At the heart of any effective SEO strategy in 2016 is the need for high quality content that is written with a target audience in mind. The drive to keep creating fresh content can be challenging for businesses, especially smaller companies with limited budgets and time.
The great news is that if you have been creating great content for a while now, you already have a wealth of existing resources to mine in terms of your marketing, authority and the visibility of your brand.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at 39 simple ways that you can get more mileage out of your existing content. I want to help you get as much value as possible from every article, video or ebook that you produce. Using these techniques you can multiply your content and resources but save hours of time.
One of the most effective ways to get more mileage out of your existing content is to repurpose it. This can be of fantastic value to your target audience too because it recognises that people access information in different ways. Some people love listening to podcasts, others love reading blogs, while some prefer watching videos – repurposing helps you to cover all bases.
- Bring together a series of your blogs on the same topic and turn them into an ebook
If you look back through your blog, you will probably find that you regularly write about specific themes or topics. Here on the SEO+ blog, for example, my articles fall under four broad categories: SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing, and Analytics. Within those categories, I have regularly revisited topics such as local SEO or SEO basics.
If you have a series of articles on the same topic, you could bring them together and turn them into an ebook. Depending on the depth of information in the ebook, you could then offer this as your ‘irresistible freebie’ incentive to sign-up to your mailing list or even publish the ebook for download to Kindle; the latter can be an effective way to attract some passive income.
- Publish a transcript of a webinar you have run recently
Are you someone who runs webinars as part of your business model? Although plenty of people enjoy listening to a webinar, the chances are that many of your target audience would benefit from reading your webinar notes or even a transcript of the full webinar. This would give them something to refer back to in the future.
Create a transcript of a webinar and send it out as a freebie for all attendees or even make it available for download or purchase to people who missed the webinar itself.
- Use the notes you produced for your webinar as the basis for a blog article
Another way to repurpose your webinar notes is to use them as the basis for a blog article. Your article could include a link to sign-up to a recording of the webinar as another way to build your mailing list.
- Pull out key quotes and sound bites from a blog article and post them on social media
Different styles of posts are suitable for different social media platforms; a platform like Twitter is all about short sound bites, whereas posts can vary in length on Facebook.
A great way to get more mileage from your blog posts is to pull out key quotes and post them as Tweets or Facebook statuses.
If you have a WordPress website, you could use a plugin such as Inline Tweet Sharer to turn sound bites of your copy into tweets that readers can post and share on their own Twitter feed.
- Turn a blog or webinar notes into a Slideshare presentation
For clients who prefer information presented visually with plenty of images and short, snappy bullet points, you could turn a blog or webinar notes into a Slideshare presentation. All you need to do is upload a PowerPoint presentation, PDF, Word document or Open Office presentation – as just a few examples – and you will quickly have a presentation that you can share on social media or on your blog.
- Include a webinar or Slideshare presentation in the materials for a coaching programme you offer
If you run an online or face-to-face coaching programme, you can repurpose content such as your blogs, Slideshare presentations, webinars, or tutorial videos as course materials or bonus resources.
- Turn a ‘Facts & Figures’ style blog post into an infographic
Infographics are another way to repurpose and present information to people who prefer visual resources. In a round-up of infographic statistics for 2016, HubSpot recently reported that people’s willingness to read content increases by 80% if it is accompanied by coloured visuals. Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without images.
When talking specifically about infographics, they are three times more likely to be Liked and shared on social media than any other type of content. HubSpot also reports that people following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.
If you have ever written a blog that explores data or presents the findings of a factual report, turning it into an infographic is a sure-fire way to increase its mileage. And if you’re after a free and easy to use tool give Visme a try. It’s an easy to use drag-and-drop online tool that works right in your browser and free to use. It’s actually a bit different than most other creative tools because it allows you to create both true form Presentations and Infographics while allowing you to add full interactivity to any object. Users can share, embed or even download for offline use.
- Record a series of podcasts based on your whitepaper
If you have produced a whitepaper on any topic, you could create a podcast series about your findings. This can be a great option for people who don’t have the time to sit down and read your whitepaper but listen to audio files while cooking dinner, doing the housework or driving. You could even sell your podcast series on iTunes to create a new stream of passive income.
