Curating Content: Make Your Business Blog a Masterpiece

Consumerism, social networking, and SEO have changed dramatically in the past five years, so much so that startups and established businesses alike are feeling overwhelmed.

“When and where should I post?” and “What’s the best article we can push today?” and “How can I get a better Google PageRank?” are the questions on everyone’s minds, and they’re having an interesting impact on website content management and design.

Many business blogs throw everything out there but the kitchen sink – the “spray-and-pray” approach – hoping to connect with anyone they can. This reflects a lack of research and planning: a lack of attention toward curating content. Other blogs freeze up and melt away because of time constraints and no immediate results. In addition, decoding algorithms, staying ahead of marketing trends, and keeping up with evolving social media can relegate curating content itself to a secondary consideration.

Given the demands of running a business, all of this is understandable. But it’s also unsustainable for companies aiming to make a lasting impact. Implementing a blog that attracts visitors via search and social and can convert them into clients requires hard work, resources, and – yes – even a little patience.

It all begins with curating content. Here’s how we can help bring it back to the forefront of the conversation.

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Blog Optimization: An SEO Primer for Beginners

If you don’t have a strong working knowledge of blog optimization, you’ll have a hard time getting ranked in search engines.

By now, many businesses understand that SEO is a major audience development strategy used by digital publishers, organic digital marketers, and any website owner that recognizes the potential in search. As an SEO writer, I’ve seen up close the positive results of utilizing a comprehensive SEO strategy. This has included numerous page one rankings for keywords that I’ve researched for BuzzFarmers clients looking for a boost in traffic – and, more importantly, customer conversions.

Are you struggling with how to SEO a blog post? Don’t stress! Let’s take a look at some of the rules for optimizing your digital content. Think of it as an SEO primer, with this very post serving as a great example!

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Marketing Genius: Tools for Peace and Marketing to Young People

Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.

One of the most disturbing moments (of many) in the recently released Fed Up – a scathing documentary about the role of sugar in the rise of obesity in the United States – shows an exec from McDonald’s testifying before Congress.

When asked about the company’s advertising practices in marketing to young people, the exec doesn’t blink an eye.

“We don’t market to children,” she tells the committee in an unnerving monotone, as if brainwashed. “Ronald McDonald informs and inspires by magic and fun.”

Scary stuff. Hey, some mega-chains decide to do the right thing, and some don’t. Sometimes, it takes a nonprofit to teach them a little corporate responsibility – or at least set a good example for others.

Yes, McDonald’s makes trillions marketing to young people. Tools for Peace just makes the world a better place marketing to young people.

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What Bob Ross Can Teach Us About Creativity as a Process in Content Marketing

For 11 years, Bob Ross delighted PBS viewers with The Joy of Painting, a half-hour show featuring the artist re-creating various scenes, settings, and objects on his canvas.

What was brilliant about Ross was that every movement he made on the show was like watching the Buddha explain the mysteries of the universe. When you were through, you felt energized to accomplish grandiose feats with a paint brush. You felt serene, happy, and inspired. Ross was known to make very subtle jokes throughout his show that allowed the audience to float between awe and laughter during the episode.

In the current “constant flow of information” culture of the 21st century, we sometimes don’t know what we should hold back or show to the public. The DIY culture is alive and strong. People want to know your brand’s narrative at a cursory glance, and lots of folks like to look behind the curtain to see what makes your company tick in determining whether they should give you their business.

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What an Audience Wants: Does Blog Post Length Matter?

Content publishers are still wondering whether they should play the short game or go long.

It’s an interesting conundrum that we face in the digital world, because some of our audience members only want to consume content quickly. Other audiences want content that’s thorough, similar to what would be found in magazines or newsletters.

But what does all of this really mean for content publishers?

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You Won’t Believe Why Upworthy Headlines Don’t Work for B2B Blogs

Catchy headlines are powerful, but there’s one type of headline that’s more powerful.

“This Designer Just Did Something Amazing To His Shelves… And Now You Can Too” –

“I Hope You’re As Angry As I Am About What She Says At 0:31″ –

“You’ll Never Believe What This Guy Did During an Airport Layover” –

“You’ll Never Believe Who Made Our Best Dressed List This Week” –

“You’ll Never Guess Who the ‘Most Dangerous Celebrity’ Is” –

If you’ve been reading the web, say, at any point this year, then perhaps you’ve stumbled upon this familiar headline formula. It goes by many names, but the most accurate is the curiosity-gap headline. The newly re-popularized curiosity gap headline makes a huge promise to the reader and provokes their curiosity to click.

This headline archetype has been used since the printing press rolled out its first inked-up parchment, but sites like Upworthy have brought it back in vogue (and out of vogue), while other sites have jumped on the bandwagon. Now they’re being called Upworthy headlines.


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Business + Comics: Unlikely Partners in Blog Content

“BAM!” and “POW!” and “BANG!” are onomatopoeia that still come to mind when we talk about comics.

Take a minute to go back and read those words, and you’ll realize that more than even seeing the word in your mind, you hear the sound of it. This is a big part of the power of comics. It has been said that this power is not found in what happens amid the panels, but what the mind’s eye generates in between.

But what is a comic? To me, and to a lot of others out there in the world, a comic is when you take more than one static image and place them in a sequence. That’s pretty much it. The Lascaux cave paintings in France are some of the oldest forms of human communication we have been able to find, and technically I would consider them a giant cave comic. The biggest element of comics that speaks to human existence is the use of symbols and simplified imagery to convey a narrative. Businesses do this all of the time. Or they should be.

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Editorial Planning: A Publishing Calendar for Your Posts

Every blog deserves an editorial calendar. This will ensure that you’re publishing content at a steady frequency. It will also help your editorial planning so your best content is ready to run.

Once you decide on a schedule, stick to it. Publishing content three to five days each week is always a good idea, because it keeps your website fresh for search engines, and it gives your audience a lot of content to consume. With an astounding amount of stuff available online, it’s important to push out high-quality content consistently. You could even publish multiple times each day if you have enough resources and an active readership.

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Marketing Genius: Marriott Joins Publishing Brands With Multiplatform Content

Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.

Is Marriott the first company to pivot into content marketing and publishing? No way. Are they the first hotel chain to do so? Not necessarily, depending on your definition. But they’re definitely unique in the energy and resources (which, of course, as a corporate property, they have more of than most) that they’re investing in a push billed as an industry breakthrough.

After partnering with the likes of Fast Company, Mashable, and Wired on their “Travel Brilliantly” campaign earlier this year to pair sponsored content with prestige editorial, Marriott now counts itself among businesses transforming into publishing brands. As it turns out, they were just dipping their toe before diving in.

Their September 29 announcement of a new “global studio” says that it will include “content development, production and distribution teams – dedicated to publishing, distributing, and sharing digital and filmed content across film, television, online, digital, and print distribution platforms.”

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10 Jewelry Blog Ideas to Dazzle Your Potential Customers

A diamond is forever. It’s also a girl’s best friend. Women love pretty pearls and beautiful baubles. Gemstones glisten. If you like it, then you better put a ring on it. Every kiss begins with wherever he went to buy it.

We’ve all heard these clichés in the jewelry business for decades, but who can blame stores and manufacturers for leaning on them for so long? The business is all about glamorous products aimed at women. For chains with big TV ad budgets, it’s easy to sell beauty, especially when it comes wrapped up in emotion or romance. But for jewelry makers and retailers in a market more crowded than the setting in Kim Kardashian West’s wedding ring, the story is the most important part. It’s one of your few opportunities to separate yourself from the pack.

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