There are many different ways to curate content. Remember that the important thing is to provide value for your audience. Choose the content you curate as well as the way you present it in such a way that it delivers this value. Here are some ideas on ways to curate content.
Curate Someone Else’s Research
Hard data gathered through research is often presented in a way that’s dense, dry, or difficult to read. You can take research from several different sources and present it in a way that’s more reader friendly or better tailored to your audience.
One good way to do this is to take hard data and turn it into an infographic. An infographic is a visual piece of content that shows rather than telling with words. For example, if you’re providing research on a particular market to your audience, you can take several sources of research and create visuals that present the facts and figures in a simple way.
Curate Someone Else’s Ideas
Create one piece of content that brings together the ideas of a group of influencers or big names on a certain topic and present them to the reader. You can add your own comments or write a short summary or explanation of each.
One way to do this is to summarize the presenters at a conference. After attending a conference, you can write a short summary of the main points covered by each speaker.
A great piece of curated content is the news roundup. You can gather various news stories in your niche and present them all in one piece of content. Take various related stories and summarize each in a paragraph with a link.
For example, a tech expert may create a regular newsletter that takes all of the major stories of the week related to the tech industry and summarizes each with a bit of commentary. The newsletter would contain live links so that readers could go to the actual stories if they want to read more.
Share the Best Images
Create content that shares the best images related to your niche. Scour the web and use image-based social media sites like Pinterest or Instagram to find good images that your audience would like. This is an excellent idea for any niche, but it’s especially good for niches that are highly visual, like fashion or food. You can ask your audience to choose their favorite and leave comments.
Just be sure to quote the sources of each image and link back to them!
Distillation and Elevation
Distillation and elevation are two content curation techniques that are the opposite of each other. Distillation means taking several sources and summarizing the main points in one piece of content. Elevation means taking one small piece of content and going into further depth for your audience.
An example of distillation would be to find four pieces of content and write one piece of content based on these four. This is something like a news roundup. For example, if your website promotes solar energy, you might write an article on the best positioning for solar panel placement in which you share the ideas on the subject from four major solar energy websites. Explain each suggestion and its pros and cons.
Distillation takes a small piece of content and explains it or puts it into context for the reader. You might take a tweet, image, or quote and share it with your reader, explaining its significance and what it means. Your audience doesn’t have the wealth of knowledge you do. You can explain why this piece of content is important. For example, you might take a quote from a thought leader like Seth Godin and unpack what it means, along with real-life examples from the market.
Curate Your Comments
You can create totally new content based on the content in the comments section of your blog, website, or other content. For example, if you have a blog post that had a great deal of comments and shares, you might write a new post where you address some of the comments and questions. In addition to giving you fresh content, this technique also draws attention to your old content and sends readers there to check it out.
Create a Timeline
Take a few major events related to your niche and put them in order to create a timeline. Like the infographic idea, this is a simple way to present data that could be hard to understand. For example, for an automotive news website, you could create a timeline of the major milestones that have led to the development of automatic driving. Find one article for each milestone and summarize it on your timeline.
Let Your Audience Create Your Content
You don’t have to create all of your content on your own. One way to curate content is to ask your audience to help. Put out a call for submissions and use the submissions to create a new piece of content. For example, if your readers are freelance service providers, you could ask them to send in their favorite time management tools. Then, run a feature where you include their submissions and maybe comment upon them.
Best Practices for Providing Valuable Curated Content
Make your content relevant to your reader. This is an important consideration. Sometimes, you need to explain how it’s relevant to your reader. For example, if you share a news story from a different but related niche, your commentary on the news story should bring it back around to the reader and their interests. If it isn’t relevant (or shown to be relevant), it won’t provide value.
Always curate content with the goal of engagement. You don’t want your readers to just consume your content. Get them to comment on it. Post content that will encourage comments, sharing, and discussion. Invite your audience to get involved.
Be Up Front
When you share someone’s content, whenever possible you should let them know that you shared it. It could be something as simple as tagging them so that they’ll know that it’s out there. This is the nice thing to do, but it can also have direct benefits for you. One is that the content creator will know who you are, thereby giving you a potential opportunity to connect with them. Another benefit is that they may share your curated content or tell their audience about it. This can widen your audience and give you more exposure.
Make it Easy to Read
As with all of the content that you create or share, make it easy to read. Use small paragraphs and bullet points or lists wherever possible. In most cases, content curation is about presenting something complicated such as data, a timeline, in-depth articles, or presentations in a way that’s easier for your audience to consume.
Make it Easy to Find
Also like your regular content, make it easy for people to find your curated content. Use the appropriate keywords, tags, and hashtags. Make sure that all of your metadata is in order. If you apply some SEO, your curated content can act as a magnet to bring you new readers.
Thinking Outside the Box
Sometimes with content curation, the content you’re sharing isn’t actually intended for your audience. Rather, it’s your commentary on it that’s important. Content curation offers many opportunities to share your thoughts on other material.
You might share content from another industry. For example, a website on politics from a socialist point of view may share an article about the underground college rock scene in the 1980s, explaining how it has socialistic elements. A health and fitness website might share content about a new technology and explain the impact of this technology on health. A marketing website might write an article examining the US public’s obsession with zombies and how that relates to marketers.
Content curation sometimes takes the opposite side of an issue. The website of one political party may take a speech given by someone on the other side and examine what they said. An organic food website might share a press release from a giant industrial food producer and explain what effect it will have for your audience.
You might even take “bad” content and share it exactly for that reason. For example, a relationship advice columnist may take the column of another that they disagree with. They can explain why this advice is bad and add their own perspective.
Remember that the content itself doesn’t have to be “good” or relevant. When you curate the content and add your own ideas, you make it valuable and relevant to your audience.