Case Study – Curating a Top RV Travel Blog and RV News Site

How the World’s #1 RV News Site Grew Through Content Curation.

In today’s customer highlight we share how Greg Gerber, a full-time RV lifestyler and editor, publishes content for his two RV travel blogs- RVDailyReport.com and LetsRV.com. You’ll learn how Greg and his team started both of these popular RV websites, how he was introduced to Curation Suite, and what he learned along the way.

The Background

rvdailyreport-website_350Greg started RVDailyReport.com in 2009 to report on the business side of the RV industry. The site rapidly became a leading authority in the market by publishing primarily curated content, press release reporting, and occasionally their own in-depth commentary and market assessments. Today, RVDailyReport is one of the top sites that RV pros visit to find the latest news, products, and trends.

As Greg shares:

“When we started this project, I was absolutely amazed at the sheer amount of quality information available to RV owners, whether it is a video, blog, podcast, dealer website, campground social media page or feature story,” said Gerber. “When looking at this information, it was sad to see that it only had a few dozen or few hundred views.”

gg-wtextAt first, content curation was difficult. Greg and his team were spending up to eight hours every day scouring the web for the best content, tips, videos, and podcasts for content to publish on the site and in the newsletter. Greg knew that he needed to find a solution to provide the content that their travel-savvy readers had come to expect, but without the same time investment.

“When I met the Curation Suite team, they seemed very confident what they could save me a lot of time and improve the quality of my newsletters for both of my sites. I was excited but of course a little hesitant because I knew not just any content would suffice, I only created and shared high quality content and I knew I needed a very custom solution.”

As proof of the model, Greg picked up Curation Suite and Listening Engine for RVDailyReport.com in order to test it on the pre-existing readership for three weeks. Within the first week, the team had outlined the RV industry and calibrated the Listening Engine to find relevant content. By week two, they were fine-tuning to find exactly the right content for Greg’s commercial audience. By the end of week three, Grey was convinced.

“We tried many others (curation discovery and management tools), but Curation Suite & the Listening Engine is the one that is able to find the quality stories we are looking for. Others seemed to bring in more junk than we knew what to do with. Curation Suite has it buttoned down so that it brings in the quality we need in a fraction of the time,” shared Greg.

The Curation Suite search features automatically pull up content based on the websites and keywords they target, with filters to keep out the spam. That’s one of Greg’s favorite things about the tool:

“Curation Suite brings in the quality we need, combined the ability to sort that content based on total shares, most popular, and trending content, with the additional options to zero in on popular content based on social media platforms as well. Because of the filters we can use to hone the content that comes in, we’re able to focus on content that we know our readers care about, and want to hear. The added options to select specific content based social media platform shares like FB and Pinterest, sets it apart.”

The story behind LetsRV.com is a little bit different. How did LetsRV.com start?

“For years, people have encouraged me to develop a website targeting RV owners and, for years, I have been trying to do it myself, But, my vision for a website exceeded my capability to develop it.”

letsrv-website_350Greg’s success with Curation Suite at RV Daily Report gave him the time and the tools that he needed to launch his second website, LetsRV.com, with the aim of establishing it as the go-to site for information about the RV lifestyle

Using content curation tools, it brings together the best that the Internet has to offer in terms of stories, blogs, podcasts, videos, news items, new products, service tips, photos and ideas to enhance the RV lifestyle. LetsRV.com’s writers also publish unique content such as destination stories, interviews with other RVers, lifestyle tips and product reviews.

The website is backed up by a free daily newsletter featuring a summary of the best information we found that day about the RV lifestyle, as well as a free weekly newsletter that features original stories, product reviews, and business reviews that readers won’t find anywhere else on the Internet.

Better Information, Better Efficiency, and Better Results

At the time of our conversation, Greg was in California touring multiple RV sites, excited that Curation Suite has significantly improved efficiency for his team to the point that they can run two popular travel blogs in the RV niche. It has also allowed plenty of time left over to enjoy all the reasons they chose the RV lifestyle to begin with.

The new efficiencies created by Curation Suite allowed Greg to hire a VA to find the very best twelve to fourteen RV-related articles on the web daily, in anywhere from sixty to ninety minutes. That time includes creating the daily newsletter content that goes out to email subscribers.

When asked what advice he would give to someone considering a content curation tool, he replied,

“Get Curation Suite. You’ll find great quality content that you might not find on your own, and the ability to bring in photographs along with the curation means the articles and website look professional and relevant. I highly recommend Curation Suite!”

How Are These Sites Monetized?

RVDailyReport.com and LetsRV.com are both monetized using banner ads and newsletters.

Each site has strategically-placed banners located in the standard sidebar but also notice how they have above the fold banners above the headline and right below the post. These in-line banner ads typically get more clicks than the ones in the sidebar.

Greg and team also send out daily and weekly curated newsletters. By sharing well-curated content, they are able to gather emails for permission marketing. The RV Daily Report daily newsletter is distributed to around 12,000 subscribers.

gg-site-monetization

Content You Can Learn from

In our customer highlights, we like to provide some examples of the content and curations that our customers publish.

Here is a good example of a quick single source curation. Notice how RVDailyReport has a more journalistic style when they do their curation: Ten Hipster VW Campervans Available to Buy Today

Both websites make effective use of video curation. Video curations are a great way to provide high value content that will keep visitors on your site. RVDailyReport provides short but information-rich summaries for the videos that they publish, helping visitors to find the content that interests them most. Here’s a good example of that in action: See How Ford Tests Trucks for Slide in Campers

We also wanted to highlight an example of the kind of commentary piece that RVDailyReport publishes. For instance, this opinion story: HUD Action Could Eliminate RVing

Here are examples of quick single source curations that help LetsRV.com engage with the other publishers in their market: On the Road of Retirement: Lake Pointe RV Resort and New Braunfels, Tex and Outside Interests: Digital voltage monitor and Geeks on Tour: Every traveler needs a good weather app.

Don’t forget to check out the RV site reviews on LetsRV.com and sign up for their daily newsletter, filled with the best of the web, reviews, tips and content and all things RV Lifestyle.