Welcome to the first week of updates on my side project — ExitTaiwan.

Since this is the first update you get from me on my ExitTaiwan project, I should recap you on what goals I set at the start of the week and see if I hit those goals at the end of this week.

Update of the week

On Monday, I set 4 goals for this week. I was going to:

  • publish content,
  • finish content templates,
  • finish organization structure,
  • and come up with all the manual titles.

Publish content

I know you’re not making any sense of those stuff. Let’s start with the most obvious one: publish content.

Since I’m currently the only writer, because I haven’t started recruiting any, and I had some unfinished ideas left in my notes, I thought I should still take some time to finish writing them and publish.

That’s what I did. I finished and published 2 articles. Not much to talk about here. I put in the time writing. I put in the time editing photos. Put in the time formatting. And there we have it: 2 new articles.

Finish content templates

The second goal was to finish content templates. These content templates have to do with the way I’m dealing with content production in the future.

The ideal way of how content production works for this website is to outsource the experiencing and the writing part. Experiencing meaning I don’t have to be the one going to a place, take photos, and make notes of it so I can come back and do the writing part.

My imagination of how it works is that I attract Taiwanese people to write for me. These people are those who are already travel lovers and like to document their journeys. That means there shouldn’t be too much extra work for them. I give them a way to accumulate points when their articles get published. And once they got certain points, they can cash out.

So these content templates provide them a structure to work with. They’ll know what kind of information is needed for the article they’re going to write. And which photos they need to take in order to give the reader a better overview of the experience. The templates also helped me make sure the articles have same structure which is optimized for reading experience and for the formatting work.

We totally have 5 general content types, so that’s at least 5 templates. I ended up creating 6 for now, because some of the narrower content types just don’t work with the same template.

I actually used strategy to manage the content for the pilot project, SohoCafé, and it worked out well with one type of content template.

So I don’t know yet, if the variety of content types on ExitTaiwan would be as manageable as just one. We’ll make adjustments accordingly. That’s for sure.

Another problem I ran into this week when building these templates, which was also the main problem we had when we were running the previous project, is the lack of some guidance.

Because the lack of guidance, people were writing in their own style, failing to fill out the whole form that’s actually helping them to write the article, and didn’t have this sense of a cohesive brand.

This came up to my mind while I was building the templates, which meant a miscalculation of the time I needed for completing this task.

So after finishing building the templates, I spent extra time on solving this potential problem by making a simple branded cover page to make sure the brand visual identity is there, and another page with easy-to-follow guidance as a friendly reminder for the writers.

This second goal is checked.

Finish organization structure

The 3rd goal, finishing organization structure is a concept from a book I’m reading, “The E-myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber. The main concept is that for the organization to work well, you have to come up with a hierarchy, list out all the positions and their respective responsibilities very clearly, and assign people to those positions.

Although I haven’t finish the book yet, I relate to this very and know this is something I MUST do. It’s important to do this because the organization I worked for previously suffered from this. Nobody had clear responsibilities and everybody was doing everything. Everybody was wearing different hats. The problem with is sometimes you wear the wrong hat. That’s other people’s hats. Other people, not you, should have wore it. In the end, it’s just going to be a productivity hell and organizational nightmare.

I want to avoid that. I want to escape from that so bad.

So the goal was to finish this organization structure this week, and I fail to do so. I didn’t expect the amount of time needed for this task.

I started to work on it, and I realized it’s going to take longer to complete this. So it’s now half-finished. I’ll give you an update on this when it’s done. Maybe not in the next week because it’s not currently at my top priority.

Come up with all the manual titles

The last goal of the week was to come up with all the manual titles. The concept comes from the same book.

These manuals are SOPs to perform certain tasks. They are there so that anyone who cares enough about their work can produce work at the same sets of standard.

While I was working on this, I encountered a similar problem as the last one, which was the miscalculation of time required.

But this one is a bit different in a way that I’m not sure what the full picture looks like yet.

I know I’m going to create a content manual for writers, so that they know the tone and voice, the use of punctuation all these basic stuff but everyone might have developed their own habits hence the manual for consistency.
I know I’m going to create a photography manual so we have consistent looking photos throughout the website.

I know there’s this manual that I need to make for creating affiliate links and managing affiliate programs.

There’s gonna be a manual for someone to know how the accumulative point system works and how the payment should be handled.

And I’m stuck right now, merely because we’re not there yet. I don’t know what else would be needed. What else would come in handy for this brand to scale.

Manuals are for scaling. We’re not there yet. This goal of the week is marked undone. But I won’t bother to finish this task anytime soon.

Goals next week

I’ve also set 4 goals for the next week.

I’m going to publish one more article that’s unfinished. This should be the last one I’m writing and publishing in the short-term.

I’m going to finish creating 2 manuals: content production and photography manuals.

Lastly, I’m going to publish these 2 manuals on the Docs website as individual pages. Only those people who have the link, here referring to writers, will have access to these manuals.


At the end of this week, I have two takeaways.

With all the miscalculation with time and how many tasks I’m doing this week, I’m now clear that I’ll definitely need a team, a small team. A team where people have clear responsibilities and manuals to follow so they can do their jobs properly.

To have a team like that, the branding aspect of it is also essential. The mission has to be clear enough to have people going to the same direction.

Another takeaway was actually something I’ve been all aware of, but this week it just made that belief stronger, which is that finding writers is our top priority at this stage.

The fact that ExitTaiwan is a content business decides that we are heavily SEO dependent before we can do anything else strategically. Plus, there’s no way I’ll have the time to go to all the places in the world just to write articles for this website.

Collective contribution is winning in this case without a doubt.