About Scott Scanlon
Scott Scanlon is creator and owner of Curation Suite, a content curation platform that gives you the power to curate and publish in any niche or market. Scott is an entrepreneur with over 10+ years in digital marketing and a background in the U.S. Army, music industry, real estate, technical consulting, and business development. Scott is also a coder and still enjoys the zen like flow of developing when he has time.
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Well Scott thanks so much for taking the time to be with us. I'm just going to dive right in with you because I think the topic and the thing that you're an expert at with content your curation is going to be really interesting to the people in the crowd with recurring revenue radio. So right off the bat let's start really elementary and why don't you just tell us a little bit about yourself kind of what your background is and then how you became to be an expert on this idea called content curation.
[00:01:07] Well first of all Richard thanks for inviting me to the show. I'm excited to have our conversation here. I guess for a quick background on me I've been an entrepreneur for probably going on well over 10 years have been in digital marketing a good part of that that actually is where I got a lot of my experience. I would say I learned a lot of the secrets of entrepreneurship in kind of combining my digital experience as well. You know I could go probably for the next two minutes on my background but I ran a real estate management company that ran a digital marketing agency. And at the tail end of the digital marketing agency we created a product called curation suite which was a content curation product and it really was from scratch in our own image.
[00:01:58] We were we were in deep doing content marketing blogging social media engagement and everything else. And we really wanted a product that allowed us to to easily curated content and for people that maybe don't know what content curation is all content creation is is when you're citing another blog post another article another video or an image and you're posting that to your own side of your own blog every site out there does it. Sometimes they call it reporting but you can look at how they are maybe signing something and really call it content curation to make sense.
[00:02:38] Yeah. And so why why do that. What's what's the benefit of doing that.
[00:02:42] Well there's a couple of reasons the first. First the best reason is that it is the quickest way to do content creation content marketing that exists. So most people want to do Inbound Marketing and they want to actually drive traffic to their Web site. They want to produce content and in fact you should be producing content no matter what you do. I know you have a lot of people that are interested in authority and building an authority that listen. That's really the key that's the lifeblood of the web is content and content curation is the quickest form of content that you can do because first up the idea is already there and all you're doing is adding your own thoughts you're highlighting that other idea you're highlighting that other piece of content.
[00:03:25] So it's the quickest form of content that's that really allowed that that's out there that you're able to do. The other reason for it is that it really does put you into the ecosystem of your market.
[00:03:39] So when you're curating content you're typically curating from things that people you're interested in attracting are already reading or already interested in or it's in the same realm. So when you do more content curation you're participating even more in the ecosystem of the people that you're looking to attract.
[00:04:00] You're looking to reach some make sense.
[00:04:02] Yeah perfectly. And so for let's let's just say for instance a lot of the people that listen to the show are authors and they speak for a living and they write content. Why. Why should they be embracing what we're talking about here with Quantic curation. It
[00:04:18] really comes down to what I said. So let's let's contrast let's say you you you believe in in marketing you know you've got a Web site you sell a product so you sell a book. Right. So you're an author you're selling your authority so maybe you have a training and other stuff. Really your goal is to get people to visit your web site to convert. That's really your primary goal in driving traffic. So in the amount of time that it would take you to do a blog post of maybe seven hundred thousand words you could do anywhere from five to ten curation depending on how quick you are. So really it's just in some aspects it's a speed thing.
[00:04:58] One of the biggest things I like to to stress to people especially when we do consulting with people is that content curation while it's in this little box it's really not a different it's not something unique. It's just another type of content.
[00:05:13] So it's a quicker type of content.
[00:05:15] It's so it's it's not if you could think about it that way then really the world opens up for you to embrace it and use it in your own marketing. So make sense.
[00:05:24] Yeah yeah. And so and I think that's a perfect example like authors and speakers if they're focusing on a world where they're teaching sales content to be able to go out and curate other content people that are also teaching that. I think it does two things it adds value to their audience number one which is the most important thing. That obviously it continues to get them to come to your side or remember who you are and what you're doing.
