Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Where To Find Careers Content to Curate

This is the third post in a weeklong series on content curation. I've talked about what content curation is, and shared some best practices for content curation. But I'll bet you're wondering, "Where do I find the stuff to share?"

Where To Find Content to Curate 
The idea of content curation sounds simple enough. You find content your readers would like and share it with them, either summarizing it or just adding your opinions somewhere in the post. But where do you start? There's obviously a LOT of great content out there (and lots of NOT-SO-GREAT content too!). Once you start curating content, you'll realize that it takes a bit of focus and creativity to find really good content — content that is worth sharing.

Scheduling Your Content Search
The best way to find content is to work it into your regular routine. It's much better than spending a whole day tracking down content all at once. It's better because when you spend a little time each day, you find fresh content that's up to date. You also keep yourself from burning out searching the Internet for things to share. While you're curating content, you're also learning new things yourself — so the time you spend on content curation each day can be like a little mini "learning break" for you.

Choose a time to set aside each day. Try to find a time when you're most likely to enjoy the search. For example, first thing in the morning before you start your day, it might be fun to scan the Web looking for news. Or, you might prefer to do it at night while you're catching up on some TV.

Searching for content is also a great activity to do when you're killing time waiting for something. You might have 10 spare minutes before the kids come home, 20 minutes while waiting for a ballet lesson to finish, or a half hour while waiting on hold with tech support. These little nooks and crannies of time aren't great for serious, focused work, but you can use them to find content. You might not take the time to do the commenting at this point, but simply locating the content is going to give you a leg up when it comes time to actually curating. I recommend using Evernote to store your un-curated clips. You can start an Evernote Note for specific subjects and then copy-and-paste links into the Note for later use. (Have I mentioned how much I love Evernote?)

Resisting Shiny Object Syndrome
The Internet is full of shiny objects that can distract you and lead you astray. When you're looking for content, it's easier than ever to get distracted. You'll find something of interest to you and start reading, even though you have no intention of sharing it.

First of all, set aside your content search time and designate it for only searching. During that time, say to yourself, "I'm only looking for content to share." Every time you stop on a site and begin reading, ask yourself if it's something you might share. If it's not, save the link so that you can read it later in your spare time. (Again, this is a great use for an Evernote note called "To Read." Simply copy the link and paste it into the note, and move on!)

Search with an Open Mind
You need to stick to the task at hand, but don't get stuck in a rut. When you ask yourself whether the content in question is sharable, be open-minded. Try to see if there's a way you can tie it into your niche. Look for creative ideas from other industries. If you can do this successfully, you'll come up with unique content other resume writers wouldn't find.

For example, if you have a blog on executive career search, you may share an article on the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. You might reference how 007 works with a team to achieve outrageous objectives. If you work with students, you might share content about zombies. Why? Because this will attract their attention AND it's important to teach them about not "following the pack" when it comes to job search.

Think outside the box and don't forget that you can also share content you disagree with. This often gets the best reaction from readers.

Watch your audience's response to your content and judge whether or not it was a good find based on that response. Don't make the mistake of choosing content you like; always choose content that your readers will engage with.

Next up: Five Great Tools for Content Curation

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