As we’ve mentioned in our past articles, a curation website is one that allows you to collect, organize, and share content from multiple sources with your audience.
I’ve recently been noticing a lot of content curation happening in different ways on the web. If you’re looking at your screen with a puzzled look on your face, then you might have missed the fact that many websites use content curation.
This is because many blogs have integrated their content curation process so well into their website that it doesn’t feel like you’re simply going through lists of resources.
What is content curation anyway?
Content curation can take many different formats. You might start noticing newsletters being sent out with a number of links to reputable blogs nestled between a running commentary (TheClikk does this really well). Or blogs that combine content curation with its alternative – totally original content.
In fact, content curation, although it might sound passée is actually really current.
If you’ve recently searched for a specific topic and spent a few minutes skimming through the first few posts on Google (we know you have), then you’ve already tried your hand at the content curation process.
Imagine translating that into a fully-fledged blog. Can you imagine how gratifying that would be if someone filtered out the – let’s face it – garbage on the interwebs to present you with only the absolute best reputable articles on a given subject?
In fact, there are many websites out there that dedicate their whole content marketing efforts to selecting the best pieces of content for their readers in order to save them time.
Content curation is also actually faster and easier than creating totally original content. It’s also cost-effective since readers typically like it as much as new content.
If you’ve been thinking that content curation is a good idea for your audience, then you’re most probably correct.
The benefits of content curation
Content curation can have a lot of positive effects, apart from bringing the best content to your audience.
For one, it enables you to talk about or discuss topics that you typically wouldn’t write about. This could be the case if you wouldn’t have enough knowledge on the subject. Content curation essentially broadens your topics and your reach.
Apart from that, it allows you to create a good relationship with other blogs, resulting in further backlinks and improved SEO.
I can go on and on about the benefits of content curation, but what we really want to discuss here is the content curation process.
The content curation process
In another life, or rather, 3 years ago, I was working at an architectural office on a very particular project – a museum. My work with the curator there taught me one main thing: never, ever, over-populate a museum showcase. Quite the opposite – focus on a few key pieces to let them shine.
This translates perfectly to blogs. Over-populating your blog with aggregated content can work well for a very short list of websites (mostly fact-based such as news sites). But if you’re working on a website or blog surrounding a conversational topic, such as business or marketing, then curation will play a key role.
The word “curation” might conjure up images of librarians scouring through piles of books looking for the right content. However, content curation doesn’t have to be the scary, time-consuming process you might initially think of.
There are a number of different ways you can do this and a number of different tools you can use. However, essentially, content curation means that you will:
- Choose the types of content for your website,
- Search for content online from reputable sources,
- Curate the content that you think will resonate with your audience,
- Add some commentary, and finally,
- Share the content.
Let’s tackle each step.
The types of content
The first thing you need to do is to hone down on what topics your audience is interested in.
While you can have multiple topics, you can also have different types of posts. Let’s look at it in more detail:
Say you have a blog about marketing. In this case, you might want to bring in content about social media marketing, eCommerce marketing, events marketing, and so on.
However, you can also vary the type of content you’re importing. A good rule of thumb is to stick to these 3 types:
- EDUCATIONAL CONTENT 👩🏫 in the form of tutorials, reviews, and in-depth guides.
- INFORMATIONAL CONTENT ℹ️ in the form of news and opinion pieces.
- ENTERTAINING CONTENT 😹 in the form of upbeat articles to balance the rest of the pieces out.
Sticking to these three value types provides a good mix of articles for your readers.
Next, it’s time to look for content.
Searching for content
You can search for content manually by going through Google, searching for a topic, opening a bunch of tabs, skimming through the articles, and selecting the ones that you want to use. I know this might seem daunting or time-consuming so it’s always best to focus on 5-10 publishers that you know and trust.
Going back to the example of a marketing blog, you can, for instance, focus on content from Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, Hootsuite (who have a great blog on social media marketing by the way), and a couple of others. Of course, you can edit or curate your sources at any time.
With time, you’ll get quicker at figuring out which of their posts you want to publish and which ones to let go of. But nowadays, there are a lot of tools to help you out and make life a little bit easier.
I’ve actually tried a few of them myself, including Feedly and BuzzSumo but in both instances, I had to leave my blog, do my research, and then copy those links back into my WordPress site. If you’re looking for something that will handle everything for you within your site, then WP RSS Aggregator can help you scratch that itch.
So, how does it work?
A word about WP RSS Aggregator
First, you’ll need to add your sources. WP RSS Aggregator will then go through the sources’ content and bring in the latest posts right into your website.
One of my favorite features is the filtering tool. You can essentially decide which categories of posts you want to import. For example, you can set the plugin to only import marketing posts from Fast Company. Most blogs will have categories assigned to their content so it will be easy for you to implement.
Curating your content
Now that your sources have been selected, you can start choosing which content to include on your website.
Be patient with yourself here, it’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re just starting out. As time goes by, you’ll learn which content really stands out and resonates with your readers, and which falls flat.
Some of my favorite tips are coming right up:
- Develop a routine. 🗓️ If you’re using a tool like WP RSS Aggregator, I suggest logging into your WordPress site around 2-3 times a week. You’ll start to get used to your sources’ publishing schedules so you can adjust your curation routine accordingly. If you’re curating things manually, dedicate an hour or two every day to going through your favorite sources.
- Keep everything organized. 🗂️ If you’re using WP RSS Aggregator, rely on the categories feature to keep your content organized and handy. Going down the manual route? Google’s tab groups are your best friends.
- Trust your gut. 😉 Does anything stand out straight away? It might be an interesting headline or compelling content. You’re smart enough to know what’s right from the get-go.
Now, you can start planning how you’ll be sharing your content with your audience. The following three examples are, in my opinion, the best ways to incorporate your content into your website:
- You can add external links to your original content.
- You can display lists of links in your original content, newsletters, or key parts of your website.
- You can publish excerpts of the source content and add commentary.
While tools like BuzzSumo can help in the first two instances, WP RSS Aggregator really ties everything together in one handy tool.
The final step before publishing is one which you shouldn’t miss out on – the commentary. This is, in essence, your voice. You want your readers to feel at ease, knowing that you’ve vetted the content you’re presenting.
To add to that, feel free to mix things up. Share articles that you agree with and others that you don’t. Your thoughts and opinions matter and this is the best way to let them shine through.
To sum things up
Content curation is necessary for the success of your blog. Why? Because when you curate you’re showing your audience that you genuinely value their time.
This is especially true for topics such as those that have a point of view or which invite a discussion.
As we mentioned earlier, there are other topics of course, such as a news website, where the content is factual and curation isn’t necessarily needed. However, in most cases, I would say it’s a vital part of your content strategy.
Finally, you can also mix in some original content. It’s a great way to include your voice and something we suggest you do to boost your content marketing strategy.