Content Curation Roundup Posts: How To Get Awesome Results

Content Curation Roundup PostsRoundup posts are “sweet”.

By gathering input from influencers and your audience, you are curating content.

Content curation chooses the most relevant, highest quality digital information to meet your readers’ needs on a specific subject.

These diverse voices add to your content’s trustworthiness.

Because you include people who have higher credibility than you or your business.

Further, by publishing other people’s input, you tap into the power of reciprocity.

As a result, participants often share your content to thank you for including them.

In turn, this broadens your roundup post distribution beyond your core audience. This creates quality crowd pleaser content.

When done well, roundup posts are the content marketing gift that keeps on giving. 

Because content curation roundup posts become “go to resources” that gain traction over time. In turn this yields above average shares and backlinks. As a result, the articles continue to attract traffic.

But to yield awesome results
You must create a content curation roundup post the right way.

Otherwise it’ll languish unseen and unread as another piece of me-too content.

Since I want you to succeed, I’m sharing these 10 content marketing tactics to help you develop and promote your content curation roundup posts. 


Content Curation Roundup Post Definition

A content curation roundup post is defined by these attributes:

  • Consists of input to a single question collected from different people, often influencers or your audience. Most commonly, the information gathered is new and created specifically for the article.  Additional information may be collected to create related content and/or communications.
  • Cites each contributor with relevant credentials. When published online, each contribution often includes a link to a blog or social media profile. For many contributors this is the cheese that entices experts to contribute.
  • Includes screenshots, examples and/or photographs of the experts. This makes the content more attractive and subtly encourages sharing.
  • Uses each content contribution with little or no editing. Regardless of how well or poorly contributors write, retaining their voice is important to maintaining their brand. If editing is required, ask permission to alter contributors’ words.
  • Taps into the reach of each contributor.  Follow up with contributors to thank them and let them know that you published the article. But don’t expect them to share it. Instead leverage the power of their names to help you.

While roundup posts look easy, you do the heavy content marketing lifting for outreach, compilation, optimization and distribution.Click To Tweet

As one of the first content marketers, I stumbled onto the the content curation roundup post format after getting fed up with a discussion about what PR was on Twitter.

To answer the question, “How Do You Define PR?”, I reached out to my contacts, colleagues and Twitter connections. Using this expert input, I created my first roundup post which remains one of my best performing posts.

Heidi Cohen's First Content Curation Roundup Post


Content Curation Roundup Post: Pros VS Cons

On the surface, a content curation roundup post looks like the shortcut to content creation but in my experience, they’re more work than sitting down and writing a piece from scratch. 

Benefits from creating a content curation roundup post:

  1. Includes diverse voices and perspectives in your content. 
  2. Associates your name with experts, positioning you as a thought leader.
  3. Attracts expanded reader attention.

Challenges from creating a content curation roundup post:

  • Involves lots of time consuming contributor outreach. (But if done well, can extend your personal network!)
  • Requires about the same amount of editorial work and possibly more non-text creative support.
  • Doesn’t guarantee results that help your business. For example, the entire conversation may take place on social media yielding lots of social mentions and shares but no site visits. (Yes this really happens!)


Content Curation Roundup Post: 10 Tactics To Get Awesome Results

Content Curation Roundup Posts

Before plunging into roundup post creation, understand:

Roundup posts are NEITHER an easy nor cheap way to create content. They require more time and resources than fresh content.Click To Tweet

To get the best results from your next content curation roundup post, follow these tactics and related Actionable Content Marketing Tips.

1. Determine roundup post focus and develop questions

Select your roundup topic and related question(s) so they:

  • Are associated with your pillar content and your content marketing mission.
  • Avoid overused existing topics or risk becoming me-too content.
  • Focus on information your core audience wants and/or needs. This ensures that your roundup post will be relevant to them.

Further, include your content curation roundup post in your monthly editorial calendar. Make it that month’s piece of crowd pleaser content to support expanding your reach.

Where possible, plan to publish this post to maximize potential attention.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Minimize your ask. To get more people involved, make it easy for participants to complete quickly. Request one quick answer reduces responses.
  • Give contributors a reason to participate. Tap into WIIFM (aka: What’s In It For Me?) Benefits your roundup can offer include: a top publishing platform (in contrast to a low ranking blog), association with high visibility participants, and/or a link to content of their choice.

2. Decide who to ask to participate

Develop your list of experts based on your roundup topic. If your topic is irrelevant to them, participants won’t see any personal value in contributing.

Do your homework to determine potential contributors. Don’t limit yourself to the people you know directly or copying another article’s contributors. Use your roundup post to collaborate with your business peers.

Aaron Orendorff and Nayda Khoja provide the best example of how to do this initial name-gathering for their set of crowd pleaser posts for Content Marketing World 2016. (Aaron later updated this post for Content Marketing World 2017.)

To succeed, they created a BIG list and got systematic about contacting people on it. Before they started, they knew less than 20% of the speakers. Examine their spreadsheet of names.


  • Use a spreadsheet to track results and gather related social media accounts and email address. 

How create a list for roundup content

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Include new voices and different perspectives. Understand that many top influencers are selective in the requests they answer and/or may hand it off to a virtual assistant. 
  • Use your network to reach influencers. For example, Orendorff asks the most connected people he knows first. After they contribute, he asks for an introduction to someone he doesn’t know but would be a good match. He trades “up the chain” – moving from people he knows to people he doesn’t know by adding social proof.
  • Anticipate the need to contact significantly more people than the number of contributions you target. Since not everyone will participate even if they like you.

