Want to build deeper online relationships? Create a thriving online community of people ready and eager to hear from you?
What is content curation? It’s the process of finding and sorting through large amounts of information on the Internet and presenting it in a meaningful and organised way to your audience.
Curating other people’s content relieves you of the burden of creating enough content on a consistent basis to satisfy the needs of your audience or community. And adds extra value to your audience and customers, which is key to building community and lasting online relationships.
How do you get started?
Well first up you’ll need a few tools:
(You don’t need to use these exact tools, they’re just the tools I personally use because I find them the easiest and most user friendly and they’re all free (to start with at least).
What these tools do is help you: find, organise and then share content, quickly and efficiently.
And once you have your tools sorted it’s time to execute these seven content curation steps:
1. One question survey
Because the purpose of this exercise is to add value to your existing network, the only way you can truly do that is by understanding their problems, frustrations and the questions they’re asking.
If you’ve done any form of market research you may already have a good idea at this point, if not, you can start by asking your customers and audience this one simple question… “What would you like to know more about [enter your broad topic]?”.
Email this to customers, your existing database, share it on your social networks, ask the questions on any relevant forums or groups you belong to and even add it to any welcome or thank you emails you’ve setup for subscribers when they opt in to your list.
Aggregate your results and make list of the topics that come up.
2. Find blogs of interest
Armed with your list, it’s time to find blogs related to your content themes. Depending upon what comes out of your research you may know these already. If not visit ‘Alltop’ which aggregates the most popular topics from around the web. Enter terms related to the topics you want to find, or pick a category to view topics.
Take a look at each blog or website and make sure the content is right for your audience.
Note: you won’t need to save these or make a list.
3. Subscribe to blog feeds through Feedly
Visit Feedly, create your free account then install the Feedly extension for Chrome. You should notice a little Feedly icon appear in the bottom right hand side of the browser once installed.
Visit each website in turn and click on that Feedly icon. A menu will popup, click on the plus icon which will load the website content into Feedly for you, click on the +Feedly button and create a new category named something along the lines of your topic theme and then click ‘add’.
Repeat this process for each topic.
4. Organise or tag content
Now you’ve set Feedly up to aggregate all of your blogs of interest, you’ll use Pocket to save specific articles for sharing later.
Create your free Pocket account and again install the chrome extension to make things easier. Whilst you can share your content directly from within Feedly I find it easier to use Feedly to scan articles I think will be of interest to my network, then I save them to Pocket for sharing but when I do that I tag those articles related to topic my themes and the networks I want to share them on.
For example if I find an article on getting started with Linkedin for business I’ll open the article in Feedly click on the 3 bar menu and save it to pocket. I’ll then be prompted to enter any tags (these tags will help you filter your articles later). Let’s say I only want to share that article on my Linked In network; I might tag that article ‘Social Media’ and ‘Linkedin’.
5. Share with your networks
Login to or open up Pocket and click on the little tag looking icon in the top right hand corner and select tags to filter content based on how you’ve tagged it.
Now you’re ready to share.
Sharing using Buffer couldn’t really get any easier. Once you’ve filtered your content in
- Pick an article you want to share
- Click on the ‘forward’ arrow
- Select ‘Buffer’ (by default the title and url will be pre-selected)
- Edit your article (adding your spin – see below) and hit ‘add to queue’
Note on social sharing: Remember the 5:3:2 rule of social media sharing, for every 10 posts 5 should be content from others, 3 posts from you and 2 personal posts.
6. Don’t forget to add your spin
Unfortunately it’s not quite enough to share the content as is, (though if you’re stuck for time I’ll let you off, just be sure to always @mention the author or blog’s name).
This is a perfect opportunity to add your unique spin on it and demonstrate your expertise.
Here are a few ways to get you started.
- 1. Ask a question, if the article is a ‘how to’ post or getting started guide start by asking a question for example for this post you could lead with Want to know how to get started with content curation? Read this post on…
- 2. Highlight a quote or stat from the post, if you’ve installed the Buffer chrome extension this is very simple, simply highlight the section of text from the article right click and select ‘Buffer selected text’ then hit ‘add to queue’ your post is now added to your buffer.
- 3. Summarise the main points highlighted in the article.
7. Find out what’s working
Again this is a pretty simple process with Buffer:
- Open the Bufferapp in your browser
- Select the ‘analytics’ tab
- Select the network (‘Twitter’ for instance)
- Then select ‘Most popular’ and choose from the list of most retweets, most clicks or most favourites etc.
This will tell you exactly which type of content is resonating more with your network.
Use this insight to source additional content sources if required.
And now … it’s over to you!
Do you follow any great content curators online? Are you now inspired to give content curation a go yourself?