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Decorah Content Marketing Company Helps Business Create Blogs

In 1895, John Deere began circulating a narrowcasted publication called The Furrow to help inform farmers about new technology and teach them how to run a business.

The idea was simple: by targeting a niche audience with unique content, a company could create community engagement while promoting their products. Nowadays, this strategy is called content marketing. In fact, Decorah, Iowa-based company Goodblogs has developed a platform that will do just that and help any businesses create their own Furrow.

Initially when Peter Awad and Jason Trout launched the company in October of 2010, the project was similar in concept to sites like Digg or Reddit where users vote links up or down. Except that Goodblogs hosted only original content, and while the site attracted some readers and bloggers, the range of content was too broad to monetize or appear high in search traffic.

"It's very difficult to gain traction on a site that's kind of about everything, unless you're trying to be another Google," Awad said.

The solution? Create a singular, customizable platform that features less more targeted content. After that, the concept can be extrapolated to virtually any business or niche market imaginable.

Awad and Trout began the startup with a small amount of funding from angel investors and have otherwise bootstrapped the rest of their company.

"As long as you have an audience that's passionate about the topic then you're going to be able to find bloggers," Awad said. "And if you can get bloggers, then you can get readers."

The concept is simple: businesses want to drive traffic to their websites. Goodblogs helps those businesses set up a targeted site to attract potential customers with specific interests. Independent bloggers then submit content and get paid based on the popularity of their submissions. The process helps creative incentive for bloggers to share their work on social media, generating more link views and—Goodblogs' founders hope—traffic to the host business's website.

"It's a platform that any business can use," Awad said. "It feels like this is something where we're definitely in on the ground level and so it's really exciting to see where this thing goes."

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