The practice of blog curation is a magnificent asset to bloggers and content marketers as they seek to find and share great content.
What is blog curation? It's the practice of sifting through vast amounts of digital content from a variety of sources, and then cataloging and presenting the most meaningful pieces to users in a convenient, valuable format. One of the reasons blogs have thrived is because they deliver content of high interest to a specific audience. If you can pull together a wide array of information and distill it into meaningful tips and actionable items – and then index those into easily accessible categories – your blog will grow (maybe skyrocket) in popularity.
Consider The Huffington Post. The strikingly successful blog is one of the most popular and profitable curators of Web content ever – they create some content, invite contributors to guest post and gather the most interesting links and articles from around the Web. Then they provide it to users in an easy-to-use, intuitive format. Visitors don't want to search the Internet all day for related material, so The Huffington Post does it for them, and they stay to read more.
If you're a blogger looking to help your blog grow, here are some tips to get you started:
Establish CredibilityDon't just retweet other people's links all day – be part of the content you're presenting. This helps a blogger build credibility. For example, if you blog about streaming popular music, write posts that demonstrate you have a fan's interest in it. If you work in insurance circles, write an insider's tips blog for insurance seekers, noting that information in your bio. If you blog about online security, cover identity theft protection companies like Lifelock. Develop relationships within the industry or niche you cover to show you're in the game. You'll stand a better chance of gaining readers' trust and page views.
Be ShareableOnce you've set yourself up as a passionate and involved blogger, start creating content and share often. Blog, tweet and post on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest. Pay attention to how and where others share your content, and the topics that prompt them to do so.
Of course, you'll have sharing tools ("Share This" buttons) enabled on your blog, but don't forget to ask your readers to subscribe to your future posts, too.
Curate ContentGood bloggers help others find the best content on a particular topic. Organize the best articles, images, and videos about your topic from all over the web. Set up feeds that address your niche and link these to your blog. You can also set up a Pinterest pinboard for relevant images and videos, and link these boards back to your blog. This opens you up to a much wider audience and drives more traffic to your blog.
It's also important you link to relevant previously published content in your posts. This keeps readers engaged in your blog and increases the time they spend there.
Stuck in a Content Rut?Here are 10 great ways to find ideas:
1. Twitter Lists. Create a list in your Twitter account of the top influencers in your niche or industry. Pay attention to what gets tweeted and retweeted the most.
2. Post Again on Popular Topics. Look at your comments, social shares and analytics to determine your most popular posts. Write a follow-up article or update on popular topics. If you find a concept theme or content type that works, keep doing it.
3. Ask Their Opinion. Ask friends and followers a compelling question on Facebook or Twitter, and use the best answers will help you create your next post. Start a Facebook group about your blog or niche and invite friends to join. Ask for their ideas; great ideas for blog posts can emerge from these conversations.
4. Google Research Keyword Phrases. Think about keyword phrases related to your niche and type them into Google search. The results are sure to give you some ideas for fresh content.
5. Read Forums. Read user forums to find out what people are talking about in your niche. After you publish your blog post, share it with a relevant discussion thread on the forum.
6. Compile Best-Of Lists. Stay on top of your niche's latest trends and compile “best of” lists for your readers.
7. Keep It Current. Search Google News for your niche topic and write a different viewpoint on what's news.
8. Trending Topics on Twitter. Go to Twitter.com and view the list of the top 10 items that are trending. Think of how they relate to your niche and write a blog post about one or more of them.
9. Read Other Bloggers. Get inspired by the blogs you love to read. Be sure to link to their blog post and thank them. Leave a blog comment with a link back to your site to start a dialogue.
10. Invite Guest Bloggers. Recruit guest bloggers if you're stuck for ideas or just want to ramp up the frequency of posts on your blog. It helps everyone involved and builds stronger relationships.
The world's inundated with information, and people will listen to you because you provide them with relevant content in a world filled with noise.