How to curate content using a specific workflow

Content curation made easy

This post was originally published on Slackerize. Reposted with permission.

Many of the readers of this blog are writers, bloggers, content marketers, or some other type of person using and creating content, so that's why I'm writing this tip.

I use content creation and curation to “fill up” this site. Most of the stuff I post is curated content, probably in the order of 8 or 10 to 1 (curated versus created).

First off, let me explain what content curation is. I gave a talk a while back at a local Meetup about content curation. Here's my definition:

Finding, grouping, organizing, sharing, and elaborating on (i.e., editorializing) the best and most relevant content (articles, videos, pictures, tweets, songs, and other pieces of digital content) on a specific issue online.

There are 3 obstacles to overcome when you want to curate content.

  1. Finding content to curate
  2. Modifying and publishing curated content
  3. Promoting curated content

This hack deals specifically with #1 – finding good content to curate, as well as parts of #2 – specifically getting that curated content into an asset the you own and control (your blog).

Tools you need for content curation

This is my method, so take that for what it's worth. It's not “the best method” or “the only method” or an “unmodifiable method”. It's just the one I use. I am 100% sure it will change over time. This is my version of “lean content curation“.

  • Sign up and configure Inoreader with RSS feeds you love about topics you want to curate.
  • Get an Evernote account. Create some notebooks and tags. Install the Evernote Chrome extension.
  • Zapier – not only do you need an account, but you need to set up a “zap” that “fires” when you post a specific tag to an Evernote clip…ugh, that's a lot of stuff. A future post will show how to do that.
  • A WordPress blog
  • Yoast's WordPress SEO plugin

I won't be covering how to sign up, set up, and use any of these services in this post. If you want to know more, post a comment and I'll address it there.

The Slackerize Content Curation Method

  1. Open Inoreader. Go to the topic you want to find topics to curate.
  2. Open an article that looks interesting and read it.
  3. If it passes muster, “clip it” to Evernote with the specific tag you set up in Zapier as the aforementioned “zap”.
  4. Zapier “polls” its zaps every few minutes (I don't remember the timeframe, but I do know that one of the benefits of a paid versus free Zapier account is the polling frequency). I don't worry about that because I only check the next step in the morning…so whatever is there is there and whatever isn't will be there tomorrow when I check back in again.
  5. Open up your WordPress blog post editor, go to Posts–>All Posts and click the Edit button for the post you clipped in Step 3.
  6. Modify your post to suit your needs. Make sure you are adding in original content (your commentary), quote the original source where prudent, and add in a title that stands out and a meta description than compels a search user to click to your post.

That's it. It's really quite simple. Content curation, as opposed to content aggregation, is content that you have hand-picked to include for your readers' consumption. You add valuable commentary to the original post. In fact, your post should not include the entirety of the original post; rather, it should contain quotes from and references to the original article.

Watch as I Curate Content

Make sense? Want to know more? Hit me up in the Comments.


Content Curation

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  • Don’t you worry about search engine duplicate content penalties if you include so much from another blog’s post?

    I can see how useful this method is for quoting from posts though.

    • I don’t worry AT ALL about duplicate content “penalties.” I don’t think they exist in the way that they commonly are thought of. Google does penalize a site if there is duplicate content on the site. They don’t care if the content is a duplicate of another’s site – they just look at the “original post” and give it all the credit and give none to the site doing the copying.

      When you have the same content on your site multiple times, Google does penalize you.

      This is not what I’m suggesting you do. Nor is it what I’ve done with this post.

      I wrote the original. It’s got my “name” all over it – I’m the publisher, the author, the twitter account, etc. I simply republished the article, in its entirety, from one of my sites onto another.

      There is nothing wrong with that.

      Google won’t give my “second” publication of the same piece any credit for the content. PLUS, I make sure they don’t by tagging this “copy” with a rel=”canonical” in the source code. So Google KNOWS it’s a copy – because I told them.

      They actually like that 🙂

      As for content curation, in general – I never quote more than a couple lines out of an entire post, and I always link back to it, giving full credit to the original author. Google is okay with this, too.

    • Thanks, Phil 🙂

      I really try to build everything I do into systems that I can share. So hopefully it’s useful to you.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to make a comment.

  • Great post, Bill! And your reply to Sue is just as helpful as the post itself. I’ve bookmarked this post for future reference, because I’m not an expert in my field, and I do read blogs of others who I think are. Thanks for sharing!

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