When you hear stats like ‘82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content’1 – a few thoughts may come to mind:

Some of these thoughts are definitely valid, but worrying too much will make you age faster – and no one wants that. So stop worrying.

Many people view content curation as just content aggregation, but it’s so much more than just putting together lists of articles and then sharing the links through social media or in a list-style blog post. While those methods are perfectly acceptable, content curation should also be used to help you create high quality, custom content.

Here are two ways you can use other people’s content to help you create great custom content:

  1. Support the Discussion – While it’s not okay to take an article and try to pass it off as your own (obviously), it is ok to use a chunk of another article, as long as it is cited and credited appropriately, and then add your own insights to it. There should be a discussion of the sourced content, as well as new ideas introduced that help with the understanding of the content or that teach something new in regard to it.

  2. Add a New Perspective or Twist – Much like adding your own insight to support a piece of content, adding a new perspective calls for you to take an article and discuss it in a new way or with an added twist. For example, if you come across content that talks about how to write a blog post, you can write an article that introduces the respective content, discusses it briefly and then talks about why certain points may not be true. Or if a post talks about how to write blog posts that stand the test of time, you could write a piece that incorporates information from the article, but then talks about what causes a blog post to become obsolete in a short period of time and how to avoid adding that kind of information.

The advantage of trying one of these techniques versus writing something from scratch is that the main idea, whether you are supporting or refuting it, is already written and developed. You also do not have to spend the time figuring out how to set the stage – you can just pick up and start writing.

In these two instances, you are going to have to do research to find the right content to work off of. That’s where content discovery tools come in. For example, UpContent helps you speed up your research time so you find the content you want much quicker than you would with a search engine, like Google.

A final note: make sure everything is properly cited - you don’t want to be identified as a plagiarizer!

1 Demand Metric, 2014 Content Marketing Benchmark Report

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