The 7 Best Practices for Awesome Content Curation
You already understand that content curation is providing your target market with the information they’re looking for and adding value to that content at the same time. It isn’t hard to do successfully, as long as you observe the following best practice / tips.
1. Know Your Marketplace
I know I’m always talking about targeted marketing in my blog posts but it’s for a great reason: 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, ideally it will help them solve a problem or help them reinforce a belief they have about themselves. When you start curating by understanding your readers and what they’re looking for online, information-wise means you’ll reap the benefits of content curation. The better you know their interests and needs the better you’ll be able to deliver the relevant content. The content won’t be patronising, it won’t be fluffy, it will be exactly what your reader is looking for.
2. Follow & Observe Other Curators
The best way to learn any skill is to observe 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. That does not mean sharing the same, identical content as they do but observing how they select their content, how they position it to their readers and followers, and how they interact with the responses. I make a point to follow curators in vastly different niches so I can see what techniques will work across the board and what ones are niche specific. You can learn a great deal about sharing content and engaging your audience by simply paying attention to the methods of other experts.
3. Choose the Right Tools
Oooo Shiny! There are many good tools to help you deliver content to your readers. In fact, there are too many. Resist the temptation to butterfly around among different tools.
- Spend some time shopping around, reading reviews,
- Check out free trials
- Choose one that you like and that does what you need it to do
- Stick with that it.
- See the free resources and tools sheet giveaway in the box at the bottom of the page
4. Add Value
Don’t just present the content as-is. The very best content curation always has a hint of spice added, an unusual twist or format that’s not mainstream. Always add some extra value to your curated piece by commenting on it, giving it your own spin or opinion, or even contradicting it and creating some controversy.
Struggling for ideas? A post that starts off with, ‘I found this article online and I totally disagree with it,’ can get others commenting and giving their two cents including the original author.
5. 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, include a snippet or quote so that your reader doesn’t have to go anywhere to get the gist of what the article says. Then they can make an informed decision as to whether they want to read further.
Exploring the quote aspect some more… Marquita Herald adds a sprinkling of famous (and some not so famous) quotes to almost all of her blog posts making them a really enjoyable read and this expands the mind of her readers. Marquita’s site Inspired Gift Giving is one of the best examples of content curation around quotations that I’ve seen.
6. 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(waiting in a line), this is a great opportunity to find great content. Use your mobile and whatever mobile apps you find that help you save and share content. I use the G-Whizz app to access Google Reader and share from there.
To ensure that curating content isn’t too time consuming I also use an IFTTT recipe so that when I select the star button in Google Reader a link is created and posted to my Facebook wall. IFTTT is a great tool for curating and sharing content via your mobile. My recipe for sending from Google Reader to Facebook is here. You can extend this so it shares also to LinkedIn and Twitter if you desire. If that’s the case it becomes a distribution tool rather than a curation tool.
See the resources download to see what tool I use to help me find awesome material via my laptop.
7. Mix It Up
Don’t just present the same type of content at every opportunity. Mix it up. I think one of the reasons that Twitter is so powerful is the ability to share images, text and video with ease. Rather than just curating articles and blog posts add videos, infographics, resources, 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. You’ll also engage people who prefer different learning experiences to your usual readers, and of course your readers can become viewers just as easily.
Always check out your site from the reader’s point of view to see if it’s truly providing value.
The question your curated content must always answer is: Is it better to read my posts or just go straight to the source? Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and you’ll understand what you need to do to add value.