This article was originally published on Social Fresh's Training blog as part of its online social media community. Social Fresh is a social media event and community company based out of Charlotte, NC. You can find the original post here .
If you’re a regular, consistent blogger, chances are you’ve developed a lot of content over the course of your blogging career.
But once you’ve written a blog article, what happens after you hit “publish”? Hopefully that content is already search engine optimized and you’re promoting it in social media to generate as much initial traffic as you can. But if you’re like so many bloggers out there, once that article is replaced by a new article, it tends to run out of gas.
First, it will drop lower and lower on your blog’s front page. Then it will disappear to the next page of your blog and continue to get buried under the newer, fresher content you create.
The fact is, not every one of your subscribers will read every single article you publish, and not every one of your Twitter followers will catch every link you promote on your Twitter feed. And you’ve probably put a lot of time and thought into your content because, let’s face it, a number of different factors go into crafting a good blog post. So why not try to get some more mileage out of articles you’ve published in the past?
Just because an article isn’t necessarily “new,” doesn’t mean it’s not new to many of your readers.
If you think about it, a lot of blog content has the potential for a much longer life span than you may be giving it credit for.
Here are several ways you can get more mileage out of your content …
1. Select Your Best Content: Start by putting together a database of past content you think might still be useful to your readers. Manually read through each article, excluding those that are overly timely, newsy or are no longer valuable for whatever reason.
2. Update Your Content: Did you initially include specific dates or timely references in a post? Freshen up the article with current examples to eliminate staleness and then add a note to readers indicating it has been updated since first published. The only indicator that an article is “old” should be the original publication date.
3. Link to Your Content: Are you writing an article today that might be enhanced by linking to a past article? Go right ahead!
4. Promote Past Content in Social Media: I recently conducted an experiment on Facebook and Twitter that involved promoting past HubSpot blog content in an attempt to generate additional social media traffic. It worked -– traffic from social media sources to the HubSpot blog more than doubled! As long as the content you’re promoting is not outdated, people will appreciate it.
5. Create “Best Of” Blog Articles: Write a quick blog article that summarizes and links to a few of your most popular past articles that generated the most traffic, or pull together a list of past articles on a specific topic.
6. Aggregate Content into Topic Pages: Do you have a bunch of articles focused on a particular topic? Create a topic page that aggregates your content so it’s easily accessible to readers who are looking to educate themselves about a single topic. ( The New York Times does a great job of this with their Times Topics pages.) Then link to those topic pages in new blog articles and promote them in social media.
7. Experiment: Experiment with one or all of these ideas to determine what works for you. Track your results. Did you notice a spike in the amount of social media traffic to your blog? Did your topics pages generate a lot of buzz and visitors?
Promoting past content can be a great, supplemental way to generate additional traffic without much effort, but be warned -- reusing past content is in no way a replacement for creating fresh content. Continuing to create new, remarkable content is the best way to keep your current readers’ attentions and attract new readership.