Saving time, making connections with influencers, building
authority — these are just some of the benefits of content
But you might also have lots of questions like…
How much time should you spend curating content versus creating
great posts of your own?
How can you make curated posts stand out amidst all the noise
What tools can you use to speed up or even automate the
Well, here’s the good news:
In this post, I’ll answer all those questions about content
curation and more.
If you’re new to the topic, I’ll explain exactly what
content curation is and why you should do it. We’ll also explore
some tools and tactics for streamlining your content curation
process, saving you loads of time, even if you’ve been doing it a
And the best part…
Lots of real-world examples! You’ll see what’s working in
the trenches right now, so you can model it for yourself.
Table of Contents
Why Should I Consider
What is Content
The Benefits of
The Myths of Content
Strategy: How to Get Results
10 Examples of
Killer Content Curation
Can You Hire a
Content Curator to do This?
The Bottom Line
on Content Curation
Why Should I Consider Content Curation?
There’s an overabundance of information out there.
As I write, in the early evening, around 3 million blog posts
have been published today, all vying for your attention.
Every second there are:
8,320 Tweets sent
888 Instagram photos uploaded
3,550 Skype calls made
66,233 GB of internet traffic logged
71,596 Google searches performed
76,892 YouTube videos watched
2,758,518 emails sent
By 2020, an estimated 1.7 GB of data
will be created for every person on earth — every second!
No-one can possibly keep up.
But with content curation, they don’t have to. Think of it
Imagine there was only one radio station that played every genre
of music and broadcast all the news and talk-back shows ever made.
Your passion is country music, but it’s too hard to find amidst
the noise of the other content.
Along comes a small, independent radio station dedicated to
bringing you the best country music it can source. Everything about
country music that entertains and informs you. All curated in one
place for people like yourself to enjoy.
Which radio station will you tune into the most?
That’s why content curators are becoming increasingly
important in a world of time-strapped, overwhelmed
content-consumers. And that’s why every blogger, brand and
business should consider curation as part of their content
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What is Content Curation?
Content curation is the art of sourcing,
filtering and repackaging all
forms of existing content to
share with a specific audience to
add value to their lives and save them
Phew. That’s quite a mouthful.
Let’s break it down into more bite-sized chunks before we
delve into the detail of how to do it.
Sourcing: First, you’ve got to find
content that’s relevant to your niche and worthy of curating.
Luckily, this post is jam-packed with tools to do just that.
Filtering: This is where you sort the wheat
from the chaff. Anyone can find a bucket load of content, but top
curators add a filter of human analysis to make sure they’re
sharing something valuable.
Repackaging: Your curated content needs to
look good. It needs to be well branded, consistently presented,
easy to navigate and enticing enough for your audience to click
through to the original content.
Existing content: This can be blog posts,
articles, videos, books, reviews, podcasts, music, infographics,
lists, news, images — anything that is currently on the Internet,
including your own content.
Specific audience: If you are doing any form
of online marketing, you are serving a specific audience. Curated
content is no different. Their goals and intentions should be at
the epicenter of your curation strategy.
Share: You can share curated content in
several ways. On social media, in a blog, a website, YouTube or an
email newsletter. Or go for a combination — whatever works for
Add value: This is at the heart of content
curation. You need to make sense of it for your audience by putting
it in context with their interests and lives. In its most basic
form, this can be a summary of the content to allow readers to get
the gist of the subject matter, but it should be an original
summary created by you.
Save them time: You are preparing and
presenting content they need in an easy to digest format, which
means they don’t have to go schlepping through the web to find it
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The Benefits of Content Curation It Makes You a Trusted Authority
When you consistently curate relevant content for your audience
— and add value with your insights — you become a go-to person
for your topic.
Before long, your audience will turn to you as one of their
trusted sources because you know how to filter out the noise and
deliver what’s important. You’re making it easier and faster to
find what they’re looking for.
Example: Social Media Today is a
website and daily newsletter with 104k subscribers. In addition to
curating the top news stories and publishing their own articles,
they also provide information on industry events and jobs and run
regular Twitter chats on all things related to social media
It Builds Your Credibility
Most businesses publish original content as part of their online
marketing strategy. And that’s still a great approach. But
sometimes it’s good to combine your advice with those of others.
