(An essay with no subtitles.)
Content curation has long been a favorite strategy of mine. In fact, not too long ago, I got an idea in my head that I laser focused on: an in-depth and fascinating curation newsletter created so busy professionals could share content quickly and easily.
It would blow people’s minds!
The publication was supposed to be a source, no wait…an endless fountain of content that others could use for their curation efforts.
It would save professionals so much time that I would receive thousands of emails personally thanking me. And, icing on the cake, I would be giving nods to all the influencers and thought leaders in the marketing world by including their work in my newsletter.
I envisioned writers and bloggers sending me requests, pleading with me to include their articles in my highly regarded curation newsletter.
At the time you might have ask, “Kristin, that sounds interesting, can I see your business plan?” I would respond, “HA! Who needs a plan and data when they have a brilliant idea built on rock-solid imagination?”
From a thought bubble it went full steam ahead to implementation – market research? No time for that. Ideal client surveys? Don’t need ‘em. After all, my idea was so dazzling it had to be done yesterday.
I dove right in without checking how deep the water was.
Would I allow the light of reason to interfere with my fierce imagination and unbounded creativity? Of course not! I immediately hired a designer for a logo and branding board.
Then I proceeded to spend a ridiculous amount of time and money finding just the right platform for my newsletter. I discovered that publishing software is complicated (who’d a thunk?).
I finally settled on a program, Lucidpress – fairly easy to figure out, although there was still a learning curve.
At this point, why not throw around a few more dollars? I hired a coach that would totally validate my idea. And, naturally, I signed up for every possible content curation program or aggregator I could find.
Let me just say this, if you need any recommendations on curation software – I’m your gal.
So, with joy in my heart, I finally sat down to compose my first newsletter. Can you see the brilliant order in which I did things? Why attempt to create and vet the product first when you can just save time and dream it up in your head? The joke was on me folks.
It took me approximately 4 days to get a full newsletter completed. Yet, I was still determined to make it a weekly publication. After all, my customers don’t want to share content that’s already weeks old.
I told myself, “Kristin, you will learn to write the newsletter faster. You will easily find the time to squeeze in your other marketing and social media plans. If you skip a few showers, ditch breakfast and lunch, eliminate breaks, work 10-12 hours a day, and spend quality time with your family around 11pm (if they’re already asleep, that’s their loss). You can do this!”
Oh, by the way, here’s a funny: I forgot to mention the newsletter would be free for subscribers. I decided I would wait a few months to monetize it until the tens of thousands of people I expected were officially subscribed.
I envisioned advertisers fighting for space in my newsletter. Or, with memberships popping up everywhere, maybe I would join their ranks with some type of program with perks for paid subscribers only.
The possibilities were endless when you had a product idea THIS GOOD.
An intervention was needed. Someone had to take away my wallet and my internet access immediately.
Enter stage left, the previously mentioned coach. She had ideas that were DIFFERENT from mine (what!?). Yes, she actually had smarter and more realistic ideas.
She ever so gently turned off my modem and hid my wallet. She shined down her light and showed me a vision. The gist of it was that without a full-time editorial crew, marketing department and personal assistant, this project was not getting off the ground.
I finally relented. After all, I studied Maslow’s Hierarchy in high school. I knew as a card-carrying member of the human race, eating, sleeping and social interaction were important for my wellbeing.
And so followed the death of a dream, an unattainable dream, but a wondrous dream no less. My special newsletter went to Flawed Project Heaven, but I couldn’t shake my desire to curate for someone other than myself.
My kids refused to read my curated articles and I think my husband just lied and said he did.
I couldn’t understand something though. When I worked with other people, I always did things correctly and in moderation. Research was done ahead of time, tactics were tested, and no blind leaps of faith were leaped.
Why then, when it came to my own idea, did I do everything in opposition to this? Maybe it was the excitement of creating my own product. Possibly it was my ill-founded confidence that my newsletter would be the new dawn of the written word.
At the time, my idea was more exciting to me than the invention of the Walkman – no chuckles from the Millennials please.
After some soul searching, I discovered that my desire to curate was just one outlet for my true love: content marketing. So, while I retained the crave to curate, I tempered it with a dose of realism.
My fantabulous newsletter morphed into a more reasonable content curation tactic rather than being the main focus of my business. I decided to curate content marketing articles for my website, my newsletter and soon for social media.
As my business settles into documented work processes, templates and checklists, I hope to find even more time to curate and expand to several social media platforms. Until that time, I guess I’ll write pithy commentary and insights and read them aloud to myself.
Wow! Stream of consciousness anyone? My content curation story was supposed to be a short anecdote for the intro to my blog post. Instead I turned you into my confessor. Sorry about that. I hope you learned many things NOT to do in business.
Due to today’s tangent (is it still a tangent if it’s over 1,000 words?), I’ll make a slight change to my plan, For my next post, I’ll skip the personal narrative and get straight to the meat of the article. I’ll share all the great things I learned about content curation and how it can help promote you and your business in so many ways.
You may even want to start a curation newsletter of your own…
But talk to me about it first, okay?
Take care, Kristin