A lot of people are talking about content curating these days. People are saying that it’s really important, it’s great, it’s awesome, it’s a growing part of the online world, et cetera ad infinitum. And hey, I’m really happy about that (cough, Blog Library, cough). But apart from the fact that it’s just plain enjoyable, not a lot of people really emphasize why it’s beneficial to curate content. The fact is, for me, working as an online content curator has helped me grow my online community.
How does that work? I’m so glad you asked!
You Visit A Lot of Blog Sites
Let me tell you, there are a lot of fantastic writers out there. Many of them are so good that once you find them, you can’t imagine reading anyone else. But then you find another person who is just as good. It can become easy to just get in the habit of visiting the same sites every day, or maybe just putting a few sites into your Google Reader or your Triberr account and leaving it at that. But when you curate content, you need to go beyond your own front yard. You need to try to find new people so that your audience remains interested in what you are doing.
Guess what happens when you visit other blog sites? You meet new people! You start commenting on those posts, thereby networking not just with the blogger but also with his or her audience. Pretty soon, you’re talking to them all on other platforms, and there you have it – you’re starting to add to your community!
You read a lot of different perspectives or opinions
Another benefit to curating content for your community is that you are offering perspectives and opinions that are not just, well, yours. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your opinion, of course, but people sometimes like to see what else is out there. Just like Ariel the Mermaid, they want to know what lurks above your part of the sea. If you provide access to that information, you keep your audience engaged and you also can entice people who may not relate 100% to your perspective but who enjoy reading some of the other perspectives you curate. Woops, there goes your community, growing again!
You reveal your likes and dislikes
I think curating content reveals a lot about a person. I’m sure that if you look at some of the curating I’ve done over the last year or so, you can get an idea of what kind of stuff I like and what kind of stuff I don’t like. You might get a feel for my sense of humor or for what I find touching. These are deep-seated aspects of a person that may not come across through a blog post here or there. By adding other peoples’ content to your world, you are rounding yourself out as an online entity. This makes it easier for people to engage with you, or at least easier for them to argue with you. Either way, the community grows.
Mentioning and promoting another person’s post is a good way to give back
Finally, it’s important not to overlook the fact that curating someone’s content is a way to tell them that you appreciate their work. I could retweet a ton of posts and I’m sure that would be fine, but I really enjoy the opportunity curating gives me to explain why I like a post as much as I do. What did the blogger say that really stuck with me? Why did I like the post so much? This helps my audience relate to the post, sure, but it’s also my way of telling the blogger how I really feel about what he or she is up to. Without agenda, without intent other than to gather good content together, you can bring a smile to a blogger’s face. What better foundation for community is there?
Now of course there are other benefits to curating content. If you do it a certain way maybe you get a lot of backlinks. Maybe you get traffic to your site. That’s what a lot of people focus on. But for me, it’s all about the community building.
Have you given content curation a try? Do you find these things I say to be true? Let’s chat about it!
Image by Iwan Beijes. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/iwanbeijes