Content Engineering Case 2

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The purpose of this Case is further defining and refining the unique topic (and unique audience / market) for your blog, and then acting on that information.

Your employer has requested your input in the form of a Market Research Report and Vision Statement for your division of the company (in this case, your division of the company is the blog you are working on).

The body of your report should have 4 main sections:

  1.  What are the big websites and/or blogs out there that are your competition and/or community?  These would the big, established sites that cover more or less the same topic as you.  A great way to find them is to search for the topic of your blog on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and see what sites are on the first page of results.  (Hint: sort through these results like a real user would to find the really good, content rich sites.)  List as many of these as you can, up to a dozen.

  2. What can you learn from at least 3 of them?  Choose at least three, different, representative sites from your list of competitors.  Use available tools--Alexa, Follow, Quantcast (click on "Data Hub"), SimilarWeb--to get detailed information about each site's audience, appeal, reach, etc.  Don't dump all this information in to your report.  Instead, study it, then look at the way the competitor site is designed, what features its content has, how that content is presented.  What are these 3 sites doing right?  What can you learn from them that will help you create more traffic to your own site?  How can you differentiate yourself from them to drive a differently focused traffic to your own site?

  3. Now that you've completed this detailed research into your market, how can you more effectively position your own blog to be a unique, attractive voice to better compete with or complement the established sites?  It is sometimes helpful to think of your unique topic as a set of distinctive keywords that someone might be searching for.  List 5 distinctive keywords that help you really nail down the focus of your blog's topic.  This constitutes your vision for the future growth of your blog.

  4. You now have some strategies you've learned from your competitors, and some keywords that help you focus your topic.  Go back and revise at least one of the posts you have already published on your blog, in light of what you have discovered above.  For example, use one or some of your distinctive keywords in the post's title, and in the text.  You can modify or tighten your content based on what you've seen your competitors do.  Provide a short summary of the changes you made, and why.

Email the final report to me, exactly the way you would if I were your boss.  Think about how you will format your attachment, what text should be in the body of the email, what the subject line should be, etc.

 Final drafts of the formal recommendation report are due to us (via email) by class time on Friday, March 1.

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