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How Compendium’s Web to Post Generates Content and Community

This guest post is by Jenny Dean of Business Blog Writers.

You might have read my article about a business blogging platform called Compendium. Today, I wanted to share with you a fantastic Compendium tool called, Web to Post that allows customers or clients to tell stories about your products or services.

Web to Post turns your consumer’s advocacy into web content.

Of course, as Business Blog Writers, sometimes this writes us out of the picture, but at the same time, if we are used to supplement the Web to Post content, then we can also get a lot of content ideas from what customer or clients submit.

In addition to my blog writing business, I also have a Ragdoll cat blog and all images of Compendium’s Web to Post form come from that.

How does Web to Post work?

A Call to Action is put in the sidebar of the blog. The CTA usually says something like, “Share Your Story”.

This call to action can also be put on your Facebook fan page, in your newsletter, on your YouTube Channel or in an email to an existing database.

The customer sees the CTA and decides to submit a story. They click on the link and are taken to an online form that asks them things like their story title, the story, and their first and last name. They can also choose to upload a photo to include with their story. The forms are totally customizable to fit your campaign or story needs.

Once the stories are received, the administrator of the blog is sent an email letting him or her know there is content waiting in the system. The stories can be edited, approved or declined from there, just like internal blog posts on Compendium’s system. So in other words, the story isn’t instantly on your company website the second the customer or client hits “submit”. Rather, it has to go through an administrative layer for final approval. This is awesome, because it turns your advocates into your bloggers! [Share Your Story Submission on Dashboard.jpg]

Once the administrator has checked out the post and added a keyword rich title, then the admin approves it. At that point is the Compendium algorithm automatically categorizes or tags the story to the relevant, targeted keyword pages on your blog . The admin can also choose to promote it on your company’s social networks, like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Then, the viral effect kicks in. Each story is published on your company’s blog, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages.

The customer who submitted the story also gets an automatic email that says their story has been published on your company’s blog. Another link encourages them to share their featured story on their own social network profiles.

How Web to Post helps business blogs

Lee Jorgenson, an Account Manager at Compendium recently pointed out that Sears Outlet has generated over 5,000 posts in just three months by gathering content from five different channels.

Sears Outlet sends a great transactional email after someone purchases from their website that invites customers to share their stories. This email is timely and helps harvest stories while they are fresh in the customer’s mind. The email has a link that drives the customer to a web to post form to submit their story. They also use the Web to Post forms to capture stories from blog and website visitors. They also have one embed on their Facebook fan page tab and collect stories from Facebook fans that way.

The process is simple: Content → Exposure → Referrals → Sales

Another Compendium client, The College Network, was able to launch a contest asking nurses to share their stories. The prize? An iPad. They received nearly 100 user generated stories (that’s 100 free posts!). The stories got over 40 comments and over 1,500 Likes. They drove 3,500 unique visits to their story page and tracked an average of 35 additional Facebook fans per day from the campaign. It also increased their organic search traffic by 25%—all for the cost of an iPad.

How Web-to-Post helps smaller bloggers

As far as my site, Floppycats.com, is concerned, Web to Post has made my life incredibly easier. When I run a giveaway, I tell people that for an extra chance to win the prize, they can submit a photo of their cat as well as a description explaining why their cat needs to win the product.

This approach not only generates more activity on my site, but also creates more content for my blog. And readers love to see photos of their cats on my blog!

I also use Web to Post for Ragdoll breeders who want to advertise kittens for sale. It saves me the time involved in uploading them to the site, and entering all the information—and they’re hosted on Compendium’s server, not the one I am paying for.

I also use Web to Post to accept content from people who need to rehome their Ragdoll cats, and cat rescue groups that need to get the word out about cats available for adoption.

I give a lengthy explanation of what I want (this eliminates time-consuming emailing back and forth between the poster and me) and provide examples so readers know what information they need to submit.

So while Web to Post is great for sales and boosting social media buzz about your company, for the blogger who wants an active online community on their blog, Compendium’s Web to Post can also make your life a lot less busy. Just say “no” to too much right- and left-clicking!

