Patty: Well Madeleine Taylor thank you so much for being on her legacy podcast so appreciate of connecting and I know the first time we had  baby,your baby was going to be in guest with that let baby had the baby times. So I’m so happy to have you back.

Madeleine: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it and thanks for being flexible and rescheduling.

Patty: Absolutely. As a mom I get it. We were talking about how life would so be there and I don’t know how many kids you have by the way.

Madeleine: He’s my first.

Patty: OK. All right. I have two boys and they’re teenagers so just looking back at those days I mean I remember really relying on people’s understanding and flexibility because it’s like every stage is a new situation.

Madeleine:  And a new challenge.

Patty:  Oh my God. Well, I don’t have baby burp being in the background or me feeding. My kids are like Mom I need you to drop off food at so-and-so is just a whole host of the other issues. Naughtier.OK so were you, Madeleine. We always start with the show with like let’s get braggy I’d love to know what do you believe is your superpower.

Madeleine: Oh are we talking like business wise or personal.

Patty: Whatever you’d like your superpower like that thing that you know that you are just really good at.

Madeleine: Oh let’s get braggy. OK. Can I list two things?

Patty: Absolutely. Have at it.

Madeleine: OK. Well, I think something that I have realized that I am very good at is creating children. I have the most wonderful baby in the entire world.  And I’m so proud of him and I’m proud of myself and my partner for making him. And. Yeah, I think that that is that’s a gift.

Patty: Awesome.

Madeleine: Yeah yeah. So there’s that. But I think that I’m also very good at building businesses. Yeah, I’ve created a business over the last couple of years called content refined.

And I think we’ve had our ups and our downs but I think that it’s a pretty solid business and I’ve put a lot of hard work into you know procedural lies in it and creating systems and a strong foundation for my business. And I think that that is something that I’m pretty good at.

Patty:  Which is fantastic and I was checking you’re your website out content refined or comment. Leave that contentrefined.com and just the success that you had and the fact that they. Whoever they may be invited you to do a talk at a marketing conference in Bangkok Thailand in October 2017 Jean because of the entrepreneurial success.

So tell us about how did content refined come to be and why do you believe because at this point how long have you been in business. And I feel like it was a rocket ship to success.

Madeleine: Yeah it was pretty quick so at that point it had been; at that point in 2017 hadn’t even been a year yet. It had been like ten months yeah. 10 Months.

Patty: So what do you think? I mean how did content refined come to be let start there.

Madeleine: Right. So content refined came to be because I decided to move from Toronto to a smaller town outside of Toronto called Collinwood.

And there wasn’t like a whole ton of like job opportunity up here. It’s very it’s a very small town and unless you really know people and have connections up here you’re probably not going to get like a mainstream job up here. They’re women.

So I sort of had to put my entrepreneur’s hat on and make some different connections and I ended up partnering up with a local guy here. And actually working for him originally to sort of create a marketing plan for his own portfolio of websites. So he was really into at the time he was really into you knowing the Amazon affiliate Web site world.

Patty: Right.

Madeleine: Yeah. So he just wanted to you know procedural lies the content creation for his for his portfolio but sites that he didn’t have to really take care of it.

So he hired me to do that. And then once we got that system running we kind of wrapped those procedures in a little bow and called at Content refined and. And here we are today.

Patty: Interesting. Okay, so I’ve heard you say procedures and systems now a few times I feel like I’m hearing that that’s yours. You’re another one of your superpowers right. You just have this ability to make order out of an idea am I caption that correctly.

Madeleine: Yeah definitely.

Patty: And how did you what other experience or you’re bringing is from I guess the prior work that you read into this situation that there just really was opportunistically perfect so that you created this connection with you your business partner and started this amazing business.

Madeleine: Yeah great question. So I originally had been working in Toronto at a small startup company so I started there from like the ground up. And I worked my way up to a pretty senior role there within a few years.

And so I was exposed to technology for the first time really and Business and Entrepreneurship for the first time because I was working right right in and I was like one of eight. In a new startup business so I was like definitely like an employee of that business.

