It’s a trend we hear a lot about – and a trend that can have a HUGE impact on your traffic, biz and life. But it’s also just another bit of crazy-complex content marketing jargon we have to figure out, right?
Content curation is the act of collecting, organising and sharing targeted, relevant and interesting content with your audience, and hopping off the self-promotion train.
Yep, you heard (err, read?) right. This is not about talking about you, yourself and your biz. It’s about sharing high quality, high-value content from other sources, and in the process establishing yourself as the font-of-all-knowledge in your niche.
It can seem weird and against the grain to “waste” time promoting something that isn’t yours – but that’s a misconception a lot of people have.
From nailing your strategy to making the biggest impact, taking it to social and tapping into top-notch sources of killer content, this guide has everything you need to start curating content, without investing the rest of your week or half your life savings.
The complete content curation cheatsheet:
Planning your approach to content curation
The etiquette of content curation
What kind of content should you curate?
Make an impact on your business
Kill it on social with curated content
Sources of killer content
The content curation toolkit
How to start curating that content
Winning content curation workflows
Formats for your curated content
Chapter 1: Planning Your Approach to Content Curation
The surefire way to guarantee success in any kind of marketing madness is to go in with both eyes open and a strategy in place.
You’ll learn how to plan your approach to content curation, from articulating your goals, to measuring your progress, to refining your strategy going forward.
Chapter 4: The Cold Hard Benefits of Content Curation
I’ve already touched briefly on some of the benefits of content curation.
I love curating content because it helps me work smarter and save time that I could be spending with my twins, my kitty or my 1:1 clients.
My approach has also helped establish me as a bit of a thought leader in the entrepreneurship game (not to toot my own horn or anything).
However, both of these benefits are kind of vague and hard to measure. In this section you’ll discover the concrete, monitorable, measurable ways that content curation can impact your business. For realz.
Trello is key for managing all sorts of tasks around content creation – from webinars to eBooks and opt-ins to content upgrades, visual social media and blog posts – everything gets tracked, completed, proofed and published all right within Trello itself. Of course, there are many apps and hacks and tricks out there to manage a content process, but since Trello is the one that myself and my team use every single day, it’s one that I want to share with you guys to enable you to become familiar with some of its amazing capabilities and ways of working.
Getting Set Up
Trello is a free app, and it’s super simple to set up.
You can access it via your web browser, via iOS or Android, and it’s portable for wherever you are working.
One of the reasons why I happen to love it so much is that Trello combines a really easy Kanban method of working with a visually strong user interface which allows you to easily create and produce tasks that drag and drop across different boards and lists.
(access this Trello board and the checklists I use by grabbing the free ebook download on with the form below).
With the brilliant addition of being able to add visuals, stickers, comments and a whole host of other “power ups” to your lists, boards and cards, it’s a really powerful workflow tool that will enable your killer content creation process to be all the more awesome.
Whilst it can be great to have an Evernote file or a notebook full of mind maps and content creation ideas, I totally recommend having a particular list on your Trello board in which all of your incoming ideas for content creation are placed.
Once you have selected some ideas to refine for your content process, you can then create a workflow that works for you.
Trello is a really simple way to do this.
You can access your board and sync it with your calendar and other apps to make sure that you are on track.
You can also share your board and your lists with your co-workers and your team( if you have one), to outsource any of the elements that you need to, and you can set dates from within the cards themselves to stay on track.
Collate your research and insights in one place.
When working on a piece of content, it’s really useful to have external data, comments, insights, and references to add to the context of your piece.
By keeping them all together on one card, you can make sure that you present a really cohesive piece of content for your audience and future clients.
Whether you are crowd-sourcing information, gathering links or data to other reports, blogs and websites, or simply making sure that you link to relevant sources, keeping everything together in the comments section of a card can make sure that you are able to refer back to them when you are drafting your piece.
You can also keep the draft of your post (whether it’s created in Evernote or Google Docs), in the comments section of your card.
This way everything is in one place for your own sanity, and to enable an outsourcing process to be super easy!
Organise your content to save time and deliver better results.
Using the color coded system and categories on Trello can make it really easy to see and double check the scope of your content diversity, and to see exactly how your content plan is looking in a visual way.
