Curating content for your blog is one of those should-I-or-shouldn’t-I questions beginner bloggers ask. The simple answer? Yes, you should.
But wouldn’t that just lead traffic to others rather than to you? Yes and no. If you do it right, you get comparably good, or even better results when you curate content!
Compare content curation to owning a coffee shop. Instead of growing your own beans, which would take ages, you curate the best beans instead! You make your coffee blends according to your taste and knowledge. You even feature the beans themselves. You also create a menu to let coffee drinkers pick what they need or like. Your customers patronize you for your good taste and presentation.
That’s content curation. You research and gather, you present them in a neat and delicious package, and you bring value to your readers.
You connect them to what they want or need to know, and because readers prefer going to one reliable place rather than wandering about aimlessly looking for what they need, your quality curated post earns their loyalty and social sharing! Big impact!
Why curate content?
Writing your own content takes up to 500% more time than simply curating what’s already out there. If you own a business, or if you work, and you blog on the side, writing your own content eats time you could be using instead on core tasks and services that make money! Content curation is faster and more practical. It’s cheaper–you save on resources you would otherwise have spent making your own!
It also broadens your area of expertise. For example, a mom-cook blogger may not know much about kitchen DIY. But it’s part of her domain–she loves kitchens!–so she curates The Best DIY Decorating Tricks to Refresh Your Kitchen. Or what about eggnog? She hasn’t made those yet, so she curates the best-presented and most mouth-watering recipes, as much for herself as for her readers.
If it’s related to your niche, and if it’s something your readers would want or need, you don’t have to learn about them yourself. Curate! Do you have an idea for a post but you don’t feel comfortable or confident writing about it yourself? Curate!
It also opens relationships. It’s huge. You do drive traffic to influencers, and they notice. They might even share it to their own audience! That’s why you have to do it right. Message them so they can check it out. When they do check, make sure your curation wouldn’t disappoint them!
- Does it look professional?
- Do you make them feel special? Are they featured nicely, as an expert, with a photo and/or a short positive review on why you included them?
- Expanding on the second point, do you include them with other best of the best? If theirs is the only good content in your curation, that doesn’t speak well for you at all.
Social media marketing success hinges on content curation. I’ve mentioned it in my post about Blog Templates That Work. You make yourself known by showing your fellow bloggers AND your readers that you’re around, that you’re reading, and that you are discerning. It’s social, sharing what others have created, and it’s intelligent (and flattering to those who get included!), rounding up only the best so that your readers don’t have to wade through so much inferior content.
What to curate
All of the following curation ‘templates’ attract links and social shares. But as with aspiring for viral content, don’t let that be your goal! Aim for something you want for your blog or business, and offer value to your readers at the same time. You’ll be rewarded!
All of the answers are great insights on what content curation is and is not, and how to do it right!
How to curate content
Curated content shouldn’t be something your readers ignore. When you do a curation post, they should get excited, interested, impressed. How do you do that?
One word: quality. How to accomplish quality in curated content?
- Pick a type and make sure it matches your topic and your readers. For example, curated customer content about their favorite teas is better than a Best list, because then you’d only be writing about your own taste, and taste (especially for tea) varies!
- Focused or broad, focused but broad, that’s what makes curated content great. Again, in the above tea example, you could curate a complete coverage of Earl Grey alone, or you could include every known tea on earth!
- Find a unique angle or aspect that hasn’t been done before, hasn’t been done a lot yet. This would create buzz for you. Again, on tea, perhaps your curated content could be on The Best Teas and Tea Blends Kids Actually Love!
- Find them all. Use tools like Buzzsumo, Evernote, Reddit and Feedly to make sure you don’t miss anything. After all, you can’t properly assemble the best of the best if you miss out on a website or influencer. Your readers will notice– and once they do, you lose your credibility instantly.
- Read them all. If they’re videos, watch them all. As I’ve mentioned above, who/what you include matters, not just to your readers but to those you do include. You could fail spectacularly here if you don’t do quality control.
- Make it look good! Remember, the Internet is visual. Include graphics! Don’t just list links. Organize it and make it easy for your readers to skip to what they need or like.
- Add your own voice. It’s like posting on your social media. You don’t just suddenly share a link without saying anything. Point out what you liked, and why this is good and helpful or wonderful. This is how you demonstrate your own good judgment and expertise, even as you direct your readers to other experts!
- In doing the above, you can even change titles, images, and captions. Things could always be improved, and as long as you don’t change anything without the author’s OK, it’s good. For your own curation, it’s yours and you can add commentary and value through the anchor titles you use.
Be consistent and organized in your curation efforts. If you need to, hire someone especially for this task, a part-time freelancer who could help source the best content. Develop a process and strategy, follow a schedule, and dedicate time for your content curation. It could be your big gun, and remember, one post is all it takes to create a regular visitor or a lead!
Content curation is both creation and organization. You’re a writer and organizer. Use the best traits of both roles to create the best curated post every time!
Have you noticed peak views on your own curated posts? Planning any now? Let me know!