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Publishers, Are You Curating Content? You Should Be!

  |  November 30, 2012   |  Comments

With the daily deluge of data overwhelming the masses, digital publishers are in a unique position to offer an oasis of calm and clarity by curating content into meaningful stories.

Is your digital publishing business curating content? The answer should be "yes" because it's an essential way to showcase your editorial expertise, set yourself apart from the competition, and garner new audiences. As Fast Company described this past April, in a given day "250 million photos were uploaded to Facebook, 864,000 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube, and 294 billion emails were sent." With this daily deluge of data overwhelming the masses, digital publishers are in a unique position to offer an oasis of calm and clarity by curating content into meaningful stories for their readers.

If you're ready to jump on the content curation bandwagon, then let's first explore what curation looks like.

Organizing digital content can come in many formats, but mostly an editor defines a topic that is relevant to the target audience and then culls a list of the most illuminating content that falls under that topic, while lending insightful commentary.

Now that you know what content curation is, you'll need some pointers on the tried-and-true methods to turn your curation into an audience development tool:

  1. Catchy titles. Basic editorial principals apply to content curation as they do print articles. The first, and sometimes only, chance to grab a reader is with an enticing title. When developing a topic to curate your content around, think of current events, seasonality, and your unique area of expertise. Once a topic is selected, work to make the title as alluring and short as possible, to grab a reader's attention.
  2. Photo quality. Once you get your reader to click into your curated list, you need to keep her there with high-quality images from your showcased articles. We respond to visuals over words, so invite the reader to investigate with relevant images. Every item in your list doesn't need one, so if the image isn't quality then don't display it. Hopefully this goes without saying, but only use images that the author originally used with the article.
  3. Know your contributors. Finally, content curation excellence is only achieved by knowing your contributors. Sure, you know the names of your publishers, but have you taken the time to understand their unique perspective, what days of the week they post articles, or their strengths? Understanding your contributor community will allow you to stay on top of the trends and utilize their content to the fullest when creating your editorials.

Combine the lessons above with good ol' practice and you'll be bringing in new traffic in no time.

Museum image on home page via SeanPavonePhoto / Shutterstock.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laney Whitcanack

Laney Whitcanack is Federated Media Publishing's chief community officer. Prior to joining FM, Laney co-founded BigTent in 2006 and focused on innovating online and offline ways to connect people with communities they care about. She spent the decade previous to BigTent coaching and training hundreds of community leaders, in the U.S. and Mexico, most recently as the director of community programs for the Coro Center for Civic Leadership.

A published author and speaker on entrepreneurship and community organizing, Laney received the Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2008. She is currently a board member of Zeum: San Francisco's Children's Museum and The Princess Project and is involved in even more community groups after the birth of her daughter, Campbell, last year. Laney has a B.A. from UCLA, and MBA from the Simmons School of Management, and an Ed.M from Harvard University.

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