In my previous posts I have talked – a lot! – about social networks and sharing. I only briefly touched upon that which is being shared. Content. Loads of content.
This post is different. It’s shorter. And it can be summed up as follows:
If you hang around online long enough you’ll notice content is being reduced, re-used and yes, recycled endlessly.
I’ll be the first to admit that not everyone can blog full-time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t share your expertise. First, here is what you don’t do.
Definite don’ts in content curation
Here are some methods of re-using content you really should not consider:
- Complete blog posts copied into a company website. Luckily I haven’t seen much of this, yet. “Text produced originally on blog X” – This had better be evergreen content because whatever it is, it’s not news. Stay well away from the murky waters of content theft.
- Tweets that contain no reference to the author of the content it is linking to. This method suggests to casual observers that you’re rolling in home-made content. I’ve seen this a couple of times. How will anyone be able to tell quickly what your personal expertise is?
- Blogs on company websites that contain image and some text from a different blog, add sauce “Well I think it’s a great contribution on subject X…” blah, blah. Actually I ran into one of these recently. Reading this particular blog left me feeling disappointed and guess what? I went to the original blog that was way better than the drivel I’d just read.
How to apply your expertise effectively
Great ways to use existing content without spending a lot of (extra) time can be swept into two heaps: social network updates, and the light version of blogging.
Updates are great if you don’t want to start blogging in any way:
- Start by mentioning the original author’s name (Twitter handle for preference) in all your tweets, pins and updates.
- Refashion the original title if necessary. Make sure your text reflects what you think makes this content worth reading or viewing.
- Use keywords or hashtags depending on what your audience likes – only if they suit the content of course.
If this sounds like a lot of work in a tight space, you’re right. But it will cost you less time than drafting a full-length original blog post. The same goes for ‘light’ blogging:
- Write a “Top 3” based on articles you’ve read on a subject in the past week. While you read, jot down what each article adds to your line of work. It doesn’t really matter where you do this: in Notepad, or directly into your planned blog post. Whatever works for you.
- Or you can collect a few snippets of text and proceed in much the same way.
- If you’re good at visual representations it’s faster and easier to (re-)visualize content than to write about it.
Your main aim should be to inject your expert opinion, however briefly.
The content curation methods I’ve just described will not lead you to eternal glory but they will allow you to show your expertise without risking your professional credibility or possibly even legal issues.
Do you curate existing content often? Did I miss any methods to curate successfully? If so, you’re welcome to add your comment to my list!
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