Be a Content Creator, Not Simply a Content Curator

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In a single second on the Internet, 7,834 tweets and 814 Instagram photos are shared. It’s amazing to think about the amount of screen time that goes into creating the quality content behind most of those posts. However, it’s also more obvious than ever that many so-called “creators” are no longer creating their own content, but simply recycling content from others to repurpose or comment on it.

Here’s a news flash: That won’t always get you extremely far in this content game. If you expect people to see you as a thought leader, they want to know what you think, not your opinion on others' thoughts all of the time. Your audience will continue coming back to you when they feel your input is valuable.

Want evidence? Take a look at Netflix. You can tune into Netflix and watch content from numerous television and movie studios in one place. Want to binge-watch The Office and then watch Menace II Society? You got it.

So what happens when other streaming services start carrying the same content? What about when users seem to have viewed everything they wanted? What’s left? Netflix realized this and began creating original series and movies in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Netflix isn’t unique to this either as Hulu and now even Facebook Watch are creating exclusive content and paying big dollars to do so. Amazon has also stepped into the ring by creating their own visual content on Prime in addition to the 1500+ AmazonBasic products they create and stock next to the millions of products they aggregate from other retailers.

Music streaming services are playing the same game. Apple Music has an amazing catalog of songs, albums, and channels like Beats 1. And as we all know, Tidal streams our faves, but also has exclusive music that you literally can’t get anywhere else unless you head to a brick and mortar store to purchase a physical copy.

Another relevant example outside of the media streaming business is The Shade Room on Instagram. The one-stop-shop for all urban entertainment gossip is known for repeating rumors and reposting content found on websites, celebrity social media accounts and other Internet nooks and crannies. While it’s easy to see how this subject matter can bring in an audience, it can eventually become questionable to benefit from content that one did not create.

The Shade Room recognized this and began creating its own content to satisfy its ~15 million roommates. Its #TSRBrainGames and conversation-starting questions create engagement right alongside the curated content they’re loved and hated for. It’s also great to have a positive break from the typical energy celebrity news usually brings.

While curating content isn’t 100% negative, it can be frowned upon if you don’t have anything else to show for it. Mixing up your content and implementing both creation and curation tactics will prove successful as you’ll be viewed as a creative resource who is also plugged into what is happening in the world.

What do you think about the creating vs. curating debate? Do you follow the 80/20 rule? What's your sweet spot? Let me know below in the comments!