Friday, 18 January 2013

Recycling old blog posts

image credits: SearchTempo
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably had a day where you thought, “I have nothing to blog about! I’ve blogged about everything I can imagine already!” It happens to everyone.
So what can you do? You could try clearing your head to come up with new blog post ideas or taking a break from blogging until you’re inspired again.
But those two options are passive—you’re waiting for the good idea to come to you. If you don’t have the time to wait around for inspiration, reworking some older posts to be current and relevant is a great way to get blogging again.
If you’re recycling an old post, you need to find a way to keep the content current and engaging. 

How to make your new content better than the old

1. Use analytics to see what’s working. Before picking any old post to rework, pause to reflect on what your analytics already tell you. Which posts have done the best for you? Then take a deeper look at the content in those posts—are there any common topics or formats that your readers best respond to?
By using your analytics to figure out common threads in your most popular posts and then applying them to your recycled post, your new post will be much more likely to succeed.

2. Listen to feedback from your readers. Besides checking out the numbers associated with previous posts, read through successful old posts’ comment sections for ideas on how to rework the post. Through comments and shares on social media, you may find new angles or ideas for the reworked post you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.
If you end up using reader feedback for the post, be sure to thank them—they’ll be pumped to hear that you’re listening just as much as they are.

3. Use Google Trends (formerly Google Insights). You can also use Google’s search data to spice up your content. Can your old post be seen differently in light of a current news story or trend? If you’re expanding on a topic you only briefly covered before, is it still relevant to people today? Google Trends will help you figure out just how fresh your post is and how to make it even better.

Ideas for awesome reworked, reused, and recycled posts
So now you know how to make your new posts better than your old, but what types of posts do best as reworked forms of their old selves? Here are a few ways to do it:

1. Follow up with Part 2. Have a post that did really well or drew out an intense debate? Breathe life into that old post by continuing the story or addressing unanswered questions in a new post.

2. Create a themed series. If you notice that a post format has done tremendously well, try turning it into a series. Whether you make the series a weekly post or just one that pops up from time to time, continuing a theme builds anticipation and regularity for your readers—a great way to establish a solid reader base.

3. Pull back the curtain. If you can take a personal spin on a post you’ve already written—do it! For example, if you’re a food blogger and have written a recipe that rocked, try putting together the process behind finding that recipe.

4. Reflect and add more info. You can also update an old post with new information, especially if there is a lot of time between the two.

5. Create The Ultimate Guide to Something. After blogging for a while, you probably have a ton of posts that could fit nicely together…so why not round them up into an Ultimate Guide? Ultimate Guides are great ways to get readers to discover more of your posts since you’re linking to them all in one place.

6. Get visual. Try using the same content in a new medium. Make a video explaining the post more in-depth or add an infographic to download for free. For example, if you’re a fitness blogger, you could do a video workout and a one-sheet guide of all the moves you’re doing. Your readers will enjoy seeing your awesome content in a new light.

By Ginny Soskey, in How to Reuse, Rework and Recycle Old Blog Posts, (slightly abridged) via Shareaholic

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