Content Creation Or Content Curation: Which Is Better?

Content Creation Or Content Curation: Which Is Better?

Everyone’s doing content now; companies are becoming publishers. This question comes up continually: content creation or content curation? Content curation is cheaper, the thinking goes, but which is better?

(BTW, thinking that content curation is cheaper is incorrect.)

Bottom line: it’s what your budget allows. It’s also what your marketing plan requires. Many companies are committed to traditional marketing, so content marketing needs supporters within the company.

Content Creation: Original, Compelling Content Is Ideal

Original content is always better. It gets you out there. You get the attention of customers you’d attract in no other way, because your traditional marketing channels never reach them.

Once you’ve got their attention, you can build on that. At a minimum, you create content for these personas:

  • People who’ve never heard of you;
  • People who are aware of you, and interested;
  • Current customers;
  • Past customers.

If you’re baulking at all this content, consider that you don’t need to create it all today. Or this week. Or this year. You create content over time, and your content lasts. It’s on your website. You can refresh the content as needed.

Content Curation: More of a Challenge

Wikipedia defines content curation as: “… the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.”

In an either/ or situation, content creation is always better. You’ve created it for your audience. With content curation, you’re promoting others’ content. This isn’t a bad thing in itself. However, it’s a challenge to mould that curated content so that it achieves your marketing goals.

Here’s why:

  • You’ve got to find good content which will help you to meet your goals. You’re promoting it, so what you choose says a lot about you. Finding this content takes time;
  • You’ve got to organize that content, and add your own insights to it. Analysis takes time. So does writing about the content you’ve found.

The Solution? Use Both

Why not not use both content creation, and curation? Content curation has benefits: your curated content may get links and shares from others. At the very least, you’ll get recognition, and you’ll show that you’re aware of what’s important to your audience.

I suggest to my clients that if they’re using both, they make sure that for each curated article, they post at least three pieces of original content.

The original content doesn’t need to be text. It can be images. It take seconds to snap a photo, and a few minutes to edit that photo, and provide a little commentary.

Get More From Your Original Content

Before you create content, or have it created for you, know where it fits into your content strategy. If the content is text, add an image (at least one), and a call to action. Make plans to get more from each piece of content before it’s written, too.

You can get lots of benefits from each piece of content. You use an an article as:

  • Social media shares:
  • A PDF for sharing;
  • An infographic for sharing;
  • A news release (rewrite it into the third person);
  • A section of a newsletter and/ or part of an email marketing campaign.

In summary, both content creation and content curation are valuable, and can form part of your publishing strategy.

If you need help with your content, get in touch.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Free Image Editing Just Got Social

Free Image Editing Just Got Social

Canva proved how easy free image editing can be: no design skills required. If you love Canvas as much as I do, you’ll be thrilled that the site’s just gone social: now you’ve got your own profile page. You can view friends’ images in a stream, and can comment on them.

And if that’s not enough, I just noticed that there’s a square Instagram template too. That joins all the other templates — for everything from social media graphics to presentations.

New to Canva? Click the Design School link at the top of the page, for lots of tutorials on making the most of Canva’s editing tools.

Stuff to Know About Canva

Tip: Canva keeps your designs. This makes it easy to reuse a favorite design. If you’re logged in, you’ll see your designs, and you can reach them at any time by clicking the Your Designs link at the top of the page.

Scrolling through your designs can inspire you. If you’ve ever “lost” a design — you can’t remember the file name, and it’s lurking somewhere on your computer — you’ll bless this feature.

Another tip: clicking the Copy This Page icon makes it simple to create infographics and presentations. Add your pages, then save the file as a PDF. If you’ve created a presentation, you can upload it to Slideshare immediately.

Please Add Images to Your Blog Posts: It Makes Them Much Easier to Share

A plea to my favorite bloggers. If you’re not using images in your posts, please add just ONE image. It makes it much easier to share your latest posts on social media networks. Thank you. :-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing Journal 69: Favorite Content Creation Tools

Writing Journal 69: Favorite Content Creation Tools

My writing journal for Monday, October 20, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

As usual, I started the day writing fiction. The mystery novel is still steaming along. Happy days; 2,300 words. Then nonfiction, working on the two business books: 1,800.

Next, Honey’s breakfast. Over the past few days, the weather’s been cooler, so her arthritis is bothering her. However, she’s still up for a game, and over-eats if she gets the chance.

Then, my own breakfast, while working through email. Monday tends to be a slower day for general email: just clients requesting quotes, and students sending me material. I handle most of it; Julia can deal with the quotes.

Next, it’s time to remind clients that we need images for their content. As I said in a post on Fab Freelance Writing Blog, the Web is all about images now. I’ve been looking at digital cameras; years ago, I had a photography hobby. It might be time to get back to it… when I find the time. :-)

My primary focus today is some “holiday” content for copywriting clients. We’re building up to the hot (pun intended, since it’s summer in Australia) content season. Clients suddenly realize that their website needs updating with their holiday offerings. And they need to plan and create promotional campaigns.

