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#ContentWritingChat, content curation, content marketing, Curata, Sasha Laferte

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Benefits of Curation in a Content Marketing Strategy with Sasha Laferte from Curata

Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this week or could you use a refresher on all the great tips that were shared? You’re in luck because our recap of Tuesday’s chat on content curation is here! If you’re ready to dive in, grab some paper to take notes and keep on reading!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Benefits of Curation in a Content Marketing Strategy with Sasha Laferte from Curata


Our guest host this week was Sasha Laferte. Sasha is the Content Marketing Manager for Curata. She’s also a digital marketer and storyteller. For this week’s chat, she joined us via the Curata account to share her top tips on the benefits of curation in a content marketing strategy.

Q1: What are the benefits of content curation?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share their thoughts on why they felt content curation was beneficial. If you haven’t felt the need to incorporate content curation into your content marketing strategy, these tweets just might convince you! Here’s what some chat participants had to say:

As Sasha said, content curation can help improve SEO, increase lead generation, promote thought leadership, increase your content output, and more. She also shared a link to a helpful article on Curata’s website that’s worth checking out.

Jeff seemed to be on the same page with his answer. He said content curation provides a way to generate more content. It also helps to position you as a thought leader and adds value to your audience.

By curating great content, you’re able to share relevant articles and valuable knowledge with your audience without having to write it yourself. It’s also a great way to learn what others in your industry are saying.

As Angelica said, with content curation there’s less pressure to create all the things. You can have a balance of your unique content, plus content curated from other sources.

Q2: Is content curation plagiarism?

Many question whether or not content curation is considered plagiarism since you’re sharing content from another source. Here are some of the responses we received during the chat:

Sasha doesn’t think content curation is plagiarism. She said to make sure you add a new title, body paragraph, and credit the original article. This will ensure you’re in the clear!

Sarah has the right idea! If you’re sharing someone else’s content, you should always credit the original source. It’s always a good idea to add your own spin on the content to give it a fresh perspective for your audience.

Odds are, people will love when you share their content. It’s a great way to start building a relationship with someone as long as you curate the right way. They’ll appreciate that you thought highly enough of their work to share it.

If you publish a piece of content as your own when it’s not, that’s definitely plagiarism. Avoid any trouble by respecting the original creators, as Mike said, by giving them credit.

A simple copy and paste is a no-no! Tony said to give credit to the source and change it up a bit when you republish to give it a unique take.

In case we haven’t made our point clear, make sure you give credit! Also, how appropriate is this GIF Jamie shared?

Q3: How much content should I curate?

Now that you’re sold on why it’s important to add content curation to your content marketing strategy, you need to know how much content you should be curating. Here’s some advice straight from Tuesday’s chat:

Sasha shared some pretty interesting statistics with us. According to Curata’s data, 65% of your content should be created internally. 25% of your content should be curated and 10% should be syndicated. Do you agree with these results?

Mike is spot-on with his answer! He recommends only curating as much content as you think is valuable. Don’t curate just for the sake of publishing content. Everything you share with your audience should be relevant and add value.

Great answer from Jeff! He said to share content that will define you as a thought leader, as well as provide value to your customers.

Julia feels the amount of content curation you do will depend on how much unique content you’re producing. If you produce plenty of content, curate less. If you don’t, curate more.

Brittany said it’s difficult to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry if you’re only sharing thoughts from others. Balance your curation with original content. When you do curate, add your own take on it to provide your own unique thoughts and ideas.

As Jacob said, make sure you’re curating quality content. Share information that is relevant and valuable to your audience.

In the end, it’s going to depend on your strategy. What works for one brand might not be what works well for you. One key thing to remember is to make sure you’re producing original content as well.

You should also make sure you read through content before sharing it. Make sure it actually fits with the goals and vision for your brand.

Q4: Does curation have a negative impact on SEO?

So, does content curation have a negative impact on SEO? Check out some of these responses from the chat to find out the true answer:

Sasha said curated content can actually improve SEO. She advises to avoid reposting full text or repeatedly doing so from a single source. Read the article from Curata she shared for more tips!

Both Sarah and Sara said you can still rank in the search engines if you add your own viewpoint to the content you curate.

As Jacob said, make sure you aren’t duplicating what’s already out there. That’s a big no-no when it comes to SEO.

Q5: Where should I curate content from?

There are a ton of sources out there on the web that you can curate content from, so where should you turn? Check out these ideas fresh from the chat:

Sasha suggests turning to a variety of sources to find great content. Check out trade publications, blogs, news outlets, and more to discover valuable content.

Right on, Lauren! A key thing to remember when curating content is to stick to sources that are both trusted and respected. You can count on them to provide accurate information that adds value to readers.

Lexie said to use reliable sources that share valuable content. She also recommends being 100% sure about the content before you share it with your audience. If you aren’t, pass on sharing it.

Jamie said to turn to reliable sources such as websites, blogs, and thought leaders that your audience trusts.

Turn to the thought leaders in your industry to see what they’re sharing. Curate content from them when you can. It’s a great way to start building a relationship with them.

Erika suggests turning to some uncommon sources that are still of interest to your audience. You never know what gems you might uncover! She uses Feedly as a way to discover new content.

It’s a great idea to have a selection of sites that are trusted sources you can turn to any time. Read them on a regular basis to stay updated with what they’re sharing.

Just make sure you don’t share content from the same source over and over. It’s good to have a little diversity!

Q6: Should I have a dedicated site for content curation?

Do you really need a separate site to collect curated content? Check out these responses from the chat and decide for yourself:

Sasha weighed the pros and cons of having a dedicated site for content curation. One one hand, she said it’s great for SEO, experience, and establishing you as a go-to resource. However, there’s also a big time commitment that comes along with that.

Sarah doesn’t see the point in having a separate website. She feels it’s better to keep everything on the same site, especially for SEO purposes.

Ask yourself the questions Lex suggested. Would your audience use it? Do they need it? Considering you need your audience to be interested in it, you want to consider their needs before moving forward.

Q7: What are your thoughts on curated newsletters?

What do you think about curated newsletters? Do you enjoy them or do they automatically get deleted when they land in your inbox? Check out some of the responses we received during the chat below. Here’s a spoiler: If you enjoy creating a curated newsletter, give it a try and see how your audience responds. If they love it, keep going! If not, try something else.

Sasha said curated newsletters are great for educating your audience, but they’re not indexed or in real-time.

Becky says no thanks! She prefers to turn to Twitter to discover a curated list of topics, as opposed to her inbox.

Mike balances his newsletter by making them half original content and half curated content.

Over at Digital Natives, they feel a newsletter is better suited to provide an inside look at your own company. And it sounds like Robyn feels the same way! She thinks newsletters should tell a brand’s story to subscribers, instead of sharing content from others.

Jeff’s advice is to avoid fully curating your newsletter. He said to add your own content as well.

As Debi said, just make sure the curated content you add provides value to your reader.

Q8: How can I measure content curation success?

Now that you’re ready to dive into the world of content curation, you need to make sure your efforts are working for you. Here’s how to measure your success:

Sasha said to track page views, visitor growth, subscriber growth, and click-through rate.

Jeff recommends tracking engagement. Make sure your audience is interacting with your content in some way to find out if it’s resonating with them.

Don’t forget to measure those conversions!

You also want to see how much your reach has grown and whether or not your audience is engaged.

Make sure you set goals for your content first so you know exactly what you hope to achieve with everything you share.

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

#ContentWritingChat, data-driven content curation

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Build Data-Driven Content Curation with Ross Quintana

Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this week? Get caught up with our recap and learn all about data-driven content curation!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Build Data-Driven Content Curation with Ross Quintana


Our guest host this week was Ross Quintana. Ross is a growth hacker and also the founder of SocialMagnets.net.

Q1: What are the benefits of data-driven content curation?

What are the benefits of data-driven content curation? Find out what some of the people in Tuesday’s chat had to say:

As Ross said, data-driven content curation ensures the work you’re doing is targeted and driving your business goals. That’s a must! When you utilize the data and analytics that are available to you, you can maximize your results with less time and money.

Sarah knows that it allows you to see what’s working and offers proof. You can align your goals accordingly.

Edanry, our Senior Editor, said it helps you to gain more traffic, more feedback, more authority, and can help you rank higher on SERPs.

Data can help build your authority and credibility through the content you share. Ultimately, it can encourage others to view you as a thought leader in your industry.

As Shannon said, data-driven content is based on analytics, metrics, and ROI.

Data can help you determine the kinds of content your readers are most interested in, which helps you produce better content.

Our CEO, Julia, said that you’ll get firm proof and knowledge of whether or not your content is working when you tie your curation strategy to data.

Q2: Can’t people just share whatever content they find or like?

Can’t you just share anything that you like? Check out this advice from the chat:

Ross is spot-on with his answer! Sharing random content just because you like it doesn’t necessarily make sense for your business. It won’t help you achieve your goals and can lead to attracting the wrong audience.

He also said it’s hard to drive consistent results with random efforts, so it’s important to be strategic about the content you’re sharing.

Kristen knows you should think about your audience with everything you share online. Your content should be useful to your audience and you should like it as well.

As Andy said, there isn’t much point in sharing just for sharing’s sake. The content you share online should serve a purpose.

Here’s some great advice to keep in mind: make sure a piece is worth sharing.

Q3: Is there a formula for building data-driven content curation?

Is there a specific formula you should follow? Here’s what we found out during Tuesday’s chat:

Ross said it’s all about research, strategy, planning, analytics, and optimization.

Sarah’s advice is to know your audience, know what makes them convert, and then curate the content that works.

Cheryl believes the formula is all about identifying your audience, knowing what they’re looking for online, and finding a way to make yourself interesting.

Erika doesn’t believe there is a set formula, but recommends creating a process to help you use your time more effectively.

Kristen said everyone has a different formula. Do what works for you and utilize your own analytics and experience to create content that works.

Q4: How do I research the best content to share?

What are some research tips for finding the best content? We received great advice from our chat participants! Check it out:

Ross recommends using tools that do the work for you with algorithms, targeting, and filtering. It makes content curation much easier! You can also learn a lot from the influencers in your industry. See what they’re sharing and how people are responding to it.

Twitter lists can be a great way to find valuable and relevant content to share online. Create a list with your favorite sources and check it whenever you’re looking for amazing content.

Annaliese also recommends using Twitter lists, but she also suggested turning to email subscriptions and Feedly. Feedly is a great way to easily keep up with posts on your favorite websites.

Here at Express Writers, we’re also big fans of BuzzSumo. You can use this tool to see which posts are getting the most shares on content in your industry. It gives you a good idea of what your audience is interested in. Google Alerts is another great tool as well!

Amalia’s advice is to read a lot of blogs, look for trends, and check out what the influencers are creating and sharing.

Ask yourself if you personally love a specific piece of content. Julia knows it’s important that what you share resonates with you as well. You can then align it to your audience and analyze the results you get.

Q5: How can I use data in the sharing aspect of content curation?

Are you unsure how to use data when sharing content online? Check out these tips:

Ross recommends using data to find the best times to post for the platforms you use and for your audience. This will help you maximize your results when sharing.

