The easiest way to create content? Curate it. And in the process, build your online influence, authority and visibility.
Content curation is becoming an increasingly essential component of effective content marketing. The truth is, it’s nigh on impossible to create all the content yourself that you need to sustain and build your online visibility. Curating content offers a useful, and actually highly beneficial, alternative.
With increasing amounts of content available, people need a trusted resource who’s willing to cut through the noise and clutter and gather the most important pieces of information in one place.
By performing that role within your niche, you attract increasing numbers of followers and enjoy increased influence, authority and visibility as a result.
So What Is Content Curation?
In brief, content curation involves sourcing quality content from around the Web, and then sharing the results through your own channels, such as social media and your own website.
In fact, most success stories on social media involve a component of curated content. Those who insist on trying to use social media as a direct selling platform (rather than an influence-building platform), and only share their own content rarely make much headway.
The benefits come from ‘giving’ as much value as possible to those on the social media platforms, rather than the ‘grabbing’ mentality of trying to make a quick buck.
The profits come from the influence you build and is far more powerful long-term.
So How Can You Get Started Curating Content?
It’s actually easier than you think. Here’s a list of nine of the top resources and tools you can use to get started with content curation quickly — and most are completely free.
1. HASO (Help a Socialist Out) [search for ‘HASO guy kawasaki]
From Guy Kawasaki, once you subscribe you receive a daily e-mail with potential content you can pick from and share.
Each e-mail is based on their own content curation activities, and they actually use the stories they find in their own social media activities.
You should find at least one or two content items a day in the list they provide that you’ll then be able to share.
ContentGems has more than 200,000 sources such as blogs, news sources and social media accounts.
By entering your own interests — or what you want to find content about, using keywords — you’ll get numerous recently-published content items in the results that you’ll be able to sift through and use. They also show you the number of times a particular piece of content has been tweeted, so you get a feel for its popularity level, and how well it might resonate with your own audience.
Similar to ContentGems.com, you enter keywords relating to your niche and can then see the latest content on your topic.
You can also use the platform to share the content you find directly to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (additional channels are available for paid accounts).
TrendSpottr puts you ‘ahead of the trend’, enabling you to see content that has reached a certain level of sharing frequency but not yet achieved a general level of awareness.
One advantage is that you’ll be able to share content your followers have not yet come across from another source. And when they do, they’ll credit you with telling them first, immediately boosting their sense of your authority on the topic.
Secondly, you’ll be sharing content that you know is highly sharable. That means when your followers share it with their own followers, you’ll gain increased visibility as a result.
5. Google+ Explore
You can find posts related to your niche by searching based on hashtags. You can see which of them appear to be resonating more than others (you can see which have had the most +1’s and shares) then find the most appealing posts to share with your own social channels.
Evernote software is effectively a digital notebook that takes advantage of all the Internet has to offer. It means you can save all sorts of information, and access it through your computer, Smartphone or tablet.
In terms of content curation, if you’re browsing something on your Smartphone that would be suitable to share at some later point, you can save it to a suitable folder in Evernote, and then access it when you are ready.
It’s also useful of course for making notes when ideas and inspiration strikes you for creating your own content.
Feedly.com is an aggregator service that takes advantage of RSS feeds to compile content from sources you enter.
It comes in very useful for example when you have a number of blogs you want to keep up with regularly. You add all the blogs in, and can then see all the content in one place without needing to visit each one or remember where they are.
When you’re looking for new content to share, you can pick out the latest blog post that your followers will appreciate hearing about, and share it accordingly.
8. Google Alerts
By creating Google Alerts based on keywords relating to your niche, you can immediately find out what’s new and share accordingly with your niche. You can get alerts by e-mail, or create an RSS feed based on your alert that you can then consult when you are ready (for example, plug into Feedly above).
In curating content, you need an easy way to disseminate the content to the social networks you’re involved with.
That’s where Hootsuite comes in. You can view your social media activity all in one place, as well as schedule posts and tweets in advance.
With content curation an increasingly essential component of content marketing, it’s important to use the right content curation tools to make that job as easy as possible as well as assist you in finding the most authoritative sources of content to share. By curating content on a regular basis, you’ll enjoy your own online influence, authority and visibility increasing as a result.