My Niche Blog Curated Content Strategy

My Niche Blog Curated Content Strategy - Dumb Passive Income
Embraced by Words

My number one and initial strategy to kick-start my niche blog project is to utilize curated content for many of my posts. The strategy is really quite genius, I think, and has several benefits which I will explain in this post. A few of the intended consequences of this curated content strategy include:

  • Building relationships with other bloggers, authors and site owners
  • Providing content with multiple viewpoints and from varying backgrounds
  • Link building and social networking for the site
  • Traffic generation through promotion by others

If done right, site owners or original authors are thrilled when you highlight some of their content using a curation method. It provides value to and benefits them and their site, while at the same time doing the same for your site. It is a win-win situation for both or all parties involved.

What is Curated Content?

Basically, curated content is taking a portion of somebody else’s content and using it within your own site or piece of content. It sounds a little shady, as if you are stealing (or scraping) content produced by others. But if done correctly, that is not the case at all. I will explain by showing my exact process for curating content on my Pay Off Credit Card site.

When I curate content from another site, I always introduce the piece by telling my readers who wrote it and where I found it. I then copy & paste only a portion of the article or post into my own post. I italicize and indent the curated content and then remind the readers who wrote it and provide a link back to the original piece. I explain that what they just read was only a portion of the original piece and that they should click through to the original piece to read the rest.

Providing a link to the original piece is very important. This is what provides the most value to the original creator or site owner. Not only do links drive traffic back to the original site, but they also provide all kinds of back-end website value when it comes to web and search engine rankings, as well as other technical metrics. Web masters and site owners love it when other sites link to their site (especially if that other site is a high ranking site). Having a portion of their content copy & pasted is a small price to pay to get that valuable link and most of them won’t mind at all. If they do mind, they will let you know and you can simply remove that post or the portion within that contains their content and link. This has not happened to me yet.

Lastly, I always let the site owner or author know that I have curated some of their content after it is published. I do this by sending a short and sweet e-mail, if I can find their e-mail address. If not, I will hit the contact form on their site. One of these two options is almost always available. In the rare case that neither of these is an option I can always connect on Twitter or Facebook, or even leave a comment to one of the posts on their site. Keep reading to see exactly how I do this.

How to Find Content to Curate

First, I need to find some content that I wish to use for my site. Since my site is about paying off credit cards, I need to look for content on sites that are relevant. Luckily for me, I have some experience in the personal finance blogosphere and have a few connections. Besides knowing some of the bloggers, I also know where to find an endless list of active bloggers in that community.

Here’s a hint: Go to a popular blog in your niche and open up a post from about a week ago. Scroll down to the comments section and you will likely find several bloggers from that same niche commenting on that post. Click through to any of their blogs for a fresh source of content. Rinse and repeat this process on every new blog you find.

If you don’t already know about a popular blog in your particular niche, you may be able to find content by doing a simple Google search. Or, better yet, a Google Blog Search. Just type in your target keyword and see what comes up. In my case, I usually type in pay off credit card.

Once I get to a blog or site, I still need to find the best relevant content to curate for my site. The first thing I look for is a search bar on the site. I put my keyword into the search bar and it searches only that site for articles containing that keyword. If a search bar isn’t available,  I check the Categories list to see if anything looks relevant. I’m looking for things like, Credit, Credit Cards, Credit & Debt, Credit Card Pay Off. Many personal finance blogs do actually have a category along these lines. Either of these methods will usually supply a list of articles on that site. I browse through them somewhat quickly to see if anything fits with what I am looking for. If one catches my attention, I then read the entire article and bookmark it for use in my curation process.

Another method for finding content to curate is to simply ask the site owner. This is what I did for my very first piece of curated content on my Pay Off Credit Card site. Fellow blogger John has a site called Married (with Debt). I knew him pretty well from my days as a personal finance blogger. He was kind enough to randomly tweet out one of my articles from this site one day, which sparked the following twitter conversation…

Before I went to his site myself to do a search, I simply asked him. After all, it is his site. Who would know it better than him? He came back with the following response…

To which I replied…


Results for My First Piece of Curated Content

Here is a link to my very first attempt at content curation on my new niche blog, The Pay Off Credit Card Network. You’ll see here how I do everything exactly as explained above. Only use a portion of the original piece, italicize, indent, link back and explain to the readers that the rest of the piece can be found on the original link.

After my curated content is posted, I always let the owner or original author know about it. When I tweet out the link to the new post, I include that persons Twitter handle if available. Here is my tweet for this particular piece of content.

I also send an e-mail to the owner or original author of the content that I have curated if I can. If I can find their e-mail address, I simply use it. Otherwise I copy & paste something like the following and send it to them via the contact form on their site. Here is a copy of the exact e-mail I sent out today to a different site owner whose content was curated in a post that went live today (I sent something very similar to this to John):

Subject: I’ve linked to some of your content!

Dear Nelson,

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve highlighted some content from one of your articles on Financial Uproar and also provided you with some value by linking back to it from my website!

Please take a moment to check out the latest post on my site, The Pay Off Credit Card Network – Getting Rid of Credit Card Debt is Financial Advice 101.

http://payoffcreditcard.net/getting-rid-of-credit-card-debt-is-financial-advice-101

I would greatly appreciate it if you would take the time to share this article using any of the sharing buttons provided at the bottom of the post. Also, although not necessary, a link back to my site from yours would be most valuable and appreciated.

Thank You for making the world and the internet a better place by providing such excellent content!

Good Day!

Matthew Allen
The Pay Off Credit Card Network

As you can see, I try to keep the e-mail short and sweet and get right to the point. I let them know what I have done. I make sure they know about the value I have provided for them and in return I boldly and directly ask that they provide value back for me. I also include the URL in it’s entirety on a separate line, just in case the hyperlinking doesn’t go through via a contact form or something like that. Also, this diffuses any suspicion that the hyperlinked text might be spammy or even contain a virus.