[00:05:46] And I'll even go deeper because I know you have a really advanced audience they're really really intelligent audience. So in your example of a sales trainer you know you could cure eight content on sales. But the best thing to do and here's how you really you really make content curation work for you is you don't curate stuff on sales maybe you curate stuff on psychology and so you follow a psychology topic and you look at the latest releases a lot of conversations around psychology because you know to be a good salesperson you have to know the psychology of the person on the other side of the table. So how you differentiate yourself as a curator is that yeah you could cure just the sales stuff and do well with that. But if you can curate the psychology stuff and then related to how you provide value to the marketplace. You Konna discovered one of the secrets of content curation that would make you shine even more than anybody else out there that dive deeper into that like practically.
[00:06:48] I mean are you guys doing that. That's a fascinating idea. First of all that you could go out and content. I mean because there's then then really the sky's the limit for places where you can gather content right.
[00:07:01] Absolutely. We call it horizontal topics. So we look at you look at your market and you say OK what am my primary topics and you define your primary topics so if the end of the sales train are going to say sales to say negotiation and I'm going to follow topics like that. So we have a product called the listening engine you would set up topics to do that. But what we also stress to people is actually where the gold is is the horizontal topics and these are the topics that you could find related. You could find content to relate it because it's going to set you apart to give you an example. We curated something once on dolphins and how they interact individually and then in a group and then we related that how you can use that in social media interactions in a group and individually.
[00:07:46] And I can pretty much guarantee that no one else out there in the marketing world took that study on dolphins and then related it to how you can do it with social media. So it's. And we found that article by following a psychology top. So we follow psychology topics we follow even follow some of the the technology kind of what's the word for the stars. When you look into the stars. Oh astronomy.
[00:08:14] Yes. Astrology or astronomy.
[00:08:17] Yeah astronomy topics will follow some of that we felt so we follow kind of these what we consider horizontal topics and most of our creations.
[00:08:26] And as I say most of the ones that do well are the ones that are unique that are from more horizontal topics because they there's something new there's something. It's something that people in your market aren't seeing. I mean what I'm discussing here is kind of an advanced curation topic but it's it's kind of one that really like when you figure it out when you put in an action if one you embrace content curation and then you embrace this it makes it work even better for you.
[00:08:53] Yeah. And how does practically speaking was left out in just a little bit to the fundamentals of it. So you're And I know that you're listening engineers going out and finding content curated content. You can take that content post to your side are you adding comments to it as well.
[00:09:11] Yeah so here's a good rule of thumb is generally you want to at a minimum a one to one ratio so when you're doing content curation you're going to let's say you have the article let's say on dolphins you're going to cite maybe a paragraph from that article and all of this is legal so everything's legal what you're doing with content curation is legal. That's one of the questions someone might have. You're using what's called the fair use of the copyright at that that allows you to actually cite other works of art or other content. So what you're doing is you're signing about a paragraph you having an attribution link that links over to that story and then the true value of curation is not what you're curating. It's going to sound contrary from someone that's creating a content curation tool. But the true value curation is your own thoughts and that's where you add your own commentary. It's usually you want a one to one ratio. So if you do a paragraph then you want a paragraph or more of your own commentary.
[00:10:04] And one of the key things I would stress anybody looking to do content creation is that that's the true value of curation what you want to do on a subconscious level is actually in your commentary reinforce the value that you provide to the market.
[00:10:20] So you're using that curated piece of content as a launching pad for your idea but in your commentary what you want to do is subtly reinforce why you're highlighting this this piece of article why it's important and how it relates to the value that you provide to the market. I know that sounds like a lot but it's really it's a subtle way to do commentary that I that I stress everybody follow that makes sense.