For example, you can assign different categories a different color so that you can visually, at a glance, see which topics are being covered on your website, podcast, video channel, or live streaming sessions.
This insight will allow you to move around topics and dates as you see fit, to make sure that you are covering all the bases that you want to.
Trello is also an amazing app in that you can get also get super smart with other integrations. Trello links up really well via Zapier and IFTTT.com to other apps such as Google Drive, Evernote, Slack,Asana, and all sorts of really commonly used apps, so that you can set up automated tasks.
Automate yourself into a content workflow nerd heaven with some of these example “recipes”:
Have you tried Trello for productivity? Let me know if you will be organising your killer content using any of the tips here.
Download an ebook with this post, links to the Trello board template I use, and the Facebook Live video bonus links using the form below.
Confused about this whole digital content hoo-hah?
Get started with this guide for pocket-sized businesses that want to rock it online – without investing your life savings or getting a stress-induced lobotomy.
Content is the magnet that attracts your clients to your business.
It’s the stuff that showcases your expertise, highlights your authority and brings in those sales.
And it doesn’t have to be so scary.
So many small businesses are terrified at the thought of digital content. They don’t know what they should be doing, or where they should be doing it. There are so many options, overwhelm is a dead cert.
But guess what – you can beat back that procrastination and create content that converts, without doing anything icky, or living with your laptop in hand.
All you need is to figure out which platform resonates with your audience AND you – because you should be enjoying the content you create.
So throw out that flat white habit (ok, let’s not get crazy… just dial it back a bit…), delve into this guide to digital content, and start talking to the right peeps.
From blogs and podcasts to videos, visuals and upgrades, this guide has everything you need to start up that content creation machine and rake in the results you crave.
What counts as digital content for your biz?
Opt-ins, upgrades and lead magnets
Live video streams
Podcasts and audio
Chapter 1: Blog posts
The term “blog post” can be misleading.
Many people think that a blog post is simply an article shared via your website – which it can be, but there’s more to it than that. Any of the forms of digital content we’re about to explore can be embedded in a blog post.
Think of your blog as the central hub to house all content, whether written or recorded.
The benefits of blogging are many – but one of the most impactful is the boost it gives your SEO. By publishing fresh, key-word rich blog content you have more of an opportunity to bring eyes back to your website, and by extension your wares.
An eBook is exactly what it sounds like – a book that’s readable on electronic devices.
In the world of digital content, that doesn’t mean it has to be a full length novel – it could be an extended collection of your top content, a comprehensive guide to something affecting your niche, or a valuable source of information for your audience.
A white paper is an authoritative guide or report that provides information on a complex issue, concisely. The aim is to help your readers understand what’s going on, and make appropriate decisions based on that.
Typically, white papers are issued by government bodies and large corporations, but there’s no reason you can’t bring the same philosophy to your pocket-sized biz.
Present your readers with an issue affecting your industry in a way that’s easy to understand, and highlight your stance on the matter.
Lead magnets and content upgrades are those freebies you offer in exchange for email addresses, and they really are the cornerstone of any effective list-building strategy – but there are subtle differences between the two.
A lead magnet is a big, juicy, irresistible bribe that offers maximum value to your ideal audience.
A content upgrade is a document that expands on the specific value offered in another piece of digital content.
Your content needs to look awesome if you want it to get noticed, shared and remembered.
Short attention spans have made it difficult for people to retain information, and studies show our brains not only process visuals faster, but they retain and transmit much more information when it’s delivered visually.
Unless you’ve been hiding away in a batcave without wifi, you’ll have noticed that webinars have taken the online business world by storm.
Think of a webinar as a live training session delivered online, usually for free. They give you the chance to show your audience exactly what kind of value they can expect once they invest in one of your products or programmes.
The best part? You don’t even have to rock those power brows, you can simply create a slideshow, and present it to your raving fans without ever having your face on show.
A podcast is a kind of audio blog, and is a brilliant way to consume (and create) content on the go. As such, it’s something to think about if your target market are always rushing around – away from their computer.
Like with video content, your audience is hearing your real voice, and connecting with you in a real way. Podcast episodes are a fantastic way to make your peeps feel like you’re talking to them, not just sending them a generic update – take advantage of that chance for conversation.
