Curating content is a great way to stock your blog with fresh topics and increase traffic, but as with everything in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. But first things fist. What is curated content? Content curation is the process of sorting through the seemingly endless amount of content on the web, selecting what is relevant to your audience and presenting it in a thoughtful, organized manner structured around a specific theme.
Right and Wrong Ways to Curate Content
Don’t just collect. Anyone can collect and gather online content. As a content curator, your job is to handpick the content most relevant and important to your community. This involves searching, vetting, organizing and presenting a customized selection of content on a particular topic.
Do position yourself as an authority. For organizations and brands, curating content is a great way to establish thought leadership and become the go-to authority on an important topic or issue. Visitors don’t want to waste time hunting around the web for info; they want to go straight to a source of customized content selected based on a common interest, niche or industry.
Don’t get content fried. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the daily overconsumption of content directed at us. Digesting content in a meaningful, thoughtful way takes time, patience, discipline and perseverance. Reduce distractions and budget timeslots for researching so you don’t succumb to data overload.
Do know your audience. It’s impossible to deliver content of value and interest to your visitors unless you know who they are. Taking the time to learn about their world, their pain points and their concerns will enable you to better research, collect and present topics of value to them.
Don’t just repost. Add value by making sense of the information for your audience. This can be as simple as how you annotate shared links or writing a blog post using links or summarizing key points from a presentation. Be sure, however, that your opinions support your organization’s communication objectives.
Do play follow the leader. Find the best content curators in your industry and follow them. You will learn a lot from experienced curators: how they have honed their craft, established workflows, tools to use, and general how-to tips.
Don’t steal. Curating content isn’t about stealing someone else’s work. Be sure you take the time to attribute work, give links back and credit to the original creator. Providing a link to the original piece not only drives traffic back to the original site but also provides all kinds of back-end website value when it comes to web and search engine rankings.
Do use the right tools. Curation tools, such as Storify, enable you to pull content from blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and other sources and then export to WordPress, Tumblr or Posterous blog or share it on social media.
Don’t just repackage. Remember, the best content curators are also content creators. A good content mix that offers measurable impact requires you to create, contribute and collect content.
People are increasingly turning to trusted resources to keep themselves informed. Organizations have a tremendous opportunity today to inform, entertain and motivate subscribers with carefully curated content, which can be an immense brand asset when its is well-conceived, consistently delivered and expertly customized.
Barb Schmitz is professional writer with over 20 years of experience writing for B2B and B2C publications and web sites. She served as an editor on Computer-Aided Engineering magazine for over 10 years before starting her own PR/freelance writing business in 2000. Her expertise includes interviewing, researching and writing whitepapers, blogs, e-books, case studies, and feature articles.