12 Most Helpful Tips For Curating Content

12 Most Helpful Tips For Curating Content

I realized when I mapped this series out that the first two posts were kind of negative. First we talked about the kinds of posts I don’t tend to curate. Then we talked about easy traps to fall into when curating. Man, what a Debbie Downer! So, this week I’m lightening the load a bit and we’ll talk about something happy! Or at least helpful. I hope.

I’ve gathered a few tricks that have helped me become a content curator online, and some of those tricks — 12 to be precise — are just what I’m going to share with you! Starting… now!

1. Read the whole post

Now, this is assuming you want to be a credible and knowledgeable resource, but let me tell ya, sometimes people start a post one way and end up in a totally different hemisphere of thought. Read the entire thing. Make sure you are comfortable associating with all of that content, not just the first paragraph!

2. Decide on a primary means of disseminating your curated posts

Are you going to do weekly blog posts? Post things to Twitter? Depend on Tribber? Or maybe you’ll make your Google Reader public, huh? No matter which road you choose, one of these should be your favorite. Otherwise you will drive yourself insane. This is something I know a lot about!

3. Let your community weigh in on how they feel about the post

Sometimes I like to curate posts that I don’t agree with. I will indicate that I may not be 100% on board, but I don’t dictate to my community how they should feel. Instead, I ask for opinions. People seem to like that.

4. Skim your Twitter stream and favorite posts

This could also work for Google Plus, although it seems hard to “bookmark” things over there. Skimming my Twitter stream has become one of my favorite ways to find posts, especially posts that are by people I may not have a lot of contact with. Spend five minutes just looking through all of those tweets and you’ll be shocked how many great blog links are there. Favorite, store, read, and curate!

5. Ask people you like what they are reading

This is a failsafe against curating posts from just big names or just people you know. People you know may know people you don’t know! Right?

6. Ask a good question, then look for answers

Is there a question you would love to learn a lot about? Something you’d be willing to research? Instead of just writing one big long post yourself, it’s fun sometimes to go out into the Blogosphere and see what other people have to say about that very topic. Then you can create a post that links to all of that knowledge, and people will love you forever (this is quantifiable, don’t worry).

7. Look at who reputable sites are including on their curated lists

There is no shame in looking at other curated lists and learning from them. I have found a lot of great people because someone else said, “Hey, this person is great.” As Mr. T might well say, I pity the fool who would be afraid to curate someone who’s already been curated. I think he did say that in an episode of A-Team.

8. Find your own curator’s voice

Just like blogging, content curators need to find their own voice. This can include how you display your posts, whether you display your posts, and your methodologies for gathering posts. If you want to curate posts in alphabetical order by first word in the post, hey, go for it! Do what feels right to you.

9. Do not bug the crap out of people whose posts you are curating

There’s that old saying in the online world that goes something like “give to get.” Because of that saying, people who curate posts sometimes think that they have given enough, and now they want to get traffic, applause, stickers, or other such sundries. In fact, curating posts is still really about you. You’re showing other people posts that you found interesting. Therefore, begging people to promote your curation masterpieces will not always go over well.

10. Look for opposing points of view

If you see that a post is getting a lot of discussion going, see if there are other posts that agree or disagree with that blogger. Curate these posts together and allow your community to review all sides of the argument. This can create very useful and interesting conversations!

11. Link to peoples’ posts when you include them on your site

This may seem obvious, but occasionally I will see a curated list that will not let me actually visit posts that I find interesting. This makes me cry big salty tears. You are paving the way for your community to visit these posts, so make that path easy to follow (and make sure it’s easy to get back to your site, too)

12. Try to include posts that are wildly different from your own blogging style

One of my favorite things about curating online content is that I can find all kinds of subjects written about in all kinds of writing styles. If I curated posts that seemed to just echo my own content, well, I would think it was great, but you might find that kind of boring or uninteresting. Curation is an opportunity to showcase your interests in other subjects, in other people, and in other writing styles. People will appreciate the variety!

There you have it. Twelve tips that I’ve learned along the way as I’ve curated content online. I hope you found these tips helpful, and in fact, I hope you found this three-part series helpful. Why? Because that’s what I was going for!

Now you tell me… what did I miss?

Featured image courtesy of Dave_S licensed via creative commons.

Margie Clayman

http://www.margieclayman.com/

Marjorie Clayman (@margieclayman) is the Director of Client Development at her family's 58-year-old marketing firm, Clayman Advertising, Inc. Margie is the resident blogger at www.margieclayman.com and is the resident librarian at www.thebloglibrary.com. Margie's writing has been featured on pushingsocial.com, problogger.net, convinceandconvert.com, and dannybrown.me. Margie has recently published an e-book called The ABC’s of Marketing Myths. Margie is still not used to talking about herself in the third person but is working on it.

