Written by Shane Neubauer
The shape of the Internet is changing. We know that curation is the future of how people discover new content on the Internet. But, what does it mean to be a curator, and how do you become a good one?
Curators are the life blood of content distribution on the Internet. Without people sharing great content, we'd depend 100% on algorithms to guide what we consume.
A curator is simply somebody who consumes some content, and then shares it with their friends, family, or followers on the Internet.
There are eight important fundamentals for you to nail, which will get you on your way to becoming a well respected curator in your category. Let's get started.
What topics are you passionate about? It's important to pick a topic that you care about. That way your curation workflow will fit straight into your own consumption habits.
You'll be learning for yourself, and curation will just be an extension of that.
If you don't care about the topics you curate for, then it will be hard work. You'll need to be consuming content you're not interested in, and learning stuff you may never use.
👉 Top tip: Always curate topics that you care about, and already want to learn for yourself.
You'll need somewhere to capture and collect all the things that you like and plan to share with others. When you discover something great that you'd like to share, you need to be able to quickly save it for later.
There are a few tools available to help with this. Obviously Beyond is the best 😉 — it's purpose-built to support curators.
Other commonly used tools include Notion, Airtable, and sometimes Pocket.
👉 Top tip: Choose a tool to help you capture the content you want to curate.
It's not just about capturing things, though! You also need to be able to add your notes, tags, organise it into logical collections that people will be interested in, and share it with your audience.
You'll benefit from having everything organised, because it will enable you to publish quickly and with little effort. Your audience will appreciate it too, as it will be easier to discover and consume.
👉 Top tip: Keep your content organised with tags and collections
It's important that you add your take! What did you learn? What insights can you provide on top? Curating is not just about re-sharing things. People want to hear what you've got to say as well.
If you're not sure where to begin, here's a few prompts:
Remember, your audience is placing their trust in you, so make sure your voice is present. It makes your curation much more valuable.
👉 Top tip: Enrich your curated content with your own insights and take-aways.
Have a persona in mind for your readers. What are they interested in? What do they do?
Often you'll be collecting content on a handful of topics and perspectives, so it pays to have someone rather specific in mind to keep from scattering too much.
What type of role do they work in? Which age group are they in? What other topics do they care about?
Obviously you're not limited to building an audience filled with that exact profile, but it gives you a centre to work from.
👉 Top tip: Define who you're curating for to keep your curation cohesive.
Be sure to vary the type of content that you're sharing, to keep it interesting and engaging. Mix it up with articles, videos, podcasts etc.
This also gives you a wide range of channels to select from, too.
Different people prefer different formats of content, and some just love to have lots of variety. Mixing it up helps you to address a larger group within your niche.
👉 Top tip: Introduce variety to keep your content engaging.
Whichever platform you use, make sure you can gather engagement metrics. Metrics will help you to understand which content people like, so that you can refine what you're sharing.
At the minimum, you should be able to see number of views and clicks. These two metrics are quite powerful, as they can be used in a few ways to measure how you're doing.
Some content will do well, and some will not do so well. Don't take it personally — that's normal. It's hard to predict what people will like, but by using analytics, you can refine your approach.
(pssst. Beyond will be offering a powerful analytics feature soon, so keep your eyes peeled)
👉 Top tip: Use data to help you figure out what resonates with your audience.
Once you can see what resonates with people, double down on it! Do more of what works, and reduce or stop the stuff that people don't like as much.
Analytics is your feedback loop, but you also need to take action on that feedback, to ensure that you're always improving.
👉 Top tip: Adjust your content according to what works.
Becoming a curator is a wonderful way to contribute productively on the Internet. You'll be helping people learn, save time, and increase their wellbeing by guiding their content consumption.
I hope these tips help you to be successful on your curation journey! Good luck out there.
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