You can also turn to data to see which types of content your audience is truly interested in. What are they responding to? What are they not enjoying so much? Use this information to craft posts accordingly.

Edanry suggested using data to figure out what is trending on specific social media platforms. You can use this to your advantage when creating content.

Q6: How do I use analytics for data-driven curation?

How can you use analytics to maximize your results? Find out:

Ross knows that your analytics will give you a ton of valuable information. You just need to be able to undersand those metrics and know how to use them.

Sarah likes to measure conversions. How many people are actually converting from your content? What works and what doesn’t? It’s important to figure this out so you can create more of the content that’s working for you and your audience.

Keep in mind that conversions can mean different things. It isn’t always about making a sale. As Sarah said, you need to know the goals of your content so you can create and measure appropriately.

Ask yourself what is in it for your audience. Make sure the content you share provides value to them in some way.

Erika said you can identify what types of content and which topics are working for you and adjust your plan accordingly.

Your analytics can help you discover patterns and insights you wouldn’t have thought to explore otherwise.

Q7: What role do adjustments and testing have in content curation?

What exactly will adjustments and testing do for you? Here’s what we found out during Tuesday’s chat:

As Ross said, testing and adjustments are the difference between trying and succeeding. You need to tune into your audience first if you want to be successful. Once you’ve done this, Ross said you can move and grow with them.

Jeff knows that you aren’t maximizing your potential if you aren’t constantly testing and optimizing your content.

When you test and analyze your results, you can adapt your plan based on what you find out. As Andy said, you should continue to test as well. You can always learn something and create a better strategy.

Explore your data! Edanry knows you can refine your strategy and maximize your results when you make adjustments and continue to test.

It’s just important! Brittany said it will help you see which content is working for your audience. When you know what they like, you can deliver more of the same.

You can continue to improve your content and your strategies with consistent testing.

Very important advice, Julia! You need to be fluid and ready to adapt to an ever-evolving market.

Q8: How will I know if my data-driven content curation is successful?

So, how will you know if you’ve been successful? Here’s what you need to know:

If you’re growing at a fast rate, it’s a good sign you’re on the right track. You need to keep in mind that success on social media won’t happen all at once though. As Ross said, it comes in phases and gains momentum. You just have to remain consistent.

Having a smart, agile strategy will set you up for great results. You need to make sure you’re staying relevant and growing alongside a digital world that’s constantly changing.

Check the number of views something received, amount of visitors, and growth in reference points. You need to keep an eye on your analytics.

Track open rates, shares, comments, conversations, followers, and subscribers. These stats will give you a good idea of how you’re progressing.

Are people clicking on your links? Are they sharing your content? Are they following you?

Christie likes to track engagement on her posts. Are people liking, retweeting, and sharing what you’re posting? If not, you might want to revisit your strategy and the types of content you’re sharing online.

It all goes back to setting goals for your content. If you meet or exceed those goals, you’re heading in the right direction.

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM CDT for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

The Write Podcast, Episode 9: How to Fit Content Curation into Your Content Marketing Strategy Successfully with Guillaume Decugis

Welcome to Episode 9 in The Write Podcast! I’m thrilled you’ve joined me for another episode. This episode is a good one: Guillaume Decugis, one of my favorite marketers in the content curation niche, joined me as a guest expert to share insights on just how marketers can do online content curation correctly. Guillaume is an expert online and his insights are fantastic. Prior to co-founding Scoop.it, which is a pioneer in the content curation platform space and has over 2 million users today, Guillaume built a company to success from scratch and sold it to Microsoft. I like what he says so much, I’ve invited Guillaume to be a guest expert on #ContentWritingChat, and had a Google Hangout with him a way back.

In this episode, Guillaume discusses Scoop.it, how they’re doing great new things, and how content curation as a whole fits into content marketing–plus a whole lot more good things. Enjoy!

guillaume decugis content curation

In Episode 9 of The Write Podcast, Guillaume shares insights on:

  • How Scoop.it is fulfilling on a mission to help marketers find and re-share great content
  • How the methodology in content marketing isn’t clear, how many marketers don’t know yet how to create great content; and how content curation helps marketers
  • How Guillaume is an engineer-turned-content-marketer and how that helps him reverse engineer content marketing (a reason I seriously love listening to him!)
  • How you’re not a parrot if you re-share your content (you’re just getting more visibility)
  • How we’re about to see a lot more SMBs embrace content marketing – not just big box brands
  • Why measuring ROI in content marketing matters
  • ….& more!

 If you like what you hear, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and it’s ranking in iTunes immensely. I appreciate it! Enjoy the show!

Transcript: How to Fit Content Curation into Your Content Marketing Strategy Successfully with Guillaume Decugis

Julia: Hello and welcome to The Write Podcast. This is your host Julia McCoy. And today my guest is Guillaume, the founder and CEO of Scoop.it, which is a content discovery and curation platform. I love their home page tagline: you are the content you publish.

Guillaume, welcome to the show, and thanks for being here.

Guillaume: Hi everyone, and super excited to be here, hi Julia.

Julia: Great to have you here. So I wanted to go into a little bit about what Scoop.it does for content curation, and just how content curation ties into content marketing, for those who maybe haven’t heard of Scoop.it before aren’t familiar with it.

Guillaume: Yeah, so we’ve been around for four years now, we turned four in November which is entering old age for a start up.

And so we are very proud we made it so far, lots of exciting things to do, and I think it’s just the beginning. And so we started with this realization four or five years ago, and that’s why we like this claim that you are the content you publish. And what we mean by that is that online visibility has shifted over the last five years, from traditional techniques like SEO completely changed, it used to be technical, SEO techniques, used to be SEM, it used to be display adds, and it really changed to content.

Now if you wanna be visible online you have to publish great content. This is what Google tells you, this is what social networks tell you. So that’s what we wanted to help professionals in general, and marketers in particular, achieve is how to transition from the old style marketing to accountant based marketing.

And so we started with a first idea, we tried to think about what is the difficulty here. And we found a lot of marketers were not actually trained to create great content. They didn’t think in terms of their company as media, they thought about campaigns, they thought about a lot of digital marketing things, and even today in schools there are very few curriculums in marketing classes which really focus on content.

So we felt, okay, our mission is gonna be to help marketers be good at content. And so the first thing we noticed is that it was really hard for them to create content at scale, and that content curation was a great way to help them with that, to help them discover content to curate and share to their social channels, which is the basic curation that everybody does or everybody should do. Share somebody else’s content to engage our community. But there’s a lot more to curation to that. There’s the idea that you can use that curated content for your blog, for your newsletters, and we can touch into that.

So what we realized over time is that, we’ve been known for our curation service which is a free tool that anybody can use at Scoop.it, but the novelty that we’ve launched earlier this year is Scoop.it’s Content Director, where we encapsulated that curation technology with all sorts of different features to really create a complete integrated content marketing framework that helps.

A software that helps marketers with all of the content marketing cycle, and then curation is an important way we helped, but we’re strong believers that content marketing is a cycle that needs to be optimized in the same way that CRM was optimized, that lead nurturing was optimized, so there’s a lot to see on that.

Julia: So thinking about the future and 2016, it’s crazy for me to think about how much content will probably be out there, and it will be like a sea of content, it will be crazy. So how do you see content curation as helping navigate all of that content?

Guillaume: What really sounds super useful is that, so first of all the fact that everybody starts to embrace content marketing now means that you really have to be good at it in order to be efficient.

So you need to step up your game, you need to be having the right methodology, the right framework to do that. There was a benchmark by the Content Marketing Institute that really showed something interesting. They do their yearly benchmark, and this one went out about months ago.

More than 50%, I think 56% of marketers don’t know if their content marketing is efficient. So there’s really a lack of methodology, a lot of marketers don’t know really what they’re doing, what’s content marketing, and that’s not their fault. The methodology is not clear yet, and so we think that’s our mission, and that’s what we’re doing with our own content, but also putting rules in our product to help marketers with that.

So the first consequence of having everybody in content marketing is you really have to be professional at it. The second thing is, everybody publishes a lot of content, you have to keep track of what’s being published out there. And so the first thing you learn with content curation is you discover what content is published on your topic of expertise, on what’s interesting for your audience.

The third thing is that because a lot of content is produced, you don’t have to produce entirely from scratch, and so you both have to publish more content, but there’s already a lot of great content out there that you could relate to, that you could curate, and make your own by adding a commentary, an insight, and transform a piece of third party content into what we call a curated post, which really means quoting that piece of content linking back to it, being super ethical and transparent about it, but adding your own insight, as we call it, to turn that into a blog post.

And that’s been a great way to not only publish more content, we have an e-book on there that just show that compared to writing from scratch a piece of content during a curated post, takes maybe four to eight times faster. But it is also a great way to work with your community and to be really be lean about your content marketing.

And I think about it based in terms of, think about recycling, we all wanna recycle, we wanna be healthy with the time and everything. Well when you recycle content from somebody else you’re doing some magic here because you’re giving love and traffic to that author, but you’re also adding your own value and your own context, and you’re getting more content on your blog, and you can distribute that on your social channel as well.

So that’s really how content curation can help. So I think, as we’re seeing more content, I think curation plays more and more in a role.

Julia: Yes. I agree, that’s a really good nutshell of how it works for marketers I think, and going forth in 2016, we’ll probably see more use of platforms like yours and Scoop.it, and tell me a little bit about how you’ve seen it grown, I mean, you started it, how long ago?

Guillaume: Four years ago, November, 2011.

Julia: So how much have you seen it grown since then, and more so in this year?

Guillaume: Yeah, we’ve been seeing a ton of acceleration, so the reason for that, I think is as we’ve explained, content curation becomes more important, and becomes more important to discover content more easily, and be able to publish easily contents on social channels, on your blog, on your newsletters.

We have about two and half million users of the free version now, so that’s been really fantastic to see people embrace it. But the thing which to me is really something we’re proud of, is not just to have users, it’s the fact that those users collectively, ever since we started, attracted about 300 million people, and they were able to publish 100 million pieces of content.

So think about what we said earlier, our mission is, we said, you are the content you publish, and our mission is to help people publish content to get visibility. That was our starting point, publishing content is the way to get visibility, have you solve that? Well, content curation helps.

It makes it easier, and so our validation is we help a lot of people publish a lot of content, to attract even more visitors to their pages, either their Scoop.it pages, we have a light CMS platform you can create easily, Scoop.it pages, topic pages on Scoop.it, or you can integrate with your blog. So that’s really valuable traffic that the platform has been able to help our community of users build so it’s very satisfying for us to see that variation. And so now we keep growing, and we built this B2B version which is Scoop.it Content Director, and we already have a lot of companies using it, and the results have been fantastic as well.

We’ve seen people go from blogging one time a month to blogging twice a week, and they’ve seen the results in terms of how much SEO and traffic they generated. And I think the other niche we’re very happy about, is we’ve done a lot of work around how do you prove the ROI of content marketing? How do you generate leads? And we’re seeing now content marketing as something that is becoming essential as part of lead generation, demand generation, and I think that’s gonna also be a very important change next year. I think we’re gonna have a lot more ways to prove and improve the way of content marketing.