This e-mail, or connection via contact form is my number one strategy for link building, relationship building and social networking as I kick-start this new blog. My hope is that the owner or original author will appreciate what I have done and do at least one of the suggested things to help give value back to me. I know not everybody will oblige, but some will. Also, it doesn’t hurt to stop by that persons blog and actually read some of their other content and leave a comment to a recent post. This let’s them know that you are real and engaged and not just some lazy blogger trying to steal their content.

A few days after my first curated post went live on The Pay Off Credit Card site, I got a mention in a tweet from John. It went like this…

This was John showing me that he took my suggestion and actually linked back to my site from his. This provided an incredible amount of value to me and my brand new site! The post that he stuck my link in is a PR2 itself, and John’s Married (with Debt) site is a PR3. Not only did this link provide me with PR value, but I am already getting a little bit of traffic from it as well! Thanks John!

I think this about covers my exact strategy for curating content for my niche blog. I hope you found this helpful and will consider using a similar strategy on your own site or blog. Bloggers or site owners curating and linking to other bloggers or site owners – a win-win for everybody!

Readers: I would love to hear your thoughts on my strategy as well as take any advice, suggestions or criticisms.

Remember, there are several dumb ways to create passive income online, but only one site that is blogging about it! Dumb Passive Income… dot com.

Resources

Embraced by Words” – Image from Flickr by Robbert van der Steeg

21 thoughts on “My Niche Blog Curated Content Strategy”

  1. Hey Matt,
    What a great strategy. Very ninja. In the past I operated like an island but I am just learning it is so much more powerful and enjoyable to work as part of a network. The Google blog tool is pretty sweet too. Keep up the good stuff!

    cubicle free Quinn

    • Thanks cubicle free Quinn! Glad you like my strategy. This is actually something I came up with on my own too, rather than learning it from somebody else. It combines a bunch of stuff I’ve learned from others, but regardless, I like to think I came up with it on my own. I haven’t heard of anybody else using this exact strategy yet.

      I’ve known from the start that I would have to work with some sort of network to build traffic to a site built around a keyword like Pay Off Credit Card. Those words have such high competition and will be virtually impossible to rank in Google for quickly.

    • That’s funny that you’ve never heard of it before JT, because I actually used this method on at least one article that I wrote for your Penny Thots site! Go back and look at my “emergency fund” article.

      I love the fact that this is a win-win for both (or all) parties involved, plus it makes creating content that much quicker and easier. Of course, you can’t only use curated content within your post. I do take the time at least to add some of my own stuff to each piece. I usually add an intro paragraph as well as some thoughts or conclusion at the end.

    • Glad you are watching intently Bryan. I feel like I have some pretty good content up there already. It’s tough starting a brand new site though and waiting to get noticed.

    • I really should get to one of your articles on Financial Samurai, Sam. I’m sure you have something relevant and great deep in your archives. Do you recall any good “pay off credit card,” articles on your site?

  2. Thats a really great strategy! I have used curated content but havent actively gone after the people I linked to. I still get their attention if they have their Google Alerts set up but I like your approach!

    • How many people really have the time to pay that close attention to their Google Alerts anyway. Besides, I’ve found them to be not exactly timely or up to date. Directly e-mailing or contacting the original site or author is a great way to build a relationship, but most importantly, have a better chance of getting that all-important link! Thanks for the comment Jon.

  3. Thanks for letting me know about this post Matt. Like Jon Haver said I have used curated content but I haven’t made a real effort to connect with them. I’ll let you know how it works out.

    • No problem Dale. If I had to guess, I would say that my success rate (getting the site to link back) is just over 50%. More often than not, if they don’t link back they are more than happy to share my site (or the specific post) via whatever social networks they use.

      • Hey Matt, I just used (parts) of this strategy. I didn’t curate the content, what I did was write a post about the 20 best prepper websites then emailed the webmasters letting them know they made the list and tweeted out to all of them @Soandso #MentionedYou http://survivalistprepper.net/20-prepper-websites-to-bookmark/ Ive had 500 visits in the last 3 hours, 35 added to my email list and hopefully some links from all of this (most of the sites were PR 5 and above too)
        Thanks for the idea!

  4. Hey Matt! 🙂

    I wanted to ask, do you use this strategy today as well? If you are, does it affect your rankings on Google because you are using the same content from other website (although you emphasize that in your post)?

    • I actually haven’t used this strategy in quite awhile now Mate. Mostly because I rarely create my own content anymore. Once I become more proficient with training my VA’s and writers, this would be a nice task to create for one of them.

      As far as affecting rankings – I’m guessing that you’re worried about a Google penalty for “duplicate content,” right? No. It does not have a negative effect. The strategy only calls for copy & pasting a small portion of the content. If you were to copy & paste an entire article, then that would be a different story. Don’t do that!

      • Thanks for reply Matt! 😉

        Yeah, I thought Google might give us a penalty for that, thanks for clarifying. And of course I’m not going to use copied content.

        • I used the strategy a LOT when I was working on that old credit card site. Only once did somebody get mad and accuse me of “stealing” their content. Every other site owner that replied when I reached out was flattered that I used some of their content. I think about 50% actually linked back, and most of the rest were happy to share via social media.

          The trick is to have a site that is worthy and useful and that they would be happy to link back to.

          • Well, not cool from that person. It’s a win-win situation if done right and not only you get backlink and traffic, but more important connection with person in the same industry.

            I don’t know do you know for this web app: http://app.buzzsumo.com/top-content, it’s really cool, just type your keyword and see what is the most shared content, I use it for generating ideas, but it’s great for content curation too. 😉

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