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Why the Clickbait Era Will Die (and What Will Replace It)

  • Joel ZaslofskyJoel Zaslofsky

Isn’t it nice?

You just published your latest blog post, podcast episode, or YouTube video.

For the moment, it’s another job well done. Thoughts of overnight success swirl in your head as it’s time to tell the world again, “Hey, look! I made this from scratch!”

This is what’s known as clickbait – creating content whose main purpose is to encourage people to click back to your website.

But creating all that content is stressful, time intensive, and often exhausting.

There has to be another way to market your brand without constantly conjuring clever headlines and running on the new content treadmill, right?

You bet your sweet booty there is!

That better way is called curating.

I believe we should curate our entire existence, and then choose which parts to remix and share. That’s because our marketing is stronger when it’s not limited to curating only “content.”

It’s time to learn Experience Curating … and let the world market you for a change.

Um … What the Heck Is Experience Curating?

Experience Curating is kind of like content curating where you synthesize and contextualize someone else’s stuff. Except with Experience Curating, you do it for everything.

Picture the value you could unlock by curating quotes, books, conversations, recipes, and anything else that floats your boat. Imagine having your best experiences on any topic all neatly organized and instantly accessible.

How could that not help with your marketing, business, and entire life?

Experience Curating is a three-part blueprint that empowers you to recognize, capture, organize, and share your most valuable moments. When you become an Experience Curator, you quickly grow your curating currency. And you learn how to convert this new currency into financial, social, or intellectual capital.

The kicker? Curating currency is not a limited resource like time, attention, or money. You can generate it in a lot of ways, but the most immediate and accessible is to curate your own experiences.

Let’s focus on how to contextually share the appropriate experiences with the ideal audience at the perfect time.

Role Models and Road Maps

How do you intercept people in your niche when they most need you instead of blasting them with broadcasts that get you on more “ignore” lists than a used car salesman?

You become like Robin Good, the man who embodies 21st century curating more than almost anyone else.

From educational or digital tools to content marketing and analysis of the best resources for curating, he covers everything within his niches. In the process, his reputation continues to skyrocket as he further establishes himself as the go-to resource for all things curating.

Wouldn’t it be grand to have your name become synonymous with whatever niche or industry you’re in? Experience Curating can help you with that.

How? Customize the three-part blueprint and see for yourself.

3-Part Blue-Print to Curate Content

1. Reset Your Mindset

If content curation helps you become a bigger expert and better marketer, then why would you stop there?

Instead, you could have the perfect quote or TED Talk reference for any future need (and your friends will dig you for that gift, too).

Future generations could applaud you because you curated your environment like the Brothers Grimm curated Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella. Imagine helping millions of people – not to mention being exceedingly wealthy and influential – because your curating skill matched that of Henry Luce, TIME magazine’s co-founder.

Pioneers like Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post and Maria Popova of continue to reset the mindset of what it means to curate. You too can reboot your brain and build a rich legacy through curating.

All these examples prove that anything worth knowing, doing, having, or sharing can be curated for your benefit and that of others.

2. Filter, Archive, Organize, Contextualize, Access, and Share (Oh My!)

What topics and mediums do you want to be an expert in? Fitness videos, Pinterest recipes, or maybe SEO techniques?

Experience Curating’s FAOCAS (pronounced “focus”) framework – which stands for Filter, Archive, Organize, Contextualize, Access, and Share – is flexible enough for anything.

It goes a little somethin’ like this:

  1. Filter: Crank up your context-driven human subjectivity to determine what experiences – good or bad – have relevance to others.
  2. Archive: Pick an archive tool that allows for safe, easily converted, low maintenance, and expansive experiences.
  3. Organize: Use categories as your building blocks, labels as the road signs, logic as the glue, and relationships between “experience elements” – who, what, when, where, why, and how – for a compelling narrative.
  4. Contextualize: Everything is relative and your memory is terrible (this TED Talk by the Nobel-prize-winning Daniel Kahneman explains why). That’s why it’s so important to preserve an experience’s original context and add additional layers, pronto.
  5. Access: Make sure you can access your experiences where, when, and how you need them.
  6. Share: Among other best practices, give credit where credit is due and don’t get sucked into a rapid fire Twitterverse. Set clear rules about how people can share your experiences and keep a lifetime reputation – both yours and others – in mind. If all else fails, just answer a simple question: will the experience I’m about to share be more valuable than silence?

