It is what it is. Creating content still sounds scary to some people. Sure, it could be quite a challenge to come up with fresh and unique pieces on a regular basis, even for professional website content writers. That’s why many people consider curating and sharing other people’s work as a less time and money consuming option. But is that the case? Bring along your magnifying glass and your trench coat, we’re going to investigate!
First of all: what is meant by content curation?
You know, covering the basics and all that
Not every business can afford or have thought of working with professional website content writers. Yet, they still want to grow their audiences and keep them engaged. So, they go to the “next best strategy”. They distribute all the best finds of the Internet to their readers/followers/audience. That’s content curation. Coming across a blog post or a news article that you want to share seems waaaaay easier than spending resources writing it yourself, right?
As all great detectives know, things are seldom what they seem.
The Game of Relevancy & Differentiation
Both these content strategies are aimed at informing and engaging people, to start a conversation or to amuse. The main difference is that curating content isn’t as likely to convert people from bystanders to customers. If your curation skills are really good though, you will end up acquiring people’s trust. Once you have it, you might as well have their business.
If you are wondering what percentage of your content should be created and what part should be curated, check out some of the major pros and cons of both.
Pros of curation:
- You can build rapport with your audience, see what they think, and find like-minded people.
- You can still solidify your brand’s image.
- Lower chances of generating leads or convert people into consumers
- It could be time-consuming too. Sometimes, finding the right content to share with your audience is like gold-mining. It requires digging deep. It could potentially take up more time than creating content yourself.
Pros of creation:
- Whether it’s a blog article or an e-book, it’s a piece of original text published on your website. Google loves original. The more, the better for your ranking, conversion rate, and all those other fancy-sounding words, related to your SEO.
- The second you create it, this content becomes an asset. You can repurpose or retarget it, you can expand on it, make a series out of it and it will continue to be profitable.
- There are no shortcuts, if you want quality, you’ll have to put the time and resources yourself or outsource it to skilled content writers who’ll do it for you.
- Almost every creative idea consists of some kind of writing. If you don’t feel confident in it or you borderline hate it, this will inevitably slow down the process or impede it whatsoever.
Writing well is not easy. That’s why it’s such a precious skill. Finding what will keep your audience keen is not that easy either. Which one wins more clients or engagement?
A Winning Mixture of Both
It doesn’t have to be one way or another
A perfect example of masterful and engaging content curation is Brain Pickings. A space for finding and sharing the some of the world’s best pieces, created by Maria Popova. An “interestingness hunter-gatherer” (in her own words) – a follower and appreciator of different schools of thought, consisting of the insights of philosophers, scientists, artists, but most of all, creators like herself.
In my opinion, she has realized something extremely important and not that common. Namely, that…
It’s not enough just to share great stuff someone has made. It’s what you make out of them.
Lay your hand on good content. Everyone can do that. Look at it through your unique perspective, highlight what’s worth spreading and why, and add your personal touch to it. Now, that’s a winning recipe.
So, Which One Is Better?
Let’s draw a conclusion, shall we?
Now, I don’t want to leave you hanging. However, it is important to give you the “it all depends on the purpose and audience” disclaimer. Because that’s the truth.
In my humble opinion, though, creation > curation. The reason? I don’t think you can win as many points in authenticity and reach if you only share what others have done. I judge from my own experience. I always turn up for brands that publish quality, self-made or someone else’s original content I can’t find anywhere else. I look forward to it. I click “Subscribe” right away.
On the other side, I always think twice about giving my e-mail to curation-only based websites. I might follow a channel for funny memes but that’s about it. Maybe an exception (for me, at least) is Medium. When it comes to content I want to read, I like going to the primary source.
Do you agree with what you just read? This may be just the perspective of a website content writer because I am one, so what do you think? Can a brand or business go without creating original pieces and maintain its status by simply sharing what others do?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.