How to Explain Content Curation to a Five Year…

Any business with an online presence will understand how important content marketing has become, enabling companies to attract new visitors, form relationships, and ultimately generate more sales. But while we are all familiar with the concept of creating content – whether that’s an article, an infographic, or a video – many will be less familiar with the concept of content curation. With increasing pressure on businesses to provide a steady flow of interesting content, there is not always enough time in the day to fulfill the original content quota. Content curation fills the gap, helping business owners and marketers to grow their blogs by cherry picking the best content from other sources, and presenting that information in a different way. So, how do we explain this concept to a five year old?

Daddy, what is content curation?

Content curation is a bit like rummaging around in a toy chest, sifting through various options until you find what you’re looking for. There may be some sorting and arranging to do, and each day you will probably be drawn to something different. And while you may not have invented Dora the Explorer, Barney the Dinosaur or the yellow Teletubby, you can certainly bring the three together to create a new story that hasn’t been told before.

Content curation doesn’t mean writing new content: it involves seeking out, compiling, and sharing content that is already out there. And as we all know, sharing is important.

It’s a great tactic for busy marketers, which enables you to keep on top of your online presence and provide extra value for your customers. To build lasting relationships, we must share our discoveries. Don’t keep all the Teletubbies to yourself.

Where do I find things to share?

You know what you’re interested in, and what your playmates (customers) find interesting. There’s a lot of variety out there – re-watching Frozen, finger painting, building with Lego, making blanket forts, digging for worms, etc. Once you’ve selected your favorite things, you need to find sources to curate from, such as the craft cupboard, the linen drawer, or the shed. Sources you can trust to provide the adequate raw materials. 

When it comes to business, there are just as many sources available to derive quality content from. Ideally, they should be sources that you and your customers are already familiar with, and which you know to be reliable. These might include:

  • Industry blogs
  • Trade publications
  • Twitter lists
  • Social influencers
  • LinkedIn
  • Newsletters
  • Scientific journals
  • Feed readers

Try looking everywhere – you never know what you might find.

How do I show people what I’ve found?

Well Jimmy, you can do that in a number of ways.

A popular way to share curated content is with a weekly blog post. Another way to look at it might be ‘show and tell’, where every Friday you bring what you’ve found to class and share your thoughts with the group. Link roundups are simple to make and can be very helpful to readers, essentially finding the best of what’s out there so they don’t have to. Here’s an example of a roundup from the Huffington Post: The 25 Greatest Viral Videos Of All Time.

Another way that you can shared curated content is via an email newsletter. This can be seen as the digital equivalent of collecting together some of the best things you’ve found that week – perhaps a toy car, a Happy Meal toy, or some Pokemon memorabilia – putting them in a box and sending them to your friend. Except on a much bigger scale, to a lot of friends. And you still get to keep the toys as well. Here are 7 examples of exceptional curated emails, including a weekly new images update from Unsplash, and curated events from the CMO Council. If you can highlight your own guest content, as Influence & Co. does, then you’re onto a winner.

The last (but not least) way to share curated content is via your social media channels. Think of this as the stuff you show your friends when you’re out in the playground. And it’ll likely be a real mix of things – it might be something you’ve found one moment, like a frog or a really great conker, or it might be something you made yourself, like a daisy chain or a drawing. All are equally exciting, and it’s ok to show things that aren’t necessary your own creation. In fact, you should. Variety keeps things interesting.

A good rule of thumb for social media goes 5-3-2: that is, for every 10 posts, 5 should be content shared from others, 3 should be content from you, and 2 should be personal. Here’s more on how and why the 5-3-2 rule works.


Ah yes. A timeless and inexhaustible question.

Let us consider the modern consumer, and indeed child. They are increasingly attached to smartphones (or some other connected device). They are hyper-connected to a world of information, even while on the go, which allows them to make purchase decisions based on their own research. ‘Sales’ in the traditional sense in dying out – now you’ve got to be riding the content marketing bandwagon (or kids’ ride-on electric car) if you want to have a chance of success.

