Kontent Machine 4 is just around the corner (and is a free upgrade for existing users of course). The developers have kindly asked the user base what features they would like to see. That’s they question I’m putting out for your comments
What New Features Would You Like To See In Kontent Machine 4?
It’s a loaded question isn’t it. I love and use Kontent Machine regularly, and am really looking forward to the release of Kontent Machine 4 later this year. I’m particularly impressed by the developers reaching out to their community for ideas and inspiration for new features. Let’s face it the world of content marketing is moving on and it’s good that the best tools out there are moving on as well.
But what is all this I hear about content curation?
I’ll come clean here. For a couple of years I’ve been talking to some developers of the best SEO tools out there with a rough blueprint of the sort of thing I would like to see developed
I got the original idea from my current strategy which uses link building tools (which in itself does not mean that I automate all link building – I don’t) and various other tools – perhaps most notably Buzzbundle http://www.buzzbundle.com/
Which I use, but this strategy is not as automated as it could be. I’m not talking about compromising quality of content here, just about automating some of the tasks I find myself doing on a daily basis.
My Ideal Content Marketing Tool
I would like to build up a content network and have control of it from one unified dashboard. Finding, adding, altering and posting.
Now before you jump at me, yes I know Kontent Machine already does most of this, but in this case the devil is in the detail, and below I’m going to go into some of the detail.
Let’s start with where the content is targeted.
Finding And Formatting Content For Specific Social Media And WEB2.0 Portals
I have WordPress (my own .org as well as WP hosted .com), Tumblr, Livejournal, Blogger and several other site types that I visit and post to regularly
Being part of Reddit communities seems increasingly important as does communication with certain niche forums. I have accounts on many – often paid accounts (my WordPress and my Blogger accounts have bespoke URL’s) I use certain WIKI sites and even one or two (much maligned) article sites. 30 in all perhaps?
I post to Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I create quite a few videos for Youtube as well.
The sort of content I need for these sites varies a lot. If you have the time, just sit back and think about how much time making good, in-context posts to all of these takes, and importantly how the formats and style of the content really should be different depending on which outlet you are posting to.
Here’s a couple of “for examples”;
- The standard template that imports to GSA SER does not include a unique well spun on niche blog post. So I have to create one myself.
- Facebook posts have a standard format. Headline, 16:9 image and 1 or 2 sentences underneath.
- Twitter has a character maximum which you need to stay under, and also take into account any URL you are adding as well as any #Tags.
Easy if you manage 1 or 2 Twitter, Facebook or Blog accounts, a ball-ache if you manage 30 or 40. Let’s have a content tool that researches content, finds images, formats, adds tags and shortened URL’s and outputs these “ready to post”. The posting itself doesn’t need to be automated, though that would be great, just the content prep. Kontent Machine is already well on the way towards supporting some of these features. Take a look at the Cloud tutorial I posted a few months ago to see how close to this the devs seem to have got previously.
In my case none of these social media or WEB2 are “throw away” accounts. I create content that is readable, (which doesn’t mean I don’t ever re-write it – I just re-write it carefully, I never use re-writes for clients sites, only my own), I curate some content – say 40% of everything I post is curated or syndicated and sometimes I just micro-post 150 words to some accounts with an image updating the community – but I do it often.
Problem is, at the moment I use all sorts of different tools to keep these profiles going. Link builders, content scrapers, Buzzbundle, social media tools , Windows Live Writer and of course still have to do quite a few by hand.
I’m not talking about private blog networks really here. Kontent Machine already supports those. This is a mix that includes social media and WEB2.0 properties. Also, I’m not talking about posting to them per-se, I’m on about creating and formatting the content for them.
I don’t expect the next iteration of Kontent Machine to completely solve all my issues here, just putting these ideas on the table.
Reduce Hand Cranking Information Between SEO Tools
I make that four or five main tools plus a high quality spinner and I still do maybe 40% of the work by hand:
The admin of the stuff I do by hand is a real time drain, much of it is about porting content, link lists, account details or whatever from one tool, and putting it in another.
Having an Excel file that tells me what sites I posted to and when VERY important
Having many of the user names and passwords in Excel
Have An Auto Updated Posting Diary
I spend considerable time checking my sites and accounts by hand to see if any of my posts/blogs,images/vids or whatever have engaged anyone in the communities (setting up some to send me an email – but some don’t do this)
It would be great if an application offloaded a lot of this work. Took the best of a link builder, added it to a content posting diary and of course had the core functionality that Kontent Machine already does so well.
I have mentioned Buzzbudle, which is a great tool and one that stands on its own as a great compliment to those who have a strong social media aspect to their online marketing.
A Decent WYSIWYG Editor
Maybe you run most of your sites on blogs, then you might be one of those who dislikes the online editors that WordPress and Blogger and others have.
I find them entirely unsuitable, and as far removed from WYSIWYG as it’s possible to imagine. I use Windows Live Writer. It works, it’s free and it is truly WYSIWYG. However, Microsoft have not updated it for a few years and some of the latest changes to CSS and HTML are not represented. It’s only a matter o9f time before it loses its utility as an offline blog content prep tool. So there’s something else I’d like to see.
What I’ve written above is sort of a “brain dump” of my current working process. As for as results go – it works wonderfully. Alternating my workload by supporting say 12 posts a day (3 hours work?) means I can build an authority network around my money site that is real and each node gets updated at least once a week, often twice.
Adding my own content to properly curate anything I get from the wider web is vital for me now. I want to have control of the top and bottom paragraphs and have no issue giving proper citation to the original poster. This is part of the method of mixing different levels of content. Spun, curated and original. It works.
Better control of image and video placement, including margins. Some of my tier one sites are great traffic drivers, so presentation is important as well as pure ranking ability for SEO
It would be so much quicker if more of the admin work was automated. If more of the donkey work taking content from one application and pasting it into another was done automatically. If I didn’t need to keep records in Excel and could set my own posting calendar.
So it’s all about content marketing. More specifically it’s about asking the life of a content marketer easier. So I’ve really taken the existing remit of Kontent Machine and run with it here. A little unfair to think much of this will make the next update, but let’s get everything out there for discussion.
An Example Of Initial Work Flow
My ideal morning might be;
I turn on this app and I get content updates straight from authority sites RSS feeds or similar. Just to keep me in the loop. Here’s another “brain burp” of the sort of work flow I’m on about
Friday 13th March 2015
Good morning Paul, you have 3 new messages from your news reader
SEO News Matt Cutts Introduces New Google Shoe Range
Rand Fishkin invents Snake Oil SEO. On sale for $1997
Twitter introduce new marketing application
Would you like to read/syndicate the above? (Y/N)
Rabid445 has replied to your Reddit post “Your right to online privacy”; There may be more replies.
Would you like to read/reply to this post?
Your Facebook page demonseo has had posts with 2 shares. See them?
You are scheduled to make the following posts today:
LinkedIn “Paul Rone-Clarke”
I’d like to have made this a little prettier, perhaps mocked up something that looks like an app doing this in Kontent Machine 4. You’ll have to make do with this now though.
I know this is a huge ask – but no point leaving stuff out. I thought I’d put it all out there and see what you thought. Please leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. Let’s see where we can take this and what ideas you have that would make the lives of all content marketers a little easier while we are waiting for Kontent Machine 4