Content curation continually find, select, and share the best and most relevant contentContent is the currency of the social web. It’s what people search for. What makes them click, share, comment, subscribe, donate, follow or buy from you.

But creating valuable, compelling content can be quite a challenge for many entrepreneurs, businesses and organisations.

So! If you think you’re not quite ready for that particular challenge, you should start thinking about content curation.

In this blog post I will explain what content curation is, what the benefits are for you and your network, how to do it well and how to get started today!

What is Content Curation?

Content Curation basically means that – out of all the content you find on the social web – you pass on the most valuable stuff to your network.

A slightly more coherent definition of someone who curates content comes from marketing expert Rohit Bhargava:

A Content Curator is someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online.

Content curation: what it does and doesn’t do

The benefit for your network, is that your friends, connections and followers don’t have to plough through masses of tweets, blog posts, news feeds and search results to find quality content. You have already done that for them!

This establishes you as ‘the one who knows!’. It brands you as an expert. A Trusted source. It builds your reputation and gets you kudos i.e. ‘social capital’.

So what doesn’t content curation do?

Different to content marketing, content curation doesn’t drive people through their decision making process about your products and services. For this, you would need to create tailor-made content that answers specific questions people have about specific aspects of your products or services.

Curating content: you are probably already doing it!

You are probably already sharing stuff with people in your network. E.g. an article you share via your Linkedin status update, a YouTube video you share with your Facebook friends, or maybe you are already sending out tweets on Twitter.

Effectively you are already curating content!

There are also quite a few tools that curate content for you. For example Alltop, StumbleUpon, Flipboard (for iPad), and many many many others.

However – just like with a piece of music or a new film – nothing beats the advice of a friend. And that is the real power of content curation. It allows you to be ‘the one’ who finds and points people to content they really value.

So, how can you move from being a casual content curator to the King of Curation for your network?

The art of curating content: how to do it well

I think there are three basic rules for becoming a great content curator:

Rule #1 – Do it on a specific topic: sharing interesting stuff with your friends and network is something that most people already do. But if you want people to start seeing you as a Trusted source of information, you need to pick your topic. You can’t be an expert in everything.

Rule #2 – Share only the best stuff: the more the merrier is a habit that dies hard, especially with marketers (like me :-p). But this is not a volume game. Your network is interested in a lot of things. In regards to your field of expertise; they are only interested in the cream of the crop.

Rule #3 – Do it continuously: we live in a quickly changing world. News gets out in real time. People expect you to be up to date. They will unfollow you if you haven’t tweeted in a month. You need to be continuously visible and constantly on the ball.

Content curation: how to start today!

You will not become a great content curator overnight. But you need to start somewhere. Here are 3 tips to get you on your way towards becoming the King of Curation for your network & niche!

Tip #1 – Set-up Google Alerts on certain keywords.

Tip #2Set up a Google RSS Reader & start monitoring relevant blogs & news sites

Tip #3 – Start updating your Linkedin status with links to top notch content.

A final note on content curation

I will soon post more on content curation. I’m working on some posts that talk more indepth about tools that help you become a great content curator, the infrastructure you need to make it work for you and tips and tricks to search and find more content that is of value to your network.

Until then, happy curating!

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  • Anonymous

    Very informative article. Thanks for the great tips!

    • MichielGaas

      Thanks Patricia. I appreciate the comment (& the tweet out)!
      Cheers, Michiel

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  • Ellen van Aken

    Hi Michiel, thank you for this great explanation. I will link to it (or the Content Curation tag) from one of my upcoming Blogposts if that’s OK with you :-) Do you also publish in Dutch?

    • MichielGaas

      Hi Ellen – thanks for your comment! Appreciated.

      A link is much appreciated! (to the post rather than the tag if possible ;-)

      I am not blogging in Dutch. YET.
      Currently working on repositioning & redesigning my blog (as well as our company for that matter). I am planning to start blogging in Dutch as well when I launch my updated blog. Will probably need another 6-8 weeks to make that happen.

      Thanks for stoping by!


      • Ellenvanaken

        Hi Michiel,
        Here’s my Blogpost – with link to your post!


        • MichielGaas

          Hi Ellen,

          Sorry for approving your comment so late!
          It slipped through!!

          Also thanks for the link.

          All the best & groetjes :)

  • Diana Mariana

    This is really informative. Very well explained and i hope to read more about this topic. 

  • Allan Kent

    Hi Michiel,

    I knew what curation was but have had difficulty in the past explaining it clearly enough to others. Your piece here has made my job much easier – thanks.

    • MichielGaas

      Thanks for your comment Allen.

  • Johnh

    A very nice summary. I had heard of content curation this week and was intrigued. So it’s basically sharing other people’s information and adding a bit of value? I guess there are SEO benefits also if you link to the original sources?

  • LCS

    Nice post. It’s reassuring to know I’m working along the right lines. PS: How could you forget Twitter?!

  • Sheila Hensley

    Wow, I was just doing this for the first time and read your article.  Excellent encouragement and great explanation!

  • Mamammalia

    Hi, I just came across your blog while learning about content curation and wanted to say thanks! Your content is very succinct and useful! Adding you to my reader :)

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  • Jeannette Jean

    Thank you for the sharing I need to know more about content curation.

  • Andrew Zubriczky

    I like what I read. Being a content creator myself, I realize content curation is the next evolutionary step in online information distribution and dissemination.

    I will definitely be using more of this concept on my own websites and blogs. Sharing useable vital information, photos and videos, is where it’s at today.

    Well done Michiel for explaining it so succinctly; and in terms most of us will understand…and use!

    Looking forward to more curation news updates from you.

    • MichielGaas

      Thank you Andrew. Currently working on repositioning & redesigning my blog. I will definitely be posting more on content curation. Bestest, Michiel

  • iPhone 5

    thanks for the article

  • Green N Groovy

    I have a question about Copyright issues and Content Curation. If I as a News Blog owner, have a category in which I post articles I find using a plug-in made for curation, if I post an entire article from another site or publication and I quote it and also give full credit and attribution including a link to the original article and author, and I make no claim that I was in any way the author. am I infringing on that authors Copyright by gathering many other articles of the same topic, organized and posted to my readers?

    Thank You,

    • MichielGaas

      Hi Kristen,

      Good question.

      I’m not an expert in Copyright.

      My educated guess to the question is that I think you’re fine.
      The full credit, attribution AND link is important.

      Here’s a link to a thread on Quora on the topic.
      Some good info there.

      All the best,

      • Williewortel

        NO, you’re not fine if you “post an entire article from another”! You cannot copy in full without copyright violation. Only a citation is allowed.

  • Kidambi Badri

    This is very well written. I have been doing content curation since 2006 but did not know what I have been doing is curating digital content. You opened my eyes. I am now more focused and am going to capitalize my passion. Thank you very much.

    • MichielGaas

      Thanks for your nice comment Kidambi!

  • Katrin Naert

    Hi, I am looking for a good translation in dutch for information curating and an information curator. Thanks for the ideas.

  • Karl Dennis

    Interesting read. Thanks for the post. :)

  • Lenin

    Wow… very interesting post… But how to monetize content curation?

  • Elmar Sandyck

    Hi Michiel, this is a very interesting post about content curation. I heard a lot about it but didn’t know exactly what it was. Thanks for sharing! Actually I have the same question as Lenin (just below) How do you monetize content curation? All the best, Elmar

  • Manju Hariharan

    That was a very informative, clear, and simple post about content curation for someone like me who does not know what is content curation is! Thanks.

  • Keyuri Zariyavala

    It’s very useful. Thanks for sharing.