How to Curate the Best Content With Curation Suite

Curation Suite Standalone Plugin No Longer Available
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 2 stars
$197 per year
  • 40%


How are you using your blog to share the best content with your audience? Do you have a systematic way to collect and present information?

Today I am reviewing Curation Suite, a content curation software that I’ve been using on my blog for over a year. Curation Suite helps you curating the best articles from various sources and it will beautifully organize this information in your blog posts.

 

*Editor’s Note: 01/12/2018* This review is about the standalone Curation Suite plugin. You can no longer buy it since Curation Suite has adopted a subscription model that includes both Curation Suite and Listening Engine. I cannot recommend Curation Suite anymore.

 

What is Content Curation?

Beth Canter has a good definition of what content curation is:

Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amount of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a theme. The work involved sifting, sorting, arranging, and publishing information.

Content curation can be seen as a 3-step process:

  1. Discovery:  researching, reading relevant content for your audience
  2. Curation: select the best content and add commentary
  3. Sharing: share your best content on social media, blogs, etc.

 

Note: As a content curator, you are responsible to appropriately credit your sources.

Now, let’s see how Curation Suite can help you curate your best content.

 

What Is Curation Suite?

Curation Suite is a lightweight WordPress plugin that works with any theme and any plugin you have and will not slow down your site. Curation Suite is built exclusively for WordPress, which is the world’s most popular and powerful method for creating a website.

Using the Curation Suite plugin, allows you to curate and publish content that engages your readers and puts you in a position of authority.

 

What Makes Curation Suite Different?

Curation Suite works straight from your WordPress dashboard. Whenever you are creating or editing a blog post, you can invoke Curation Suite and insert your best curated content in a snap.

When curating, you have several options on how to format the content. You may want to include a thumbnail image, a video, a tweet, etc. You can add quotes, cleanup the headline, insert the author’s credit. Curation Suite will retrieve these content snippets for you. All you need is to include what makes sense to you.

 

What Are the Primary Benefits of Curation Suite?

Here are the primary benefits in using Curation Suite:

Find and Curate Content From the Top Sources

Quickly discover content to curate right within your WordPress dashboard by using Curation Suite’s built-in search. Using this highly intuitive search you will be able to discover and curate content from the following sources:

  • Google News
  • Bing News
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • Giphy
  • Youtube
  • Slideshare
  • Dailymotion
  • Pocket
  • Instagram

 

Quickly Find Content

The on-demand search empowers you to search all popular search engines and social networks for the best content to share or publish on your site.

Visually Click and Add

You can easily cite and add the right content to your post when using Curation Suite’s one-click curation and the curation visual editor.

Publishing Shortcuts

You can curate from anywhere, at anytime using the CurateThis shortcut– or save a link for later with the custom AddLink shortcut (works on mobile devices too).

 

Using Curation Suite

After you install the Curation Suite plugin, a small toggle button will display in your blog editor. Clicking this toggle will display the Curation Suite window.

curation suite review searching

 

Curating With a Search

The Curation Suite window has several tabs. From the above image, the Search tab is selected. You can enter your keywords, and decide the source you wish to search. From the search category pull-down, you can choose from Google News, Pocket, Youtube, etc. At the top right, you can click on the tutorial link, which will launch a useful tutorial video:

 

In the example below, I searched for SEO in Twitter, Youtube, and Pocket. I selected one article per category and curated it in my WordPress editor:

curation suite review curate content

 

Before each curated content, I inserted a fake commentary for illustration purposes. It is recommended to add your commentary to add value to the curated content.

Here is a preview of the draft article:

curation suite review curating content preview

 

As you can observe, I did not put too much effort to create this piece. Curation Suite did all the searching and formatting for me.

 

Curating With Your Links

Curating with your own links is one of my favorite Curation Suite features.

First, you need to install Curation Suite’s CurateThis button on your web browser.

curation suite review Curating Content with CurateThis Bookmarklet

 

This button is not a browser extension but a small piece of Javascript that will copy your links (URLs) to your WordPress site.

Next, whenever you find an interesting article you want to curate, you just click the CurateThis browser button. Your web browser will display a small window asking you to choose your bucket. A bucket is a category where you want to store your content. For instance, social media, blogging, SEO, etc. From the example below, I only have two categories. I selected Blogging and I clicked “Add Link & Close” button.

curation suite review bucket lists

 

This action saved my link into Curation Suite, ready to be curated.

