Last time we talked about what content curation is, and why you should care. Now that you care, let’s talk about the easiest ways to curate content.
I’m going to start with the easy ways because there are an ever-growing number of tools and services you can use to curate content. So it’s impossible to cover every potential place you could go or method you could use.
The advantage to what I’m going to show you today is that (1) it’s easy, (2) it’s fast, and (3) it’s the entry level stuff that every online business owner should be doing.
Before we get started on how to set up your content curation system, let’s review the “why” again real quick. Your purpose in curating content is to provide your audience with the best, most up-to-date, and highly relevant information on your market that there is.
Your goal is to find the sources that have the best content already gathered. Unless you want to work full time at content curation – which of course you don’t – you’ve got to find the quickest way to get this done without compromising quality.
You can get started with effective content curation in 3 easy steps.
Step 1: Twitter Search
Twitter is a great place to curate content. There’s a lot of quality content there. The key to doing it effectively is to identify what keywords are relevant to your market. This requires having patience and playing around with it a little bit.
Identify 2-3 keywords or keyword phrases and set them up as Twitter searches. Keep the 1-2 searches that are returning the best results for you. This takes a little work in the beginning, as you may have to tweak your keywords several times to get the best results. But, once you nail it, you have an endless stream of good content coming your way.
Don’t just go into Twitter and type your keywords in the search box every day. While that’s easy enough, you won’t do it consistently. You need to set it up so that the content comes to you. There are two easy ways to do this.
First, you can use the My Alerts extension for Chrome. I talked about My Alerts earlier. I use it every day, it’s a great tool. Once installed, you’ll see a little bell in the upper right hand side of your toolbar. Like this:
You set up your search terms in My Alerts. When they appear on Twitter, a number appears on the bell (like the “1” in the screenshot above). You can then click on the bell and see all of the tweets containing your search term.
Or second, you can set up a stream in Hootsuite that contains your keywords. This is an especially convenient method if you use Hootsuite daily (and you should!) because you can share good content you find straight from Hootsuite.
Step 2: Google Alerts
The next place you’ll want to go to set up your content curation machine is Google Alerts. The happy news is, if you use the My Alerts extension we just talked about, you can set up your Google Alerts there too.
When you click on the bell symbol in your toolbar, a clickable drop-down menu will appear, showing you each alert you have set up, and the number of new results for that alert.
Your other option with Google Alerts is to receive an email – once a day, once a week, or as it happens – when your keywords show up in the Google search results. You can choose to see the results for “everything,” or narrow it down to be notified only when your keywords show up in certain results (news, blogs, video, discussions or books are the categories).
As with Twitter, you’ll want to play around here until you find keywords and phrases that return quality results for you.
Step 3: RSS Reader
Your third step to content curation mastery is your RSS Reader. There are many RSS Readers, but Google Reader seems to be the most popular.
The purpose of your RSS Reader is to collect all of your favorite blogs in one place. Checking all of the best authority blogs in your market on a daily basis would be an unacceptable time-suck. Fortunately, your RSS reader does the job of collecting all of the best blogs in one place.
Developing a really helpful RSS Reader will take some time. You add good blogs to your Reader one by one, as you find them and start to depend on them for information.
The really good news is, you can set up an RSS feed as one of your streams inside of Hootsuite. When you find an article you want to share with your crowd, you simply click on it, and you can share straight from Hootsuite to the social media networks you choose.
Whether you decide to use Google Reader, some other Reader, or set your RSS feed up in Hootsuite, your RSS reader is the best way for you to stay up to date in your market, and to keep your audience there too.
Bonus Tip: Google+
If you set up Twitter Search, Google Alerts, and your RSS Reader, you will have a great content curation system in place. Once you get that going, another place for great content that’s easy to set up is found within Google+. If you are a regular Google+ user, this is something you should already have set up.
Again, it may take some playing around with, but type your keywords into the search bar at the top of Google+. You can then choose whether you want to see “everything” or to narrow it done. I personally use “sparks” to get the best and most relevant content.
Once you have keywords that are returning good results for you, click on the red “save this search” button, and you can now view the search results at any time by clicking on the “more” button at the top of your Google+ home page, and selecting the saved search.
What’s Next . . .
Now, you’ve got all this great content, but how do you get it to your audience? We’ll talk about that next time.
In the meantime, if you have other ideas for quick and easy ways to curate great content, please share in the comments below.