Content curation is now fast catching on as a method for creating authoritative and useful content. Creating quality curated content is an art and with any such activity there are things that you should and should not do. Here are nine content curation best practices that you should try to follow so that the content you create is nice to read, useful to readers and fair to the creators of original content.
1. Make use of your creative abilities
Many people think that a content curator is just a person who finds and arranges other people’s work in an interesting and useful way. While that is essential, significant value addition is important in terms of opinions, recommendations and commentary. Curated content is actually an interesting and useful blend of collected content, original opinions and contributions from others.
2. Identify content that is related to your website, but interesting to the readers
Always keep the interest of your readers in mind. They are looking for something that is useful to them. Try to find content that will be very interesting to your readers, but is related to your website in some way. For example, if your website is promoting baby strollers, look for articles that the owners of baby strollers will find interesting. For example, tips on using baby strollers, reviews of popular baby strollers, feedback left by buyers of specific strollers, advantages and disadvantages of stroller features, statistics reflecting the popularity of different type of strollers, etc.
Try to develop a collection of sites which regularly publish such material and bookmark them so that you can periodically check them for new content. You can also subscribe to their RSS feeds or follow them on social media so that you are alerted when useful content becomes available. Content curation tools such as Curationsoft are excellent for finding related content.
3. Regularly publish new articles or posts
Your readers will find your website or blog useful only when there is regular useful content coming in. While even one article a week is good enough, try to publish it on a particular day of the week so that your audience will know when to expect new content from you. A great article is nice to attract attention of new readers, but regular content is what will make them regular visitors to your site and encourage them to bookmark it or share it with others.
Gone are the days when readers bookmark and visit sites. There is an information overload and scarcity of time. Most people have a few sites that they visit regularly including social media sites or YouTube. Find out where your audience is coming from and places that they visit regularly. Try to create content there and then gently bring the visitors to your site. You could do this by interacting or writing guest articles on popular blogs or social media websites.
5. Use platforms judiciously
When using multiple platforms, it is important to understand that a major part of your audience could be using more than one of those platforms. So if you are using multiple platforms to inform your readers about some interesting piece of information try to space it out. Sending it out together could hit the same users multiple times at the same time, which is a bit of a nuisance. Spacing out your tweets or comments will also serve as a reminder even if the same reader gets it again.
6. Always give credit to the original content creator
Irrespective of the platform and irrespective of how little of the information you quote, always give credit to the original author. This is an essential courtesy and the author will appreciate the gesture. You are also making your article, post or comment more useful because readers will be able to click the link to get more information. When we say original author, it is the first person who put that content in the public domain. So if your source is itself quoting someone else, you should find the original source and give credit to them.
When you quote someone else, quote only the part of the article that is relevant to your discussion. Copying an entire article will most likely get you penalized by the search engines for creating duplicate content. Try not to quote more than 15 percent of the original article. Quoting an entire article could also be seen as copyright infringement unless you have the permission of the original source.
8. Be careful with graphics and videos
Many content creators who put up graphics on sites such as Pinterest appreciate your quoting them. However, creating graphics and videos involves a lot of work and not everyone will like you to copy their work to your site. Check the copyright notices carefully and when in doubt get the permission of the creator of the content.
9. Encourage discussions
Interactivity is a great advantage of the web and you must encourage reader interaction by allowing comments and responding to them. You should also interact and comment on the website or blog of the original author. This can also be done on social media such as Twitter, but be careful to read the linked content before you decide to re-tweet it.
Content curation is a nice strategy for content marketing and creating nice curated content is an art. Try to follow the nine content curation best practices discussed above and you will soon be creating valuable content which your readers will appreciate.