From WordPress, you can list all your saved links by selecting Curation Suite’s Links tab and then the “Load Bucket Links” button.  In the example below, I collected five links that I curated in this blog post.

curation suite review bucket links

 

Clicking on the Curate symbol displays a curation pane (curate tab):

curation suite review curate pane

 

From this pane, you can change the appearance of the curated with a few clicks. Here are some important ones:

  • Clean Headline: this will remove the extra text that follows the headline. Most of the time it’s the website name. For example, the original headline was: 33 Proven Ways To Monetize a Website (or a Blog) – WebsiteSetup.org, Clicking on Clean Headline made the following headline: 33 Proven Ways To Monetize a Website (or a Blog)
  • Shortcuts: you can select which shortcut type you prefer. The shortcut is the link to the full article you just curated. In this example, I selected: Read more at websitesetup.org
  • Thumbnails: you can choose to display a thumbnail image that represents the website page you are curating. You can also disable it.
  • Curated Content: by default, Curation Suite will select an excerpt from the curated contents. You can add more text by scrolling down. See next figure:

 

curation suite review adding text content

 

In the above example, I curated an extra two paragraphs taken from the Main Content (83) link.

Once you are done, click the Add to post button. This action will enable you to align your curated content — left, center, or right.

Very simple, isn’t it?

Finally, proceed with the remaing links.

 

Content Curation Examples

You will find several content curation examples on my website. I used Curation Suite to create them all. Let me give you a few examples:

 

Support

I will be honest with you. I only emailed Curation Suite’s support team twice for basic questions. It took several days to get a reply but they provided the answers. This product is robust and I never had major issues with it.

Curation Suite has an extensive tutorial video collection. It will help you to jumpstart your learning curve with this product. This is what I recommend to beginners. Go for the tutorials and you won’t need support.

 

Product Evolution

Ever since I started using Curation Suite, this product has been under constant evolution. New useful features keep emerging, making this product a real gem.

 

Pricing

Curation Suite costs $97 for an unlimited personal site license. It’s a one-time payment.

Curation Suite is no longer available as a standalone plugin. You must purchase a subscription (recurring model) for both Curation Suite plugin and Listening Engine.

 

Overall Impressions

Verdict:

I no longer recommend Curation Suite since it’s not available anymore as a standalone product. In my initial review dated April 7, 2017, I recommended the Curation Suite (the standalone plugin). Times have changed. The company decided to adopt a subscription model — I discovered that by pure coincidence. As a user who purchased the product (one time charge), I never got a notification or announcement of that change. Also, they silently terminated their affiliate program, and I lost my pending commissions.

 

Feel free to ask me questions!

 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Retrieves content from several key sources
  • Stable software and no performance issues
  • Offers many formatting options
  • Good online tutorials

Cons

  • Support issues
  • No longer available as a standalone plugin
  • Unsure about the future of this product

Curation Suite Standalone Plugin No Longer Available

Summary: I no longer recommend Curation Suite.

$197 per year
RatingRated 2 stars
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10 thoughts on “How to Curate the Best Content With Curation Suite

  1. You’re right about that support turnaround problem. I asked for a refund and was told several days later that it got put in the wrong “bucket.” They don’t want to fulfill my request for money back – keep trying to talk me into keeping it. Be sure this is what you want before you buy.

      • Yes, I was within their seven day period. Now I’m trying to figure out how not to get charged for next year. May have to cancel my credit card.

        • Hi Kathy,

          I suggest you get in touch with your credit card issuer. Tell them you are contesting that charge (in their jargon, “disputing a charge”). They will get in touch with the merchant and get a settlement. (this is something I’ve done in the past with another merchant and it worked). For the upcoming payment, your CC issuer should be able to block it. Otherwise, you may have to cancel your CC.

          Keep me posted.

          -steve

  2. Even the subscription was canceled before the renewal date, they will charge you the renewal fee. They do not even have a cancellation page in the members page.
    They do not provide an explanation and just ignore my inquiries about the charge they made.
    When I tried to call them, it went straight to the voice mail. Be careful with their service.

    • Hi Sandra,

      Thanks for stopping by. Currently, I use a template that I built with AirStory. I do all my writing in AirStory, so it’s easy to import my blog posts to WordPress as described here.

      The template mimics the format I use for my “roundup” posts. See example here.

      If you are interested, I can share my AirStory template with you. Please let me know.

      -steve

  3. Hi Steve, Thanks for your reply. I really like the robust sounding aspects of curation suite. I want to also curate you tube videos and can’t spend all my time curating….I am going to try their monthly plan and see how it works. I figure risking 20.00 is not to bad even if it bombs out. Will let you know the outcome. Best Regards, Sandra

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