Content Marketing

Balance your Mix of Stock and Flow Content Like A Pro

There’s been an artificial dichotomy in blogs for some time: original versus curated content. 

Each model has proven successful. And that’s the point – they should. Curation and original content are two ends of a spectrum in which you have a balance of material that works for you … and that you create or choose to best express what your site and company are about.

Of course, the particular balance depends on your resources and your needs.

Original Content

This can be a strong draw for an audience, because it’s presumably something unavailable elsewhere. When you have the right original content, results are sticky because you give people something they can’t find elsewhere. You also have the opportunity to develop a unique voice and personality for the company.

However, there are some drawbacks. Someone has to create the custom content. To get something of quality can be either expensive (depending on how much you need created) or time consuming (if you decide to write it yourself). Even if you hire a writer, it can take more of your time to communicate the style and type of material you’re looking for. Put the necessary time into blogging and you may find yourself diverted from other aspects of your business.

Curated Content

This is in theory much easier to obtain. You find links whose content supports the message you’re trying to deliver through your blog. Another advantage is volume. It becomes easy to refresh your site with new material. Curated content is less expensive to assemble than creating custom content.

But, like original content, there are obstacles. Any number of other sites, including those that belong to your competitors, might choose similar links. You can’t guarantee that yours is the only site that mentions the links, so your search engine ranking takes a hit. And it’s not as though it’s effortless. You still need to add a unique take or angle that helps your audience see the relevance. Plus, maintenance can be a little difficult. A site might change its Web structure and suddenly break any link you’ve made to it.But there’s no reason to stand at one end or the other.

Stock and Flow

A mix of stock and flow content is the best way to approach your blog. Stock content is the original material, longer in form that expresses your views and personality. It will bring the audience in the first place because it’s your site’s unique selling proposition.

At the same time, you can use flow content — curated aggregation — to add more volume to your site. With proper curation, where you add something to the conversation, you also help build bridges with other sites and increase your SEO strength.

The good news is that you don’t have to nail  the “right” amount of each right away. Find a mix that seems to address your audience, your communication needs, and your resources by experimenting. For example, see what happens when you mix the two together or keep them in separate areas. Try different schedules of when you add curated and original content. Just be sure to watch the metrics for how your audience reacts.

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