Whether you’re a small business owner who fits in content marketing when the schedule permits or a full-time blogger, a curated roundup blog post can be an excellent way to get some attention in your niche.
The roundup blog post is the prototype blog content type for content curation. Bring together several resources from others in one post, based around a given theme or idea, and then present it to the world. – Ross Hudgens, The Definitive Guide to Content Curation
3 Key Roundup Blog Post Benefits
A properly executed roundup post can put your blog on the map by:
- Providing expert input
- Attracting reader attention
- Enhancing content distribution
They’re also great traffic builders because of how likely they are to get shared.
From the Daily Egg:
Most publications and blogs these days publish a lot of roundup articles or listicles, and it’s clear why. They’re easy to digest, they offer a new perspective to your readership, and ideally, they drive traffic and help build relationships with your brand.
- If only five influencers shared your roundup on their blog or social media site, driving 300 visitors each.
- And let’s say, from experience you know each traffic spike converts approximately 3-10% of visits to email signups.
- That’s 1,500 new visitors and up to 150 new email subscribers! Maybe more if you’ve delivered outstanding content.
The Sky is the Limit with Roundup Post Topics
Roundup topics range wildly from the personally relevant 10 Modern Prefabs We’d Love to Call Home to the inspirational 5 Best Instagram Accounts to Follow to the helpful 75 Apps That Will Save You Time as a Busy Professional.
But, what is the real secret behind roundup posts?
The Unspoken Truth about Roundup Posts
From Rita Kreig:
- The world is filled with procrastinators like me, who will gobble up clickbait-y roundups like there’s no tomorrow.
- The world is also filled with curious, time-constrained people like me, who appreciate well-written roundups for their substance.
- Roundups work for readers because they are organized, easy to read, and quickly get to the point. Roundups allow readers to skip around, skim for the information you want, and ignore the rest.
- Roundups work for marketers because they drive traffic to your content, allow you to form partnerships with industry leaders, and occasionally score you a high-quality link.
- You don’t have to have “Buzz” in your company name to write excellent, traffic-driving roundup posts. This popular form of content marketing is accessible, scalable, and learnable.
So, we know the secret truth behind roundup posts, but curiosity led us to dig in even deeper, “But, why?”…
Ask the Experts: Why does a Curated Roundup Blog Post Work So well?
Expert #1 – From Steve Rayso, Buzzsumo:
We are reluctant sometimes to highlight how well list posts work, as we’re all drowning in them, but there is little question, they work well whether in B2B or B2C marketing. They work particularly well as a format for curated content.
The late Cindy King of Social Media Examiner was simply the very best at creating a roundup blog post. Her post on 44 Social Media Tools Recommended By The Pros is currently the most shared on the Social Media Examiner site in the past 12-months.
Expert #2 – From Tor Refsland, SumoMe:
To pull myself out of The Triple Zero Club, I looked around and I noticed that several bloggers were writing something they call “roundup blog post.”
In a few simple words, Tor’s first roundup post resulted in:
- 20,231 page views in 6 days
- 1500+ social shares
- 84 comments
- 185 new email subscribers
Expert #3 – From Heidi Cohen, Actionable Marketing Guide:
A Roundup blog post is “sweet”.
As a specialized form of content curation, a roundup blog post is the content marketing gift that keeps on giving when done well.
Here’s a curated list of Heidi’s top 10 steps to create a roundup blog post:
1 – Develop the roundup post idea and question. Assess what issues and information are relevant to your audience.
2 – Create a list of experts from whom to request input. Anticipate that your list must be longer than the number of people you expect to respond. Not everyone will participate. Even if they like you, they’re busy.
3 – Contact your list of influential people. You need to be able to communicate with them via email or a social media platform. (If you’re a newbie writer without a big name company, blog or media platform behind you, this may be a challenge.)
4 – Add a cushion of time. Don’t expect people to respond immediately! Allow enough time to respond if they’re busy, but not so much time that they forget.
5 – Be persistent in your follow-up without being a pest! Remember this is from the recipient’s point of view, not yours!!!
6 – Combine the input into a single document. Whether you use Google Drive, MS Word, WordPress or another option, wrangle the information into a nicely formatted piece.
7 – Add your commentary. At a minimum, include your response as well as an introduction and conclusion.
8 – Edit and format the content. Make sure you have permission before you change someone else’s words. (I learned this point the hard way by editing someone’s comments for grammar, and it was an issue.)
9 – Optimize the article for search and distribution. Focus your request around a keyword phrase, craft an attention-getting headline, and include a photo. Don’t forget social sharing.
10 – Let contributors know you’ve published the piece. Don’t assume anyone is waiting for your article. Send them a follow up after you’ve published the article. BTW—Don’t forget to thank them for their participation.
Expert #4 – From Mari Smith, Social Media Thought Leader & Top Facebook Marketing Expert:
Hello, world! Every week, for the past two-and-a-half years, I’ve published an email newsletter – called THE SOCIAL SCOOP. I include my top selections of “OPC” – that is, I curate other people’s content on social media marketing, business building, productivity and other related subjects, along with my own words of wisdom!
Expert #5 – From David Schneider, SEO Hacker:
Last year was an epic year for the roundup blog post.
Do you know why so many people have been doing these? Because they work.
Here are some excellent ones I remember:
- 60 Experts Reveal Top 3 Tools To Grow Your Email List
- 42 Blogging Specialists Explain How to Monetize Email Newsletters and Turn Autoresponder Messages into Profit
- 39 Successful Entrepreneurs Share Their First Ever Sale (This one was my own)
Just Ask Yourself…
Where can you help your audience and save them time by curating content into a list post?
Ask the Expert #6 – Bill Gassett, My Realty Times
Bill is a huge fan of using social media for his real estate business.
Content marketing can offer significant advantages to a real estate agent. It offers an inexpensive way to build a brand, drive traffic to your website and increase the number of leads that come your way. But keeping up a steady stream of content for site visitors is also a lot of work. If you are like most agents, you probably have your hands full with your real estate work, and therefore a limited amount of time to spend writing original content.
Here’s a recent example of a curated roundup blog post from Bill:
Real Estate Round Up: Articles Worth a Look January 2016…take a look at these articles, and if you find any of them helpful or enjoyable, please consider sharing them socially. There is a wealth of great content here from some really terrific real estate authors!
But what separates a bad roundup post from an optimal one? What makes a roundup post perfect?
To create an effective and valuable roundup for readers and sources alike, it must contain these elements:
- Sourced articles with social proof (i.e. highly ranked, linked to, and shared)
- Plural focus keyword (i.e. “Christmas decorating ideas)
- High quality images in one format
- Easy readability (i.e. 16px font, bright images, 50-60 character lines, etc.)
Here are a couple of other highlights to note:
1 – Use a short, keyword-only URL
The URLs of articles ranked on Google’s #1 page contain an average of 37 characters. – SEO SiteCheckup
2 – Use an odd-numbered headline
Odd numbers seem to be more believable and are shown to help people digest the information better. Headlines with numbers are 36% more likely to generate clicks, according to research by Conductor.
3 – Reach out to people mentioned in the post
Tool: Notifier from ContentMarketer.io
Easiest way to 3x your traffic & shares. We’ll find @mentions in your post and let you notify them with one click.
Here’s the full infographic:
Looking for an easy solution to create a roundup blog post?
- 3 Easy Solutions for a GREAT Content Curation Strategy
- How to Build a Massive Email List with a Curated Newsletter (in 15 minutes or less)
Your audience is listening. What will you share?
We’d love to hear from you!