Content Creation vs. Content Curation: What’s the Difference?


  • Many assume content creation and curation are the same, but they’re actually quite different.
  • Content creation involves adding fresh content to your site, while content curation involves taking content from other sources and posting them on your site or across social media. 
  • Curated content works well for small business owners who don’t have much time, while content creation can help boost rankings and increase traffic to your site. 
  • Many businesses find success with using a blend of about 40 percent shared content and 60 percent original content on their sites. 

So you want to dip your toes into content marketing, but just aren’t sure how to approach it? In your research you may have come across the terms ‘content creation’ and ‘content curation’ and assumed that they were basically the same thing – after all, they sound practically the same, right?

The truth is that content creation and content curation are actually quite different and each has advantages and disadvantages. One involves adding your own fresh content to your site and the other involves taking intriguing content from other sources. 

If you’re about to jump into content marketing you may be wondering which type of approach will best serve your business’s needs. Before we dig into which you should be using and when, let’s do a quick breakdown of each. 

Content Creation

Content creation is just as it sounds. It refers to the brand new content on your site that’s been created specifically for your purposes. This was certainly the original way of thinking when it came to content marketing. Posting unique content was king, but it also became very challenging to keep up within the fast-paced world of social media.

Content Curation

In contrast, content curation does not require anyone to compose new content. Content curation is the act of gathering content from other sources that suit your business’s purposes and sharing it through your own site or social media networks. Curating content still requires some effort, but many find it less intimidating than creating unique content.

Benefits of Content Creation

  • It belongs to you so there’s no worry that someone will be upset that you’re sharing their content.
  • It’s completely tailored to your business because it was written specifically for you. For example, you can address issues for which your business’s offerings are the solution.
  • You can add whatever links, images, calls to action, etc. that you want because it’s your content.
  • It helps you establish your own voice with your readers and you become known for what you have to say about your area of expertise.

Drawbacks of Content Creation

  • It’s time consuming to keep up with posting on a regular basis.
  • Some people aren’t comfortable with writing and need to find others to create fresh content that fits their brand.

Benefits of Content Curation

  • It provides an opportunity to build relationships within your industry.
  • It gives your audience a range of viewpoints on topics in your area of expertise.
  • It can help you appear less self-promotional because you’re not posting just your own viewpoint and your own promotional materials.

Drawbacks of Content Curation

  • You need to be careful not to promote the competition when you’re selecting info to post.
  • To maintain your reputation, you have to be careful you’re only posting content from reputable sources.
  • You can’t include your own links and calls to action within the content.
  • It’s hard to showcase your own voice and knowledge if all you ever post is curated content.
  • Linking to a source site can send readers away from your site.

Curated content often works well for small business owners. It’s also highly effective for those who work in social media management and content marketing. That said, small businesses can benefit greatly from creating their own content too. In addition, if you’re a business that’s highly regulated and there is worry about ideas being copied, then content creation is usually the better option.

The 60/40 Mix

While some businesses lean towards one type or the other, there are compelling reasons to incorporate at least a little of each. In fact, many businesses find success with using a blend of about 40 percent shared content and 60 percent original content on their sites. Of course, over time a business should get a feel for what type of content seems to speak the best to their customer base.

If you start out with the 60/40 mix and find you’re getting more response to one type of content over the other, then you may want to play with the percentages a little. There is no ‘perfect mix’ for every business. You need to experiment to find the content marketing strategy that works best for you.

Quick Best Practices

When using curated content, be sure to comment on or pose questions about the content you’re posting. In doing so, you open up a discussion between you and your readers and establish a voice for yourself, even though the content you’re posting isn’t your own.

It’s important to keep in mind that whether you’re posting your own content or sharing something from another source, the content you’re putting out there is adding value to your commentary. What you post is a reflection of your business, so don’t post just to post. While it’s best to add content on a regular basis, you need to remain very aware of the message you’re sending.

Getting the hang of content marketing can take some time. If you’re still feeling a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of jumping in, don’t panic. RMG’s team of marketing experts is happy to help whether you need a bit of guidance or a complete marketing overhaul. Get in touch today!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mariah is the Content Manager at Redefine Marketing Group, overseeing editorial operations for our clients' blogs and other written content. She studied Spanish Language and Literature at UC Berkeley and has worked in a variety of fields, including tutoring and law. She lives, writes, and watches too much TV in Los Angeles.
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