Killer time-saving content curation strategies

Greetings! Today I thought I’d write up my own guest post by sharing a presentation I gave to the SEO Copywriting Certification students, as part of their ongoing student training.

Aside from getting an encouraging nudge from “the boss” (Heather Lloyd-Martin), I felt compelled to give this presentation because:

  • By much trial and error, I have come to learn and embrace time-saving content curation strategies as the editor and content curator of the SEO Copywriting blog – particularly, the weekly SEO Content Marketing Roundup – and...
  • Many individuals have asked me how I do what it is I do with content curation over the years, and I had yet to articulate a clear, satisfactory answer. But as I was in the process of outlining the presentation, it occurred to me almost as an epiphany: I’ll be…There is a method to my madness, after all! 

So for folks like Gini Dietrich and Newt Barrett  – this one is for you!  (And enjoy, all!)

So what is content curation?

Lee Odden, CEO of Top Rank Marketing, asked 10 content marketing experts to define the term.

Of the incisive responses, one especially resonated with me:

Ann Handley of Marketing Profs said: “…Content curation is the act of continually identifying, selecting and sharing the best and most relevant online content and other online resources…on a specific subject to match the needs of a specific audience.”

Rebecca Lieb of Econsultancy said it well: “Why bother? Tons of reasons….In an era where marketing is supplanting advertising and storytelling is an ever-more essential part of the marketing message, carefully curated content – well presented – is an immense brand asset, be it to a humble, over-caffeinated individual blogger or a Fortune 100 company.”

What are the branding benefits of curation?

Credibility, authority, and trust.

Once the sacred realm of journalists, content curation is now recognized as not only a way to build your brand, but a way to build trust in your brand.

Offering superior, well-organized, and truly useful content – consistently & over time – can help establish you/your brand/your clients as a trusted, go-to source of valuable information. Golden!

How to curate content

  • Create a separate email address specifically for subscriptions.
  • Establish an RSS feed of your favorite authors and blogs.
  • Set up Gmail alerts for select topic interests (e.g., “SEO copywriting”) and favorite sources.
  • Use bookmarks, reading apps, and bookmarking sites for those sources you may just want to check periodically (as opposed to daily).

Social media sources

  • Monitor (and engage with) relevant forums, groups and blogs for topic threads and originating links.
  • Social Networking Sites – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram – depending on the industry.
  • Social Bookmarking Sites – StumbleUpon, Delicious, Tumbler, etc. – again, depending on the industry.
  • Alternative Sources –’s,’s – several are of high quality and laser-targeted!

Twitter for serendipity

  • Use hashtags (#) on Twitter to segment your interests (e.g., #SEO, #Content Marketing), then follow the yellow brick road of links cited!
  • Then, move hashtagged finds into corresponding lists. By week’s or month’s end, you’ll have a collection of your favorite links.
  • Make a point of following industry thought leaders, but keep an eye out for the hidden gems shared by relative “unknowns,” too!  (Hence those “web-gem” serendipities).
  • Use a smart Twitter application to save precious time (e.g., HootSuite, TweetDeck).

Curate the curators!

There are many sources of weekly curated content, and their number is growing by the day.

  • Be discerning: look for authority and expertise not only with the source but with the individual contributor(s) cited.
  • That said, weekly (and daily) “roundups”, “wraps”, “recaps”, etc., can be great sources of “pre-curated” quality content – and perhaps more importantly, of links for cultivating your own content curation list.

Don’t forget the news

  • It’s easy to forget more mainstream online resources like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, and Forbes.
  • These sources often “catch” news relevant to the industry (sometimes before the industry does), and offer valuable background, context, and originating links.
  • And when dealing with clients – these sources may well be the only sources they know! So more mainstream sources can be most helpful in speaking their language.

Professional journals & online magazines

  • There are also hidden “gems” in the way of both print & online professional journals and magazines.
  • These sources are goldmines for original thought, hard data, interviews, and in-depth analyses.
  • “Hard data” resources include Pew Internet, ComScore, and Experian – again, just to name a few.

What to take away from this

Content curation, done well, can not only help establish your brand but can also infuse it with credibility.

There are scads of resources for curation: news, social media, blogs, forums, pre-curated dailies and weeklies, professional journals, and online magazines.

Set up a smart, streamlined system for efficiently cultivating content. I’ve suggested a few time-saving ways, but it’s well worth your while to check out apps designed with your precious time in mind! For individuals, that may mean something as simple as Evernote, while for a larger-scale team endeavor, you may want to look at something like Trello.

(My original presentation, Killer Content Curation Strategies, is available for viewing with bigger, cooler images via Slideshare.)

So do you have a content curation “system” that works well for you? Would love to hear what other content curators are doing – please share your tips with us, and thank you!

4 replies
  1. Matthew Newnham says:

    Awesome post, Laura – there’s a lot of buzz out there just now about curation, and your article is the best I’ve seen so far – thank you!


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