By Neil Patel
I’ve always said that every website should have a blog.
Think about how long you’re currently spending to write a blog post.
I’m willing to bet it takes you at least a few hours to create each.
Sometimes longer posts take up to six or even eight hours.
Where do you find the time to focus on other aspects of your business?
I struggled with this concept as well when I first started blogging.
It seemed like there weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.
Then I realized that your content doesn’t always need to be created from scratch.
Think about it.
Chances are, your content isn’t some new or revolutionary breakthrough in the industry.
You’re writing about something that’s been discussed before.
Sure, you’ll put your unique spin, voice, and personal experiences in there, but ultimately there are plenty of similar topics on the web.
Spending your entire day writing blogs is not an efficient use of your time.
Instead, I’ll teach you some content curation skills that will help you write content faster.
David Kadavy from The Medium was able to learn different tricks to improve his productivity.
Look at the impact this had on his published word count between 2015 and 2016.
If you follow my advice, your productivity will skyrocket as well.
Here’s how you can use content curation to effectively manage your content strategy.
Make sure you’re utilizing visuals
If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know I’m a firm believer in using lots of pictures, screenshots, and other infographics to illustrate my points.
That’s no secret.
But there’s a reason behind this strategy.
Adding pictures to your blog posts makes it easier for people to read.
It breaks up the content and grabs the reader’s attention.
There are also plenty of great image resources on the Internet.
While creating a unique visual or infographic is great, it’s not necessary.
Instead, use someone else’s image, making sure to give credit to the original source.
This will save you a lot of time because you won’t have to create these images yourself.
Don’t be shy when you’re adding visuals to your content.
Images make it easier for readers to process your point.
See what I mean?I
Fittingly, I’m using an image about the importance of visuals to prove my point.
But seriously, think about how easy it was for you to process and retain what you just saw.
Visuals also make it easier for you to put words on the page.
Here’s what I mean.
Once you insert an image in your post, it gives you something to talk about.
Explain the image to your readers.
It will guide you in the right direction instead of just coming up with content out of thin air.
You’re much less likely to suffer from writer’s block if you always have something to talk about.
Here are some additional tips about using images within your content:
- Use high quality visuals that aren’t too cluttered.
- Make sure they are easy to read and understand.
- If the visual contains data, make sure it’s from a reputable source.
- Always cite your sources.
- Use lots of images.
All of these pointers will help you create content faster and more efficiently.
Start with an outline, and stick to your plan
Never start creating content from a blank page.
Psychologically, it’s intimidating.
But more importantly, it’s not an efficient use of your time.
Sure, as you start writing, you’ll need to do some research along the way.
But it helps significantly if you get some of that out of the way before you get started.
Here’s what you need to do.
For example, let’s say you are writing a post about the best ways to find a new job.
Start with a Google search.
Now you can create a list of the 28 best ways to do this.
Keep in mind, there will likely be some overlap among the pages.
You’re not the only one using curation strategies to build content.
But when it’s all said and done, you should still be able to come up with at least 10, 15, or maybe even 20 different ways on your list.
The key is planning this out ahead of time.
Open all these pages in a new tab.
Each time you see something you want to include in your article, add it to the outline.
Quickly add a few notes to develop further when you get to that point of your writing process.
For example, you may talk about a specific job board site on your list.
So a note could be “insert statistic about the job placement success rates of this site.”
Then you can do that research when you get there.
This strategy also makes it really easy if you’re aiming for a certain word count per post.
Let’s say you want all of your posts to be roughly 2,500 words.
If you determine you’ll have 15 different sections based on your list, now you can aim for each section to be about 165 words.
It keeps you on track for your goal.
That way you’re not frantically trying to come up with a 500 word conclusion or end up reaching your desired word count after your second subheading.
Repurpose content on different channels
For the most part, I’ve been discussing these curation strategies as they relate to blogging, but let me clear the air.
Your content doesn’t stop with blogs and articles.
One of my favorite ways to repurpose content is through YouTube videos.
I’ll give you an example based on my own blog and YouTube channel.
