The Content Curation Guide for Bloggers


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Content curation as a blogging model is widely misunderstood by most bloggers and marketers.  Many people would tell you that curation is about finding and posting links of related material around a certain topic or keyword. And they would be wrong if the goal was to get people and search engines to appreciate and react to said content.  (And if your goal is to use curation as a means to get attention, then make money, from what you are doing.) Real content curation is a set of links and snippets to other material on the web along with insightful, expert analysis provided by the curator. There’s been an explosion of content on the web around “curation.”  And new services that seek to make the process easier for different groups of users.

The Trick To Good, Effective Content Curation

You absolutely must tie the content you curate into a post (i.e. links to different angles from different authors, bloggers, and news stories around the same topic) with original commentary.  Commentary that makes sense and seeks to draw new connections, parallels, or shed new light on a topic others are writing and sharing information about.

Some leaders in this discussion right now…

Cheap content is easy to spot because it carries little value. Curation, is more, much more than just finding some links and publishing them. For curation to be done well it needs context. Publishing some links is of not much benefit to anyone if you can’t explain why this content has been chosen, it requires some rationale for the choice and also: it needs to take the story further.  Read more at Silicon Valley Watcher…

Here’s an excellent article from Christopher S. Penn on “The dangers of aggregation and curation” which highlights problem with “sensational” curation and how you can overcome it (even use it) to be a curation rockstar. Search Engine Land takes curation from, of course, the search engine marketing validity of curation.  Or, how you can use curation instead of 100% original content to garner love from your readers and Google at the same time.  All while lowering the amount of time you have to spend on hardcore, 100% original content. Arnold Waldstein points out the importance of context over content.  I agree with him that there isn’t yet a curator’s dream tool for finding the context in the content being shared by everyone on the web, in a group, or among “friends” and followers.  But he points out some wish list items for just such a tool to conquer this problem once and for all. See also Social Media Club’s article on content curation vs. content filtering.

An example of good content curation…

Green Real Estate:  Curation of green building videos from all over the U.S from YouTube.  The value add?  On YouTube the videos are random as far as location for searches on “green building.”  On Green Real they are tied together with maps showing where green building videos are made so you can check green building trends in your area or any area you’d like to check out.


There are many other sites that offer different approaches to creating “followable” curation to generate social buzz and list subscribers. I’ve said for years that a good blogger becomes the go-to filter for their market.  If you are seen as the best place to discover new ideas, videos, insight, entertainment, or how-to information, you can rock in the engines and with a growing readership that pays. Your revenue model can be based on advertising, list building and affiliate marketing, or the promotion of your own related product or service.

The reason curation rocks

It takes less time to create a very high quality post when you curate and “riff” off of other thought leaders, adding your own spin to the topic and providing great information to readers, than it often does to write a post from scratch. Much of the time, bloggers struggle to come up with something to write about or share each day.  Adding a curation model to your content development plan for your site can certainly erase the writer’s block most bloggers face. Being in the middle of your market and knowing what’s going on, what’s most important for your readers to focus on, and providing that extremely valuable filter so they feel satisfied with you as their main source of intel is a winning strategy practiced by hundreds of popular sites on the web today.


The world doesn’t need more content.

It needs help digesting and sorting it – and is willing to pay with clicks, likes, subscriptions, and eyeballs. Steve Rubel spells out the need for good content curation and the opportunity to develop authority in a market.  This is a quite important article on curation and should be fully digested for the ideas it contains.

Curation Tools for Bloggers

  • CurationSoft:  Searches the web for drop-and-draggable video, photos, Tweets and more based on keywords.
  • Zemanta:  Same as above.  Comes in WordPress plugin format or as add on for Firefox.  The two, used together, really bolster a blogger’s ability to find the right content on most topics.
  • 3rd Party Curation Services: Reviewed by Mashable.
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