I’ve long sought to publish deals to every possible channel that I could, knowing that few people would go out of their way to check my site each day. But after Black Friday took me so long, I decided that I needed to optimize my workflow in order to save time.
The crazy thing is that, because I post around 7,000 deals a year, a ten-second inefficiency adds up to nearly twenty hours over the course of a year. Yikes–that’s half a workweek. With that idea in mind, I looked over my channels and asked–is the way I’m posting to this channel worth the time it takes? Sometimes the answer was yes–like posting manually to Reddit with its over 800 followers–but it was extremely revealing. Here’s some channels I’ve changed:
- Twitter – I had been manually editing long tweets to get them under the 280 character limit, but I estimate this took 30-45 seconds per tweet, meaning the yearly cost was 83-124 hours (let’s call it 100). Yikes. I tweaked my system and it’s now fully automated–each tweet won’t have handcrafted perfection and some may now end mid-sentence, but it will save me two and a half work-weeks a year.
- Instagram – I had been initiating each post by webhook, but with some clever automation (Zapier is triggered by Pinterest and posts to Buffer which posts to Instagram!), I was able to fully automate this. It will save about 14 hours a year
Savings of 114 hours with some simple changes–not bad! What else needs spring cleaning? Unfortunately, running a time-cost analysis on a lot of channels meant that they just weren’t worth supporting and are now being ended.
- WhatsApp – The hardest choice because it is new and growing, but it takes me about 80 hours to post here. Just not worth it unless the number of followers increases massively (feel free to join that group–if it ever starts up again you’ll know!)
- Viber, KakaoTalk, Voxer, JioChat, Kik, Google Hangouts – I’ve only had these channels a few weeks, but no one signed up–and supporting them would take 142 hours a year. Nope.
- Mastodon – I really want Mastodon to work, but this only gained 5 followers and cost 23 hours a year. Cut.
- Flickr – A new channel, but after a few months there’s no followers at a cost of 22 hours a year. Duh.
- Line – Fully automated, but after 2 years there’s no followers. No point in keeping it.
- LinkedIn – This one was fully automated, but its automation was complicated, kept breaking, and needed constant repair. Probably 8 hours a year of fixes for 8 followers. Definitely not worth it. Ended.
So MDM Deals is now down to “only” 21 channels, but each channel is now fully automated–with the exception of Telegram (I’m testing something!). The total time savings? 389 hours, or nearly ten work-weeks. That’s 2 and a half MONTHS of time saved.
The lesson learned? Bigger and more and better isn’t necessarily better. Some individual channels are now “worse”–but the overall business is now better since I can spend my time finding & curating deals–which only I can do–rather than posting to channels–which computers can do for me. I just wish I had done this sooner for all the time and work it will save me!
Speaking of time and work, I still spend around an hour each day curating deals and I make no money with App Store affiliate links (Apple ended that program). If you appreciate my work every day, I’d love for you to support it via a one-time donation of coffee or ongoing support on Patreon. Thank you!