I wrote about using Paper.li (or any other curation platform, really) to test out a new niche. This is a useful exercise if you are sitting on the fence about the niche, or unsure how it will resonate with your community.
A tool like Paper.li lets you create a curated online newspaper, thereby mixing your unique content together with others from around the web.
You can include blog posts, links shared via tweets, YouTube videos … the list is endless.
The trick to composing a fantastic newspaper lies in the source.
Choose your sources carefully, and look for the following characteristics:
Background check: before including a twitter handle or hashtag, check out their previous posts. Go back one to six weeks, and see if the posting frequency, the material and the tone fit in with the paper you are curating.
Author check: in addition to the content, take a look at any related About pages and check out the author. Find related bio’s on the attached social media accounts and see if it is fits.
Community affinity: do a quick check on the community for this source. Peruse comments, re-tweets and shares to get a sense of the community that follows this source, and how aligned it is with your own target community.
Writing style: when you are curating different types of content and mashing it all up into a single online newspaper, it’s important to have some consistency in the writing style. Check the tone – funny, super serious, boring, methodical. Choose the writing styles that work for your community.
Writing level: are you curating text-message-type writing with articles whose authors have just finished swallowing a dictionary? At which end of the spectrum is your community? Trust your gut. It knows which sources work for you.
It’s true that curation is all about putting lots of different types of stuff together. However, you still need consistency in the sense that it is all for a specific reader profile.
In terms of diversity, by all means mix in as many different types of media as you can. Social, video, images, text, and all hybrids thereof.
Remember, once you’ve identified your sources, all their new content will be automatically pushed to your newspaper as per the refresh frequency you set.
Just like your own current blog has a specific kind of voice and readership, so should your curated online newspaper. Take your time and invest in finding the right sources.