Sick of shelling out the $£€ on the latest software, templates and fancy, schmancy apps?
Get started for free, with this guide for small businesses on a mission to create great content without remortgaging your house or sacrificing your yearly trip to Bali. (Ahem. Brighton.)
Content is the magnet that attracts clients to your business and creating that content is your opportunity to showcase your expertise, your authority and your personality.
But the playing field of content creation can seem scary and overwhelming – after all, there seems to be a new piece of advice, new app, platform or “guru” every day… and a whole load of expensive tools to boot.
I’m here to simplify the art of content creation, and help you overcome that overwhelm.
You don’t need a team of 12, an MBA, or to be pulling all-nighters on a double espresso drip to create content that makes people fall in love with you.
You can get your message across with FREE tools and your own rules, pinky promise.
I’m all about working smarter, and there’s no point starting from scratch if there’s material out there that can complement your content.
Plus, linking to helpful resources establishes you as a source of knowledge and value, which is exactly how you want to be seen.
The “writing” part is often what scares entrepreneurs with a lot on their plates. It feels like it needs some kind of magical gift, and all the spare hours in the world to get it right… but it really doesn’t.
Take a look at these free tools that will take all the terror, turmoil and time out of writing brilliant blog posts.
If you have ever wondered about creating an ebook for your business, this post is for you.
I jumped on a Hangout with the amazing Sylvia McCracken to chat about ebooks; how they can boost your business, how you can repurpose content you ALREADY HAVE into an ebook (I love this one), and how to choose your topic to hit with the most impact.
Watch the video and learn:
How Sylvie became an authority and influencer in her field using ebooks
How to choose your topic and gauge interest
What “passive income” you can realistically expect from ebooks
For businesses both on and offline, a strong digital presence presence is key to maximising visibility, authority, and sales.
Yet, many small business owners and entrepreneurs are locked in an overwhelm cycle, and shy away from sharing their message at all.
I want to de-code some of the advice that’s out there currently for creating content, and why I think there is a lot of overwhelm around it.
– You don’t need an MBA, or be part of a secret society to create compelling content for your biz. You need to know WHAT your audience needs to know and HOW to reach them effectively (in a way that sounds like you).
– You don’t need to SHOUT LOUDER AND TELL EVERYONE YOU HAD A 6 FIGURE LAUNCH BEFORE BREAKFAST.
Shouting loudly – without a strategy, without intention, without integrity or authority – doesn’t build long term influence, brand loyalty, or any long term growth.
You may well have had a 6 figure launch before your brioche, and kudos to you – BUT, you need to be able to connect with your audience and to be a source that they know, like and trust in a way that’s relatable (not superhuman, sleazy or nauseating).
– You don’t need to hire an Airbnb pad, a squad of stylists and a film crew before people listen to you.
Share what you know in a way that your clients need to hear it, and they will be waiting for more. Sure, you can upgrade your tech and your team as you go (and by all means a style squad is on my list),
– You don’t need to understand every platform and the science of every algorithm to have success.
Starting from where you are, with a message you are confident in, has immense power.
The rest can be learned, built upon, or outsourced as you grow.
– You don’t need a subscription to 2067 different keyword apps to get found online.
SEO is powerful, no doubt about it. But don’t let the fear of perfection prevent you from starting.
The worst thing you can do for your online business content is stay paralysed in procrastination.
Here’s what you CAN do, right now, instead:
Start from where you are.
Find your feet with a workflow that works for you.
Get super confident in what you are conveying as a message, and build from there.
Small business PR tips: 3 profile boosting hacks for entrepreneurs
As a micro business we often believe we don’t have anything interesting to share with the world and can lack confidence to put ourselves out there.
When we use advertising to promote our business, we pay people to say how awesome we are.
With PR, other people say how awesome you are.
PR for the small business owner becomes WAY more effective than advertising and a tool we should explore.
Of all the small business PR tips, the first one is this: you don’t have to be an extrovert for the media to want to talk to you.
The media will want to talk to you regardless of how much money you make or the fact you’ve never been featured anywhere before.
Simply know your stuff (which you do) and be fabulous (which you are).
With only a little thought entrepreneurs can raise their business profile and get media attention by following just a few super easy strategies.
