What Is A Lean Digital Publisher?

On The Internet, Everyone Knows You’re A Dog

We build websites and publish content on the Internet. People read it. Happiness ensues.

The Lean part refers to our operating philosophy, which adapts the ideas of Lean Manufacturing to Digital Publishing. Our business strategy focuses on building the most cost-effective digital publisher in the industry through the aggressive use of data science, automation, outsourcing, and process improvement.

The label fits our organization as well. We’re two people managing some vendors and freelancers. Well, two people and a dog. Here’s a picture of the dog. The rest of the team is camera shy.

A Brief Dramatis personae…

“The SEO” – aka, “The Operating Partner” – A marketing and strategy executive with nearly 30 years of experience posting inflammatory content on the web. Possessing a famously direct communication style, he works in commercial process improvement. Within our team, he runs content sourcing, SEO, AdOps, and software development. He has an entire closet full of khaki pants.

“The Accountant” – aka “She Who Must Be Obeyed”: The best capital allocator in the business, the accountant has been an auditor, consultant, and IT executive. She is a master in the art of execution. Within our team, she runs publishing operations, IT platforms, and financial planning. She delights in reminding her husband that she achieved a far higher return on investment from her college degree.

“Cosmo” – Our Head of Security and chief Bark-at-Things Officer.

“The BullPen” – A group of freelance writers who have contribute content to the site. We’re very grateful for their perspective in assistance with the project. (If you are a freelance writer with relevant perspective, email us at the editorial address below).

Our Target Audience?

Most of our content is written with two audiences in mind, aside from a few op-ed pieces:

  • Readers that actually own websites that earn $2500 per month
  • Investors interested in committing at least $250,000 of capital to websites.

Why that amount?

  • Personal experience: That was about the level at which we acquired enough operating knowledge to make strategic thinking worthwhile.
  • Leverage: Most of what we’re looking at is an X% improvement on an existing website. You need the website to be large enough for that to matter financially.

Keen students of valuation will note we set the bar at different levels for bootstrappers and investors ($90 K bootstrapped equity vs. $250 K investment). This was by design: operators generally are positioned to implement new programs and strategies at a significantly lower cost structure.

A polite note to the rest of the crowd. At your current level, reading our site is basically a polite way to stall. You can’t implement most of our stuff (yet). A better use of your time would be to….

  • Stop wasting your time reading this blog
  • Pick a project that excites you
  • Make an attempt to build it

But… But… No Money Down… But…

Ok, fine. You can bootstrap. However, if you’re taking that route, I would advise mastering the following:

  • WordPress or Web Development (your call)
  • Basic HTML / CSS / Javascript (even if you use WordPress)
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Google Analytics
  • Writing

And add at least 18 – 24 months to your timeline for results. It’s fun though, I loved it.

We’re going to cover some of these basics in our materials, primarily intended to give new investors a grounding in what their service providers should be telling them. One significant pitfall for non-technical investors is over-spec’ed designs and IT cost creep…

Oh… and I would recommend not trying to “buy” a site until you know how to build one. I’ve done it – it works – but it was my expertise in operational improvement that saved the day.

Contact Information

In the interests of saving people time…..

  • We are not in the market for SEO Services, Web Design, or most everything else.
  • If this is in regards to promoting an affiliate offer, we have a policy of not linking to anything we don’t use. Start by explaining to me why we should use your product on our sites and we’ll go from there.
  • We don’t do sponsored posts. We would consider publishing an interview with unique insights.
  • We don’t accept guest posts unless they include case studies with unique data

We can be reached via editor-at-sideprojectplaybook-dot-com.