Tag Archives: curating content

Content Curation for Real Estate & the Real Estate Professional

On today’s show we’ll talk about how a real estate agent, Realtor® or a real estate professional can use content curation in their own marketing.

Below is the transcript to the audio above. We do try to clean up the transcript so it’s easier to read but sometimes it’s a little tough bringing the spoken word to a easy to read format.

Here’s what we cover in today’s show:

  • The truth behind content curation and how it plays a role in your own content marketing as a real estate professional
  • The type of stuff that you should be curating
  • How to find stuff you curate
  • How to measure success
  • What are some success factors you should look at and whether or not the time that you are spending in curating is real worthwhile,
  • Plus much more…

Before we jump right in let me share a little bit about my background. I used to own a company called Minnesota rent or own here in Minnesota, we used to buy properties and sell them on a rent or own, we also then became a full blown property management company.

What I found during that process is that I didn’t really enjoy the real estate side as much as I enjoy the marketing side, it’s kind of where we are at today but I still keep in tune because I’ve got a lot of friends here locally that are real estate agents, they ask me for a for a lot of advice on how to market especially with content marketing and that’s a good wat into getting started talking about how to use content curation as a real estate professional

Social Media and Content Curation

One of the things that I’ve seen and talked about in the real estate industry is that you should be participating in social media which I agree with to some extent you should be and you should also be blogging, you should be doing content marketing.

I think that’s true to an extent, it’s also why I like content curation because you can participate in content marketing in a very light weight way and it allows you to do something that I think is drastically important because I actually had a friend the other day that asked me ‘Scott look I think you are doing a really good job with your content, I wish I could do as good as that, I’m spending 1 or 2 hours a day here writing a blog post and it seems to be working, I’m getting traffic but it’s not getting leads, it’s not generating emails, how long do I have to do this before I start seeing results?’

That is where I kind of said that this is one of my first questions to him was ‘Is creating a blog post once a day the single most important thing you can be doing in your business to be generating revenue?’

Let’s First Talk About Writing and Creating Content

His first answer was no, in fact I probably shouldn’t even be doing this and whatever, I think it was some kind of outbound calls or something, I’m not sure exactly what he said but he did say something specific and I think that’s the case for a lot of real estate professionals and I think one of the issues is that a real estate professional at least a lot of them I’ve met seem to be the type of individual that likes to be out and about, they like sales, they like people.

I’m not saying to write you don’t have to like people but I think writing especially a blog post, in some ways you have to be kind of a born writer but you have to also learn to write and if you haven’t spent the process, the time to learn quickly and efficiently there’s better things you can be doing with your time, that’s really what it comes down to because I think the other inherent challenge with real estate is that especially now with the changing, the way people are staying in their homes longer, I know this is different per market but people seem to be staying in their homes longer because of the economy and housing prices and uncertainty and everything else right?

The time from someone actually becoming a lead or someone aware that you are a real estate professional and actually needing your service could be years.

So you have to be of mind on a consistent basis, you have to be providing value on a consistent basis and that’s hard to do with content marketing if you are not kind of natural into it and if you haven’t worked it in so that you are highly efficient with it, it’s also why I said I like curation because let’s say you take that same amount to…

Double Your Content in Half the Time

You can curate 3 to 6 things that your target market, that the people in your farm area or whatever that maybe would care about in the time it would take you to write half of the post, that’s what I found, that’s why content curation at its core…

I believe every real estate agent has the ability to participate in content marketing,

I think the first step in doing that is content curation. I’m not just saying that because we created a curation platform.

I’m really saying that because at the core you are most valuable when you are doing the other activities for generating leads building relationships. It’s great to have that basis of content marketing but until you’ve honed the skill of highly efficient content writing it’s rarely worth it.

I typically say go make more money and hire it out. Or find a way that you can efficiently do it and have it edited because a lot of times what hangs people up is editing and finding the right image and all the other stuff that goes along with content marketing.

If you’ve tried content marketing as a real estate agent you’d know how that is, so that’s why I like content curation.

Goals of Curating

What are you trying to do as a real estate professional with your content? Ideally you should be building the biggest list possible.

You want the list in tow different ways, you want the list of email addresses that you can communicate to on a moment’s notice. You also want to build a direct mail list.

You want two core lists, you want an email list and then you want to find a way that you can actually get peoples address because if you can get people’s addresses you can start directing mail marketing to them and that’s one of the most effective ways to market to someone even in today’s day and age especially as a real estate agent.

So those are the two core things that I will focus as our goals, now that’s where curation kind of plays this kind of role, it help you on the content marketing side, it also helps you on the social side because what you can do.

