(L to R: Jerry Nairne, Josh Silverman, JR Getches, Morgan Malino)
What do you do when writing content is a chore and the experts you need are busy with their “real” jobs? As the head of IT for a law firm, JR Getches knew that frequently-updated, fresh, keyword-rich content would drive search engine optimization (SEO) and web rankings. He knew those rankings were the goldmine behind building awareness with potential clients. But JR needed more content.
So when the managing partner of the firm assigned each lawyer to write 500 words, just once per week, JR thought that reasonable request to help their website rankings skyrocket would be an easy one for staff to fulfill. But then the lawyers didn’t produce. Like many business owners, they were just too busy.
JR started thinking about content automation as a means to help writers stay on top of their topics. He figured there must be a way to automate story writing so the lawyers – or any business or content owner – could focus more on editing and style.
With his tech background, JR knew his idea would need to be an algorithmic-rich system that took care of formatting and extracting the labor-intensive stuff, like which keywords and format will get the attention of the narrow and ever-changing definition of what search engine computers rank highest. And it had to be customizable and simple to use.
And that’s why he built Zaphne.
“As a business owner, it is really hard to come up with an hour every day to write content. That’s why so many good-intention blogs are abandoned. Zaphne automates the research and revision parts of blogging, helps business owners stay focused on building organic web traffic, and increases productivity. They don’t have to write content themselves or wait for someone to come along and write it for them,” said Josh Silverman, CFO for Zaphne and one member of the entrepreneurial company’s tech-experienced, four-person team.
Josh is bullish on the opportunity ahead for Zaphne because of the productivity it gives back to business owners. He is also enthusiastic about the team.
“Zaphne’s content engine unlocks SEO strategies organically, and gives business owners the low cost tool they need to compete with the big firms who are churning out content with a staff of writers,” he said. “It solves a real problem for millions of web site owners.”
So how does it work, exactly? Zaphne combines automation with a proprietary algorithm that searches the web for relevant information and then creates keyword-rich, original content based on the topic you choose. The content includes pictures and videos, keywords and links to source articles, and is considered original content by search engines. Never duplicated for anyone else, each Zaphne post can be completely computer written, or can be easily edited in about five minutes to fit your style – a far cry from the hour it takes an average person to construct a blog themselves.
Officially launched last year, Zaphne has already garnered positive feedback and live use via its integration with WordPress and its inclusion in the WordPress repository. A blogless version is coming soon. Josh says the Charleston, SC Company has been flying under the radar on purpose, but the search for feedback continues.
“Hearing both positive and constructive responses has been invaluable in the development of Zaphne. For example, the idea to have a blogless version came from a banker who liked the idea of being a content expert, but doesn’t have a blog,” he said. “We also hear folks coming up with other ways to integrate this service with their software or media platform, or another way to think about using our automated content. We can’t put a price tag on that kind of feedback.”
He added, “The software is built and the core tech works great, so now we are focused on making adaptation easier for end users. The core technology doesn’t change, just where and how we deliver what Zaphne constructs. Getting into WordPress is a big step for any software. They have 75 million users worldwide. But we are already working other integration points to take this large scale. We’re building on our one-to-many approach.”
By focusing their attention on automating the mundane parts of blogging, Zaphne helps business owners and marketing professionals express themselves without the investment of time it typically takes to research, compose and format original content.
With Zaphne, they can learn to love their blog again.