17 Unique Places to Find Great Content to Share

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Needle in a haystackI get a particular thrill from finding little-known restaurants that serve amazing food. My greatest hits list includes elk tacos at a highway diner, cinnamon rolls at a downtown hole-in-the-wall, and – perhaps my greatest discovery of all – barbecue from a trailer in a parking lot. (Seriously, it’s good barbecue!)

The discovery process for great content has a similar thrill. How great does it feel to share a bit of awesomeness that few others have found?

Without a doubt, sharing great finds on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks is a smart way to with your followers. Did you know 25 percent of Tweets contain links and 56 percent of retweets contain them?

People love a good content share. And in order to give the people what they want, sometimes you’ve got to dig a little deeper. Here are 17 unexpected places to look:

1. Email newsletters

We look at the inbox every day, but how often do we search it for great content? Perhaps we should consider email the original content discovery engine. You make your interests known (by signing up for newsletters), and your inbox delivers tailored content. Newsletters are often filled with hand-picked links of interest. The best ones have one or two new pieces of content that you can share each day. Here are a few to consider:

Next Draft

Managed by Dave Pell, this daily newsletter contains the day’s most fascinating news – a Top Ten of interesting links from around the web, often starting with current events and meandering into fun, off-beat, interesting links.

 

Next Draft newsletter

The Daily Digg

The newsletter offshoot of Digg.com, this daily email brings you up to speed on the top stories from yesterday with an uncanny knack for highlighting potentially viral content. Digg’s algorithms and users help identify the day’s most important stories, which you can glean for uniquely shareable content.

Sign up by clicking the Daily Digg link in the menu bar of the Digg homepage.

The Daily Digg newsletter

Austin Kleon

Author and illustrator Austin Kleon is one of the most unique marketing and motivational minds out there, and his newsletter reflects his eye for design and his keen curation of content off the beaten path.

Austin Kleon newsletter

Zen Habits

The Zen Habits newsletter delivers Leo Babuta’s popular insights into simplicity and peace. The stories here could provide a good balance to the marketing and social media posts in a stream.

SmartBrief

Newsletters from SmartBrief cover a vast array of topics and professions – 150 to be exact. The daily newsletters of curated content focus on a particular industry, and you can browse a deep list of topics to find ones that suit you (Tech and Business topics is a good place to start).

5 Intriguing Things by Alexis Madrigal

A senior editor at The Atlantic, Alexis shares links that span a wide range of topics – technology, science, culture, just to name a few.

5 Intriguing Things newsletter

Pro tip: Once your inbox fills up with quality newsletters, you can manage them with Unroll.me, a service that rolls all your subscriptions into a daily digest. You can still click on individual links and read all the copy, and you get to do so from a slick dashboard with minimal impact on your inbox.

Unroll.me screenshot

2. Subreddits

Reddit helps identify a wealth of valuable content as discovered and voted on by its deep user base. Specialized subreddits focus on a single topic and can be an ideal place to monitor up-and-coming links you can use. The full list of subreddits covers just about any topic you could imagine. Here are a few that might be relevant for digital marketers:

3. Pocket

Pocket is a multi-dimensional content finder. First and foremost, you can use the app like nature intended: Save the articles you find online to read later. Inside the app, Pocket will even notify you of what stories are popular and trending.

Pocket Best Of screenshot

Beyond the basic functionality of Pocket, there are some neat ways that the company helps highlight particular types of content. The Pocket blog features popular posts about timely events like the Oscars and the Super Bowl. And particularly helpful is the Twitter offshoot @PocketHits. The account tweets three to five great pieces of content daily.

PocketHits tweet screengrab

4. Topsy

Use Topsy to search popular stories around a chosen topic – you can even go so far as to home in on links, tweets, photos, videos or people specifically. The results page displays the top content that was shared recently as well as how many folks are talking about it.

Topsy screenshot

Topsy earns bonus points for  its social analytics and social trends, which could be great seeds for ideas on your next piece of content.

5. The quotes page on Goodreads.com

Oftentimes, you will want to share more than just great articles. A good quote, perhaps?

