THE BLOG
10/27/2015 09:48 am ET | Updated Oct 27, 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Content Curation

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In a world where over 2 million blog posts are published daily, keeping an eye on the buzz gets difficult.

Instead of visiting a dozen of our favorite online publishers daily, we now prefer a one-stop, Costco-like approach to consuming content - getting our fix for all the information in one place.

As a blogger and online publisher myself, I know how time consuming it is to produce new stellar posts on a daily basis. If you are a one-person operation, you cannot cover it all. In fact, even if you are an established business, things don't get simpler. You still have a number of other business operations to cater. That's exactly where content curation comes in as a life saving solution.

Museums curate work of arts. And you can master the art of content curation.

So What is Content Curation and Why Should You Care?

To keep it short, content curation is the process of scouting the web for the best, most meaningful content and presenting it to your audience in a neat, organized manner.

Here's another real life example: you love listening to a certain radio station, because they schedule a selection of tunes you like. You choose to visit one art gallery over another, because that one has an exhibition of modernist painters you admire.

Content curation uses the same approach in the digital world. You gather, organize and display digital content your audience prefers and finds valuable.

More benefits of content curation:

• You build relationships with the publishers whose content you share
• You grow your expertise and online authority (considering the curation is excellent).
• You save yourself time on crafting new content consistently
• You keep your audience engaged and create a powerful informational resource at the same time.

Step-by-Step Plan to Content Curation

As you have identified that content curation can be a game changing strategy for your business, it's time to get things cracking.

Step 1: Discovery

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You are now the DJ at your own station. You have an audience to please and entertain, so be wise when it comes to choosing what's on air today.

Obviously, digging through piles and piles of materials on a daily basis is tremendously time-consuming. That's why you need to have a content discovery system in place.

- Subscribe to all the industry blogs you regularly read via Feedly and organize them in respective categories for faster reach. The app allows you to scan the whole post or read a short summary depending on the publishers' preferences.

- Email newsletters are another great source of content landing right in your inbox. To avoid getting it cluttered, use Unroll.me app to organize and manage all your subscriptions and receive one digest email at the suitable time of the day. Here's a list of newsletters always full of amazing links to share.

- Create or follow existing Twitter Lists featuring thoughts leaders in your industry. Filling up your Twitter feed with meaningful conversation gets easy breezy. Here's a simple trick to find Twitter lists you'll love. Go to your favorite Twitter user profile, check the lists they belong to, browse, follow and enjoy!

- Scout the Subreddits. Reddit is a magical place where something thrilling's always happening. In fact, it is the community build around the idea of curating quality content. Check out the full list of sub-reddits and follow those relevant to your niche. On top, Reddit posts and questions can be great writing cues for your next blog post!

- Discover trending content via aggregation apps and tools. Alltop, Topsy, Fre.sh, Digg, Buzzsumo and Latest should have you covered at all times.

- Keep an eye on the trends. Check out Google News to see what stories are being hot right now. Pinterest now also has a curated section of top pins.

- Check out Medium. The platform created with the exact purpose of finding interesting content as the founders say. Top Stories section always has a fresh selection of trending content and browse Collections for stories filed by certain topics.

Step 2: Analysis

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Before getting all giddy with excitement and scheduling all the newly discovered stories, slow down for a second and analyze what you are about to offer to your loyal readers.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. How often does this topic pop up?

Your audience will likely get bored with getting yet another round-up featuring well-known productivity hacks (that are in fact common sense). Before deciding on the curation topic sniff around as see who else already curated that. Can you do it better? Can you present it from another angle or offer an opposing point of view?

2. Is my target audience interested in this information?

A sure-fire way is to run occasional surveys and ask your readers to share their content preferences. Alternatively, use Google Keyword Planner to get some numbers on how often people do related searches. To succeed in content curation you need to know your topic interests the vast majority of your audience.

3. Is there enough content for me to curate?

So you are committed to weekly curation post or promised to send out an interesting selection of links in each newsletter. Now the big question is - will you have enough stories to feature on a consistence basis? Do a quick topic search through Google News, Twitter and Facebook to see how much content has been published lately on the subject.

Step 3: Curation

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Finally we've moved to the last and most important stage - the curation itself. To keep things neat efficient here's another roadmap for you:

Store your findings in a Google Drive spreadsheet.
To automate the process, use IFTTT recipes that auto-save links to spreadsheets, Evernote, or Buffer.

Set dedicated batch curation time. Those few hours per week when you will search, analyze, read, save and schedule all the content for curation. If you happen to find something great later on during the week, save it to your bookmark bar or save it to Pocket.

Create your posting schedule. The ideal recipe according to Buffer is 5 Tweets and 5 Google+ Posts per day; 2 Facebook posts per day and 1 LinkedIn post each weekday. Certainly, you can adjust the numbers depending on the scale and preferences of your audience.

Outline your round-up link posts strategy. If you plan to create say a weekly/monthly link posts, make sure those are on your calendar too. Create a dedicated tab in your spreadsheet where you'll send that type of featured content. Quick tip: analyze which curated posts got the most attention on social media and be sure to include them to the blog post.