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Content curation is a popular way to build an audience by providing value, without having to create as much content yourself.
Anyone can search Google for what they are looking for. But Google doesn’t add context or insight.
The idea behind search engines is that the highest quality content will rise to the top of the rankings. What shows up instead is content that comes from those who are best at SEO.
That’s where you come in.
Your perspective, insights, and knowledge can surface content that is relevant to your audience.
Curating content is a great way to become an authority in a niche, and keep your audience engaged and informed.
There are many approaches to using content curation. Below are the three strategies I see most often and use myself.
While it seems self-evident, I’ll still mention that no matter which curation model you choose, it’s important to select the best content to resonate with your target audience. Be picky, it pays off.
This approach is the most basic and in most cases has the least value add. But that doesn’t mean it never makes sense.
The idea is that you’re aggregating content from many sources, curating what makes the cut, then sharing it with your audience.
This strategy doesn’t involve much original input by you. It’s a simple rundown of what you’ve found.
This approach is common for things like our Lifestyle Frisco “This Week In Frisco” newsletter. It’s a rundown of events with descriptions and links to the event page.
There’s not much need for commentary or editorial because we’ve found our audience doesn’t want it. They want to know what’s going on and when it’s happening.
We will add extended editorial for standout events that call for it. For example the annual Frisco Uncorked (wine festival). But otherwise, we deliver the facts.
Value-added curation is a model you’ve seen in newsletters like MorningBrew.
Here, there is editorial content along with each item curated. It’s often delivered with a dose of personality that fits your target audience.
The editorial content is short but provides a good summary of what the article is about and why it’s of interest to the reader.
The level of effort here is a bit higher and is often more engaging for the reader. Before clicking on a headline, they get a sense of what they’re getting into from a source they trust (you).
Original Content with Curation centers around original content augmented with curated content.
This model can go in a couple of different directions so let’s look at some examples.
Many of you are familiar with Further.net. Further uses a hybrid approach.
It starts with a well-crafted intro to queue up the topic for the week.
Then several curated articles on that topic follow with original descriptions.
Third, there is an original article-length entry at the end.
Finally, there is a music video of the week, that may be unrelated to the topic. It’s a fun way to end things and it fits because the audience for Further is Gen-X, and our music rocks!
The effect is powerful and authoritative. It creates context for the topic while providing many resources written by outside writers and the Further team.
One of the benefits of this strategy is that the outside resources reinforce the editorial content you write. That makes your content all the more authoritative. It’s “guilty by association” in a good way.
Another example is how I sometimes use curation here at Rogue Mogul.
The emphasis here is on original content. But I also include references to outside resources that are relevant to the topic at hand.
Those resources have included a variety of curated content such as:
Sometimes I group those references together, other times they’re scattered throughout the editorial. But I always try to wrap some editorial around the curated content, otherwise, it’s little more than linking out.
Here are two podcast episodes from Unemployable that delve into curated content:
Dave Pell: The author of NextDraft, Dave delivers “the day’s most fascinating news” to more than 100,000 subscribers. Curated news is his jam, but it’s delivered with Dave’s unique perspective. In many ways, he was a pioneer in the modern approach to curated content. In this episode, Dave offers some great advice for becoming a trusted editorial voice.
How to Create the Environment For 7-Figure Small Success: Brian Clark walks you through using curated content to build your email audience as a path to building a 7-Figure business. Most of what I’ve learned about curated content, I’ve learned from Brain.