If so, Goodreads is a worthwhile stop. The quotes page on Goodreads pulls out the best snippets from books and authors, as chosen by the large community of Goodreads users. Here’s a selection from some of the top quotes:

  • “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
  • “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Bernard Baruch
  • “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West

6. The Latest

Built as a way to monitor what’s hot on Twitter (without actually monitoring Twitter yourself all day), The Latest prides itself on quality curation of top links. To accomplish this, the site polls a number of top influencers on Twitter and extracts and measures the links they share. The top ten links get added to the Latest homepage and are updated as new best-of links surface. You can also follow top stories on Twitter from The Latest.

Latest.is homepage screenshot

7. BuzzSumo

Gauging the virality of an article sometimes seems like voodoo magic. How can you tell what people like when there’s so much of it out there? BuzzSumo helps separate the signal from the noise with a tool that collects all vital share stats and spits out a dashboard of top links. You can see what has performed best on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and overall, and the tool also lets you filter by date and content type (e.g., guest posts, video, infographics).

BuzzSumo screenshot

8. Feedly

RSS feeds are well-known and loved (less loved now than they used to be, but still), and Feedly is one of the top RSS readers around. At a basic level, you can use Feedly to manage RSS feeds from the sites you follow, but when it comes to unique, unexpected content, try tapping into Feedly’s hashtag search. Simply type a word into the search bar at top and choose from a list of suggested Feedly topics. The results offer a variety of places to subscribe and discover new content.

Feedly hashtag search

9. Sidebar

Curating unique content with a design focus, Sidebar.io provides a daily list of top links that you can grab on the Sidebar homepage or in the Sidebar daily newsletter. A handful of human editors upvote submitted links to determine what reaches the Sidebar homepage on any given day. The results (up to five links) are posted and emailed out.

Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 3.29.36 PM

 

10. Twitter lists

Many Twitter power users rely on lists to make sense of their huge stream of tweets. Lists are an ideal, minimal way to focus on a smaller number of voices—no @ replies or Retweets show up in the stream for a list, and you can choose which Twitter users get added. A common practice is to set up a list around a topic (e.g., startups, design) or a group of people (e.g., influencers, coworkers). Here are a few handy ones to get started:

Want more? Here’s The 101 Best Twitter Lists To Follow in the Twitterverse.

11. Medium collections

The blogging platform Medium has an incredibly deep well of shareable content, much of which is highlighted on the Medium home page. For an even finer degree of curation, you can hop onto collections built by Medium’s users. Here are a few examples:

12. Slideshare

Two things make Slideshare a great source for original content: 1) the quality of the submissions are top-notch with presentations from some of the top voices in digital marketing, and 2) the content is visual—pictures, graphs, etc.—meaning a huge opportunity for added engagement.

Slideshare example screenshot

On the homepage, Slidshare lists the most popular decks currently being shared as well as decks around a certain topic. Here are some of the top presentations on Facebook and Twitter.

13. What’s Trending on Google+ and Pinterest

Of course, the top social media networks also have a pretty good idea of what content is popular. All you have to do is ask!

Google+ tracks its rising content in a section titled Hot and Recommended. Its algorithms pull up-and-coming content that has resonated on the network or is about to. To reach this feature, click on the Explore link on your top navigation bar, then choose “What’s Hot” from the list of tags.

Google+ Explore

Hot and Recommended on Google+

Pinterest collects its most popular posts on one main page for an easy overview.

Pinterest Popular screenshot

14. The Feature

Just as the afore-mentioned Pocket highlights the best content that its users appreciate, the best content from fellow read-later app Instapaper can be found online, too, via The Feature

The Feature

The Feature runs on Tumblr, so you can pull up the full archive to quickly browse what’s been shared.

15. Flipboard

One of the original must-have apps on the iPad, Flipboard has been curating content for years. It takes your interests and responds with a beautifully-designed flip book of articles and stories that fit what you’re into. Flipboard also recently acquired content discovery engine Zite, which could lead to some useful new innovations down the road.