Julia: I totally agree, it’s amazing whenever you connect to your audience, and you find people in your audience who are sharing your content, and connecting to them back, and directly relates to our lives.

Like you said we’ll probably see refining of those types of tactics next year.

Guillaume: Yeah and I think we’ve done a lot of work ourselves on what is the ROI of Content? And we wanted to answer that question in general, but also for ourselves. We used content marketing, that’s our number one marketing strategy, and we experiment a lot with some of the ideas we have or what we see people blogging about.

And so a lot of the framework and the methodology we built for content marketing that is reflected in our products, is something that we’ve experimented with, and on which we have feedback. And so on ROI we’ve really thought about what does it mean to get ROI from content.

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘We don’t get paid in likes and visitors. We get paid in revenue.’ @gdecugis on @writepodcast:” quote=”And I think a lot of people still struggle with, okay I know I can get more content out there, I can measure traffic increase with maybe Google Analytics, but we don’t get paid in likes and Google Analytics visitors. We get paid in getting revenue up.”]

And so there was an interesting piece I curated recently about at times you get marketers on the quarter just like sales people. And I think that’s a very interesting idea because now there’s a bunch of tools like ours and others that really helps you.

For instance, one of the things we’re super happy with is that on Content Director you can go piece of content by piece of content, and see how many leads you’ve generated with that piece of content for your company. And for all of you who are B2B marketers, who are tasked with driving demand, generating leads, nurturing leads, really proved okay, let’s take a look at the blog post I published, the tweet I made, every piece of content I did over last one month, two months, three months, here’s how many leads each of this individual pieces generated.

That’s a fantastic tool to have because now you get a very different seat at the table when you’re discussing with your C-level, with your direct reporting, with your boss. Whether in a small or mid-size companies, that gives you a lot more credibility. And it’s also a way to scale content marketing because the minute you can prove that by blogging, by tweeting more content, by curating more content, by distributing more content you can generate more leads.

Then the next question you have is okay, tell me what you need to generate more. So I think we’ll see a lot of that trend in 2016.

Julia: That’s great. It sounds like you have already provided so much of an answer to find the ROI, what type of content converts and the numbers, and that’s definitely something not a lot of other platforms offer. So that’s really neat.

Guillaume: Yeah, but I think it’s really the beginning. We have a lot of interesting things in the road map. We’re building integrations with steel arm tools. I think, I’m an engineer turned marketer, so first I like to build stuff, but when we started to work on that content opportunity, and how to structure things, I wanted to reverse engineer content marketing.

I really wanted to understand and try to really build a solid methodology for other people to use. And I don’t want to do that as the consultants. I have a ton of respect for consultants, but I’m a product builder so we wanted, as a team, to build software to help people do that.

And when we think about everything we can do to help, if you think of all the posts you’ve read about how to do content marketing, how to be better, and there’s a lot on all blogs, there’s a lot on great other blogs, you write a lot of great contents on this as well. What’s really striking to me is as a community of people who write on content marketing we start to establish some patterns.

There are some rules, there are some methodology that everybody agrees upon, but it hasn’t been productized yet. And that’s where road map is bad. It’s taking those roles, things that everybody agrees upon, and making them easy for people to do. Like reassuring your content multiple times, re-purposing your content.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Publishing prey: people that publish a blog and think their work is done. [email protected] on @writepodcast” quote=”A lot of people still are, what I call, publishing prey. They publish a blog post, and they think their work is done, when maybe half of your job actually starts at that moment.”]

Julia: Right exactly.

Guillaume: So we’ve built work flows where you can say I want this blog post to be re-shared ten times over the next six weeks.

Things like re-sharing your old content, the content that transformed the most. So you need to have first this data, why don’t I blog posts which have the higher conversion rate. And how do I then, re-share them over and over again in a very easy way? So those are things software can help you do, and we’re really passionate about that, and we have tons of idea.

Julia: That’s awesome. Sounds like next year will be exciting for you because by now the need for content marketing has been so much established, and now it’s just like well, how do we bring numbers to our bosses that the content’s working? And how do we do it a better way. So, sounds like next year will be exciting?

Guillaume: Yeah. I think we’re going to see, my vision for this is that if you look at sales and marketing software in general, it all started with CRM 15 years ago, and sales force is the big player in that field.

I’m gonna date myself, but I was around when SalesForce, [LAUGH] started to gain traction, and there was a lot of people who were doing sales at the time in a very different way.

It wasn’t really so much process to run it, there was a large dimension which still exists, a great sales guy, is still a great sales guy, but a great sales guy with sales force is much a more efficient salesperson. And I think we’re gonna see the same in this marketing, there’s a cycle to optimize.

The CRM is about optimizing the cycle which is, you wanna do a certain number of tasks in order to keep them happy, take them from a qualified prospects to customer, and a happy customer, and everything. And you wanna align your organization around that, even if it’s a small team, even small teams are using CRM now.

I think we’re gonna see exactly the same thing happen with content marketing. Think about it. Content marketing is about doing a cycle, it’s about planning, understanding what content to publish, and when to publish it over time. It’s about producing content, either from scratch, original, curated, a mix thereof.

It’s about distribution on social, on email, SEO, and all the channels you can find. And it’s about analytics, analyzing that the impact on your business results, and repeating the cycle over and over again, and iterating it, learning from the analytics, and then doing some tests, and iterating, and getting better and better at it.

Now the fastest you can optimize that cycle, the more data you can use in that cycle, the better you’re gonna be. And of course you’ll still need to be able to be good at content, understand content, understand your target audience, understand your bio-persona. But we are firm believers that with the right tools you can make that cycle be more optimized, and that’s what we’re building.

Julia: Sounds like you’re trying to make life easier for content marketers?

Guillaume: Easier and more impacting.

The keyword for us is ROI. So ROI is R and I. So the ease here is making the I lower, and taking away a lot of the pain-points, a lot of the copy-pasting, and a lot of the painful stuff you have to do so that you can focus on where I think, human beings will never be replaced which is applying judgment, being creative, understanding, having empathy with your targets, prospects, and audience.

But the R is also important, think about what we’re discussing about republishing content.

This is documented, we’re not the only ones saying that. Mark Traphagen published a study two to three years ago, but the impact of republishing content over time.

You share it once you get that many views, you share it five times over three weeks, nobody is gonna think you’re a parrot because not 100% of your audience is seeing your tweet when you publish it, but then you get 2 to 3x more traffic.

So this is also how we increase ROI. So making the I lower, but also amplifying the impact of your content is something we work a lot on.

Julia: And I also wanted to mention some of what you just said will tie into this. The limitations of concentration, and what would be the limit? What would be the good percentage amount to mix up creating original content, and then adding in content curation?

Guillaume: First, content curation is not something you should do 100%.

It’s not a balance here, it’s not replacing creation for instance. If you look at our blog we’re using a mix of created and curated content. If you look at our social channels we’re also using a mix. And for us it’s also important because it ties in with our community, we share a lot of a lot of content from the influencers we respect and admire, and who also in turn help contribute to our content.

So I think the rule of thumb that I always like to give is if you think about what is good content plan? A good content plan might be to say, look, right now I’m blogging on a monthly basis. And I know it’s not enough, I wanna go to weekly, and I wanna do two extra weeks. So set objectives for yourself, and those objectives will vary in time.

Maybe next quarter you will be doubling, and the quarter after that your will be doubling again. So think about setting those objectives, and to me you should create as much as you can, quality content. It’s pointless to decrease your quality level just for the sake of publishing.

So at some point you gonna realize that you are either running out of time to create content, or you can create something that is not gonna be as good that shouldn’t have your brand. So at this moment you should say, well I’ve created enough, that I was inspired. I’m now lacking inspiration, I don’t have enough time, so you should think of supplementing your creation with curation.

So I always try to think about create everything you can as long as you maintain quality, as long as you’re inspired, as long as it’s easy for you to do so. And then the way you go from, and maybe that’s gonna be one of your two blog posts every week. Now the other one will be a curated one.

So there’s no strict rule like a 75/25, 50/50, 80/20, whatever. It’s different for everybody. Some people will find it easy to create one blog post every week, and then do maybe three curated posts. Some people will struggle to do one original blog post in months, and then they could supplement everything else by curation.

I think my rule is I don’t wanna create something that is not my quality standard, that’s not educational for my audience, that’s not actionable. So the minute I start to feel, okay. I’m gonna be blogging for blogging sakes, I’m better off publishing somebody else’s content, and adding some commentary in it.

Julia: That’s a very good rule of thumb. If you don’t like what you publish yourself maybe you shouldn’t be publishing it.

Guillaume: Yeah. And then, plus, there are lots of opportunities where if you publish somebody else’s content they’ve done the work, they’ve done something awesome, you can relate to it, that doesn’t make you weak.

There’s a lot of people who have been confused by that. Even the thought leaders who admired the most. Art sizes and field kind of marketing, if you look at history they’ve always been quoting, they’ve always been relating to other people’s content. That’s the way mankind is built.

We build on our predecessors and what’s existing. So it doesn’t make you weaker. Actually it plays the opposite role. Curation, besides ROI driven quantitative stuff like publishing more, and publishing faster, does a couple of things. First, it makes you more credible. If I tell you hey, here’s what an expert said on this topic, I’m more credible than if I’m telling you that.

And actually there was a study, I’m gonna do that just now, there was a study that was done not by us, but by an analytics and market research company who surveyed people on how they found various type of content credible. They had to rank. Do I trust that type of content or do I trust more that type of content? And they found that third party content was four to seven times more trusted than vendor originating content. So that’s not me saying it, it’s somebody else’s. So curation adds credibility to what you’re saying. But the second thing it also helps you build a relationship. There’s a lot of people, and it might be your case where I started sharing their content, and then we had conversations.

Hey, thanks for sharing my content, and then we started chatting on Twitter. And then you contributed to our blog, and now we’re creating content together. So sharing influencers’ content, influencers in your industry sharing their content will put you in their radar. And if you wanna then build on that and do influencer marketing. I think this is a great start.

And I published a blog post on the Tracker blog, on this. Tracker is a great platform to discover and nurture influencers. I recommend you look at it. There’s a blog post I wrote about how curation is actually a first step in an influencer marketing strategy, because before you can ask influencer anything.

I’m a firm believer that you have to give before you get. Give them traffic, give them love, share their content, and once you start to establish those relationships well maybe you’ll be in a position to ask them to, I don’t know, contribute to your content, or re-share one of your posts, or anything like that.

So that aspect of curation is also very, very important.

 Julia: Absolutely that’s great for connections. We’ve seen that happen so many times. We will go and connect to our influencer, just minutes later we’ll get a follow back, and then we’ll start a conversation. And if we didn’t initiate, and do something, re-share their content, follow them first, good things wouldn’t follow.

So it is about connecting. Any last thoughts you want to add, just thinking about the New Year, and business going into content marketing doing their curation?

Guillaume: Yeah. I think there’s a recap, I think we’re gonna see something pretty exciting happening over the next few months so next year is gonna be exciting.

I think, we’ve been hearing about content marketing for a long time. I think there’s another aspect maybe I’ll add to that is the fact that the other trend that I’ve been seeing in 2015 that I think will amplify in 2016 is the type of companies which are embracing content marketing.

