How to Build a Proper Curated Content Strategy

Content curation is one of those digital topics that is often a double edge sword.  If done properly, the results can be outstanding…if done improperly, the consequences can be dire.  That’s the reason, I wanted to share my top 8 rules and tools for you to use.

First of all let’s clearly define content curation…according to Wikipedia…

“Content curation is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.”

In other words, Curated content is essentially content from someone else’s blog or site that you attribute to in your content if you use it. As I have cautioned above, it can be a very powerful strategy if done properly and a disaster if not. Ultimately curated content should increase your position of authority and dd to your credibility in your audience’s eyes. Bottom-line, It must create real value.  

Now let’s discuss the best ways to use curated content to achieve your content and customer engagement goals.
  1. Always attribute your source of the curated content and in fact, create a link to the author and original article.  An except of just a few sentence with attribution is fine.  On the other hand, using a full paragraph or more becomes copyright infringement, and is illegal.  That’s why you need to be so very careful when referencing other’s work.
  2. As a rule of thumb, you should have no more than 10% of your content be curated and the rest should be             original content in your own voice.
  3. Use just a handful of content sources that you trust when curating (once again use sparingly). Content is 3347658610_bd6daf9b57_m     everywhere and it can be overwhelming and soon snowball out of control and you      can easily lose sight of where it came from.
  4. Identify the top influencers and experts on your niche and stay abreast of what they   are doing. This can spark some ideas for you to create compelling original content.
  5. Make sure you are posting across multiple platforms to maximize your           reach. Often content curation is better suited for social media sharing and building   your authority that way.  Consider retweeting as an example of social sharing with     curated content.
  6. It’s fine to pull additional content from a few different sources that you trust and then create a solid outline of    how the curated content fits in. I personally do something that I call the “So What Test”  to make sure what I am using will really resonate with my audience. I then build my original content around it.
  7. Know your customers inside and out. The better you know them you can curate content that is exponentially     valuable to them.
Now let’s dive into “the don’ts” of content curation…or as I like to call it, the darkside
  1. Don’t be “salesy” with curated content (or any content for that matter)…your audience will see right through you. Instead speak to their deeper problem that they are trying to solve. Really strive to understand their core motivation.
  2. Don’t ever copy and paste someone’s content without attribution and a link to the original source article.
  3. You need to be very careful and fully vet the content before you use it. If you just scan it you may miss something that you might regret later.
  4. Don’t ever fly by the seat of your pants…create a strategy and test it, learn, make improvements, keep testing and improving…repeat…

If you don’t follow the rules of content curation, here are some of the possible legal ramifications…

  • You could get hit with a lawsuit from the copyright owner. for copyright infringement
  • You could be asked to take your website down for copyright infringement (this also goes for visuals).
  • You could even receive an invoice and licensing agreement.

In my experience, curating content from a study or some other empirical data source is absolutely fine. It helps validate your position that you take for your blog, as well as create the halo effect of authority. More importantly, it increases your credibility with your reader. In my mind, that’s the 10%…it supports your point of view. As a reader, I like to see reference data included because then I am more likely to believe it (and will often share with my colleagues).

We are all individuals with our own take on things. That said, this is absolutely no reason that we need to rely on curated content. Corporations curate content all the time, but it is because they don’t have the luxury of resources to create much original content. It’s a tremendous skill that we are all building in terms of writing original and engaging content every single week in our own voice.

This topic of curation is also very controversial with Google. If you don’t follow best practices, you could find your rankings falling dramatically or suffer even worst consequences. Google has already built a trust factor with long established sites. For new sites, not so much. In spite of all the negative reasons, I am still a supporter of content curation in small amounts, but only where it makes sense and is done properl

Now let’s take a look at some free tools out there in the content curation space…

Pocket –

screen shot of Pocket

  • Complete free service, very easy to use
  • Save video, pictures and articles to view and share later
  • Nice little feature is that Pocket tweets out their @PocketHits of the most popular items on their platform

  • Choose a topic and will find all the relevant articles that you can share with your network.
  • There are 2 versions;  a free version that let’s you monitor one topic.  A paid version that let’s you follow many topics for a nominal monthly fee.
  • A nice extra feature provides you with complementary topics and connects you to other users.



  • Feedly essentially delivers news from RSS feeds.
  • You choose the topics and Feedly aggregates the news for you.
  • Like Pocket, you can save, view, and share later.
  • There is both a free version and a paid version.

In summary, content curation continues to a highly controversial topic.  I hope that you found this best practices blog post helpful.  Let me know what you think about this topic. All comments are welcome…




My Top 7 Rules About Using Curated Content Properly

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