Sources for Real Estate Curation

I’ll use my local area because I know it well, there’s a local news paper and I should know the name of the local news paper, it’s a local news paper that has an online edition as well, we have two news papers, I don’t know how long that’s going to last here, we have the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press.

startribune.com1030Then we have a series of other kind of like niche news papers out there that all have online sections as well. Now these are things that the farm area that I live in that I would target as a real estate agent, these are things that they would be highly interested in, it covers their local topics, it talks about local politics, local things that are happening, the local cities to local crime stories and all that stuff, all the above.

Those would be my sources for content curation, I’m sure it’s the same in your city, big or small, whatever size city you are in.

You have this same type of sources, you can still pull from national stories as well but those are your sources for content curation.

The whole reason to do this is you want o capture the attention of people on a ongoing basis and you want to capture attention so they would come over to a website you control and you own so you can create a lead, so then you can build a relationship with them via email or direct mail.

Then they will eventually think of you when they need a real estate transaction or when their friend does.

If you are doing a really good job they’ll think of you when anybody needs a real estate transaction. That’s really the goal and what ensures that happens is consistently curating content.

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I’ll bring it out kind of the full picture. If you’re consistently curating content on an ongoing basis where you become the source of what is happening in the local farm area. Covering things people are really interested and would check out often– eventually you’ll get them on one of your lists.

This is where social does play or you’ll get them on a permission channel which really social media is just another media channel for you to utilize, you’ll get them on the permission channels social media but it’s all driven by you actually consistently creating content, 2 to 5 things a day all form local news sources adding your own spin to it.

It’s really that simple to be complicated, I could try to complicate it I guess you could say but there’s no reason to.

Should You Create Content?

I think that every real estate agent can do content marketing.

You still have to ask if you’re efficient in writing, editing, publishing and all that other stuff. if you are not highly efficient I would start with content curation because the other thing content curation would do for you is teach you to be a better writer.

As you curate consistently everyday or 5 days a week for 3 months, you will be much more efficient at blogging and being a content writer. What I found is that people that curate especially real estate agents that curate start injecting their own post here and there.

They get more comfortable with the whole process, these are even with people that have tried and failed utterly in the past. They start curating because its like anything else in your business eventually becomes a habit. Content marketing is a habit and curation is one of the best ways to form that habit. It’s also one of the most highly effective ways, so you’re a real estate agent that’s the way I look at it and how do you measure success.

How Do You Measure Success?

The way that you want o measure success is like anything else, there’s a couple of what I consider KPIs I would suggest you measure your success of content curation. The first one is ‘are you generating traffic to your curated efforts?’ let’s say you are spending 15 minutes a day curating 4 articles a day, are you generating sufficient traffic to those articles?

The next thing is are you getting leads to your permission marketing funnels?

There’s quite a few ways to do this. The common ones are you can give free giveaways, like the standard giveaways of a free house valuation.

I think you have to get more creative in that but that’s an advanced topic beyond this podcast but I think you can get some better offers to actually get their address or to at least get them on the phone to start building your permission marketing funnels because one of the things I don’t believe is I don’t believe content marketing

I’ve yet to see content marketing that creates leads today, so if you’re looking for leads today I’ve got to be upfront.

Content curation, content marketing isn’t the most important thing you need to do but if you want to start building towards the future I would start doing it even if its 10 minutes a day.

You can literally curate content because- think about what I have come and gone over, I mentioned let’s say 7 sources locally here that I would have bookmarked, all I would have to do is spend 5 to 10 minutes which is probably something I would do, I don’t read the local news but let’s say I did, this is something I do regularly anyways and the I just take the additional step of pushing curate and maybe adding a little bit of commentary, I can do that in 10 to 15 minutes and curate 3 to 5 things no problem and be up to speed on what’s happening locally.

What Should I Curate?

Content curation is something that you can work in your daily schedule. In many ways its s a double use of time, especially if you already consume news.

What should I be curating? Should I be talking about the local market? Should I be mentioning the mortgage rates and all stuff like that?

I think that’s good, what I’ve often found is that that stuff is bland unless you have a unique take.

That’s all the more reason why I like content curation because it’s not just me too, you’re not just saying ‘oh look at the latest report by this organization that’s talking about housing prices’ and then you dissecting it, do they really care about that?

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If you can capture attention, put a little spin on it, get them over to a platform that you control and convert them to a lead, that’s what it’s all about, so hopefully that provides a full picture, I know, often times when I talk to friends locally here they usually say well Ok, is that all?

