The introduction to The Curated Collection Blog Post Template is brought to you by Curata, Inc. Curata is the leading provider of business grade, content curation software that enables marketers to fuel their content marketing engine with fresh, relevant content. Learn more at Curata.com.
When it comes to blogging, most marketers tend to forget that not all content creation has to be 100% original. You can selectively gather and share only the most relevant, comprehensive insights and resources from around the web with your readers. That’s content curation.
Content curation serves the same purpose as content creation: to educate, engage, and attract more readers and customers. But there’s a huge upside – you save time by borrowing third party content instead of creating your own, all while introducing your audience to new and different perspectives. You save your audience time, too, because now they can come to you for a unique compilation of great content without having to find and vet it all themselves.
A curated blog post usually manifests itself in some sort of list-based format, so it’s generally very easy for readers to consume. Adding content curation to your content mix is a win-win for both your customers and you.
Ready to write a post with a collection of curated content your audience will love?
Let’s dive into the template below to get started.
Plan Your Curated Collection Blog Post
Take several minutes to plan out what you want to write about so that you can stay on topic and keep your readers engaged.
Step 1: Identify Your Audience
Which buyer persona are you writing this blog post for?
Step 2: Identify Your Key Takeaway
What do you want your audience to learn after reading your blog post?
Step 3: Identify What Types of Content You Want to Curate
What content matters to your audience that you don’t have the time or resources to create? Take a look at these ideas for valuable curated content, then jot down the content types or resources you plan to compile for your post.
You don’t have to pick the perfect title before your blog post is done, but it definitely helps to jot down a few ideas to help keep you focused during the writing process.
At HubSpot, we typically choose a working title – a title that you can "work" off of that guides your post, and helps you resist the urge to ramble off into a million different directions. Once the post is complete, we usually fine tune to ensure the title accurately reflects the post content, grabs potential readers’ attention, and is optimized for search.
For example, before finalizing the title for a blog post and downloadable presentation we put together for Halloween 2013, we brainstormed several titles before choosing a working title, and then revised further to come up with the final title:
13 Stats to Spook Your Boss Away From Traditional Advertising
13 Stats That Will Spook Your Boss into Adopting Inbound Marketing
13 Spooky Stats to Scare Your Boss Away From Ineffective Marketing Tactics (working title)
13 Spooky Stats to Scare Your Boss Into Better Marketing (published title)
Use the space below to craft a few possible blog post titles, and then choose one as your working title. Don’t worry about finalizing your title until you’re done writing.
Step 5: Create an Outline
The typical curated content post consists of:
An introduction: Sets the stage for what you plan to address in through your collection of curated content.
A body: Explains every bullet, list item, step, and example in a logical order – each with an explanation.
A conclusion: Wraps up your post with a brief statement that's reflective of what your readers just learned.
What are all the bullet points you need to cover to introduce your compilation, explain each point, and remind the reader what they just learned?
Use these questions to help you create your outline below.
Fill in the Curated Collection Blog Post Template
Step 6: Write the Introduction
When writing your introduction, you want to keep one question top of mind: How can I establish credibility and get my audience to care about the resources I plan to share with them?
Feel free to leave the introduction for last, too. Sometimes it’s easier to introduce your post after you’ve written the real meat of it.
When you do write your intro, here’s how we recommend going about it, using a blog post on 15 Phenomenal TED Talks You Need to Watch Today as an example.
Write a compelling opening that empathizes with the reader on a problem or difficulty.
Often, we inbound marketers learn from inbound marketing blogs written by inbound marketers who sell inbound marketing software or run inbound marketing agencies ... and it can get kind of stale.
Explain the problem in further detail.
We're all writing and reading about the same thing, so it becomes this vortex of similar content that can be hard to sift through to find things you didn't already know. It's hard to stay inspired, too.
Explain how you’ll fix the problem through the content you’ve curated.
There is one type of content that can help us get out of this vortex: TED Talks. Featuring presentations from some of the most brilliant minds in the world, TED Talks cover every topic under the sun in an easy-to-understand and inspiring way.
Transition into the body where you’ll explain the curated content further.
So to help you break out of your typical content mold and learn something new to make you better at your job, we've compiled 15 of our favorite TED talks. Watch them. You'll learn, laugh, and maybe even cry. And if you're itching to see a TED-style talk in person, you can come to INBOUND (our annual conference) and attend our version: Bold Talks.
Now it’s your turn! Start crafting an introduction in the box provided below.
Step 7: Write the Body
Remember, the body follows through on what you promised in the introduction. Your body can be written in paragraphs, with bullets, numbered lists, multiple headings, or a mix of all of these. You can make use of whichever format is easiest for you.
Just be cognizant of this question: What are all the pieces of content I need to explain in order to avoid confusion, and can I add any visuals that will make my post any easier for my readers to understand?
Steps to Writing Your Body
Example With Underlined And Italicized Orange Textthat Can Be Swapped Out For Your Copy
Use a header or bold text to draw attention to your first listed item followed by a description, image, or other form of multimedia.