But I was able to see how it worked. And the thing that really stood out to me was like the importance of creating processes and procedures in order to build the business and in order to scale properly.

Patty: Right.

Madeleine: And so I guess that’s why I extracted that tidbit was was you know the importance of an org chart the importance of you know standard operating procedures so that you can really outsource that piece or hire somebody else to do that job so that you can focus on you know business growth initiatives which is what the CEO of my last company was really doing and he was really good at it.

So I think that that’s where I sort of understood the importance of those things when it comes to business. And so when I came here and started my own thing with with my business partner John that’s what was that’s what really stood out to me and that’s what enabled me to to build this business up to where it is now.

Patty: It’s fantastic. You’ve. Have you heard of the book Rocket Fuel?

Madeleine: No I haven’t.

Patty: OK. So you’re still reminding me of this book because in rocket fuel he talks about the two critical elements for success and in business as a visionary and an integrator and the integrator as the one that’s the genius you know keeps the wheels greased systems processes to make sure that visionary is a distinctly different role in which they’re driving the bus to just to say okay here’s where we want to take the business strategically.

So I feel like hearing what you have in your business plan to refine it off that you know both of those elements were probably the reason that you’re so successful. And can we go to the success part of it the fact that you spoke at a conference within one year of being in business? We know the statistics that most small businesses fail certainly within the first year if not the first five years. So what do you think is the reason that you had this exponential success so soon?

Madeleine: Well I will give some credit to John my business partner had a really really big like. Following and like a list of contacts. So that was that was strategic. And. And we were really able to launch the service quickly to demographics that I, that we knew was going to be into the service offering.

Patty: And how did you know they were being in the service offering because it was a pain point that you had identified in these small business owners.

Madeleine: Yeah it was. It was a pain point but it was also like John ran this blog basically called How to Make Money Online. And so all of these people were or wanted to make money online and Content Marketing is like the key to that.

Patty: Well that’s great. So with content creation being so important can you just speak to people maybe more solopreneurs that they have their small business there? Do you think it applies to everybody even brick and mortar businesses? Occupation strategy.

Madeleine: Yeah I definitely think that it’s something that everybody who has a Web site or everybody who has a business that relies on you know Google traffic to get business should be doing some sort of online marketing and I might be a little biased because I run a content marketing agency

Grey but I do think content is king and I think that Google changes their algorithms all the time and over and over again we’re seeing that they’re looking for good quality content and that’s what’s going to basically rank your site or sink your site if you have crappy shitty content on your site. Google’s got to figure that out pretty quickly and you’re not going to be rewarded for it.

Patty: And what is deemed like crappy like what’s crappy as opposed to something that is working really well that so few I mean the difference would be like oh I write my own blog post right. Right. What you guys bring to the table is their expertise’s in knowing how the algorithm is changing like can you give some notes of why it’s important to potentially outsource this to somebody else.

Madeleine: Definitely. So I can speak to it from my own experience actually. So I have my own like affiliate websites as well as like a bit of a side hobby. And at first, what I used to do is I would sort of do it the lazy way and I would essentially just think up of topics off the top of my head but I thought would be good for the website.

I would hire a bunch of like really really cheap freelancers not necessarily like native English speakers just like the cheapest I could I could get an article written for I would outsource those articles. I’d get them back. And I’d throw them on onto my website. Wouldn’t necessarily really even edit just I and within my instructions I just like wanted them to sort of keyword stuff to the articles and I was just looking for a quick easy cheap solution.

And I I sort of sat back and waited and waited and waited and waited for my content to get like to get indexed and stuff and then I got I got a message from Google ads sometimes because I had applied for for Google ads to get put on my site and they said sorry we’re like we’re not going to grant you access to Google app sense because we don’t think that the content on your website is strong. So I was like. OK. So. People are looking and people are definitely monitoring content and it’s not about just an abundance of content with a.

A ton of keywords stuffed into the text. It’s not about that anymore it’s about quality. So later down the line when we did like a ton of research on content marketing and and really understood the algorithms and understood what-what Google wanted. We started building content around that. And so when I started applying that to my sites you know it really works required me to actually think about the content actually do a roadmap for like for your website.

