Online publishing, or “content marketing,” isn’t the easiest business in the world. Being a hot dog vendor or a plumber seems a lot more straight forward. You get a customer or client, serve them, and you’re on to the next one.
Most content marketers are saddled with multiple jobs for which larger sites hire full-time staffers. Most online publishers are, at the same time, the editor, the sales force, the accountant, the content creator, and the customer service rep.
Over the years I’ve learned a thing or two about how to deal with the overwhelm felt by publishers with tools to make information easy to filter through and turn into content that readers love and recommend. Even content that other sites link to and talk about. And it’s not always content that written completely from scratch.
Curation is a beautiful way to save time and publish more. It is the process of sifting through information to select only the best stories and news around a topic and then serve it to readers with your own commentary, putting an issue or trend into context for them.
How to master information overload to become a great curator…
First, you simply must keep up with news efficiently. If you are going to find great content to “curate” for your site, you need to be plugged into your market deeply. But that doesn’t have to mean you must spend hours per day surfing around for the best stuff in your market to talk about.
Using a good RSS feed reader is the first step to becoming and “Information Overlord” instead of suffering from information overload. I use Feed.ly to tame my information sources into bite-sized pieces of usable content for curation.
I also monitor my social streams and follow thought leaders and news breakers in my market to scoops.
Next, I use aggregators like Scoop.it to help me discover new stuff that I can report on back on my blogs. Together, these tools keep me moderately sane, productive, and able to “bring the goods” to my readers who very much appreciate what I curate.
Having such a system in place frees up time to do the rest of my jobs as a content marketer effectively, while at the same time, making me appear to have a decent sized writing staff on hand because of the extra content I can produce via curation.
Don’t impose unrealistic goals for writing original content…
I let original content ideas “appear” naturally, while the rest of the time I “riff” off of the news in my niche. This provides readers with my take on the news and happenings I find daily, which in turn saves them a lot of time having to find the best content themselves. It saves my sanity because I’m not in a panic each and every day trying to figure out what to write about.
I simply filter the good from the bad content, curate the best into an post, and my commentary serves as the wrapping paper and bow to finish off my gift to my readers. If I do a good job, they reward me with social mentions, links, and loyalty.
Once you harness the information flying past you everyday, and use it to create easy posts where the content you curate does most of the work (while you supply commentary and context) you will feel like a fresh, content marketing pro.