Blog Content Curation: Your New Blog BFF

The 5 Most Popular Blog Content Curation Formats

Blog BFFKeeping your blog filled with fresh quality content that doesn’t repeat like a bad meal is difficult. To the rescue your new blog BFF: blog content curation.

By selecting and explaining the best of what’s available, blog content curation saves time and provides value to your readers.

Blog content curation involves more than just collecting links, that’s aggregation not curation. It involves selection, enhancement (titles and images) and commentary.

5 Most popular blog content curation formats

Here are the 5 most popular content curation formats for your blog.Blog BFF

 

1. Weekly compilation

The weekly compilation post culls through existing content to select what’s worth your readers’ precious time. To offer real value to your readers, you must augment the links with a great headline and original commentary. This tells readers why the information is important to them.

The Spin Sucks “Gin and Topics” column (What a great play on her name!) is a great example of the weekly roundup.

“We launched the “Gin and Topics” column as a way to end the weekend on a not so serious note. I used to curate videos that I thought were funny,” says Gini Dietrich. “Now our community sends videos in and I choose the 5 I think are the most funny.” Weekly roundup post

Dietrich’s fun approach shows you can have a serious business blog that appreciates your audience’s need to be entertained.

Actionable Blogging Tip:

  • Show the love. Take a page from Dietrich’s playbook. Let your readers know who contributed the article, even if it’s a member of your team.

Another good example of the weekly compilation format is the Weekly Marketing Skinny by Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Café. Hoffman actually culls the best of the web.

In her words, here’s Hoffman’s process: “I’ve built a collection of websites that tend to stay on top of the sort of news that’s pertinent to my readers. I use Feedly to keep tabs on them and check it every day. I read about 100-150 stories per day to stay on top of the latest happenings.”[YIKES!!!]

The photograph of coffees is a great connector between the inside scoop of marketing news and spilling the beans.

Weekly Marketing Skinny- Traffic Generation Cafe example via Actionable Marketing GuideActionable Blogging Tip:

  • Encourage readers to mention you. Hoffman promises to mention you in her thank you section if you reference her blog. A great way to get inbound links!!! Weekly roundup blog post

2. Listicles

Lists have morphed into listicles. While long lists attract attention, readers have limited time and attention. Instead, they bookmark the article yet never return to read it. A better approach can be to select the top ten or twenty items.

Research shows that title numbers ending in 0 or 5 perform best. I’m also a fan of odd numbers. Another option is to use number that’s relevant to the event or article like 14 for Valentine’s Day. Use lists that end in 5 or 0

One of the reasons JoePulizzi calls me the Queen of Content Curation is that I write a lot of list and round up posts. I started doing this with my Actionable Analysis column for ClickZ. My readers liked my articles better when I organized the information into a list.

To maximize list usability, organize your content rather than ad hoc. Go from most important to least important item.

I always organize by content and add commentary to make it worth viewing on my blog, Actionable Marketing Guide. Here’s good example, 55 Mobile Facts Every Marketer Needs In 2015.  List post - Blog Content Curation- Actionable Marketing Guide

Facebook’s Jonathon Colman developed an epic list of content resourcesList Post as Blog Content Curation

“I don’t have a formal submission process; I add things as I read them and consider them to be well-written and useful to content strategy practitioners,” says Colman. “I keep adding to it because the world keeps adding to itself. There’s always something new to learn.”

Actionable Blogging Tip:

  • Don’t view lists as promotional vehicles to push your content. According to Colman, “Actually, when folks send me their work in a “cold” email, it’s usually a really good indicator that they don’t belong in the list.”

3. Expert roundups

Gather input from others, including influencers.

I stumbled onto the power of expert roundup blog posts by accident. After a Twitter discussion regarding the definition of PR, I asked people I know for their definition. Nothing fuels interest like a difference of opinion. The 31 PR definitions continues to be a top performing post. Expert Roundup-Blog Content Curation

While I still use expert roundups as a form of blog content curation about key marketing issues, this approach has become so popularized that it’s lost a lot of its power.

