The Complete Beginner’s Guide to User Generated Content

user generated content


Struggling to get people to talk about your business (and not even sure how it will help)?

Get started with this guide for boutique businesses looking to make an impact online without trolling celebs or flashing the neighbours.

User-generated content is your way to share your message (and your business) without creating all of that content for yourself.

It’s the ultimate #worksmarter hack.

But what is it?

User-Generated Content is genuine, original content created by anyone in your audience. This could be your customers or clients, your blog followers, your subscribers, or anyone else who has interacted with you and your business.

This could be blog posts, shots on Instagram, memes or GIFs, comments, social media shout-outs, video content… anything!

These people are your authentic brand champions, and you won’t believe the impact they could have on your biz.

Did you know… 86% of consumers say user-generated content is a good indicator of a quality brand, service or product. 

Getting customers (or potential customers) involved in your content creation process is the most effective way to create engaging content that hits that spot, because they know what they need, and what they want.

The thought of trying to get other people to create content for you – for free, no less – can feel icky at first. But this isn’t about exploiting loyal followers, this is about leveraging all the lovely things they’re already saying.

User-generated content is a madly effective way to push your stuff into the spotlight – it stops people from feeling “sold to”, which is exactly what you want. You want your audience to feel nurtured, and supported, not pitched at.

Read more: 5 user-generated content mistakes to avoid.

Let’s make this EASY.

Ask for the content you crave, without the sleaze, stress or sleepless nights, and use it to make an IMPACT.… Click To Tweet


The Complete Beginner’s Guide to User-Generated Content

From finding the right kind of content, to understanding the trends and benefits, to repurposing it in a way that creates buzz, attracts traffic, and magnetises your potential clients, this guide has everything you need to get to grips with user-generated content like the Super Solopreneur you are.


The complete beginner’s guide to user-generated content:

  • How brands blow up the blueprint with user-generated content
  • Trends in user-generated content (+ how to make the most of them)
  • How to get YOUR users to dream up killer content
  • Build a buzz with your user-generated content
  • Promote user-generated content without the ick
  • Put your own spin on user-generated content

Chapter 1: How Brands Blow Up the Blueprint with User-Generated Content

User-generated content is a firm favourite for brands of all sizes because you get full whammy for a fraction of your regular marketing budget (even if that budget of yours is only measured in time).

Take a look at some of these wildly creative ways to bring user-generated content into your wider marketing strategy.

How Buffer grew their Instagram followers by 60% with user-generated content

7 examples of brands leveraging user-generated content

4 killer ads promoting user-generated content and why they work

How brands are embracing user-generated content

4 brilliant user-generated content Instagram campaigns by brands

Adobe and Livefyre make it easy to promote user-generated content

4 excellent user-generated content contests using social media


Chapter 2: Trends in User Generated Content (+ How to Make the Most of Them)

With any type of content, it’s a good idea to study trends. Think about what works, and what doesn’t, but most importantly, think about what will work for your target clients.

Peruse these existing content trends for inspiration:

8 inspiring user-generated content examples and trends analysed

Using social media and user-generated content to drive sales

The creative resurgence of the humble GIF

Increase brand success with Instagram video

How user-generated content spells out success for independent retailers

People love stories – that’s why user-generated content achieves results


Chapter 3: How to Get YOUR Users to Dream up Killer Content

Chapter 3: How to Get YOUR Users to Dream up Killer Content

Attracting amazing content created by your audience is not as tricky as it sounds. In this section you’ll learn about different ways to ask for follower input, and how to encourage engagement in a wider sense.

How to inspire user-generated content

6 ways to cultivate user-generated content

Get more user-generated content (+ repurpose it the right way)

6 interesting ways to encourage user generated content on Instagram

Use contests and giveaways to get user-generated content

6 ways to inspire influential content from your Facebook fans

This is how B2B companies can inspire and promote user-generated content


Chapter 4: Build a Buzz with User-Generated Content

Chapter 4: Build a Buzz with User-Generated Content

User-generated content offers great scope to build some serious hype around a specific launch, as well as your business as a whole. Think about how you can ride the zeitgeist and take advantage of the momentum.

Activate your fan base with user-generated content

3 tips for a successful user-generated content campaign

Increase engagement with user-generated content

Really grow your business with user-generated content

See how UGC spells success for independent retailers


Chapter 5: Promote User-Generated Content without the Ick

Chapter 5: Promote User-Generated Content without the Ick

Any strategy that focuses on user-generated content is opening up the floor for conversation, and building real and organic relationships with your audience. Shining a bit of that spotlight on the people who have put effort into promoting your business boosts those connections, and helps establish you as a business with soul.

4 splendid ways to promote user-generated content

This is how you get people to trust your product

How to “Regram” (+ the importance of sharing Instagram content)

3 creative ways to use Twitter hashtags to promote your business


Chapter 6: Put Your Own Spin on User-Generated Content

I am a HUGE fan of repurposing content, and getting as much mileage you can out of stuff you’ve already done. User-generated content is no different – you can repurpose, re-edit and re-share, and reach NEW viewers, NEW clients and NEW friends.

6 examples of how to make user-generated content work

Repurpose user-generated content effectively

Out of blog post ideas? Try user-generated content.

How user-generated content can light up your social media

Master content creation by staying ahead of the curve

How to repurpose your user-generated content



For more goodies, check out:

Content Creation Hacks
5 Day Killer Content Kickstart Challenge
Join the Killer Content Academy here


The Content Curation Cheatsheet

content curation


Baffled by all this chat about “curating content”?

