What Is Content Curation?
Content curation means pulling together content from various sources and presenting it to the reader in your own unique way. It may be easier to understand content curation by defining what it is not. Content curation doesn't mean presenting a list post or a weekly roundup of links. It's definitely not a cut and paste job where you rip off content from someone else.
The idea is to take the information available and make sense of it for your readers. It starts with carefully sifting through all that's out there and selecting the best items that would interest your readers. You then put this content together into an easy-to-digest format that tells a story, making it relevant, valuable and memorable.
Think of a museum. The artifacts are arranged in a group or collection that tells a story. The artifacts themselves may have started in Italy, moved throughout Europe and end up at the British Musem.
A list post of these items would merely be a list of artifacts. A round-up would just be a selection of artifacts grouped together. Curation goes that step further by telling the story of artifacts and how they came together.
Why Curate Content?
The content is already out there for your readers to enjoy, so why put it together for them? This is the key to good content curation – it's not just a pile of information. We're inundated by a deluge of information every minute of every day. The Internet is wonderful because of this, but it leads to overwhelm. Everyone has to sift through all that's out there to find what they're truly interested in reading. A good content curator does this for you and builds a following of loyal readers as a result.
How Content Curation Helps You
One common misconception about content curation is that it's an easy way out of content creation. Since you're pulling together content from different sources, this offers a shortcut to writing it all yourself. This couldn't be further from the truth. Actually, like the content you write yourself, the content you curate can help you establish authority and create a connection with your readers.
Think of it from the reader's point of view. Your blog or website is a source of the exact information they want on a regular basis. It saves them from having to do their own sifting online. Over time, they come to see you as a go-to source for their information. They see you as a knowledgeable expert in your field. An automated program that uses keyword algorithms to suck up content from other sites won't do that. A human being still needs to make sense of the story.
If your content is relevant and helpful to your readers, they'll keep coming back for more. It doesn't matter to them whether you're the actual content creator or not.
7 Content Curation Tips So You Can Curate Like An Expert
Content curation is all about providing your audience with the information they're looking for and adding value to that content at the same time. It isn't difficult to do successfully, as long as you follow these seven guidelines.
- Tune into Your Market
Successful content curation doesn't mean finding content that interests you (although it might mean that incidentally). What it means is choosing content that your readers will find useful or intriguing. Start by understanding your readers and what they're looking for online, information-wise. The better you know their interests and needs, the better you'll be able to deliver the most relevant content.
- Follow Other Curators
The best way to learn any skill is to imitate those that came before. Follow other content curators and see not only what kind of information they share but how they go about doing it. You can learn a great deal about sharing content and engaging readers by simply paying attention to the methods of the experts.
- Choose the Right Tool
There are many good tools to help you deliver content to your readers. In fact, there are too many. Resist the temptation to bounce around among different tools. Instead, choose one that you like and that does what you need it to do, and stick with that one. Spend some time shopping around, reading reviews, and checking out free trials.
- Add Value
Don't just present the content as-is or as a bunch of links. Always add some extra value to it by commenting on it, giving it your own spin or opinion, or even contradicting it and creating some controversy. A post that starts off with, ‘I found this article online and I totally disagree with it,' can get others commenting and giving their opinion. It can generate a lot of traffic and a lot of attention!
- Quote Articles
When you refer to an article, don't just put a link to it. This makes your readers follow the link, which is extra work for them and also leads them off your site. Instead, tease them by including a snippet or quote and then asking a question. Your reader clicks, reads and comes back to agree or disagree with you. Remember when you do this to ensure that your links open in a new tab.
- Use Your Mobile
It takes a great deal of time to search out content and that means more hours of sitting in front of the computer. When you're out somewhere and you have a little time to kill, this is a great opportunity to surf around and find great content. Use your mobile and whatever mobile apps you find that help you save and share content.
- Share the diversity
Don't just present the same type of content. Mix it up. Rather than just curating articles and blog posts, share videos, infographics, resource sites, and podcasts as well. By curating content from as many different sources as possible, you’ll make the learning and reading experience more interesting both for your audience and for yourself. This is exactly what a museum does.
Always check out your content curation from the reader's point of view to see if it's truly providing value. Is it better to read your posts or just go straight to the source? Put yourself in their shoes and you'll understand what you need to do to add value.
Curating content should be taken just as seriously as creating your own content from scratch, but one of the advantages of this approach is that it is easier and more cost-effective than writing your own content or hiring a writer. It's just a matter of understanding your readers well and choosing the right content.
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