Content Muse 101 – How to Quote to Inspire
By now you probably know that I'm a huge fan of Anthony Pensabene aka Content Muse. I've already used him as an prime example of advanced content curation techniques. Anthony is not only a gifted writer and intriguing content curator he's also inspiring. When he writes he doesn't shy way from the ridiculous, outrageous or profane. When he curates he manages to make a difference where there is usually none to discern.
One of Anthony's greatest techniques is quoting the most relevant or intriguing text passages from articles.
Anthony reminds me of my best days as a blogger, when I was inspired and enthusiastic all the time. I've lost some steam along the years. I'm blogging for 10 years by now! So I want to learn from the youth. Thus I will start with inspirational quotes as done by Anthony. How do these quotes inspire btw.? They inspire in manifold ways.
They inspire to take action in the first place. An intriguing quote from a post is often far better to make your followers read the posts you shared that the original headline.
Tweets that merely take the headline and share it look automated and can't get distinguished from similar tweets by other people.
Just try Topsy to look some popular posts. Topsy will show the interesting tweets above all the others. Average users prefer the same. Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz even tested it to find out that quotes inside of tweets get the highest CTR on Twitter compared to headlines etc. You can also look up a person's Twitter handle and find out what s/he tweets or rather who else is tweeting about that user. I compared my own with Anthony's.
Most of the mentions of my own Twitter name were my own tweets.
Anthony in contrast had a whole page of tweets by other people mentioning him. They weren't just simple retweets and such. It was real engagement by real people.
- You could are that it's my own fault because I'm a shameless self-promoter.
- You could argue that nobody knows me yet.
- You could say that I tweet at the wrong times or about the wrong topics.
None of these explanation are true here. I have taken all of them into account.
You could even argue that I'm a long standing Twitter expert. Nonetheless Anthony surpasses this with ease. One of his secrets is the quoting.
I have been able to watch the advanced Content Muse quoting techniques first hand as Anthony has read my blog and shared my posts on Twitter before he inevitably became the blogging superstar he by now already is. I sensed that the force is string in him early though. Now he already joined forces with Skyrocket SEO, one of the most promising SEO brands in the UK.
Anyway, just take a look at the screen shot below with three typical quotes by Anthony:
I have taken he screen shot from Topsy after searching for [@content_muse site:seo2.0.onreact.com].
Anthony tries to find a sentence that inspires or incites action.
In the first example it's an inspirational quote. He took probably the most crucial sentence from my whole article and used it. The other two are "call to action" like sentences focusing very much on the verb. It's socialize in the second example and subscribe in the third one.
Look at the format. Anthony sometimes uses additional characters to highlight a quote.
Btw. did you notice the headlines of these postings? They weren't bad either.
- The first example lacks one thing though the answer to "what's in it for me". Anthony provides it putting in brackets because I missed the opportunity to mention it directly in the sentence: [web popularity].
- In the second example Anthony manages to identify the crucial aspect of getting more clients these days, it's the socializing. I even wrote a post on that a few months later.
- In the last example you probably still wonder why to subscribe to the blogs listed n my post. Anthony provides the answer, or two: fresh voices, SEO and similar disciplines. He could have stopped at "subscribe to these blogs" to mimic a simple call to action but he left the user a choice, you may want and the he offered the reasons why. Everything happened in a very short sentence.
Don't miss the fact that Anthony always uses quotation marks. You may be tempted to omit them but they are very important. They show that not only you are speaking and voicing your opinion but that you are supporting someone else's opinion.
Now what? How do you find these quotes? I'm afraid you have to read the whole posts at first. Don't scan like most people including me do it. Read the entire article first and then condense its meaning to one sentence and find it in the text itself. Otherwise come up with a "summary". Anthony does this sometimes as well in cases when I don't provide him with the clue in the post itself.
I implemented a tool called Markerly on my blog after Topsy discontinued their Twitter buttons.
Now you only need to select a text passage with your mouse on my blog to be able to quote and share it on social media. Often my block-quoted items are already prepared for such a treatment both by length and their standalone message.
I know not everybody can become a content muse like Anthony over night so don't fret. You will have to learn by trial and error. Tweet a lot and quote a lot to find your way.