I say yes that’s all, don’t do anything else, don’t over think it, don’t go beyond what we’ve just talked about, literally with curation traffic all you have to do is go to the sources that we talked about and curate it and go to the most important thing you need to do and if you want to participate in content marketing,

If You Do Write Content Get an Editor (but Still Start Curating)

If you haven’t learned this and you’re trying to do content marketing, here is what helps in tremendous amount having an editor, so let’s say you don’t want to completely outsource a content marketing site, having an editor makes it so much better, someone you could send your post to and they are going to edit it is awesome, that’s what you need to get too so if you are considering content marketing and you are not a good editor.

I would highly suggest start with curation, learn the aspects of content m marketing because that’s what curation teaches you and then get enough money so you can get an editor and then start blogging because blogging is a lot easier when you have an editor, I know it first hand, this is something I learned firsthand, I wish I had an editor years ago because it would have just made things a lot easier, a lot times that’s just one of things that slows me down is editing, so that’s another tip to kind of out in your basket there.

How to Easily Curate Content

I should mention Curation Traffic is push button simple WordPress based content curation platform, it means you can be up and curating in seconds, it works on any WordPress site, we also have our own curation traffic themes that we’ve developed as well, so let’s say that you don’t have an existing website but you want to create a curation traffic or a curated website, we have themes that you can use, the plug in allows you to easily carry content from around the web, so it’s a push button simple tool, I think this is of course coming from the source I should say here, full disclaimer, I do think that it’s a tool that just about any real estate professional should have because it allows you to participate in any content marketing and a 5th or a 7th of the time it takes to create a blog post, so that alone makes it a tool that is just highly worthwhile. Well that’s all; I’ll see you in the next episode.

11 Examples of Content Curation in Action from Curation Traffic

Content Curation Drives Lead Generation

One of our posts on SEO and Curation was mentioned by the AtomicReach blog. What I really like about this story is it provides a good rundown of how curation really does drive lead generation. This is something we’ve experienced and something we cover quite a bit in our training. If your looking at curation as a lead generation tool then the post that follows is well worth the read…

Content curation is one of the driving factors for generating leads in content marketing. More and more brands are choosing to pursue content marketing for that very reason. A recent study by BtoB Magazine concludes that 28% of content marketers focus on content marketing simply to boost lead generation.

This is conceivable as content marketing drives three times the sales of digital advertising (Nielson). Leads generated from marketing spend passes leads in paid search after nineteen months (Heidi Cohen) Furthermore, “content marketing leads generated per $1,000 of marketing spend is three times greater after three years (or thirty-six months),” writes Cohen.

I’d pile on a little bit more. Curation not only drives lead generation but it’s also one of the most time effective strategies you can put into action. With curation your post subject, concept, and conclusion is already selected for you. Your job is to then add your own commentary and thoughts to the mix. It’s that simple.

Lead generation often comes down to how much traffic you can drive to an offer. Curation allows you to create much more content (which ulitmately drives traffic) and allows more people to see your offers. This is one of the reasons why I like curation so much.

3 Big Reasons Why You Should Add Content Curation to Your Marketing Mix

Really good piece from Rachel on the CopyWriterToronto.com. It talks about why you should add curation to  your marketing mix. First let’s start with a great definition:

Curating content is much like putting together an art exhibition. Instead of randomly sharing whatever you think is interesting, you need to think about how it all blends together. In a business sense, you also must consider whether the content will attract your target audience and get them to take the next step in working with you.

The 3 reasons why you should add it to your market mix are:

  1. Produce more content, faster. 
  2. Bring more targeted leads to your website. 
  3. Increase your conversions.

Let’s talk about each one of these individually.

Produce More Content, Faster

This is spot on. Think about this for a second. With content curation you’re adding value to another piece of content. Just like I’m doing here. The original piece of content spurred the idea for me to add the commentary. Through this commentary I’m highlighting not only our ideas here but the ideas of the original content producer. This process alone allows me to produce more content in 1/10th the time it takes… in fact, content curation is the quickest form of content marketing you can do.

Bring More Targeted Leads to Your Website

Another great point. While you should be writing about what you market cares about curation typically ensures you are. I argue that you wouldn’t have found that piece of content if it didn’t resonate somehow with your target market. Because of this your sharing things that directly relate to what your target market cares about. The more content that you have that relates to your target market the more traffic you will create… in the end the web is about eyeballs and getting those eyeballs to see your stuff.

Increase Your Conversions

There’s a few reasons why curation converts. First and foremost it’s because your driving traffic to your own platform. Next, curation is typically shorter form content. This means people consume your content quickly and then start looking around  your site (or they leave). If they stick around this is your opportunity to convert. This last point is one of the biggest surprised we first noticed when we started curating– some of our curations converted better than our own unique content. This fact alone is enough for most people to start curating.

