Neil Patel

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How To Save Time And Drive ROI With Content Curation

content curation

I’m going to be honest with you.

I love writing. But even I’ll admit that it can be pretty exhausting.

The process of planning, producing, and editing original content can take days or even weeks to complete.

So I use a time-saving but money-making method that helps me publish content without burning out.

It’s called content curation.

Content curation is the act of collecting high-quality sources from the web and sharing it with my audience.

For example, when I can’t brainstorm new blog ideas, I share incredible insights or infographics from other online experts.

I save myself time and effort, and I help a fellow marketing nerd out by sharing his or her content.

And I still maintain my high online traffic. Sometimes it doubles!

Save time and drive your ROI by adding content curation to every stage of your marketing strategy.

Here are four easy yet powerful curation methods that will grow your online traffic:

  • Report breaking news with newsjacking.
  • Get influencers’ attention with round-up posts.
  • Stay relevant with curated newsletters.
  • Increase your social media following by reposting.

These methods might seem complicated at first. But luckily for you, I’m going to break down each tactic.

You’ll be a content curation master in no time.

Report breaking news with newsjacking 

Newsjacking is very common in the journalism world. It’s when you paraphrase a news article, then add your commentary or interpretations to it.

Have you noticed that popular news and gossip sites always report on the same trending topics? And don’t claim copyright?

It’s because they’re using the same sources. Or they’re referencing each other.

For example, CNN will initially report an event. Then Business Insider will reference CNN in their summary of that event.

Or a Tweet on Twitter goes viral and Daily Mail writes a 1,000-word article about it.
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This practice is so popular because website traffic tends to explode from the relevance and timeliness of breaking news.

That’s how Mike Allton increased his website traffic by 2,500% by reporting on Vine.

When Vine announced that they were shutting down, Mike knew he had to write about it.

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But first, he had to ask himself these three questions:

  • Is the news interesting and relevant to my audience? (If not, ignore it.)
  • Am I interested in writing about this news? (If not, share the original source.)
  • Do I have time right now to write and publish an article? (If not, share the original source.)

He answered yes to all the questions and started working. He expanded on the Medium post, published the article on his blog and email list, and optimized it for SEO.

Soon, Google started ranking it high for keywords like “what’s happening to Vine.

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Usually, Mike’s blog posts get an average of 750 visitors over 30 days. But this blog post received 20,051 views over a 4-day period! That’s a 2,500% increase in traffic!

And as of today, it has been shared 1.3K times.

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Get similar results by riding the waves of trending topics. But you need to understand that there’s a fine line between newsjacking and violating someone else’s copyright.

Here’s how to guarantee that you won’t get in trouble.

How to effectively newsjack

1. Be very selective.

Just because a topic is trending doesn’t mean you should report on it. The failure to be selective will cause a PR nightmare.

Not everyone can indulge in the positive press that Whataburger got for newsjacking the Meek Mill vs. Drake beef on Twitter.

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2. Credit your sources.

To protect your credibility, you must credit the website, writer, or content page you took your information from.

Provide direct links to articles and the writer’s social media accounts. Put captions on images and embed their videos.

If they don’t have a writer profile, search their name on Google. Here’s how you can confirm a writer’s identity with Buzzfeed.

First, click on the writer’s bio.
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Confirm their name and job title by visiting their social media accounts.

3. Offer your twist.

You have to work harder to stand out from the major media sites. Be unique by offering your opinion on a topic. It can be controversial, funny, or inspiring.

But it should never be boring. Expand on the news by taking the source content in a new direction.

Here’s Gary Vaynerchuk’s commentary on the success of Uber and Airbnb.

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4. Don’t rush to be first.

Fake news has been a problem since long before the recent presidential election. When major news breaks, media sites rush to report it first.

But this shouldn’t be your mentality because you’ll be vulnerable to mistakes and untrustworthy sources.

I know this goes against the newsjacking model (presented below), but I recommend waiting 48 hours to report on the news.

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But if you do want to publish first, be transparent by explaining that new updates on the story are coming.