Strategically do keyword research to see like how many search queries are being searched per month over certain topics. What what are related topics to that key term that you’re trying to rank for all of those? Elements that are extremely important. Content marketing before before the content is even written. So there was that piece but then actually getting really strong writers who actually sit down and think about the content that they’re writing and obviously these are going to be slightly higher paid writers and people that might even be experts in the field.

And then really focusing on like best practices for publishing your content because it’s not just about sticking it into the back in the word like Word press and clicking clicking the publish button anymore you know it’s about really optimizing content to make sure that that you’re really incorporating all of the elements that are important to SEO and important. The Google algorithms into each piece of content.

Patty: My gosh it is so involved that I can see how it is. It’s not as easy as oh let me just be inspired and write.

Madeleine: Totally

Patty: If you’re doing it. If you’re doing it as a hobby and I think that’s a distinction that you’re talking about are you doing it for a hobby or are you doing it to get the right eyeballs so that you can continue the conversation.

And before we started well before I hit the record button you were talking about a new exciting thing that you’re offering in content refined which is a content upgrade which is a reason for what I call a pull strategy for people to engage with you even further.

Madeleine: Yes.

Patty: We would Love to hear about maybe a case study in a small business owner that was kind of questioning the value and then what you get back to the table what happened as a result to that person jumping.

Madeleine: Yeah absolutely. Well, we have we have a ton of case studies So in terms of the content creation case study so we had somebody approached us within the first few months that we actually launched the business and they said hey you know like I have this really awesome domain. There’s not a whole a whole lot of traffic but I just bought the site and I want to make a return and then I want to sell the site.

So we took a look at it we think and at the time there was like zero traffic. They had like a few articles published they had a really great domain domain name had it it was great and like they really put a great theme on the on the WordPress site and it looks nice but it just didn’t wasn’t getting a lot of traffic. So what we did is we came up with a really robust plan.

I think he was doing 24000 more words of content a month. So about 24 articles a month. So that’s like a pretty aggressive strategy like a very aggressive strategy.

And so we are prepared it and then we executed it and within eight months he was able he got. That he was at seventy-two thousand viewers per month on a site and he was able to turn around and sell his site for 150 grand in eight months. Yeah. So that was like crazy inspiring made us feel really good because were like Yes. It just helped to make a boatload of money.

So that was that was really great. And then in terms of the content upgrade stuff we had a client come to us and say hey is like hey I have a handful of articles that are on my site that just like aren’t performing well anymore but they they really represent like 80 percent of my business and like I can’t afford to have these articles slip. So we took them and we gave them like a content upgrade is what we call it.

So basically a facelift we like. Added a ton of content to it. So between like 500 and a thousand words of like content gap filling is what I call it. And then we added new links we made it a little little bit more relevant in terms of. Making it like a 2019 article rather than a 2016 article added new elements to them. And then we sort of hit re publish we saw like a 40 percent increase within a week. On his on his traffic, so that was really cool.

Patty: So that is something I’ve never thought about is refreshing or putting a facelift on maybe blog post that might have gotten some traffic. Once upon a time that it can be done again with a service like I have never even heard of that that is so smart.

Madeleine: It’s honestly so effective because we don’t think that you need to sort of rewrite articles on on keywords that you’ve already targeted like if you’ve already targeted that just yet upgrade it refresh it.

Make it relevant to today because Google’s always looking for relevancy. If it’s a 2016 article it’s not going to get the same kind an attraction as the 2019 article it needs to stay current.

It just needs to make like you just need to make sure that your content is still like energized and you’re still getting energy sort of around that piece of content and if it’s gone slot and if it hasn’t been touched in years then circle back and see and pull some data and see like how-how you’re ranking where you were ranking a year ago. If those rankings have slept then time to time to refresh.

Patty: That is super smart. So then how long have you how long has content refined going around.

Madeleine: We’ve been around for like two and half years now.

Patty: That’s amazing and where do you see the next three years how big you want to build that site. What’s your vision?