Every ecommerce business needs a blog. Look at our online business and ecommerce platforms. WordPress is tailored heavily towards blogging. Shopify has blogging software built into its system, encouraging store owners to get writing and sharing. This is a direct response to the consumer environment, which demands informative, relevant content to facilitate research. But of course, as we’ve discussed, coming up with new content every day, or every week, is not always feasible. Content curation is what helps busy brands to keep up – and the content itself is no less useful. By delivering on a regular basis, you can improve your SEO, position yourself as a thought leader, generate new leads, and have regular material for your social media pages.

Or to put it another way, you will be the child that the others like and trust, because you show yourself to be curious, clever, and sociable.

Whether you’re part of a busy marketing team, or running your own one-person operation from home, using a tool like MyCurator will make sure you are always able to deliver relevant content to your readers. All you need to do is select your preferred sources, and the content will be delivered to you via RSS feeds. When you select a piece of content to include, MyCurator pre-fills the post with editable content, saving considerable time when putting together a fully curated article. In summary, it’s like having your favorite bedtime stories – and others like them – dropping into your bookshelf every day. Just don’t keep them to yourself.

Gareth Simpson – Technical SEO & Startup Founder

Gareth is a veteran SEO and content marketer with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He loves to share his knowledge with others online. You’ll find him working hard on growing his business and writing content.

9 Common Misconceptions about Content Curation Content Curation

Common Myths about Content Curation

I’ve heard a lot of these in my contacts with clients and at WordCamps this year.  This article brings the most common myths together in one place, with solid answers for all of them.  Content Curation is not a short cut or a magic bullet.  It takes some work.  MyCurator can help, but it doesn’t do it all.

If you’ve spent any time in the content marketing space recently, you’re probably well aware that content curation is a major topic of conversation. It appears that most people fall into one of two camps: either you’re totally gung-ho about content curation or you think content curation is killing the industry.

How Lazy Content Curation Is Ruining Your Influencer Relationships Content Curation

How Lazy Content Curation Is Ruining Your Influencer Relationships

This is a good article by About Erika Heald at about the many ways that content curation can be done badly.  It gives nice insight into how it feels to have your work copied without attribution.  Worth a read and has some tips to re-iterate good practices at the end.

In the start-up marketing world, I’ve often heard the adage “ask forgiveness, not permission.” Unfortunately, it seems many content producers are living by this advice, and unwittingly sabotaging the very influencer relationships they hope to build through their content curation process .

You see, influencers are tired of having their name and hard work appropriated by brands they don’t know.

Improve Your Content Curation Strategy with These 5 Tips Content Curation

Curate Content that Inserts You Into the Conversation

This Post from Marissa Burdett on Hootsuite provides a new angle on how to think about curation.  I like her focus on inserting yourself into conversations rather than just posting content.

MyCurator is a great tool for finding and posting content, but how you approach your curation is key to its success.  Read her articles for some fresh ideas.  Do you think it helps your curation process?

To make a stronger impact, think of curation differently: it is not a replacement for interaction, but rather a tool to spark conversations. #HootChat regular, Martin Lieberman, puts it this way:

If all you do is push content, all you’re going to get is retweets. If you engage, you’ll get a whole lot more replies. Which do YOU want?

Thinking about curation as an active process inserts your brand into the equation. It’s okay to use tools to automate the process so long as you are involved before and after content is shared. Remember, good curation doesn’t end with a shared link—take it one step further and engage.

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Content Curation as Part of Your Blogging Strategy Content Curation

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Content Curation as…

As a blogger, you may think you are generating enough content.  As this article points out though, content curation adds a new element to your work.  It allows you to “offer your reader the world and a broader information experience.”   MyCurator it makes it easy to begin curation on your WordPress blog.  And our Notebooks capability allow you to save up interesting articles for more complex curations or as source information for your original content.

