The benefits of blogging are well-documented. From boosting your credibility to opening up conversations with potential clients, a well-written and regularly-updated blog can do wonders for your online presence.
But for many agents, the time and effort required to maintain a blog can lead to discouragement. Out of those people that do start a blog, many quickly run out of steam as the novelty wears off and motivation and ideas begin to dwindle.
It doesn’t have to be that way. What if there was a simple way that you could spark your imagination and get your writerly juices flowing, by bouncing off other people’s ideas?
Enter curation posts.
Curation posts are blog posts that include an idea or concept from another article, plus new commentary by you. By enabling you to unashamedly draw ideas from other sources, this method takes away one of the hardest parts of writing – thinking of something to write.
Here’s how to create an interesting and worthwhile curation post that doesn’t land you in hot water for content-stealing:
1. First, read plenty
To find content worth curating, you’ll need to do some reading first.
You probably have a few websites and blogs you enjoy reading already, so stick these in a new bookmarks folder or add them to your RSS reader so you can keep track of new posts.
Some of the sites in my RSS reader are:
- REB Online,
- Property Observer,
- Michael Yardney’s Property Investor,
- Inman Next (this is a good one for real estate agents!),
- Domain’s blog, and
- Residential Settlements’ blog
Make a habit of regularly checking your favourite sites for new posts and set aside a small amount of time every day to read them. Not only will reading give you ideas for your own blog, but it’s a great way to gradually improve your knowledge and writing style.
2. Take a snippet
Once you’ve read an article that catches your interest, decide what you have to say about it that will be of interest to your target audience. Do you agree with the original article? Disagree? Do you have a personal story that’s relevant?
Now that you have a rough idea of what you’re going to write, copy a snippet of the article and paste it into your own post.
Note: the keyword here is ‘snippet’! Authors won’t often appreciate you reproducing their entire articles without permission – so just take the quote or paragraph that is most relevant.
3. Link back
Credit where credit is due, so always hyperlink back to the original article. This is how you pay kudos to the original author and allow your readers to read more into the subject if they choose.
4. Add your two cents
Now that you’ve referenced the article that’s got your brain ticking, it’s time to do some writing.
The key here is to add value. What do you have to say that the original article didn’t cover? Whether it’s a conflicting opinion or a client story that supports the original author’s view, get it down on the page.
Your contribution doesn’t have to be long but it should be coherent and engage the reader in some way. Curation posts aren’t necessarily the ‘easy way out’ – just because your idea stemmed from another article doesn’t mean your commentary can’t be thoughtful. Be as insightful, as well-researched, or as humourous as you like.
That said, you may well find curation posts to be faster way of blogging – you can quite easily copy a snippet, insert a hyperlink, and add your commentary in a under half an hour.
As part of a blogging calendar including other types of posts (think FAQ posts or ‘Local business of the week’ spotlights), curation posts are an excellent way to banish writer’s block and get yourself blogging in earnest.
Do you curate content on your blog? Please share your tips!
Image by Christopher Jogn SSF via Flickr.