Are you curating content? It’s a wonderful alternative to blogging, and it’s a fairly simple process, too…
I emphasize fairly because content curation involves publishing a best-in-class roundup of blog posts, videos, etc. — the true gems pertaining to your topic.
But if what you share isn’t consistently top-notch, you can’t build a following. The leadership halo you seek for your brand won’t happen.
The good news: There are ways to conquer the challenge of discovering great, new content. And it doesn’t involve wading through Google or the usual social media search boxes.
There are a few sites I use when curating What Is Content Marketing? You may be familiar with these cool search tools. If not, you might like them. Use them to start doing less digging to uncover the Internet’s rich, buried treasures.
The Curating Content Process
As a content curator, your goal might be to show your audience at least one awesome content piece per day. You want to give them knock-your-socks-off content — the best and freshest articles, infographics, reports, etc. Regardless of how frequently you update, the basic steps involve:
- Web surfing to review content that others created;
- Deciding whether or not to include an item on your site;
- Occasionally including your own, original content, and
- Pressing a few buttons to upload and share it with an audience.
Now, if you’re able to quickly discover great, new content to share, you’re working smarter not harder. Only then are you truly saving time versus creating lots of original content, which is what bogs down many bloggers.
These are the basics. For the nuances that separate the good from the great, read the guidelines that Guillaume Decugis, founder of Scoop.it, left in a recent comment about content curation on CopyClique.
Quick Content Curation Tools
Luckily, the Internet is brimming with new-ish content curation tools — search tools that make the “discovery” aspect of it easier and more fruitful. Of course, these search tools are useful for other purposes, too.
If you need to do research for a blog post, ebook, report, slide presentation or any other reason, this powerhouse mix of free services will uncover some hidden treasures — fast!
Here’s a real time-saving gem . . . When curating content, it’s helpful to subscribe to several quality blogs and news sites that cover your industry or niche.
FeedSquares provides a fun and fast way to go through all your RSS subscriptions. It turns the RSS feeds you’ve selected into a colorful, interactive “wall” of website titles.
Click a FeedSquare and at the bottom of the page you’ll see about a dozen of that site’s most recent posts. This makes it easy to preview multiple blog excerpts at a glance.
FeedSquares is tied to Google Reader. You can download FeedSquares for free in the Google Chrome store.
This is one swift and simple real-time search tool — an elegant pearl. The Home page shows links to various content that’s trending on social networks at the moment.
But use the search box to type your keyword phrase. You’ll see the hottest content most recently published using your keyword. If you like, narrow your search to Tweets only, videos only, or other media preferences.
Offering a treasure trove of features is YourVersion, another real-time social search engine service. It’s not as easy as Topsy for quickly grabbing a link to place on your site, but the quality of the finds makes it worth it.
YourVersion is great for also sharing on social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. And there are convenient add-ons like a free toolbar for your Firefox or Chrome browser, an iPad app, and more.
Interactive and fun, Search-Cube is an out-of-the-box jewel. It’s a visual search site with a simple but powerful user interface.
Just type your keyword in and watch a bevy of screenshots start flying into the page — coming together to form a 3D cube! Use your arrow keys to make the cube turn in a different direction — up, down, left, or right.
Each side of the cube you turn to shows a different matrix of screenshots. Move your cursor over one of those little squares, and you’ll see a larger preview of that site on the right side of the page.
Click on the screenshot to read more and grab the URL to share as curated content. Easy-breezy!
Additional Content Curation Tools
There are countless other resources for curating content, for finding great links to share. A few other favorites include the search boxes at social networks such as Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook; Google Alerts; and “Sparks” on Google Plus (G+).
There’s even the newly designed Delicio.us bookmarking service, which seems interesting (despite recent complaints by many long-time users).
But the four described above are real-time time-savers. We needn’t spend hour upon hour searching for good stuff to share. Each of these free services makes a way for the best treasure of all: more time for other tasks related to marketing a business online.