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Case Study – Political News Site with Curation First Strategy

ape-online-screenshotToday we’ll highlight a news site dedicated to covering the latest in political and election news in Alaska. (Alaska Politics & Elections) uses Curation Suite and the Listening Engine to quickly curate and publish content.

Below we cover how they started, the type of curations they publish and how APEOnline monetizes their site.

We did a brief Q&A with managing editor Eugene Harnett

How did you Get Involved in APEOnline?

eg-harn-headshotWhen I first got started my friend hadn’t published that many articles maybe one a week and was writing all of them himself. That’s when I got involved.  He asked me to come on board as the managing editor and let me reshape it and find tools to make it happen.

I have an interest in publications and I’m very much involved in the political realm as well. I’ve always wanted to get involved and it’s always been a passion in my life.

Why did you choose to cover Politics and Elections?

Alaska is a really tight market – meaning that it’s either in Alaska or it’s not. The community is tight knit.

We wanted to bring that same feeling to the content we would share or publish.

Basically we were looking at corralling all the news and putting it all together in one place. We are also interested in opinions or opinion pieces. So not just what’s happening but what different people think about it.

Why did you choose curation?

I started looking at curation as a solution because there really was an opportunity to be a hub site or destination for the type of news we wanted to cover.

Pretty early on I found Curation Suite. As soon as I got it hooked up I’ve been publishing every day. There’s one reason for that– using Curation Suite & the Listening Engine is just simply easy to use.

Every day I log into my site and find the top stories from our Listening Engine. I’ve set up the Listening Engine with a pretty focused set of keywords and just about any website that I could find that publishes here in Alaska.

How are you monetizing your site?

While this first started as a passion and way to get more involved we always had in the back of our mind that we will eventually monetize.

We are just now starting to get involved in advertising and sell local advertising. You’ll notice we have a few strategic banner advertisers right now and we are working on a few more. Instead of going to networks we wanted to really have a relationship with advertisers that reinforces what I shared before of Alaska being so closely tied together.

With the strong traffic we are getting most of it localized to Alaska, so we are connecting with local advertisers that want to reach our readers. That will extend to Facebook and Twitter. does a great job of covering the latest political news in Alaska. They publish a good mix of local news and politically focused news.

As far as curating goes they primarily publish short single source curations. Here’s a few examples:

APEOnline also mixes in their own unique editorial articles.

For instance, this one on Anchorage School Board Doesn’t Need Social Media Bullies or this one on SB74 is Bad for Alaskans.

APEOnline also uses the Listening Engine to share content on Facebook and Twitter.

With the election season just kicking into high gear APEOline is positoned to be one of the premiere outlets for election and political news in Alaska.

This strategy of curation first and mixing in your own unique content is a highly effective way to publishing content. Here’s another case study on building an authority site that follows a similar model.