The nature of content online means that new articles rule, while old material is quickly forgotten. Your latest article is destined for a few days, or if you are lucky and good, a couple of weeks of attention from your followers and shares in social media. These new articles then quickly become old and disappear into your archives never to be heard about again (unless they are so good that they start attracting search traffic).
This contributes to content publishers needing to create new content regularly to keep visitors coming back and to keep the numbers growing. And this is what makes it difficult. It is really hard to consistently create great content. It is really tough needing to start from scratch every time. Some bloggers can be successful with it for a certain period of time. Only a few can keep up with this consistently day after day, month after month.
What is the solution to this problem? You need to take advantage of your archives, leverage content that you already have and squeeze out more mileage from it by getting it in front of more people over a longer period of time. History repeats itself and old topics become new again. Instead of giving up on that long forgotten content, breathe new life into it. This allows you to continue growing your blog without having to create new content all the time.
How to breathe new life into long forgotten content
These are the tactics you can use to reuse your old content by putting it back into the spotlight, and to recycle it by giving it a fresh look and a new format.
- Publish more timeless and evergreen content. The value of “news” is very short lived. You might get many social media shares and views while the specific news is a hot topic but the topic will soon be forgotten. It is also obviously a difficult area to compete in as everyone else goes after breaking news. Focus on timeless content instead. You get more mileage out of timeless content which is not so time sensitive and has longer lifetime in terms of social media shares and search engine traffic. This is the content that you can easily find use for and that can easily be reused and resurfaced regularly.
- Turn your old content into an email newsletter. Many bloggers build mailing lists and they send unique content to subscribers of those lists. This puts them under even more stress for creating new content. Consider grabbing a couple of old posts and rewriting them for your email subscribers.
- Turn your old content into a Slideshare presentations. Slideshare is a very popular site that can introduce your content to a new audience. Create a presentation from your old posts and upload it to Slideshare. The presentation is also embeddable, which allows you to place it on your site and allows others to do the same.
- Create a PDF report. Pull together a free report and allow it to be downloaded from your site. You can either ask people to sign up to your mailing list to get access to the report, or tweet out to get the link to download it (plugin like wpLike2Get helps you do this). You could also charge for the report or even give it away for free.
- Create an infographic. Some of your posts might make sense to be republished in a visually appealing infographic format. This could result in your content being spread to a wider audience as many people do prefer images to text.
- Convert into an image. Use some useful tips or quotes from your posts and turn them into nice looking images. Brand your image with your URL. People love images so these could be spread through Flickr, Pinterest and other social media.
- Write a book. Take some of your posts about a specific topic, combine them together, edit and add more information and turn it all into a book you can give away or even sell.
- Record podcasts. Podcasts are getting downloaded many times thanks to iTunes and people love to listen to them on the commute or while exercising. Creating a podcast is just another way of giving your content a better chance of getting discovered by a larger audience.
- Host webinars. Take some of your content and present it in an educational session through a webinar. Record the webinar and release it as a video.
- Add a current news hook to an old article and republish it. You already have the old story, now just update it with a recent and relevant news hook that people are talking about and push it again.
- Do guest posting. Put together several of your best pieces of advice on a specific topic into a new and unique quality post. Submit this article as a guest post to a large and authoritative site in your field.
- Shoot video. Speak about some of your old content, shoot it as a video and upload to YouTube. YouTube has a very large audience and this gives you a chance of reaching them.
- Start a new forum thread by posting some of your old but still valuable and relevant content within it. This will attract attention, start a conversation and get more exposure to your site.
- Create series of social media posts out of one article. For example one tip at a time from a “top 10 tips” article. This will help you keep promoting the same piece of content without getting too repetitive to your followers. I call this social media drops.
- Feature a larger number of articles on your front page. If people only visit your front page, expose them to a wider range of articles in hope of one of them catching their attention.
- Show excerpts of your posts instead of the full content on the homepage. This will give more space for more articles and will make more people see some of your older content.
- Link to old articles from new articles. This is called internal linking. Make sure to include links to older, relevant content in your new posts.
- Create a “New? Start here” section. This can be a category or a static page in your menu where you list some of your best articles in order to introduce new visitors to them.
- Put article list in the sidebar. This can be done through one of the many “Popular Posts” plugins available. You could also just list posts from a certain category in there if you would prefer to focus on specific articles instead of just the top posts.
- Put related articles list at the end of each article. When the visitor has gone through your post, this is a nice opportunity to suggest something new to click on. There are many “Related Posts” plugins available for this.
- Create topical best-of posts that curate links to your most popular and best posts on that specific topic. Make it a best of list, the ultimate list of resource or the definitive guide to an interesting topic.
- Revise an older article, update it, add to it, make it look better, make it current and relevant again and re-publish it. Make sure you have regularly updated key articles about key topics in your field. These can be reposted and repushed again and again.
- Change the headline into something more attractive. In many cases a simple change of headline can make a big different in amount of shares or search traffic.
- Remove the timestamp from the article byline. This is a bit of a controversial one, but it will make your article timeless and can contribute to your visitors taking your posts more seriously. If you have an old date in the byline visitors might think your article is outdated and incorrect, even though it may not be. Some sites don’t say at all when their articles have been published, while some do so towards the end of the article.
- Use sticky post feature of WordPress to put some older articles back to the top of your front page and give them extra exposure.
- Publish “What you liked the most” type of articles with a list of best posts, most visited posts, or most shared posts.
- Share older articles on your social media profiles. Send tweets about your older posts. Distribute your great posts to those of your followers who may have missed it the first time around. You do not necessarily have to tweet your latest posts only.
I hope this has given you many ideas on what you can do to extend the life of your posts and make your content work harder and better for you.
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