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Blogging the Lure and What They Say

 

At Say It For You, I’m always on the lookout for different “templates” for presenting information about any business or professional practice. The “nucleus” around which business blog posts are formed is their topic (issues, products, services and advice related to their field). Although the general topic remains the same over time, there is endless variety that can be used to make each blog post special, with one way being the use of different templates.

Browsing through a magazine called Where to Retire, I found an interesting template in a long article naming the 50 Best Master-Planned Communities in the United States. For each community, the report consisted of two longer sections: the Lure (special features of that community) and “What Residents Say” (testimonials), followed by facts and statistics (the name of the developer, the price, the monthly homeowner fee, and whether the community is age-restricted).

Whenever you have several pieces of information to impart, consider different “templates” that can unify them under one umbrella. The “template” is the glue that ties the different pieces of information together and makes the information more usable for readers.

Collating and curating are two ways blog content writers deliver value to readers:

In collating, we gather content from our own former blog posts, newsletters, or even emails, adding material from other people’s blogs and articles, and from magazine content or books. We then organize that material into categories, summarizing the main ideas we think our readers will find useful. The Where to Retire article is a perfect example of collation.

Curating goes one important step further, progressing from information-dispensing to offering the business owner’s (or the professional’s, or the organizational executive’s) unique perspective on issues related to the search topic. When curation is really successful, two things happen:

  1. Readers relate to the “curator” – you, the author of the blog post – as an involved person who is personally engaged with the subject.
  2. Readers realize there’s something here that’s important and useful for them.

Blogging “the lure” is a perfect example of collation combined with testimonials!

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Collating and Curating in Business Blogs – What’s the Dif?

curating content

 

“Expressing our love, gratitude and appreciation to others on the New Year by sending happy New Year messages for friends and loved ones is a great way to share in this spirit of renewal and joy with those around us,” Richard Kronick writes in the Huffington Post, proceeding to list samples of funny New Year wishes, happy New Year images, and happy New Year wishes for friends and family.

What Kronick has done is collate, meaning he has collected information from different sources and organized that information in a new way.  Collating, in fact, is one important way in which business blog content writers can bring value to readers. Using content from our own former blog posts, newsletters, or even emails, adding material from other people’s blogs and articles, from magazine content, or from books, we can collate that material into new categories, summarizing the main ideas we think our readers will find useful.

In his introductory remarks, Kronick has taken at least a small step into curating, which goes further than merely putting together collections. In fact, effective blog posts must go from information-dispensing to offering the business owner’s (or the professional’s, or the organizational executive’s) unique perspective on issues related to the search topic.

Think of an art museum. “Too often, when people walk into a museum, they secretly think, I can’t see the point of this,” says Alain de Botton in Art as Therapy. The curator’s job, he explains, is to take the “snob factor” out of art, offering perspective on each painting, so as to help viewers connect with the artist’s vision. That’s actually a very good description of the way business bloggers can help online readers connect with information presented in a blog post. That information might have been taken from various sources, represent a review of trending news topics, or consist of facts and statistics that need to be put into perspective so that readers realize there’s something important here for them.

As a freelance blog writer, I’ve always known that linking to outside sources is a good tactic for adding breadth and depth to my blog content.  Linking to a news source or magazine article, for instance, adds credibility to the ideas I’m expressing.

Collation and curation – they are both tools we blog writers use to stay in touch – and keep our readers in touch with new ideas and current happenings.

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