If you look at four years ago when we started to talk about content marketing it was really a large company, a consumer brand story. I am a big admirer of for instance, Red Bull. They transformed a food company, a soft drink company into a media company. And we’ve seen a few examples of that.

When you look at those stories, you look at content marketing being awesome and great, but this is not what 99% of companies out there can do. It’s what large companies can do. And so, Joe Pulizzi has this compilation of predictions for next year, and last year he asked me, what’s your prediction for content marketing trends in 2015? And my prediction is we’re gonna start to see SMBs, so small to mid-size businesses, embrace content marketing, and content curation is actually an enabler of that because this whole ROI equation was the bottleneck for them, and so now they’re starting to see techniques that help them do that with a one person team, or two person, and then small marketing teams.

So I think we’re gonna see that trend accelerate in 2016. It’s already true now. I think we’re seeing a lot of small mid-size companies, who don’t have teams, marking teams of 100 to 200 people. Start to think about content as something they can really embrace, and start, be good at, and scale, even though they don’t have the means to give a million dollars to a large advertising agency and say okay, solve that problem for me.

So they have to do it themselves. So they need to have the right tools and the right methodology, and so I think we’re gonna see that amplified and continued through in 2016 in addition to that trend around, standardizing the methodology, and also be able to measure the ROI of content marketing a lot more.

Julia: Thank you so much for being on The Write Podcast Guillaume, really appreciate it.

Guillaume: Let’s do a follow up to see whether our prediction was true. [LAUGH]

Julia: [LAUGH] That sounds great.

Guillaume: Thanks for having me.

[MUSIC] For more online content tips and strategies, visit expresswriters.com/write-blog. [MUSIC]

Julia: I always like hearing Guillaume’s perspectives and insights on content marketing. You can follow him on Twitter @gdecugis, and be sure to check out Scoop.it.

Guillaume was recently a featured guest host on our weekly Twitter chat, this March. If you’re a writer, business owner, or content marketer, you’ll love our Twitter chat. It happens every week on Tuesdays at 10 AM CST. Join us with the #ContentWritingChat. I love hearing from the participants that join content writing chat every week. We always hear something like, a business owner learns a new way to do content, or someone is inspired to create better content in a better way. So be sure to join our Twitter chat.

Lastly, keep an eye out for my book. I’m really excited about it, it’s coming out the end of this march. The book is called, So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide To Successful Online Content. In this book, I’m sharing everything I taught myself in the last four years on how to create great content for the web. This is both for the online writer who wants to make this their career, and for the business owner that wants to create great online content for their readers. Be sure to check it out on Amazon.

Thanks for joining today’s Write Podcast! For more episodes go to expresswriters.com/write-podcast.

#ContentWritingChat March 8 2016 Recap: Best Practices for Content Curation in 2016

We had so many new participants in this week’s Content Writing Chat – we couldn’t have been more thrilled with the turn out. Lots of new faces joined us. We were even a trending topic in the USA again, reaching our highest rank so far: #40!


If you missed it, there’s no need to worry because we have a recap of some of the best tweets of the chat. Keep reading to learn all about content curation!

#ContentWritingChat March 8 2016 Recap: Best Practices for Content Curation in 2016

Our guest host for this week’s chat was Guillaume Decugis. Guillaume is the Co-Founder and CEO of Scoop.it, and an all-around awesome entrepreneur and influencer in the content marketing space. Julia has interviewed him previously on G+ Hangouts and Blab. He joined us to share his thoughts on best practices for content curation in 2016.

What is content curation exactly? Guillaume, Kristen, Kyle, and Grenae all chimed in with great answers for our first question!

It’s all about discovering and publishing content that is relevant to your audience. Grenae said you should add your own insights, examples, and experience when sharing content from others. As Kyle mentioned, it’s a good way to advance the conversation.

It seems everyone agrees: you can’t have creation without curation! Guillaume mentioned that we should all have a balance between creating content and curating content. Kyle said it’s important to create great content ourselves, but to also promote others who are creating great content as well.

Even our CEO, Julia, agrees. She said she can’t create without curation. Curating amazing content can be a huge source of inspiration!

Although Guillaume and Julia don’t have a specific ratio they follow, they both recognize that balance is KEY. Provide your audience with a mix of valuable content from you and from other sources.

Both Chris and Kyle are fans of a 60/40 ratio. Your goal should always be to give your audience useful content and to tune in to what others are saying.

And as Jeremy said, curation shows that you care about what others are saying. You let others know that you’re listening when their content is part of your curation.

We received a ton of suggestions for great content curation tips from everyone in the chat on Tuesday! As Netvantage Marketing said, you should consider where your audience is getting their information. Check out the websites and sources they’re reading.

Guillaume mentioned using his tool, Scoop.it, but also said email newsletters are a great place to find content. Make sure you’re subscribed to some of the influential blogs within your industry to see what people are talking about!

Kristen is a fan of Feedly and Paper.li. Varun likes using Twitter Lists to find awesome content. If you create a List of influencers in your industry, you can easily scroll through updates and find a ton of new content. Tajah suggests checking out some of your favorite hashtags to see what others are posting.

And as Julia and Dagmar mentioned, BuzzSumo is a fantastic tool for curation. We use it here at Express Writers on a regular basis.

When it comes to content curation, there are a few things you should always keep in mind. Guillaume stressed the importance of always giving proper credit to the original source. Never try to take credit for something you didn’t create!

Tara said you should always read content in its entirety before you share it with your audience. Never blindly retweet or share something without checking it out first.

Omni Sodo suggested using tools to save you time when curating content. Kyle recommended using Twitter Lists as a way to track people and brands who consistently publish great content.

Some content curation don’ts: Don’t be unethical. Don’t steal content and try to pass it off as your own. Don’t curate for search engines. (Curate for your audience instead!)

Here are just a few of the amazing tools you should use when curating content: Scoop.it, Storify, Feedly, Buffer, Quora, BuzzSumo, social media platforms, and Google Trends.

We had an open Q&A session at the end of the chat and invited everyone in the chat to ask Guillaume questions. Check out a couple of his answers below:

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM for great chats centered around content writing and marketing!

top content marketers

The Top 60 Content Marketers You Should Be Following on Twitter

For any kind of marketer, Twitter is a hugely powerful tool. This social media platform has more than 304 million monthly active users: it’s a way for information to travel faster and broader than almost any other platform on the web.

That said, within those 304 million users, who are the ones worth following as content marketing leaders? That have similar interests to us as marketers, and are leaders within the content marketing space? Let’s take a look!

content marketers

60 Top Content Marketers You Should Follow (Today) On Twitter

My list of these top 60 content marketers is made up of the crème de la crème of the industry. These content marketers specialize in everything from Content Marketing 101, SEO and how content fits into that, all the way to advanced branding techniques. I follow these guys and have engaged with them regularly.

Good stuff will follow if you start following them today – you’ll probably learn a few things as you consistently see and read their content.

Here you go (all their names are linked to their Twitter handles), in no particular order:

1. Rand FishkinRand Fishkin is an author, blogger and founder of SEO Giant Moz. People who follow his tweets can look forward to ample marketing, SEO, technology and startup information.

2. Jay Baer. Author of the New York Times bestselling book Youtility, Jay Baer is a global keynote speaker, and digital media entrepreneur as well as being president the strategy consulting firm @Convince.

3. Brian Clark. CEO of Rainmaker Digital, Brain Clark is also the curator of several successful content marketing websites.

4. David Burn. David Burn is a content strategist, writer and brand specialist who assists content marketers in learning to distribute content effectively and write pieces that will draw readers in.

5. Michael Brenner. Michael Brenner is a renowned speaker, author and blogger with @MKTGInsiders as well as being Head of Strategy @Newscred. Brenner is also the former VP of Content Marketing with @SAP.

6. Mitch Joel. President of Mirum, Mitch Joel is a marketer, speaker, author and self-proclaimed “media hacker.” Additionally, Joel is a blogger at Six Pixels of Separation. People that can’t get enough of Joel via Twitter can check out his new book Ctrl Alt Delete.

7. Brian Fanzo. I enjoy catching Brian on Periscope as well as watching all of his keynote speeches. He’s an energetic social media advocate, going by the title “Change Evangelist”, has a huge following, and is behind the iSocialFanz site. Follow him for great insights on how to run your social media.

8. Sue B. Zimmerman. She’s the “Instagram Expert”, a successful entrepreneur, speaker, and Instagram coach. This lady is the go-to expert when it comes to Instagram, and she’s hot on Periscope too.

9. Neil Patel. Neil Patel is a renowned entrepreneur and blogger who has started two analytics companies: @CrazyEgg and KISSmetrics. He’s a top followed content marketer (I read and enjoy all his stuff).

10. Pamela I Wilson. Pamela I. Wilson is the owner of Big Brand System. She also manages the CopyBlogger blog and produces educational products for the company.

11. Jeneba Jalloh GhattJeneba Jalloh Ghatt is an attorney-turned-content marketer who was named one of the Top 50 Rich Media Influencers to follow.

12. Paul RoetzerPaul Roetzer is the Founder of The Marketing Performance Blueprint & The Marketing Agency Blueprint as well as being the Creator of Marketing Score (@MKTScore).

13. Aaron OrendorffAaron Orendorff’s mission is to “save the world from bad content.” He is also a contributor for publications like @EntMagazine, @FastCompany, @BusinessInsider, @SuccessMagazine, @CopyBlogger and @Unbounce.

14. Lee OddenLee Odden is the CEO of @TopRank, where he specializes in online marketing. He is also a B2B Content Marketing consultant and a social media and PR specialist.

15. Bob GellerBob Geller is a PR and content specialist as well as being the president of Fusion PR.

16. Joanna Wiebe. She is the genius copywriter and Internet marketer we all aspire to be. CEO of Copyhackers and top-notch wordsmith, Joanna has been featured in numerous places and sites.

17. Jeff DeutschJeff Deutsch is the VP of Marketing for @ptengine. He also contributes content to @HubSpot.

18. Ryan Hanley. Ryan is the host of the popular Content Warfare podcast and author of the book by the same name.

19. Amanda SublerAmanda Subler is a former journalist turned public relations, content marketing and video production specialist. She is also a PR and Media Manager for @CMIContent.

20. Tim AshTim Ash is the CEO of Site Tuners and author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization.

21. Meryl K. EvansMeryl K. Evans is a writer, editor, social media specialist and content marketer. Her tweets are aimed at helping content marketers adapt to web standards and boost site traffic.

22. Doug KesslerDoug Kessler is a content marketing, B2B copywriting, social media and tech marketing specialist who focuses on helping content marketers learn to promote their brand and write better content.

23. Matt HeinzMatt Heinz focuses on helping B2B companies produce more revenue via focused marketing strategies. He also helps companies produce more demand from customers and hone their sales process.

24. Bernie BorgesBernie Borges is the host of The Social Business Engine Digital TV Show & Podcast as well as being the CEO of popular B2B digital marketing firm Find and Convert.