Madeleine: I would love to. My vision is to. Oh, that’s a great question. I would love. To be at a point where we have liked an established presence in our community that we’re not only doing stuff online but we’re also doing things in in our community for local clients.

I would love to see our revenue increase. I’d like to be at around 150 K in like monthly recurring revenue which would be sort of a goal within the next five years. And I would just like content refined to be like unknown content marketing company and for people to have faith in our services. And I want us. To be known as like a quality content service provider.

Patty: Now there’s some.

Madeleine: Yeah there are lots of people who produce content like there are lots of lots of companies out there that produce content. We. Like to differentiate ourselves or ourselves from those other like businesses by really putting an effort into understanding the changes in an online marketing.

We pull so many are we yeah we pull together so many data analysis studies on like what are the ranking factors when you’re creating content like what do you have to incorporate in your content. Make sure that you’re going to rank with certainty.

And so we’re refreshing those those data analysis says study studies all the time just to make sure that we’re incorporating the best practices that are like current best practices.

Patty: So out of curiosity if somebody said OK I want to implement a content strategy on my blog site just to keep things currents. The best practice adhering to the best practices what any what is the recommendation like.

One blog post a week or is it a month like what would be the minimum that someone will have to do so even be seen as relevant in Google’s sizes. And I know that’s a loaded question. But you said you know best practices.

Madeleine: Yes certainly a lot of question. It totally depends on like what kind of site you’re you have if it’s like an if it’s a personal blog. I would say you know maybe one a week if it’s like an affiliate like marketing website I would say like between 12 and 20 articles a month.

So it depends on the purpose. I guess if you’re looking to you know rank for a huge variety of different keywords in a specific niche then I would hit it with aggression and and really pump that content out. If you’re a little bit more specific in terms of in terms of brand and in terms of in terms of what your goals are then I would I would do it. Yeah probably once a week so for tickles a month.

Patty: All right. Well OK. And that is obviously something that carbs or refined come up with. Definitely, it could do that because it is you thinking like wow I know that I want to focus on what I’m doing and my business and the writing side of it it’s not necessarily something that I love. I would do it but it would just be a labor of love

Oh my god, I have to write you know images becomes really cumbersome for me personally it’s not natural. And so knowing that that could be altered in a way that represents and is brand with my personality and that whole thing I think that’s phenomenal.

Madeleine: Yeah.

Patty: Gives you the. Ok cool. I’m doing what has it done in order for me to remain consistent irrelevant online. So it just makes so much sense.

Madeleine: Definitely. And I think that the way I see it is that yeah for sure you could sit down and write your own content if you wanted. But like how much and like no disrespect to writers writers have like the the one of the hardest jobs for sure.

No disrespect to writers but like as an entrepreneur and as like a business owner like how much is your timer’s. And you know is it better spent working on other things that are going to grow the business. And yeah just other things that that are more worth your time.

Patty: Very well stated. All right. So you’ve had tremendous success with what you’re doing. What do you believe is the reason that you are successful?

Madeleine: Honestly and I hope that like other millennials are listening to this. But like hard work and work ethic, there’s a man that has been drilled into me since I was a kid and I think that unfortunately. I have come I’m a millennial and I’ve come across many others and work ethic just isn’t something that’s like emphasized and I don’t think in our upbringing.

And it has been a huge source of frustration in terms of hiring in terms of in terms of running a business where you rely on. Millennials to sort of run things smoothly. But yes work ethic work hard. If you work hard you can play hard. And and I think that yeah work ethic. MAN.

Patty: Yeah and paint a picture of your dad and your mom. Yeah. Own a business. How do you? Because I don’t believe that there’s real balance but how do you maneuver it all.

Madeleine: Yeah so I have taken the last well from June to January. I took a lot of time off my business and dedicated at that time to my new little human. And I thought that was really important. And I really wanted to be able to do that. And I’m very happy that I did.

But now he’s a little bit older. He goes to daycare three days a week. And so I’m in the office three days a week. But then on the other four days, I find time to make it work. Without it, it’s really hard to to. It’s really hard to be in a position where you know that if you’re focusing too much on your business then you’re maybe neglecting your baby a little bit.