There are many ways you can get into the media depending on your business but here are 3 to get you started.
Get yourself published
You can easily pay thousands for an advert in a magazine. You could also provide a “how to”article to the editor showcasing your knowledge on your specialist subject… for free.
Other than your time, PR often comes at no cost.
Having an article published in a magazine is an easy (and fast) way to boost your profile and add to those credentials.
It starts showing you as an expert because potential clients and online followers will see that the media validates what you are saying, therefor giving you a few cool points.
Start off by creating a wish list of publications you’d love to feature in (it’s a wish list so dream as big as you want, anything goes), then do some research to see who would be the right fit and who matches your business goals and ethos.
Once you’ve done your research, be brave and just put yourself out there.
Contact editors, editorial teams or features teams, whoever is the contact at the publication that you need to talk to. Often these details will be readily available on their website.
If you have a really good topic you can often get a yes from an editor before you’ve even written the article too.
Here’s a checklist when thinking about getting your article published in a magazine;
Create a wish list
Do your research
Create ace article topics or titles
Pitch your ideas to a magazine… put on your big girl pants and do it (boy pants also work)
Write a fabulous article giving away some of the awesome in your brain
Keep an eye out for emails from the magazines you contacted
Do a happy dance and shout about being published to the world
Create a press page
Putting together a press or media page for your website makes it easier for journalists and editors to know right away if you are the right person for them to speak to.
Creating this once will save you time in the long run as you won’t have to keep re writing the same information when people enquire.
A press page is information you already have or know about your business and should include;
Company background describing where in the world you are, your products or services and what industry you are in
Your biography and if you are interested in writing articles, guest blogs or open to speaking opportunities then state what topics you can write or speak about
Any recent press coverage you have had or awards you have won or been runner up for
It often helps to add that you are ‘PR friendly’ or open to being contacted so people know it will be welcomed when they email you
Contact details for the business and if you have a team of people, list the key contact names and how to get in touch with them
Upload this onto your website, ideally in a page on its own, perhaps with a link to it in your ‘about me’ page or add it to the website’s main menu.
Just make it easy for a journalist or editors to find.
If they get bored looking for it, they will give up and you’ll potentially miss out on an opportunity.
Host a super cool online event
Making the choice to not host events in person has gone from ‘because I can’t afford it’ now to ‘because actually this will do so much more for me right now’.
You can get so much exposure and new business now from hosting your own online event at home from your laptop… and you can keep your pyjama bottoms on underneath your desk (it’s ok, we’ve all done it).
Here’s a few ideas of online events you could host to attract new eyes on your business;
Organise a Blab and interview some of your colleagues or business pals
Jump on Periscope or Facebook Live and host a 5-day series Monday to Friday talking about a different topic each day with Friday being an open ‘ask my anything’ Q&
Host a sales-pitch- free webinar giving away the awesome in your brain. Get people to pre-register and offer loyal fans a link to the replay but only for 24-48 hours to create the ‘oh my gosh I must watch this now’ mentality
Create buzz around your event and schedule some social media posts and newsletter around when you’re planning the schedule, reminders a few days before and on the day itself. Ask people you collaborate with to promote it to their audience too.
Remember that with online events like this there are SO many opportunities to repurpose the content. If you host a Blab, add the replay to your newsletter and the fun parts of the discussion with the video into a blog post. If you do a Periscope series then put all the videos with accompanying links and notes into one or even five blog posts onyour website or create an optin from them.
If you host a webinar, note down all the juicy Q&A’s at the end and make each into a future blog post or break them down into a 3-part blog series.
However you decide to promote yourself as an entrepreneur be sure to shout about it… everywhere.
I’m Kerri Walker, a PR Consultant and Coach originally from the gorgeous New Forest now based in Kent, UK. I sprinkle a little PR and marketing magic onto any business looking at raising their profile in the media. I also coach business owners and in-house teams to do their own PR like a pro.I can find a newsworthy story the media will crave in any business owner and any company.
Day-to- day you can find me in my home office sourcing juicy media coverage opportunities for clients, hosting coaching calls, writing articles or picnicking at the beach with my son.
To be frank, creating content for your business can feel like a never ending shitstorm.
It’s not one of those jobs that’s done when it’s done.
