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Old 13th July 2012, 11:53 AM   #1
Sanity Check
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Default Content Is King, So Crown 'Em!, Part 2

Last year, I wrote a post entitled, "Content Is King, So Crown 'Em!" which has received pretty nice reviews.

This year, I figured I'd go one step better and give you an even easier way to create tons of new content. It's called "curating and abstracting", and it's a service I sell to my own customers.

For the purposes of this article, I'll call this concept, "Content Is King, So Crown 'Em!, Part 2".

Curating is an easy concept. You simply look for existing content related to your topic or keyword and choose the best of all the stuff you find.

Abstracting is also absurdly simple. Abstracting is simply writing a short summary, roughly 50-100 words, about some content you found somewhere, then putting it in a blog post (or web page, although blogs are much easier in high volume), and adding a link to the original article.

Curating and abstracting is a 100% legitimate way to create new content without actually creating the content. All you have to do is create the summary, the "abstract" of the existing content you found somewhere else.

You can write abstracts about:
  1. Articles
  2. Blog Items
  3. Videos
  4. Infographics
  5. News Items
Just make sure you limit your selections to stuff that isn't spammy.

Also, don't include quotes from the stuff you're abstracting. That makes your abstracts less interesting.

You also do not want to curate and abstract stuff that, when you read or see it, makes you say, "Hmm, that's not bad," or "That could work." That stuff doesn't has as much of an audience.

Instead, you should try to curate and abstract only the stuff that makes you say, "Wow!", "Cool!", "Interesting!", "Fantastic!", etc.

So go do some curating and abstracting. Have fun!

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Old 13th July 2012, 12:17 PM   #2
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Do you have any current examples of what you done?

How many views has something you've abstracted or curated gotten?

The concept scares me a little because of duplicate content issues. Not to say that it won't work.

I've seen something like curating done to every post on my blog, one is fine, but don't constantly do it from one persons blog or they might end up getting annoyed and contacting you.

The only reason they might allow one is for a link from your site but you might as well only have 1 link from 1 root domain for a link to be most beneficial. This would only be acceptable by someone if your doing from a at least 3-4 PR site or blog.

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Old 13th July 2012, 01:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike.Bean View Post
Do you have any current examples of what you done?

How many views has something you've abstracted or curated gotten?

The concept scares me a little because of duplicate content issues. Not to say that it won't work.

I've seen something like curating done to every post on my blog, one is fine, but don't constantly do it from one persons blog or they might end up getting annoyed and contacting you.

The only reason they might allow one is for a link from your site but you might as well only have 1 link from 1 root domain for a link to be most beneficial. This would only be acceptable by someone if your doing from a at least 3-4 PR site or blog.
First of all, there is a huge difference between abstracting and scraping. Scraping is just copying content from one place to publish it somewhere else, usually without permission. Abstracting has its own text and its own page title, so it's not like scraping at all.

Also, one should never do anything like this via spinning, which is simply a variation on scraping.

Regarding live examples, you can find examples all over the place. Consider sites like digg.com, reddit.com, stumbleupon.com,etc. Those sites originate none of the content they draw from. The only thing they offer that provides unique content is the short descriptions and reader commentary that accompany the stuff.

Consider many smaller news aggregation sites.

Consider any sites or blogs that do short reviews.

That's essentially what this is.

If you think about it, even Twitter is largely an abstraction site, considering how many links get shared via tweets. The difference is that the abstracts are much, much shorter.

The amount of views any particular abstract gets depends upon a wide range of factors, including popularity of the topic, presence of your site in the SERPs, how big the audience is, etc.

Never think in terms of PR levels. That's useless. Also, don't think in terms of keywords. Think in terms of topics and useful information, and share lots of it. I usually recommend adding at least 1-3 posts per day, preferably 5-10 per day.

Having said that, abstracting in large quantities at a fairly steady rate over a long period of time will certainly help your site's authority level.

Duplicate content is only a concern if you copy-and-paste from the original article or if you use the same headline as the original article. I strongly recommend against both those practices.

People are only concerned (rightly so) about links from bad neighborhoods. Is your site in a bad neighborhood? Is it a contributor to a bad neighborhood? Is it the source of a bad neighborhood? If so, you've got much, much bigger problems to think about.


Last edited by Sanity Check; 13th July 2012 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 13th July 2012, 02:00 PM   #4
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Oh, by the way, if you want to see my own blog behind my website, you're welcome to it. I only started abstracting in earnest there recently, but you can at least see the kind of thing I'm talking about.