But if you’re neglecting. But then yeah it’s like you don’t want. You don’t want to be in a position where you have to sacrifice one or the other. So finding the balance is really challenging. But we make it work you know like if if I have to work six hours after he goes to bedtime or after bedtime then that’s what I’ll do. You know if I if I have to squeeze in work while he’s napping in them that’s what I’ll do. You know and I think just setting your priorities straight. You know I think you can probably really sympathize with this.

But like when you have a small baby at home and other things start to pile up like dishes and laundry and all that stuff and that to do list for me either get outsourced. So like I hired a cleaning lady. That’s what I need to do. You know and. And. Yeah. So that’s how I sort of prioritize things I really outsource what I can and and focus on the really important things which are first my baby and second my business.

Patty: I love that I love it and it’s so true. It’s a prioritization and then really looking at the tasks and the things that you’re doing and outsourcing them which I think I don’t know some women I was completely AFAM.I’m like I’m sure you would be superwoman and then what happens is adrenal fatigue happens you know totally like you’re trying to do it all and it just doesn’t make sense.

So keeping an inventory of the things that you do and saying can be outsourced probably for 15 or 20 bucks an hour. And then that way I am more focused on spending the time with my family or going to love my husband. The fact is we have the luxury to make and create our own schedules which is such a luxury.

Madeleine:  Such a luxury.

Patty:  In the corporate world. You know it was like working on you know on the clock and asking for permission to go on vacation is so crazy now thinking about it. And so with that luxury, you still have to have a schedule like you have to.

It’s really interesting because some people and I’m going back to your hard work ethic comment. Yeah. Some people think I’m out of work for myself and then they’re going to yoga and they’re hanging out with friends that going to lunch and it’s like OK.

Madeleine:  I wish.

Patty: You’re now working right. You really have to keep inventory and had this discipline.

Madeleine: Yeah.

Patty: Working really consistent and honoring that Company because it’s your own business you know if you’re slacking you’re not slacking at the job your slacking

You know in your own business it’s just hurting you definitely it doesn’t really understand where you’re coming from with that comment.

Madeleine:  And you know what. I’m not going to I’m not going to lie. I struggled with it hard when we were first like launching the business because I got into this like vicious vicious cycle where I put like dollar signs on every single thing I did because my time represented my income.

And so that drove me honestly within the first year to be probably a workaholic and it wasn’t healthy and I needed to sort of find some find a better balance and I worked hard on doing that. But it got to a point where like going to the gym for me is something I’ve always loved doing and then it’s just like part of my life.

And during that year it would stress me out when I was at the gym because I was like oh my god this is like two hours of my time. How much money is that worth? You know it’s always been like really analytical about it. And it wasn’t probably healthy and it was definitely like an obsessive-compulsive thing for sure you get for my mental health.

But I think recognizing that taking a step back and and being able to to realize that that was happening was important. And then you know work to sort of rebalancing that was important.

Patty: I think that’s a really healthy assessment. I went through the same day where I just branched off on my own after being a business partnership and like I have to work twice as hard. Not necessarily. I really let go of the self-care aspect and that’s so crazy because you have to focus on self-care first in order to bring the right kind of energy and focus into your day.

I’m not a millennial I’m a Gen X ers so it even more so because it’s like the focus goes by the wayside if I don’t take care of the self-care anyway. It’s a whole balancing act and the thing is is that one of the things I see is the habits and the discipline and consistency versus thinking you have to like grind grind grind really hard to get really fastening of that.

It’s a nuanced shift at least for me where I’m starting now I’m starting I really made a commitment to just kind of re-engineer my day reengineer like compartmentalizing my calls compartmentalizing my free time really honoring that I’m not going to take calls on on Saturday and Sunday right. Send me a Baxter it’ll be ok like this. Yeah. I am not calling If I don’t answer the Baxter ten minutes after it’s somebody send a box like its.

Madeleine:  Totally.

Patty:  But you have to literally be about like what am I doing is just burning me out. And what is a return on your energy? That’s the way I see it now where it’s been really really helpful.