On Marketing and Branding 1) Renny Gleeson: “404, The Story of a Page Not Found”
Ever been searching for something online and then, all of a sudden, you hit a dead end? You've gotten a 404 error. For some companies, a 404 page is just a functional alert to tell users that they've tried to reach an unreachable destination ... but it doesn't have to be this way. [embedded TED Talk video]
Continue from one step or list item to the other. (Unlike explaining step-by-step instructions in how-to posts, list items don’t require transitional phrases).
15) Simon Sinek: "How Great Leaders Inspire Action" Being a great leader isn't always easy, but breaking down why leaders are great is. It all starts with one simple question: "Why?" Using examples like Apple and Martin Luther King, Sinek breaks down exactly what makes a great leader, and how you can become one yourself. Whether you're an entry-level marketer or a C-suite executive, this talk will inspire you.
Transition into the conclusion. (This particular example jumps right to the concluding question discussed in Step 8).
Ready to start crafting the body? Fill in the box provided below.
Step 8: Write the Conclusion
Your conclusion is where you’ll paraphrase the key takeaway you outlined earlier in the planning stages and/or prompt your reader with a question.
Steps to Writing Your Conclusion
Example With Underlined And Italicized Orange Textthat Can Be Swapped Out For Your Copy
Summarize what the reader learned or how they benefitted from reading your post. (In this case, the post is so straightforward and list-oriented that a summary isn’t necessary).
Ask a question to encourage the reader to leave a comment or react.
Which TED Talk is most inspiring to you? Do you have any other favorites not already on this list?
What’s your conclusion? Write it in the text box below.
Step 9: Link to Additional Resources within Your Post
Sometimes it’s hard to say everything you want to say about a single topic in one post, which is why it’s helpful to your readers to identify additional resources you can link to for additional detail or credibility.
Hyperlinking to other blog posts or pages on your site can result in increased visibility in search engines, page views, and time on site. Hyperlinking to third party content can round out your perspective and help you appear more trustworthy to your readers.
What resources can you reference to strengthen your post? Place those links in this text box.
When you place your blog post copy into your blogging platform, create hyperlinks for these resources where they fit best.
Step 10: Finalize Your Title
Revisit your working title and see if you can make it more accurate, specific, sexy, concise, and SEO-optimized.
Need help? Check out this post on writing kick-ass titles.
Step 11: Pick a Call-to-Action
Do you want your readers to sign up for your newsletter? Request more information? Tweet something? Download something? Buy something?
What do you want readers to do after they’ve read your blog post?
Once you know what your desired call-to-action is, use one of these 50 free and pre-designed templates to create a custom CTA button to include at the end of your post.
Step 12: Copy and Paste Your Blog Post Copy into Your Blogging Platform
Now that you’ve gone through the exercise of outlining and writing your blog post, you want to prepare it for publishing.
A simple way to do this is to select and copy your finalized title and all your blog post body copy, and paste it into Microsoft Notepad (or TextEdit on a Mac). Pasting into one of these programs strips your copy of all formatting so that when you copy and paste it from the text editor into your blogging platform of choice, the formatting you apply within your blogging platform will render correctly.
Now’s the time to make your blog post scannable by using headers, bold text for key points, hyperlinks, and images where applicable.
Step 13: Edit, Edit, Edit!
Everyone can use a second set of eyes to look over their post before putting it out into the world, so have a friend or colleague look it over. Another thing that will help? The Ultimate Editing Checklist.
Step 14: Choose an Image
Every blog post should have an image. At HubSpot, we include at least one photo or image in every post we write so that when the blog post is shared to social media channels, it’s accompanied by a thumbnail image to entice a clickthrough.
Take a look at our three free bundles of downloadable stock photos (general, business, and holiday) to see if any of these royalty-free images will do the trick for you.
Step 15: Optimize Your Post for Search
If you’ve spent all this time collecting and annotating amazing content, you’ll want to make sure your post can be easily discovered in search engines. Check out our post on Blog SEO for the Modern Marketer: How to Optimize Your Posts for tips on how to do just that.
Step 16: And Finally, Hit Publish!
Publish your post and start tracking its performance!
Additional Tips and Recommendations
Keep it High Quality and Relevant
No matter what type of content you're curating, quality and relevance should always apply. No one wants to access a list of 10 mediocre industry blogs. They want the best. The individual content elements you choose, therefore, should represent the utmost level of quality.
Furthermore, make sure the content you're curating is relevant to your audience. That aggregated list of funny viral videos may very well be funny, but if you're not in the business of humor or marketing, it doesn't belong on your blog.
Although not a blog post, one of our top-performing ebooks, "101 Awesome Marketing Quotes," is nothing more than a compilation of various inspirational quotations from marketing experts, presented in a visually stimulating way. But what made it so successful is that we did the homework to collect all the quotes, and then we presented them in a way our readers would enjoy.
Oftentimes, it isn't enough just to aggregate. A blog post listing these 101 quotes would not have performed as well. By adding value (in this example, by adding visual elements), you essentially create something brand new and valuable out of content that already exists.
Here's a blog post that does this well.
Give Credit Where Credit’s Due
Since curation involves borrowing content that was created by someone else, you have to link to the original source.
Here's a blog post that does this well.
Curated Content Blog Post Examples for Inspiration
6 Content Curation Templates for Content Annotation
15 Phenomenal TED Talks You Need to Watch Today
Inspirational Quotes From the Late, Great Steve Jobs