Posted by Murray Sye
on Sat, Nov 15, 2014 @ 09:53 AM
Hello busy inbound marketer.
Are you plagued by the perpetual demands of content creation?
If so, hang tight 'cause you're gonna like what I'm about to tell you:
Not all content you create has to be 100% original!
Yowza! Awesome news, right?
But I know what you're thinking; isn't content supposed to be original? Isn't that what Google wants – original, quality stuff?
That in part is true. Google loves freshness. Serving up quality content on a frequent basis is just what search engines look for.
Admittedly, curated content is a collection of other people's content but, if you take the time to curate pieces of value, you'll end up with a collection that's valuable not only to the content consumer and yourself, but to search engines as well. You see, if done right, curated content can actually improve SEO.
So, what's the secret?
Read on my fellow marketers, 'cause curating content is the context of today's post.
Number one rule: Quality Trumps SEO
Remember this rule: always keep your target audience top of mind over SEO. If they like your content, they will link back to you as an industry resource, and help your search engine ranking.
Here are 4 ways that curation can help with your SEO
- Curation helps to build authority – The more authority you have, the more trusted your original content becomes.
- Curation adds life to your site – Search engines love lots of content. When you curate you typically are adding more posts on a more frequent basis, and more content equals a more active website.
- Search engines need signals – When you curate content from credible sources it shows that you have a trusted and authoritative site.
- Curation keeps your site relevant – Typically you're curating things that are cutting edge in your market. When you curate in any market you're typically sharing the latest trends, news, and tips. Search engines pick up on this and see your site as relevant to the market.
(via: Welenia Studios)
How to plan your curated blog post – (like this one)
Content 'curation' serves the same purpose as content 'creation': to educate, engage, and attract more readers and customers. But there's a huge upside – you save time by borrowing third party content instead of creating your own, all while introducing your audience to new and different perspectives. You save your audience time, too, because now they can come to you for a unique compilation of great content without having to find and vet it all themselves.
Ready to write a post with a collection of curated content your audience will love? Our good friends at HubSpot have compiled this handy 'go-to' step-by-step guide – but first take a few minutes to plan out what you want to write about so that you can stay on topic and keep your readers engaged.
- Identify your audience
Which buyer persona are you writing this blog post for?
- Identify your key takeaway
What do you want your audience to learn after reading your blog post?
- Identify what types of content you want to curate
What content matters to your audience that you don't have the time or resources to create?
- Brainstorm a few possible titles
You don't have to pick the perfect title before your blog post is done, but it definitely helps to jot down a few ideas to help keep you focused during the writing process.
At WhiteSpace we typically choose a working title – a title that you can "work" off of, that guides your post, and helps you resist the urge to ramble off into a million different directions. Once the post is complete, we usually fine tune to ensure the title accurately reflects the post content, grabs potential readers' attention, and is optimized for search.
- Create an outline
The typical curated content post consists of:
An introduction: Sets the stage for what you plan to address in through you collection of curated content.
A body: Explains every bullet, list item, step, and example in a logical order – each with an explanation.
A conclusion: Wraps up your post with a brief statement that's reflective of what your readers just learned.
What are all the bullet points you need to cover to introduce your compilation, explain each point, and remind the reader what they just learned?
- Write the introduction
When writing your introduction, you want to keep one question top-of-mind: How can I establish credibility and get my audience to care about the resources I plan to share with them? Sometimes, leaving the introduction to the end is easier to introduce your post.
- Write the body
Remember, the body follows through on what you promised in the introduction. Your body can be written in paragraphs, with bullets, numbered list multiple headings, or a mix of all of these. You can make use of whichever format is easiest for you.
Just be cognizant of this question: What are all the pieces of content I need to explain in order to avoid confusion, and can I add any visuals that will make my post any easier for my readers to understand.
- Write the conclusion
Wraps up your post with a brief statement that's reflective of what your readers just learned. What are all the bullet points you need to cover to introduce your compilation, explain each point, and remind the reader what they just learned?
- Link to additional resources within your post
Sometimes it's hard to say everything you want to say about a single topic in one post, which is why it's helpful to your readers to identify additional resources you can link to for additional detail and credibility. Hyperlinking to other blog posts or pages on your site can result in increased visibility in search engines, page views, and time on site. Hyperlinking to third party content can round out your perspective and help you appear more trustworthy to your readers.
- Finalize your title
Revisit you working title and see if you can make it more accurate, specific, sexy, concise, and SEO-optimized.
- Pick a call-to-action
Do you want your readers to subscribe to your blog or newsletter? Request a consultation? Tweet something? Download something? Buy something?
- Copy and paste your blog copy into your blogging platform
Now that you've gone through the exercise of outlining and writing your blog post, you want to prepare it for publishing. A simple way to do this is to select and copy your finalized title and all your blog post body copy, and paste it into Microsoft Notepad (or TextEdit on a Mac).
Pasting into one of these programs strips your copy of all formatting you apply within your blogging platform of choice, the formatting you apply within your blogging platform will render correctly. Once complete, now's the time to apply headers, bold text for key points, hyperlinks, and images where applicable.
- Edit and edit some more
Everyone can use a second set of eyes to look over their post before putting it out into the world, so have a friend or colleague look it over. Here's another resource that may help: The Ultimate Editing Checklist.
- Choosing an image
Every blog post should be accompanied with an image. At WhiteSpace, we include at least one photo in every post we write so that when the blog post is shared to social media channels, it's accompanied by a thumbnail image to entice a clickthrough.
- Optimize your post for search
If you've spent all this time collecting and annotate amazing content, you'll want to make sure your post can be easily discovered in search engines. Check out HubSpot's blog post Blog SEO for the Modern Marketer: How to Optimize Your Posts for tips on how to do just that.
- Finally, publish your post!
Now start tracking its performance.
Content curation tools
The following infographic provides some of the most popular content curation tools that can help you in the process of curating content. The process may seem time-consuming at first, but with the help of the right tools you can make the whole procedure of searching, sorting, filtering, publishing and analyzing, really simple. Content curation tools are available in various forms, some are free and some you may pay a premium.
- Aggregators: Tools providing you a feed from multiple sources. [Feed.ly, NetVibes, Protopage]
- Content discovery tools: These tools will provide you with a feed based on your preferred keywords and what's trending. [Zite App, iFlow, Scoop.it]
- Content discovery and delivery: These tools are programmed to decrease your workload by both providing and publishing content. [Proplanner, Trap.it]
- All-in-one tool: Discover, organize and share using one tool. [Curata]
- Content planning tools: Plan your content calendar and get it ready for publishing using this tool. [Kapost, Compendium – now Oracle Content Marketing]
So now it's up to you. When you're curating content always remember to keep your audience 'top-of-mind'. Quality and relevance should always apply. No one wants to access a list of 10 mediocre industry blogs. The individual content elements you choose, therefore, should represent the utmost level of quality.
I hope you've found value in this post. If so, I encourage you to check back often, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ or better still suscribe for our regular blog updates. And, don't be shy. We'd love to hear from you. If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments that you'd like to share, we encourage you to write to us below – or better still, call us at
In the interim, happy 'curating' from The Growth Agency.
Written by Murray SyeMurray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.