Tag Archives: Content Curation

Difference between content aggregation, content curation and content writing

This is an interesting question I came across while surfing the web.  Content writing means writing original content. You may like to read What does a content writer do?

But what do content aggregation and content creation main?

According to this article, this is how you explain the two:

  • Content aggregation: You extract content from different sources and then publish it without giving credit to the original sources.
  • Content curation: You manually go through various links and decide which piece of content you would like to showcase on your blog, and then publish the link to it, with your own comments, attributing completely to the original source.

Interesting. By the way, I must have come this link via a content aggregator, Flipboard.

Though, to read the full article on the link mentioned above, you need to register.

I have written about content curation multiple times. You may like to read 5 benefits of content curation.

These days I do lots of content curation. Even right now in this blog post, I have linked to another article and then I’m quickly adding my own take.

Content curation normally involves gathering multiple links on the same topic. For example, I can publish something like “13 content writing tips shared by content writing experts”, and then I can find 13 different links, publish the links with individual excerpts, giving full credit to the original authors.

But even if you don’t publish multiple links, you’re curating content. If you link to another article or blog post and then add your thoughts, it is also content curation.

What about content aggregation? Many websites use content aggregation but it is mostly automated and content writing doesn’t play much role in that. You probably use a script that crawls the web looking for certain keywords or phrases and when it finds those keywords and phrases, it extracts the content and publishes it on your blog.

Lots of my content is aggregated in this way by other publishers. Sometimes a link back to my website is automatically added, but most of the time, it is not.

I don’t find the concept of content aggregation appealing because one, if you cannot spend enough time to create original and unique content for your business, how can you work hard for your customers and clients, and two, you can never be sure if the content is going to be of good quality.

Content aggregation is mostly used by people who want to make money through advertisements. For them, as long as they enjoy good search engine rankings and as long as people are clicking on ads, it doesn’t really matter how good or bad the content they are aggregating is.

As mentioned above, content aggregation is also used by known aggregators such as Flipboard and Feedly.

5 Benefits of Content Curation

Benefits of content curation

Benefits of content curation.

You curate content when you link to high quality content from other websites and blogs through your own website or blog.

If you’re sharing links from other websites and blogs, from Twitter and Facebook, in a manner, you are already curating content.

To improve engagement and for better SEO, you’re often advised to publish original content regularly.

Unless you’re a big organization and you have a dedicated team of content writers, publishing original, quality content regularly can be quite difficult.

It is not just about writing and publishing, you constantly need to come up with great topics and writing ideas and then publish quality content.

Sometimes, content curation can help you.

Just like you, many people in your industry – whether they directly compete with you or indirectly, or not at all – are publishing quality content.

This is valuable information, and your visitors can benefit from this information.

Just because information is appearing on another’s website or blog, it doesn’t mean your visitors should be deprived of such information.

At the same time, if you are publishing useful information on your own, you don’t want to link to another’s website.

I recommend content curation to my clients when they cannot come up with an interesting topic or when for the time being, we have exhausted all our options.

Content curation happens in 2 manners:

You create a list of all the blogs and websites covering the topic under which you are curating content.

For example, “The top 5 blog posts on the benefits of content curation” and then including links from other blogs with small introductions.

You can simply talk about one topic from one blog and then add your own comments.

In both the cases you are curating content because you are picking up someone else’s thoughts and your either expressing those thoughts as they are or adding your own take.

I normally prefer creating dedicated blog posts for dedicated links. I have rarely created a “list” of other links.

Below I’m listing 5 benefits of content curation.

1. Gives you an unending supply of content writing ideas

Among the top challenges faced by content marketers is producing content consistently and on top of that, making sure that the content remains engaging and valuable.

B2B content marketing challenges

B2B content marketing challenges.

It is important to publish fresh content regularly on your website. There are multiple benefits of publishing regular content on your website or blog.

If you don’t publish content regularly, your current search engine rankings immediately begin to suffer and there is a drastic reduction in the number of people coming to your website.

Your business suffers.

The problem is, regularly coming up with fresh content writing ideas is a big challenge.

Although there are different ways to come up with great content writing ideas every day, sometimes, it is simply not possible.

In such circumstances, through content curation, you can have practically an unending supply of content writing ideas.

Maintain a list of your industry blogs. You can use a content aggregation service like Flipboard, Feedly or Google Discover to track topics.