Here’s a post I wrote that was a big hit.
It’s got 137 comments (and counting) at the moment.
What did I do?
I repurposed some of the main points and made it into a YouTube tutorial.
Here’s the link to my YouTube video.
You don’t always have to use content from other people for your curation strategy.
Instead, take your existing content.
You can also use this technique on social media platforms.
Think about Twitter.
You have only so many characters to use.
Rather than racking your brain to come up with the most clever tweet on the planet, refer to your posts that already have thousands of words.
Take lines directly from that content, and post them on social media.
It will save you a ton of time, and you’ll be able to focus on other aspects of social media management, like responding to customer comments.
That’s a much more efficient use of your time.
You don’t need to be the first person to break a story
How many times have you seen a breaking news story, only to discover that it’s inaccurate?
I see it all the time, so I’m sure you have as well.
That’s because all these news outlets want to be first.
But first isn’t always best.
You don’t want to develop a reputation for being an unreliable source.
Furthermore, the first person to break a story may not have a chance to include lots of relevant information.
Let’s use a hypothetical example of a local car accident.
The first person to break the story may just say, “car accident on X street at Y time.”
But they don’t have any other details to report.
So if you wait a little bit, you can newsjack the story.
Wait for other sources to report new information.
Now you can write about other factors like the:
- number of cars involved
- types of cars in the crash
- names of any victims
- cause of the accident
- road conditions at the time
- quote from law enforcement
You can see where I’m going with this.
Being the first one to release new information doesn’t get you a gold star or sticker.
Instead, it limits your resources and the amount of information you can talk about.
Curate content from the comments section of your blog
You should always be checking the comments on your page.
Respond to these users.
It’s a great way to help with your search engine optimization, but it also keeps your readers actively engaged.
You may find some valuable information here as well.
People who comment on your page may be doing so to promote their own websites or blogs, but their points may be viable.
Take a look at what people have to say.
It might just be included in your next post.
Send a newsletter with a roundup of your weekly content
Again, you don’t always need to use someone else’s thoughts or ideas to generate new content.
Sometimes the best curation source is your own writing.
If you’ve got a weekly or monthly newsletter, it’s a great opportunity for you to promote content you’ve already published.
Moz does this with their monthly top 10 newsletters.
Instead of coming up with something new or unique for their monthly newsletter, they just repurpose the hard work they’ve already done.
You can use this strategy as well.
Write a weekly roundup post that summarizes the content you’ve already covered during the week.
Work smarter, not harder.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m not saying to just copy and paste your existing content into a new article.
That’s a quick way to lose readers.
But you can just take something old and put a new spin on it.
Update new statistics.
Add personal stories or a learning experience you’ve come across since the content was originally posted.
This will make your life a lot easier, and you’ll spend less time trying to come up with new ideas.
Your time is valuable.
Instead of spending endless hours each day trying to come up with new content to write about, you can use curation strategies to be more efficient.
Remember, content curation doesn’t just apply to your blog.
You can also use these methods to help produce content on social media.
Research showed that finding and posting content on social media was the most time consuming aspect of this process.
It doesn’t have to be.
Use lots of visuals in your content.
Rather than creating original infographics, use ones you find on the Internet.
Make sure you give credit to the source.
Images make it easier for readers to process and retain information as well.
Don’t start writing from scratch.
Build an outline using ideas you find from a Google search.
This will make things easier for you to write naturally and stick to a plan.
All of the curation doesn’t need to come from someone else’s pages or ideas.
Repurpose your existing content.
Take a top performing blog post and turn it into a YouTube tutorial.
Use phrases from articles on your site as social media posts.
Think twice before you try to be the first person to break a news story.
Instead, wait until all the information gets released.
You’ll have more reliable sources and information to use.
Refer to the comments section of your blog if you’re looking for new ideas.
Use recent posts to come up with a weekly newsletter or round up blog.
If you follow these strategies, you’ll spend less time creating content and more time focusing on other areas of your business.
What kind of content curation strategies have helped you spend less time writing blogs each day?