Creating new, high-quality content is really time-consuming and isn’t something you can do every single day. A great blog post, video tutorial, or podcast interview takes hours, sometimes even days of effort to create, edit, and publish. In the interim, we still need to share interesting content with our followers. The best way to do that is by curating other people’s content.
The internet is vast and it all seems to scroll past us super fast. It’s impossible to see everything, but you, as an expert in your niche, have an eye towards what’s neat and shareworthy. Your ability to curate is super valuable to your followers. The trick for you is knowing where to look. Once you have a steady stream of great stuff to sift through, finding shareworthy material becomes much easier.
I share links in my newsletter each week and since I’ve been writing the newsletter for many years now I’ve built up an arsenal of places to look for good content. Here are four tried and true ways I find new content to share. (Don’t miss this post from last summer with 5 more unexpected ways to find great content.)
Subscribe to YouTube channels.
For a long time, I just used YouTube as a place to search for videos when I needed to learn how to do something. Then, maybe a year ago, I started actually subscribing to creators’ channels and now YouTube is way more fun and interesting. I now subscribe to 140 YouTube channels which means whenever I visit there’s new and interesting content waiting for me to watch. YouTube is great about showing you related videos that you might also like so when I see something else that’s good I go ahead and subscribe to that channel, too. I typically share at least one link to a cool video in my newsletter so having well-curated YouTube subscriptions helps a lot.
Set up Google alerts.
A Google alert is a free service that allows you to get an email every time new information about a certain topic shows up in a Google search. You choose the search term for the topic you want to follow and how frequently you want to be emailed. I have 18 Google alerts set up and I add new ones fairly regularly (when Craftsy became Bluprint, for example, I created a Google alert for Bluprint). I have alerts set up for story topics I’m working on, and topics I’d like to work on in the future, for companies I follow and for people I’m interested in. For some, I get email notifications as news breaks, and for others, I get a digest once a day or once a week, but no matter what I catch things I would have definitely missed otherwise.
I continue to hear from people that after Google Reader shut down back in 2013 they stopped reading blogs regularly. That happened to be right at the same time that social media, especially Instagram, started to play a bigger role in the online craft world so I totally understand how it happened, but I think you risk missing a lot when you rely on the Instagram algorithm rather than an RSS reader for blog reading. I use Bloglovin’ and Feedly is another good option (the biggest complaint I hear about Bloglovin’ is that posts appear inside a frame – just go into settings and turn it off). I subscribe to over 100 blogs and start every day with a cup of tea and my Bloglovin’ feed. When I do stumble on a new-to-me blog via social media I add it to Bloglovin’ so that I can keep up with new posts.
I use iTunes like Google in that I will put someone’s name or a topic into the iTunes search bar in order to find relevant interviews to listen to and share. If I’m curious about a designer, for example, I will put her name into iTunes to see if she’s ever been on a podcast. Some industry veterans have given many interviews over the course of several years and it’s interesting to listen to them in a row to hear how their perspective has developed. Most of your followers won’t have listened to these older interviews so it’s fun to help them rediscover them, especially if that designer has a new line out or is having a resurgence in popularity.
Most importantly, stay curious. To me, sewing and craft, in general, is a lens through which we can see the whole world. Every political, social, and economic issue plays out here in its own way. There’s an endless number of interesting stories unfolding each day if you know where to look. These tools help me find those stories as they whiz past.
Do you have favorite tricks for finding interesting content? Where do you look?
Jess @ Quilty Habit says
This is a great list, Abby! While I don’t participate often, I joined a lot of crafty Facebook groups. Often, there are great links and discussions to read up on.
Facebook groups are definitely a great source for content ideas.
Ann Martin says
What a good list, Abby; I’d never thought to search iTunes like Google. I often turn to CraftGawker when looking for diy ideas to include in my paper art/paper craft-themed newsletter. Because it’s such a selective site, I usually find clever projects to recommend to subscribers.
Oh, great idea. For project-based roundups that’s a great resource.
Becky Campbell says
Thank you for the tips. Wondering if you need to ask permission to re-post etc. things you discover. It would seen to be a job in itself. I love to share things but don’t want to offend someone. Example if I share something you send me in email form or on Craft Industry Alliance what is the etiquette about re-sharing? Thanks for all the information you gather and share. Sew in the news.
You certainly can give a shout out to the person who helped you find the content (like, “via Lisa”), but you don’t have to. Links are links, they’re out there for the taking.