Whenever you cannot come up with a great content writing idea, quickly go through these content aggregation services and curate something.

2. Drive thought leadership with content curation

Build thought leadership with curated content

Build thought leadership with curated content.

Thought leadership isn’t always about writing and publishing high-quality content of your own.

This blog post rightly suggests that your audience judges you based on the content you share.

Another interesting point mentioned in the above link is that if you never curate content, your website or blog becomes an echo chamber, and you don’t want that.

People want to know what you think of others’ opinions.

For example, on my blog I have multiple times written that I don’t agree that you always have to write 3000-5000-word blog posts for better search engine rankings, as is often suggested by top SEO and content marketing companies.

For better search engine rankings, focus on a topic and provide highly valuable and niche information on it. Even that improves your SEO.

Hence, this is a difference of opinion.

You need to be cautious if you want to build your thought leadership by making content curation an integral part of your overall content marketing strategy.

Always link to high quality and authoritative websites and blogs posts, preferably to thought leaders who are highly regarded.

I’m not saying you don’t link to lesser-known people – make a judgement call. Being an authority yourself, you can easily find out if the content you are curating is worth linking to or not.

3. Improves your SEO

This is something that I have personally experienced.

Suppose I’m looking for some content curation opportunities and on Google I come across a blog post that is ranking at the top.

I write a similar blog post and then link to the blog post that is ranking high, of course, with my own thoughts added to make sure that I’m publishing an original blog post.

I have observed that my blog post with the curated link either begins to appear just below the main link or somewhere on the same page.

Of course, there are lots of other factors that help you rank well, but it certainly helps you improve your search engine rankings if you create/curate content based on blog posts that are already ranking high.

4. Makes your content diverse

As I have mentioned above, you don’t want your blog to become an echo chamber of your own thoughts.

When you curate content, you treat your visitors with diverse opinions or different chains of thoughts even if you don’t agree with them. This gives you a richness.

If your regular visitors are getting bored of (they do) simply reading what you have to say about different subjects, this will give them a breath of fresh air and then they will be ready to come back to your own thoughts.

5. Helps you improve your topic density or keyword density

When you curate content you mostly curate content that is from your own field or profession.

For example, if I’m curating content I am mostly interested in topics related to content writing, copywriting, SEO content, content marketing, email marketing, writing tips, and so on.

My audience comes to read these topics. Consequently, I’m not going to curate content on real estate unless it has got something to do with my profession.

All my topics are going to deal with my profession – writing, content writing and so on.

This increases my keyword density.

Similarly, if you are a financial coach and you curate lots of content on financial coaching, you’re going to increase your keyword density for financial coaching.

Concluding remarks

Normally, when you search for “content curation” and its benefits, you mostly come across blog posts talking about sharing content on social media and social networking websites.

Yes, that too is content curation, but it’s better use is when you use content curation to generate high-quality content for your own blog.

When to use curated content for content marketing?

Content marketing with content curation

Although I would suggest that you don’t base your entire content marketing on curated content, it is a nice way of keeping the channels of content smoothly flowing when you are not getting some great content writing and content publishing ideas.

Curated content, in case you don’t know what it is, is the content that you gather from other sources and then republish it on your own blog or website, or share it under your social media profile like Facebook or Twitter.

This blog post nicely explains how to differentiate between original content and curated content (of course curated content is also original, but not from your angle).

Curating content is like managing an art galleryOriginal image source

The author of the blog post says that the original content is like the original artwork, but when you curate content it is like creating an art gallery where you showcase all the pieces of art that you have been able to gather.

Is content curation like using someone else’s content?

In content curation, although you are using someone else’s content, you’re not using it as it is. You either use the link, or you use the link to explain something else.

Take for example this present blog post. I’m linking to another blog post that talks about how you can use content curation for content marketing for your start-up when you don’t have a budget to create high-value original content.

There is no doubt about the fact that you need quality content for meaningful content marketing.

If you are constantly publishing lousy content it is going to cause irreparable damage to not just your SEO, but also your brand.

You rather not publish content at all.

So, for businesses that cannot right now invest in good quality content, it is better to start with content curation because when you curate high-quality content in some ways you are also creating high-quality content for your own website or blog.

In fact, sometimes curated content can fare far better than the original content, provided you use the right topic.

Suppose I want to write a blog post on “Content Marketing Trends of 2018”. I have already written some blog posts on the topic, but I have linked to other sources. For example,

What if I don’t write my own, original blog post, but create a list of 40 blog posts that talk about the 2018 content marketing trends?

