The Top Seven Best Practices for
Content curation is one of those buzzwords getting tossed around online like content marketing. I even wrote about it for Wealthy Web Writer last year, so the fact that we're still talking about it now means it's here to stay.
What exactly is "content curation," and how does it relate to web writers?
Simply put, content curation is the "the process of finding, organizing, and sharing third-party content." That's it.
So when you're sharing tweets on Twitter, you're curating content. Linking to another blog post from your post? You're curating.
That said, how well are you curating? Do you feel like you're just grasping at straws, not really doing it with a clear strategy? Here are seven best practice tactics for content curation that will set you on the right path.
1 – Find the Right Content
Finding the right content to share can be as elusive as finding the inspiration for your own content. However, you can leverage the tools you're using to find inspiration to find the right content to share.
- Subscribe to RSS feeds on sites you're interested in.
- Follow influencers on Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Re-pin information from thought leaders on Pinterest.
- Read through content on Zite.
2 – Share and Engage, Engage and Share
Have you ever un-followed someone because they only just share content from others? They never say a single thing themselves? I know I have.
Engage and participate with your followers. It actually serves a couple of purposes. One, it shows there's a human behind the account. Two, it shows that you're also reading the content and not just reposting it. It's easy to just click "Share," but if you're commenting, chances are you read the post too. (And you should!)
3 – Use Multiple Platforms
Share the interesting content through multiple platforms. Don't be shy about cross-pollinating your content. Mixing your followers engages them more fully, and shows that you're looking at different content, too.
Say you found an interesting infographic on Twitter; why not link to it on your blog? Or how about those great photos you found on Pinterest? Link to them on LinkedIn.
It doesn't really matter which platforms you share between, as long as you're sharing quality content to the appropriate users. Use one, two, or more platforms … it's really up to you.
Additionally, using platforms like Paper.li or Storify also lend an air of professionalism to your work. It's even better for freelancers, as they help you create your own newsletter without doing a lot of work. A client of mine is using Storify to summarize tweet chats he hosts each month, as it saves him time and it presents the summaries in an eye-catching way.
4 – Stick to a Schedule
This applies more to longer-form curation tactics like blog posts rather than something short like tweets, but if you're using multiple platforms, sticking to a schedule for them will help too. Readers will come to expect content from you on that schedule, and are more likely to follow you if you keep up with it.
It also makes you seem a little more professional, and that you're not just retweeting a link while you're waiting in line at the local coffee shop.
5 – Use the Tools You're Comfortable With
You'll have to try them out and see what works for you. I've been trying out some new ones this year, to see if I could take advantage of the advanced features, but have kept coming back to the more basic ones. Apparently I like simplicity with my content curation.
While there are many free ones out there, don't shy away from the paid ones. They often have free trials so you can check them out and see if they work for you.
6 – Measure Your Success
Keeping track of your metrics is an important part of any content curation plan. You can't just share in a vacuum. There are two easy ways to measure your success: by the number of followers you attract and the number of shares your posts get.
7 – Share, Don't Steal
This is really the ‘Number One Rule of Content Curation.’ Attribute the content to the original author wherever possible. If you don't know who wrote it, give a shout out to the site you got the content from. After all, these people work hard to create the content, so make sure they get the credit.
The added bonus of linking to the original author and site is an increase in SEO love from Google. Remember, Google likes it when you link to trusted and valuable sites.
There you have it, some best practices for curating content. Have any you'd like to add to the list?
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