To Create or Curate Content? (IV)
11 personality traits especially helpful to content curators:
Content curation is a very complex task, it takes a certain person with certain skills to be able to complete the job properly. Here is a list of characteristics that make for a competent content curator:
Content curation and Curiosity
Curiosity is essential to curating. You should have a thirst for knowledge like the blood-lust of an ancient vampire who’s been released from a thousand-year sleep.
The thirst will drive you to dedicate the time and energy to consume as much as you can.
This requires you to be open-minded (to foster a supportive environment of open dialogue and understanding) as well as sceptical (of all the fake information out there).
A curator should entail expert-like knowledge of a subject. Learning increases resolution: the more you know about something, the more you can truly appreciate its details. Including the slightness in differences of traits, qualities and weaknesses. Content curation is possibly the best way to learn the most about a subject.
You do this by reading up on the topic; interviewing established experts; collecting, researching, and analysing resources, data, trends and statistics.
You should also try to facilitate discussions with fellow fanatics and scholars. When I say fanatics, I mean those who don’t have a formal education in the subject, but are regarded as valuable and trustworthy experts. Always consider and compare differing viewpoints and question established assumptions.
Then you write about it.
Strong ethics in content curation
The personality traits of a content curator
Content curators regard a set of strong values that one strives to adhere to during decision making, thereby filtering out ones own reality.
A curator’s values will define the scope of the ‘net’ they throw to ‘catch’ information.
Whether it’s a small net with big holes (not very useful to catch the good yet tiny bits) or a large net with medium holes (optimal to ensure a wide scope and good quality), this plays a large part in the way as well as what one curates.
Ask yourself why you do what you do, and what you stand for. Challenge yourself, travel, experience as much as you can!
Alternative traditions and cultures will open your eyes to many realities and thoughts that you might not previously have considered. This will lead to you discovering a lot more about yourself and your ethical standpoint.
Transparency – Disclosure
Curators thrive on credibility and trust. Transparency, the conscious decision to not keep secrets or hide personal information for one’s own benefit, is imperative to curation. Share your motives and interests, especially if they may be interpreted as a conflict of interest.
The audience has a right to know the motives of a curator, to know what drives and rewards them, so as to afford a level of trust that is not superficial.
Hardly anyone wants to read content picked out of a personal whim, they require cold hard facts about their interests, or an interesting perspective that they would never have previously considered.
To identify deeply with another person or group is essential to content curation.
Since the aim is to answer the questions posed by the audience, it is important to connect with who the audience is, their language; needs; interests and expectations, to find out what they would like to know.
Personal voice within content curation
The personal voice is a personal view on a specific topic, shared with the public. A content curator is not objective, no. We do not keep a distance from the subject matter nor the collections we create. The job entails bringing in one’s bias, prejudice, perspective and opinion to any and all pieces created.
Content curators are highly involved with the subject and content. Content curators actively question the value of information, rationally analyse to identify key strengths and weaknesses and always offer their own perspective.
It can be said that a curator without a strong voice is nothing.
Pattern recognition in content curation
The ability to easily recognise similar information patterns across a range of completely different contexts or appearances.
It’s an invaluable skill to be able to identify trends or the emergence of novel ideas before others. This entails a devotion of more time to the study of your topic; curate more; pay increased attention to detail, nuances and subtle traits that are easily overlooked.
Organisation and content curation
Is the ability to recognise similar items, logically group and label (categorise) them in an order to ensure easy navigation through the information.
To curate content is to make sense out of chaos. To create the logical, clear organisation of information leads to better understanding of concepts.
Attention to detail
Involves being aware of and sensitive to the care for small, sometimes seemingly insignificant items or details that are part of something.
To do this you must dedicate ample time to the content curation process; ensure a peer-review of the content, generate comments and feedback to it and double review it (yes, I’m serious).
Being thorough, analysing things within a systematic procedure, executing high precision tasks without leaving anything to chance.
Content curation is about being precise and giving quality information, there’s no way to do this without having a system of categorisation.
Check, vet and verify. Always.
Is the ability to wait for extended periods of time without losing focus or sight of the objective.
Patience is a core trait that is needed in order to allow ample time for a curated collection to develop. Research and content curation take time. The value is not found in the speed of which you can operate, but how well you can understand the topic and present the information.
Another way to look at content curation is to imagine it as a distillation process. You start with a vast quantity of subject matter, and systematically sift and refine all the material until you have a pure concentration. A potent, 100% extract.
Your ultimate goal being to dose your audience with undiluted shots of pure, useful information to facilitate their understanding on a particular subject.
Digital Marketing South Africa
We are masters in the arts of content curation and endeavour to leave no stone un-turned. To learn more about the importance of effective content curation, contact us.
Does online marketing strategy sometimes end up sounding like a Slavic villain attempting to dominate the world? Talking about SEO and strategies, UX’s, canonicalization, etc?
Our goal is to remove those anxious feelings and act as your translator. We’ll show you that you don’t need a course in digital marketing. And you definetely don’t need to hire an advertising agency to get your business to flourish. You just need a little bit of help, which we can provide. We are here to change your opinion and make you aware of your ever-present online ally, SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the practice whereby you implement unpaid or ‘organic’ methods (online marketing techniques) to elevate your website to the first of the search engine result pages (SERP). As a result, you increase the quality and quantity of your website’s traffic (while decreasing traffic to your competitors!).
By definition, marketing should allow you to place your business in the line-of-sight of your consumer. Most people pretend to know what they’re talking about when it comes to online marketing, consequently few truly understand how it works.
Hence not many realise that SEO is an imperative part of your business’ marketing plan. Research states that SEO ( online marketing strategies) has a positive correlation to higher sales and marketing leads.
Whether you use an advertising agency, social media advertising, organic advertising, or paid advertising: it’s a great idea to utilise SEO for your business.