Will people like to read my thoughts on the topic or from 40 experts?

I don’t mean to undermine my views on the 2018 content marketing trends, but I’m pretty sure, given a choice, people would rather read those 40 content marketing experts.

After publishing the post, I can also send a quick email to these 40 individuals notifying them of my latest blog post and even if five among them share the link either on their blog or on twitter/facebook, it would be more beneficial for my blog than me writing my own thoughts on the topic.

Many people curate such blog posts specifically for this reason and this is a good content marketing tactic. You don’t just create lots of quality content you also get to network with other people to whom you link and whose content you appreciate enough to curate.

Is curated content better for your SEO?

For SEO you need high quality original content. You must be wondering if you are curating lots of content that is published elsewhere, isn’t it going to harm your SEO?

Even when you are curating content, in some sense, at least for the search engines, you are publishing original content. Remember that whenever you link to other sources, you must include your own outlook, your own opinion.

For example, even if I am linking to blog posts and articles that talk about the 2018 content marketing trends, I’m writing about these posts in my own language, in my own style and sometimes I even add my own points.

Even when you are curating content like this (creating individual blog posts) never fail to add value. If people want to just read the original content, they will go to the original link. You must give people some reason to stay on your website and read your take on the subject than going to the original link.

Google likes it when you link to authoritative websites and blogs. This Moz blog post by Rand Fishkin shows that linking to other websites and blogs actually does good to your website in terms of increasing its authority as well as improving its SEO.

The best way to curate content is to choose a theme and then gather as many links as you can find that give very valuable information about that theme.

Don’t create a random collection of links just because they talk about a particular subject or topic. Create a context. Weave a story around those links. They should become an integral part of the narrative that you are expressing in that particular web page or blog post.

Curating content can be cheaper than writing original content

Unless you are planning on creating a portal of curated content, curating content for content marketing is obviously cheaper than writing original content, because all you are doing is, linking to other sources.

But finding and keeping track of high-value content can be a time-consuming activity especially when your niche is very narrow. Maybe for your niche it might be very difficult to curate good content. You may have to hire a researcher that may charge you a lot.

If that is not the case, content curation is always a cheaper alternative to writing original content.

Why curated content shouldn’t be your long-term content marketing strategy

You can fill up the gaps with curated content but eventually, you need original content for your long-term content marketing strategy.

Just as you are linking to high-quality content from other websites, wouldn’t you like the others to link to your high-quality content?

If all you do is link to other authority websites and blogs, you never get to share your own expertise. You are always living in their shadow. People will be finding their links on your website and then they will be doing business with them because they are the original creators of that high-quality content.

Remember that if you want to get business on the Internet based on your authority, then original content is a must.

Use curated or aggregated content to improve your SEO

SEO with curated content

You need high-quality content to improve your SEO.

You need high-quality content on an ongoing basis to improve your SEO.

Sometimes it becomes difficult to come up with great content ideas.

Then, curated or aggregated content can come to your rescue.

Sometimes, even if the ideas are there, it is very difficult to write full-fledged blog posts and articles around those ideas.

Such situations can be stumbling blocks. They can stunt your content marketing efforts and they can even discourage you from publishing quality content on your website or blog.

How do you overcome such stumbling blocks?

By publishing curated or aggregated content.

I am not suggesting that you carry out your entire content marketing strategy on the strength of curated or aggregated content, but when it has become difficult to publish full blog posts, it is better to publish curated content rather than posting nothing.

When you stop posting for a long time, it begins to have a negative impact on your existing search engine rankings.

Even the search engine crawlers begin to visit your website less often when they observe that you are not publishing as regularly as you used to, a few months or a few weeks ago.

Yes, it is important to publish original content for long-term branding and even for better SEO, publishing aggregated content is far better than publishing no content at all.

What is curated or aggregated content?

Read Difference between content writing and content curation

We often complain that there is lots of junk content on the Internet. This is true.

But a great thing about the Internet is, there is also lots of great content.

There are many blogs, websites, and even social networking accounts, that are constantly publishing awesome content.

Since you might already be tracking scores of such websites and blogs, it might be easier for you to keep track of the various blog posts and articles they publish.

But your visitors and your social networking followers may not have access to a big repository of updates.

They will really appreciate if you can find excellent content on other sources and then mention them on your own website or blog with a little bit of your input.

