I know that, for the most of you, the title doesn’t make much of sense right now. That’s why I wanted to write this blog post to explain what content curation is and why you should make at least one site using this structure.
Folks – Buckle up because this blog post is going to make your head spin around like a top! Brace yourself and take some notes here.
A lot of people are unfamiliar with the term so let me give you a brief description and then we’ll get more into it a little further down.
What Is Content Curation?
Here’s the definition…
Content Curation – Content Curation is the act of discovering, gathering, and presenting the best possible content that surrounds a specific subject matter and posting it on your site along with your opinions.
… or a better description:
Curation is basically a content marketing tactic. Rather than adding to the mountains of “original” content being uploaded every minute to the web, the curator researches, gathers, and picks the best information around a specific topic and shares only the best with their readers or followers. A curator becomes a thought leader through commentary to provide context and meaning to the information they curate into a blog post or a share with their “real-time” audience on the social web.
To be quite honest, I love this model. It’s kinda of like profiting off of other people’s hard work in a totally cool way. You get the content and they get a link pointing back to their site.
Doing it this way saves money and time! The two things that I like to save the most of.
I have tried auto-blogging in the past. I just didn’t like it. The content quality was too low and didn’t convert visitors and it was just a waste for me.
I could have went about it a different way and pulled content from all kinds of places where the Google spider can’t get into but I just found that it was better to do it right.
So even though this content curation stuff may be similar to auto-blogging… it’s not. It’s totally different except you don’t have to write your own content (at least not much of your own content) and the articles are delivered straight to your inbox on auto-pilot.
That’s where it’s sorta similar.
Duplicate Content Issues?
For years people have cranked on and on about duplicate content. They would say that posting duplicate content on your site will result in some sort of penalty from the search engines… and in most cases, yeah it would.
But this is content curation! It’s different.
The most common question I get about content curation is, “Isn’t that duplicate content?” (in the eyes of the search engines)
There are two answers to this question:
First, if you’re just aggregating content into your website, yes, it is most likely duplicate content. But if you are curating the content, pulling great (not all) information from elsewhere — manually, not automatically — adding your own perspective to it and grouping things into collections of useful information, that is valuable stuff.
This is unique presentation of information that exists nowhere else and is not duplicate content. And we’re not just skirting by duplicate content filters. The goal is to create truly useful and unique content.
Second, if you are providing a valuable service by finding the best information on a subject, responding to a need of a community of people interested in your topic, you will become an authority and build an audience. By engaging this audience, it will grow into a community who is waiting for each of your updates and will respond to you. At that point, you’re “Google proof”, and the question is moot…
And the irony is with your valuable curated resource and social proof you achieve by adding value, that’s when Google will see you as an authority and rely on you and your website to provide good results for people searching in your niche, and all that free traffic is gravy.
So as far as the duplicate content issues is concerned, I think it’s squashed. As long as you are posting the best content for your site from the best sources, you’ll be alright.
Isn’t It Illegal?
The short answer here is no. As long as you cite the original source and provide a link back to that source you’ll be fine in the eyes of the original content owners, readers and the search engines.
So there is nothing illegal about it as long as you cite the source and shoot some credit to the original author.
Who Uses Content Curation To Populate Their Sites?
Sites have been doing this since before content curation was even cool. If you look around you may not have noticed that this has been going on. Here’s some examples:
- Social Bookmarking sites have been doing this all along. They set it up so users can share content and vote on it. This has allowed them to build huge authority with the search engines. This is the reason why internet marketers like us have been able to take advantage of their work for links, etc…
- Some internet news sites like the Huffington post. These sites gather internet content and sort through only the best.
- www.copyblogger.com and sites similar. These sites link to the most relevant content for the specific topic.
- SEOMoz collects content about SEO from around the web.
Why Should You Use Content Curation For Your Sites?
The benefits are plentiful. Have you ever wanted to write about a topic but just couldn’t find the words? I have. It sucks. That’s where content curation comes into play. You could easily research a the topic to find the best content and just compile all the best info that you can find to make it flow with the style you like. Thus, ending your writer’s block.
Here’s a few more reasons why you should use content curation:
- Mix your content in with curated content to provide the best piece of content you can for your readers.
- Become the top source for information in your niche.
- Start your sites quicker. Instead of trying to write 10 posts or so to get your new site started you can just curate some content and cut your time in half.
- Link to other bloggers posts in yours to try to create a relationship with other people in your niche (people love having their content shared and they can see you were the source of traffic in their analytics).
- Curate pictures and videos on your site to give your posts a little more depth.
- It’s easier and faster than writing all original content.
- If you encourage people to curate your content you will get back links the natural way. Just the way Google likes it.