Instead leverage the power of expert roundups in other ways. For example, my colleague Lee Odden develops a major piece of content in the form of an ebook. He then extends the power of the content into individual interview blog posts to build out his reach and content. (BTW, here’s the inside scoop on epic curated content.)

Here’s my input for the Content Marketing World 2014 ebook and a related article on Top Rank Blog, Odden’s blog.

Audience Development for Content Marketing eBook #CMWorld-1-1

Lee Odden Interview with Heidi Cohen

Actionable Blogging Tip:

  • Extend your expert input into additional pieces of content. Augment your roundup curated content with related articles.

4. Best of posts

The name says it all. You’re the taste arbitor for your readers. It’s best to state how you chose the items on your list. (Here’s the inside scoop on the Top 10 List.)

For example, Social Media Examiner asks its readers to recommend their favorite social media blog to be one of their Top 10 Social Media Blogs. (BTW—Actionable Marketing Guide was short listed as a finalist this year!) Top 10 List- Blog Content Curation

The best part of this type of blog post is that everyone who’s mentioned shares your content with their readers and followers.

Actionable Blogging Tip:

  • Ask your judges to promote your content. Don’t assume that having big name influencers is sufficient to get the word out. Showing some social love increases their visibility as well.

5. Show and tell.

This is a favorite of mine since I excel at show and tell. I learned this skill back in nursery school when my mother gave me permission to bring my younger sister to class and tell the other students all about her.

Like my classmates, your readers love to be shown how to do things.

These articles are a great way to showcase images and videos to do the explaining. You can use your customers’ photos so that your audience appreciates what they can do.

For example, in How To Curate Content Like A Pro, I spotlighted feedback from my students at last year’s Content Marketing World in a Content Marketing Institute column. Blog Curated Content

This is a win-win. The people you mention are excited to share your content because they want to show off their prowess to their social connections and friends. It also guides your readers so that they can learn how to use your product.

Actionable Blogging Tip:

  • Ask your customers to share their photographs using your products. Realize only a small portion of your customers will participate (90% view content, 9% like or share content and 1% create content.) Also, don’t forget to get permission to use their photos.

5 Most Popular Blog Content Curation Formats

5 Ways to enhance blog content curation (with limited additional effort)

Gathering, organizing and commenting on other people’s content is only part of the work involved. 

  • Get your entire organization involved. Don’t just assume you need the c-suite or marketing department. Getting broader input can improve your blog posts.
  • Let participants know you mentioned them on your blog. Everyone has an ego and loves to be flattered. Recognize your contributors and they’ll share your content with their audiences on social media and via word of mouth.
  • Give your curated content life. Add one or more relevant images and tweak the headline to attract more attention.
  • Tailor your content for sharing on other social media networks. One size doesn’t fits all. Show that you understand each social media platform’s audience and modify your titles and images to maximize reach.
  • Incorporate a call-to-action. Don’t assume your reader will know what you want them to do next. Guide them to act or they may just move onto the next thing.

 

Leverage the power of content curation to fill your blog’s editorial calendar.

To be effective, your blog content curation must add real value to the information through selection, organization and commentary.

As an added bonus, including other people in your blog content creation plays to their vanity and gets them to share your content extending your reach.

BTW—Here’s the Content Curation Glossary 

What other forms of blog content curation do you use and what makes it effective?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Updated: April 24, 2015 at 2:35pm with Jonathon Colman input. Thank you Jonathon!!!


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  • I always love seeing the creativity some folks put into re-imagining the old and tired content formats – content curation being one of them, Heidi.

    For some reason, many think that curating content is a piece of cake, yet it’s just as challenging as writing a blog post from scratch (to be honest, I’d prefer doing the latter myself considering the amount of work I have to put into my Skinnies.)

    Loved your actionable blogging tips; not everyone might have the eye to see all the nuances of what makes a great curated post great – you certainly help your readers to do just that.

    Honored you decided to include my Marketing Skinnies into the mix!

    • heidicohen

      Ana

      First, thank you for helping us marketers get the important information we need with your weekly marketing skinny.

      I agree with you that many content creators underestimate the amount of time required to curate content properly.

      Happy marketing,
      Heidi Cohen