Should you curate content by including links to other blog posts with additional information about a topic? The Internet is all about sharing content, isn’t it?
Or should you not curate content by not including any external links from your website? Should you avoid the risk that your reader follows a link but does not return?
Should You Be as Helpful as Possible?
On the one hand, there are those who believe that when you blog, your primary goal should be to provide valuable and complete information to your readers. When writing, your guiding slogan should be WIFT, What’s in it For Them.
Suppose you are doing research for a blog piece and you come across an article that is so well written, so clearly describes a point of view, that you know you must share it with your readers. The “WIFTers” say by all means share it. You can include a link to the article without concern of copyright infringement. Or even better, just use a point from an article by copying a snippet and giving credit to the author. Include a link to the article to give proper attribution and an opportunity for your reader to read the whole post.
Or maybe you remember an article written by someone you follow. You admire their writing skills, their clarity and their command of the subject. To not share the blog would be selfish and self-centered. If you curate their content you allow your reader a chance to learn, to enjoy the writer’s skills and maybe to grow in the process.
By sharing, you demonstrate that you are a thought leader. You know enough about the topic to be able to confidently point to other bloggers who write quality content. And do it without fear of losing readers.
Curate Content that Increases the Value of your Post
I enjoy Neil Patel’s blog. He believes that more is better and creates very long pieces. But often when skimming his blog I find gems. For example here is Neil’s suggestion for finding great content on Feedly, a site that collects content.
See Neil’s post at https://neilpatel.com/blog/save-time-drive-roi-content-curation/ A portion of it is below:
Your reader will appreciate your thoughtfulness in pointing her to additional content so that she gets a full picture of the topic. Knowing that you appreciate her visit she may like or share your post and bookmark it for future reference.
Don’t Take a Chance on Losing a Reader
On the other hand, some say do not include a link in your post. You’ve worked hard to increase your readership. It has taken many months to attract the people who are coming to your website. If you give away a link to another site on a topic that you write about your reader may choose to go to that site and never return. Don’t take the risk.
Why interrupt your reader’s train of thought? Let them continue enjoying your post.
Knowing that this post is out there, you may even want to add to your post to more strongly make the case and further enhance your point of view.
Curate Content to Improve Your Article
A third option is to curate content as a way to better explain the topic of your article by contrasting and comparing your ideas to the other content. It is often effective to strengthen your position by comparing it to another’s.
Begin your blog with a paragraph or two that states your position and then after a very short introduction provide a link to the other content. Below the link include the bulk of your content so that the reader will follow the link but want to return and read the rest of your position. The rest of your blog can reinforce your content.
This option demonstrates your thoughtfulness in completely covering the issue. You can show that you have considered the other content. And you have an opportunity to more strongly make your point.
But do not overdo the use of curated content.
Your audience wants to know what you are thinking, what you have learned, and what you believe. Not what you know about finding curated content.
A quote from Barry Feldman of Feldman Creative says it all – “A ton of content curation is a complete bore. It’s used bubble gum. It’s the result of a blog owner or social media contributor playing the ‘Get Out of Create New Content Free’ card.” Read the complete piece here: http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/how-to-curate-content/.
Most content marketers agree that curated content should make up no more than 1/3 of your blogs. Rather than just providing a link to it you should use snippets of the piece interspersed with your own content. Another 1/3 of your content should be your own personally developed content and the final 1/3 can be promotional about your business and your brand. My suggestion would be to keep the promotional content to 20%.
Curated Content Should Improve Your Reader’s Experience
Use the following as your guide: Use curated content to give your reader more, balanced information. Careful use of curation makes his experience on your website one he will remember and encourage him to return.