Curating work by other experts proves you care enough about your
audience to bring them the best content — not just your own voice
— which gives you greater credibility.
Example: If anyone has the right to voice
his own opinions it’s Brian Clark of CopyBlogger
fame, one of the world’s most influential blogs. But Brian also
chooses to share curated content through his weekly email Unemployable for freelancers. It is
this generosity of time and knowledge that boosts his credibility
and pays back big time when it comes to selling his fee-generating
It Establishes Connections with Influencers
Every time you curate content produced by an influencer or
include their expert opinion in a curated list post of your own, you are
endorsing their views and opening them up to a new audience.
It also helps put you on their radar.
You can draw their attention by tagging them on social media
when you share their work, or emailing them a link to your curated
blog post. Content curation is a great way to build solid
relationships with top influencers in your niche, but only if you
get it right. Like this:
Example: Mashable.com is a digital media
site, which published a
guest post by Aaron Orendorff about
growth hacking strategies. In it he curates advice from 25
influencers and includes their headshots and links back to their
sites. The post received a total of 4.4k shares across social
media, and I bet I know where 25 of those came from.
It Makes You a Trend Spotter
When you spend a couple of hours a day sourcing relevant and
interesting content, you can’t help but increase your knowledge.
You’ll start recognizing patterns and trends as they’re
happening, and gaps in existing content you might be able to
Not only does this add value for your audience, but it also
makes you a credible expert in your niche and one to watch.
Example: CB Insights mines
massive amounts (I’m talking terabytes) of data to identify and
make sense of emerging technology and business trends for its
customers. And it puts this to good use by sharing its
often-irreverent insights and curated findings in its free daily
newsletter to over 537,000 subscribers.
It Can Boost Your Google Ranking (When You Get It Right)
Many people think curated content could harm your Google ranking
because it’s seen as duplicate content. And that’s true, if you
do nothing but reproduce the original.
But content curation is all aboutadding value.
Here’s proof. The folks at Bruce Clay Inc. ran a
test to see what ranking Google would give to curated content on
their blog versus the original. You can read the full details
Bottom line: When they reproduced the original post without
adding value, the ranking went down from 4th place to 10th. But
when they published an excerpt of the original with theirown
summary and links, the ranking shot up to 1st place — even higher
than the original post.
(“We read everything. You get what matters.”) is a curator of
industry news. It’s easy to navigate with every piece of content
summarized in their own words, which adds value for their readers
and brownie points with Google.
It Can Help Build Your Social Media Following, Faster
As a curator, your output of content will increase, giving you a
lot more to Tweet about on a regular basis. But remember, always
aim to add value, not simply retweet or share.
Example: TheSkimm is a curated subscription
service for female millennials — over 7 million subscribers. It
delivers its content via audio, video, an app, and of course,
social media: They have 608k followers on Instagram, 246k on
Twitter, over 1.1m likes
and followers on Facebook, and 465k views
That’s an impressive social media presence.
It Can Grow Communities and Conversations
Great content curation encourages debate and feedback. When
you add your own insights and respond to audience comments by
providing them with more of what they want, it can attract other
like-minded people to your knowledge “hug.”
They come not just to seek information from you but also to
share content and support each other.
Example: TED.com is one of
the best-known global communities. At its core, it’s a curator of
ideas, or as they put it in their mission statement: “We’re
building a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most
inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage
with ideas and each other.” With an online community of tens of
thousands, over 11 million Twitter followers, and 35 people
watching a TED Talk every second, I reckon they’ve accomplished
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The Myths of Content Curation It Saves You a Truckload of Time
When done properly, the full process of content curation can
take just as much time as creating original content. Sometimes
You have to source, repackage and share a ton of information.
Sure, this can be done more efficiently with automated tools. But
you must also spend time filtering the content, adding insight and
perspective, and building relationships with influencers and other
This is where the real value of content curation kicks in. And
it takes time.
With curation, the volume of your published and shared content
will increase, but your ability to spend more time with your feet
up enjoying a beer won’t.
