Pulling Back The Curtains On Content Curation?

drawing-back-the-curtainsWhat is content curation?

And do you have to be considered an expert in your field in order to have a voice about a particular subject?

Many people have actually sabotaged their own success by thinking that to be an authority figure in their field, that they have to know everything there is to know about their industry and subject.

But did you know that by curating content, you can become a thought leader in your field by legitimately using original content other people have created? 

You can be the content creator (original content) and/or the content curator (the reporter) and still be considered an authority in your industry.

A combination of the two, content creator and content curator, is going build your credibility and give you more voice than simply either curating content or creating your own.

Why?

No one would sit down to write a book without first doing their research and finding out what others have to say on the subject.

Even the Bible is made up of 66 books and 40 authors. And thought leadership includes the fact that you have a perspective on the thought leader’s thoughts.

However, what seals your stamp of authority on content you curate, is the addition of your voice, your perspective or your opinion.

Copying and pasting information from someone else’s site however, even if you attribute the content to them, is NOT content curation.

The magic in content curation happens when you take content that was created by others and you repackage and reframe it in such a way as to add value.

In fact, the first time I wrote this blog post, I did it badly! Even with my experience of writing for an MBA, I did a cut and paste job for the most part. Ouch!!

But then I realised how clumsy and amateurish the article felt and so I decided to rewrite it … in part at least.

I also wanted to write a simple “how-to” article rather than the white paper edition (referring to the long posts) with a summary of what content curation isn’t. 

And then I came across this excellent infographic on Beth Kanter’s blog, which spoke a thousand words in only 17 words:

What Content Curation Is and What It Isn't

I don’t necessarily agree that curated articles have to have many sources … Perez Hilton does just fine with his short pithy posts on his celebrity blog. I know he’s a celebrity, but he wasn’t born one! 

So let me now give you my one BIG gripe about content curation …

Why does everything have to be about formulas! Just researching for this article felt like doing an MBA again and of course, everyone has a different formula and a “do and don’t” of content curation.

The first question you must ask before you even begin to write – created or curated is, “who are my readers?” What do they need to know and how do they prefer the solution to their problem to be packaged. 

Find your sources and then present your content in a way it’s going to get read. My gosh some of the articles I read were so boring! 

By far my most exciting read was written by Pam Dyer. She spoke my language – in picture form! And it was probably the most comprehensive article I read on the subject, despite 90% plus of the content being in graphic form. A personal “Thank you, Pam!”

Becoming The Expert By Association

How can quoting or adding content that another expert has created promote you as an expert by association?

I’m going to use Facebook as an example here. What you share, comment on and like something on Facebook other people associate you with the content and people sharing the information. If you don’t want to be associated with certain people, you refrain from liking, commenting or sharing their content.

Content curation is no different. And as I said earlier, you have to have a certain level of knowledge in order to curate the best information anyway and when you add value to someone who is already considered a thought leader or authority in your field, it demonstrates that you are well read in your industry, you know the “who’s who,” and you’re confident enough to have an opinion, even if you’re disagreeing with their argument.

It’s why the reporter model is an excellent starting place for those who want to become a thought leader but don’t yet have enough knowledge in their particular field.

Part of becoming an expert is to be well read. Therefore, whilst you’re reading, why not share what you’ve been learning with others, add value and raise your profile at the same time.

Not only will it keep people engaged and reading, it will keep you researching and learning.

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Comments

  1. says

    Awesome post, Trish.

    Content curating is truly a catch all strategy. It’s great for keeping track of content you want to read, sharing content, driving traffic, getting more exposure and more importantly building relationships.

    I remember content curation was one of the main ways I built traffic, exposure and relationships when I first relaunched my blog last year. I used Scoop.it, which is very versatile and a great platform to get started with.

    It’s been a while since I’ve dropped by your site, Trish, and I’m glad to see your blog still alive and well. :)

    I’ll be sure to share this piece with my social circle. I’ll also comment and share it with the BizSugar community.

    Keep the great content coming and I look forward to connecting with you more soon.

    Ti

    • says

      Thank you so much Ti. Appreciate you popping by and leaving your comment and also appreciate the plug.

      Now Ti, as the SEO Rebel (love that name by the way), I’ve no doubt you know more about content curation than I do. What I’ve discovered of late is that what most people call content curation is actually content scraping and the problem has been exacerbated by content curation software. Used correctly, I know they have their uses, but for most, it’s like putting a jack hammer into the hands of a child … they cause destruction!

      I remember when Andy Wibbels http://www.andywibbels.com got an award for best blog in his category – must be 2004 I think, one of the things I always noticed about his site was how he linked out to other sites, but in a way that the linked article and the text link fitted seamlessly with his writing but unless he was quoting, he never used chunks of other people’s content like I see so many people doing today.

      I literally could not find an article about “how to” write a good article using content curation, I just found guides and do’s and don’ts. However, I did do my homework and delved into sites like The Huffington Post which most people refer to as the authority on curated content. Just like on Andy’s site, there was no sign of trash content scraping and huge portions of what others have said. If they have used other sources, I noticed two things:
      1. It was quoted verbatim
      2. It was rewritten but credit given to the original author and source.

      This is no different than writing an essay or thesis for a university degree and I’m just wondering, is this just another opportunity theme name picked up in the name of web advancement by Internet Marketers?

      CurationSoft has compiled a list of the 10 Biggest and Best sites using content curation and for anyone interested, you can find the page here: http://curationsoft.com/10-biggest-and-best-sites-using-the-content-curation-model

      Long question I know Ti, but do you have anything to add to this?

  2. says

    Thank you for this timely article. I was rather clueless about content curation until I noticed one of my posts had been added to Scoop.it. I didn’t even know what Scoop.it was. Seems I’ve been living under a rock. I found this article in BizSugar.com (where I have only recently joined up). This is very well written!

    • says

      Hi Sylvia,
      You won’t be alone on not knowing about content curation, and I’m so glad you found this article. I haven’t used Scoop.it yet, but I’ve heard good things about it.

      Thanks for your kind words and I hope you gain some business traction from curating content.
      All the best,

      Trish

  3. says

    Can I curate from different websites that are talking about the same things? Basically putting a long article together that covers one topic, but provides lots of different input. This would offer content off several websites plus some of my own.

    • says

      Absolutely Martin,

      This is the great thing about curating content … there is no limit to the sources you can use. Where your bring credibility to your knowledge is in how well you put all the pieces from these various sources together.

      Two artists can curate the same paintings but how they display them will make the difference between a good art gallery and an exemplary one.

      When curating content for your sit,e you can use one writer to argue the points of another writer or you yourself can question or argue a point written by another writer. When you then add your perspective to the mix, you create something new from information that already existed.

      This is the power of content curation.

      Hope that helped, Martin.

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