The full FAOCAS framework details are in Experience Curating. We can also go deeper in the comment section.

3. Tools of the Curating Trade

The rumors are true: I curate my existence in Excel spreadsheets. (Yes, I’m truly that nerdy.)

An Experience Curating Spreadsheet

For me, there’s no better tool to sort, filter, search, and organize than Excel. However … it’s definitely not for everyone.

Other all-purpose tools like Evernote rock the curating party, too. It can handle any medium you throw at it, lets you easily preserve and add context, can be accessed from anywhere, and is darn sexy.

If you like specialized tools, something like LibraryThing for books is great. It imports and exports with gusto, costs next to nothing with their pay-what-you-can model, and has social sharing features to show off when needed.

Just know that there’s no “right way” to practice Experience Curating in your business strategies. Use whatever tools you like, including the ones on Robin Good’s Zeef page where an amazing list will tickle whatever fancy you have.

Embrace Your Inner Curator

My last guest post on Firepole Marketing was a case study in curating. It also generated email subscribers to my list and hundreds of dollars in sales of my products.

Think for a moment: how much better off would you be if you curated the best parts of the best stuff you’ve experienced on this website? That’s what I’ve been doing, and the benefits have been seriously groovy.

Now apply a curating mindset with the FAOCAS framework and your favorite tools.

All of the sudden you can stop thinking about clickbait (yes, even you my copywriting friends). Publishing content with a headline of “ABC123” is no biggie because people know everything you crank out is valuable and relevant.

Videos, podcasts, and books become experiences that make big things happen for you, not just things that passively happen to you.

Your marketing, business, and reputation are worth spending 0.1% of your time adding value to the other 99.9%.

That’s what Experience Curating is all about.

Over to You

What new possibilities would open up for you with better curating? What are your favorite tools to curate your existence? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

photo credit: Karen Roe

9 thoughts on Why the Clickbait Era Will Die (and What Will Replace It)


Interesting read, I had done curation in the past for gaming niche, but it got penalized by Google and it ended up nowhere.

What’s your takeaway about curation and SEO?

Joel Zaslofsky

I’ve read a bit about the intersection between content curation and SEO, Liudas. But not enough to form a strong opinions like, “I recommend you do this” or “No! Don’t do that.”

I suggest you check out Robin Good’s article called “There’s No Such Thing As Unethical Content Curation: That’s Cheap Content Marketing.” The link is here:

You might want to try your hand at curation again with more context and less long excerpts of an original article (if you were doing that before, that is … which could have resulted in Google not liking you).

איטום גגות

Hello from Israel.
I always enjoy reading the articles on your site.
Thanks a lot.

Chris Backe

One element of curation has to aim at presenting information that reaches your audience with both timely and helpful information. Waiting a week to add a couple of points on a piece your audience has already read may be too late.

Joel Zaslofsky

I agree, Chris. Content curation should be inherently helpful to the people you’re curating for. If it’s not valuable – if you didn’t add any context or meaning to the original source – than it’s not curating in my book.

However, I believe that timing (most of the time, at least) isn’t nearly as important compared to other aspects to curating. Exceptions include news curation where the shelf life of a story is short or the arc of the story changes rapidly. Some of the best curating I’ve seen are people adding their unique layers to content that’s sometimes hundreds of years old (e.g., a book or historical event).

What do you say?


Great article and definitely appreciate more about what curation is for and the difference between that and “clickbait” (hadn’t thought of it that way actually!)

Joel Zaslofsky

Curation is for everything. Well, at least in my mind and with my approach. Start poking around Steve Rosenbaum’s, Robin Good’s, and other curators online hangouts to see how they do it. I just have one way and it’s not the “right” way.


This sounds like a really good methodology – and one that I’ve yet to venture into. But can I ask a stupid question? (that wasn’t it btw!).

Isn’t ‘curation’ just considered to be a degree of plagiarism‎? How do you get round that?

(sorry, that was 2 questions!)

Joel Zaslofsky

I’m not counting your first question, Loren. So here’s my response to the last one. 🙂

Curation is only plagiarism if you’re automating it and not citing your sources. But then again, curation by definition (according to me and others) requires human subjectivity and changed/added context. Republishing something without modification, building layers upon the original source, or even mentioning the original source has nothing to do with curating. It’s just plain wrong regardless of what words you associate with it.

Comments are closed.