- Produce transcripts of your videos
As we mentioned in the context of webinars above, some people love watching videos but others prefer to work from written content. If you have produced any videos about your products or services, you can add value by offering a written transcript of the video for people to download and keep.
- Record a video version of a recent blog topic
On the flipside, many of your customers may prefer to watch a five-minute video instead of reading a blog. You could therefore take a popular blog topic and record a video about it. For example, a virtual assistant might create a video series of productivity hacks, while a jewellery designer might turn a ‘how-to’ series of blogs into a video tutorial programme.
- Sell a recent webinar as a downloadable, ‘on demand’ product
Webinars can take a great deal of planning and research, so it seems a shame for the content to be available on a one-time-only basis, unless you’re trying to create scarcity and a time limited offer to attract sign-ups.
Instead, you could try recording each webinar you run and selling that webinar online as a downloadable, ‘on demand’ product.
- Read through your old blog topics and see if you have mentioned anything in passing that would make a good blog topic in its own right
If you are looking for inspiration for fresh blog content, read back through some of your old blogs and see if you have mentioned anything that could be fleshed out into a separate blog article. Remember to include internal links in your new article to the old, related content that inspired it.
- Turn old blogs into ‘How-to’ guides ordered by topic
You may have older blogs that are no longer attracting any traffic. If the content is ‘evergreen’ – i.e. as relevant now as when it was written – you could create a page of your website where you publish or even sell ‘How-to’ guides grouped together by topic. For example, people could run a search for ‘local SEO’ and access all the blogs on that topic in one ‘How-to’ guide.
- Turn a list article such as this one into a series of Tweets
Most blogs feature a number of list articles like this one. Why not take the main list items such as ‘Get more mileage out of your content by recording a video version of a recent blog’ and publish them as Tweets?
- Use your FAQs page on your website in your corporate brochure or client welcome pack
FAQs pages on websites are helpful for visitors and search engines, but you don’t just have to repurpose your content online. Instead, you could add your FAQs copy to a corporate brochure or client welcome pack to provide valuable information offline too.
- Create templates from your offline materials to be shared and downloaded online
If you have templates that help you organise your day, such as a daily planner, accounts spreadsheet, freelance contract, product guides, or task organiser, you could turn them into branded, downloadable PDFs available for sale or as a bonus material at the end of a blog or as part of a course.
- Turn quotes from an article into a series of memes
People love a good meme – Facebook feeds everywhere are full of inspirational quotes, hints and tips. Memes also work well on visually-driven platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest.
Software such as Canva or PicMonkey gives you the opportunity to pull out advice from your blog posts and turn it into memes. Don’t forget to brand your design and add your web address to let people know who created the meme. If you use a picture that you find online to illustrate your quote, it’s important to check that you are allowed to use it commercially under the terms of its Creative Commons license. You can find free-to-use images on websites such as Pixabay, Morguefile and Pexels.
- Create a downloadable ‘resource kit’ from your blogs, webinars, ebooks and more
Over the years, you’ve probably created a huge amount of resources that your clients would find useful. Try pulling together a variety of blogs, videos, webinars and ebooks as a downloadable ‘resource kit’ – you could even charge a fee for this, adding to your passive income stream.
- Turn your best content into an online course
- Use a blog as the basis for a downloadable checklist
If you have a blog that includes plenty of actionable hints and tips, you could always create a downloadable checklist as a sign-up incentive or even as a ‘no-strings’ gift. I have done this with a number of blogs, such as the Ultimate Landing Page Cheat Sheet.
- Take the analytics data you have gathered internally and turn it into a case study
Whenever you post content to your website or social media pages, it’s important to keep track of the analytics data to understand how it is performing. You can use the information you gather for more than just your own reference purposes by turning your findings into a case study that your clients might find helpful.
Instead of repurposing your content to give it more mileage, another option is to refresh and breathe new life into your existing content.
- Add images to image-free blogs
As we saw in point 7 above, content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without images. It’s worth taking some time to review your older blog articles – would any of them benefit from one or more additional images?