25. Neal SchafferNeal Schaffer is an author at @MaxYourSocial as well as being the founder of @msocialbusiness and @socialtoolssmmt.

26. Bryan EisenbergBryan Eisenberg is the founder and CMO of Ideal Spot. He is also a keynote speaker and author.

27. Rebekah Radice. She’s an award-winning social media author, speaker and strategist. She works at the uber-cool PostPlanner and is behind #InfluencerChat, as well as a co-host for #ViralChat from Post Planner on Thursdays.

28. Jay AcunzoJay Acunzo works on content at @NextViewVC, and is the host and producer of the Traction podcast, where he discusses and features super cool entrepreneurial stories.

29. Lisa PetrilliNamed one of the Top 20 CMO’s by Forbes, Lisa Petrilli is dedicated to empowering women in positions of business & leadership in the world of digital communication.

30. Andrew DavisThe founder of Monumental Shift, Andrew Davis teaches marketers how to find and target a niche in order to grow business and produce great work.

31. Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is a speaker, professor and journalist. He shares tweets on social media, content marketing and how to create successful small businesses.

32. Henneke DuistermaatShe calls herself someone who’s on a mission to stamp out “gobbledygook,” and for that alone we love her. CEO of Enchanting Marketing, she is uniquely known for her “doodles” on her blogs and books and has been featured in podcasts and more.

33. Kim Garst. She’s been called the First Lady of Periscope, and rightly so; she’s just a joy to watch. Kim is a Forbes Top 10 SM Influencer and author of the acclaimed Will the Real You Please Stand Up. 

34. Ann HandleyAnn Handley is the Head of Content at Marketing Profs. She is also the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everybody Writes.

35. Joe PulizziJoe Pulizzi is a content expert at @CMIContent. He is also the author of Epic Content Marketing.

36. Kathryn HawkinsKathryn Hawkins works with @EucalyptMedia, a booming content marketing agency that focuses on teaching startups, universities, and B2B companies how to manage their clients and produce high-quality content.

37. Erika HealdErika Heald is a content marketer, social media coach, writer, editor and blogger. She is also the Head of Content with @HighwirePR.

38. John JantschJohn Jantsch is a small business marketing consultant at Duct Tape Marketing.

39. Joe Lazauskas. Joe Lazuskas is Editor-in-Chief for @Contently. He was also named one of the Top 10 Content Marketing Influencers to follow.

40. Kari LloydKari Lloyd is a writer who specializes in content and SEO. She currently uses her content marketing skills to help @VonageBiz boom. She was also named one of the Top 50 Content Marketers to Follow on Twitter.

41. Seth GodinSeth Godin is an author and blogger who is gaining notoriety for his unique approach to content creation.

42. Guillaume Decugis. He’s a highly successful entreprenuer, content marketing expert, and the founder of curation platform Scoop.it (over 2 million users). Bonus: He’s very approachable! I interviewed him here.

43. Ann SmartyAnn Smarty is a brand manager with @NinjasMarketing, creator of MyBlogU, and an all-around smart content marketer.

44. Daniel NewmanDaniel Newman is the CEO of @Broadsuite. He often speaks on the topics of social, mobile, big data and cloud computing. Additionally, Newman is the host of #CloudTalk.

Twitter Chat Content Marketers

In addition to offering a wide variety of content marketing specialists, Twitter also provides a platform for Twitter Chats, interactive, web-based communities that offer a space for interviews, collaboration, communication and networking. These chats provide a great way for content marketers to interact with new contacts and build authority in their niche. Additionally, participating in a Twitter chat can be a great marketing tool, in and of itself.

For the best content marketing-focused Twitter chats available on the web today, check out this list:

45. Cathy McPhillips (Twitter Chat: #CMWorld) Cathy McPhillips is the Marketing Director for @cmicontent. Her Twitter chat, #CMWorld |is focused on discussing all things content marketing related.

46. Kelly Hungerford (Twitter Chat: #BizHeroes) Kelly Hungeroford is a Digital Marketer. Her Twitter chat #BizHeroes is focused on helping companies build better customer experiences and promote solid marketing communities.

47. Buffer (Twitter Chat: #BufferChat) We love Buffer… and we love their chat! Buffer is a social media app that lets you schedule posts out to all your platforms. Happening every Wednesday at 11 CST/12 EST, they talk about all things social/content/bookworm related – a wide variety.

48. Sheila Scarborough (Twitter Chat: #AWCConnect) Sheila Scarborough is a writer and speaker with @TourismCurrents and @PerceptiveTrav. Her Twitter chat, #AWCConnect is designed to enlighten and educate women in the professional communications field and takes place on the 1st Thursday of each month.

49. Mack Collier (Twitter Chat: #BlogChat) Mack Collier is dedicated to helping companies build their brand and create winning content. His Twitter chat, #Blogchat, discusses blogging topics for the professional, business and personal fields.

50. Brian Katz (Twitter Chat: #Mobilebiz) Brian Katz is a mobile marketing expert whose Twitter chat is dedicated to all things mobile. Great for content marketers who want to learn about how customers interact with their content on a mobile basis, #Mobilebiz discusses the ins and outs of a mobile world on a weekly basis.

51. Maria Elena Duron (Twitter Chat: #Brandchat) Maria Elena Duron is a Marketing Coach and Personal Branding Specialist. #Brandchat is ideal for content marketers who want to learn more about how to market their unique brand.

52. The Social CMO (Twitter Chat: #MMchat) The Social CMO CMO runs #MMchat, which stands for “marketer Monday” and offers conversations with executives from a whole host of different marketing and social media content firms.

53. Brian Honigman (Twitter Chat: #InsiderChat) Brian Honigman is a Content Marketing Consultant and CEO of @HonigmanMedia. #InsiderChat, which offers interviews with expert influencers to help people “win at marketing and business.”

54. Jenise Fryatt (Twitter Chat: #ContentChat) Jenise Fryatt is a Content Marketing Strategist for Smarter Shift as well as being the Moderator #ContentChat. #ContentChat offers a place for content marketers to discuss the latest developments and trends in the content marketing world. Additionally, the chat offers interviews with thought leaders and plenty of opportunities to network.

55. SEMRush (Twitter Chat: #SEMrushchat) SEMRush offers ways for content marketers to take their business to the next level. Twitter users who follow #SEMrushchat will get high-quality industry updates and tips as well as the chance to connect with top influencers.

56. CoScheduleApp (Twitter Chat: #CoChat) CoSchedule is a drag-and-drop marketing calendar designed to help content marketers create content distribution schedules. The company’s Twitter chat, #CoChat, helps people learn more about editorial strategies, content creation and distribution.

57. Pam Moore (Twitter Chat: #GetRealChat) Pam Moore was named a Forbes Top 10 Social Media Influencer. Her Twitter chat #GetRealChat focuses on how to boost business, maximize existing content and develop new content that readers will love.

58. Kelly Lieberman (Twitter Chat: #PinChat) Kelly Lieberman is a Pinterest expert and, considering the fact that a recent study proves that Pinterest drives more people to websites than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ combined, it’s possible that you might want to follow in her footsteps. Content marketers can tune in to #PinChat for tips on how to use Pinterest to drive engagement and distribute great content.

59. Marketing Cloud (Twitter Chat: #ETcafe) Marketing Cloud’s Twitter chat covers digital marketing and the latest trends and topics in the industry. Previous topics include how best to use social media and how to personalize content.

60. Express Writers & Julia McCoy (We’ll be launching a Twitter Chat soon!) Excuse the self-promotion, but it’s just; I’ve been most-read on many of the guest blogs I post at. And we post fun stuff at Express Writers! I specialize in content marketing, distribution and content creation, and share what I know, or stuff I read all over the web that I love. My team shares on similar topics. Follow us, and I hope you enjoy reading what we share!

The Case for Twitter: A Content Marketer’s Paradise

Twitter is a veritable paradise for the content marketer who wants to learn. In addition to offering a platform to access some of the world’s most talented content marketers, Twitter also provides near-instant communication with many industry specialists and chats areas, both of which can help content marketers step up their game and become truly competitive.

One of the most important purposes Twitter serves is to act as an ignition point between interested content marketers and industry experts. Because the social media platform provides the basis for rich and informative connections to take place, content marketers are truly unhindered in the depth to which they can take their Twitter-based connections.

Twitter also offers a formidable way for marketers to stay in the loop. Because Twitter is one of the main social media platforms where news goes to break, interested content marketers can ensure that they will always be on the cutting edge of the content marketing field. This, in turn, ensures access to the best and most up-to-date information as well as an effective and important way to disseminate information of your own.

Lastly, Twitter is a great place for young marketers to build authority and gain notoriety by re-tweeting powerful content and curating a Twitter persona to attract engagement and encourage interaction from other inhabitants of the Twitter-sphere.

The Power of a Twitter Chat

Have you heard how hot Twitter chats are? Many of the experts I’ve quoted above are in Twitter chats.SEMrush hosts #semrushchat, a busy Wednesday morning chat that has had thousands of tweets in it’s lifetime and guests like Hubspot. Sprout Social, hosts #SproutChat on Wednesdays. Ann Smarty hosts #MyBlogGuest, every Thursday at 11 am EST. (I’ve linked to more Twitter chats above.)

Well, I recently found out just how powerful a Twitter chat can be. The first week of September, I started really ramping up our Twitter chats, and one day we joined about 8, including #semrushchat, #bufferchat, #SMchat, #SproutChat, #SmallBizChat and more. That one day when we joined that many chats, we had a huge surge in website traffic. And I’m talking about 2,000 visitors. Incredible, right?

Right now, Express Writers is joining up to 5 Twitter chats each week. This is due to the fact that Twitter chats have the power to seriously enhance any business.  Twitter chats are so effective, in fact, that 34% of marketers successfully generate leads using Twitter chats. This iSocial list does a great job of compiling the best Twitter chats for marketers to join and interested content aficionados can find plenty of good stuff in any one of these Twitter chats.

If you’re going to engage in Twitter chats, though, be sure that you’re being a polite Twitter citizen. Our Tweet Chat Etiquette Guide will help you learn the in’s and out’s of Tweet chats so that you can better promote your company and connect with knowledgeable people in your niche.

Yeah! Join a Twitter chat, and follow your industry leaders. It’ll be huge for you. I promise.

Finally.. Did I Miss A Content Marketer?

content marketers johnny depp

Let’s make this more than 60! I’d LOVE to know what marketer I missed – even if you want to add yourself to the list, feel free to comment below. I’ll edit this post if you’re (or your suggestion is) worthy!

17 Content Curation Tools to Boost Your Blog Traffic in 2017

Be honest. Don’t you wish creating fresh, hot new content every week was easier than it is?

I know I do.

No matter how many cool copywriting tricks you’ve got up your sleeve, when deadlines start breathing down your neck, no one is 100% immune from the dreaded blank page blues.

Looking for a way ease the pressure of having to constantly produce stellar content, in early 2012 a bunch of smart Internet folks came up with the idea of content curation. The basic idea of content curation is that, no matter who your audience is, there is already so much good, relevant content being produced daily.

These days, content curation is common practice now, and forms part of any professional content marketing plan. The problem is, there is most definitely a right way and a wrong way to do content creation.