3. Manage roundup input collection process

While some contributors respond immediately, others put your request aside to give it more thought.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Include a cushion of time. Don’t expect people to respond immediately! Take the Goldilocks Approach: Allow enough time to respond if they’re busy, but not so much time that they forget.
  • Be persistent in your follow up without being a pest! Put yourself in your contributor’s shoes. Don’t assume everyone you ask wants to participate.

4. Combine roundup input into a single document

Even if you use a form to collect input, your article development still takes time.

Since the information may need to be reformatted for your publishing platform.

Further, there are always a few people who follow up at the last minute using another platform, including email. 

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Write the introduction and conclusion. After your headline, your introduction grabs your reader by the collar and keeps her on your content. Don’t underestimate it’s importance. 
  • Add your response. At a minimum, include your response or one of your organization’s top influencers!

5. Edit  your roundup content for readability and easy consumption

Add the professional editorial touch.

Unlike other content and articles, each response must stand on its own as well as part of the larger whole.

Further, your introduction and conclusion must provide context and focus the reader on your message.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Get permission before changing someone else’s words. I learned this point the hard way by editing someone’s comments for grammar and it was an issue.
  • Respect each contributor’s unique voice. It adds character to your post. Resist the temptation to make him “sound” better .

6. Dress your roundup content to attract attention

To stand out in today’s never-ending flood of content, you need to give every piece of content all the help you can before you hit publish. 

For most content curation roundup posts this means:

  • Using a great headline to hook prospective readers,
  • Adding visuals for eye-candy and
  • Highlighting important points with bolding to help speed readers through.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Craft a knockout headline. Since headlines attract 80% of audience attention and lure potential readers in, spend time creating the best headline possible. Where you have the funds to do so, test your best 2 headlines. But avoid clickbait!
  • Add photos and visuals to draw readers in since people are visual beings. At a minimum, add contributor photographs from their social media profiles.
  • Create special infographics based on input. RazorSocial’s Ian Cleary does a great job of this.
  • Include a “Table of Contents” with links. As Mike Allton did in this example from SiteSell. Make it easy for readers to jump to the expert they want to read. Content Curation Roundup Post Table of Contents

7. Optimize your roundup content for your 5 key audiences

Help your content curation roundup attract the biggest potential audience for both the short and long term by optimizing it for your 5 key audiences: Customers, Social Media, Search, Influencers and Your Business.

Optimize Content for 5 Audiences

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Optimize the article for search. This is the content marketing long game. Focus your roundup on a keyword phrase. Then use that phrase and related keywords throughout your piece. Also optimize your images for search engines and social sharing.
  • Incorporate social sharing into your roundup. Go beyond social sharing icons at the top and bottom of your article. Include ClickToTweet for shareworthy phrases and PinThis options for images and charts.
  • Include an appropriate, optimized call-to-action (CTA). Not every roundup post uses this tip. Leverage the traffic that the post will yield to get readers to take 1 small action. At a minimum, get readers to share the content or to sign up for email.

8. Plan additional content formats in advance to improve resource usage.

Since roundup posts take a lot of time and resources to product, create related content at the same time. This makes improves your resource usage and helps to extend the useful life of your mega-content.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Change the content format. Think beyond a plain text article. For example, Lee Odden perfected what I dubbed, “epic curated content”.  Working in collaboration with another business, his team extends the roundup into a  mega piece of visually attractive content. As a result, the content can live on other media entities such as SlideShare.
  • Create additional content from your roundup process. To accomplish this, use your roundup outreach to gather deeper information from select participants. This provides other related content such as an in-depth interview.

9. Follow up with contributors pre-publication

Let contributors know when you publish the piece. Send them a friendly follow up email.

Use this communication to:

  • Show them their work. This is important if you’ve changed their wording.
  • Include pre-formatted shares to aid distribution.
  • Improve your relationship by asking them to connect with you on social media or other platform.

Don’t forget to ask how you can help them in return!

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Thank them for participating. Remember that they took the time to help you.

10. Maximize your roundup post distribution over time

As one of your large monthly pieces of content, plan your content amplification and distribution.

This includes:

  • Personal email outreach beyond contributors. Where appropriate get fellow employees involved.
  • Use of secondary amplification platforms.
  • On-going social media distribution and engagement.
  • Leverage the power of collaborators and their platforms and networks.
  • Use all of your owned media communications.

Bear in mind that the first 3 days are your amplification window of opportunity. They build the base for future distribution.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Pay for distribution. Don’t go it alone. If you’ve got a really big piece of content, support it with paid advertising such as Facebook ads and press release distribution.


Content Curation Roundup Post Conclusion

The content marketing bottom line:
Roundup posts are an effective form of content curation that continues to deliver strong results for the long term.

BUT curating a roundup post takes a LOT of work

This includes:

  • Gathering input
  • Transforming contributor input into quality content
  • Optimizing your roundup post to maximize reach
  • Amplifying and distributing your roundup content over time.
  • Using additional information you have to create related content.


Without doing the hard work of a roundup post, contributors may share or acknowledge it once. But it won't deliver long-term visibility and findability!Click To Tweet


Therefore, make sure that you properly execute each effort to maximize the results.

What other suggestions would you add to this list based on your content curated roundup posts?

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on July 7, 2014. It has been significantly expanded and updated.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and Google+.


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Photo Credit:  ©2018 Heidi Cohen. Use of photo allowed only with link to this article. 

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