This is ultimately a fancy way of saying that you structure your website and content to captivate the attention of Search engines (mainly Google). Which will drastically increase your chances of catching your target market’s eyes.
SEO is for Search Engines and Humans
The goal of Google is to be the most comprehensive online hub of marketing, communication and information. They seek to provide their users with the best quality information available via searching for specific terms.
That may seem like a simple task, but when you think of the billions of websites in the world, combinations of terms, and how long it takes to go through all the spam… Even if your website happens to be very niche, the result is still sorting through thousands.
It’s somewhat equivalent to sifting through a desert to find the finest grains of sand. Then laying them out, in order of quality and relevance, for all to enjoy.
But it’s certainly better, because instead of grains of sand, its millions of terabytes of useful information.
By using SEO properly, you implement marketing strategies that allow search engines to find, understand and index your website correctly. When this is done suitably, the result should land your website at the top of the first page of a Google search.
There are over 250 factors that Google uses in hugely complicated mathematical algorithms to decide the rank of a website. This includes everything from:
- Standard of user interface;
- Technical aspects; to
- Scrolling text.
All these SEO categories can be divided into 3:
- Technical SEO – These include foundations such as: sitemaps, robots.txt, page speed and mobile friendliness.
- On-page SEO – This includes a content audit, page titles, URL, meta-description, title tags and semantic architecture.
- Off-page SEO – includes back link building, social citations and domain authority.
Without improving the technical aspects, content SEO has the ability to drastically increase your websites ranking on Google. This deals with the writing and structure of your content, thus making it easy-peasy to navigate for people and Google.
On-page (Content) SEO deals with three main topics:
- Keyword strategy
- Site structure
Keyword strategy SEO
Your keyword strategy is created based in the findings of your keyword research, this involves:
- Search intent: discovering what the target market actually wants to know, do or buy;
- Finding keywords: terms you want your business to be associated with and, more importantly, the terms your target audience would use to find your business.
Your target market already has these questions, it’s your job to find out what they are. The next step is to answer the queries with concise, quality content.
There are three steps to keyword research:
- State the mission of your business.
- List all the keywords you want to be found for.
- Create a landing page for each keyword.
Keywords can be divided into heads and tails. Head keywords are generally short, common and highly competitive as they generate decent traffic for websites. Tail keywords are usually longer, more specific (niche) and less common (thus easier to rank).
At first, your content should focus on the small number of the most common (head) keywords that fit your business best. It would be wise to place them on the highest level pages of the website (homepage and menu categories).
Your business is dynamic, it may change in time. Therefore you and your keyword strategy should be flexible enough change with it.
Site structure SEO
The structure of your website is important for various reasons, here are two:
ONE: So that Google may read and ‘understand’ your site. This allows them to discover important aspects such as:
- What the site is about;
- Where the most important content is;
- How easy it will be to find and index content relevant to your sites purpose and intent
TWO: Ensure that you don’t compete with your own content. You may find yourself with several articles on a similar topic. A decent internal linking structure can show Google which articles are the most important.
The ideal site structure would form a pyramid.
Start simple and get more complicated lower down. Use head keywords higher up and tail keywords addressed lower down in the site’s scheme.
The homepage would serve as the top tier and have content regarding the focus keyword (the main keyword you want to associate with your site).
The top tiers of the pyramid would focus on cornerstone content: articles on head keywords which you are most proud of; fit the mission of the site best; and which you want to rank most with.
The next tier should form categories that refer to the following pages and more tail keywords.
It is important to link from tail to head (mention tail articles in cornerstone content) in order to tell Google which articles to rank highest.
More characteristics of an ideal site structure are:
- Incorporating tags and taxonomies to give the site more structure (this assists Google in understanding how to group your articles on similar topics);
- A clear, logical site map (with unique and apt page titles);
- A Meta-description (to reflect the relation of the page to key search terms);
- A lack of duplicate and out-dated content; and
- Solving orphaned content (which don’t get any links from your other articles/posts).
Content copywriting, like all writing, must be attractive to the reader in order to hold their attention.
However, this specific type requires you to attain the attention of two audiences: the human target market and Google.
The importance of SEO Keywords
The keyword research comes in handy again when you start to construct your site content. By this stage, you should be aware of who your target audience is and what their intent is.
By deducing this, you can then move on to formulating your main message (what you want to tell them) with purpose.
I.e. what you ultimately want them to do with the information. This could be to engage, read more, buy, sign up, etc.
Discovering keywords that your target audience uses should provide some great starting points and ideas for articles. Then the task is to turn those keywords into interesting angles on original content.
Not only should your content be original, but also well readable for both of our audiences (humans and Google). This is where traditional writing skills come to play.
A well-structured and clearly written article, complete with defined paragraphs, immaculate grammar and superior spelling. These are all part of creating those smooth, information-packed, easy-to-read posts that get our audiences to rank; join; follow; like; sign up; share and buy.
Ultimately, the goal is always to answer the target audience’s questions and ensure a decent UX (User eXperience). They have posed specific questions and these require quality answers.
Thus the role of content copywriting is to incorporate SEO practices to make your website more visible to search engines and answer the target markets queries with high quality content.
There is no doubt that businesses create this informational, original and readable content. The terrible thing is, many never focus on maximising their content’s findability with regards to Google. That obviously means they have this fantastic content that gets lost in a vast abyss of the very average. How truly sad?
What is the point of having website? It is to have your content seen by the largest audience possible. Findability is about increasing the likelihood that Google picks your content for result pages. The higher up your website is found, the more clicks your site will get.
In fact, SEO is all about making 100% sure that your superior content and the product/ service, or message you offer is seen and acknowledged by Google. And as a result, by every person out there that’s looking for your business as an answer.