[00:10:43] Absolutely in fact there's a book that I have been picking out for the last year called Think or toys I've you ever heard of that. No I haven't tried it. Most people have it. But the bottom line is that there's. It has all these exercises about it teach yourself different ways to think. And one of the exercises I just read this was to take analogies from other parts of different businesses or industries and say you know like how is content curation like driving a race car. And then what it makes you do is it makes you think completely different about what it is that you're doing which is basically what you're saying here is you're going out and you're taking other people's ideas and you're making them relevant to your marketplace and helping people see your marketplace in a different light.
[00:11:22] Absolutely I mean that's I think content that's the other funny thing. I know a lot of your audience are these the authority figures and they're looking to be authority figures. The other thing that so I started curation sweet I was doing a daily podcast called defining new media. I should have mentioned this before but is really the genesis of why we created curation suite defining new meaning it was 10 to 15 minutes long and I would round up the top stories I found interesting that day and what I found and this is something that another side benefit of content curation is that as you're out there curating I was doing this daily for about a year and a half. I became even more of an expert in not only what I was doing but I was doing exactly what you you mentioned in the thinker toys where you were we would look at the horizontal topics. I became a little bit more of an expert and even these auxilary topics that we follow just because I was consuming so much content I was reading it. So when I was in consulting meetings or other meetings I noticed my knowledge and my ability to make connections was even greater Just because I did the daily act of doing the content curation.
[00:12:33] I mean that's another side benefit that it does for your authority for your knowledge or your understanding of the world or your marketplace. And there's many benefits to Contac curation. I found that are that are surprising when you get into it.
[00:12:46] Yeah and let me just put in one little footnote too. As far as the legal illegality of it you know in many people their listeners may not know this but if you really want to travel out of SVOD or site one of the things you have to do is have back links and you're basically creating a back link to the content site correct.
[00:13:03] Yeah. If they if they do a reciprocal black linking So that's the other thing that it does as well. So you're typically sitings citing people in your market even if you're doing horizontal stuff you're citing stuff that people would be interested in. They're going to see they're going to get a ping that hey someone mentioned your site and then they're going to check out your site. Right. So that's another it's another kind of backdoor way to get in get it into a market. In fact whenever we consult with someone that's in a new market we set up what our listening engine and we start curating for them or not for them we start curating their market for about a week or two weeks and after that week or two weeks we start working our way into the market and people start visiting the site even if it's a brand new site just because it's it's natural. Someone mentioned to you on Twitter or something you're going to check out who they are. Someone shares a link from one of your sites. You're going to check out if you're getting traffic from that site for instance.
[00:13:58] Yeah. And so practically speaking for the people that are not even bought into the show or content marketing talk you know because when I saw this one when you and I kind of connected and decided to do this interview when I looked at this because I'll tell you this I'm not great with writing blog post. I would much rather do a video or a podcast than actually sit down and write seven hundred or thousand word post for the guys that are men and women that are like me. This is really I wouldn't say it's a shortcut but it's a way to create lots of content in a short period of time right.
[00:14:30] It is a sure. I would say that it's a shortcut because it's the easiest way to create content because it goes back to some of the stuff we've already said number one when you're curating content. The idea for that content is already there so you don't have to sit down and say what do I write about. What's what's the most interesting thing I can think of today. You're simply firing up a tool. You see a story that's interesting and I'll share a secret here in a second why really why you'll never have a problem finding something interesting but you select something interesting and the ideas are already there. All you're doing is just adding your own thoughts and most people you know you know the old phrase opinions. Everybody has an opinion.
[00:15:12] Most people have an opinion. So it's really easy for people to kind of go into just adding their own opinion. That's why it's the easiest form of content out there because you're literally like you say it is a shortcut you have the idea already there and then you're just launching into Here's my thoughts. And if you just did that every single day you're going to have a library of content you're going to start participating in content. The other thing that you're going to do this is the other reason why I really do like content curation for people like you said that haven't quite built that writing muscle. I believe writing and billing and being able to persuade with writing is one of the most important skills anybody can learn. Curation will help you build that muscle because it'll build your habits around writing because it's it's the easiest form to kind of start writing every single day or every you know whatever your schedule dictates that exists that makes sense.
