About a week ago, I made me some internet.  More specifically, I went to my favorite hosting platform, SiteGround, bought a domain name, and spun up a WordPress instance.  This all took about 15 minutes, and when I was done, we had makemeaprogrammer.com.

Let me take a screen capture of the default Lorem Ipsum thing for posterity.

That’s one fine-looking succulent.  I dig the aesthetic.  Of course, it won’t look like this for long.

Let’s Do Some Blogging Experiments

Now, when I talked about recording the screenshot for posterity, that wasn’t just idle self-importance.  I actually want to document this stuff, and this is the first entry.

Why would I want to document the creation of a site called “make me a programmer” on a site about content marketing?

Well, let’s dive into that in detail.  But at the highest level, it’s because I want to show that this content marketing thing we offer actually works.  And I want to do it with actual data, in the form of a case study.  I want to do blogging experiments.

Hit Subscribe’s New Site: Make Me a Programmer

Here’s how this is going to work, from a nuts and bolts perspective.  Hit Subscribe has a lot of authors and editors, and it produces a lot of content for our clients.  We’re going to dip into that talent well a bit and build a site from scratch.

All of our authors are technologists, so it means that we, collectively, know a thing or two about what it takes to become a programmer.  So we’re going to build a site containing landing pages and blog posts that help people along that journey.  But because we also know content marketing very well, we’re going to build it in a way designed to attract a lot of traffic over the course of time.

The end product will thus be a site that serves as a resource for people who want to break into programming.  We’ll answer a lot of questions, provide a lot of suggestions, and generally offer guidance.

Make Me a Programmer as a Lab Experiment

Okay, so we’re going to carve out a bit of time to build a website.  Where’s the experiment part?

Well, I’m glad I asked.  The experiment will involve setting up things like Google Analytics to track our traffic. We’ll also monitor our domain authority and rankings as we produce this content.  We’ll dive into which posts work, which posts don’t work, and the why of it all.

Often, when I find myself talking to clients and prospective clients, they ask really good questions:

  • What is the ROI on a blog post?  (I’ve actually written about this before)
  • How long will it take to achieve results?
  • How hard is it to rank for a keyword?
  • Will more readers translate to more conversions/business?

I’ve attempted to speak to all of this before, keeping a close eye on as many metrics and KPIs as I can for our clients.  We can monitor their traffic, conversions, domain authority, site ranking, and plenty of other things.  But this suffers from two main problems if we want to get all pseudo-scientific-method.

  • We’re not at liberty to open our clients’ kimonos regarding these things, the way we would be with a site that we’ve built and that we own.
  • We can’t really control for other factors that might be influencing their traffic.  Much as we’d love to think that growth is all the result of our awesome blog posts, clients have other marketing and sales avenues to raise their own profiles.  (And good on them—they absolutely should.)

But with Make Me a Programmer, we control everything, own it totally, and will diligently document what we’re doing so that you can much more closely trace cause and effect and consider what the ROI would be.

But Wait, Hit Subscribe Clients Offer Products and Services.  What’s Yours?

You probably have one more objection.  Our clients sell products and services, with costs ranging from double digits per month to, well, six or even seven digits per month.  This means that there is a “return” part of the ROI equation.

What’s the “return” for Make Me a Programmer?

To answer that, we plan to monetize the site.  Now, I’d love for Hit Subscribe to collaborate on, say, a $299 info product guiding people to becoming programmers.  But that doesn’t seem super realistic in the short term. So we’ll monetize the blog the good ol’ fashion way, for those of you veterans to the universe of blogging.  This means strategies like product reviews, affiliate linking, advertising, etc.

There’s another pragmatic reason beyond the time involved to monetize this way, rather than to market our own product.  Simply put, if we can realize ROI with advertising alone, we feel that ROI for an actual product would be a no-brainer.

If, dear client, we can make money with affiliate linking, we can certainly make you money with your product.