Last month, we talked about the [many reasons why your business should be blogging]. Having a regular stream of new, engaging content is a great way to boost the performance of your site, leading to more sales and leads in the long run.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. Creating great content on a regular basis requires careful planning, research and the writing skills to bring your ideas to life. That’s not to mention the commitment it takes to keep your blog topped up with new posts while running a business at the same time…
The good news is, you don’t always have to come up with your own unique content – sometimes everything you need to build a unique post is already out there on the web.
What is content curation?
Content curation is the process of researching, collating and presenting the best content from around the world wide web.
There are lots of ways to approach content curation. For example, you could collect various experts’ opinions on a certain subject and present them together in a single digest, which is a great way to capitalise on a recent event or a trending topic.
Alternatively, you could present a list of useful tools and guides to help your readers accomplish a certain task. Let’s say your company sells specialist kitchen appliances – you could provide your readers with links to interesting recipes from various sources.
You could even construct a narrative using curated content – perhaps starting with a tweet or status update which brings a story to light, continuing on to news coverage of the issue, and concluding with reactions and insights from social media users.
Isn’t that stealing?
It’s important to make the distinction between curation and plagiarism. Content curation is not about copying and pasting parts from other articles without crediting your sources – that strategy will only harm your reputation.
Instead, your aim is to share the great content you’ve found on the web with your audience. Be sure to always credit the creators behind the content you’re showcasing.
Why bother with content curation?
There are plenty of great reasons to build curation into your content marketing strategy. For starters, offering unique and original content is becoming more and more difficult for everyone most of the ideas you’ll have for posts will have already been taken by other websites.
On the other hand, curated content can automatically offer users unique value – rather than visiting lots of different blogs and publishers (and having to digest their content in full), they can get everything they need from a single article.
You might be concerned how all of this fits into your blog’s SEO – after all, Google has measures in place to recognise duplicated content and even penalise sites that copy from others. However, as long as the content you’ve quoted from other sources is paired with a fair amount of content you’ve produced yourself, your curated posts can still rank highly.
(For example, rather than just posting opinion quotes from various experts without context, you could write a little introduction for each expert, and include your own opinion in the conclusion of the article.)
What’s more, curation can help your site acquire natural backlinks, which you’ll need in order to get your site appearing consistently in top search results. Assuming your domain and backlink profile are both healthy, you’ll be boosting the authority of the sites you’re linking to in your curated collections – and hopefully they’ll be inclined to return the favour by linking to your content on their sites. For some creators, the simple ego boost of getting name checked might be enough to get them linking to you.
How do you find content worth featuring?
So perhaps you’re warming up to the idea of content curation – but with millions of new pages being added to the web every day, how on earth are you supposed to sift through all that content and find interesting, relevant and valuable pieces worth talking about?
Thankfully, there are a number of tools and strategies to help you find great content for your curated collections. Here are just a few:
- Set up [Google Alerts](https://www.google.co.uk/alerts) to track certain keywords. This free service will monitor the web for you and automatically email you with all the latest articles and stories on your chosen topics. Try setting up an alert for your company name and see what people are saying about you!
- Check out hashtags on social media. Facebook and Twitter automatically transform hashtags into links – click on one and you’ll see all posts with that particular tag. You can do the same with trending keywords, which appear in the sidebar sections of both platforms.
- Investigate bookmarking sites. For example, [Reddit](reddit.com) is a great source for finding valuable content, especially as it features countless ‘subreddits’ which each focus on individual subjects.
- Use reader/aggregator tools. There are plenty of free apps which collect and filter content for you based on your preferences, which lets you spend less time researching and reviewing and more time posting great curated content.
- Create a spreadsheet table to store and catalog the content you’ve discovered. For each piece of content you add to the table, include a few related keywords in a designated ‘topic’ column. That way, you can quickly bring up all the content relating to a particular topic with a simple keyword search.
This has been a quick taster on content curation, and how to leverage it as part of your content marketing strategy. For more tips and advice on online marketing for your business, follow Littlebigbox on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates from our blog.