The wrong way can end up making you look like a spambot, scraping random junk from the Internet and slapping it up for your audience. Not only is this a no-no according to Google, but you’ll trash the hard-earned trust you’ve built up with your readers.

So what should you do instead? Glad you asked…

content curation
How to Do Content Creation the Right Way

In the grand scheme of marketing, content curation is vital to any content campaign because it can help you get incredible content pieces to share with your audience, as well as helping you figure out new topic ideas.

Remember, when you curate content, you are only looking for content to gain inspiration from, not to copy. Use content curation as a way to inspire yourself and enhance your own individual content strategy for your clients.

Content Creation vs Curation: The Ideal Mix

A few years ago, the accepted wisdom was that the ideal ratio between created and curated content was 80/20, that is, 80% created content, and 20% curated content.

According to more up-to-date research, and depending on the industry, a mix of 65/35 (with original, created content still forming the larger proportion) seems to be a more acceptable ratio in 2017.

Convince&Convert even go further to show what it looks like to be a “curator,” “balanced” on social media, or the danger line of a “self-promoter,” very useful information for the content curator:

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 10.39.49 PM

Keep in mind that, within this balance, your curation should be focused more on your social platforms than on your own blog, which is where only your original content should be featured. Your blog is your online real estate – why put someone else’s content there?

To produce that ideal mix, though, you’ll need some smart tools to help you.

The Top 17 Content Curation Tools for Smart Marketers

Here are some of the top content curation tools you can use to help boost your content starting today.

1. Trap.It

Trap.it pulls in relevant third-party content from all over the web, including industry research, insights and trends, which can be organized into topic-specific libraries for instant reference.

Trap.It is also an “intelligent” curation tool, which means the more content you curate the smarter it gets, so you’re never lost for inspiration. Best of all, you can distribute the curated content you’ve “trapped” across all social platforms to engage your audience without spending hours on the web.

2. Feedly

Feedly helps you to curate blog content that can be used as resources for future posts or give you great ideas for upcoming content. Feedly is also great for following authorities and influencers in your industry, so you can stay on top of the hottest conversations and create content based on the latest trending topics. It doesn’t pull images, but the lack of visuals doesn’t diminish the importance of this tool.

3. Pinterest

Like Feedly, Pinterest is great for keeping up with celebrities, pop culture icons and leaders in your industry. Depending on your niche, Pinterest is also fantastic for collecting useful “hacks”, tricks and tips you can build your content around. Save these ideas to boards on your account, and work with them to curate excellent content for you and your clients.

4. Quora

Quora is fast becoming the go-to platform for finding out what people want to know. You get expert, authoritative opinions and answers to questions ranging from what it feels like to be a CEO to how to apply to the best colleges, and almost everything in between. Quora is a gold mine for insightful perspectives on hot topics you can use as the basis for a wide range of content. Just set up an account, and then search your keywords to find excellent content to store away for future use. You can also set up your account to be notified about articles relevant to your field, so you can get more articles and interesting ideas in your inbox.

5. Scoop.it

Used by more than 2.5 million marketers, Scoop.it just might be a content marketer’s dream come true. This powerful curation platform allows you to search for content according to keyword, share curated content directly to your social channels, and embed everything you find on your page. What’s more, the platform also offers predictive insights and an accurate ROI measuring tool that helps you get the most from your curated content. At Express Writers, we love the CEO of Scoop.it, Guillaume Decugis! I’ve recorded a podcast on the Write Podcast with him talking how to fit curation into your content marketing strategy, and we even had him as a guest on our Twitter Chat #ContentWritingChat talking content curation principles.

6. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a smart marketer’s “pro tool” when it comes to content curation. BuzzSumo keeps you up to date with the latest trending topics in your industry by sending automated alerts every time new content in your industry is published. Use BuzzSumo to search for content by topic, and share it directly from a simple dashboard.

I absolutely love the “Content Research” tab, to research and interact with the people sharing our content, and to hunt down hot topics.

buzzsumo

 

 

Ideal for the marketer who wants to streamline content curation and share better material, BuzzSumo is a simple, no-headache tool.

7. MyCurator for WordPress

This tool is perfect for those who use WordPress for their website and blog. MyCurator allows you to quickly and easily curate content, fetching relevant articles, videos, and other content from all over the web, with an option for automated posting to your site. There are also bulk curation tools for collecting multiple pieces of content for large or serial projects.

8. Twitter List

Using Twitter Lists can help you monitor content from influencers, news websites, and other relevant companies which can be resources for real-time marketing. Set up lists for different categories so you can check the conversations under a topic in an instant.

9. Learnist

Learnist lends an authoritative twist to content curation because it helps people learn from industry leaders and experts. You will be able to curate authority content, and even learn new information about your industry from the people who are driving it forward and making things happen. Learn how to manage your time from productivity experts, or how to make the perfect cappuccino from a top barista, all while collecting stellar content ideas!

10. Slideshare

While this tool doesn’t act like most of the other content curation tools I’ve mentioned, SlideShare does provide you with the chance to learn from others and share your knowledge. You can look through various Slideshares of those in your industry to gain new information and curate content, and you can share the best ideas with your audience.

11. Storify

Storify is an awesome visual tool that can help users create storyboards for their content campaigns by utilizing content curation. You can either be the one doing the creating, offering people content to curate, or you can look through the storyboards and curate content from others. In addition, you can also get a WordPress plugin for Storify.

12. List.ly

Whether it is a blog list post, a grocery list, or a simple to-do list, everyone has some sort of love for lists. They are great at helping you keep track of things, organizing information, and they are perfect when it comes to content curation.

List.ly helps you can gather your information together in useful lists, and which readers can then up-vote or down-vote each part. This can help you find content that will be more impactful, and which content you might want to stay away from. Again, just like with Storify, there is a handy WordPress plugin for List.ly.

13. ContentGems

This program gives you access to over 200,000 RSS feeds, which makes it easy to find and curate virtually any type of content you need. All you have to do is search your chosen keywords, and you can skim through several different resources, cherry-picking juicy content along the way.

14. Pocket

Pocket is a handy little app when you’re just getting started with your curation efforts. Pocket installs a button on your browser, so when you come across an interesting article, video, or image, you just hit the button and put it in your “pocket” for later. You can also access your content offline, so you can build your library while you browse and access it whenever you want later. A very welcome added bonus is that when you sign up to Pocket, you get daily emails showcasing the most “pocketed” content from around the web.

15. Triberr

Triberr is a great way to help connect with industry leaders and curate their content. The most valuable feature of this app is that you get access to groups based around a specific area of interest. In addition to engaging topic-specific content, you also get exposed to insider lingo, up-to-date info on what’s hot and what’s not in your niche, and interesting angles and opinions on your topic. You can find your area(s) and join the tribe to begin curating great content, and you can share that content when you find something useful.

I’ve actually had content clients walk in from my interactions on Triberr. There is real value in the audiences here!

16. Post Planner

This tool helps you to share your curated content on Facebook at some of the best times. It promises that it can help you get viral content by just spending ten minutes each day on the program.

It looks at your Facebook page and decides what dates, times, and content pieces will work best for you, giving you the maximum reach with your content and blogs. This can help boost Facebook engagement, and get those curated pieces out to your audience.

17. Curata

Curata is another intelligent content curation tool because it makes sure to find articles and content that meets your interests. It goes throughout blogs around the Internet and tailor makes content lists for you to look through. Curata gives you the chance to look over the curated content, annotate the pieces, and curate the best content for your industry needs. This tool is especially handy if you happen to be very busy – like all good content marketers always are!

4 Simple, Key Practices to Make Sure You’re Always Doing Content Curation Right

To ensure that your content curation helps rather than hurts your brand, follow these best practices:

1. Only publish content in your area of expertise

Anything else is irrelevant and will look to your readers like you’re just pushing out any content to populate your platforms. Also, this should go without saying, but I’ll say it: only publish content you’ve thoroughly read. You should know what you’re promoting before you hit that promote button.

2. Make it your own by adding commentary

If you’re going to curate content, take it the extra mile by personalizing the content with commentary, insights, or pulling quotes from curated content to develop your own unique content (with ample citations, of course). According to our podcast with curation expert, Guillaume Decugis, this is one of the primary tenants of good content curation!

3. Focus your content curation on social media channels

Curated content will perform better on social channels than it does on blog.

4. Use curated content for inspiration and conversation-starting

If you’re relying on curated content to populate your accounts, you might be better off hiring professional writers to help you create content than you will be to simply keep curating. Ideally, you want to rely on curated content less than you appreciate. Think of curated content as a source of inspiration that you can use to improve your own custom content rather than a crutch you need to keep your accounts functioning.

The Best Content Curation Tools Result in More Effective Curated Content

Content curation tools take a great deal of the grunt work out of curating content. In doing this, they also allow you to enhance your content strategy, gain inspiration from industry leaders, and shuck (just a bit of) the burden of content creation.

While content curation is an integral part of any good content strategy, it pays to put in the time and effort needed to do it well.

In addition to keeping your content relevant and unique, this will also ensure you stay far away from Google penalties and plagiarized material, which is great for you, your readers, and the authors from whom you’re curating content.

Still overwhelmed with curating excellent content? Our Strategists know how to plan out a month of content, including how to curate topics. Check out our Content Strategy services!

content creation

How Curation Can Empower Your Content Creation

A constant content flow that has the power to keep you and your brand in the public eye is an invaluable asset. Nonetheless, the process of creating fresh, reader-oriented, 100% original content for different platforms demands a lot of time and money.

Successful content and social media marketing require the highest level of commitment and consistency, whereas you, as a budget-conscious small business owner, have the responsibility to manage your resources wisely and limit your spending without making any quality compromises.

This is where content curation comes into play, allowing you to increase your online visibility without breaking the bank.

What Is Content Curation and How Could It Help Me Grow My Business?

Content curation represents the act of identifying, collecting, organizing and displaying content that is relevant to a certain area of interest and a particular audience. According to an article published by Search Engine Journal, this concept refers to the process of discovering and using quality content pieces with a real substance, elaborated and published by high-authority sources.

You may be wondering: how could this strategy benefit my business? Truth be told, there are several benefits associated with content curation. First of all, this technique enables you to save time, money and energy that you would otherwise have to invest in content creation. Secondly, the almost overwhelming abundance of premium content launched by reputable sources allows you to select the best pieces based on the interests and expectations of your audience, and also according to your own mission, vision and goals. Thirdly, content curation is a social act by definition; therefore, it could represent a viable and extremely effective method to establish new partnerships with prominent players operating in your industry, make new contacts and rely on the type of writing that can give you the chance to reach a larger segment of public.

An example of curation is what we’ve been doing. The Great Content Roundup accrued over 200 shares in just a few days.

Content Creation vs. Content Curation: Which Tactic Works Best for Your Business?

An article published by Social Media Today reveals that content curation and content creation are two excellent methods that any company can use to fill its content pipeline. Both processes have their pros and cons and should be seen as the two halves of the same whole; not as two disparate strategies implemented to achieve a steady content flow.

