How a Pro Guitarist Curates and Monetizes his Guitar Niche Site

How a Pro Guitarist Curates and Monetizes his Guitar Niche Site

In today’s case study we highlight a site ran by 52 year old professional guitarist Ged Brockie from Edniburgh, Scotland.

In this case study you’ll learn a bit more about Ged, how he uses curation, plus we’ll dive in and cover how he monetizes his site and provide some live curation examples.

We’ll start off with Ged who shares a bit about himself and his site:

I’ve been working as a musician for over thirty years. In that time I’ve been lucky to have played across Europe and in the USA.

I’ve worked with incredible musicians from around the world in performance, recording, tuition.

A big part of what I do is in composition and in music education. I have worked in all areas from running a record company to putting on music festivals, jazz courses, etc, etc.

When did you start GMI?

In 2013 I decided that it was time to put my knowledge garnered over my thirty years online. In December 2013 GMI – Guitar & Music Institute opened its doors to the public.

The site has gone through many transitions over the following years, but now has a settled and I feel a very professional look about it and gets a lot of traffic from all over the world.

How Does Curation Fit Into Your Content Strategy?

I started using Curation Suite in December 2016.

I quickly realized that it gave me the opportunity as a small business with limited resources to quickly curate content, presenting material from around the guitar and music world. This in effect gave me the chance to be relevant, timely and have the output of much larger organisations at virtually no cost.

Crucially, I also had a decision to make.

I could reinvent the wheel and spend huge amounts of money to pay musicians to play and perform songs that are already on Youtube (what would be the point in that), or I could use the song demonstration videos already in existence and add further content to them.

How do you monetize your site?

Monetisation is through the usual adsense route. I also include Amazon and iTunes affiliate links whenever relevant to the article.

We also have our own store which we embed products called the GuitarMusicShop.

Ged also monetizes his site with focused call to actions to build his email subscribers. For example, here’s his sidebar and a popup new visitors will see:

Ged actually has put in place quite a few monitization strategies. From advertising, email list building, to his newly released Ebay store, and his own courses and books.

The important thing to learn here from GMI is that Ged has put in place multiple monetization strategies. This is something you tend to see in most sites that have been around a while. As you grow an audience you want to find more ways to serve that audience and also more ways to provide value.

The best way to look at monetization for your own site is to first think about value– what does my audience care about? What type of things can I offer that provide additional value to my audience?

The best advice I can give here is don’t start with everything all at once. Start with one strategy and master that– then move onto the next. That’s what Ged has done to grow where he is at now with GMI.

What Specific Strategies does Curation Suite Open for You?

With the addition of the ability to add Pinterest the scope of what can be achieved graphically through Curation Suite has really been magnified ten fold.

I also use Curation Suite to build large cornerstone articles on the GMI blog quickly.

We noticed you also use the News Feature and News Widget on your site:

I use the widget and blog feature from Curation Suite to give news updates on the front end of the site as well as on the latest guitar news area as found here: Latest Guitar News.

Ged also uses the Super Social Engagement Platform to intelligently automate his Twitter engagement.

I also use the Super Social Engagement tool from You Brand, Inc. to automate my Twitter feed which is a massive time saver and has created huge growth in my subscribers.

Anything else you want to share with us?

The team from Youbrand really do a great job. Of all the software that I have purchased for GMI – Guitar & Music Institute, I rate Curation Suite as the best investment I’ve made and I have bought a lot of software over the years.

They keep making the whole system better and better and I feel that I have a world class website which would not be possible without the software that Youbrand have created.

I know this sounds gushing, however, it is the truth. I really look forward to the new ideas and concepts that the team have around the corner!

Content Curation Examples

As with all of our case studies we like to provide a little more insight or examples of live curation in the wild.

Ged does an awesome job of curation and really is a stellar example of how to use curation to ensure you’re part of the conversation in  your niche or market.

The first examples comes from Ged himself where he shared how he looks for headlines about specific artists, then blend this news from the web, Twitter etc. Here is an example of just this kind of curation from the GMI website: How to Play Stray Cat Strut.

In the round up post Is it True the Electric Guitar is Dying a Slow Death Ged does a great job of rounding up some top stories and videos around the main question he’s asking. Another great thing he did with this post is start with an intriguing question that is probably top of mind for his audience.

Another great example of a round up are the monthly rounds like this one: Acoustic Guitar RoundUp for October.

Here’s an off the wall post: Image of Virgin Mary and Jesus Show Up on Paul Gilbert Signature Guitar. This curation is a great example of taking something a little out there in your market and highlighting it. The best part of these type of curations is they pop up all the time and are quick and easy to do.

In Closing…

Ged’s site is a great example of what anybody in any market or niche faces when they want to launch a new site. You are faced with what do you publish? How do you find content to publish? What’s the quickest and fastest way to publish?

We are honored to provide the answers and solutions to these content challenges here at Curation Suite. I know I’ve said this before but we build software for people to use (daily) and not sit on the shelf collecting digital dust.

How Ged publishes and his site are a prime example of what can be accomplished with consistently and put to use what Curation Suite opens up for you.

Click here to get started with Curation Suite.