Welcome to our weekly column by Blogger Babes co-founder Ponn Sabra. Check back every Monday for the tips and tricks you need to take your blog to the next level!
Have you ever heard of or tried curating content? Chances are, you have—and without even realizing it, you were on the right track as a pro blogger.
Curating content means choosing a portion of a post or an article and writing your own post around it. You can choose the content from a variety of different sources: your favorite blogs, news websites, etc. Then comment on it, organize your information, and re-share it for your audience. While this doesn't replace your original content creation, good curated content catches your readers' attention and draws them in. Plus, if you do it right, it increases exposure for both yourself and your source.
The basic formula for a post with curated content is:
- Choose a topic. Make sure it's one on which you have an opinion—so if you don't really care for the latest fad in footwear, move on to something different.
- Express your point of view.
- Explain what the content you're curating is saying.
- Comment on the curated content.
- Quote from the source. If applicable, you can insert an image or an inforgraphic from the source instead.
- Credit the source. Provide links and be clear that the entire post isn't your own.
- Add your own conclusion. Ultimately, are bomber jackets a thumbs-up or thumbs-down for Fall fashion?
- Invite your subscribers and followers to give their opinions in your comments section.
Curated content is super handy for having a lively comment section. You can ask for feedback from your readers in many different ways. For example, you can…
- Ask your readers to pick a side. “Laced-up footwear: yay or nay? Tell me your thoughts about it below!”
- Ask your readers if they agree or disagree. “Do you think laced-up footwear is here to stay?”
- Encourage your readers to share their experiences. “Do you own a pair of laced-up footwear? If so, do you like it so far?
Of course, if you decide to curate content, it's important to know what isn't okay. For example, you definitely must continue to write your own quality content. If you thought that you could just copy-paste from other sources and leave it at that, think again. If you use articles, infographics, or images without proper attribution or permission, it counts as theft of intellectual property, which is more common than you think, especially on social media.
So, when is it okay to share content without bringing your own perspective into it? Only when the original author/source specifically says it's okay to share. Any article, infographic, image, quiz, or contest needs an invitation to be shared.
Either way, statistics show that posts with personal perspectives—even just short comments—gain higher rank and get more interaction anyway (Google doesn't like “duplicate content”).
But why Curate Instead of Create?
Earlier, I mentioned that curating content is mutually beneficial for both the original content creator and the curator. Here's a post I wrote at Blogger Babes as an example.
In the post, I used an infographic I saw at Designer Blogs (and they saw from FastPrint) to illustrate my point about mixing Google typefaces. Using the graphic did a better job of explaining what I wanted to say than if I were to write a similar article by myself, so myself and my audience benefited. Meanwhile, my post sent traffic to Designer Blogs and FastPrint.
Basically, content curation isn't just about the information—it's about how you present it to your audience and the interaction that follows. You want to make sure that your audience understands your point, is able to focus on it, and most of all, becomes engaged and wants to contribute/make a comment.
And here’s the best part—having wonderfully curated content all the time is one of the things that makes you the source or go-to person for your readers. You’re the person they turn to when they want to find out current events in your niche. Because not only do you provide them the best and most accurate information, but you also show them why it’s important and what it really means.
This intro to content curation is extracted from the step-to-step guide in my and Heidi’s fifth ekit in the Blogger Building Blocks Monthly series, Being a Content Source. This starter kit includes a mailing list planner, step-by-step tutorial workbook, 2-week calendar, and a getting-it-done checklist.
What do you think about content curation? Tell me all about it below!
[Photo by Marco Garrincha via Shutterstock]