Flipboard screengrab

16. Prismatic

Like Flipboard, Prismatic discovers great new content and delivers it in a beautiful way to your mobile device. You can follow people and interests and send feedback by voting on the stories you like best. The latest version supports reading later and saving stories to Pocket.

Prismatic screenshot

17. Fre.sh

And lastly, here’s something a bit different.  The team at Buzzfeed built Fre.sh as a quick view at the fastest rising stories on the web. Many of the top stories have a celebrity-entertainment focus, but the category range is so wide that if you dig deep enough you should be able to find something relevant for your profile.

Fre.sh screenshot

Bonus: Content suggestions from Buffer

Here’s an extra place to find great content to share: Buffer’s content suggestions. This new feature gives users five daily suggestions to share quickly from right within the app, plus three suggestions sent to a user’s email any time their queue runs dry. The suggestions are hand-picked by the Buffer team and cover a variety of topics and media: quotes, images, and links about marketing, writing, psychology, lifehacking, and more. Here is how the suggestions flow looks from within the Buffer web app.

Buffer content suggestions

What unexpected places do you frequent to find great content to share? Care to give away any of your secrets? I’d love to hear where you find neat, new stories online.

P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like The Complete Guide for Finding and Sharing Better Content Online and 29 Free Internet Tools to Improve Your Marketing Starting Today.

Image credit: t_buchtele

  • David

    Hi Kevan, thanks for this complete list. There are some sites I didn’t know.

    For content discovery I use noosfeer, as it is not topic limited and with the “smart curation” feature, it helps me find what I really like, not what a lot of other people think it’s interesting.

    Keep up the great work ;)

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Great tip, David! I just looked up noosfeer, and it seems like a really good resource. There were lots of good articles in the “blogging” category I browsed. I’ll be coming back here, I’m sure!

  • http://www.jeffrutherford.com Jeff Rutherford

    Glad you mentioned Prismatic! They have become my go-to news discovery app since Zite was bought by Flipboard. I highly recommend Prismatic.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

    Killer post. I really am linking swayy.co too for this kind of idea surfacing.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks, Jay! Swayy looks really useful. I am digging the interface. Excited to give this one a try!

    • http://www.texas-careers.blogspot.com/ Dr. Anthony C. Edwards

      Interestingly, on the Buffer’s Openness Blog, they revealed that they are providing curation suggestions now. It will be interesting to see how other apps respond as Buffer’s offerings become more robust. Since Buffer is often compared to Hootsuite, this could be a big differentiator.

      • Henley Wing

        Doesnt Ubervu analytics provide the same thing for Hootsuite?

        • http://www.texas-careers.blogspot.com/ Dr. Anthony C. Edwards

          I’m not familiar with Ubervu analytics. I’ll have to look into it. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • http://collegeinfogeek.com/ Thomas Frank

    There’s also Panda, which is a beautiful aggregator for Hacker News, Designer News, and others: http://usepanda.com/app/

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      The Dribbble integration is a neat touch.

  • akramquraishi

    Hi Kevan, Amazing list, thanks for sharing. Also, http://foundora.com is a good place to find curated content on startups.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Looks interesting. I signed up for the email. :)

  • http://bunchcast.com/blog Stephane Moracchini

    Thanks for the list! :-)

    Many I didn’t know yet. What I loved was Zite where you could find links from sources outside of your usual references. Don’t know what will happen after being acquired by Flipboard.
    I would also add Quibb to this list : a lot of quality articles there.

  • http://www.sparringmind.com Gregory Ciotti

    Quora for idea validation!

    If a topic is hot on Quora, it’ll make for a great article.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      I love this! Thanks for the tip.

  • http://cityselectdoublestroller.com Eva Maria Daring

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  • lovlesh

    Buzzfeed

  • http://www.rankinstyle.com/ Jacques Bouchard

    Hey Kevan! Do you feel frustrated by the WP default that causes images to link to themselves? Try this:

    To change the default for images (so you don’t have to choose “none” on the image links to checkboxes every time you insert an image into a post), you can go to yoursite.com/wp-admin/options.php; find the image_default_link_type option, and change the value from “file” to “none”.