5. Use relevant keywords.

When you’re done writing your article, it’s time to promote it.

Use the names of people, places, and events in your social media posts. Tag relevant people to piggyback on their audiences.

Like Mike from The Social Media Hat, confirm that your blog post is optimized to rank in Google.

How to find breaking and viral news fast

I just taught you the basics of newsjacking. Now I’m going to explain how to get the hottest news quickly.

Sign up for Google Alerts

Get the latest news on specific topics and keywords sent to your email inbox.

First, go to Google Alerts. Enter the keywords you want to monitor.

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Google will give you a preview of the notifications they’ll send you.

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Click Show Options. Filter your alerts by frequency, location, and source type.

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Follow major news sites and subscribe to their newsletters.

Find what’s trending by following the leading media sites in your industry.

Read articles on their websites or watch videos on their YouTube channels.

But if you want daily updates, subscribe to their email newsletters.

You can subscribe by entering your email in a popup form. Or search for “website + newsletter” in Google.

Follow breaking political news by subscribing to CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC.

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Get the latest celebrity news with DailyMail, Cosmopolitan, and People Magazine.

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Find what’s hot online with Reddit, Buzzfeed, and Upworthy.

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Get influencers’ attention with round-up posts

I love these pieces! They’re easy to digest and full of valuable information.

A roundup post is a collection of curated links or excerpts focused on a specific theme. These posts have many forms.

  • Weekly compilations
  • Lists
  • Expert roundups
  • Top or best of
  • Content roundups

These curated blog posts are addictive to marketers and writers.

Use these posts as networking tools when you reach out to influencers. They’ll appreciate you featuring them on your blog and exposing them to your audience.

That’s how SEO expert Shae Baxter boosted her blog’s traffic by 80%.

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She asked 44 networking experts for advice on how introverts can be social butterflies at parties.

The round-up post was a mega success with these results:

  • Attracted over 960 social shares
  • Generated 2,875 page views on the first day and 5,568 page views in the first week
  • Generated a lot of inbound links
  • Boosted her new blog’s organic search engine traffic by over 80%
  • Got first-page ranking on Google for two target keywords

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Heck, you can do a less serious post by copying and pasting expert interviews and articles. You’ll still get traction.

Just remember to credit your sources.

How to write a quick but effective round-post

1. Find an interesting topic.

Don’t waste time with information that isn’t relevant. Use social media, Buzzsumo, and Google’s keyword planner to find content that your audience wants to learn more about.

2. Do your research.

Search all over the web to find articles, products, or interviews that you can include in your post.

Spend time filtering through this mass content to find the best and most helpful sources that your readers will love.

This will be easier with the tools and resources I’ll be sharing later.

3. Add context.

When you link to other sources and report on others’ information, make sure you clarify why the content is valuable to your readers.

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4. Verify your citations and links.

Keep your credibility by linking to the source you curated. Cite the authors and websites that own the content. This will help their SEO.

5. Promote your post.

Even if your post isn’t epic, you should still promote it to influencers. Reach out to the brands and experts featured in your post via Twitter or email.

Tell them why they’re featured and how their content helped your readers. Influencers might share the post, like in the Tweet below:

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Stay relevant with curated newsletters

Many startups and online businesses have profited from the content they shared in their email newsletters. Huckberry and Product Hunt are two prime examples.

They grow their online presence by sharing blog posts, products, and services that will benefit their audience.

Most brands send self-curated emails promoting their website’s content. An example is Brit + Co.’s newsletter.

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These newsletters notify subscribers of new blog posts and re-promote articles they never saw before.

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Curating other people’s content saves you a lot of time when you don’t have enough of your own.

Provide value by promoting interesting articles relevant to your niche and audience.

Growth Startups is an agency that curates articles about online marketing from other blogs in their newsletter. So when you click a link, you get directed to a different site.

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Curating content is how The Skimm grew to over 3 million subscribers with a 40% open rate.

This daily newsletter targets female millennials in a funny and conversational tone. They share the latest trending news while summarizing it in everyday language.

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Cash in on content curation by featuring sponsored ads. Millo, a blog dedicated to helping freelancers, has paid features in its email newsletters.

