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How To Make Friends And Boost Your Brand By Curating Others’ Content

March 13, 2018

“Curating content.” It’s one of those foolish buzzwords (buzz-phrases?) that makes me shake my head. It sounds absurd.

A curator is someone who works in a museum and mounts art exhibitions, right?

Yes– but I did an online search, and, to my surprise, I found the definition has been expanded. It now includes “a person who selects content for presentation, as on a website.

For a long time, I thought “curating content” was simply sharing a link. You read a post written by somebody else and you think: My readers (target audience) would enjoy this, and/or find it helpful. So you tweet the link, or post it to your Facebook Page, or share it on LinkedIn.

But curating content is more than “link dumping.” It requires one’s active participation. Let’s take a closer look.

OK, you offer a product or a service. You’re a brand.blank vertical space, 32 pixels highCurating content infographic penguin selling fish oil at South Pole brand

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highOne of the challenges for brands, especially small brands, is creating content on a regular basis. Because you’re busy. You need to do your work and serve your customers.

Curating other people’s content takes some of the pressure off: you have something to share, which helps keep your own brand in circulation.

So the first “rule” of curating content is simply: keep an eye out for content that would be a good fit for both you and your target audience. That is: it relates to what you do, you’d be glad to have your brand associated with it, and it’s something your audience would enjoy or find helpful.

Next, be proactive: Vet the content. Read it carefully. Did the content live up to the post title? Is it worth sharing with your readers? Does it provide fresh insights, or is it just advice they’ve probably heard before?

If you decide to share it, ask yourself: Was it easy to read? Was it well organized? Was it too long, boring in places? Think about editing the content, condensing it down, making it easier to digest. You’ll be doing your readers a favor.

Here’s the most important part of all: Don’t just share the other person’s content. Don’t just rewrite or reorganize it. Add something to it. Share your own experience and opinion, maybe an extra tip. You’ll be sharing something of yourself, and that will resonate with your readers.

Point of fact: I’m doing all that here. This blog post was inspired by Heidi Cohen’s post, How To Curate Content Like A Pro. I’ve condensed it, focused on only what I consider the key points, added editorial comments, and created a summary infographic.

Speaking of which, here’s panel #2:blank vertical space, 32 pixels highcurating content infographic panel two fish as content feature in branded kettle site match to brand target audience link to original source add value by additional info opinion editorial comment

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highYou want the content to be associated with your brand (since you’re sharing it), but you need to credit the original content creator. (If you fail to do so, you’re misrepresenting the situation and taking credit for someone else’s work.)

How do you strike the right balance?

Credit the original creator, and link back to the original post. Include your brand (logo, website) when you publish the curated content.

Another suggestion: Drop the original creator a note and let them know you’ve shared their content. Include a link to same, so they can take a look. Chances are, they’ll share that link with their own followers, which means extra exposure for you and your brand. Plus, it’s a nice courtesy, and a great way to build relationships as you go along.


curating content infographic panel three build relationships by thank content creator sharing link

blank vertical space, 24 pixels highA final tip: You can also curate your own content (e.g., all or part of previously published posts). Dust off a successful post and bring it up to date. Edit it, possibly reformat it. Make sure the links are still good. Maybe add some new information, give it a fresh look. It’s a great way to keep your best content in circulation.

Here’s all the above in a summary infographic:blank vertical space, 24 pixels highhow to curate content infographic penguin sell fish oil south pole match to brand target audience link back add commentary build relationships vet edit recycle old content

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About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. I create images that get content seen and shared.

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Questions? Send me an email.

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highblank vertical space, 40 pixels high

9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2018 6:29 PM

    I initially found it curious “curating” that term taken from…more from the world of libraries, archives and museums, into mainstream language strange. It actually was simultaneously dumbing down an analysis before content selection and also elevating for common every person’s appreciation of content selection.

    For the library world, content selection is to directly meet client information needs and to select content for permanent repositories, even if only digital (worth thousands of dollars in terms of annual research licenses) , forecasting information needs of a client community, a collective of diverse users.

    To heck with branding association of content selection or curating… I never bothered. Choosing on target content for the client that they can use is service quality.

    Now curating with commentary for blogging. That is additional effort but it’s good for personal bloggers to consider on content association.

    Boy, got serious in this ramble, Mark.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 19, 2018 8:38 AM

      Ramble? That was a rant!! 😳

      No one appreciates librarians and the fine work they do more than myself, Jean!! Now I going to softly tiptoe out of the room, get on my bicycle, and ride to the library… 🚴💨😊

      Liked by 2 people

  2. March 19, 2018 2:32 AM

    Hi! My name is Rachel and I’m although I’ve been writing for years, WordPress is a brand new experience for me! I find this an easy platform to reach so many different types of people in the world. I appreciate the opportunity to learn from everyone here!
    Thank You,
    Ms. Rachel Beals


    • March 19, 2018 8:42 AM

      Nice to meet you, Rachel. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck on your new blogging adventure!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 19, 2018 9:35 AM

        Thank you, Mark. Nice to meet you too! I’m sure I can make solid use of everything here on WordPress in just under the 50yr mark😂😂 Between FB, TWITTER, Email Accounts, and WordPress I’m certain to never leave home again;) I’ll be playing around for a bit, I think, but I’m determined to get there!! Thank You Very Much 👋👋👋


  3. RKLikesReeses permalink
    March 23, 2018 1:19 PM

    Great content! It all makes so much sense when you explain it this way, but my guess is that a lot of people have no clue why they should to do it, much less how. Something disturbs me about repackagng and reposting earlier posts, but my brain knows it’s an excellent idea. Why? Bec readers/followers don’t see and read everything we post. They have lives apart from the internet. Also, the algorithms sites use for their feeds play havoc with chronology. It’s tough to stay current when “current” has no meaning. Soooo… repurposing/recycling material is a brilliant technique. I haven’t been doing that but I’m going to start. And also do a better job of addng value. Another soliid gold post, Mark! Thank you for sharing this wisdom and wit with us!!! ⭐️👏⭐️👏⭐️


    • March 26, 2018 8:23 AM

      Thanks, RK! Re curating one’s own earlier posts: I think you have to be just as discriminating as you would about curating someone else’s content. I can see in retrospect that many of my own early posts were junky or lackluster at best. Not too surprising, really– I started cold and learned as I went along. I’m sure that’s true of most bloggers. So I’d say identify your best older posts, edit them to bring them up to date, add any new ideas or insights that would strengthen the posts, etc. I don’t think new blog followers seek out really old posts, so curating the best of those makes sense. Thanks as always for your kind words and support!! 😊

      Liked by 1 person


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