Content curation is an art, much as it is for the museum curator. In a museum environment, curators carefully look for, inspect and acquire artifacts, with an eye toward adding value to the collection. That’s the same approach you should take with your blog, by actively being on the look out for excellent articles and acquiring same as soon as you find it.
How should you go about curating content? Read on and we will look at the finer points of this art form:
1. Identify what you need. The very first thing you must do when acquiring content is to identify what your needs are. This means carefully inspecting what you have written so far and understanding what content would be of value to your site.
For instance, If your website covers SEO matters and you want to dig deeper into the all things Alexa, then you would put that on your list of content to development. Even if you have covered a topic several times, but believe that there is an audience looking for more, you will want to curate the same.
2. Establish your editorial calendar. The last thing you want to do is serve up the same topic day after day. Unless you have a series of articles and the subject must be exhausted before you move on.
One way to avoid a cluttered collection is to establish an editorial calendar and plan what articles will be published and when. You will use this calendar as you approach people to acquire content.
3. Ask your circle of influencers. Every blogger should have a section on his blog dedicated to inviting writers to contribute. That’s the easiest way to attract fresh content. It is also the easiest way to get spammed and served with an endless stream of low-quality prose.
To avoid this calamity, you need to spell out in no uncertain terms what you are looking for. You can also ask your readers to pitch a story idea to you, much in the same way that reporters invite the same. Post your desired word count, offer layout tips and cover other matters you do not want to repeat over and again. Make it easy for people to contact you by offering up a contact form that is submitted to your email inbox.
4. Reach out to broaden your audience. Look beyond your tribe to seek out people that are influencers in your area. With SEO, that isn’t a difficult thing to do — so many SEO experts, so little time. Still, you want identify the best and ask them to contribute.
Once you identify your potential contributors, approach each one personally and individually. No mass emails! Take the time to craft a note, explaining who you are and what you are looking for. Yes, flatter the individual by noting her Alexa prowess, but ask for an article and serve up some link love to show your gratitude.
5. Inspect, then acquire. Not all content available for curation should be taken. First, it must meet your subject requirements. Second, the content has to be interesting, engaging and accurate. Third, the content must be unique, passing Copyscape scrutiny with flying colors. Fourth, it must hold up to the standard you have set forth for your blog. You set and enforce the standards — be consistent.
Once you are ready to acquire an article, then curate it. Make an offer, explain to the contributor when it will be published, and publicize the heck out of it when it goes live. Employ the same SEO tactics you always do to your guest articles.
Curating content is not easy! You will be up against thousands of other people that are doing the same. Demonstrate knowledge and proficiency of your subject area, and you’ll have people flocking to you. Fail that, your curation efforts will become even more difficult to do. Stay focused and keep acquiring.