There’s much more in the story below…

 

Image courtesy of copywritertoronto.com

5 Highly Effective Tips for Curation Success

Today we’ll talk about the steps for curating success and this really comes from our own experience from content curation but also helping other people, our clients and other people, have tremendous success with content curation. So that’s what we’ll talk about today.

Before we jump in, here’s the recording of our latest webinar, How to Drive Traffic and have success with Content Curation.

So let’s say you want to employ content curation, you want to have tremendous success about it. So I’m going to share with you today some of the tips, some of the advice that we’ve learned firsthand and some of the things we employee in our own content curation. And to give you a little back story, we’ve been curating for probably four or five years and I think everybody curates probably even beyond that.

But we’ve been using a strategy, a really focused strategy to really monetize and to drive leads, prospect and traffic for four to five years. Every one of our clients has a curation strategy that we employ as well because it’s a really good strategy, it’s a great strategy to get awareness and get traffic.

1. Systematize

So the first thing I will mention, and I’ve got some notes here so I hope you don’t mind me looking at notes, is number one, systemize. It’s a tough thing for me to do, I’ve resisted systems for far too long where I wish I would have had systems a long time ago. The more you can systemize your business, the more you can outsource your business, the more you can outsource activities that are bottlenecks in your business.

So find ways to put things into a system and document them and do this with content curation. And when you can do this with content curation, you’ll start to see the bottlenecks and you’ll start to see the opportunity that when it becomes a strategy or if it is a strategy that really works for you. I should say, content curation is a strategy that can work for anybody, I think.

The biggest challenge I see or the biggest thing that makes it not work is people don’t do it consistently. And they don’t do it consistently because it does take a little bit of effort but if you can systemize it, you can then offload some of that to someone that if they take your system, it’s really just you managing that and then you overlooking the results of that or the process of that, that’s why you should systemize it.

So think about, as we talk about these things, about the success of content curation, or the steps, I should say, think about as you go about employing it, how can I put these into systems? How can I put my content discovery in a system that I can transfer to someone else? How can I put my publishing system — a lot of times this is a series of tools, but how can I put this into a system so that I don’t have to necessarily be involved but my brand, my message, my voice is part of that curation, is making it happen?

2. Plan for the Long Term

The next thing is plan for the long term. Huge, huge thing in content curation success is content curation is a great strategy and you can get up and running but it really pays off the longer you do it. The better you become at it, the more you’re seen as a source for great information around a topic or a subject matter, the more that it pays off for you, the more it solidifies your position, the more that people look towards you. But that takes time.

In most marketing, it’s effective when people trust you and basically all marketing is effective when people trust you but trust takes time. That’s one reason why you see a lot of times anywhere if people have to see a marketing message anywhere from 8 to 50 times because they have to be able to rely on you, they have to be able to trust you. So that is built over time.

So one of the best things you can do right now if you want to have success and you’re new to content curation or maybe you’re dabbling in it, is to focus on the long term, saying, I’m going to stick to this for 6 to 8 months longer and I’m going to constantly tweak the strategy until I find what works because it does work. It’s like mobile advertising, it’s like pay-per-click, it all works.

A lot of times though, you have to dive in and you have to make a long term commitment to make it work. That’s kind of the general secret to all content marketing. If you’re committed to it and you have a strong brand and voice and you’re really committed to consistently improving, one of the biggest secrets to the reason why it works is long term and consistency.

3. Set Aside Time To Curate

The next thing is schedule or set aside a time to curate. This will depend on who you are and your schedule and your team. A lot of times people have to set aside time specifically in the calendar to actually do curation. You might have a role or position or your life might be set up where you go through content all through the day and you are able to find stuff all through the day to curate.

Generally, I find it smart to be able to say I’m going to curate, once or twice a day I’m going to sit down at 9:35, spend 10 minutes, go through my listening platforms, find stuff to curate and then I’m going to do it again at maybe 8 o’clock at night because I like to go through the news and kind of debrief my day. Whatever works for you, the important thing is to get on a schedule. This is another secret that a lot of times with content marketing and marketing in general, how you get to long term success is that you get something on a schedule that people can rely upon that builds trust.

It’s the same way with content curation, if you get it on the schedule, you get used to doing it, you get your team used to doing it. It gives you the kind of bedrock, it gives you the foundation to have success.

4. Discover Your Style for Finding Content Sources

The next thing is find your sources or style of finding sources and this kind of dovetails off what we just talked about but this is something you might have to experiment with. What I mean by that, some people enjoy social media, some people enjoy RSS feeds, some people enjoy newsletters, some people enjoy reading magazines. You need to figure out what you enjoy and how that helps you employ content curation.