[00:16:09] Oh for sure. And as we were recording this the only way really to get as CEO is to have written word on blog posts. I mean that's their they can't go out and scrape video yet or any of that stuff. So to be able to have consistency where people are finding your site without you doing paid marketing is to have content on your site. This is a I agree.
[00:16:30] I think this is a great way to do both that and develop that muscle and that's the other thing I mean we always talk about with CEO we talk about the the machine side and the human side. So the human side is what does a human do when when they visit your site and then the machine side is what what can the machine see from your site. And if you're not producing any content it's like you have a house in the neighborhood you're not momen the grass you know everything is falling apart you haven't painted it in over 30 years the roof is falling off. So if you haven't produced any content that's what your website looks like to the machines. It looks like OK it's just sitting there right. But but if you're producing content and if you're doing curation just at a minimum you're at least doing the upkeep you're mowed the lawn you're making sure that things are you know tended to. So that's really the other benefit of doing curation is that it provides just that it's it's never going to be one thing I will just make sure that it's never going to be unique content. So if you have a curated piece of content and then you have a unique piece of content on the subject matter curation typically is not going to be that. SE oh wise but it's still going to provide juice for your website that say hey I'm a living breathing Web site. Hey I'm participate in the market. I'm participating in the conversation around my market. Here's what my side is about.
[00:17:51] Especially if you're doing it like I said a one to one ratio. It's going to help you in multiple ways not only from a machine side but from a human side when someone visits your site. They see that you have content you're updating it you're staying relevant with the market. So there's many benefits to doing content but there's many benefits to starting with curation or adding curation if you're already a content marketer.
[00:18:15] Oh and I can't agree more. And when I started in this whole world of online marketing content marketing I was selling high end church construction projects and I started a blog post just so I would have I was learning too. So I was getting the information I needed and pass it along to a customer. At the time when I start realizing I could turn this into a blog post and maybe get Celesio and then we realized that we could send it out not just to the customer but to our whole customer base. So. So when you're aggregating content like this or are curating content if you're listening to this is a great reason to reach back out to the people that are in your funnel or if you're trying to book speaking engagements just to keep your name in front of people because you're creating this content and you definitely want the organic part of it. But then you can use that content to reengage with people you're already in a relationship with.
[00:19:03] Absolutely. I mean it's it's that's why I'm I'm a big proponent of it. I've been a big proponent. I mean we still do unique content as it were. Another thing I'll mention is that we're we eat our own dog food. So to say so were some of the biggest users of our own tool many ways our tool was created by us scratching your own itch. And you know I'm a big proponent of content marketing because it's because it's really the core way that we've been able to get into the market sell our own products and do what we do. But I'm also a realist and understanding that most people are not content marketers they're not email marketers they have they have another role that they do and they're looking at content marketing as kind of this way to attract people and that's the other reason why I'm really a big proponent of curation because it is the it's you can show people the template and literally it's follow that template and just do that and it takes you five to 10 minutes to do curated piece of content on a daily basis.
[00:20:06] That's just one. You could also do something else we recommend which is a roundup where basically you take that. So I do a weekly roundup called the Word Press Week in Review. And I take the top 10 stories from the last week and just round it up in one article. So I'd be a great e-mail to send as well which we do. I also I've since turned that into a video that I released on YouTube and Facebook but that's another good example of something you could do. That's a curation but you're taking the top 10 stories or 7 or stories from the week and then you're creating just one post. And that's tremendous value for someone that's interested in what you sell or what you talk about or your idea or whatever you do.