Time for my walk. I haven’t walked in a couple of days; I need it to clear my mind. Cold wind, so I wear my favorite beanie. :-)

Back again, and back to the holiday content. Work on that takes me up to lunch.

Lunch in front of my computer. It’s becoming a habit. However, I’ll be out most of tomorrow, so I need to get as much done as I can today. I browse through clients’ blog archives and Web content, and make notes, so that I can link the fresh holiday content back to previous content.

A reader asked about my favorite content creation tools.

My favorite content creation tools

I create a lot of content, of many different types, every day. So I tend to jump on any tool which might make creation easier. Your mileage will vary. I test and discard lots of tools, but that’s OK. Creating content consistently is a real challenge, so any tool which helps with that is a worthwhile investment.

Currently, my favorite tools include…

Evernote. Always. It’s always open, and I do a lot of writing in Evernote. It means I can write on my phone or tablet, and add ideas as they come to me.

Scrivener. Invaluable. Don’t know where I’d be without it.

Ember. (Mac) A recent acquisition. For research, as well as to check what assets have been created, and need to be created for a project.

MultiMarkdown Composer, and Ulysses (Mac.) Most of my content starts in Evernote, then makes its way to one of these programs: I use Marked as the viewer for both of them.

Marked (Mac). Wonderful for viewing and repurposing Markdown documents.

Adobe Creative Cloud. I use Photoshop and Bridge mostly.

Curio. Indispensable, both to collect assets for projects, and to keep archives of past projects. It’s amazing how often clients will return months and years later – and they’ve lost the assets we used. Curio is a huge time saver, because all the previously used assets are there, and are instantly available.

OmniOutliner (Mac.) I resisted upgrading to version 4, but finally pulled the trigger.

Inspiration. An app I adore, because you can create HUGE cluster diagrams to spark, and to reignite, creativity for a project.

Onward with the holiday content for copywriting clients

Back to developing the holiday content. Finally I’m done with the initial drafts; I send them off with relief. I’m still waiting for some product shots, so I can create product descriptions; I send a reminder to the photographer.

More emails, and phone calls to return. My daily review, and that’s it for another day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 68: Manage Your Social Media Images

Writing Journal 68: Manage Your Social Media Images

My writing journal for Sunday October 19, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

It’s Sunday, a short writing day for me. The mystery novel is still chugging along like the little engine that could. I managed 2,500 words. A lot of first-draft junk content, but some good. (Even if I say so myself.)

Then on to nonfiction; just 1,200 words, but that’s OK.

Honey’s breakfast, and then my own. I eat my toast while responding to students’ exercises.

Which reminds me: today is the final day of the special offering on 8-Hour Wins; check it out before the offering ends.

8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 HoursThe 2015 version of the Easy-Write Process went live today, too.

Mac OS X Yosemite is powering along. Only one minor hiccup. Dropbox wouldn’t load until I installed a new version. I’m sure that’s my fault. It doesn’t have an in-app notification for new versions, so I forget to update.

One thing I’ve noticed with Yosemite; it’s speedier. Very nice. I’d still recommend waiting before you upgrade; that’s the sensible thing to do.

No time to walk this morning. Today’s my big blogging day, so I spend the rest of the morning organizing blog content and social media postings.

Manage Your Social Media Images

I’m always looking for ways to improve my workflow, especially with social media. Denise Wakeman posted about MavSocial. It’s a social media management tool specifically for images.

To manage images, I use Creative Cloud, but even with Adobe Bridge to help, I still get into a tangle. I’ve got text content, images for dozens of social media campaigns, promotional materials and heaven knows what else. Keeping it all straight is not only frustrating, it’s next to impossible.

Currently I use spreadsheets, Curio and OmniOutliner to keep things going, but it’s still migraine-inducing.

So I tried MavSocial out immediately. Within a few minutes, I’d uploaded some images, edited one, posted a tweet, and scheduled another one. Very impressive. Usually it takes forever to figure out a new tool, but MavSocial is well laid out. I like the idea of creating campaigns, and checking the results in one dashboard.

I’ll spend more time reviewing it, but at first glance, it’s well worth incorporating into my workflow.

A couple of days ago, I mentioned Canva for iPad. I installed it last night. If you’re familiar with the Web app, you’ll be creating with the iPad app soon as you install it. You can even access all the images you’ve created on Web Canva from the app.

Time for my Sunday commitments.

Sunday blogging

I’m back, and it’s more Sunday blogging. I like to do as much preparation as I can on Sunday, so that the week’s blogging flows smoothly.

By the time I’ve brainstormed and researched posts, and have created draft posts for each blog, it’s time for my general weekly plan and review session.

With that done, everything’s ready for another week.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.