So, don’t become a content curator if your sole purpose is to
All You Have to Do Is Find Relevant Content and Pump It out to Your
If you just share every blog post and article you find on your
topic without any filtering, you can do more harm than good to your
brand and reputation.
The content you curate will reflect directly on your credibility
and reputation, so choose wisely.
You Never Have to Worry About Creating Your Own Content Again
Undoubtedly, content curation is a great way to build authority
in your niche, but it’s rare to find a site that relies 100% on
curated content. Research has shown that creating your own content
is more valuable regarding conversions.
And let’s face it. That’s one of the main reasons we do
content marketing of any kind.
The research is explained by Tristan Handy in
this post, who says the ratio for publishing curated v.
original content on social media is around 60:40.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, and everyone needs to find
their own sweet spot, but it’s not a bad guideline if you’re
just starting out.
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Content Curation Strategy: How to Get Results Give Your Audience
What It Wants
What are they looking for when they seek information? What are
they sharing on social media? Are they looking for comparisons and
reviews, or the latest industry trends? Do they want to be
entertained, inspired or informed?
If you don’t have an existing audience, read this post. If you do
have an audience, but you’re still not sure what they’re
looking for, read this post.
Example: Further.com is a curated weekly
email targeted directly at Generation X, by Brian Clark, one of the
most influential Generation X-ers on the net. He knows what
they’re thinking, feeling and aspiring to, and he delivers in
Source Valuable Content
Overwhelming as it seems when you start out, sourcing great
content is not hard, especially with so many
automated tools at your fingertips.
RSS feed readers are the first go-to source of content for
curators. Using tools such as Flipboard allows you to search by URL
or topic and collate your content into categories.
Social media is the next main source, and again you have a
myriad of tools at your disposal. For example, Social Searcher is a free
platform that allows you to search by hashtags or topics and brings
up every post published on the major social media sites.
Or you can create a Twitter
list to collate the accounts you follow.
Find the right tools from the list below for your content
sourcing and collating purposes, and remember to stay focused when
you go searching. You can easily disappear down a rabbit warren of
And finally, don’t forget your own blog or social media pages
as a source of content.
Select posts that have done well in the past and may resonate
with a new audience. Or think about repurposing or updating an old
post. Here’s a great example of curating your content from
Filter Your Content
Content curation without filtering is a no-no. This is part of
the process that’s going to demand time and attention, but it’s
Once you have a good collection of content, filter each piece
through these questions:
Is it well written or produced?
Is it relevant to my audience? Does it satisfy a need or
curiosity of theirs?
Is it timely, or has it been recently updated?
Is it in context with everything else I have published or
Will it reflect well on my brand?
If the answer is yes, keep that piece of content and move on to
the next step. If it’s no, dump it.
Always Add Value
There’s one more important consideration before you hit that
share button. You need to add value.
You know the content is worthy of sharing because you’ve
filtered it. Now you need to tell your audience why. The
following are some of the ways you can add value:
Add a brief introduction in your own words.
Put it in context for your audience. Make them understand why
you think it’s important for them to see.
Highlight something specific in the article.
Change the headline using the language and voice your audience
would relate to.
Likewise, think about using a different image to add your own
personality or perspective to the original.
Add a call to action or a link to a relevant post or free
download of your own to give them further information relevant to
the curated piece. Doing so also helps to keep your original
content on their radar.
Make It Look Good
Think about a museum curator. Their job is to present an
exhibition of works in a manner that makes sense.
They encourage visitors in by making the collection look
enticing. They often separate subcategories by rooms or open
spaces. They add information and insights to each piece and present
them in a logical flow.
They don’t take random artworks, dump them in the middle of a
room and expect visitors to work it out for themselves. Neither
Think about how you’ll best present your curated content on
your website or in a newsletter.
And above all, make sure you consistently represent and reflect
your brand, whether that’s through the use of your logo and
colors, your voice, the
language you use or the content you curate.
Example: brainpickings.com by Maria
Popova is a fine example of a well-presented and branded website
with some of the most thoughtful and insightful curations on the
Read more: smartblogger.com