They share excerpts of their latest blog post and links to podcasts shows (the red boxes).

But they also provide enough room to promote their sponsors (the green boxes).

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If you don’t want to share content for free, search for businesses that can sponsor you and help your audience.

How to send great curated newsletters

1. Have a consistent theme 

Increase engagement with content about a particular theme or topic. For example, Food Sense shares tasty recipes.

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Underwaterpistol or UWP is a creative agency and Shopify partner that shares resources and articles on how to grow your Shopify store.

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Go beyond basic sharing with a consistent color scheme and format. Whenever your subscribers open your emails, they know it’s from you simply because of the design.

2. Decide on a frequency.

When you have an idea of what you want to curate, decide how often you want to share. Do you want to send your newsletters once a week? Every four stories? Whatever you choose, stick with it!

3. Share what you love.

Build trust with your subscribers by collecting links to resources and tools that you recommend. If someone signs up to your newsletter, they most likely want to know more about you and the processes you use to grow your business.

4. Verify and include links with excerpts.

When curating content, make sure that every link is working. Double check that they don’t direct viewers to the wrong page.

Make your links more clickable by sharing excerpts of the content you’re promoting. Meistertask does this well:

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5. Use templates.

Save time by using your email marketing services’ templates. Most of them have an RSS format so you don’t have to create new ones.

Set up an RSS newsletter that will notify subscribers by the frequency you choose. Try to build a simple newsletter with the links you collect.

5 places to get awesome content

Never miss an update with Feedly.

This service allows you to subscribe and save content from publications, blogs, YouTube channels, and even Google alerts. Organize your feed for easy reading and sharing.

You might be confused when you first enter your dashboard. But don’t worry. I’m going to show you how to find editorial and video content.

Go to the bottom left corner and click Add Content.

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You’ll get two options: Publications & Blogs and Keyword alerts. So you’ll receive Google Alerts here instead of your inbox.

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If you click on Publications & Blogs, you can find publishers by keyword or hashtag search.

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Or enter a URL or name to find a specific website.

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To subscribe to a YouTube channel, you must copy and paste the channel’s URL into the search box.

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Follow their channel and watch their latest videos in your Feedly. pasted image 0 1184

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Read recommended articles with Pocket

Save articles in Pocket to read later.

Personally, I save articles with their Google Chrome extension. I just click on it and a website page is saved. It also has Android and iOS apps.

You can save and share on your phone or tablet if that’s more convenient.

But be aware that Pocket downloads every piece of content you save to your memory card to offer offline viewing. If you don’t like this feature, turn it off in Settings.

What I admire about Pocket is that they recommend high-quality articles tailored to your reading history.

They’re written by the top publications on the Internet and have been shared thousands of times.

Here’s how you can read them:

Click on the Recommended tab.

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Find all the articles Pocket suggests for you.pasted image 0 1178

But sometimes the content you want isn’t in this tab. Discover more articles by clicking on the Explore tab.

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You’ll get directed to a page where you can find content by keyword or topic. I entered marketing and clicked Search Pocket.

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I get high-quality and relevant results from authoritative sites in my industry. These are pieces of content worthy to curate in newsletters and round-up posts.

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Read fascinating articles on Medium

On Medium, you’ll find thoughtful articles about your niche written by influencers and award-winning writers.

I use it all the time for my daily reading.

Medium’s interface is pretty self-explanatory. Search and find content by topic, author, business, or brand:

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You can engage with posts by liking them or bookmarking them to read later.

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Find viral content with Pinterest

Pinterest is a content-curation gold mine. When I need inspiration about anything, I use it to find what’s trending.

Some of the most popular content on the web doesn’t rank highly in Google’s SERPs.

If I want to share content about healthy food for puppies, I do a simple keyword search.

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Pinterest gives me hundreds of results in a beautiful and colorful dashboard. These results tell me what people like and want to share.

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All of these pins contain potential content that I can curate.

I spot a pin with over 106K shares! This is obviously the content puppy owners want to consume.

