One of the biggest missed opportunities I see out there among people trying to grow their fanbase online is that too often they seem to believe that there’s some kind of “rule” that says you can only use your own content to attract an audience. Not only is this a false premise, it’s actually the exact opposite of what I believe – not only can you use other people’s creations to grow your own audience, but you absolutely should be doing that.
Acting as a curator, showcasing content that you may not have created but that you believe is interesting, can be a great way to grow your website and social media following. Here’s a few reasons why you should think of yourself as a curator in addition to a creator.
It Can Introduce You To A Lot Of New Potential Fans
As you may or may not know, I’ve got my own personal blog over at JoshSpector.com. On the site, I post random videos and links to things I come across and find interesting, as well as whatever else I feel like sharing with the world. A couple weeks ago, I posted this fantastic Taiwanese commercial because I thought it was worth sharing with my readers. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one that felt that way.
Without any promotion on my part, the post got discovered and passed along – from one person, to another, to another, and it eventually went “viral.” Since it was originally posted on Feb. 13th, a whopping 286,000 people have visited that page on my site (I know that because I listen to my own advice). And a lot of those people went on to check out other posts on my site, started following me on Twitter, and/or subscribed to get my site’s posts by email. I’m still getting 25,000+ people a day visiting that post on my site!
All of this from an interesting video I found and took a minute to post. It cost me nothing and it introduced more than a quarter million people to me, many of whom have now become regular fans of the site – how else can you do that?
What’s Interesting To You Is Interesting To Your Fans
Another reason you should curate content is because usually what’s interesting to you will also be of interest to your fans. You may think that people are following you because they only want to see the stuff you create, but that’s not true. If they like what you create, then they will also care about what you consume.
For example, think about your favorite comedians, or writers, or musicians – would you be interested in seeing them post one thing a day on their blog that they find interesting? I’m guessing the answer is yes and the same will apply for your fans.
It’s No-Cost Content
One of the first things I suggest to comedians is that in order to grow their fanbase, they need to generate new content on an almost daily basis. Well, as great as that sounds, it’s often just not feasible. Original content can cost a lot of money and take a lot of time that some people just aren’t able to devote to it.
But everybody can curate content in just a little bit of time and with no cost at all. There’s no reason you can’t commit to sharing one interesting video, photo, or link each day. And doing that gives fans a reason to check in with your blog, Twitter, or Facebook account every day.
It Further Establishes Your Point Of View
One of the things you hear over and over again is how important it is for a comedian to establish a unique point of view. Well, what you curate can help you establish your point of view just as much as your original content. Every item that you post (and ideally comment on) conveys something about how you see the world. If somebody comes to your website for the first time and is able to browse through your curated collection of content, they will be able to better get a sense of where you’re coming from and if you’re the kind of person that they can relate to.
It Builds Relationships That Will Help You With Future Promotion
If you’re regularly posting links to other websites or sharing other people’s videos, you’re building up some goodwill in the process which can later come in handy when you have something to promote of your own. For example, if you’re reaching out to one of my 100 Places To Promote Comedy Content and asking them to share your new video with their readers, it will be a lot easier if you’ve been linking to their content and sending them readers over the past couple months.
Every time you link to or share somebody else’s content, you’re essentially introducing yourself to that person in an extremely generous way. That will come in handy when you want them to return the favor someday.
Need some more ideas for how you can attract an audience? Check out these content tips.