If you’re a blogger, I’m sure you’ve heard the term content curation, but do your really know what it means and how to do it well? Do you know what the biggest content curation blunders are?
Definition of Content Curation
Tom Foremski defines content curation as,
“Person or a group of people, engaged in choosing and presenting a collection of things related to a specific topic and context.”
Digital content curation is,
“Gathering information from the Internet, selecting the most important elements, organizing the content and sharing it with others in a concise and easy to consume manner.”
Based on the definition of curation, as a curator, is that what you do? I must admit that before reading Curate This, I was not doing content creation the right way. Curators have a voice. And great curators can see themes and make bold predictions. They look for ideas across media, tapping into many sources. When you write a curated post, do you include TED Talks, SlideShare presentations, podcasts, YouTube videos, articles and blog posts? That’s what the best creators do, and they do not stop there. They add their unique insights to add value.
Content curators are hunters, gatherers, and organizers. They have the unique ability to create order out of chaos.
Content Curation Blunders
‘Curators’ who do not have a sound understanding of content curation usually make the following content curation blunders.
- Do not have a voice.
- Do not have an instinct for filtering information.
- Do not have a vision.
Content curation is not about presenting content about a topic. It’s much more encompassing than that. You have to have a voice, and use that voice to add value for the readers. What does the information you are presenting really saying? What is the underlying theme that you recognize? What are the implications when you present the elements as a whole? Do any ideas emerge when pulling the information together? Great content curation is about going below the surface.
Content curation is about ruthlessly filtering content to get to the best. The best curators are constantly exploring, searching, and ruthlessly discarding content, leaving only the best. Sarah Arrow told me about two content curation software – CurationSoft and TrafficFresh. I was reminded of the two software programs after reading Curate This. And I have started using them to find fresh curated content.
The content you create by curating, should have a unique voice and vision. Being a resource for valuable content makes you more valuable to your readers. Curators identify patterns and have a distinct point of view. Your job as a curator is to create logic and meaning in your collection of content to create an editorial flow that provides context and meaning.
7 Best Practices for Content Curators
- Excerpt, don’t lift: Do not cut and paste, summarize. What is fair use? How much is too much? This is worth thinking about.
- Attribution: Give credit to the creator. This is something that Sarah Arrow stresses in her 30-Day Blogging Challenge.
- Context: Have a point of view. Have context around the curated content. Why is the collection important? What’s the story you’re trying to tell?
- Link back to the original sources: It’s the fair and right thing to do. And it’s also good karma.
- Images: Read the fine print. Who owns the image?
- No-Follow is a No-No: When you link back to the original source, do not create a no-follow link. That is not giving credit – and that’s not good. Allow readers to easily get to the original source.
- An excerpt is an excerpt: Write a summary. As an example of excerpt, say for instance that an article is six pages in length, it’s fair to quote a paragraph or two. What is fair use? You shouldn’t hurt the author by sharing their work. Fair use is using somebody’s work to make a new point or present a new idea.
Content Curation Tips
- Build a monster list. They are easy to read.
- Round-up post. Lists are great for this as well.
- Be a namedropper. Influencers like to feel valued and recognized. Include them in your curated content. And chances are they will share your content.
- Craft an attention-grabbing headline. People are looking for excitement. Any headline you craft, should have the potential to get your readers excited.
- Add original input to provide context. Before you present your curated content, write an introduction that is at least 300 words. People like new information, and cutting edge information would make it even better.
- Think like a plastic surgeon. Aesthetic is everything. Add images to enhance the content.
- Create more than one piece of content from each curation effort. This includes blog post, a tweet, Facebook status update, video, and so on. This allows you to expand your reach.
Related Post: Creating an Effective Link Post #Blogging
Final Thoughts on Effective Content Curation
If you understand content curation blunders, then you will know how to avoid. Hopefully, you will find some of the tips in this post useful.
First Published on Birds on the Blog