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Compendium Blogware Review

Compendium Blogware is a content marketing and blogging platform designed specifically for content marketers.  In many ways it competes with popular content management systems such as WordPress, while also competing with SEO optimization services like ScribeSEO and InboundWriter.

Compendium breaks up what their software does into four different parts: creating and capturing content, moderating content, and lastly broadcasting content.  Here’s a walkthrough of each component, and how Compendium plays a role in each.

Content Creation and Capturing. Compendium helps author original blog content through blogging software technology called Web-to-Post.  It’s basically a form that you can embed to solicit user generated content (UGC) from your customers such as testimonials or stories. Similarly, they have a feature called Email-to-Post where you can forward emails such as customer service interactions that can be later repurposed into blog posts. In addition, they have a “Message Meter” that weighs your keyword strength, suggests other keywords to include, and a marginally useful block that displays third party content relevant to the post you are authoring. These features are similar to content optimization tools such as ScribeSEO, or Inbound Writer. Lastly, they have an API if you want to programatically upload content into your blog such as customer surveys.

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Content Moderation.  Once you have created or captured content, Compendium Blogware allows you to then moderate the content to decide what should get published, what should not, and set permissions on a per author basis.  For example, you can set up workflows so that content requires approval by Paul first, then Nick and Tiffany before publication.  This is reminiscent of approval workflow tools like Kapost, or DivvyHQ, which are useful for companies that have legal approval processes or strict brand and content guidelines.

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Content Broadcasting.  Lastly, you can distribute your content through Compendium to various channels such as a blog, or various social media outlets (such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook). Compendium comes with its own content management system (CMS) and will host your blog for you. The blog is optimized for SEO using automatic categorization.  Furthermore, it can purportedly scale well because its hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is behind a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

The downside is that Compendium seems to have no integration with existing CMS’s such as WordPress.  This has a few consequences: While Compendium seems to have a flexible templating language, their templates are built using a proprietary XML format that would require a non-trivial amount of work to really customize.   While WordPress has thousands of community built plugins and themes, with Compendium, you would be restricted to the widgets and plugins they offer out of the box.  Also, because Compendium hosts your site, you are required to locate the site either on a subdomain (blog.yourcompany.com) or on an entirely new domain (www.yourblog.com) instead of a sub-directory on your existing domain. As a result, any backlinks you receive may credit the blog and not your corporate site.

Compendium is a compelling all-in-one solution for companies that need to get a robust blogging solution out the door with minimal IT support.  With Compendium Blogware, they can easily solicit and create content, build an approval workflow, and distribute content all under one roof.  Lastly they can do this in a hassle free manner without having to worry about the complexities of hosting and scaling, or on-site search engine optimization (SEO).

At the same time, Compendium at the minimum is a $7,000/year commitment.  As an alternate route, a company could piece together a similar solution using Inbound Writer or ScribeSEO for content optimization, Kapost or DivvyHQ for content moderation, WordPress for the CMS along with some social media sharing, email to post, and SEO plugins, and a hosting service for the site.  While this will not have all the features that Compendium provides, it does provide enough for many marketers to get something off the ground with minimal cost, but greater effort.

Who should use it

Larger companies. Larger companies seem like a closer fit for Compendium because of the pricing, but also some of the features geared toward companies with complex workflows and multiple authors.

Companies with Active Support Teams and User Bases. Compendium prides itself in being about to not only assist in creating content, but also in the capturing of content through web forms located on corporate websites, or community pages, and through customer support emails.  If your company has a very active user community, Compendium may be a strong fit for sourcing content from that community and repurposing it into search indexable blog content.  Similarly, if your company has an active emailed based support team, then many of the questions that they answer on a regular basis can also be easily repurposed into blog content through Compendium.

Companies that are starting from scratch. If you already have a CMS that you have invested in heavily, Compendium is probably not a fit for you because you will have to painfully migrate to their CMS.  On the other hand for companies that do not have any blogging platform, Compendium is a quick way to get up and running.

Pricing: 

  • Growth tier: $500/month + $1,000 set up fee
  • Pro tier: $1,500/month + $2,500 set up fee
  • Enterprise tier: $5,000/month + $5,000/month set up fee

Pros

  • All-in-one offering. Easy to get up and running.
  • Flexible templates that are customizable.
  • Great for getting whole organization or customers to contribute to content marketing via email to post and web to post.
  • Built-in SEO.

Cons

  • Does not integrate with existing CMS’s such as WordPress.
  • No subdomain support.
  • Weaker moderation features than dedicated content workflow tools.
  • Weaker content optimization features than dedicated tools.
  • Proprietary XML templates that may be hard to code.
Product: Compendium Blogware
Reviewed by Content Marketing Toolshed
Rating: 2

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