How to start online content based venture
I will start by the term “Content Based Website”, how its changing today’s online presence and building brands that are being sold in billions of dollars.
Following Q&A is taken from different online discussions and we found few reasonable answers in quora.com.
Are there any VC firms who have, in the past, invested in content-based websites?
Plenty of venture firms have invested, and continue to invest, in content businesses. Some shy away from them since there may not be a technology angle, though some are innovative in their use of tech when it comes to distribution, analytics, content creation, etc.
Keep in mind the most successful of these aren’t just “websites”; much of the growth is on mobile, and increasingly the content is published through other channels like Youtube, social networks, messaging platforms and other third-party sites.
Many users never visit the main site, but come across the content elsewhere. This is why monetising via ads that look like editorial content is increasingly popular.
The below examples come to mind:
90Min – Dawn Capital, Battery Ventures, Gemini Israel
BuzzFeed – SV Angel, SoftBank, Hearst Ventures, Founder Collective, RRE Ventures, NEA, Lerer Hippeau, Andreesen Horowitz
Distractify – Lerer Hippeau, Lightspeed, CCA Venture Partners
Elite Daily – Greycroft, Redsea Ventures
Huffington Post – Greycroft, SoftBank, Oak Investment Partners, RRE Ventures
Upworthy – NEA, Spark Capital, Flight Ventures
Second Question : How do I start a content based website?
Answer : Online training website would be better to start. Because, it will required lots of content on daily basis. For that you need a best CMS to spread the entity. WordPress is one of the best CMS for content management. It is easy and simple tool to manage your content and having good reputation to rank well in search engines.
Third Question: What we need to do to start content based venture?
The question is too broad to answer. But building an authority blog, we need to contact experts and get them to write for us. Fast loading content and well distributed network of content and social media taking it to maximum number of people. Making it an attractive venture so that it will be an easy close to get anyone to write and contribute for free.
Q&A Source Quora.com
These are few basic questions that came to my mind before starting the financial planning of the project. Now coming to the financial plan what are the things we need to keep in mind?
- Required Investment.
- Time we need to reach breakeven.
- Profitability time frame and model.
- Technological investments.
- Manpower investment.
- Digital Branding with online marketing plan.
- Parallel Content platforms to be used.
- Add channels can be used.
- Profit sharing model.
- Growth and Scaling model.
- Required Investment :
Investment can be divided in following parts:
- Text Based Content development.
- Video Based Content creation.
- Image based Content creation.
- News Content creation.
- Reviews and Analysis of products.
We should know developing content based venture is difficult because for it to grow we need long term investment and patience before it turns profitable. But once it becomes profitable the scalability of these ventures can outnumber even the most technologically strong sites. Many news and content sites can be an example. Now going to the Costing :
- Text Based Content development : We Can target a content strength of 10,000 articles all with 1000 words of well written content. Growing the site to be a real and quality place where other content developers will then come to donate their work. Playing a good role in promoting our products and services worldwide and supporting our youtube channel to get better reach and spread. We should not expect a writer to write more than 2500 words per day.
- Video Based Content creation : Build Videos that can gain good viewership and earn a good revenue on its own strength and with that provide boost to our products and content based site to grow. Help in social media marketing as social media likes videos more than any other form of content. We should not expect more than 10 – 15 videos a month.
- Image based Content creation: Building infographics is the way to go now a days so we will need to try to keep one infographic with our every content to make it easy to understand and more acceptable as well. These infograhics provide much more visibility than many other form of content. Designers should be able to create more as templates can be explored.
- News Content creation: Gradually building a technology news sub-domain to help us getting noticed as a news site by search engines and social media. We can expect 4000 words of news from a writer.
- Reviews and Analysis of products: This should directly co-relate to our review videos and review infographics and provide reviews on mobile, software, apps and other technological products, much in the line of CNET. We should look for quality than quantity while reviewing anything, so out put would be low here.
- Time we need to reach breakeven:
The time we need to reach breakeven depends on how better and productive contents we are growing. How fast we are growing our contents. And what is the online branding and marketing strategy we are following. The major part of the same is achieved if we can have content that connects to the mass requirement.
Reviews are a good source of any purchase, if we keep bringing reviews on new and upcoming products with products which are currently in good demand our viewership will certainly increase. How good and quality video content we are growing and how is it marketed will define our youtube channels growth.
All inclusive if we can start satisfying search engine in the first financial year of our work then we can bring clients for our services and viewers or buyers for our products. We also need to focus on Affiliate Marketing world, building simple but interesting computer softwares that are renewal based and cloud hosted. We can sell them through the existing affiliate networks by approaching many affiliate marketers to join us. All these will bring good and high amount of traffic increasing our add revenue.
- Profitability time frame and model:
To avoid financial pressures on our venture in the first 1 year we need to sell our services and work with the content marketing project together. If needed keep a balance of workers who can work both on our sites and our clients websites both. For that we can line up our services and sell them to the target clients by digital marketing services. While working on the project we will need to project a timeframe for breakeven and profitability and work towards that. All these decisions need to be taken after joint and calculative discussions.
- Technological investments:
The technological investments would count as hosting, cloud expenses, purchase of software’s and their updates. Purchase of different tools as needed. Other than these buying of computer and related hardware’s will stand as the basic need.
- Manpower investment:
We can start the work on a calculation of how many manpower we can hire and retain?
How many content one writer can produce every day?
How long it will take us to build review videos and how much manpower can be involved in the video making process?
What is the manpower requirement for the digital marketing process?
How much we can invest on digital marketing team?
What are the other required works and how much other manpower would be needed or can be done away with the existing strength of the team.
- Digital Branding with online marketing plan:
Digital marketing is the most important part of any business in today’s world. As it builds your brand and brings trust to your product and brand. With clear visibility it satisfies the basic marketing need of availability. So, considering the high need of marketing we need to invest in it but with intelligence to keep the cost low and bring maximum output. This team will have the responsibility to market our products, build a brand for the content venture and also work for our clients.
- Parallel Content platforms to be used:
The parallel content platforms that can be used are social media, youtube and other similar networks with high traffic flow and lead generation capacity.
- Add channels can be used:
Can be decided together and changed or upgraded as we grow bigger.
- Profit sharing model:
All work need to be clean and legally binding on every partner. We need to fix the operation cost, working cost, workers cost and profit sharing with proper calculation and discussion. People who would be directly working in the venture also holding the part of the profit need to be paid to help them meet their expenses. Profit sharing can be done on a calculation of the total amount needed, seed fund assured and turnaround time needed to show profitability.
- Growth and Scaling model:
Scalability should be pre calculated so we have no problem later while scaling up the operation or financing. As we may get more investor or lose an investor then what we will do to tackle the situation or even after hard calculation we fail to come to a satisfactory solution to server load time and we ultimately need to upgrade our servers, what steps we need to take on technological and financial part these we need to think and decide beforehand.
Financial Calculation of the Venture in Indian Rupee for a 6 month Costing