Last edited by Sanity Check; 13th July 2012 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 13th July 2012, 04:24 PM   #5
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You make some good points.

1. You seem to get a majority of your blog posts from pure content, writer access, & interact media. Have you found out if this was okay from them? Even though I'm sure it is, your giving them free traffic.

2. These are quick 100 word posts, even if you put the post completely in your own words, Google will not see it as quality content right? Although this is a great compilation of other great articles in a way that will not be seen as duplicate content so I can see that as a great benefit.

But that brings me to my big question

3. What is the purpose of this blog? Are you getting paid by these other websites? are you planning on using AdSence?

Another big question I have

4. How are people finding this site? I don't see it from being organic search's is it?

Keep in mind I'm really just curious to learn more & to figure out how and why this is working for you because it clearly is. It's a decently ranked site that seems to be getting a decent amount of traffic.

I really like your first post on this topic by the way. That is how I've been working on my blog

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Old 14th July 2012, 06:35 AM   #6
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So, I have a blog for my junk removal business; should I write a combination of articles pertaining to junk removal, lifting techniques, home improvement, etc? Or should I just write about any topic I know a thing or two about, regardless of whether it relates to our business just so I have original content? What are your thoughts? Thanks!

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Old 14th July 2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JunkDawgs View Post
So, I have a blog for my junk removal business; should I write a combination of articles pertaining to junk removal, lifting techniques, home improvement, etc? Or should I just write about any topic I know a thing or two about, regardless of whether it relates to our business just so I have original content? What are your thoughts? Thanks!
JunkDawgs you really want to focus on content that's relevant to your business. It's easy to get caught up in random topics, but those rarely help you convert visits into customers.

A good idea would be to focus on providing information that people are searching for. For example what are some frequently asked questions you get on a daily basis? Those make for excellent topics. When you're out on a job, snap a few pictures and discuss how you provided a solution and title the blog post with the type of job you did.

I also use Google Analytics to see what keywords are driving traffic to my site to determine what people are searching for. Google search works too. When you search for keywords Google will sometimes give recommendations based on what others are searching for, these make good blog posts as well.

Be consistent but don't worry about 3 or 4 posts a week. Focus on solid, informational content.

Good luck.

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Old 14th July 2012, 04:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike.Bean View Post
You make some good points.

1. You seem to get a majority of your blog posts from pure content, writer access, & interact media. Have you found out if this was okay from them? Even though I'm sure it is, your giving them free traffic.

2. These are quick 100 word posts, even if you put the post completely in your own words, Google will not see it as quality content right? Although this is a great compilation of other great articles in a way that will not be seen as duplicate content so I can see that as a great benefit.

But that brings me to my big question

3. What is the purpose of this blog? Are you getting paid by these other websites? are you planning on using AdSence?

Another big question I have

4. How are people finding this site? I don't see it from being organic search's is it?

Keep in mind I'm really just curious to learn more & to figure out how and why this is working for you because it clearly is. It's a decently ranked site that seems to be getting a decent amount of traffic.

I really like your first post on this topic by the way. That is how I've been working on my blog
To answer your questions:

(1) I've never had any objections so far, and the other people I know who do this have not reported any objections either. Again, I believe the real consideration here is what neighborhood you are in. If your site is a legit site, and if you don't engage in dubious link building schemes (I personally consider all artificial link building schemes to be dubious, just to be on the safe side), then I doubt very much anyone will complain.

(2) "Google will not see it as quality content right?" What makes you think Google won't see it as quality content?

(3) The purposes of the blog are as follows:
  1. To help build my audience
  2. To increase my site's authority level
  3. To create link bait
  4. To create value
  5. To add content
  6. To participate in active, online discussions

I don't worry about monetizing directly with the blog. Rather, I see it as a way of extending my reach to attract all of the above.

(4) My own site is in a very competitive market, and I've only been heavily abstracting on it for a week or two. So I haven't seen any increase in traffic yet directly from abstracting. Still, I'm confident it will come if I keep going.

However, for my customers' sites, many of them are in less competitive markets, so it's easier to make a dent. I have an e-commerce customer who sells search and rescue gear. One month of abstracting produced a significant increase in traffic for her. The moment she stopped, it fell off again. So there appears to be a recency phenomenon of some kind associated with it.

