“Curating content.” Another great buzzword. Er, make that buzzwords.
A curator is someone who works in a museum and mounts art exhibitions, right?
Yes– but I did an online search, and, to my surprise, I found the definition has been expanded. It now includes “a person who selects content for presentation, as on a website.”
Curating content is more than link dumping
For a long time, I thought “curating content” was simply sharing a link. You read a post written by somebody else and you think: My readers (target audience) would enjoy this, and/or find it helpful. So you tweet the link, or post it to your Facebook Page, or share it on LinkedIn.
But curating content is more than “link dumping.” It requires one’s active participation. Let’s take a closer look.
OK, you offer a product or a service. You’re a brand.
One of the challenges for brands, especially small brands, is creating content on a regular basis. Because you’re busy. You need to do your work and serve your customers.
Curating other people’s content takes some of the pressure off: you have something to share, which helps keep your own brand in circulation.
Make sure it’s a good fit
So the first “rule” of curating content is simply: keep an eye out for content that would be a good fit for both you and your target audience. That is: it relates to what you do, you’d be glad to have your brand associated with it, and it’s something your audience would enjoy or find helpful.
Vet the content and edit as necessary
Next, be proactive: Vet the content. Read it carefully. Did the content live up to the post title? Is it worth sharing with your readers? Does it provide fresh insights, or is it just advice they’ve probably heard before?
If you decide to share it, ask yourself: Was it easy to read? Was it well organized? Was it too long, boring in places? Think about editing the content, condensing it down, making it easier to digest. You’ll be doing your readers a favor.
ADD something to it
Here’s the most important part of all: Don’t just share the other person’s content. Don’t just rewrite or reorganize it. Add something to it. Share your own experience and opinion, maybe an extra tip. You’ll be sharing something of yourself, and that will resonate with your readers.
Point of fact: I’m doing all that here. This blog post was inspired by Heidi Cohen’s post, How To Curate Content Like A Pro. I’ve condensed it, focused on only what I consider the key points, added editorial comments, and created a summary infographic.
Speaking of which, here’s panel #2:
Credit the original content creator
You want the content to be associated with your brand (since you’re sharing it), but you need to credit the original content creator. (If you fail to do so, you’re misrepresenting the situation and taking credit for someone else’s work.)
How do you strike the right balance?
Credit the original creator, and link back to the original post. Include your brand (logo, website) when you publish the curated content.
Another suggestion: Drop the original creator a note and let them know you’ve shared their content. Include a link to same, so they can take a look. Chances are, they’ll share that link with their own followers, which means extra exposure for you and your brand. Plus, it’s a nice courtesy, and a great way to build relationships as you go along.
You can curate Your OWN content
A final tip: You can also curate your own content (e.g., all or part of previously published posts). Dust off a successful post and bring it up to date. Edit it, possibly reformat it. Make sure the links are still good. Maybe add some new information, give it a fresh look. It’s a great way to keep your best content in circulation.
Here’s all the above in a summary infographic:
Originally published on Mark Armstrong Illustration.