Check Out This Infographic To Put Some Things Into Perspective:
This infographic really puts some things into perspective.
The one that really stands out to me is the one about 20% of searches have never been performed! I know that really has nothing to do with curation but I just thought it was interesting.
In any case, this is a massive opportunity. And with all the changes Google is making lately, if we can do things right by them then I’m sure we will be rewarded.
So I guess you’re probably wondering how to curate the content?
*NOTE: My method is a little time consuming so get your notepad ready.
Before I get into how to curate your content there’s a few things I want you to remember.
1 – You need to remember to post only the best content from the best sources available. Sometimes the smaller sites will have better content than the bigger one’s.
2 – Handpick your content. The content will automatically be delivered to your inbox but you need to personally go through the content and pick the best to use on your site (you can use software if you have it, more on that later)…
3 – Always cite the source. Never post other peoples content without letting your reader know where it came from.
4 – Never take an entire article and post it in quotes with the source on your site. Taking some of the article is one thing, but putting the whole thing on your site without adding anything of your own is not really the idea of content curation. Sure, you could use the entire article and break it up into chunks and add your own content between the chunks but don’t just paste the whole thing an call it a day. The whole idea of content creation is to add context about what you have to say and to add more depth to your post.
5 – Be sure to add your own original post here and there on your site. Don’t post purely curated content. It’s best if you add your own style and personality from time to time.
6 – Don’t just post as much content as you can. Take it easy on your readers. You can post 3-4 articles each day. Just make sure they are good. You don’t want to get into too much of a rush and start posting crappy content. Your readers will notice and they will leave.
With all of that said, let’s go!
Here’s How I Do It…
I’m going to assume that you have a niche. If not, you’ll have to do a little research to find one. I am more interested in showing you how to actually curate the content. If you have issues finding a niche or don’t know how to do the research then just contact me using the form on this site and I’ll point you in the right direction.
Let’s go through this step-by-step… I’m going to try and simplify this process for you as much as I can.
Step 1 – Find Your Keywords
Keywords are the life to everything online. We use them to determine the competition in a niche all the way down to getting in front of peoples faces.
This is no exception.
What you should do is fire up the free google keywords tool and enter in the main keywords for your niche. Log into your Google account so that you can get the maximum number of results. If you are not logged in you are limited to the amount of keywords that will show up.
When I say the main keywords for your niche I mean… if you are in the weight loss niche you would enter the keyword “weight loss” into the box (without quotes).
This will return a lot of results for you. Once you get your results you’ll want to download all the results. This will give you all the keywords you selected in a .csv format.
You’ll want to repeat the above process with the 5-15 most searched keywords in your niche. We are doing this so we never run out of content.
**BONUS TIP: Competition is not really and issue here, but if you would like to rank well for keywords then go after the lower competition keywords first. You’ll have to do some research on that but it will be worth it. What I’m saying is that if you go after smaller niches and smaller keywords you will have less content to choose from but it may not be a bad thing 😉
You need to have at least 100 relevant keywords that you can use for the next step. Of course, you can run the above step as many times as you want and if you are in a big niche then you could easily come up with thousands of keywords. You can do that if you want but I find 100 seems to be the sweet spot.
Once you have this list you’ll want to go through and look at each keyword. You want to eliminate the one’s that aren’t anywhere closely related to your niche. You don’t want you email inbox full of junk. That’s time wasted on your part. So scrap the one’s that don’t make sense.
Step 2 – Find Relevant Sites
Okay… so step one is a little easier because we have a tool to help us in the process. Step 2 is a different story.
This is where all the boring work comes into play. What I recommend is that you have someone do this for you. You can head over to upwork.com and hire someone to do this task for you. Just open an account and post your job. You’ll have several applicants to apply for this. You can sort them from hours logged and then the number of reviews they have to find the best person for the job. I have 2 full-time assistants that help me that I pay by the hour, if I had to guess, you could post an hourly job for about $5 bucks an hour to complete this process. You’ll be glad you did.
So that list of keywords you just compiled, you need to sort through them to find the most relevant sites for the keywords.
Take each one of those keywords one-by-one and plug them into Google. What you are looking for is relevant sites to the keyword with good information on them. You want to find a site that posts content to their site regularly or at least once a month. You are going to find a lot of mini-sites where the owners threw up a 5 page site and never touched it again. These are pretty easy to spot and YOU DON’T WANT THOSE! Skip them, don’t mark them down. They are worthless to you. These are sites where affiliate marketers are just trying to make a dime (I’m guilty).
You can take a look to find the “posted on” date. If the site owner posts regularly and the content is fresh, relevant, and good then you need to copy that sites’ url and paste it into a spreadsheet so we can gather their Feeds later.
