What is content curation?
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.
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 other thought leaders thoughts.
However, what gives the content you curate the seal of authority is the addition of your voice, your perspective or your opinion on what is already written or spoken.
What Content Curation Isn’t
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:
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 is my audience?” What do they need to know and how do they prefer the solution to their problem to be packaged.
Do they want it written (which is often the format people refer to when speaking about content curation), or do they want it delivered via video or audio. Quoting someone else verbally and then drawing your own conclusion from their text, video or audio, is no less creating content than slapping it on a blog.
Find your sources and then present your content in a way that it’s going to bring attention to it. My gosh some of the articles I read were so boring! If they had to present it as a speech, the audience would fall asleep!
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. When you share, comment on and like something on Facebook, other people associate you with the content and people whose content you shared. If you don’t want to be associated with certain people, you refrain from liking, commenting or sharing their content. That simple.
Content curation is no different. And you have to have a certain level of knowledge in order to curate the best information to begin with, 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, listening or watching, 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, it will keep you researching, learning and adding value to your message.
Don’t stop now, keep going!