A major part of your content strategy probably consists of brainstorming new topics for blog articles, getting them written, and organizing them on an editorial calendar. Producing fresh content on a regular basis has become the norm for most websites, resulting in a seemingly never ending archive of blog articles, most of which become lost in this black hole of content, never to be visited again.
However, you can protect your old content from this dismal fate by repurposing it. People are much less likely to click on an article link dated from four or five years ago. Even if it’s a quality piece of content that flourished during its time, readers see the date and assume it no longer has any useful or relevant information to offer.
Repurposing content can mean a number of things, but its goal is to give new perspective to an existing idea, perhaps reaching a new audience. You might repurpose a piece of content by updating it, resharing it, or taking its message and giving it a new format. No matter how you decide to repurpose your blog articles, you can achieve a number of benefits.
Advantages of Repurposing Content
Why bother repurposing blog content? Your current strategy of letting old content collect dust on your website while constantly working to create fresh, new content might be working just fine for you, but you may also be missing out on some great benefits that come along with repurposing blog content.
- Reach a new audience. Revisiting topics discussed in earlier blog articles gives you an opportunity to communicate that message to different readers who may have missed it previously. If your business has grown in the past year or even past few months, chances are you now have new followers who may not have read your old content. Resharing or reposting those past topics is not redundant or uncreative; rather, it allows you to take some of your best articles from the past and put them in the spotlight once again, exposing them to an entirely new audience.
- Improve SEO. Taking an idea from an older article and revisiting it in a new post can actually help with SEO. Multiple posts on a certain topic allow you to target certain keywords and phrases. Done successfully, your website may rank higher for those targeted keywords in search engine results.
- Gain authority in your industry. Multiple articles on a similar topic not only gives your site more authority in the eyes of search engines, but also establishes authority in your industry. This also helps to garner trust from your readers or customers, and people who trust your business are more likely to make a purchase.
- Increase conversion rates. According to the Rule of Seven marketing concept, a consumer should hear your marketing message seven times before they make a purchase. The more a prospective customer hears your message, the more likely they will accept it and find themselves in the position to purchase your product or service. By repurposing content in a way that emphasizes your message, you are helping your prospective buyer better understand your message or product or service, increasing the likelihood of a sale.
Repurposing content can help you achieve these goals, all while saving you some of the time and effort of publishing a constant flow of fresh, never-before-seen blog articles. However, simply reposting old content doesn’t always cut it. Instead, try some of these strategies to ensure your repurposed blog content is well received and helps you reach business goals.
Find Your Evergreen Content
“Evergreen content” refers to content that is high quality and timeless. That means none of the content should soon become irrelevant or outdated such as news articles, seasonal articles, or content containing statistics or other information that will likely change.
Evergreen content such as tips, guides, and how-to articles makes for great content to repurpose since it’s still relevant despite being initially published months or years prior. This is the content you want to pick out of your blog archive and revisit. Determine which articles obtained the most shares, likes, comments, retweets, etc., and use these as a starting point for your content repurposing.
Don’t Be Afraid to Repost
Great evergreen content deserves to have the floor more than once. Reposting your best, high quality blog articles is encouraged every now and then. Of course, older articles shouldn’t take over your content strategy altogether, but occasionally sharing content that previously resonated well with readers is a great way to share popular articles with a new audience.
You can repost older articles by sharing them on social media, which reaches a much wider audience, or reposting directly on your website’s blog, having the article show up first despite its earlier date.
Separate One Article into Multiple Content Pieces
Blog articles that comprise of lists or distinct paragraphs or sections can easily be turned into multiple pieces of content. Look to a piece such as 10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green for an example. This longer list might have made for great content on round one, however, each individual section can be expanded upon to make its very own article. These separate articles might target certain keywords as well, helping with SEO and internal links.
Transform Old Articles Into Guides
Taking an old topic and rewriting it as a guide is an easy way to create “new” content since you’re simply using information that’s already there. Whatever topic you’re discussing in a particular blog article, expand on it by creating a structured article around that topic. Guides serve as good landing pages, allowing you to link back to the original blog article and others, helping to accomplish multiple goals like boosting your SEO and establishing authority in your site’s expertise on that topic.
For example, a blog post called Beware the Cost of Medicare Enrollment Penalties might become “A Guide to Medicare Penalties,” in which some of the same information is taken and restructured as a guide, with steps, chapters, or distinct sections. A guide that consists of multiple web pages or sections may also keep the reader on your site longer – another tactic to improve SEO.
Change the Format
In addition to guides, you also have other options when it comes to giving the same information a makeover. These days, more content is becoming visual. There are countless ways to transform a written piece of content from text to visual. Depending what the topic is, you might consider creating a video, infographic, slide presentation, or any other creative way of visually presenting your information. For example, concrete information and facts can easily be visually presented in an infographic, while list articles make great slide presentations.
Adapting written content into easy-to-grasp visuals extends the value of that written content while reaching a wider audience. While only a handful of people might take the time to read an entire text article, it’s likely that many more people will click on an infographic or watch a video. Taking existing information and reformatting it as a visual piece helps you share your message with a larger audience, resulting in an increase in site traffic.
What to Do with Other Blog Content?
Not all of your content is going to be evergreen content, but you can still repurpose it in a way by using your outdated, irrelevant, or and other non-evergreen articles to inspire new content.
Update the outdated. An article that contains outdated information isn’t useless, as long as the topic it’s covering is still relevant. Update articles whose statistics and data are old once the new information becomes available. Have a blog post something along the lines of “Top Marketing Trends of 2014”? See what’s trending for the current year, using the original article as a foundation.
Turn a successful article into a series. Another way of putting this is to find a theme in one article, and create other articles around that theme. For example, a travel agency that posted an article titled “How to Travel for Cheap in Europe” might follow that post with “How to Travel for Cheap in the Caribbean” and “How to Travel for Cheap in Asia” and so on. Don’t let a good idea die – keep it going with similar themed articles.
Depending how long you’ve been producing blog content, you might have a lot to work with when you’re looking for content to repurpose. It’s a good idea to look back at the articles that performed best and see how you can keep rolling with the topics and ideas they cover.
If your blog is still relatively young, you may want to plan ahead when crafting new blog articles, deciding how you might be able to repurpose them in the future, aiming to create more evergreen content for your blog you’ll be able to revisit later.
Finally, content shouldn’t be repurposed with the sole intention of benefiting your business. It’s fine to want that SEO boost or higher conversion rates, but making sure to create content that provides real value for your readers is the best way to successfully repurpose content.