Karen Dietz
February 14, 2014

Content Curators Must Do This First to Build Trust

What is the one essential ingredient for success that most curators of information miss?

Is it relevant content? No.

Is it a review for each article? Sometimes, but that’s another post.

Is it catchy article titles? Not usually.

It’s – tah-da – an editorial statement. What??!! Sounds dry and boring! Good grief, why would I need one of those?

Simply put: because it’s your reason for being, and tells your readers WHY you are different from other curators. It’s your first step in building both credibility and trust with your audience. Without an editorial statement readers don’t know how you are different from others curators in your same field. New readers struggle to know what you are about. They don’t know your story.

This is huge. And most content curators blow right by this. Try looking for editorial statements by curators on Scoop.It. They are rare. (I’m partial to the Scoop.It platform and curate there).

Are there successful curators on the platform without an editorial statement? Sure. But why leave it out when you can be even more successful with one? Or add one into an existing curation and accelerate your results? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

So What Is It?

question manAn editorial statement presents the opinion of the editor or curator, owner or manager.  It also informs people about the editorial decisions you make – how and why you write an article, choose a photo to share, or select a piece of content to review.

An editorial statement is where you offer your reasons about why you are writing, selecting or promoting the content you do, along with your take on your work or your industry. It’s your opportunity to share your story about the unique work you do.

But ‘editorial statement’ is boring and certainly not sexy. So for curators, let’s call this your ‘About Post’ like a blog and website has an ‘About Page’. OK, that’s still not sexy but you get the idea J.

What’s The Advantage?

For curators to have an About Post is critical. When you share with readers your process and reasons for curating, you automatically build transparency and authenticity. Both generate trust and credibility.

Just like on an About Page, an About Post is a terrific place to let your personality shine through, talk with your readers, share important tips for finding stuff and navigating the site. It can also be a fabulous place to inform readers about the best ways to contact you, when you’ll be able to respond, and the like. You are cool. You are awesome. Your curation or content is hot. Let people know!

Look at examples of great About Pages that curators can use as models. From the cooking world, here are two of my favorites: the Smitten Kitchen and The Pioneer Woman.

If you offer content on your website to download, share why you are doing so beyond “because we want to help.” Craft a statement reflecting your views of the world right on the download page. Create a mini ‘About Post’ at the top of the page that tells your story and the story of the material you are sharing with folks.


Whether on your website or as part of your curation, your About Post will evolve over time. When I first started curating I didn’t bother with an editorial statement. It took me about four or five months before I put one together. Up until that time I was getting used to curating and working with the Scoop.it platform.

But I finally posted one where it remains today. This is a permanent post that stays in the upper left-hand corner of my curation. It’s the first post new readers see and is my way to orient them to the site. And long-time readers can easily check how to navigate through the site and find things if they forget. Or if they have a question about my purpose or review process, they can find the information there.

You can see my About Post here. I think after 2.5 years though it’s time to refresh it! Scroll down below for instructions on how to create a permanent post on Scoop.It.

For curators, let readers know upfront what to expect and how to navigate through your material. That way they don’t have to figure it out over time. And you won’t potentially lose a reader because they couldn’t figure out what your curation is all about or how to find past material. This is important even for curators within companies. Your readers are still going to want to know how you curate.

keyboardCrafting An About Post

Putting together an About Post for curators or a web page though is different than writing an About Page. They can be similar, but space is very limited. So it’s got to be super brief.

Here’s your checklist of what to include (in no particular order). Just write a sentence or two for each and see what you come up with. If it’s too long, keep editing it down.

  1. The ‘why’ statement – why are your curating?
  2. Your process for curation – what is your method for finding, choosing, or providing articles?
  3. The reasons you select your material and why you ignore what you do — what are you looking for?
  4. Your goal for your readers – how will your curation help them?
  5. How to find past articles in your collection – directions for finding other posts.
  6. Who you are – your background.

Scoop.it Directions

I bet most curators on Scoop.it don’t even know how to create a permanent About Post.  If you curate elsewhere, you might not have the option of creating a permanent About Post but you may be able to add the same information into your profile. So here are the instructions for Scoop.it:

  1. On your Scoop.it newsletter click on the New Scoop button in the upper right corner of your page.
  2. When the box shows up asking for an URL, select “Add a scoop without URL”
  3. Add a title (I used the title of my curation)
  4. Add an image (I loaded my logo)
  5. Enter in your text
  6. Save it
  7. Once published, go to your About Post and hover over the bottom until you see the menu bar appear. This is where you can edit the post, share it, move it, tag it or delete it. You can also ‘star’ it. There’s a symbol that’s a star. Click on the star and Scoop.it will automatically make this a permanent post that is always displayed in the top left corner of your curation.


AccomplishmentYeah! You’ve done it. Who knew it could be so easy!

So there you have it. Help your readers out by orienting them to your curation. Don’t let them struggle to figure out what you are doing. Write an About Post that shares your purpose and personality. Provide a context for your readers, build that trust right up front, and let your light shine brightly!


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Karen Dietz has been working in business storytelling with organizations for over 2 decades. She is also the top global curator on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it. Karen is the co-author of the just published book "Business Storytelling for Dummies" by Wiley. You can find this and more at her website here.