What’s the Difference Between Content Creation and Content Curation?

Welcome to a six-part series of guest posts that I am beyond excited to be writing for the Constant Contact Blog.

Over the next few months, we’ll focus on the topic of Content Creation versus Content Curation.

What are they? What’s the difference between them? And what purpose do they serve?

How can they help you to grow your following and populate your feeds? What are the best practices?

These are all questions we’ll tackle in the course of this series.

But first, let’s start with some basics.

You’ve all heard the expression, “Content is king.” But what does it mean?

When it comes to online marketing, those that have the best content win.

Simply put, people will follow you and subscribe to your email list if you offer good content. Let me give you an example.

I’m a big fan of Mari Smith. She’s my go-to gal when it comes to knowing what’s happening on Facebook (and let’s face it, Facebook is changing on almost a daily basis, so it’s really important to keep up-to-date).

I subscribe to Mari’s weekly e-news. Now, I subscribe to a lot of e-newsletters, to be fair. But Mari’s is different. I have trained my Gmail to have her newsletter come straight into my primary inbox, not to one of the tabs, and every week when I get it, I open it eagerly.

She shares usually three links to blog posts that are always, and I mean always, exceptionally good. I then share those posts with my followings on Facebook and Twitter.

I’m eager and excited every time one of Mari’s emails hits my inbox, because I know the content is always going to be good. It’s been proven again and again. She offers valuable content, and offering that value has garnered her a huge and loyal following, and most recently, a job at Facebook.

Offering valuable content to your followers will get you more followers because people will be liking and sharing your content. It gives you social proof in the form of retweets and shares. Your followers will recommend you to others (as I just recommended Mari to you).

The problem with offering valuable content is that you can’t always create it.

Let’s face it, you’re just one person. What are the chances that you’ll come up with solid gold content from your head every day of the week? Unless you’re a best-selling author like Seth Godin, I’m guessing the chances of this happening are pretty small.

However, you can come up with great content sometimes — like maybe a couple of times a week. But you can’t just fill your Facebook feeds a couple of times a week. A steady stream of posts is the way to go. So, to fill in the holes on days when you don’t have original content, you can use content curation instead.

Content curation, while not original content that comes from your head, is still incredibly valuable.

You see, curation means you have done the work for your followers. You might follow hundreds of blogs, but you pick out the very best posts to share with your audience. You’ve saved them time and energy, and that’s incredibly valuable.

In future posts, we’ll get deeper into these topics. We’ll look at, for example, what the best networks are for content creation and content curation. We’ll look at best practices, and I’ll share some inside tips and tricks to make your curation easier and faster.

Takeaway:

Think about your own online presence.

Maybe you have a Facebook Page, maybe you tweet, or you’re on Instagram. Hopefully you’re using email to stay in touch with your audience and have a newsletter that you send out on a regular basis.

Think about each one of those channels from a curation versus creation point of view. Are there social media channels where you do more of one than the other? And if, for example, you primarily lean towards content creation, say on Facebook, can you think of a way that you can integrate more curation into your feed?

Look for resources that your audience will find interesting, and try content curation for yourself. If you want to learn more about how I use content curation, subscribe to my monthly Blogging Mastery email. I’ll compile some of my favorite articles on blogging and share them with you every month. You can sign up for it here.

Until next time, happy curating and creating!

Let us know your content creation and curation questions in the comments—we’re here to help.

About the author: Rebecca Coleman is a blogger and social media marketing strategist. She teaches classes in social media marketing at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver, BC. She loves Constant Contact, and just started a curated monthly email called Blogging Mastery, where she gathers the best articles on blogging from around the web every month. You can sign up for it here.

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