4 Benefits of Content Curation

  1. Cost-Efficiency. When you have sharable, world-class content at your fingertips, you can choose to curate your favorite pieces instead of crafting new ones from scratch.
  2. Time-Efficiency. When you don’t have much time to create your own content, you can promote the most brilliant ideas introduced by reputable industry experts to give your readers the food for thought that they’re expecting to see on your blog/website/social media account.
  3. The Chance to Build and Maintain New Connections. By consuming other people’s web content, you encourage the development of new potentially fruitful partnerships that could support your boldest marketing goals in the future.
  4. The Opportunity to Help Your Readers Explore Various Perspectives on a Certain Topic. Content curation lets you introduce newsworthy facts from multiple perspectives, enabling your readers to form an educated opinion on a particular subject.

On the other hand, content creation also has its fair share of benefits, including the following ones.

4 Benefits of Content Creation

  1. The Opportunity to Make Your Voice Heard Through Original Content. Your tone of voice, the originality of your ideas and the way in which you bond with your readers and encourage their feedback are the main elements that reflect your uniqueness. Through content creation you can celebrate your individuality and make sure that you’re not at risk of drowning in a sea of copycats.
  2. The Ability to Demonstrate Your Skills and Knowledge, While Consolidating Your Position on Your Niche. Unique, highly researched content helps you talk like an expert and be identified as one by your audience.
  3. The Chance to Craft, Publish and Promote Quality Content That Is Exclusively Yours. Words. By creating quality content you can boost your level of exposure. First of all, world-class writing encourages visitors to land on your page over and over again; secondly, the superior quality of your content pieces may stimulate other curators to showcase your masterpieces, implicitly spreading the word about your business.
  4. A Deeper Connection with More Loyal Readers. Last but not least, generally speaking a constant content flow based on original pieces could improve your relationship with your readers and boost their loyalty, who will see you as an inspired creator, as opposed to a mere curator with no voice of his own.

[Tweet “Creation without #Curation is like Cake without Icing. #Content”]

 

5 Tips on How to Simplify and Optimize Your Content Curation Ritual

Both curation and creation can support your everyday marketing goals, allowing you to support the growth of your small business. The key is to maintain a solid balance between the percentage of curated content and original content that you publish on your website. In our article published on SiteProNews, we have listed the main steps that one should take to guide a healthy content curation strategy in the right direction. Here are five tips that you should apply to curate content like a pro.

  1. Discover the Particularities of Your Audience (Including Its Area of Interest). What kind of subjects would make your readers tick? What type of content pieces should you actually curate to stay on the same page with your readers?
  2. Make Sure Content Creation Is Just a Piece of Your Content Marketing Puzzle. These days, in order to maintain your competitiveness in any industry, you have to be more than an enthusiastic curator. Perfect your content crafting skills and let the whole world hear your unique story.
  3. Add Value to Each Content Piece That You Curate. Make sure every single content piece that lands on your website/social media channel bares your creative imprint. Instead of copy pasting info coming from different high-authority sources, choose to filter the facts that you present through your own perspective.
  4. Do Your Research. Find the best sources that could offer you the most relevant and engaging type of writing for your content curation strategy.
  5. Use the Right Tools to Take Your Content Curation to the Next Level. Now you can make the most of an ample series of free and almost free curation tools, such as Curata, Scoop.it, Bundle Post and Storify, designed to discover, organize and share relevant, engaging content coming from trustworthy sources.

Creation and Curation: Getting the Best of Both Worlds

You are the content pieces that you distribute through different channels, so what does your writing actually say about you and your business? Moreover, what kind of favors should you expect from the content that you choose to publish on your website, blog and/or social media platforms? According to an article by Convince&Convert, you can measure the effectiveness of original content and curated content by taking a closer look at conversion rates and click rates.

According to the data provided by this source, posts linked to one or more third-party websites ensure up to 33% more clicks than the ones linking to owned websites. In other words, curation leaves content creation behind when it comes to counting clicks. Nonetheless, content creation appears to be the optimal strategy that you should employ if your goal is to drive conversions. Convince&Convert reveals that posts linking to your website can click-to-conversion rate up to 54% higher than the one displayed by posts that are linked to third-party websites. If you take a minute to think about it, this actually makes sense: your prospects need at least one good reason to become your clients. In this case, your original content is the main motive that stimulates them to make a purchase and interact with your brand in different other ways (subscribe to your newsletter, provide feedback, share your content on social networking websites and so on).

All in all, why choose between content curation and content creation when you can have both? Learn to see curated content as a breath of fresh air; turn it into your valuable source of inspiration and use it as a solid foundation for your upcoming content crafting efforts. Convince&Convert sheds some light on the secret recipe for success based on curation and creation: people who link their posts to their website anywhere from 25% to 50% of the time get the best results. However, this range may not always serve your best interest. A trial-and-error process is the best way to establish the optimal ratio between curated and original content. Measure your very own curation/creation efforts regularly and find out what type of content actually encourages your readers to respond to your calls to action in the most desirable manner.

Looking to jumpstart your content curation? Learn more here!

Photo credit: g-stockstudio / iStock

What Are Our Content Planning & Content Auditing Services All About?

As many of you know, we focus on content.

It’s in our blood.

Well, after years of poking, investigating and researching this beast of an industry, we realized that it’s time to change with the tides and meet a significant need that’s developed: the need for time, planning, and a content strategy behind producing excellent web content. We decided to fill that need by creating a service for it. These services are all about content strategizing: content planning, and content auditing.

Launched late November 2014, our content planning and content auditing come straight from our human content experts, who I’ve personally trained myself in content strategizing and planning with tools like BuzzSumo, SEMrush, and more.

Very few in our industry (less than 5 from what we could find) are currently offering these services, curation & auditing, to the public. It took us over three months to research and build the foundational templates and train our team on these services. We have more than three trained experts, who are our Content Strategists, fully trained in our materials and ready to conduct curation and auditing for our clientele.

Content auditing and planning are an excellent investment for those looking to go beyond just having content written, and have great content written (strategized, planned, and built—from the ground up, implementing your ideas and feedback all along the way).

So, what exactly are our awesome new services all about? Let’s define more.

What Is Content Planning, and How Can It Help You?

Our content planning can help you build great content without hours of planning on your end; and these services plug right into our updated, powerful blog plans and social media.

You already know that content is one of your most important investments in SEO. What the heck do you do when you don’t have the time or resources to create it? That’s where our planning services come in. Our Content Strategists can absolutely step in and, after an initial talk with you set at your time, plan out your content up to a whole month in advance. We’ll use editorial calendars, include SEMRush keyword research, and create full, optimized SEO topics that are 100% ready to write on and turn into publish-ready content. Exclusive to our team only, our planning services are humanly done and do not rely on software—we think it’s impossible to turn over successful content creation wholly to a machine.

Content Planning Fundamentals. Don’t know where to start with content creation every month? Talk to your Content Strategist to get the ideas going, and then expect the deliverables: our fundamentals package will give you a simple foundation point of where to go, with a keyword report from SEMrush and a content planning overview report in Excel that will include topics, word counts, keywords for the topics, and more.

Content Planning Ongoing Package Add-ons. This is the answer for any blog owner who does not have the time to plan ongoing great content monthly, but know that they need planning to lay these ongoing fundamentals down. Available as an add-on to our blog packages, our ongoing planning package simply plugs in to our blog creation. Clients won’t have to worry about creating another blog topic again. You’ll get to talk to your Content Strategist for about 30 minutes a month. After the initial planning, deliverables include a content planning overview report in Excel, full SEMRush keyword research report, and best of all our editorial calendar for a month of great content: fully mapped out topics, keywords to include, word counts, stock photo keywords for our team to use, and even best days to post on.

Time to jumpstart content creation with content planning from our experts! We’re constantly studying and staying on top of the SEO changes, so you don’t ever have to worry about staying out of touch with what’s happening in the online marketing segment with our ongoing blog planning.

What Is a Content Audit, and How Can It Help You?

We blogged about a content audit before, and so have many other top Internet marketing experts, including Neil Patel with his extensive guide.

We’ve actually followed Patel’s formula for auditing and created our own foundational templates that our Content Strategists will utilize when they audit your site. The work includes looking at each and every individual page you have, by the human eye of our Strategists and the help of some of the best SEO software out there.

Our content audits are divided between website and blogging:

  • Website Content Audit
  • Blog Content Audit

Each of them are slightly different so they are tailored to either a website or a blog.

Our Website Audit. The best SEO software and our human content experts is the driving force behind our website audits. Clients will receive an in-depth analysis of their website from top to bottom. Our SEO software is SEMRush and currently is one of the most trusted tools in SEO out there. Monthly costs for this software can go into the hundreds, but our clients won’t ever pay a cent of that. We partner with them directly to bring their software benefits to our clients. What makes them so special here is the SEO audit that can be performed using SEMRush. It’s an extensive auditing tool that simply can’t be replicated by a human: with one audit, we can instantly learn how many page meta descriptions are missing, or even how many pages on the site are duplicate.

Here’s a screenshot of the overview section of a SEMRush audit done on one of our clients’ websites. As you can see, this tells us that 96 pages are missing meta descriptions.

semrush fmwlaw

Beyond SEMRush, our website audit relies on the expertise of our Content Strategists. These experts are our best copywriters with a background in SEO and a strong knowledge of content marketing. They utilize the audit tool from SEMRush and their own, up-to-date knowledge of SEO and high quality content writing to manually inspect every single page on your website and give real results, in a full-fledged Excel report. The report will feature several comprehensive sections that are easy to understand, including a color-coded list of the web pages audited, colored according to priority or correction status (red if missing or duplicate content, green if no errors found, etc.) Finally, a list of the first steps to take and what to do are inside the report, so clients can act on the errors immediately.

Here’s a few snapshots from the Master Excel clients will receive upon getting a website content audit created.

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audit

Blog Auditing. Those who simply need their entire blog audited will benefit greatly from this WordPress SEO blog-focused audit, also done by our Content Strategists.

There’s just no replacement for a human inspection when it comes to a blog audit. We don’t utilize SEMRush for blog auditing since it really can’t analyze each and every blog like a human eye can. However, we do include full keyword research with this, which will give you a thorough keyword report.

Here’s a snapshot of the keyword reports we included for a web design company:

keywords

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seo web design

For the overall blog audit, clients will receive a full Excel report with our blog optimization recommendations, again color-coded to priority, with actionable next steps to take.

Services recommended may include our blog optimization as well as original blog writing. Blog optimization is a thorough solution if the blog audit results in more than a few poorly SEO optimized blogs. This is when you really don’t need all your blogs rewritten, just optimized. We’ve taken all the hassle out of trying to guess and do it yourself and trained our Content Strategists in this very service.

If you need a content overhaul or aren’t really sure where your content stands in terms of SEO optimization, quality or length, our content audits can let you know exactly where you stand and what to fix if anything is wrong.

Think of it as a pristine car shop for that car that needs more than a little help. When we finish the analysis, everything we recommend will make it run smoothly again.

Get Ready For Awesome Content!

Ready to take the plunge and experience our latest and greatest—content planning and auditing? Just send us a message, or order via our Content Shop, and we’d love to put you in our well-trained, highly capable Content experts’ hands. It’s time, and we’re ready. Put your content on the next step for success!