So if you enjoy social media, you might have to design a series of systems for you to go out there and find content that your market isn’t talking about that you can easily curate. So a lot of this is there is no right or wrong way, I think, to find content, but it has to be effective and I think this is the other thing that I haven’t put in here that should be in here, is measure your results. If you’re spending 30 minutes a day curating content and it’s not driving leads or traffic, is that really worth your effort? So what do you have to change to make it worth your effort, are you doing something wrong?

But without measuring your results, you would never know that. Without measuring the time it takes you to curate stuff, to find the content, to actually digest it, to add commentary, to publish it and to share it, you can’t really measure the amount of traffic and leads that come in if you don’t know the amount of time you’re spending, you’re  just kind of guessing.

You also can’t outsource it because — you can but you don’t have any good idea of how to measure the success. But if you’re tracking the amount of time it takes, how long it should take and then your results of it, it’s easy to outsource that but it’s also easy to do a gut check and say yeah, this is a highly effective strategy, I should continue doing this.

5. Create a System

And the final thing is create a system for easily adding thoughts, expanding or ideas. What I’ve found is a best practice on this that a lot of times, especially if you have a set time where you curate stuff, you’ll find a lot of stuff that is great, a lot of evergreen stuff, for instance. But you really only should curate maybe five to six things a day, right, because that’s kind of what your market will bear, that’s what you should release.

You might find 10 or 15 things in a day that are really good, you’re like, hey, that’s great ideas, I want to expand on that, I want to curate that. Well that’s great to create what I like to call a tickler file or something like that. We have a series of bookmarks that we drop stuff — a good example, we curate stuff on content curation and a lot of times, we find a lot of stuff in a given day and what we’ll do is we’ll put that to our bookmark file and then when there’s maybe a slow day of content curation or we’re just pressed for time and we can’t fully go out there and digest stuff, we select from our preselected stuff that we know is already bookmarked, we’ve already said hey, this is great stuff to curate and it can be fill-in.

So that’s another great process but you want to develop that process for yourself. Maybe you use Evernote, maybe you use some other bookmarking service, maybe you use some other process. But the key thing is develop a process so that you can kind of build up a repository of stuff that gives you something to rely upon. I’ve found that to be huge because we all get busy, we all have days where we don’t feel like actually curating, we don’t feel like doing stuff and just us actually going in there and having stuff to rely upon, to fall back upon, is actually pretty good. I mean, it actually is one of the best strategies out there.

It also gives us the ability where some days when it’s a little light on finding stuff, we like to curate three to four things a day in any given niche or market. We can then usually use the fill-in to get that three or four things to maximize our traffic. So that’s an example of how that works. And that’s really all.

So to recap, we’ll talk about you should systemize your stuff, you should plan for the long term, should set aside a schedule to curate, find your sources and your style for finding sources and then create a system for easily adding thoughts, expanding or ideas for stuff that you can rely on. So that’s really the steps for curating success.

A lot of times, too, we did cover this, it’s about consistency, it’s about doing it on a schedule and it’s about committing to it. A lot of times the biggest mistakes or the biggest challenges why I see people don’t succeed with content marketing is they don’t commit to it. So commit to it and that’s kind of the hidden answer.

Well that’s all on today’s show. If you’re on our website, definitely subscribe on iTunes, if you’re on YouTube you can subscribe on iTunes as well and subscribe on YouTube. I’ll see you on the next show.

Here’s the video:

How to Pick a Niche for Content Curation

Today we’ll talk about how to select a niche to curate.

Maybe you’re someone who has a product or service or idea and you want to know how to down to a specific niche and actually monetize the strategy.

Another type of person who might ask this question a lot is the someone that wants to start a separate site curating stuff around a specific niche and needs some tips on how to do that.

Hone in Your Target Market

So let’s start by talking about marketing at a high-level view point and why a lot of times the biggest mistake people make when they go out to find their target market is selecting too wide or too big of a target market.

Really the first thing you should do is try to hone that target market to the smallest addressable size you can. Because what that allows you to do is spend your time, your resources, and your focus on being the single best resource for that group of people or for that niche.

For instance, let’s say you want to design a shoe. You really want to figure out what kind of shoe you going to design right but now you want to hone that shoe down to a subset of people first.

Example:

I’m going to design a shoe; it is going to be a sandal with flowers on it.

Then your task is to go find the people that like sandals with flowers on them.