We have to keep coming up with MORE ideas, MORE updates, MORE creative ways to communicate, MORE excitement…
But sometimes that idea machine stops whirring (even for the butterfly brains like me).
I have a totally foolproof strategy for dealing with that though.
First step, cup of tea. I’m English. I embrace the stereotype.
Second, I pull out my trustier-than-supersized-control-pants bag of tricks, also known as a bumper list of places to find unparalleled content inspiration (but that’s just a mouthful).
Today I thought I’d share a handful of those sources of killer content (and trust me, there’s no way you’ll leave empty handed):
Follow the editorial example.
Nobody does titles better than the original “content on command” publications – glossy magazines.
Flick through one of the magazines in your recycling bin and make a note of the titles that catch your eye.
(Remember, the topic doesn’t have to be relevant, but which titles make you want to stop and read? Write ‘em down.)
Now think about the topics you focus on, and how you can tweak those titles to suit them.
So (in true “here’s one I made earlier” fashion) if I page through that old Cosmo sitting beneath my sofa, I might pick:
Would it kill us to be nicer to each other?
And turn it into… Would it kill us to share more content for free?
The cheat sheet: what to watch read listen to this month
And turn it into… The cheat sheet: 10 yoga poses for a healthier, happier you.
The secrets of staying in love
And turn it into… 5 secret swaps for vegan baking
The 20 smart decisions you’ll never regret
And turn it into… 20 brilliant biz books you’ll regret not reading sooner
Pro tip: Use these as templates to create your own scripts and add them to your swipe file for next time you’re feeling stuck.
Get in those groups
Dip into a handful of your favourite Facebook groups (the ones where your target audience might be hanging out).
Type your niche topics into the search bar and hit enter – you’ll end up with a feed filled with relevant discussions.
Jot down any issues or questions that you could respond to, and add them to your idea bank. Remember, it doesn’t matter how old the threads are – that topic will still be of interest to someone somewhere.
Pro tip: Copy and paste the responses to each question into a Google doc. Knowing what advice is already being shared will help you figure out both what’s missing, and how you can add your own flavour to the topic.
I know what you’re all thinking. There are NO IDEAS in Facebook groups. Well to prove you wrong, I’ve just hit up three groups I love and search for Instagram – here’s what I found:
I manage more than one Instagram account (mainly from my phone) and am looking for advice about apps that might help me with this. Specifically, I’m looking for an app that monitors the comments you receive and notifies you.
What Instagram apps do you love for writing on and pimping your images?
I want to up my game on Instagram, but I don’t know what content would relate to my writing business (it’s not really a visual biz!)
Are there any free tools I could use to schedule content on Instagram?
I want to start an Instagram account for my business but the username I want is already taken, but there hasn’t been any activity in over a year. What would be your plan of action?
What do I do about people using my photo and name on Instagram? I’ve found three different accounts with my name and photo!
Should I watermark my Instagram shots?
Do you schedule Instagram content weekly or for the whole month?
If you create graphics on your computer, how do you upload them to Instagram?
Any tips for creating better Instagram photos when the lighting is poor?
How do you respond to Instagram comments that are a single emoji?
Are there any tools for tracking your Instagram statistics?
Seriously. That’s content GOLD right there.
(for more on how to find what your customers are already asking, check out the Map & Go Matrix)
If you’re a shameless Evernote evangelist like me (and our fabulous Jo), you will have SO MUCH STUFF stored in there. I’m sure some of it will be beautifully filed away, but some of it won’t be.
Pro tip – Install the Evernote Web Clipper to easily swipe any online content that inspires you.
I have masses of random things stashed away that I’ve forgotten all about. Dig through your notebooks and see what you come back with.
Yes, I also had a ton of shopping lists, creative projects I wanted to try and fun stuff to read… but amongst that?
Some seriously killer content.
Do you see how with minimal effort you can come up with so many ideas from stuff that’s already out there?
It’s not about recreating EVERYTHING from scratch, it’s about putting your creative spin on ideas that have already been planted. This post is by the amazing Daire Paddy. Daire Paddy is a word-weaving maniac with paint under her nails and a penchant for peanut butter. When she’s not creating amazing online content you can find her jamming with the rest of Team Diva, or over on her site. http://dairepaddy.com