Another customer provides residential tree services. We've been abstracting pretty heavily for a couple of months now on his site, and it's helping improve his site's authority such that he now appears on page one for two of his three favorite keywords. After five months of article writing on his site, we hadn't gotten there yet. The abstracting put us over the top.

It's not really clear why traffic shows up with abstracting, and it seems to vary from site to site. My best guess is that an abstracting site is perceived by Google as being an active site, and there does seem to be something in the algorithm that responds positively to a site being active.

I also believe that the abstracting tends to broaden the discussion a bit on the site, and unexpected searches for keywords we hadn't even contemplated end up showing up over time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JunkDawgs View Post
So, I have a blog for my junk removal business; should I write a combination of articles pertaining to junk removal, lifting techniques, home improvement, etc? Or should I just write about any topic I know a thing or two about, regardless of whether it relates to our business just so I have original content? What are your thoughts? Thanks!
I partially agree with focusgroup. I think you really need to focus on topics that are at least related in some way to either your business or your audience, or both. That's what a topic bridge is all about. I don't think you have to write SOLELY about your business, though.

Since your business is junk removal, it depends who your clients are.

If your clients are home owners, then also writing about stuff related to home owner interests and keeping a home clean and tidy would be appropriate, since homeowners often want junk removed in order to make their homes look and feel better.

However, writing about junk bonds would be clearly off-topic. It's too long of a bridge, because the only thing in common is the word "junk", and the word is used quite differently in the two cases.

Hope that helps.

By the way, I ran across some discussions on the topic of abstracting. Not everyone likes it, but more people seem to like it than not.

Here is an example of a post by blogger who finds the concept offensive. However, the comments she received are just as interesting as her post itself.

On the other hand, I found this post which directly responded to her post and took issue with her position, siding more with the kind of thing I'm doing.

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Old 14th July 2012, 05:15 PM   #9
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Thank you for the response and that is what I was hoping you would say. Most of my entries to this point have been about job types, like focusgroup mentioned and then also topics related to home improvement like how to find reliable companies, how to keep home free of clutter, proper lifting techniques, etc.

However, another question I have that is related, is how do I get people to read my blog? haha I know that's a pretty typical question, but since my business is junk removal it seems as though developing an audience will be pretty difficult since my topics are not very mainstream.

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Old 15th July 2012, 06:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JunkDawgs View Post
Thank you for the response and that is what I was hoping you would say. Most of my entries to this point have been about job types, like focusgroup mentioned and then also topics related to home improvement like how to find reliable companies, how to keep home free of clutter, proper lifting techniques, etc.

However, another question I have that is related, is how do I get people to read my blog? haha I know that's a pretty typical question, but since my business is junk removal it seems as though developing an audience will be pretty difficult since my topics are not very mainstream.
What you're talking about is really basic marketing, regardless of whether it's online or offline. Most people confuse marketing with advertising, but they are not the same. Marketing is about identifying your target audience and defining what it is they want, what need they have that you can fill, then filing it. Advertising, on the other hand, is about interrupting people with a message about what you do. Advertising can be a marketing method, but the two are not equivalent.

In general, what you want to do is to talk on your blog about stuff that your audience (if you had one) would want to hear.

The easiest way to visualize what your audience would like to hear is to create what's known as a "persona" of them. A persona is a composite "person" that is representative of a large segment of your audience. You know your customers. What are their common characteristics?

Most service people make the mistake of saying things like, "Well, everyone uses a service like mine." Actually, that's not true. Only a small segment of any given population uses a given kind of service. After all, there are a lot of do-it-yourselfers out there who never use your service, right? So what is it about your segment of society that chooses to seek you out? What are your persona's characteristics?

I'm not going to try to answer this question for you, because that's your job. You know your customers a heck of a lot better than I do.

Try to answer these questions:

(1) Who is my audience?
(2) What characteristics do they have in common?
(3) What interests do they have in common?
(4) What demographic factors are predominant among them?

Address and answer these questions as well as you can, and it will become much more obvious how to develop such an audience and reach them with your blog. If you're not sure, talk to your customers. Ask them questions. Get to know them better.

Once you've defined your customer persona, it should suggest to you certain topics that are a potential basis for online discussion. The next step is to go to various social media sites, online forums, news sites, other blogs, YouTube, or whatever and look for examples of discussions of those kinds already taking place. That's what you should blog about.

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