With so much content published online every day, people are totally drowning in the sea of information. Instead of helping them make decisions, the tsunami of data creates more paralysis analysis than ever before. There is too much content to digest, too many “gurus” spilling their beans all over the web, that the real golden nuggets get trapped under loads of hay.
The tougher it is for people, the more they are looking for a hero, someone to show them the way and save the day. In online marketing, this hero is called a Content Curator. That’s right, the messier the web becomes, the more opportunities for you to step up with your curation badge and cut right into the chase.
The Buzzword Word: Curation
Being a content curator means hand-picking only the crème de la crème from the content published in your niche and giving it to your audience with a pinch of salt.
Just as an art curator looks the very best pieces of artwork to add to the museum’s collections, you scout the web for the best pieces of content for your niche (e.g. The Huffington Post).
As a content curator, you select only the best content so that your readers don’t have to look for the needle in the hay themselves. They want to be able to turn to a smaller, but authoritative and opinionated website that can do all the monkey work for them and collect the gems for them – the best articles, videos, Instagram profiles, hashtags, you name it.
So now, you’re probably wondering…
- Where do you get all this content?
- How do you sort it all out?
- How do you add value to your readers?
- How do you make money with this?
You’re basically saying, “Hey, there is a ton of content out there about [niche name], some of it is good, some of it it’s awful, but some of it it’s pretty amazing and it’s gonna change your life! I’ll do the sifting for you and hand-pick only the best of the best, so you only get what matters.”
Content Curation At Its Finest
You select a piece of content, tell your readers why it matters, how it is relevant to them, link back to the source and collect the Thank-you notes. Keep in mind: content curation does not mean just copy-pasting links, tweets and article snippets all across your social channels. That’s just sharing without a voice.
What you really want to do is help people form an opinion, see things through your eyes and express an attitude. Otherwise, your services wouldn’t be needed. The key here is the “intent“: who are you curating for?
It’s for a laser-targeted group of people, your niche audience, who’d rather pay a little bit of money to get that premium information from a trusted source. Plus, the good news for you can slow down on producing unique content on a daily or weekly basis and instead focus on hand-picking awesome content and adding your spin on it.
But how do you do it? How do you become the sniffing star?
Keeping your eyes on the influencers, creating alerts, setting up filters and basically becoming a web patrol for your particular niche. Create a spreadsheet with your main sources, including:
- Facebook pages
- Twitter feeds
- YouTube channels
Here are just a few examples of uber popular websites that are doing a great job at curating content: Upworthy, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and Alltop. These sites curate the best of the best content from the web, add strong headlines and attract millions of visitors using social media.
The core of this strategy is to find – and make sense of – the best content you can find in your niche that is created by others. People love to consume curated content, because it helps them to save time on discovering great stories and it keeps them away from the bad, time-wasting stuff.
You can even experiment with a few different titles to find the one with the highest click-through-rate. Check out this free WordPress plugin for A/B title testing.
So How Do You Make Money With It?
Because curation blogs are becoming hotter and hotter, the possibilities to turn them into passive money-making machines are also going up. You’ve got a hungry niche yearning for premium content, you’ve got the nose of a truffle dog and you’re also witty enough to put content into perspective and highlight the best parts for your readers.
So what do you get for the heavy-lifting? Hopefully, money, fame and… more money. Because your audience is a targeted group of people, your website can become an ad man’s paradise.
Here are three ways to do it:
1. Sell Membership Subscriptions.
Yes, charge your readers for access to premium content, while still leaving some content available for free, just to tease them enough to make the purchase.
Here’s an example from a popular affiliate marketing blog: Greed Reports:
The main page:
And the membership opt-in form:
Here’s another example of a newsletter that curates the best marketing & networking events and delivers them inside a nicely packed email subscription:
And a bit of preview of what you can expect to get inside the members’ area:
2. Sell Ad Space
The more targeted your audience is, the higher the chances for advertisers to want to buy ad space from you. Check out sites like BuySellAds.com and see what other blogs in your niche are offering ad space for advertisers.
3. Sell Affiliate Offers (or Your Own Products)
Instead of selling ad space, you can post your own banners on the site and make money from affiliate commissions.
4. Build Your Email List
The Holy Grail of online business: email marketing. This is the long-term dream of anyone getting started online. Collecting email lists and gradually starting to make money on the back-end by promoting their own products and services.
Bottom line: Start looking for the best original content and amplifying it with your insights, notes and observations. Make it relevant to your audience. Your real power here is distribution. And when you become the best at it in your niche, your readers will stop looking elsewhere and will come to you for advice, insights and recommendations.
(Lead image source: David Mulder)