There are two ways of curating and aggregating content from other sources: you either link to an individual blog post or article along with your view, or you can create a list of, something like, 10 best articles of the month on a particular subject.

How to find quality content to aggregate?

As I have written above, if you are routinely publishing content around your subject, you might be tracking many blogs, websites and social networking profiles to keep track of what the others are writing.

If you are not, you can track your favourite experts on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

You can use Flipboard, Medium, Pocket and Feedly to track your favourite subjects.

Even while doing day-to-day research you come across lots of valuable content that you may not use immediately, but sometime in the future. You can create a repository of such links using the notetaking app like Google Keep, Evernote or OneNote (both Evernote and OneNote have web clipper add-ons that allow you to save information immediately).

Then, later on, you can come back to the links that you have saved, and then use them to create curated or aggregated content.

How curated or aggregated content helps you improve your SEO

A big part of SEO is publishing high-quality content regularly.

Regularity is very important because search engines, especially Google, are constantly looking for new content to index and rank.

Your competitors are constantly pumping new content into the search engine indexes to stay ahead of you.

So, it is very essential for your SEO that you publish content regularly.

But constantly coming up with new content writing ideas can be a Herculean task.

You may require a dedicated person just to come up with great content writing ideas.

If you don’t have a dedicated person, the second-best thing is to curate or aggregate the best content from the web.

Curating content not only helps you publish content regularly, it also gives you new content writing ideas.

When you are constantly curating or aggregating content on a specific topic, you become a repository of knowledge about the topic.

Google begins to consider you as the go-to destination for the subject.

For example, if I start aggregating lots of content on content writing and content marketing, Google begins to think that I am managing some sort of an online directory or forum with lots of information on content writing and content marketing, and hence, starts giving me preference over other websites.

Can you completely depend on curated or aggregated content for SEO and marketing?

Read Can you use content curation as a viable content marketing tool?

It depends.

If you want to create your own brand, you need to publish original content. You need to come up with  original thoughts and ideas.

Sure, you can curate lots of focused content, but then you will be known as a curator or an aggregator rather than a thought leader.

Ideally, people should be curating your content.

So, what I suggest is, use curation and aggregation as a break from your routine publishing original content.

When you feel stuck, but you still want to publish content, resort to curating and aggregating.

Otherwise, there is nothing like publishing original content.

Can you use content curation as a viable content marketing tool?

curation for content marketingIn my previous blog post, 10 ways to write highly engaging content, I briefly touched upon the topic of content curation – collecting useful information from all over the Internet and compiling it into a single link.

Can content curation become a viable content marketing tool for your business? Or will you be sending traffic to your competitors?

Many content marketers believe that if you curate lots of content you are mostly sending traffic away from your website rather than drawing traffic to your own website by creating high-quality genuine content.

Although the importance of high-quality genuine content can never be understated, there are some instances when you can use content curation to boost your content marketing. For example, you can use content curation when

  • You don’t have enough time to create your own, high-quality, genuine content
  • Someone else has explained better what you have always wanted to explain to your visitors
  • You want to present as many viewpoints as possible pertaining to a topic or subject
  • You want to create a repository of opinions for solutions pertaining to a particular topic
  • You want to introduce authority into a topic

See for example this Content Marketing Institute blog post – What does engaging content mean?. As you can see, instead of presenting her own views on what is engaging content through the entire blog post, the author has collected opinions of various content marketing and content writing experts on what engaging content means.

This blog post titled How to add value with content curation rightly says that there is a huge quantity of content on the Internet with limited shelf life. By the time people find useful information it is outdated or they no longer need it.

Since you must be in the thick of your subject matter, you may have access to many resources that your visitors may not have. So, there is a greater chance of you coming across great, useful information. Instead of simply consuming that bit of information, you can mention it on your website along with the original link, the way I’m doing with this blog post on content curation.

This further explains that content curation doesn’t just mean collecting lots of links and creating a big list of useful links. You can also use just one link and then quickly create a small blog post with your own input, again, the way I’m doing with this particular blog post on content curation. In fact, I often do that. When I cannot come up with a good idea for a blog post, I simply search on the web for some ideas, and when I find an interesting link, I write a few words about that link and sometimes, it turns into a complete blog post.

Another benefit of linking to outside links is it is appreciated by the original publishers. If they like your response, they promote your link among their own followers. This helps your content marketing.