Content Curation Above Average is More Than Mindlessly Sharing Links

High mountains with snowy peaks and a blue sky*

Along with the content marketing hype there comes another content craze – depending on the context a smaller or bigger one- which is called content curation.

Curation is seemingly everywhere, it’s great and everybody either does it or has to do it.

Most people don’t even know what curation means let alone practice it strategically.

Content curation above average is not difficult. Additionally content curation can be a sustainable and regular part of your overall content strategy on your blog.


What is curation and why do we need it?

Content curation is not just about hype. The term itself is pretty new but the practice is established for ages.

These days many people refer to sharing on social media as curation. Sharing links with your fans or followers is enough to become a content curator in a sense.

Is this kind of “incessant link sharing” curation useful? Not really. In some cases yes in most others not.

We live in an attention economy, time is money but time is scarce as hell.

Nobody has the time to read though all the new

  • articles
  • postings
  • white papers
  • ebooks.

Nobody has the time to

  • attend all the webinars
  • view all the videos
  • test all the tools
  • try all the templates.

Thus getting all of them served by the hundreds isn’t helpful. It’s overwhelming. That’s why sifting through all the news to find the gems is a task others are glad to delegate.


Examples of proper curation

Daily or weekly curated digests are common ways of actually useful curation. You know them from Search Engine Land (SearchCap: The Day in Search) or Kikolani (Fetching Friday).

These kind of curated digests are not as popular though as they would deserve it. How do I know? When you get linked in such a high profile list you only get a few click-throughs.

Why? The reader can gain a quick overview but s/he still gets a bit overwhelmed with the sheer information overload.

You will rarely be able to read though all or most of the posts in a list.

Another common curated content type is the top list or best of list. “Top 10 this”, “Top 20 that” headlines are so common these days that most people do not even click them anymore.

The more items such a list has the tougher it is to come to terms with it. The time you save gaining the overview is lost when trying to click through and find out more about each item.


How to curate content the right way

How can you make curated content useful in such a manner that you really save time and do not get flooded with even more stiff to read?

A list that summarizes the most important information and only links out to the sources for additional information is the best type of curation.

Also you have to be a bit creative to rise above average and get noticed by your target audience.

Ideally you already craft a headline that shows how you deliver the additional value. Such content curation forms are:

  1. A combination of a monthly digest and a topical best of – example: “best link building posts of x [the month]” by Wayne Barker of Boom Online Marketing. Why does it overdeliver? It’s both timely, topical and high quality.
    Even though I knew most of the post mentioned in it I always looked the list for those items I missed. For people who aren’t researching SEO every day like I do the time saving is enormous.
  2. The weekly “Gnome Likes” topical summary of inbound marketing articles by Steve Webb of Web Gnomes.
    Steve manages to summarize a week into there posts. He chooses three items each week out of the hundreds of new posts and already mentions them in the headline.
    Despite knowing at least one item of those most of the time I always feel compelled to look up the other ones. Again we’re saving lots of time and only get what matters. No overload, just the things that matter.
  3. The Sites of the Week by Line 25 is another excellent example of time saving curation. Despite focusing on blogging, social media and search I still love web design I started my career on the Web in the nineties with.
    I can’t spend much time on researching new sites to get inspiration so I love the short list of sometimes as few as just three sitesĀ  a week you have to take a look at.


Curation is not just sharing. It’s selecting

As you see content curation is more thanĀ  mindlessly sharing links on Facebook and Twitter all the time.

Nobody can read them all so why drop links all the time? Less is more here. When timeliness, quality and overview converge curated content is best and most useful.

Why should you curate content in the first place you may also ask: you will get expert status by selecting the best resources.

You don’t have to write each outstanding piece yourself. Showing that you know which one rocks may already suffice to get respect and recognition from industry peers.


* Creative Common image by Christian Ostrosky