Creating effective content takes creativity, persistence, and lots of testing. Content curation is a powerful technique you can use to create effective content for your blog. Curation is basically the process of amassing content from several blogs or publications and publishing it in a more organized way in one centralized place.
What makes this method so powerful is that you leverage content that’s already online. By carefully selecting popular content within your niche, you boost the odds of your readers visiting and reading your blog.
The advantage to readers is that they can read varying opinions about a specific subject all in one place. Most importantly, they don’t have to wander all over the web searching for top content.
Top bloggers and online publishers are using this technique to draw readers to their websites. They collect and share the best content from around the web. You too can – and should – do the same so long as you do it smartly.
So let’s take a look at how to effectively locate, organize, and present curated content on your blog.
Firstly, why content curation?
It’s no secret that we’re witnessing some sort of information overload on the Internet. There are millions of blogs churning out content every day, which is simply too much to take. Most readers turn to curated sources to sift through the overload. They only search for top stories on a particular subject. Low quality content that doesn’t stack up is easily side-stepped, which is the real appeal of curated content.
So when you’re curating content for your blog, be sure to collect only the most relevant and up-to-date content about your chosen topic.
Curated content is collected from all over the web and while this seems like free-for-all info, you need to follow some key rules in order to claim success. The first process is to discover the content most relevant to your blog. Understandably, this can be a time consuming process unless you know specific handy tools or places that make it easier to find top content.
Here is a list of tools that you’ll find handy in your discovery process:
Google Advanced Search
Google’s advanced search tool makes searching for specific content easier and faster. The good thing with advanced Google search is that you can narrow results by domain and also specify a timeframe, ensuring that you always get up-to-date content.
For instance, here is a sample search on a popular technology blog – cnet.com – along with results.
I searched for various key terms among which were latest news, top news, top stories. I specified 24 hours as the timeframe and here is one of the sample results pages:
The advanced Google search tool is particularly handy when searching for current content on a particular blog or if you know the specific phrases or keywords to search for on a given page.
You can discover a wealth of trending content and hashtags using Twitter Search. Tools such as Followerwonk allow for deeper research and analytics.
Alltop is a case of curating from the curator. The website collects top stories, posts, and news pieces from popular blogs all over the web. If used properly, you can make your content discovery process a lot shorter. Content is nicely grouped into categories and with a relevant search keyword, you can quickly find blogs and sites that have the latest content related to your blog.
Without a doubt, Quora is one of the most authoritative places on the Internet to find the best content on any subject. Answers are contributed by users knowledgeable in a specific subject. The best answers sift through to the top courtesy of a voting system. That being said, you don’t always have to curate the top voted answers as they’re not necessarily the best. Dig deeper on the site for well researched and factually correct content.
Similar websites you can curate include Grovo and Mahalo, among others.
Top industry and trade publication websites are some of the most trusted sources of information on the Internet. Search for industry publications relevant to your niche and curate them for the best and latest content. You can use Google advanced search tool or similar tools to search through the piles of content on those websites.
Collect and Organize
Just as you have plenty of options when discovering content so goes the same when collecting it. Every now and then a new tool pops up claiming to be the best at collecting and organizing curated content. While you might disagree on which tool does the better job, there’s no doubt that doing it manually is not practical. Sooner or later you have to find a tool that makes life easier.
Here is a selection of tools to consider for that purpose:
Curation Traffic – A WordPress based system that comprises traffic curation themes, a curation plugin, and a training component.
Paper.li – If you’re into news stories, this seems like one of the best tools for curating top news stories trending at any given time.
Listly – Listly organizes curated content as lists. Big lists are a popular way of organizing curated content.
Pinterest – Okay this one needs no introduction really as chances are you’re already using it. You basically collect interesting pictures from around the web, organize, and share them as pins on your pinboard.
PearlTrees – Somewhat similar to Pinterest but groups collections into specialized categories.
There are countless other tools you can use. Some are generic and curate all types of content whereas most are specific. Most are free as well so it won’t hurt to try out a few.
That’s basically how you can curate content for your blog. Start by discovering relevant sources and then use an automated tool to curate those sources, organize, and publish that content on your blog.
Do you curate content? Which tool have you found particularly useful for this process?
Brenda Barron is a writer from southern California. Her work has appeared on sites like Elegant Themes, WPMU DEV, and VentureBeat. She also blogs at Digital Inkwell about the life of a freelance blogger.