I need to be honest with you from the start as we tackling another topic in the Learn Blogging series on blog post types… this isn’t my favorite type of blog post.
We started this series as you’ll recall with The Roundup which is definitely one of my personal favorite types of blogging posts. We’ll cover a dozen kinds of blog posts in total, all of which I’ve used at one time or another with varying degrees of success and delight. And in my own experience, the curated post has never given me success or delight. It’s simply been a means of creating yet another piece of content.
But! In my research for this post, in my search for some of the best examples of curated blog posts, I discovered many instances where not only did the technique shine, but entire businesses flourished as a result of deploying curated content.
So, just as with The Roundup, it’s worthwhile for you to take a moment and become familiar with Curation posts. You may find that this particular approach to blogging suits you or your industry particularly well, and give it it’s rightful place in this Learn Blogging Series.
In this series we will learn about:
- The Roundup
- Curation (you’re here)
- How To
- Case Study
- Personal Story
- Business News / Announcement
- Employee / Customer Spotlight
- Thought Leadership
Let’s get started learning.
Learn Blogging: What Is A Curation Post?
Perhaps it’ll be helpful to start with what a curation post is not – and that is a listicle or roundup or interview. We’re covering all of those post types elsewhere. I saw many bloggers referring to roundups as curated posts and by definition they’re not, strictly speaking. While those posts may all draw from external sources and perhaps even quote them or their authors, the concept is different.
A Curated Post is a blog post where you’ve found a piece of content that has been authored by someone else, whether that’s an article, video, infographic, or something else, and you use your own blog to share that piece of content.
If you’ve ever shared an article to Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook, congratulations, you’ve curated content! You found an article that someone else wrote, you thought it was interesting, and you decided to share it with your audience. The difference here today is that we’re talking about how to accomplish the same thing with your blog and blog audience and, since other people’s content isn’t generally designed to be shared to your blog, it requires a little extra explanation and logistics.
A curation post can include more than one piece of content from other sources, such as multiple embedded YouTube videos. But it also goes beyond just linking to someone else’s article. In the case of curated written content, your intent will be to include multiple sentences or paragraphs from the original article so that someone reading your blog post will gain some knowledge directly from the curated text.
Why Do I Love Curation Posts?
There are a few reasons why I love Curation Posts, despite what I said earlier!
- They are certainly fast to create and publish. Since you’re relying on someone else’s existing content as a source of knowledge, it shouldn’t take you too long to craft a curation of that post.
- They can be highly complimentary when done well. Imagine if someone else read one of your original blog posts and wrote about it, quoting you and highlighting you and linking to you extensively. You’d be flattered, wouldn’t you?
- They can be highly valuable to your audience, particularly in bulk. If you’re routinely scouring the web for news sources and pulling the best, most relevant stories into your own blog through curation, you’re saving your audience time!
Great Blog Curation Post Examples
Here are a few great Curation examples from a variety of industries to give you a sense for what others have done:
- https://kottke.org/ – You’ll find excellent examples of curated blog posts here from Jason Kottke, as he pulls in snippets and samples from around the web.
- Morning Brew – Their quick-witted style is matched only by the speed at which they process and share trending news and stories.
- https://www.brainpickings.org/ – Maria Popova is a reader and a writer who writes about what she reads, covering all manner of art and poetry and spirituality.
Another great technique for utilizing and distributing curated content that Morning Brew excels at is via newsletter. Depending on how often there are stories and news which develop in your industry, you can compile those stories and share them with your audience via blog and email. I even added a podcast element to my own newsletter, Marketing Hyperdrive.
Learn Blogging: Curation Post Vitals
These are the vital aspects of a curation post:
- The main idea and the content that delivers that idea comes from someone else. If you’re citing someone else just to support your own idea, that’s just a blog post.
- While they can be longer, Curation blog posts are typically 500 words or less.
Interestingly, the idea of content curation pre-dates both blogging and social media! I researched and discovered that Reader’s Digest was one of the first forms of content curation and it was, oddly enough, born in a French hospital.
Curation Post Best Practices
Follow these best practices to ensure your Curation is a success!
- DO NOT PLAGIARIZE! You may not pass off someone else’s work as your own so you must always embed and link to the original media (if a YouTube video or Infographic, for example) or if you’re curating text, limit how much you directly quote to several paragraphs. Major publications like the New York Times have very specific limits on much of an article can be copied without permission.
- Always give full credit to the original content creator, including a link.
- If you feel you need to include more than a few paragraphs of direct quotation, ask for permission first.
- Use a unique Title and Description and imagery just as you would for any other post you publish.
- Set up tools in advance that can help you surface content to potentially curate, such as Feedly, YouTube subscriptions, Google Alerts, etc.
If Curation Posts are going to be a regular part of your blogging regimen, then I recommend looking into a more advanced tool like Curata. Curata uses AI to identify new pieces of content based on criteria you establish, whether that’s industry, topics, publication or authors, and gives you an advanced dashboard to not only review the content, but also curate pieces directly into your WordPress blog for editing and publishing as curated content.
If you’re managing content on behalf of clients as an agency or freelancer, this is definitely a tool I would explore utilizing.
The Secret Sauce To Make Curation Posts Scrumptious
Want to take your Curation Post to the Next Level? Here’s my best advice:
Always include your own perspective on the topic, particularly why your audience should or would be interested in what they’re about to read or watch. Then follow the curated content with your own analysis or takeaway so that you’re always demonstrating the benefit to your reader and layering value. This is what will help you to build your own authority, even while curating other people’s ideas and content, and give your audience a reason to continue to be interested in your take on a subject.
We’ll continue to learn blogging by diving into How To Posts next. Meanwhile, if you have questions about curations that I didn’t cover here, ask ’em in the comments below. If you’re looking for a more in-depth, structured training on how to successfully launch a blog to make money for yourself, or use content marketing to promote your business, my Blogging Bootcamp is for you.
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Such a helpful article! I am a blogger as well, and I think curation is the least type of blog I do. I always thought that it was wrong to use someone else’s work and share it on my blog. But now I see that it was due to a lack of information. After reading your article, I have a better understanding of curation posts, and I think I will be using them more. Thanks a lot for sharing about this, it was a very helpful read.