When you consider adding new content to your website or blog, you’re likely to think about creating long form articles or original posts. This is only natural, and most sites will want to prioritize unique content. However, it can also be a smart move to source and share relevant third-party content with your readers whenever you have the opportunity.
One of the best things about the internet is how much information it provides access to – there’s an article or website out there about almost anything. Linking out to this content, or curating it into helpful resources, is both a service to your readers and an excellent way to take some of the pressure off of yourself.
In this article, we’ll talk about why you might want to share third-party content, and discuss the most common ways to do so. Then we’ll introduce some handy WordPress plugins to help you get the job done. Let’s get started!
Should You Consider Sharing Third Party Content?
It’s important to have plenty of quality, original content on your website. Sharing your own unique ideas positions you as an expert, and including too much duplicate content on your site can be problematic for search engine optimization. However, it’s also very beneficial to reference and share external content alongside your own work.
Sourcing and sharing relevant third-party content is a smart idea, for the following reasons (and more):
- It relieves your workload – you can include more useful content on your site without having to do everything yourself.
- Offering external sources and citations improves the credibility of your own content.
- You can position yourself as a knowledgeable authority by pointing readers to the best places to find information.
- Sharing others’ content is an excellent way to foster connections and relationships.
If you never link to or share external resources, you’re missing an opportunity to become part of the larger conversation that already exists online. So try to find a balance between original and shared content that works for you.
How to Share Content with WordPress
Now let’s discuss how to actually start sharing third-party content. There are plenty of options out there, and the best approach for you will depend on your site, field, and audience. Most likely, you’ll want to use a combination of strategies.
Here are a few of the most effective approaches:
- Simple linking. Creating external links within your content is easy, and enables you to provide citations, along with further information you don’t have time (or room) to cover yourself. It’s a basic strategy that anyone can benefit from.
- Content aggregation. This approach uses RSS feeds to automate the process of content sharing. Which in turn makes this a quick, easy option. You can embed feeds on your site to pull in and display relevant content from around the web. This provides your readers with real-time updates on important information and saves you a lot of time. ]
- Content curation. Curation is the process of finding outside resources and presenting them to your readers though a blog post, newsletter, social network, or some other method. You start with third party content, but add in your own flair or opinions. It’s perhaps the most time-intensive of these options, but can provide the most control and potential value.
All of these approaches require a little upfront work. Fortunately, WordPress offers plenty of tools to help you implement content sharing strategies.
It’s true that one of the best things about WordPress is that there’s a plugin for just about anything you might want to do. Finding the perfect plugin can be difficult, though, so below we’ve gathered together some of the best content curation and aggregation options for sharing third-party content.
1. WP RSS Aggregator
If the idea of content aggregation intrigues you, this is the plugin to check out. WP RSS Aggregator enables you to combine several RSS feeds and display them together on your site. You can choose the sources you think will be most valuable, integrate them into one handy list, and let the plugin do the rest. WP RSS Aggregator is a solid option if you want to share useful third-party content without getting your hands dirty doing ‘manual’ work.
- Import and combine as many RSS feeds as you need
- Use a shortcode to easily display feed content on your site
- Impose various limits on what content is imported, displayed, and stored
The basic version of WP RSS Aggregator is free, but if you want a lot of its more useful features (such as importing RSS content as a post, and displaying excerpts and images from feed items) you’ll need to buy one or more of its premium add-ons.
2. Echo RSS
Another option is to us the Echo plugin to build posts from RSS feeds, as well as create your own unlimited number of custom RSS feeds for your readers. This plugin offers an easy way to curate content geared towards your audience. The plugin hooks into public RSS feeds to generate posts on your own blog, which you can then in turn use to create your own RSS.
- Utilizes the SimplePie API
- Auto-generate posts
- Create unlimited RSS feeds
The big problem here is that the content is not really unique. While it offers an easy way to offer your readers niche content (for example, you could share and link to the latest crypto-tips from various blogs on your own exchange site), I wouldn’t recommend relying on it for all of your content creation needs.
The MyCurator plugin is a bit unique. Instead of you providing sources the plugin comes to you with articles it thinks are relevant. How? After establishing the topic you’re interested in finding resources for you simply up and down vote results the plugin provides. Based on your votes MyCurator aims to provide targeted content for your article creating needs.
- Smart content curation via up/down-votes
- Setup RSS and source alerts
- Specify your language
You can use MyCurator for free for one topic, however you’ll need to signup for a premium plan for more than that. Pro plans are priced at $15/mo for up to 6 topics, and Business plans at $30/mo for unlimited topics.
PressForward is a free plugin you can use to design a custom set of sources for your content aggregation. The plugin works with RSS feeds as do many other options on our list, as well as with a bookmarklet for specific source pages. But what is unique is that there are built-in options for attribution, auto redirect to original source and support for teams (e.g. contributors ,editors or other user roles).
- RSS, Atom feed and bookmarklet sourcing
- Integrate standardized content
- Save curated content as drafts
- Add content attribution or redirect to source
A fun fact about this 100% free (no upsell) plugin is that it is maintained by George Mason University. It was created as a part of their similarly named PressForward project, which aims to centralize digital media and create content hubs.
5. Curation Suite
If content curation is more your style, take a look at Curation Suite. This comprehensive solution adds a sidebar to your posts editor that lets you search for external content without going anywhere. It pulls in content from a variety of sources that focus on news, social media, images, and videos. Curation Suite is an ideal tool for quickly finding and organizing resources to create useful curated pages or posts.
- Limit your searches to certain reliable sources
- Add content to your post quickly through a visual editor
- Take advantage of shortcuts that enable you to add any content to your site, even when you aren’t in the dashboard
Curation Suite isn’t cheap – it will cost you $197 per year for an annual membership (or $24/month if you’d prefer to go that route). However, it’s a perfect option for those who want to get serious about curating content, and will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run.
6. Flow Flow
The plugins listed above are great at aggregating content from RSS feeds or curating traditional content. But what about social media? This is where Flow Flow shines. With Flow Flow you can pull from social streams to create a responsive grid of content relevant for your readers.
- Responsive layout with AJAX loading
- Social media buttons and counters
- Networks sort and search options
- Multisite compatible
That said – the free version of Flow Flow only supports Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. If you want to use an RSS feed, blog posts or other networks (Youtube, Soundcloud, Tumblr, etc) you will need to upgrade to Flow Flow Pro. But considering it’s priced at a reasonable $35 I’d say it’s worth the investment.
Sourcing content from around the web is the perfect way to make yourself part of a broader community. You’ll bolster your credibility by sharing useful resources, and you’ll invite others to share your own content in return. In addition, you’ll be able to grow your website or blog more quickly by adding material at a faster rate.
Do you have any tips for how to find awesome content to share with your readers? Tell us about them in the comments section below!