[00:20:49] Yeah. And so that brings up a really good question which is it seems like this is one of those things where if you do it right it will create a lot of momentum but it could take a long time to figure out how to do it right. What are some of the biggest mistakes that you see people making when they when they start this journey of curation I would say it's hard to do it wrong because you're if you're doing it wrong you're not.
[00:21:13] So the biggest mistake is not publishing. So that's the biggest mistake I see believe it or not because curation is so it really is easy because what you're doing is you're citing a paragraph and you're adding your own thoughts. One of the biggest mistakes people will get is that they they actually they curated the social media instead of publishing to their own blog. So oftentimes when you see the conversation around content creation is talking about how you should Keary content to social media. And while that's important social media is important I always stress that social media is a distribution channel. You don't own that platform. You can't monetize that platform Sure. You know we have 60000 followers here 100000 follows here. But I can't Monod ties that in a way that if I had an email list or if I had traffic to my Web site and it was growing Orphise building content so often stress with people that while curating the social media is easy.
[00:22:08] The biggest mistakes you can make is not building your own platform first which is your Web site and that's why it's the mistakes around content curation really aren't necessarily around content curation because it's hard to make a mistake if you're following the simple template. The mistakes are more that you're not actually doing it or you're doing it maybe in social media instead of first. If you only have 10 minutes a day I would say publish to your website and then share that curated piece of content on your Web site. Out to social media because you're driving traffic back to your Web site that's designed to convert that's designed to build your authority and another and another good example why this doesn't have to be difficult is that you can create things like a social media post like a Twitter update. Add your own thoughts or an Instagram image for instance you can curate simple things like this and add your own thoughts and it's just a matter of coming up with an angle that that that image or that image invokes that idea that's in that post invokes and then creating a headline and then releasing that on social media.
[00:23:16] And I kind of hijacked your question a little bit is that it was good. I love the rabbit trails. And here's here's a couple of things I heard you say in there. Number one that was brilliant what you just said about you can take could Twitter posts or whatever it is Facebook and you can curate those if you if anybody listening. If you look at Yahoo News half of the articles on there are just that where they take something somebody said online and there's one going on right now between a couple basketball players. I think that's what oh no it was it was kind of McGregor and some basketball player and people had written a whole article on you know a couple of tweets I think that's brilliant the other thing that you slipped in there too that I want to make sure that we highlight is you've got to have a strategy for building your email list. So it's not just about. So when I when I ask the question how do you do it wrong. How you do it wrong is do great content curation but don't have a strategy to get that that e-mail address and start building that relationship. And that's what you guys are doing right.
[00:24:10] Yeah absolutely we believe an e-mail marketing e-mail daily we pitch daily so you know we pitch our product daily. And that's the other thing curation helps out with that as well as that. So we email daily. It's something that we didn't originally believe in but copywriter I'm forgetting his name but I'll I'll come back to any entity not not Dan Kennedy but Dan Kennedy does. I mean I'm into Dan Kennedy's stuff so there's not.
[00:24:39] Well he is a guy that works with him and it isn't all the same right to inhale too. But he has a system where they do that they e-mail every single day and pitch every single day. That's
[00:24:48] the other thing. So oftentimes that's the hidden that you know you can e-mail every day but do you pitch in. And it's not a hard sell. Right. And so this is how curation also plays a role in our e-mail daily strategy. So oftentimes. So I saw a story the other day that how American Home Videos was popular even though everybody has this option of Netflix. You know Amazon all these other on demand options. But America's Home Video is still a popular destination TV show kind of like football. And I saw that through my curation my listening engine and that became an email where I said look you know this just shows that people they still want to filter. They still want to be entertained. So even though they could go watch these cat videos the dog videos these funny videos on YouTube and get more than they could ever watch in a lifetime. They still want a filter. They still want a curator to actually put it together in an entertaining way and highlight some things they still want that connection. That became a daily e-mail now at the end we said hey by the way if you want. The easiest way to cure it. Check out the listening engine and then linked over the losing engine. So our e-mails are our like that they take things from either. I'm a history buff too so I like to mix in history stuff. But so we take things from what's happening out in the world today. We related to our product. We tell a story and then it's a light pitch.
