If you’re looking to get creative with your content in the New Year, content curation is a popular practice that can help you bring new formats and styles to your blog. Essentially, curating content refers to composing a list of links to relevant content that is published around the web. My favorite example is the SearchCap from Search Engine Land that is published almost every week. Below is a screenshot of what it looks like:
As you can see, the SearchCap serves as one whole article created by pulling links and headlines from different places around the web. They split these up into different categories so it’s easy to navigate, and of course they’re giving credit to all of the websites.
Curating content can be done differently, however. Sometimes websites will add in a paragraph about the article they are linking to in order to give the curated piece a little bit more substance and original content. In other cases, a website might write a small blurb about certain categories and then add in links under the content. It’s completely up to you how you want to format curated content, but there are a few tips to keep in mind if you want to be successful.
Why Curated Content Matters and Tips to Curated Content for Your Blog
Before jumping into how to go about curating content, it’s important to understand why it matters so you can have a clear vision of your goals for the piece. There are three major benefits to keep in mind:
- Relationships are improved. If you’re linking back to a website and giving them publicity, they are going to appreciate it and keep you in mind to hopefully return the favor someday. This is therefore a great way to improve relationships and establish new ones across your industry online.
- There are more sharing opportunities. Piggybacking off of the last point, the more websites you mention the more social shares you should get. Let the website know you mentioned them and ask for some social promotion.
- It’s very easy to create and will save time. It’s very simple to put together a piece of curated content. If you have writer’s block and just can’t write anything original, this is a great option to save you time while still populating your blog with quality content.
As discussed above, the benefits are pretty self-explanatory and can make curating content seem simple, but the truth is that it does take some careful preparation, and there are a few strict do not items to keep in mind. Consider the checklists below:
What to Do When Curating Content
I highly recommend checking out this article I wrote on Search Engine Journal a while ago that discusses a few tips as well as tools that can help. The highlights include:
- Always make sure you’re including original and unique content. If you are going to put a link on your blog, make sure it’s pointing to something of quality and not something that was scraped. Always double-check by Google’ing a few paragraphs of the text.
- Focus not only on the quality of content, but the quality of websites. Whenever you link to something on your blog, the more authoritative that website you’re linking to can be, the better.
- Only link to articles that are relevant to readers. Know what you want to accomplish for the curated content piece and only choose articles that serve that purpose.
- Try to include all different types of content—not just articles. Video, infographics, etc. are all getting popular. Include these on your curated content list to give readers different options (maybe options you haven’t yet explored on your own blog).
What Not to Do When Curating Content
If this is your first time hearing about curated content as a type of content, you’re no doubt thinking about how this may be bringing publicity to your competition. The biggest thing that I can say about that is that it doesn’t have to be helping your competition if you’re curating content correctly and smartly. A few things you should avoid include:
- Do not link to direct competition all the time. It’s of course OK to link back to your competition sometimes (this shows credibility), but focus on companies that are in your industry but maybe offer different services or take a different angle.
- Do not draw from the same sources. Do not curate a piece of content using the same three sources over and over again. Mix it up within the piece and overall!
- Do not link back to another curated piece. Only originals, as discussed above.
- Do no use nofollow links. Remember that the pieces you’re linking to in your curated content are helping you. Give them the credit they deserve. This will help establish your relationships and help you get more social shares.
How to Focus on SEO When It Comes to Curated Content
Curated content is a completely fine way to format and publish an article, but you want to make sure that you do not always curate content.Remember that you should absolutely still be producing your own content. I would say a good rule of thumb is one piece of curated content for every 10 original articles you publish. If all you do is curate content, Google may see this as too many external links coming from your website and you could get flagged.
What are your thoughts on curated content? Let us know in the comments below.