generating content

The Benefits and Dangers of Generating Content Through Curation

No matter how you do it.

No matter how often you try.

No matter how early you get up in the morning, or how many cups of “inspirational” coffee you guzzle while sitting at the keyboard staring at a blank page…

Sometimes you just don’t feel like writing.

The thought of discovering new ways of generating content can be incredibly daunting.

I could say “Don’t worry. It happens to everyone.”

(It’s true – it does.)

But then you’ll just throw in the towel and admit defeat.

And that’s not why you’re here, right?

If it’s still important to you to generate engaging content for your website without actually doing any writing, there are ways to make that happen.

Of course, the first and most obvious choice (from my perspective, anyway) is to allow Express Writers to do your content writing for you, but, of course, there are other options.

Many of these methods are considered common practice in the blogging community today despite the fact that they are dubious at best. Most methods of getting around content writing involve finding content that’s already written and using it to fill your own feed, but even if you have permission, it’s not the greatest idea.

Today I want to talk a little bit about some of the common methods people are using to create content without writing – the good and the bad.

Re-blogging

One of the ways that many bloggers keep content flowing on their site is by re-blogging what others have written.

Many existing blog platforms actually come with a “reblog” button (or as I call it, the “lazy” button), which will generate a post on your site containing the first bit of the new blog (with credit given), and a link to continue reading on the original article’s site.

While this is a fast and easy (read: lazy) way to keep content flowing on your blog, relying upon dummy content like this will ultimately hurt your SEO.

In addition, believe it or not, some bloggers are beginning to not take so kindly to re-blogging, because it duplicates their content elsewhere on the web.

That said, other blogs are and should be great sources of inspiration you can use to generate content.

The correct way to re-blog a piece would be to write about the blog you’re referencing and tell your readers how you felt about it.

Instead of simply copying the first paragraph of that compelling opinion piece on world hunger, tell us the story of how you came to read it. Give us a story about what the article is about, why it caught your attention, what it says, points that you found interesting, bits you disagree with… you get the gist.

The News Reporter

Another way that many bloggers keep their content hopping is by scouring the web for press releases and news items in their industry and re-posting those.

While posting the text of a press release in its entirety with proper attribution isn’t plagiarism, it is to be avoided because – again – it creates duplicate content and won’t do diddly for your SEO. Having regular content updates on your site is an absolute waste of time if that content isn’t constantly being developed specifically with an eye on bringing in new visitors.

The correct way to blog about news items, again, is to take what has been said, and say it in a new way.  Don’t just copy the press release, write about the press release. Who released it, what does it say, and most of all, why is this news relevant to you and your readers? Using existing content as a means to generate new and original content for your site is absolutely an appropriate way to keep your blog presses turning in a productive way.

Infographics

Infographics are becoming more and more popular among marketing companies these days, and many bloggers have seen them as a great way to add interesting and eye-catching items to their feeds. While this is true, and will be good for social sharing, again – I know I sound like a broken record today – it won’t make a bit of difference to the search engines.

Think about it this way: Search engines index text. They can’t see images and don’t care about images.  The only aspect of an image that a search engine can see is its “alt” tag content (all your images should have appropriate and keyword enabled alt text, by the way).  However – you can still use infographics to your benefit by – you guessed it – writing about them. Extrapolate the infographic into text. What does this data mean to you and to your customers? Where did you find the infographic?

Wait a minute…

Now, I know what you’re thinking:  “But that sounds a lot like writing.” Yes, yes it does… but writing about how reading an existing piece made you feel is a lot easier than finding a brand new compelling idea to write about, so it’s still a good way for the non-writer to generate content, when done correctly.  Of course, the number one method (and our recommendation) to generating content for the non-writer, is to hire a content writing service to do it for you.

If your website could use fresh, original, compelling content, let Express Writers help you out, and avoid the caveats of the “lazy” button.

For more SEO and content curation strategies, be sure to stay subscribed to The Write Blog. Join our weekly Twitter chat where we talk up-to-date principles on content marketing, SEO and more with guest experts: #ContentWritingChat at 10 AM CST with @ExpWriters on Twitter. 

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