Content curation has been around for a while, but many bloggers, including book marketers, don’t realize the advantages or benefits it offers.

This form of marketing comes in various forms throughout the internet. Of those variations there is one common thread: content curation is related to article marketing, or more specifically to content marketing.

How To Create Free Content For My Website: Small Business Owner Guide Content Curation

How To Create Free Content For My Website: Small…

As the snippet below says, this author shows you examples of content you can create for your small business site.  I like the article because it shows a broad range of content possibilities.  Also it covers all the bases, from curation to some simple to do content creation.  MyCurator can help with all of these ideas, and our Notebooks feature can help you gather information for a round-up post of many articles.

I’m sure that by now you know the benefits of content marketing. But, if you run a small business, probably the last thing you want to do is focus on creating great content right? And creating content is only one piece of the content marketing puzzle.

I’ll show you several examples of content that you can create for your small business with almost zero writing from your part and almost no money (your time costs so there’s no such thing as zero cost).

5 Simple Content Curation Methods (Plus a 9-Point Checklist) Content Curation

5 Simple Content Curation Methods (Plus a 9-Point Checklist)

This article did a good job with graphics to get across the basic points of content curation.  Also review the checklist at the end.  MyCurator can help you with all of the key items.

To understand the role of a content curator, let’s curate a quote from Mashable (a digital platform built almost entirely on curated content) that compares it to “that person at the beach with the metal detector, surfacing items and relics of perceived value.”

View Original at

How a Knowledge Discovery Program Elevates Your Content Curation Content Curation

How a Knowledge Discovery Program Elevates Your Content Curation

For clients who are part of larger corporations it pays to take a broader look at curation, including your own internal corporate information.  This article makes the case that you should take a knowledge management approach to curation, including not only we information but internal information and premium subscriptions.

Even if you are just a small business, it pays to broaden your curation with some of your own internal knowledge.  Maybe have some of your key people write articles for your site about areas of their expertise.  Maybe you can post excerpts of studies or white papers you write.  MyCurator can help scour the web for data, but don’t forget your own staff and business knowledge!

Marketers need to keep their pipeline full of the most relevant and cutting-edge content that will effectively speak to their audience and convert them into qualified leads. The problem; however, is that curating that content takes a lot of time — and if you’re manually searching the web for new ideas, it’s likely that you’re missing some impactful gems.

Content curation tools can help speed up your searching by serving you relevant articles based on pre-selected keywords; however, these tools are missing one vital component of a sound content curation program: internal content.

Why You Should Be Curating Content Content Curation

Why You Should Be Curating Content

The basics of why you should be using content curation.  It takes focus, work and time, but these four outcomes are achievable.  MyCurator is the WordPress plugin that will help you get there.

  • Improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – By creating a piece of content that is targeted for a specific keyword and also contains a lot of links to credible sources, your SEO (i.e. the ability of people to find you on Google) will definitely improve.
  • Gain More Credibility – Sharing high-quality, useful content increases trust and ultimately your own credibility and authority (even if you didn’t write the article yourself!)
  • Grow Traffic to Your Website – More content (especially content that’s already been proven to be popular) translates into more website traffic.
  • Increase Leads and Prospects – In turn, more website traffic translates into more leads and ultimately more sales.
How to Curate Content Your Readers Will Love Content Curation

Content Curation’s Next Innovation Cycle Will be Interesting

This is a look at the future of video curation.  As the author points out, video is much harder to curate by computer than text.  Machine recognition of video is very limited at the cost point of a typical small business.  MyCurator uses Google Alerts with a Video source, tapping into Google’s capabilities to identify video for your keywords.

While I have no doubt that computers will get better at identifying video over time.  It is the human skill of curation that makes the difference for most audiences, just as it is for articles.  The quote from the article below is a nice summary of this view.

How great is the value of being served vs being surprised . This is of course personal, but I think we are about to be fed up with being served what we are expected to want to read and will see more value in being surprised, challenged and emotionally engaged in new ways.