That will help you focus your mind on ideas like, “Maybe I should go to a sea based resort somewhere because that is where people would appreciate that”

And a lot of times what and the basis that I see when I when we do in our consultations in and with our clients is often times their target is much too wide and their messages that they are putting out are too broad focused where what they need to do is hone in their messaging around niches

Now that’s the same way with curation. I saw a site recently that all it reviewed was knobs. Yes knobs. If you have ever seen high-end stereo and audio equipment you will see that there are a lot of knobs to adjust audio settings.

This site reviewed how the actual knob performed and if you have ever touched some of these high-end stereo equipment set-ups you know there is a high class feels, they move in a smooth motion, the whole functionality behind it, the sound they make, if they make any sound.

So all this site did is review knobs. It did not review the overall component itself, it did not review anything else, and it just reviewed how the knob felt, how they turned, some of the challenges with it.

This knob review site is a great example of kind of setting yourself apart but also picking a niche to curate because it’s unique and it’s very focused. You know that angle that someone’s coming from when trying to find information about audio equipment knobs.

But the great thing is that review site actually created buzz because it was so unique. I haven’t checked the site lately but I bet if they wanted to they could expand their offering or at least their curation of reviews because they became known for this one particular thing.

It works the same way for when you’re looking for niche. Trying to start with the smallest addressable size you can. Meaning and we kinda gave an example with the sandals, but if you’re going to curate stuff try to bring it down to each level.

Thinking in Hierarchies

Think about these things as levels are hierarchies. Each market has its own set of categories and subcategories so a lot of times it’s trying to figure out how to get a niche market that you can basically own that you can be the single best resource for.

So that’s really the only secret.  If you’re wondering, “How do I select a niche”. It really is just the process of deciding on what your higher-level hierarchy is and then keep going down, going down, going down, until you find an addressable niche that you can focus on and that you can own.

So Many Choices?

So Many Choices?

That is if you’re looking for a niche. I will say that if you’re looking to market yourself, your product or idea, sometimes going that far into a niche isn’t the smartest thing to do.

It may be a smart thing to do on the marketing side, right, but it’s not the smartest thing to do on the curation side because a lot of times in your niche, the people you’re going after, are interested in a wider swath of topics and if you just subset those topics in Curation you’re missing the larger topics available for your niche.

What I’m basically saying is that if you go to fine within your niche and you curate stuff that is in too fine of detail and that is all that you curate, you run the risk of alienating other people in your niche.

Generally that’s the other common mistake we see and that is for someone who is not looking to monetize their site.

A good example is a let’s say I am looking to curate stuff on trading and there’s different trading styles like scalping, day trading , forex, but it is smartest to focus on just one of those trading styles and each subsets with in that style instead of the entire trading market.

Don’t Forget About Monetization

Also, before picking a niche, think about you sales funnel, think about your monetization strategy.  This is something we always come back to on this show. We talk about monetization and one of the biggest mistakes I see people make with content marketing, curation is content marketing, is they don’t think about monetization first.

They don’t think “What is the path to purchase, how am I going to monetize my efforts”

Where is the monetization from? Is it going to be advertising, is it an email opt-in that I lead into other affiliate offers?

So think about monetization first before you dive into a niche and really spend all the building out a site and effort curating content.

Where Do You Sit in the Spectrum of Curation?

One of the biggest questions we get from new users of Curation Traffic has to do with how to curate to limit or virtually remove the penalty to search rankings.

We talk about this quite a bit in our training and cover it pretty extensively in our podcast.

Even with that I think I’ve come across a new great term to explain how you want to think about it.

In the video below from Matt Cutts (of Google) he answers a question and gets deep into curation.

Many sites have a press release section, or a news section that re-posts relevant articles. Since it’s all duplicate content, they be better off removing these sections (even with plenty of other unique content)?

The first thing he covers is the difference between high quality and low quality. High quality is a trusted source that has a strong editorial in place. Low quality is a source that isn’t highly trusted and is obvious let’s just about any type of content to be released.

The high quality site is exercising discretion (curation) in what they select to release or highlight. The low quality site is not and in many ways not adding any measurable value.

He mentions a spectrum of quality or something along those lines. I’d change it a bit to say where do you fit within the spectrum of curation?

Matt goes on to talk about something we cover a ton here. He says…
It’s probably important to focus on what is competitive or what is compelling about your site.

Instead of having some automated curation system that just fills in items based on your keywords you want to focus on what is going to keep people coming back. What is going inline with the overall value you provide on your site or your brand.

Side note: This is also the reason we’ve resisted creating a “listening platform” or content discovery platform as part of Curation Traffic. It simple causes the reverse of what you want for content curation– that is highly quality curated content that is not from some automated function.

