Content Curation: What is the etiquette for sharing other peoples content?

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Today I’ve got a question from Irene. Irene has been through our content marketing crash course which consists of ten daily emails on content marketing. If you’re interested in that course, then check it out at

Irene says there’s a number of things she’s still having to get her head around, but a lot of the questions that need answered will be answered by taking action like starting a blog or at least starting to publish some stuff. Irene says it’s still really early days for her and she has extremely limited time on her hands, but aims to do one post each week and has started doing that on LinkedIn.

One thing she’s uncertain about is the etiquette of sharing other people’s content in her posts. She put a post on which she reproduced from an online article and included the source, but does the content have to be original or can it be adaptations of things she has read?

So this part of the question is about content curation. Over time we’ve done a lot of this, and it’s a really good question because there are ways to do this. For example, say you have read three or four different articles about a specific topic that’s happening in your industry, you could take those three or four articles and create an excerpt from each one, putting a link to those articles and following up with your opinion on them. You could take a blog article that someone else has written or a video that someone else has produced, and you could create your own summary around that.

The one thing I wouldn’t do is copy and paste someone else’s content, I would try and create my own summary from it. I also probably wouldn’t transcribe someone else’s video, I would watch it instead. One of the things we’ve done before in the past is if it’s a long video, we’ve taken it and said, these are the six things we learned from this video, or, we’ve expressed an opinion based on that content, or, we’ve said this is the reason why you need to watch this video.

Another curation idea is we took ten blog articles from someone else’s blog and wrote a little summary about each one and why they were the best, and linked to each one as well.

That’s all curation, so in other words, we’re not the original creators of the content, but we’re taking that content and we’re creating a new, unique piece of content from content that someone else has created.

The best analogy I can give you is to imagine the room we’re in right now is a museum. In order to get people to come and visit our museum and to sell tickets at the door, we need to put someone else’s art on our walls. We didn’t create the art and the sculptures aren’t ours, but people are paying money to see someone else’s content.

The idea is that you are a museum curator and you curate the content that you think is appropriate for your audience before putting it in your place and making it unique. Content curation is creating a unique piece of content from content that has already been created by someone else.

The etiquette is that you don’t rip them off and you don’t steal it, but you actually signpost your audience to it through your own content and create something unique from it. A lot of people think that content curation is a way to cheat the game, a way to create content quickly, but it’s actually not. It’s about the same amount of time that it takes to curate and in fact it sometimes can take longer to curate content than to create a unique single piece of content.

I think content curation is a great idea. I think it’s good to have other people’s opinions in your content and show that you’re an expert by curating the best content from around in your industry.

Irene asks, this is probably a really daft question, but when people like your post, do you content them to connect on LinkedIn or acknowledge in any way other than respond to people who make a comment?

I probably wouldn’t be contacting people directly that like it, but I might leave a comment in there that tags them in a group or something like that and say, thanks very much for reading and liking this article, I really appreciate it. I wouldn’t go and contact them individually, but if someone makes a comment, then yes, absolutely reply to their comment and acknowledge them, you’ve done the right thing there.

She also asks about giving out free ebooks, as she’s not sure how she’d use this herself. I think the free ebook stuff is a really good idea if you want to build your email list on your website. Generally speaking, Irene, across all of the things you’re saying here, you really need to develop your own website platform if you want to go ahead and do this.

That’s where the power is, that’s where the magic is, build your list, build your audience and build your content hub. I would recommend 100 per cent looking towards having all your content on your own website.

I hope that helps, and if you’ve got any questions, email me at and if you’ve got any comments, tweet me @chrismarr101.

Don’t forget to be awesome.