There’s no content marketing without content. It’s critical to the success of your online business. Content helps drive traffic to your site by making you recognizable to search engines, helps people connect with you, and most importantly, it drives sales. In short, you can never have enough good content.
Yet consistently creating new content is both costly and time-consuming. Generally speaking, it’s worth the investment. But there’s one thing that’s pretty frustrating about the content we write for our blogs and websites: it’s one and done.
For all the time that goes into creating blog content for SEO, it’d be nice if we could do more with it than just post it and then wait for it to cycle down to the bottom of the list, only to be forgotten forever. It’s true that reposting the same content is bad practice. You’ll look lazy to your readers, and search engines will start to think you’re no longer original and relevant.
But you don’t need to repost your content to get more out of it. There are quite a few things you can do that will allow you to make use of the effort you put into creating it in the first place.
Consider the following ways for making old content continue to work.
1. Refresh it
When you load a piece of content up onto your website, remember that in some respects you’re freezing time. Whatever you create is going to reflect your goals and understanding of your audience at that particular moment.
But you and your business are constantly changing and growing. One way to make use of your older content is to go back through it and to optimize it for what you now know about your business.
This is especially true for conversion content. As you move along, you’ll learn more about what works for your audience and what doesn’t. And while you don’t want to repeat yourself over and over again, you do want your content to be as effective as possible in driving sales and conversions.
Go over what you’ve got on your site and change wording, tone, style and voice to reflect what you now know about your audience. This way you don’t need to create any new content, but you will be able to get more out of what you’ve already created in the form of better conversions and sales.
2. Make it up-to-date
We all want our content to be as evergreen as possible. In a perfect world, every piece of content would be comprehensive enough and written in such a way that we would never need to touch it again. But we don’t live in that perfect world.
Things are changing constantly. New research reveals new trends, and people are innovating all the time. Eventually, your content will go stale.
But this doesn’t mean you need to completely redo what you’ve written. In fact, you can often have more success by simply building upon what you’ve already written. For example, you can repost the original blog, and then in a different font or in a different color you can go through and add in content that is new or different from the original.
This will often times resonate better than a new piece because readers who have already read the original will be able to more quickly find out what’s new. Furthermore, new audiences can easily catch up on how things were and how they’ve changed.
Updating posts helps not only in content marketing, but in SEO, too. Google and other search engines like fresh, relevant and timely content, but you can also boost rankings and improve search engine performance by updating and overhauling older content.
This strategy works great with pieces optimized for conversion. For example, if you have a “Best X for Y” page set up to try and drive sales, updating it yearly to include any new trends, new products and new recommendations will help show to your readers that you know what you are talking about and that you are a relevant and authoritative source of information.
3. Expand upon it
Part of the challenge in creating content for a blog or website is determining which topics to pursue. To be successful, you need to spend a lot of time brainstorming topics and then finding people who are capable of writing about them.
If you start to run low on ideas, or need some content to fill your calendar, then consider using your older content for inspiration.
There are two ways you can do this. The first is to simply add depth to the topic. If you put together 1,000 words for one post, maybe you can expand it into two or three thousand. You could create a series, with the original content serving as part one. Subsequent parts would be new content, but everything would be related to the first post.
The second way to do this would be to turn sections of your original content into their own blog posts. When we write for the web, we’re somewhat limited in what we can say because of web readers’ inherently short attention spans. In each section, we try to touch on the most relevant points, leaving out some details so as to prevent being wordy.
For an example, consider this post. We’re discussing different ways to use old content. In each section, we’re going over general ideas so that you, the reader, can learn about the different option available. But we could easily do a post for each section that goes over more specifically how you could optimize, update or expand upon your content.
If you do decide to do this, then it’s worth mentioning that you should focus on the most widely-viewed content on your site. Taking the pieces people already like and expanding upon it is a great way to leverage your content. It will show to your audience you’re receptive to their needs and are willing to spend time to make sure you’re as useful to them as possible.
4. Rewrite (or reuse) it
A key component to the success of any online business is how you generate links. Link building is essential for driving traffic to your site and establishing yourself as an authority. And one of the best ways to do this is to write guest posts for other blogs. This puts you in touch with influencers, and it also helps attract new audiences.
However, as you likely already know, guest posting is hard. There’s lots of competition, and blogs and websites are demanding more and more from their guest contributors. It’s become very challenging to find guest post topics that will be useful and interesting to the audience you’re targeting.
One way to work around this is to take some of your better content and rewrite it for other blogs. Nearly every blog will want original content, but this doesn’t mean you need to come up with a completely new idea. Sites may like what you have to say, so save time and energy by repurposing what you’ve already done so that it will work for other sites.
Another option is to try to get people to repost your content. Many blogs will be willing to post already written blogs with proper citation. This requires an outreach campaign, but it can be very useful for helping you get more out of your content.
5. Convert it to a different format
We’ve been talking almost exclusively about blog posts, but there are many different mediums you can use on the web. One of the best ways you can repurpose your old content is to change its format.
Videos, podcasts and infographics have taken the web by storm. But making them can be costly and time-consuming to make. To save energy, and also to make your old content keep working for you, consider turning an old post into one of these other formats.
Infographics in particular are a great option largely because they are highly-shareable. This makes them a great opportunity for reposting old content. Simply organize the main point into something visual – you even have free tools to help you with that, like Canva Infographic Maker. Then just start promoting what you’ve made through social media.
Oldie but goodie
Just because content is old doesn’t mean it serves no purpose. While reposting something doesn’t make a lot of sense, there are lots of ways to repurpose existing content to make it keep working for you. Consider using some of these strategies for your blog or website and let your content drive your business to new levels.