[00:26:13] And for anybody that's wondering what's the best monetization strategy. I think you would probably agree. Email to me e-mail still where it's at it's still it still should be the top of your list of how you're going to monitor it. Your your your online activities because it's still one of the best ways to communicate to your market and really create income if done correctly a lot.
[00:26:40] I often ask my friends I'm like do you know the number one form of social media is nobody ever gets the answer right and it's e-mail because you have to have an email to sign up for any other social media platform everybody on the planet as a computer has e-mail. And people that think that it's dying out there just couldn't be more wrong. It gives you an opportunity to connect with people and go that way. One of the questions I have on my list here is what's the number one secret you should know about content curation or do we cover it already.
[00:27:08] We've covered a lot but I'd say the number one secret and this goes back to what I shared that I would share before which is if if you want the number one secret around content creation is for you to realize that and this comes from the biggest question we get which is they set up these awesome listening engines listen to their market.
[00:27:28] They get tons of content thousands of posts and they say I can't find anything to create the number one thing that you could do is realize that you're the tastemaker youre the person that decides what's relevant to your market. And when you actually embrace that and do that then you'll never you actually have too much stuff to publish because you'll realize that your basically the the window through what's important to your audience. Everybody listening here is looking to gain an audience or a readership or something like that. If you just embrace the fact that you are the tastemaker You're the one that decides what's important to the people that are following you to the people that you're looking to get attention from. It's going to make so much more of what you do across multiple channels. But curation that much easier because then when you fire up a tool like ours the listening engine for instance and there's 10 stories in front of you you look at it you have no problem selecting one of those 10 stories because say because you have basically empowered yourself to say look I'm the tastemaker and then then in your commentary and to your insight you highlight why that's important. Make sense.
[00:28:41] Oh perfectly. It's basically a running start at it being able to do this and do it effectively and in a time sensitive manner for sure.
[00:28:50] Absolutely. And I know that's more psychological than a tool right or a secret but really a lot of I find what from content marketing to using tools is psychologically is psychological is how do you approach it. And a lot of what we what we tend to cover and what I share is more it's a kind of combination. Here's the here's the cool technology but it's great you have cool technology if you don't have the right thinking or the right attitude going into it on how to employ this technology to maximize it in your business and in your marketing.
[00:29:23] Yeah I love it. I love that you guys have created some solutions for how to get to kind of get all the cobwebs off of it so that people can just dive into it. Speaking of that Scott where if somebody wants to find out more about about what you do and who you are where do they go.
[00:29:39] Easiest says curation sweet dot com. And we have more than enough videos overviews. The other thing we were consistently updated products so we're based in wordpress. So we work with any plug in or theme. So if you're familiar with wordpress if you have a blog most likely you are. We work with any plug in or theme you have and we're consistently updating the product. Something that in fact we have a release this this week called Narrative block. So there's a story for instance trend into my listing engine that I don't care about which is Elon Musk said something bad about the Facebook guy named Yossel. Yeah. Well that's a narrative and I don't care about it. So in our list in my listening engine what I can do is I can say look I don't care about this story so just just because everybody is writing about it I don't want to see it. I don't want to curate about it. We're adding a feature where you can block that narrative now. So then I won't see it anymore. So it does get smarter. Yes so get smarter. It really gives you the control of like no I'm not interested in this story. And I can block it for a day two days a week or forever so it's really a new feature that I'm really excited about releasing this week.
[00:30:48] Super. Hey and just so the listener knows we'll put a link to curation sweet boy in the e-mail and just so you know it's curation sweet as you are to you know like curation. Sweet. So there'll be a link below that. Scott thanks so much for your time. And we'll look forward to connecting with you in the future.
[00:31:06] Awesome Richard great conversation.