What if you don’t have compendium?

If you don’t have Compendium, you can probably still put something like this together, but it would require more manpower and coordination to get it done.

Frankly, I don’t like to spend my time on the technicalities and would rather have it right from the get-go. Compendium’s business blogging platform simply takes care of the strategy, process and technology so your business can focus on the content and stories.

Jenny Dean is a 31-year-old-business owner and entrepreneur from Kansas City. Jenny is currently working on Business Blog Writers, a company that supplies blog content specifically for company’s blogs, Floppycats.com, an informational website about Ragdoll cats and Antioxidant-fruits.com, an informational website about the antioxidant powers of fruit. Follow Business Blog Writers on Twitter or on Facebook.

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Comments

  1. Just a quick note to disclose that Jenny does has a business relationship with Compendium and several of our clients – but we didn’t consult or direct any of her writing on this post. This is all her own words and perspective. Hope you guys appreciate the power of the user-generated blogging and feel free to comment if you have questions.

    Lastly, if you like this functionality but are using WordPress, the terrific Gravity Forms plugin can also turn form submissions into posts.

  2. Brian says:

    Jenny, really well put. You captured the value of Web-to-Post perfectly. A lot of businesses out there totally miss their own customers and advocates as a channel to tap into for blog content. Not only is this content, but it’s ENGAGING! People want to read this kind of content and want to share it. This feature is not just for our larger clients either. If you’re a small business and just want to have a great blog, with simple features that allow you to create better content, capture stories, have full moderation control, and broadcast it in social media, Compendium can do that at a very minimal cost. Did I mention, we can have it up in 10 days or less too. Thanks Jenny and Problogger for your expertise and posting about how businesses of all sizes should be re-thinking what is great blog content. ~ Brian, Director of Sales @ Compendium

  3. I guess this is the next level of engagement and yes it pays out well. It really depends the purpose and vision of the blog for such ideas to fit in though.

    Getting content easily, having it go viral and getting traffic from it. What more can a blogger expect :)

  4. Megan says:

    What a great idea. I guess this could work for most blogs. For mine, I could ask other writers about how they got started as a freelancer. In fact you could change the theme every week. Very quickly people will start coming back to see what the reaction to their blog post has been.

    thanks for this, I never really knew how this works and having it laid out so clearly has been brilliant!

    • Megan, definitely – the possibilities are endless in fact – I am going to use it on a giveaway that I am doing on the 23rd. Hoping for lots of entries without the hassle of dealing with downloading and uploading.

  5. James Paden says:

    If you’re on WordPress, the awesome Gravity Forms plugin can also turn form submissions into blog posts. Thanks for the great post, Jenny!

    James Paden – VP of Product Management, Compendium

  6. I could see this working very well for a business’s blog. It would be a great way to let your potential customers see what everyone else is saying about your product, right on the homepage. I might use this on my freelance writing blog to have people submit there success stories.

    Great and informative article!

  7. Bnpositive says:

    Compendium is a great tool and their new web-to-post features are a huge feature improvement for trying to always collect interesting and relevant content from your community of readers. For anyone that isn’t on Compendium and would like to add some similar functionality to their WordPress blog, check out Gravity Forms plugin. You can build a form that builds into your site the ability for visitors to create a post and submit it as a draft to your site. I recently did just this same functionality with one of my sites at http://missionnotes.com/reader-concert-photos/. With the form I allow people to upload and share their own stories from concerts they’ve been to recently.

  8. Looks interesting. Not of much use to me right now but i will consider this in the future:D

  9. Denys Yeo says:

    Thank you for a really interesting post. Increasing interactivity on Blogs has got to be a good thing and it looks like Web-to-Post can certainly achieve this!

    upi:dyd-dgyeo

  10. I work for Driver Solutions and we’re a client of Compendium as well. The Web to Post feature has been great for us. In fact, I was just looking at the numbers yesterday and we’ve generated around 20 graduation stories (from truck drivers that have completed CDL training) and 42 truck driving tips from experienced drivers for new drivers.

    This is all very valuable content that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to gather so easily.