The web is drowning in content. Creators upload over 500 hours of video to YouTube every minute. They publish around 1M books a year on Amazon Kindle and over 70M songs on Spotify alone. More than ever, the world needs content curation. And the great free market of attention is rewarding curators like never before.
Morning Brew built a $75M newsletter in just a few short years, curating business news targeted to younger generations. LTK and other live shopping sites enable creators to curate products and have built multibillion-dollar businesses doing so. And so many of the biggest podcasts in the world, such as The Joe Rogan Experience, have adopted many of the principles of curation.@MorningBrew built a $75M+ newsletter curating business news for their targeted audience, says #MichaelEvans. #ContentBusiness Click To Tweet
3 roles in this content curation framework
Think about curation like a framework. Much like software has many frameworks, so do stories, such as the hero’s journey. The framework enables limitless worlds and tales to be built on top of them. Unlike software, which is bound by the rules of zeroes and ones, our story frameworks are bound by our brains.
My proposed curation framework consists of three roles – translator, synthesizer, and tastemaker. These roles can be adapted and refined for your content business.
A translator is someone who curates complex or discordant information into digestible content for a specific audience. It could be someone who translates philosophical concepts for a business audience. Or it might be a podcaster who interviews an expert in a manner that a general audience would understand.
Example: Not Boring by Packy McCormick translate concepts, trends, and ideas in Web3 and internet technology to an audience of mostly tech-workers, founders, and other industry professionals. For Packy, sometimes these essays are well over 10K words, but his translational value is so high that over 100K people are on his email list.@PackyM of @NotBoringCo is a translator curator. He translates concepts, trends, and ideas in Web3, via #MichaelEvans. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
A synthesizer is someone who mashes together ideas and concepts from multiple sources into a chimera (referencing that mythological creature composed of different animals’ parts). Examples: Every science fiction novel I write involves extensive world-building of things I’ve experienced in my life, observed in the present day, and technological and scientific processes. In the music world, punk rock is a beautiful synthesis of genres.
Example: The Tilt newsletter synthesizes content about the creator economy and content entrepreneurship.@TheTiltNews is a synthesized curation, mashing ideas and concepts from multiple sources into a #Newsletter. #ContentBusiness Click To Tweet
A tastemaker is someone who curates the “best” or most “useful” iteration of an idea, product, or vibe (yes, I said vibe).
Examples: Look at #BookTok on TikTok as creators curate videos based on their favorite books. Lifestyle bloggers also can fall into this role. BookBub also tackles this marketing, earning millions every year curating book lists for its newsletter audience, who also are offered discounted deals. The authors and publishers pay the company a fee to be mentioned.@BookBub is a tastemaker curator. Their business is curating book lists for audiences and offering discounted deals. Authors and publishers pay a fee to be mentioned, says #MichaelEvans. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
Of course, no creator takes on purely a translator, synthesizer, or tastemaker. The content creation framework often is an amalgamation of the three. The choice is yours.
How to think about curation as a content tilt
The power of curation as a creator comes down to reflection, awareness, and implementation. Before creating a content asset (or even your content business), write in a sentence how you will act as a synthesizer, translater, and/or tastemaker in this content experience. Think about the value only you can provide to your audience. (In the content business model, this is your content tilt.)
Over time, you can see which role(s) resonate the most with your audience and hone in on that. Maybe you discover you’re an amazing tastemaker like one of my favorite authors Eliot Peper who recommends books in his monthly newsletter.@JimMacLeod breaks down long #Podcasts about #Marketing into beautiful bite-size infographics, via #MichaelEvans. #ContentEntrepreneur #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
If you still aren’t sure if your curation tilt has a market, apply this framework to creators you admire in your areas of interest. Break down what works for 10 creators using the curation framework. You can parse out why the content resonates with their audience, and ideally, this can help form a unique balance or way to capitalize on the curation framework to reach that audience with your own content.Thinking about a curation #ContentTilt? List 10 creators who are curators and parse out why their content resonates, and let that help your potential business, says #MichaelEvans. Click To Tweet
Breaking down a hypothetical content curation business
I’m employing this curation strategy in my own startup, but I’m gonna leave that analysis in stealth mode for now. Instead, I will break down a hypothetical opportunity based on something I nearly built as a minimum viable product for a startup that I worked on a few years ago.
The gaming market has a massive discovery problem – it’s difficult for potential audiences to find a lot of games given the volume available. Games from big companies have the marketing budget to promote their games. Then, those top games are played on platforms like Twitch, helping them get more and more popular, leaving the indie game creators in the dust. The vicious cycle perpetuates itself again and again.
Luckily, a content business built using the curation framework might help solve this problem. You can build a content hub for audiences interested in less popular games using all three elements. You could become tastemakers of the best games, translators for newbies on how to play, and synthesize the best moments into a highly entertaining platform. For a revenue stream, you could set up an online store, contacting indie creators and getting them to list their games in it. For each game sold, you get a portion of the revenue.
Maybe it’s a crazy idea. But this is exactly what I think is possible with the curation framework.
How will you use the content curation framework? The power is in your hands.