  • Holly McIlwain

    Kevan, really appreciate this list. I didn’t know half of these. @syedbalkhi told me about Twitter Lists at WordCampBHAM last year and I need to check into it and these others. I also get content ideas form Pinterest. Thanks Y’all.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Pinterest is a fun one. I use it a lot for email inspiration. Thanks for the comment!

  • http://ryanbattles.com Ryan Battles

    So I’ve started tweeting content from Buffer, ranging from 3x per day to 7x per day. How often do you all share content? I am looking to balance being informative and being annoying :)

    • Courtney Seiter

      That sounds like a great future blog post for us! We’re always experimenting with our schedule; would love to share some of our findings!

      • http://ryanbattles.com Ryan Battles

        Yeah, I’d love to read that. So far I’ve had 2 followers tell me that they love it (unsolicited), and one mentioned to me today to tone it down (but still enjoys the content, just not so frequently). I’m currently rocking 3 articles per day and filling the rest of the time with replies and status updates. Will continue to monitor and compare analytics on that.

  • Robb_Henshaw

    Great list, Kevan – thanks! There were a couple of new ones (for me at least) on here that I’ll be giving a try. And @David – thanks for the head’s up on noosfeer, too – very cool. I’d also love to invite you to check out my company’s site, http://www.inpwrd.com (inPowered). Search for anything, and we show you all the most influential articles on that topic (based on the author’s authority, how much they write about that topic, how many times each article has been read & shared, etc.). And we enable you to amplify those articles (for free) to your social channels, plus we measure the lift in reads, shares, time people spent reading, etc. based on your amplification. Would love to hear your thoughts. And thanks again for this great resource!

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Interested to try out InPowered! Thanks, Robb.

  • http://lostpr.es/ David Iwanow

    Great work Kevan, you could have also included Inbound.org, Outbounding.org and RadURLs.com

  • http://marketingpartners.ca Jon Aston

    I’m so glad you didn’t include blog.bufferapp.com (because that would have been cheesy, and probably goes without saying to your audience) but your content is always fantastic and this blog would have made my list. Thanks!

  • http://www.glacierMT.com/ Rod Austin

    Another great source: smashfuse.com. Tons of current suggestions on whatever topic you search for.

  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    Great list Kevan!

  • Julián Sánchez

    I’m fan of news.me. Every morning I get the top histories shared by people I follow on Twitter. Nice and easy way to don’t miss relevant content :)

  • John

    Lol also check out memes.com

  • Andres

    trendzbox.com

  • Angelique Duffield

    Lots of options that I’ve not heard of. Alltop.com is another great place to find the newest blog posts on any topic or what’s trending, and you can make your own custom list.

  • http://bit.ly/Pcd0hZ Traci Loudin

    Very helpful! I already use Buffer, Pocket, Feedly, and Google+, so I’m definitely going to devote some time to checking out the others that made this list.

  • a

    Klout!

  • Abhisek

    This is big. Thank you.

  • Fern

    thanks for taking the time to compile this amazing list!

  • johnwooder

    very ggood info thanks for sharing

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ Davina K. Brewer

    Zite is a lot like Flipboard, you can curate per your interests and social networks, find some things you may have missed. FWIW.

  • http://www.thetolkienist.com/ Marcel Aubron-Bülles

    Brillliant list; I’ll have to spend some serious time browsing all of them.

    However, I have to warn people using quotes from Goodreads – the site does not check them so you’ll stand a good chance of using a wrong quote. Which wouldn’t be the wisest move, obviously.

  • Agnes Dadura

    Great list :) I added some of them, but realistically I know I will not be able to read all of them daily. But from time to time :) I read LinkedIn’s Pulse daily.

  • Meena

    This is awesome :o
    Thank You! :D
    Stumble Upon is a great site too :)

  • jsmithitaly

    Read theskimm – it is great – fresh – concise and informative – check it out