Madeleine:  One hundred percent 100 percent. And I think that like all of these apps that are meant to be like really helpful and useful in breaking down like can be communication barriers like like Slack and all those things like

I had just delete slack off my phone because I was like my clients cannot have access to me at 2:00 in the morning. Like that’s just not OK anymore. And so so yeah establishing barriers and boundaries and stuff is really important or else you’re going to work yourself.

Patty: Exactly what. True that.

Madeleine:  Yeah.

Patty:  All right. So a couple more questions. What is a personal development or growth habit that you have?

Madeleine: Ooh personal development or growth habit that I have. That’s a great question. Let me think about this one. Oh. Research. I do a ton of research all the time and it’s something that I enjoy doing because I like learning. But it also allows me to apply my new knowledge to my business. And so I I really like doing research.

So right now I’m doing research on like paid traffic for like paid paid advertising online. That’s something that we haven’t really dipped our toes much into because we haven’t really needed to but now we are getting to a point in the business where we should probably start doing that because most businesses do. And so, of course, I’m going to hire somebody to do it for us. But I want to understand it a little bit first. And I want to understand it enough to hire the right person so that I think is is my my business or my development personal development habit. I guess it’s more of a professional.

Patty:  It’s a growth habit.

Madeleine: Yeah.

Patty: Like you’re thinking ahead in terms of OK what do we need or what other talents you need to bring in. And so you’re learning and deep diving so nobody can tell you oh you should look for that because I know I’m going to learn enough to be dangerous and how to make the right decision for my business.

Madeleine: Exactly exactly.

Patty: Totally.

Madeleine:  So I don’t need to know exactly how to do it myself. Like if I buy played with it long enough I’m sure I’d figure it out. But I want to know enough exactly to equip myself to make the best decisions for the business.

Patty: Fantastic. All right Madeleine, after all, is said and done what do you want your legacy to be.

Madeleine:  Oh my legacy. That’s a great question. So basically if when I die what do I want people to remember me.

Patty: It’s an interesting question because when I ask a Gen Xer a baby boomer they’re like my legacy could it when I’ve asked somebody who was in their 30’s or late 20’s. It’s a very different answer. So I’m really curious. Yeah like coming from a millennial lens what were you thinking about legacy?

Madeleine: I would love. For my children to remember me. As. a badass fun mom who did everything with them. Who is there, there are soccer games. Who is there? You know they’re like dance recitals. Who is the present? I want them to remember that I want to be so present in their lives. And I also want them to remember me as a badass businesswoman and I want them to. Inherit greatness from this business.

Patty:  Beautiful. And so it will be Madeleine. Taylor thank you so much. How did people find out more about content refined how to connect with your business if they are looking for content.

Madeleine: Yes.

Patty:  For their own business.

Madeleine: Yeah for sure. So people can either email me directly at Maddie MADDIE maddie@contentrefined.com or they can go to www.contentrefined.com. To check out more about our services. And what we do or. If you are not at the point where you want to outsource content and but you just want like know how to write really great content.

I actually have a page it’s a podcast special page where you can go in and put in the code the code is PODCAST all in caps and you can actually download our article write in SOP’s. So those are a gift to you guys. If that’s the direction you want to go or if you want to check out any of our or try out any of our packages. You can get 20 percent off month one in put in a podcast as your coupon code on upon check out.

Patty: Oh fantastic. OK, so this will be shown up so you’re not going to miss any day and how to connect with Madeleine or maddie@contentrefined.com and then the generous 20 percent off which just fantastic.

So thank you so much for being on her legacy her it’s truly been an honor. I love what you’re doing and I think it’s absolutely super. It’s just awesome.

Madeleine: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

 

Madeleine Taylor (madeleine.taylor.009@gmail.com),

Website: www.contentrefined.com,

We can offer your listeners 20% off of their first month when they sign up for a monthly content creation package.

We can also offer them our downloadable SOPs for how to systematize content creation.,

Social Media Handles: Facebook.com/contentrefined

Instagram.com/contentrefined,

Email – maddie@contentrefined.com

They can book a call with me – https://contentrefinedmt.youcanbook.me/,

 

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