The video ends with one of the most important points about curation– editorial philosophy. If you have a philosophy on what your about, your key value this ensures your going to link to trusted sources. With editorial philosophy comes usefulness and ultimately as a curator that’s what you want to accomplish.

In the end curation is effective when people find it compelling and can’t resist coming back to your site.

Want to easily add curation to your existing website or blog? Use the Curation Traffic Plugin that makes curating content from around the web push button simple.

best practices for content curation

Best Practices for Content Curation

Today we cover some of the best practices for content curation. If your new to curation you’ll want to check out a few of our recent episodes or visit the curation resources section of our site. You can listen and download above or watch the video down below. Also subscribe to our podcast in Itunes.

Best Practices in Content Curation:

  • Own the platform
  • Always attribute your source
  • Add great insight or commentary
  • Keep a schedule
  • Find awesome sources
  • Consistently surprise your audience

Here’s a brief overview of each one of these but we go into greater detail in today’s show.

Own the Platform

Why this is a best practice for content curation is without own the platform you are not able to monetize right away. Also as time goes on when you own the platform you get the benefit of all the curated content.

This builds not only your authority but also your digital footprint. This helps with allowing you or your company send the right signals to the search engines. We cover this in a little bit more detail in the post linked above but also in today’s show.

Attribute Your Source

This is not only a best practice in content curation but in life as well. Have you ever come across someone who you know consistently is taking ideas or concepts from someone else, but they never credit that other source? If you have then I bet in your eyes they lost some credibility  This works the same way when you curate content.

The general rule is be very liberal in your sourcing and make it plain as day without hiding links, sources, and attribution. in some ways this is one of the most important best practices in content curation.

Add Great Commentary

This is where curation shines, without great commentary in some ways you just adding to the noise. I will add one caveat to that though. Sometimes just the sheer act of your curating something is value enough. The best well known example of this is the DrudgeReport.com. Very seldom is there any commentary other than a link but the act of the site highlight that particular story is the value in the curation itself.

Generally though it’s better to add your own thoughts and ideas or at a bare minimum why you chose to curate that piece of content.

Keep to a Curation Schedule

This is a best practice for any marketing or inbound strategy but is a must for content curation. The main reason why is trust and authority is built overtime. The more that you become reliable and are seen as someone who is consistently creating value the more trust and authority you will build with your target market or niche. So keep to a schedule when you curate.

Find Awesome Sources

This one is huge. If you want to be a star curator and really make curation work for you follow one simple rule. Don’t curate content, stories, videos, etc. that everybody else in your market shares. This might be something that’s hard at first but the more you get away from those stories the more valuable your curation becomes. We talk about this a little bit more in the episode.

Surprise People or Your Audience

This is another big one. People like surprises (that’s also why the previous point we talked about is important).

How do  you surprise people with content curation? One simple way is to curate content they would never come across but they would find tremendous value. Usually this means your stepping outside of your core market and looking at other verticals or niches to find good ideas. Then you take those good ideas and you relate them to your market or your niche.

Best Practices for Content Curation Wrap Up

That’s about all for this episode, sure there might be a few more best practices and the best way to get those is to subscribe to our podcast in Itunes or you can subscribe to your RSS feed. You can also follow us on YouTube.

Are These the 4 Quadrants of a Content Marketing Plan?

I came across this post from CMI and thought it was spot on. The lead quote and the image that accompanies is something that I think anybody employing content marketing should really understand. Let’s break it down a bit.

The consumer attention span is about the size of a gnat right now. We move on to the next thing super, super quickly. So it’s really important to be topical and relevant.

I see attention span only decreasing as more and more distractions will enter our daily lives, especially as younger generations embrace this near instant technology.

So when we take about being topical and relevant that means clearly defining your value and your niche your serving. This is important not only in content in general but really important in curation.

At the same time, our industry has been going down this real-time marketing train. We’re all trying to be more and more real-time, which tends to be, in large measure, sort of chasing whatever is happening and trying to attach yourself to it, which might be topical but not relevant to your brand.

This is true but the challenge I’ve always had with this is does this really convert? We’ve found that a mix of 40% what I would call real time content with a 60% focus on evergreen works really well.

So I think it’s the push-pull of, ‘How do I remain agile enough to be topical but at the same time staying relevant and true to what it is you’re trying to communicate and build for our brand?’

This is the challenge you face even if your not a brand. A big mistake I think people make is injecting pop culture into their content to force some form of relevancy.

That’s where I think the graphic here really defines a well rounded strategy. An exercise worth doing is taking these 4 quadrants of content (produced, evergreen, execution, and perishable) and mapping where you currently are. Also map where you would want to be. Then map it back to what you can really execute.