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29 comments
JBBC
JBBC

Nice post Margie. I have been doing a weekly round up of blogs in the breast cancer community for the past year, but I didn't know that I was curating them ;-) I just love introducing new bloggers to the community and sharing what is important to them.

JohnR.Aberle
JohnR.Aberle

Thanks to @TheStoryLady who shared Jack Humphrey's sharing of "12 Most Helpful Tips For Curating Content" on Google+ or I would have never seen this. I'm just now getting interested in content curation as a way to serve my community. Great points. Thanks. I do love how the Internet and social networking can expand our access to new ideas.

GemmaThompson
GemmaThompson

Great post Majorie, thank you.I particularly like point 9 as I have almost been guilty of this a few times! Luckily I have managed to hold myself back, stop sulking and remind myself that other people's share policies are up to them! I share a lot so I expected to get shared a lot too but it's not always as simple as that, still, I don't let it bother me anymore, if the information is good I'll pass it on!
Oh number 1 is a good point as well but I must add that if the blog isn't compelling enough to keep me reading after the first paragraph then I wouldn't share it!

EmmaofCEM
EmmaofCEM

Great list Margie. I can't believe there are still people out there who DON'T link to the original post. I mean, really? I thought that was old hat and industry standard by now. But... well, I guess there's always that one ape or two who hasn't jumped over the evolutionary divide yet, isn't there? :)

pbehnia
pbehnia

I've visited Blog Library and it's easy to see that there is quite a lot of time, effort and energy put into what you share with your audience. It's a combo of art and science - or maybe more like alchemy - on the path of sharing good content. I appreciate you!

rj_c
rj_c

The one about reading the whole post. I have a bad habit of starting my posts about something and ending up in a different place. Sometimes I even forget to cover the main point I wanted to write about. On the other side I also find it funny how people mention you somewhere and then they have to tell you that they did so you can retweet there stuff. It has a lot more value when they did something special and did not tell you. Great post Margie

PaulBiedermann
PaulBiedermann moderator

Thanks for another very helpful post for all who blog, Margie. I really appreciated number 10, as I think our media and world in general could use a more balanced approach for presenting differing opinions.

When people have easy access to opposing viewpoints and can view them side-by-side, it helps demonstrate that issues are rarely black and white. It also makes it that much easier to discern where our own views may lie, while helping us communicate them with a broader sense of perspective.

SusieBlackmon
SusieBlackmon

I love, and spend many hours, 'curating' information to share on #horsebiz for people in the horse industry. Much of what I share relates to social media, marketing and technology, with 'strictly' horse information also included in the stream. The best part, lately, has been that people in the horse industry are starting to use the hashtag to share really good information! I'm happiest when sharing great information with the industry I love. My search for information covers Twitter, Google+, news streams and, of course, many great blogs.

Thank you for another valuable post, Ms. Margie.

prosperitygal
prosperitygal

Yeah finding blogging styles different from your own is interesting while intellectually I get it, emotionally I am not connecting and if I ask my readers to view it I am thinking about what they will value, I can see them saying "why did you pick something so shallow- we come to you for your depth?"

jeanniecw
jeanniecw

Great post, Margie! I love your points about reading the whole post and finding those who represent a different style than you. Cheers!

Susan_Silver
Susan_Silver

@MargieClayman Not a problem.I am very interested in the content curation world. Especially how we give credit and attribution to our finds.

margieclayman
margieclayman

@EmmaofCEM Hah! Just to be 100% clear, you said that....whether or not I'm nodding vigorously is anybody's guess :)

margieclayman
margieclayman

@pbehnia Alchemy makes me nervous. I don't want to blow anything up!! Thank you very much for your kinds words. I really appreciate that!

margieclayman
margieclayman

@rj_c Yeah, it can be rough. Sometimes you want to tell someone you included their work in a post because you're just excited about their work, but I think some people do make it clear they just want you to retweet their stuff, and that's kind of a bummer. Good point as always, Raul. Thanks! :)

margieclayman
margieclayman

@PaulBiedermann Thanks, Paul.

Wait, did you just call me fair and balanced? =p

No, I do think it's an interesting exercise. I also enjoy seeing proof that civil disagreements can still happen. It encourages me that maybe the future for civil discourse in general is still bright :)

margieclayman
margieclayman

@SusieBlackmon Sounds like you've caught the curating bug, Susie. Careful of that one. It can eat you up! So glad you're enjoying!

Susan_Silver
Susan_Silver

@MargieClayman Haven't come to a conclusion yet, but looking into it all for my own education.

Susan_Silver
Susan_Silver

@MargieClayman I am focused on sources.When everyone is a reporter,who do we trust?How do we keep ourselves from being quoted out of context

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