You can give your outsourcer these exact instructions.
You’ll want to do this for each keyword.
See… I told you it was long and boring. It can take awhile to go through all your keywords and find the best sites. That’s why I recommend you outsource this because I’m sure you have better things to do.
Since this does take a long time to complete I’ll give you a tip. If you have a site where you want curated content on it in a hurry… Run the process above for the top 5 keywords that you have found and want to either rank for or get traffic from. Take those sites you’ve found for those keywords and go to step 3. Just remember to run the process for the rest of those keywords. Or have your outsourcer give you the results from those top 5 keywords.
I’m really being redundant about the whole outsourcing thing because this part really does suck…
**BONUS TIP – I’m sure you know what a sub-niche is. Example, if your niche is weight loss and you find the keyword weight loss workout routine… The weight loss workout routine is a sub-niched keyword. If you find during step 1 and 2 that you are running into a lot of sub-niched keywords (you will) create a few generalized sections in your spreadsheet for these sub-niche keywords and group them together like that. This will make it easier to manage the Feeds later on so you will know exactly where to find what you are looking for when the time comes.
Step 3 – Feed ME!
This is where things start to get a little easier.
So you found your keywords, you’ve found the best possible sites to pull your content from. You may now need to create a new account.
If you don’t have a regular Gmail account you’ll need one of those too in case you run into a FeedBurner RSS feed where you can subscribe via email. This account can be brand new and can be niche specific. This way you can have one gmail account for each niche. When the blog owner posts new content it will come straight to your inbox and you’ll be nice and organized.
It’s that simple. By doing this you will have all the content you need delivered straight to you.
Step 4 – Curate The Content Onto Your Site
This is the easiest part. As the content hits your inbox all you have to do is actually read it and make sure it’s good quality content.
If it is then it’s time to post it.
Just remember what I said about the whole copying the whole thing and posting it alone thing. You need to add your voice to the article. Your opinions. And cite the source (very important).
Here’s some examples of sites utilizing content curation. You can use these to find your style:
Tools To Help You Get It Done
Content Curation is awesome and it’s a great way to gather content and make some money online.
As I mentioned before… My way is a little time consuming and it may not be the absolute best way but it is free to do unless you outsource some of it. And I know I said not to use software to post your content and that you should handpick the content that goes onto your site and you should, but I see no reason why you can’t use software to gather the content for review.
So in order to help you get the upper-hand I have compiled a list of tools that I have either used myself or have heard good things. I think this list will come in handy if you are going to get serious about content curation (all you need to get, to make the below software work, is a WordPress blog):
1 – Newsomatic – This is an awesome piece of software (WordPress plugin) for the serious curationist (I don’t know if that’s the official term but it sounded good). This software pulls content from NewsAPI by keyword from the most recent content to the least. This software also allows you to customize content that will be generated, using shortcodes (will also import article full content). It’s cool and a HUGE time saver if you are going to be curating a lot.
2 – Echo RSS – This is a neat piece of software that is able to import content from any RSS feed out there. It runs on WordPress so you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues. This software will gather content seamlessly (will also import article full content). It’s a close second to Newsomatic. This plugin can also create custom RSS feeds for your blog.
3 – Fbomatic – If you want to import content from Facebook, this is the plugin that you need. It can post from Facebook, and also for to your Facebook account, in your name – so it can do posting both ways.
4 – Youtubomatic – If you wish to create a curated video blog, this is the best option for you. It can import any video from YouTube, using search keywords (or videos from any channel). Also, a huge feature of this plugin is that it can post videos to your YouTube channel, simply by embedding YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Twitch or Facebook videos to your published post’s content.
6 – Trendomatic – This is a special plugin that can import articles from WebHose and get the keywords for the searches from Google Trends. Like this, articles will be always the hottest out there. Another big feature of this plugin is that it can import content from the Dark Web!
7 – WordPressomatic – If you wish to import content from other WordPress blogs, this is the right plugin for you. It will use WordPress’s built-in API, to import content from almost any WordPress blog out there (that has the WordPress API enabled).
So I hope that this post was helpful and that you have a better understanding of what Content Curation is and how to use it to better your content for your sites, readers and for your bank account.
Just remember to always provide quality and over-deliver. If you do that you will build a fan base for your site that will comeback again and again.
Oh… and don’t forget to encourage social sharing on your site. Just tell people to share your content and they most likely will. This helps get you traffic and it will help your SEO efforts as well.
Speaking of social sharing… Do you mind sharing this blog post with your friends on Twitter? All you have to do is press the button below:
As always, comments are welcomed and encouraged.
Are you currently using content curation on your site? How’s it working for you? Do you have any tips that you would like to add to better this post? Comment below.