It’s also interesting that they placed curation in the evergreen/executional quadrant. I’d agree because good curation can stand the test of time (that is unless your curating to an audience that is fed by the latest and greatest, E.X. celebrity gossip).

Good stuff here, read more below:

Image courtesy of contentmarketinginstitute.com

STOP Egocentric Content Marketing

Such a good phrase: Egocentric Content Marketing. I think this is the first time I’ve come across that exact phrase but it succinctly describes how most content marketing is employed. In the end an effective content marketing strategy is not about you or  your company it’s about your audience or your target market.

That’s also why curation is a great additional strategy to any content marketing. Curation at it’s core is less egocentric than the plain old vanilla content marketing. This is because at it’s heart curation is pointing to another source or multiple sources.

The article here written by Michael Gerard makes tons of great points about this here’s just one of them:

As marketers, whether we realize it or not, most of us have been curating content for quite sometime now. Examples include: Tweets that provide short commentary and a link to an article of interest to your readers; a blog post where you quoted a couple of comments from other experts on a specific topic and then offered your own insight and guidance; or an infographic where you gathered data from multiple sources, with attribution, to provide value for your readers. However, only the most advanced content marketers are fully leveraging curation to improve their inbound marketing strategy, and with great success.

I’d add one thing. If you are already executing a content marketing strategy and not employing curation– start now. If you haven’t quite got a content marketing strategy going I would suggest you start with curation. For tips and advice on how to do that you’ll find our podcast and blog here at Curation Traffic is full of how to and specific guides on how to get this done.

Image courtesy of business2community.com

Is Content Curation an Ethical Content Strategy?

The question over the ethics involved with content curation is not a new debate. It’s been going on for years, and I expect it to go on for years to come. Regardless of that continuing debate, one thing is certain; it’s a strategy that content marketers will continue to use and explore. But can they do it with a clear conscience? My answer is, yes, if you follow some straightforward, ethical guidelines that start with understanding what content curation is and what it is not.

“I Once Heard a Story About…”

So, what is content curation? Well, have you ever heard someone tell a story that wasn’t their own? We do it all the time. The stories that other people share about their own experiences can be powerful illustrations to back our own viewpoint or experience. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone does it. Many instances in history and media support the practice. And, as long as credit is given where credit is due, it’s a legitimate tool.

Content curation does a similar thing. A content curator borrows a story or idea from someone else and presents it in a way that highlights a point that the curator believes is important.

curation and stories pull quote

Done in this way, proper content curation is ethical. In fact, when done well, it is appreciated by readers and content producers alike.

Curation is not piracy. Unlike content curation, pirating is illegal and can get you into some serious legal trouble. And, unfortunately for those who find themselves mixed up in it, the legal problems are not the only major dilemma they bring on themselves. Their reputation is also likely to suffer, and in the land of internet marketing, reputation is everything.

Pirating VS Curating Content

So, what’s the difference between curating content and pirating? How can you be sure that what you do remains under the label of curation and doesn’t cross over to pirating? Well, though the two may seem very similar, where ethics are concerned, they are actually vastly different.

Pirating is stealing. It describes taking content word for word or concept for concept, whole or in part, and publishing it. There’s no other way to put this—it is simply wrong.

Content curation, on the other hand, is not stealing. It is ethical because it involves only using carefully selected parts of the content, adding relevant commentary or insight, or highlighting specific parts of it, and always assigning credit to the content’s originator. In other words, you add to the discussion involving the content.

The difference is not even subtle; pirating is stealing and it is unethical. This includes article spinning, where words or ideas are stolen from somewhere and changed just enough to make it appear to be original content. It rarely does appear to be original, which hurts the reputation of those who practice article spinning. Not only is it clear that they are practicing piracy by stealing the original content, but they are also taking efforts to cover that fact; something that is not held in high esteem by many people, including the search engines who may block such content.

Content curation, on the other hand, is not done in the shadows of the digital marketplace. It is an honest endeavor that adds value, offers fresh perspectives, and enhances the ecosystem of ideas that is the digital landscape.

So is Curation Unethical?

Because it does get confused with piracy, I think that an end to this debate is still a ways off. Some content producers will always have a strong reaction when they see their content curated. Some appreciated it; others do not. I believe, however, that the digital world has evolved enough that this is no longer a question about whether content curation is an ethical strategy. I believe it is more about whether you are doing it right. If you are, then, in my book, you’re in the clear.

I also have a follow up post here shortly discussing the traffic issue in curation, so stay tuned for that.

Doing it right image by bigboy.