3 Ways of Acquiring Content for Your Followers

“Content is king,” or so the saying goes. But as more and more businesses move online, the shrinking pond of content has made it that much harder to find new, relevant, and original material to pass on to your followers.

Ironically, more content is being put out than ever before. It’s simply become a matter of knowing where to acquire it.

You can acquire content in three ways: origination, curation, and aggregation. While these techniques aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, there are fundamental differences in how they work.

To maximize the way you acquire content, it’s not recommended to simply stick to one method. Instead, mix all three in a manner that suits your needs so you can assure yourself of constant, relevant, follower-generating content.

Content Origination

As the name implies, content origination is defined by the content you generate yourself. These are original articles, images, videos, or even applications that you made specifically for your website.

Of the three content acquisition methods, creating original content is the most difficult to produce on a regular basis, but if done right, it has the highest return in terms of traffic and followers. Websites that rely on completely original content don’t update as often, but generate substantial amount of traffic when they do.

This technique is particularly effective when working on a niche topic where highly relevant issues go undiscussed. This doesn’t include simply rehashing or rewriting existing content; making truly original content is just harder to produce.

Websites/Companies You Can Check Out

  • THiNKaha: online content publisher specializing in original, aggregated, and curated content from thought leaders.
  • WebMD: a comprehensive online authority on medical topics written by medical specialists, journalists, and health researchers.

Content Aggregation

Unlike origination, content aggregation relies on outside sources for content. These could be news feeds, social media accounts, websites, or other blogs. Also unlike origination, aggregation allows you to post new content more often and more regularly.

In fact, some aggregators are done automatically by simply feeding off the content of other sites. Aggregation is simply guided by certain interests, topics, and subject matter. The broader the topic, the easier it is to aggregate content.

For example, a content aggregator about cars could source content from literally millions of websites. But an aggregator about restored cars from the 1960s makes it that much harder to find content.

Some would argue that aggregated content is not as effective as original or curated content. However, the thought leader that provides all three is still doing a service to their readership which will be looked at positively.

Websites/Companies You Can Check Out

  • Paper.Li: a customizable online newspaper that aggregates content from a variety of sources for user consumption.
  • Scoop.it: an online news and content aggregator that pulls from social media sources and produces “your” personal online magazine. See http://www.scoop.it/t/being-a-thought-leader as an example.
  • Storify: an online news and content aggregator that pulls from social media sources.

Content Curation

In a way, content curation acts like a median of content aggregation and origination. It is the act of searching for new, relevant content online but “curating” it in a way that not only fits a certain topic, but a possible theme, issue, or context.

A content curator is needed to sift through the mountains of possible topics and go as macro or as micro as required. Content curation doesn’t just follow topics, but trends, debates, and tastes.

Curation, unlike aggregation, also adds something new to the content being passed on. This is different from the conventional article rewriting whose goal is to elude search engine spiders. Instead, content curation has everything to do with adding something genuinely new to the discussion. This can be done in the form of an opinion, a question, or an argument placed in the context of the content.

Curation provides you the partial benefits of originated content with the relative frequency of aggregated content.

Websites/Companies You Can Check Out

  • ContentGems: based on keywords you choose, aggregated content is made available for you to curate and share in ways that work for you.
  • Curation Station: a hosted software solution that allows you to easily gather, curate, and share online content to your followers.
  • Delicious: a free online service that allows you to find, save, and share content on the web.