This is a guest post from eBusiness consultant Donna Fontenot (@DonnaFontenot). Donna is one of my most trusted collaborators and someone I have highly recommended regularly.
I use my interview with Donna on eBusiness consulting as an example of, as Technology Blogger Justin Germino (@DragonBlogger) commented, an “excellent interview with questions you don’t see in typical cookie cutter interviews”.
TOPICAL EVENT CURATION:
We are in an age of information overload. In fact, a recent study shows that each of us is exposed to the equivalent of 174 newspapers of data, every single day, and the average person produces six newspapers worth of information every day.
Even if your blog topic is a very small, specialized one, there is probably still a vast amount of information about it online. If an important event occurs in that niche, keeping up with the stream of data about it can be difficult and frustrating for the average person. Readers don’t want to waste time reading the same news over and over again. They want only the best, most comprehensive ideas presented from various angles. For that reason, people often look to content curators, or guides, to help them focus only on the best articles and blog posts for news and discussion of the event.
Your blog can become the “go-to guide” for event news curation in your niche. When an event occurs, you can be the one to build a collection of content that is worth a reader’s time. Here are a few tips on becoming a great event curator.
Have everything ready and in place long before an event occurs. While some events may be planned, such as an annual home and garden show, arts and crafts street fair, or an industry conference; others will be unplanned, such as a natural disaster occuring in an area of the world your blog focuses on, or a major corporate or product announcement. Some events may involve national holidays like Christmas, or popular sports events like the Superbowl. Regardless of what kind of event takes place, if it’s relevant to your niche or industry, your readers will want to read everything they can find on it, and they’ll want the information quickly. With preplanning, you can provide that for them.
- Set up a blog category specifically for event curation posts.
- Set up general alerts at places like Google Alerts, Giga Alert and TweetAlarm to keep you informed of news and conversations relevant to your general topic.
- When you see breaking news about an event, add new alerts for more specific event-related phrases so you can quickly read new articles and posts to determine relevance and quality.
- To stay in the loop about upcoming conferences, trade shows, and conventions in your area of interest, check places like Bvents and EventBrite at least once a week.
- Follow the Twitter accounts of industry leaders and relevant Twitter lists to be in the know, in real time.
The Curated List
» Once you realize that an important event is taking place, you should begin the process of determining which articles, blog posts, videos, and other forms of content are both relevant and of such high quality that you would want to recommend them to your readers. Remember, you are establishing yourself as the go-to place for users looking to find only the best information about an event, so make sure you present nothing but the best.
» In most cases, the event will take place over time, and information will continue to flow for hours, days, weeks, or longer. For this reason, your curated list will be organic and ever-changing. It does not need to be a final list before posting. Don’t wait too long before making it live, but of course, make sure it begins with enough content to be worth a visitor’s time. Be sure to note within the post that it will be updated as new information comes out.
» Try to include articles that look at the event from different points of view from well-known sources as well as little-known sources. You can be the person who introduces new, talented writers and reporters to your audience.
» Don’t just throw a lot of links on the page. Your readers are looking to you to save them time, so give them an idea of what they’ll find if they visit each link. Organize and group them together in whatever way makes sense. Include a short excerpt or summary of each link. If appropriate, a thumbnail image next to each is nice as well.
Three Bonus Benefits
- One bonus effect of being a topical event curator is that you will catch the eye of at least some of the sources you link to. Those sources may be influential bloggers and journalists who may remember you, link to you, and pass traffic on to you in the future.
- Another bonus is that if you become well known in your niche as a solid source of quality curation, you may find yourself invited to industry conferences and events, as a guest reporter or speaker.
- If your blog is part of a small business website, your brand reputation can be enhanced once you become known as an excellent industry event curator.
Add Curation To The Mix
No matter what type of blogger you are, or what niche you blog about, you should consider adding event content curation to the mix of blog posts you write. Big events that need content curation don’t occur every day, but when they do happen, you can be the blog that everyone flocks to when seeking the best information about the event. Be prepared for those big events, and you may find yourself enjoying high traffic and lots of respect.
Donna Fontenot is an ebusiness consultant whose passion for geeky technology intertwines with her desire to be more creative. She doesn’t let her lack of artistic talent prevent her from design endeavors such as creating Christmas wallpaper and HTML5 templates.
Not sure why you would want to be an Event Curator? This ties in perfectly with my advice to create geo-targeted blogs to position your blog where the money is by reaching the audience small businesses need to reach so they will want to hire you for blog outreach, Social Media promotion or to advertise with you.