attract users searching for a video editing application. By highlighting a single feature, businesses can help customers appreciate the product.
Nick stated that for content to stand out, businesses must use headings, tables, lists, bullet points, images, internal links, external links, and other elements to surpass their competitors. The first thing he would do is Google the keyword he wished to rank for, open the top three to five results, ascertain their word and picture count, internal links, external links, and tables, and then surpass them in each of these categories.
As long as the quality is high, he added, one of the simplest methods to improve user engagement metrics is to produce more of it. If the competitor wrote 1,000 words, others should write 1,500 because, all else being equal, having more word count will encourage the user to stay longer and Google will increase your site's ranking.
Nick believes that businesses that focus solely on quantity will lose because it is possible to spend an infinite amount of money on content that does not rank or produce business value.
The Inception of Workello
According to Nick, the idea for Workello began from a need to hire writers to publish 600 pages a month for a client. Since he was working alone, he required additional writers to produce high-quality content. Nick, however, realized that the business community had the same issues: everybody has trouble recruiting writers.
Applicants would submit portfolio content that had been extensively edited by someone else and did not accurately represent the content they would be producing. As a result of the Covid pandemic, content writing is one of the lowest-barrier work-from-home jobs, meaning that the majority of applicants will be less experienced and less competitive.
After spending some time figuring out how to build the perfect system for hiring good, affordable writers very easily, he draw inspiration from his SaaS background. Nick developed and released Workello to the community. It has evaluated over 15,000 writing candidates to date. Workello is a pre-employment assessment platform where candidates take a writing test. Thus, when making a recruiting decision, it would not be based on education, resume, or portfolio, which are likely fabricated, but rather on the writing test, where companies can objectively evaluate the applicant's abilities.
According to Nick, there are two things companies need to hire the best writers: documentation, which includes all the paperwork and employee records; and finding candidates who care.
For the first requirement, Nick said documentation will clearly define the employee’s responsibilities and everything they need to properly function within the organization. On the other hand, being able to care will ensure that writers meet the deadlines, improve when given feedbacks, and avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.
Nick stressed that every word is a liability so one has to make sure that the spelling, grammar, positioning, messaging, and formatting are in order.
He also said that one of the best ways to hire the best writers is to test 50 to 100 candidates. This increases the probability to find and discover that hidden talent, just like the strategy to get better SEO results is to publish more content.
However, companies don’t have the capacity and time to manually entertain that many candidates. This is what Workello aims to address: to enable companies reach the amount of tests they need to find candidates who are good, affordable, and are going to stick with them for a long time.
Tips for Hiring the Best Talents
In hiring the best writers, Nick was at a crossroads between underpaying Americans or overpaying foreigners. But he eventually chose the latter and hired people outside the US. When asked if non-native English speakers speak English, his would always draw answers from the research by Department of Education which says that 54 percent of Americans have a 8th grade reading level or less so most of them can't speak English very well.
Another tip he gave to efficiently and quickly hire the best talents is to filter 95 percent of the candidates which leaves companies the qualified and talented five percent.
Advice to Budding Entrepreneurs
For those who are planning to build a startup, Nick leaves a word of advice that served him well for the last 15 years: Don’t meet great people and do the things they do, meet great people and learn the skills to do something even bigger next time.
This article is a summary of the Buying Online Businesses podcast with Nicholas Jordan. See the full Podcast on Youtube below.
Buying Online Businesses Website https://buyingonlinebusinesses.com
Nicholas Jordan: https://workello.com