Blogging has become an essential aspect of building an online empire. An on-site blog adds value to your website, it allows you a ready means of optimization, it gives you a platform to prove your authority within your field, and it helps you to bring in traffic and make conversions. However, any business owner that has tried to pen a blog day in and day out quickly realize how difficult it is to keep up with regular posting and remain creative.
Blog readers and search bots alike expect high-quality content. As a business owner, your professional responsibilities likely take precedence over researching and writing blog posts. There is an easy answer, though. You need only use content curation as a means of supplementing your original blog posts.
The key is going about it in such a way that you’re not putting more time and effort into curation than you would into actual blogging. Here are several tips that will help you to successfully employ this strategy without falling prey to the common blunders that plague other bloggers.
Subscribe to Industry Blogs
Content curation revolves around finding the best content for your blog by sifting through what others in your industry are posting. This means searching for the most relevant, timely, informative, entertaining, and engaging content to impress your current readers and catch the eye of prospective customers. Part of proving your expertise is picking and choosing what to feed your readers.
The best way to do this is to sign up for membership with blogs that you feel are delivering the quality content your readers will appreciate. Whether you receive daily emails detailing current topics, you sign up for RSS feeds, or you follow your favorites on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, you can get updates delivered regularly that will help you to see current content at a glance.
You’ll still have to read the postings that interest you. But this is a great way to begin finding the targeted content you want to curate for your blog without necessarily having to set aside time each day to visit industry websites and blogs in search of new content.
Utilize Curation Tools
The biggest hassle for most blog owners when it comes to content curation is the sheer time that could be committed to sifting through information. There is a simple solution: curation tools. In addition to signing up for feeds from preferred industry blogs, utilize tools designed to sift and find suitable content for you.
Popular aggregators like Digg and Reddit can be a good place to start thanks to features that allow you to select your favorite blogs and websites in order to be fed relevant posts. What makes them truly useful, though, is that articles are ranked in popularity from readers, so you’ll have a good idea of what is most relevant to your readers.
Feedly is another good option, particularly for blogs interested in curating content. Users create a dashboard and then add to the feed using a variety of search criteria, including industry, business, or keyword. There are dozens of options to choose from when it comes to aggregators that will serve your purposes, but these tend to be the most popular and useful. You might also try looking for industry-specific aggregators.
When you engage in content curation it is important to give credit where credit is due. In many cases you’ll simply post a link to content you think your readers will enjoy. But if you plan to repost content in any measure on your own blog, it’s important that you make sure to credit your sources.
There are two reasons to do this. First and foremost, you don’t want your readers finding the same content elsewhere and developing the impression that you’re a plagiarist. Secondly, you don’t want the original source of content to learn you copied their work.
Plagiarism is not a legally punishable offense, but there could be serious consequences. Provable instances of plagiarism online are most likely to get you delisted or banned. Your online reputation could be ruined. However, promoting the work of another as your own could also result in a civil lawsuit, which can cause a significant financial burden and will distract you form your business. All of this hassle can be easily avoided by simply crediting sources.
Add Your Spin
One of the best reasons to blog is to add value for current and prospective customers. You can certainly use content created by others to your advantage, but if you want readers to view you as an authority in your field, it’s important that you add your own flavor to every post, even when the content is not unique.
There are a number of strategies you can employ to this end. You could, for example, create a short summary of the content as a tease to interest readers in delving further or clicking the link to an article. In other words, use your own brand of humor or insight to hook readers.
You might also start a conversation by inviting readers to peruse the content and then posing a question for them to answer. Asking for reader’s opinions is an excellent way to engage with customers and open the lines of communication.
Don’t forget to encourage readers to share any and all content that they find interesting, informative, and entertaining. One benefit of curating content is that it saves you some time and effort. It also gives you the opportunity to expand your network of contacts and customers.
There is no shortage of newbie bloggers looking to build portfolios. Many of them are willing to go the extra mile to help you curate fresh and engaging content for your blog. In most cases they will bring you ideas for posts based on the latest industry trends and, if you approve, they’ll create original content for your blog using available data. Not only can you get the curated content you seek, you can also get a unique spin on it, simply by offering a byline or link to the writer in question.