Get started with this guide for pocket-sized businesses trying to kill it online without needing narcotics, naps or a never ending budget.

You know by now that killer content is what brings your clients closer – but what if you didn’t have to create it all yourself?

I’m not talking about hiring a pro here (but if you fancy weekly spa days, feel free to outsource it all!) – I’m talking about curating content.

Read more: Content curation – 9 things to keep in mind

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.

Read more: The definition of content curation from 6 of the best

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.

Read more: The secret sauce to getting noticed, becoming an influencer, and having fun online

Curating content helps you build stronger relationships, both with your audience and your peer group – it’s just good karma.

Curating content saves you a helluva lot of time – it’s way faster to collect a few juicy resources than rewrite something that’s been done, done, done.

Curating content ups your SEO big time, cuz backlinks = gold.

Curating content helps you seem like you know what you’re talking about.

Read more: The power and limits of curation

Let’s make this EASY.


Learn to curate content your audience craves, in a way that works for you #killercontentcuration Click To Tweet

Read more: Anyone can curate – that means you!

The Content Curation Cheatsheet

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.

The 3 most effective (and overlooked) content strategies

5 things to consider for content curation

6 strategies to add value with your own commentary

12 attributes if a successful content curation strategy

5 tips for great content curation


Chapter 2: The Etiquette of Content Curation

There’s a work that strikes fear (and fury) in the hearts of any and every content creator out there… plagiarism.

The idea that someone out there could be stealing your carefully crafted content is horrifying, so none of us would want to do that to someone else, right?

Here you’ll learn the difference between linking with love and barefaced burglary. We’ll also cover a few of the most important best practices when curating that content.

With this “curation” stuff aren’t you just really stealing people’s information?

The dos and don’ts of curated content

Best practices for content curation

What is the etiquette for sharing other people’s content?

How to curate content without stealing


Chapter 3: What Kind of Content Should You Curate?

Figuring out what topics to cover with your content curation is not difficult if you already have a content strategy, because your curation should fall in line with your overall brand messaging.

It’s all about appealing to your audiences so that they keep coming back for more.

3 tips to help you curate content your audience will love

9 content curation ideas for bulking up your editorial calendar

4 super fast ways to find out the questions your audience are already asking without (much) cyberstalking

The top 100 blogs to curate for social media power users

Untapped sources of killer content ideas


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.

6 reasons your business needs to curate content (and 17 practical tips for doing it)

Curate content and influence people

How content curation can drive traffic

The content curation guide for SEO

Grow your ecommerce business with content curation


Chapter 5: Kill It on Social with Curated Content

We’ve all heard a stat about how much content we should be sharing on social. The truth is, this varies. The one thing all these sources agree on?

You should be sharing way more curated content than content you’ve created from scratch.

Here you’ll learn how to secure social success by curating content, as well as using social platforms to find great stuff to share.

3 ways to deepen social media engagement using content curation

Lazy content curation will ruin your influencer relationships

Use Twitter for a super easy viral magic post

Grow your Instagram following by 60% with curated content

Which social networks are best for content curation?


Chapter 6: Sources of Killer Content

So you know you should be curating content for your audience. You understand the benefits. You’re excited to get started… but where do you find content worth sharing?

Funny you should ask.

Here I’ve rounded up some great resources to help you tap into trends and find valuable content without relying on your biz bestie’s blog:

14 sources for content curation inspiration

Feed the content curation monster

The art and science of spotting awesome

9 amazing content curation resources

Twitter content curation for extremely busy people

Gemma Went’s content curation formula


Chapter 7: The Content Curation Toolkit

The tools we use to curate content do not have to be pricy. In fact, some of the very best are free. You just need to know where to look… and I have you covered on that front:

The powerful content curation tool you’re not using

3 free content curation tools to save you time and grow your rep

7 cutting edge visual tools to curate content

50 killer tools for discovering, sharing and scheduling the best content

15 tools for content curation and making yourself an expert

60+ tools for finding and managing quality content

11 content curation tools for serious marketers


Chapter 8: How to Start Curating That Content

By now you should have realised that curating content is not difficult. In fact, it’s one of the most simple ways to provide value for your audience.

In this section you’ll learn how to push back against the procrastination and get started (without a single drop of blood, sweat or triple caff espresso!):

How to curate content without being mindless and mundane

How to do curated content RIGHT – a step-by-step guide

How to curate content for fun and profit

The ultimate guide to content curation

How to curate content, the proper way


Chapter 9: Winning Content Curation Workflows

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you’ll know I love a whip smart workflow.

Those handy hacks and tech tips are what I live for – they help me work smarter, and save time for the stuff that really matters.

Here you’ll discover a whole range of crazy-easy tips to trigger content curation without any kind of effort on your part. It’s a win/win.

The best content curators follow this surprisingly easy framework

How to use Trello to automate and plan your killer content

Shelf integrates Google Drive and Dropbox to sync content curation across platforms

Use Feedly, Buffer and insights to rock content curation

Curate content automatically with

Use smart research and roll up some great material


Chapter 10: Formats for Your Curated Content

Now you’ve got a handy bank of curated content it’s time to organise it, add your commentary and get publishing.

These resources will help you figure out how to format these new pieces of content in a way that works for you (and your followers):

The 5 models of content curation

The unbelievably powerful skyscraper technique

Create a curated blog post with these free templates

7 superheroic content formats to power up your content strategy

Curated content delivery formats – beyond news portals and magazines


Do you have a favourite tool to add? Leave a comment below and the list will be continually updated.


For more goodies, check out:

Content Creation Hacks
5 Day Killer Content Kickstart Challenge
Join the Killer Content Academy here