Additional Changes to Our Services: Blogging & Social Media

We’re making a footnote here to say that along with developing and releasing our auditing and blog planning services, we’ve also significantly revamped our blogging and social media plans to offer you new plans that focus on velocity + natural, SEO optimized, long-form content that is a winner for your content strategy. Our analysis found that none of our competitor services are creating more than 300 words per blog…while the top sources say today that long content is better (1,000+ words). The details of our new plans are below. For social media, since pictures boost engagement by 65%, so we’ve added custom image creation to our plans. Our blogging plans start at 8 blogs a month and go up to 26 blogs a month, with 3,000 word monster blogs on the schedule. And our social media plans are pretty massive:

  • Social Media Basic:2 posts/day to Twitter, 1 post/day to Facebook, G+ and LinkedIn, your industry content and blogs shared.
  • Social Media Guru: 5 posts/day to Twitter, 2 posts/day to Facebook, G+ and LinkedIn, your industry content, blogs, and custom designed images and memes shared.
  • Social Media Enterprise: 10 posts/day to Twitter, 4 posts/day to Facebook, G+ and LinkedIn, your industry content, blogs, and custom designed images and memes shared.

 

Send our team a message about your project, or order via our Content Shop.

curate the best content

How To Curate Killer Content Ideas

Content curation is a HOT topic and over the last year or so, as Internet content has grown, its popularity has trended drastically. For a lot of companies, understanding content curation lies at the heart of the future success of their online entrepreneurial enterprises. For others it provides a handy way to keep content coming in and keep the things that show up one’s blog fresh. Content curation is the art of gathering relevant ideas and content about a topic or niche and housing them in a simply navigated repository that gives users, at a glance, the usefulness and viability of the content as well as where the content can be located on the Internet.

To many bloggers, content curation represents the next logical step in the evolution of content production. There’s a saying that goes, “There is nothing that is new under the sun,” and as far as content creators have realized it’s a sad reality.

Coming up with fresh new ideas for content gets to be tedious and tiring as time goes by. Content curation provides an injection of fresh content while at the same time allowing for the establishment of backlinks to well-respected sites thereby increasing the authoritative value of your site (as well as your search ranking for certain keywords). Content curation is the direction that a business-minded site would move towards since it provides a lot of benefits with a minimum amount of drawbacks.

Important! Do Not Confuse Curation with Copying

Content curators collect information from sites and catalog them, then go through the catalog and pick out the ones that provide the best information then review their findings for the readers. It is an ongoing process and curators usually spend hours trawling the Internet looking for viable links that they can use in their work.

Although curators may extract certain parts of a bit of content to underscore the value of the entire work to their audience, they should NEVER copy content completely from another site. Curators are ethically minded people that aim to promote the useful information in sites that are not their own while giving value to their readers by condensing a tedious Internet search into a single page containing the most useful links for a particular niche.

Confusing curation with copying can lead to some serious fallout such as losing your page rank in Google for hosting duplicate content. As a curator you should be wary of finding yourself in such a position.

4 Ways To Plan Your Content Curation

Just like anything that has to do with a long-term business solution, you need a roadmap for your content curation. Developing a step-wise plan as to how to achieve the end result of a content curation site that content managers would be proud to operate is relatively simple. It can be broken down into three major sub-steps, each logically placed so as to enhance the step that comes after it. When planning your content curation you should be looking at doing these things in order:

  1. Collect Content: Looking through the Internet to discover sites that best fit your audience interest and cataloging them with the appropriate utilities. This is the most important first step in order to create a database of valid links. These should be high-impact sites that cater to the basic needs of your audience. Arranging them by tags in an understandable format is where your journey into content curation begins.
  2. Share the Best: Although your original pile of article links may number into the thousands, you’re going to have to do some reading and sifting. Content curation is a time-intensive job and the wider the niche you’re covering the more work is involved in getting your content curation to a point where it’s usable. In order to be considered seriously in your niche the quality of your shares should be very high based on their value to your readers.
  3. Audit your Content: The feedback mechanism that separates good content curators from run-of-the-mill ones is auditing of your content. Your shared content may fall short in reaching your target audience and the only way you can figure that out is by doing regular audits and replacing the non-performing shares with those that are more likely to generate better leads. Audits also allow you to fix the technical aspects of your content (such as SEO details and keyword placement) so as to make the share more search engine friendly.
  4. Schedule your Shares: Just like blogging, the aim with content curation is to ensure that you have fresh content regularly and on demand. To do so consistently, you should queue up your content shares so that they go live at regular intervals. These don’t need to be within any set time period, but consistent posting keeps your content curation site fresh and ensures that you don’t lose your search rank position through abandonment.

There are quite a number of online content production companies that offer content auditing and curation as separate packages or as a combination of both of these important aspects of running a site that is aiming to be an authority in the topic area. Because of the intensive nature of content curation, if you intend to go this route, hiring an external company to do your curation for you is definitely a good idea.

5 Ways Content Curation Can Generate Ideas

Curating usually inspires you to build on the content you have or to create brand new content. Just like a muse tends to awaken the creative spirit in an artist, so too does content curation give you a chance to explore different points of view for the same topic. You need to keep an open mind when putting together content via curation since it’s likely that sites that may not align with your point of view have some points that are just as valid as your own. Being objective is very important. Coming up with and curating new content ideas can be a relatively pain-free process, and may or may not include the following:

1) Utilizing your Experience. In many niches there are people who make up the user base that are very skilled in what they do. As a site seeking to be one of the authority sites for the niche, your content should incorporate the things you have discovered while writing for the niche. This can be done in any number of ways that attract both interest and feedback from the community. Coming up with new content using this method allows you to tap into a plethora of utilities such as:

  • User Generated Questions and Answers: In any community there will be a large amount of users that have back-and-forth discussions over topics of interest. The questions generated from these topics are very useful when coming up with ideas for new content. Ideally, when trawling the Internet for content links for curation, you should make note of these forum discussions as they provide great fuel for creating brand new content.
  • Opposing Points of View: Not all content you curate will be from the same point of view that you have. You are going to have to be objective in your choices and give air to the other side of the debate. Having other writers challenge your point of view is something that is as old as writing itself. Embracing this age-old tradition allows you to counter and rebut their arguments logically (or accept them if they have more evidence than you do to disprove them). This leads to creation of brand new content from older posts and can lead to quite a lot of community approval since it is seen as the mark of a great thinker to entertain ideas that do not officially fall within his or her world view.
  • Writing from Knowledge: Learning things from the Internet is something that many people depend upon. The most resourceful searchers tend to find information through their research. Content creation is about bringing value in the form of new information to your readers. Presenting information you have uncovered in your searching to them is probably the best motivation for creating new content that a writer can have. Your knowledge in the field is valuable to an everyday reader.

2) Personal Knowledge of the Field. This in itself can come from years of working in the field or from reading the pertinent literature and being able to apply it to the field in a satisfactory manner. This is usually garnered through a long-term interaction with the topic on a personal level. Although many bloggers have the benefit of writing from an isolated standpoint, there are few that really have a grasp of the actual, physical nuances of the topic they write on. Personal knowledge comes in very handy when presenting information to your audience that would be based on prior knowledge, but expands upon this by giving them a logical and legitimate stepping stone to your subject. A good example would be scientific news blogs. These impart knowledge to the layman by digesting information and applying their knowledge of the field itself to break down the overall results and jargon of a published work into an understandable post. Content curation aids in this process by giving you added exposure gained through reading the personal encounters of individuals in the field.

3) Review Existing Content from Other Users. This is at the heart of using curation to develop new content for your site. Ideally, a content curation site serves as an online museum where readers can explore the usefulness and details that a site may offer to them before going through the site itself. This saves time for users since it gives them only the most relevant sites to their interest In order to be considered a more valuable curation site, you should take time to review some of the shares that you have in a detailed format. This review doesn’t necessarily have to be exhaustive, but should give the reader a full idea of the content contained on the page so that when they go there, they already have an idea of what they’re liable to find. Content created in this way must be wary of giving too many excerpts from the main site since it could register as duplicate content, forcing search engines to penalize you for it.

4) Generate Titles based on the Most Popular Topics. Not all topics are equal, especially in certain fields. Understanding which topics are more popular than others gives you something to work with as far as getting a title and a direction to write in. Curation of sites will allow you to get a feel for the topics of discussion that work best in the community and those that don’t have so much interest. Remember that you have to keep your audience in mind both with your curation and your creation. Understanding what topics your audience values gives you a very good idea of what they would look for in created content. From there it’s just a matter of following up your research and condensing the points from multiple high-value articles into your own. Giving the source documents links within your writing also helps promote your site a source of traffic for the source articles and gives you good backlink karma with Google.

5) Think like your Readers. Your writing should reflect what your readers enjoy reading. This should be an obvious statement but there have been times in the past where writers have decided to opt for topics within their own interest alienating the readers that they need. Doing a content audit on your site will allow you to see the topics that perform below expected levels so that you can avoid those when creating new content. You can also spruce up those bits of old content or remove them altogether, making your site more in tune with what readers would expect from you. As a content curation device, auditing also allows you to get a feel for what works as far as interest generated by readers. Remember, once you start linking to other sites, it is very likely that they will start linking to yours as an authority site and drive traffic to your door. You have to cater for the influx of these readers while still maintaining your own voice.

Content Creation & You

Developing new content isn’t as easy as it once was. Even the ‘news’ is just a rehash of old events with new players. If you’re writing content, coming up with ideas is one of the hardest parts of the brainstorming process. There’s simply only so much you can say about a particular topic.

However, if you’re exploring the other things that have been written by authors on the topic, it’s not too hard to start collecting and critiquing their links, making your site an invaluable resource to users all around the community. These even help you come up with your own ideas and fuel your imagination.

When you get to that level, you’ll know that your foray into content curation was well worth it.

Photo credit: peshkova / iStock

content curation

The Great Content Roundup: Week 1, Topic Content Curation

We’re starting a series of curated posts, called The Great Content Roundup.

 

Welcome to Week 1! 

What to Expect?

In these “roundup” posts, we will summarize and link to anywhere from 5-15 posts in one blog post. These articles and pieces we link to will be the ones that we found held value and use for direct businesses in the areas of content marketing, SEO, and social media. These are posts you won’t want to miss!

 

For Week 1, I want to share some awesome resources with you on curation, since that’s exactly what we’re starting to do with this first post.

Welcome to Week 1 of the Great Content Roundup!

Our Topic: Content Curation

Content curation is becoming more and more a big topic online. As you may or may not know, we launched full content strategy services that include content curation in late 2014. Here are a few great guides that explain content curation in general, and a few more specific posts that offer intelligent insight, including a few of our own guest blogs.

 

 

And, a bonus link…

 

BONUS:

Five Social Media Predictions for 2015 via HuffingtonPost, authored by Tania Yuki. In this brief but thorough piece, Tania explores how social media will change in 2015, including a focus on more personalization and building real relationships. People won’t be in “static buckets” anymore. Since content is all about real people, we totally agree with Tania! She also predicts that Snapchat will become more popular than ever.