What is Content Curation and How to Do It Right
What is Content Curation and How to Do It Right
Imagine a DJ.
He looks for great music, mixes it and plays it for his audience.
The results can sometimes be so amazing that they might overtake the original in popularity.
A content curator is very much like a DJ. He looks for great content, processes that content and generates new content from it by adding a personal touch.
Whether you believe it or not, the content you curate can have the power to electrify audiences the same way a DJ does with his music.
It’s all about having the right system in place.
Let’s take a look.
A Little Story about Content Curation
Not too long ago I was at a point in my life where I needed to recharge my batteries and get away from it all. The job I had was not what I had expected and I was needing to think things over.
One day, after thinking about it for weeks, I loaded up on courage and decided to sell everything I owned and quit my job to go traveling.
3 months after selling my first piece of furniture on eBay I jumped on an airplane to Beijing and started my one-year travel stint throughout Asia.
It was an unforgettable experience. Everything was new and exciting. I wrote detailed reports about my travels to friends and family at least two or three times a week.
I had turned into a never-ending source of stories, so much so that even I was amazed about my creative powers during that time.
But why did it feel so effortless to pump out so many stories per week?
You are probably thinking “that’s not art. I can do that if I’m traveling like that”. And you are right.
When out of the ordinary things are happening to us, it is a lot easier to be creative.
The 2 Ways to Content
But your own experiences as a company or individual are not the only way to generate stories. And this is where content curation comes into play.
There are basically 2 reasons why we are able to create content:
- We consume other people’s stories and adapt them to our way of seeing things.
- We create our own stories based on our own experiences.
In both cases we are receiving information or what’s also called input.
During my travels, I was receiving all this input through my experiences and that’s why it was so easy to write all those stories for friends and family. The stories were just the output.
Unless you are a writer traveling the world and putting down on paper your experiences, generating that output can get a little tough.
Depending on the subject you write about, it can even be very tough. Routine makes it difficult. Plus, you need a little variety in your content. You can’t always write about your own products, customers and company. It can get boring for your readers.
That’s why content curation is so important. It can help you get the quality input that you need to generate valuable content.
Quality being the key here. You need to know what the latest trends are in your own industry, so you cannot afford to follow sources that have no authority or are not up-to-date.
The 3 Steps of Content Curation
Content curation is divided in 3 steps that you will need to complete for as long as you need content marketing to sell your products and services:
- Obtaining sources and analyzing them
- Reading your sources on a regular basis
- Creating your own content
Obtaining and Analyzing Your Sources
Finding out which sources you can trust and analyzing them requires the most time and effort. But it is not something that you need to do every week.
All you have to do is pay attention when you consume your sources and see if they are offering quality information and/or if new authorities have emerged in your industry that you should be paying attention to.
Here are some ideas on where to look for sources:
- Google and Google Scholar
- Social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc.)
Consuming Your Sources on a Regular Basis
Once you have found sources that you can trust, you will need to find a way to organize them so that you can get to the information easily.
The key here is dedicating time to it on a regular basis. If you do this, the ideas are guaranteed to flow with a lot less effort.
Some advice that will make it easier to organize and consume your sources:
- Try Evernote. This tool is simply amazing. It allows you to save notes, articles, photos, screenshots and anything else you might find in the web, and organize it all with a tag system so that you can find and access it from all your devices when you are ready to start writing.
- You seem unable to find time to read your own sources? Or maybe you are just not that much into reading? Try videos, audiobooks or podcasts.
- Try Feedly. This free tool allows you to centralize all your sources without having to subscribe to a lot of newsletters and clogging up your email account. You can also read the content from one place so that you don’t need to open many tabs or windows.
Creating your Own Content
Now that you have all the inspiration that you need, you just have to follow a few simple rules to avoid copyright issues and establish yourself as an authority in your field:
- Never copy your sources word for word. And if you do, give them credit for it.
- If you share content from third parties through social media, give it a twist, make a small comment. Sharing other people’s content can even be beneficial to your own SEO efforts.
- Don’t just offer information to your readers. Give them stories to spice it up and they will keep coming back for more.
Content curation is an extremely powerful tool that will help you avoid writer’s block if you do it consistently.
Remember: Search for sources, analyze their credibility, organize and consume them on a regular basis and your content marketing efforts will run a lot more smoothly.
And that’s not all. Thanks to content curation you will also be able to keep up with the latest trends and insights in your industry.
So do it right and do it consistently!