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The Making of a Drone Authority Site

Today we highlight an authority drone site.

Managed and owned by Christopher Korody uses Curation Suite and the Listening Engine to publish and curate content focused on the commercial side of the drone industry.

As you’ll discover in Q&A and examples below Christoper does an amazing job of picking the right stories, reporting, and mixing his own commentary.

So let’s jump right in.

How did Drone Business Center Start?christopher-karody-with-title started on as a place to gather research for a client. That client faded away, but I was hooked on drones which brought together many aspects of my background along with a healthy dose of social change and controversy.

When I reached 1,500 articles I decided that it was time to move to a real website where I could control the assets, have good search and greatly improve both the CX and the UX.

What Type of Content Do You Curate? (db.c) is intended to appeal to people in the commercial drone business – whether they are in it or whether they want to sell in to it.

I post stories that I think are important, adding analysis and commentary based on my 45 years of experience in marketing. In addition, I write original 2,000 word plus articles, a weekly newsletter called Dronin’ On and am beginning to add some guest posters.

We noticed you don’t cover much of the military side of the drone industry, is that intentional?

Military drone use is a topic all it’s own with it’s own coverage which I mostly don’t include. There is also a certain amount of retail that just doesn’t interest me.

Can you Share a Bit About Your Process?

dronebusiness_center-screenshotDespite the fact that the drone industry is very small there is a lot of content out there. At last count there were over 100 websites, many of them which do little more than regurgitate press releases. There are also a few that do what I consider to be real journalism – they have the staff and resources to research and write original content. And because it’s such a trendy topic, it gets a lot of coverage in the business press and the general press.

The great majority of the posts on db.c start with an article I have found. The first thing I do is use the “CurateThis” in my Chrome browser bar and start a new post. My format is headline, feature image, pull quote from the source, the source material, my commentary and then the read more.

Any other tweaks you do for your content?

I follow Scott’s advice and rewrite each headline with the thought that it be catchy on Twitter (and other social media platforms).

I generally use the source image from the article or better yet the video if there is one. On some stories I will mix a couple of sources. Sometimes I add additional images.

Plus Christopher does something that ensures his content and site stays fresh:

And I also like to do UPDATES where I add content to the original story as it comes along – again this is all about connecting the dots and making the experience more useful.

Christopher is in the early days of his site but he did share a bit on his future plans.

How Do You Monetize the Site?

dronebusiness-center-fullsite-monetizationv2It basically comes down to “Content and strategy for drone marketing, PR and social media.” I am looking for customers who need market research, a white paper, a case study, a video, an executive presentation, content for a newsletter.

I see the website as a bona fide, a way to say to someone look I know this stuff, no learning curve – on top of my 45 years of marketing experience. It comes out of what I am doing with curation. And part of the plan is to sell Category sponsorships that come with content as well as signage. So if you’re Intel or Qualcomm you can sponsor the Technology category or you are Global Aerospace and you can sponsor Insurance.

In addition, I offer sidebar ads to various conferences and a couple of industry associations. I am trying to get my name out there and being a media partner comes with some promotion and also a conference pass. And again using my editorial background, I try to get invited to moderate panels or to speak.

If you ask me I think Christopher is well on his way to becoming a authority and voice in the emerging drone market.

Example Curated Content

Chris does a great job of picking unique stories for the drone market. He also does a solid job of adding his own voice and commentary to every thing he curates. You’ll see that in the stories featured below:

More Companies Are Piling In To The UAV Countermeasures Market – a good example of a single source curation and the type of commentary that really makes Christopher and his site standout.

Privacy Concerns Likely To Impact UAV Acceptance – Another good example of a curation.  You’ll notice the key points have been selected and highlighted. As a curator this is one thing you want to try to do whenever possible– find the highly relevant sections and cite those.

First DAC Meeting Sets Aggressive Agenda – A multi source curation with a pull quote. Notice how Christopher merges three stories. You’ll notice he takes a very good news approach at the beginning and ends the piece with his own thoughts and commentary. Finally, followed up with the links to the three referenced stories.

Need Help Picking An Online Drone Data Service? – Another really good example of adding tremendous value to curation. Notice how int his post Christoper highlights (in bold) the key highlights or bullets from the curated content. He then shares a bit of his own thoughts and insights. This format is a good way to summarize an article that lists out tips or key points.

Finally, you got to check out Dronin On Today…

Christopher also sends out a weekly email titled Dronin On Today that is beyond informative. If you have any interest in the drone industry it provides a good round up of the top stories. It’s one that I subscribe to and read every week– even though I’m not in the drone industry it keeps me informed of the latest drone developments.

It’s a good mix of information and insight that really makes what publishes stand out. Here’s the one example of Dronin On and here’s another one.

Anything Else You’d Like to Share?

Curation Suite offers a good workflow. CS adds a bunch of features but if you work through top to bottom systematically you get a consistent result.

CS is excellent with YouTube and Vimeo sources where you can set the frame and the featured image in a couple of clicks. Add the ability to select paragraphs out of longer articles, plus the read more, and add to the editor and you’ve already saved enough time to pay for it.

I am very satisfied with your company. I find it amazing that Scott manages to keep an eye on everything, Kate is a peach and tech support is right on it – better yet I don’t need them very often. Well done and thanks – the world of WP plug-ins often over promises and under delivers, you guys have it right.

Final Thoughts is a near perfect example of how you go about building authority around a topic or subject. Here’s why this is:

  • Publishes consistently – you don’t reach over 1,500 posts without being consistent and sticking to it. This is also one of the top factors if someone does break through that authority curve.
  • Good Mix of Content – As shown above Christopher publishes and curates a a mix of content. Sometimes he takes more of a reporters approach and other times he editorializes. When you wrap in his multi-source curations and roundups.
  • Monetization Plan – Starting with the weekly round up email, sidebar advertising and future potential is on a the fast track to a smart and sustainable monetization strategy.

It will be very interesting to watch how grows in the near future. With the speed the drone industry is expanding we are positive Christopher and his site will be one of the leading voices in this emerging market.