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I click on the pin and get directed to a page that hosts the infographic.

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I can reference this page in related blog posts, emails, and social media posts.

Use AllTop to find the newest stories

Want the most recent news from top media sites all in one place? Then AllTop is the place for you.

This is great if you don’t want to open newsletters all the time.

Find trending content from your niche by searching keywords and picking topics.

For example, I searched for “blog.”

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A big drop-down menu opens so you specify your results. I picked “blogging.”

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My results are popular websites with their five most recent posts about blogging.

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Increase your social media following by reposting

Grow your following and engagement by reposting popular photos and videos.

The most popular pages do this all the time.

FatFree Vegan Kitchen has about 51.2K followers because they re-pin vegan recipes.

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Re-Post Images on Instagram

Reposting is the fastest and easiest way you to create an influx of content on Instagram.

Future Bikini grew their following by reposting photos of beautiful women.

They curated content from models, photographers, and swimsuit partners’ pages to build a fanbase of beach-loving female millennials.

This hack is how the page grew to 200K followers in less than a year.

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Most of us aren’t talented photographers or connected to fashion models.

But that’s OK.

Improvise by re-posting beautiful images from other profiles or websites.

No matter where you choose to repost from, don’t forget to give credit. If you don’t, people will call you out and might report you.

Tag the talent and creative team that worked on the photo. If there’s no source for an image, just tag the website where you got it, like @weheartit or @tumblr.

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Create curated pin boards

Grow your engagement on Pinterest by organizing and adding related content to custom pin boards.

He Spoke Style, a men’s fashion blog, is great at this.

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Organize your boards by theme. Every board should focus on a particular idea, and every pin added to it should complement it.

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Find pins by searching for related keywords. Add them to their corresponding boards, like He Spoke Style‘s Hatsoff board.

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Grow your following by adding photos and links from a website or your computer.

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Also, you can add pins by clicking Pinterest sharing buttons on pages or photos.

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Make your pins and boards more findable by adding relevant keywords to the description section. Don’t forget to add links to every pin.

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Share links on Twitter

According to Growth Rabbit, there’s a 70/30 rule to winning on Twitter. You share 70% of other people’s content and share 30% of your own.

Retweeting and sharing links on Twitter will grow your following. People will see you as an authority and will connect with you.

But it’s really easy to get lost in your feed. So take advantage of searching and lists.

Use keyword search to find industry publications and influencers. Click on the People tab for the most relevant results.

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Use Twitter Suggests to find more related influencers. Follow a user, and Twitter will recommend similar people to follow.

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Next, add users to lists so you’ll only monitor Tweets from their feeds.

Click on your profile’s icon. Select Lists from the drop-down menu.

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You’ll be directed to the list page. On the sidebar, under Create a List, select Create New List.

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A popup will appear. Add the name and description of your list. Set your privacy settings to private or public, depending on your preferences.

If you choose public, the people you add will be notified that you added them to your list. When you’re finished, click Save List.

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To add a profile to your list, click on the overflow icon and select Add or remove from lists. You don’t need to follow a user to add them to a list.

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To confirm a user, check the box next to the list you want to add them to. Uncheck to remove a profile.

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Go to the Lists Tab on your profile to find your list.

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Click on a list and you’ll see a filtered feed of the users you added. You can retweet content right from the feed.

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But don’t share content only from your list. Support other creators by sharing directly to Twitter with social media buttons.

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Save time on your content marketing schedule by using curated content instead of publishing new content.

You’ll increase your ROI by adding content curation to every stage of your marketing strategy.

By reporting the latest news in blog posts, sharing high-quality content in newsletters, and re-posting beautiful photos on social media, you’ll become a curation guru!

You don’t have to publish original content (though I highly recommend it) to build an audience and grow your online traffic.

Publishers have made online empires just by collecting and elaborating on content from other people.

So there are no more excuses for why your brand or business isn’t practicing content marketing.

I hope you try the practices and resources above and track your results.

Look at your notifications, open rates, shares, and comments. Try to notice a difference in engagement.

How do you curate content? And how does it help your goals?

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