Right Race?

Shocking! How Many Editors Work To Publish Your Content?

I’d like to bring in a little perspective when we compare our blogs and the content we create with some of the mega-blogs we love. I’m going to use Social Media Examiner since Michael Stelzner is so open to sharing his analytics and processes.

Social Media Examiner is a little over five years old and had over 15 million unique visitors last year and emails 325,000 people every day.

Now the fast growth of Social Media Examiner was a mixture of great timing, connections, and talent but rather than get into all of that, Mike Stelzner has a nice video, “The Social Media Examiner Growth Story“, that explains how they started out and how they gained such great traction. It’s only a few minutes long and well worth the time to watch.

What I want to get into is the amount of work, we as solo-bloggers (sologgers? lol), take on with each blog post as we watch the mega-blogs run circles around us in almost every department of content creation. Let’s see why that’s being unfair to ourselves by comparing a few things.

Just for fun – Millionaires & Billionaires

From our angle the perspective can get a bit blurred so I thought it would be a fun exercise to make a couple of comparisons; just for the sake of perspective. Let’s say traffic was like money, and I know a lot of bloggers that would insist that it is, Hot Blog Tips might look like a “Middle Class Worker”.

Now, with their 15 million unique last year, Social Media Examiner might look like a millionaire. That’s quite a gap between me and a five year old blog with similar topics isn’t it?

And for a Billionaire comparison, we might look at Mashable. You with me? So…

  • Hot Blog Tips – Middle Class
  • Social Media Examiner – Millionaire
  • Mashable – Billionaire

Here’s a cool comparison/demonstration I just read in the book MONEY Master the Game by Tony Robbins$ [Review coming].

  • If you added up one million seconds, you’d have just less than 12 days.
  • If you added up one billion seconds, you’d have almost 32 years!
  • One Trillion seconds? Almost 32,000 years!

Are you in the right race?

What’s the point? As you can see, the difference between these classes is beyond big, they live in different worlds. So when you see a blog like the Social Media Examiner get millions of visits, social shares, and even millions in cash, don’t beat yourself up. You can’t keep up so don’t kill yourself trying.

That doesn’t mean you won’t be the next mega-blog, the next million dollar idea, or even the next billion dollar site, but let’s look at why you cannot expect yourself to keep up with their workflow.

We’re light years apart

In a recent podcast with Amy Porterfield, Michael said that $1,000 of external development goes into every blog post published on Social Media Examiner. Then Mike walked us through a typical blog post that gets published on Social Media Examiner. I think this will blow you away as far as how many different people have a hand in publishing a single blog post:

Blog Post Editors

Blog Post Editing Process

  1. Director of Editorial organizes the content ideas
  2. The Blogger writes the article
  3. Initial Reviewer: Someone else initially reviews the article to see if it will be accepted.
  4. Developmental Editorsbeautify” the post (grammar, style, factual research)
  5. Visual Editor: Another editor for the visuals
  6. Goes through a Professional Copy Editor
  7. WordPress Layout Editor
  8. Technical Editor
  9. Review Editor
  10. Then Michael Stelzner writes the headline and opening
  11. Content Scheduler
  12. Image Designer

Some articles are re-purposed for things like their newest podcast. That requires even more handling such as an editor to abridge the content for the podcast.  From there it goes to another service that takes care of the voice talent and goes live as a podcast.

All this before it even goes to their social and newsletter teams for promotion and distribution. It’s unreal, isn’t it?

Do you see why you cannot keep up with the mega-blogs? Again, you may have the next big blog, but trying to model a content creation strategy that was designed to keep seven to fourteen different people busy for EVERY single blog post is crazy. That doesn’t even count marketing and don’t forget the expense that’s being incurred.

Even the average multi-author blog cannot keep up that kind of pace without the team and resources to back it up. Is that kind of success out of reach? I don’t believe it is but we need to understand that many of these blogs have grown into real businesses with people on the payroll, teams of professionals all working hand in hand to create the best possible experience for the consumer while inspiring conversions and ROI.

So what’s one to do?

First, congratulate yourself. I’m a huge fan of both Social Media Examiner and Michael Stelzner but you know what I was thinking when I heard how many people are working together to create their content? I thought, “It’s above average but, seriously, it’s not 7 to 14 times and a thousand dollars above average“.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not so foolish to miss out that the free content being delivered is strategically superior in the sense that it has been tested and optimized to convert on a level us mere mortals can only dream of but on a consumer level? I think we’re doing a pretty fine job.

I didn’t write this post to justify staying small or to make anyone feel small, I just keep seeing bloggers run themselves into the ground trying to keep up with other blogs and there’s really no point until we’re generating the income to reinvest in people and resources.

On that note, Mike Stelzner suggests that a copy editor would be a first good step. Next might be a graphic designer.

Maybe you don’t want to be the next Social Media Examiner or even Mashable. Maybe you just love blogging and the connections we enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with that, not a thing. It’s just a matter of getting into the right race. 😉

Your thoughts?

Did you know that many people could work on a single piece of content before it gets published? Is that something you want to strive for? Do you feel better about the content you are putting out there single handedly?

About Brian Hawkins

Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and an all around great guy.


  1. good post thank you for sharing.

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