Content Curation 101

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content curation

A blog is a great tool for marketing your business, but you may have any number of reasons for not blogging consistently. If you find it difficult to write articles from scratch on a regular basis, content curation is an excellent way to keep your name in front of potential clients. Many of the Web’s top bloggers are expert content curators.

Content curation is extremely popular right now, but like most Internet buzzwords, many people use the phrase without really understanding what it’s all about.

What Is Content Curation?

Content curation is sorting through a large amount of web content to find the best, most meaningful bits and presenting these in an organized, valuable way.

Kevan Lee, Buffer Social

It’s not simply presenting a list of stories or links, nor is it ripping off content from someone else by simply copying and pasting it into your own blog. Content curation is about gathering information and selecting the items that are most likely to interest your readers.

When you know your readers will be interested in learning a subject you’re not terribly knowledgeable about, doing the research and writing it up effectively can be as much work as writing a term paper. On the other hand, you probably devote a certain amount of time reading blogs and articles that are relevant to your target audience. You can serve them more efficiently by putting this content together into an easy-to-digest format that tells a story, making it relevant, valuable and memorable by adding your own commentary.

Content Curation 101

Why Curate Content?

The Internet provides a wealth of facts and figures on everything under the sun. This is great, but the daily deluge of information can be overwhelming. As an organizer, you have the skills to sift through what’s out there and find articles that your audience will truly find interesting and enjoyable to read. Don’t get me wrong – content curation isn’t an easy alternative to content creation. Curating content should be taken just as seriously as creating your own content from scratch, but it’s generally easier and more cost-effective than writing articles or hiring a ghost blogger.

It’s mainly a question of understanding your readers and choosing the right content. Think of it from their point of view. If your blog supplies the information they want on a regular basis, it saves them from having to do their own sifting online. Over time, they’ll come to see you as a go-to source of information and a knowledgeable expert in your field. If they find your blog content relevant and helpful, they’ll keep coming back for more, whether you’re the actual content creator or not.

I’ll be covering specific content curation strategies in the coming weeks, so be sure to join our mailing list so you don’t miss out!

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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Avatar Laurie Neumann on September 10, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Thanks, Janet, for making this distinction so clear. Very timely article for me! And I love your graphic! Great information.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on September 10, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Thanks for your feedback, Laurie – I really appreciate it!

  2. Avatar Seana Turner on April 16, 2016 at 7:05 am

    Took me awhile to learn this. When I started, I thought I had to “create” my own stuff. Now I learn from others and then try to select what I think would be interesting for my ideal client. I also broadened what I share on social media. Good conversation for us to have, Janet!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 16, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Creating your own content is great, but it can be very time-consuming! Curating content not only saves us time, but helps our readers and followers by finding other information they can use, and lets us pay tribute to those whose work we admire.

  3. Avatar Jill Robson on April 16, 2016 at 8:10 am

    I do this now and again, I think you are right about using a link to what other people have already written that pertains to your article. It will give readers a more in depth view of what you are trying to inform them about.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 16, 2016 at 11:11 am

      Good point! And it’s especially helpful if you say enough about the other article(s) to let your readers know whether they would find it interesting or not.

  4. Avatar Linda Samuels on April 16, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Janet- You are the master, or should I say, “Super Hero?,” of content curation, and you do this in so many ways. Your PO Blog Carnival is one way, but in other posts that you write, you’re often sharing resources (organizers, products, concepts or services). And of course in the closed Blogging Community that you host, you also share tons of resources that help us to be better bloggers.

    What do you think of the type “newspapers?” They cater to this idea of trolling for relevant content. My posts are often included by those that use these curation services, which I’m appreciative of.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 16, 2016 at 11:23 am

      I actually have mixed feelings about and the like. Although the “publisher” has the option of hand-selecting the content, most just “set it and forget it” – I’ve seen some that were full of irrelevant and even off-putting stuff. I also question if anyone looks at them other than the individuals mentioned in the tweets.

      That said, I publish two myself:

      In case you missed something… comes out on Monday morning, and contains all the links I personally tweeted in the past week.

      “YOB Weekly” comes out on Friday morning, and contains links tweeted by Professional Organizers Blog Carnival Star and Superstar Bloggers in the past week. I used to take the time to customize it before publishing it, but decided that not enough people were reading it to make it worthwhile.

      I always enjoy reading your “interesting finds” like this recent post.

      • Avatar Linda Samuels on April 17, 2016 at 9:56 am

        Interesting that even though you have mixed feelings, you still publish two of the content curator-type mags weekly. So there must be a benefit for you to put the effort in.

        I also rarely read those types of papers (TMI,) but every once in a while something will catch my eye and I’ll investigate further (and share.) I always RT and thank when I’m included in the papers (as long as I’m notified.) Otherwise, I don’t know that I’m in them. But people are pretty great about letting me know…because I think that’s the whole point – they share and then I’ll share.

        Thanks for also demystifying how the papers work. I wasn’t sure if it was a “set and forget it” content curation or if the curators were actually “hand-selecting” posts.

        • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 17, 2016 at 11:56 am

          I rarely read them either, but if I’m mentioned in the tweet (a decision that’s also made by, not the publisher) I will nearly always click through to see what else is in it, and often find some really good stuff there.

  5. Avatar Jamie Steele on April 16, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Janet, I love your infographic. I am stuck right now and haven’t been able to write for a few weeks. I’ve started many times and now I think I’m going to fill in the blanks with some good content curation. Thank you so much for this post I am excited to read more on this topic.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 17, 2016 at 7:07 am

      It can really be a lot of fun, choosing a topic and then seeing who has written what about it. I’ll be interested in seeing what you come up with!

  6. Avatar Liana George on April 16, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks Janet for the helpful info! I always think my blog has to be my own content, but you’ve encouraged me to think differently and hopefully make my writing life a little easier too!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 17, 2016 at 7:16 am

      It will still be your content, because you do the research, select the resources, and share your two cents worth about them, but it’s a different approach than starting with a totally blank slate.

  7. Avatar Sarah Soboleski on April 16, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Thanks for the in depth information on this topic, Janet. I didn’t realize this process had a name! I just had my 1-year blogging anniversary and I feel myself slowing down on content, so I think I’ll be curating more.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 17, 2016 at 7:23 am

      Now that you’re familiar with it, don’t be surprised to see that word popping up over and over! At least that’s what often happens to me. I find it hard to believe you’re running out of ideas – you are so creative!

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