Behind the Scenes of Nettuts with Collis!:
… Nine months after launching Psdtuts+, it was time to expand out the clearly successful formula to other types of tutorials. Beginning with web development and Nettuts+, we launched over the course of two years a total of seven more sites. Each one applies the same overall editorial concept into a different niche, with a different editor and different writers.
The plus side of this is that the Tuts+ franchise as a whole has now grown far beyond just Photoshop tutorials. The down side is that whenever our revenue looked like it was going to pass costs, we would launch a new site driving our costs up again.
To manage a suite of blogs also introduces an additional layer of complexity as you now need a business capable of:
- Managing a team of editors each with a team of writers
- Hiring, training and occasionally replacing editors
- Handling hundreds of invoices from writers and freelance staff every month
- Managing servers, installations and themes
These requirements meant we brought on first a Tuts+ manager by the name of Skellie, who was a former editor of FreelanceSwitch. Then secondly, we hired a WordPress developer named Derek Herman who took over building and managing the themes on all the blogs. Thirdly we hired a freelance and later a full-time PHP developer to manage the servers, optimize performance and handle emergencies.
Because Tuts+ is run as part of a larger startup, we have had the benefit of piggy-backing accounting, management and legal costs from our parent business Envato. For an independent blog business however these are significant costs not to be discounted.