How to Curate Your Best Content

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Social Media Just For Writers 185 KB

Last week we discussed my four-step solution to avoiding the “time suck factor” on social media.

Time suck is my inglorious manner of describing how people can sometimes be stuck on the Internet for hours posting, updating, liking, commenting, and tweeting when tey would rather be writing.

As I shared last week, you can distill social media marketing into four simple steps:

  1. Curate
  2. Schedule
  3. Comment
  4. Analyze your return on investment

This week we’re going to delve further into the concept of curation.

You Are What You Tweet

On social media, your reputation rests on the information you post. So if you want to attract a following that longs for every blog post that you write and is eager to see what news you’ll be tweeting today, curate your information with care.

Heidi Cohen (@HeidiCohen), of Riverside Marketing Strategies, describes content curation as “the process of choosing the most relevant information to meet your readers’ needs on a specific topic like a good editor or museum curator. Content curation requires more than just the selection of information. It’s the assembling, categorizing, commenting and presenting the best content available.”

I love this quote but Heidi makes it sound harder than it really is.

Yes, content curation takes discipline. Why? Because we are all bombarded with information these days and your job will be to cut through the slush in newsfeeds, inboxes and on the Internet and select the best and most relevant content that applies to your niche.

One way to approach curation is to specialize on targeted topics. For example, Rachel Thompson has two Twitter accounts. On one, she focuses on sexual abuse and on the other, she focuses on social media and writers.

Don’t try to curate all topics. Become known by what you talk about online. If you write paranormal romance novels, curate about that genre. If you write memoir, curate information about workshops, conferences, and other opportunities where writers can learn more about the craft.

Content Curation by Frances CaballoIf you are writing a cookbook filled with delicious, gluten-free recipes, post about findings in Celiac Disease or about new food manufacturers making it easy to follow a strict, gluten-free diet.

If your novel features a woman entrepreneur or CEO, focus on writing, publishing, and issues that women in business face.

If your novel is set in France, curate information about the particular era you write about and look for dreamy images of Frances or of cities where your characters live.

Don’t curate about the presidential election, the opening of a zoo, or the Fourth of July parade in your town. Narrow your focus and become known for always posting the best and most up-to-date information in your field. 

You are your content and you will become known by the content that you post. In other words, become an authority in your niche.

The 80/20 Rule

Twenty percent of the time you can boast, promote, and post about your books, blogs, workshops, and speaking engagements. But don’t be heavy-handed. Make sure that your blog posts contain information that others will want to curate and share with their own followings.

Above all else, be authentic.

Here are some examples:

  • Are you running a Cyber Monday special on an eBook? Note it on your social media profiles.
  • Perhaps you can hardly wait to post information about a writing award you received. Let your friends know about it.
  • Did one of your poems make it into a prestigious anthology? This is great content to post.

A good portion of the time, you will want to promote others, share great blog posts on innovations in self-publishing or help your friends learn about great writing workshops and conferences.

You could spend hours curating information, but who has the time? Quickly scan these web pages and applications and use the best information you can find in 5 to 10 minutes. You will learn a lot through this process and become known as a must-follow writer.

About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer,  and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Editor for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.