AskPat 466 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here. Thank you for joining me today. This is Episode 466 of AskPat, and as always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business related questions five days a week.
Thank you for joining me and we have a greatquestion today from Jonah but before I get to Jonah's question, I do want to thank today's sponsor first up, Lynda.com. Lynda.com is a learning platform online that you can use with over 3000 on-demand video courses. These aren't just little YouTube videos, these are professionally shot, studio quality courses to help you strengthen your business tact and creative skills. Everything from how to use particular applications, I've used it to learn more about Excel, photo shop and things like that to how to code to tax fundamentals for your business growth, hacking stuff, there's all kinds of things here. You got to check it out and you can check it out for free for 10 days if you go to Lynda.com/AskPat, again that's L-Y-N-D-A dot com/AskPat. You're going to love it. You won't regret it, for sure.
All right, here's today's question from Jonah.
Jonah: Hey, Pat. It's Jonah Kelly from TestingtheMuse.com. Thanks for being so consistent. Your content and guests always keep me thinking. Today's question relates to curated content. I stumbled across paper.li recently and, looking a bit deeper, noticed several WordPress plug-ins for curated content. I could see this format as ideal for generating content for some of my niche sites which are currently more static than a blog. I guess my question is, what's your opinion of curated content, whether in a blog or newsletter format? And do you have any experience with this? Mainly any pros or cons stuff, or any suggested etiquette, and of course, if you have any recommended plug-ins for anyone who might be interested. Again, thanks for all your hard work, Pat. Take care.
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, Jonah? Thank you so much for the question. Just really quick for everybody out there, I want to define what curated content is, and then I'll get into your answer. Curated content or content curation is the process of collecting, organizing and sharing … Displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. You might have a website, and it might not just be your own particular posts, but you'd be able to curate by collecting, organizing other people's content, other resources, other information out there, to curate that content. And you would be known as a curator if that's something that you do. There's a lot of services out there that do this and, like you said, there are a lot of plug-ins too. There's are a lot of … Paper.li—that is a great one, very popular one that people have used to collect content and display them in a certain way that is automated.
I have mixed feelings about this. I think if you're trying to build a website and trying to become the authority on something, which is the way I recommend building an online business today, there's obviously a ton of ways to build online businesses but if you're going to build a business that way, if you're going to become a brand, if you're going to become the trusted advisor, as J. Erhan would say, for a particular group of people, curated content is important because you want to make sure that you cover all your bases. You also are connected with other people in that space. You would only be able to serve everybody in the best way if you knew everything that is going on out there and share that information too.
Where a lot of people get into trouble is with this automation thing, where they feel like they can click a button or turn on the switch and have this plug-in, or automation, or other people even, curate the content, where it would then be published on your site and that would be it. Now there's a fine line there, of course, and we'll get into the credit and all that stuff later, which is important too.
What I'm saying is, if you're trying to build a brand and you're trying to be the voice for an audience, you can't always share other people's voices. You can't always share other people's stuff; you have to come up with your own stuff. You can start with other people's content in terms of getting inspiration from them, having them become a talking or discussion point, where you come in with your own voice or point or angle on something, but I think it's really important that no matter what, if you're trying to become that expert, if you're trying to become that trusted advisor, you have to speak like an advisor. You have to own your own voice and own your knowledge and actually share that with your own points of view. Really own that. I think it's really important to do that.
I don't mind—I'm not disgusted by these tools or content curation, not at all, but I am disgusted by those people who think that this is the easy way to build out a niche site, for example. They might have a niche site on some topic and put these plug-ins in that automatically scrape anybody who mentions these topics and puts that information on their website. That's not very high value, really, and you lose your voice, because you're just sharing other people's stuff. But if there was another way for you to, for example, use Google alerts or BuzzSumo—BuzzSumo's a great tool that you could use to get alerts, not just from Google mentions of different websites but all across social media. It allows you to understand what's being talked about in your particular space and then you can come in and have a lot of ideas for a different blog post that you could write, again in your own voice, different topics, different angles; you could take on things that are already being written. You can link to those things too. You give credit to those people. Obviously you want to do that, and then you can also foster a relationship with people through backlinks and trackbacks and all those sorts of things, because when you link to somebody else they're going to know, especially if there's some traffic coming through. If you have your own take on something, it might be interesting for you to either take that further or have a totally different angle, in which case you would have a nice discussion with this person on the other end who is the original curator or the original person who has posted that content.
Again, you're not copying. That's the thing. That's where people get into trouble: they just copy, or they think that a link is okay for credit, and that's it. In addition to wanting to have your own voice on your site, if you want to become that expert, you need to use common sense here. Would you want somebody else posting your own stuff every time you posted on their site without giving you credit back? No, of course not. Now even if you were to give credit back, a link maybe doesn't do as much justice as it used to, because … Whenever I publish a blog post I see it published on other sites too, and I've just had to learn to deal with this. It's like, “Why do you do that?” And these sites they just scrape the RSS feed, it's from certain sites, to put all this stuff together, and it's not very valuable. There are some sites out there that help in that regard, but when it's a niche site trying to build authority, that's not what's going to happen. It's not really that helpful.
I'm kind of just rambling here, Jonah, but I hope you can get an idea of what my take is on this. I think it's important to be a curator of content in your particular space, but then not just copy that information and share it on your site, even if you were to give credit to it. You need to put your own voice, you need to put your own spin on it, you need to become that expert and that leader in your space, and you can't be a leader by seeing what else is out there and organizing it. It's important to do that, but you need to put your own stuff into it as well.
So, Jonah, I hope that makes sense and at least creates a nice starting point for this discussion. If anybody else has any interesting comments or takes on content curation and what that means exactly, and also your take on it, head on over to Twitter and use the hashtag #AskPat466; again, hashtag #AskPat466. We can continue the discussion on Twitter to keep it going if anybody has any interesting thoughts or comments. The cool thing about that is that will live on Twitter for a good amount of time, so we can always check. No matter when you're listening to this, you could just check the hashtag and see what people have said, if anything.
Jonah, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate it. We're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you who are listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
I also want to thank today's second sponsor which is LegalZoom.com. LegalZoom is a site that I've used several times in the past for a number of things, including trademarking Smart Passive Income, incorporating Smart Passive Income. I've used it for wills, and I've used it for DBAs or “doing business as.” Both personal and business-related things, it makes it super easy to do those things; much more economical too. LegalZoom is not a law firm, but that's how they provide such great advice. They don't rely on charging you by the hour; instead, you'll get transparent pricing and customer reviews. They're also, like I said, they're not lawyers, but they have the right people on hand to answer your questions. If you need legal advice and the work of independent attorneys, can provide the straightforward guidance you need in most states. Don't let legal hurdles become an excuse. Go to LegalZoom.com today and start building your own future the right way, whether personal or business. To save you even more, enter “Pat” in the referral box at checkout. That's LegalZoom.com, promo code “Pat.”
Thank you all so much for listening. I appreciate it, and here's a quote to finish up the day by Gandhi. He says, “To lose patience is to lose the battle.” Hear, hear. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you the next episode of AskPat. Thanks.
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