Once you had added images into your blog, re-promote them on social media to see how people respond.
- Update images with more Pinterest-friendly pictures
Tastes change and you may find that you have blogs that, although packed with images, no longer visually reflect your brand. Instead of deleting the blog, you could replace your old images with new, fresher ones that reflect your current branding. Look for Pinterest-friendly pictures that will look great when pinned to your boards and those of your followers.
- Rewrite a blog article that you feel you could improve
Have you ever read back through an old blog article and thought, “What was I thinking when I wrote that?” It could be that your tone of voice has got clearer recently or just that you’ve learned a lot since you originally wrote the article in question. A great way of attracting new traffic to an old blog is to rewrite and re-promote it.
- Update a blog article with new information
You may also find that a blog needs updating rather than rewriting. Maybe you wrote an opinion piece about a topical news issue and now have the benefit of hindsight to see how the story unfolded. Perhaps circumstances have changed within your industry or best practice has evolved. Have a look for blog articles that would benefit with bringing up to date.
- Write a longer version of an old blog
Just a few years ago, circa. 2012, the trend for blogging was to write short, snappy articles of 300 to 500 words (and sometimes less than that). These days, the blogs that perform best in searches are those with meatier content. New data from experts such as HubSpot shows that content that exceeds 2,000 words performs best in terms of social shares, backlinks and encouraging dwell time on your website. In fact, one study found that the most successful blog articles take about seven minutes to read.
Therefore, if you have any 2012-style shorter blogs now is the ideal time to go back and flesh them out.
- Add a video to an old blog or into a marketing email
According to stats from HubSpot, adding a video to a marketing email can increase the clickthrough rate to your website by 200-300%. Equally, adding video to a landing page can boost conversions by 80%.
Videos can skyrocket your marketing and SEO for a number of reasons. Stats show that 80% of people recall videos they have watched for at least 30 days, and 90% of us use videos to inform our buying decisions. Adding a video to a blog article can help to keep visitors on the page for longer, which will push up the average time spent on your site – a positive signal to Google that you’re producing engaging content.
- Fix any broken internal and outgoing links
In my recent Ultimate Guide to Backlinks and How to Get Them for The Huffington Post, one of my suggestions was to identify and repair broken internal, outgoing and incoming links on your website. Broken links can impact on the reader’s experience of an article and prevent them from quickly accessing relevant connected information. It’s worth spending some time just checking that all the links on your website work and take people to the right destination.
- Add links to newer content that hadn’t been published when the blog was originally written
When writing blogs, people often remember to include links to older related content. What they forget, however, is to go back to that older content and add in links to relevant, newer articles.
Have a read through your old blogs and see if you can identify articles that relate to your more recent content. By adding links to and from each of the relevant articles, you can enrich the reader’s experience and help them access more information that they will find of interest.
- Update the SEO of old articles
SEO should be an ever-evolving part of your marketing efforts. Best practice changes from year to year – for example, five years ago it was usual for web pages to have a long list of keyword tags, often duplicated from one page to another. These days, it’s recommended that you use a single keyword or long-tail phrase as your focus keyword and have a unique one for each page of your website.
Similarly, meta descriptions and title tags could once be longer, whereas now we recommend less than 55 characters for title tags and less than 155 characters for meta descriptions.
A good starting point here is to refer to Google Search Console to identify the pages with the most impressions in SERPs. Are there pages that are ranking well in searches but not attracting clickthroughs to your website? It could be that the meta description lacks a call to action or a compelling reason to click through. Rewriting this copy could make a huge difference to your traffic.
It’s also worth checking whether all of your blogs have unique H1 titles and whether you have added alt tags to all of your images.
Another strategy to get more mileage out of your existing content is to recycle it.
- Delete or archive old posts (if they are harming your site)
In my experience, there are very few reasons to delete an old blog post but it is a situation that comes up from time to time. If the blog post is very thin on content – fewer than 300 words – or about a time-specific issue that is no longer relevant, you may feel that its presence is doing your website more harm than good.
If you do delete an article from your blog, it’s important to make sure the URL redirects to a different, relevant page of your website or that you have an engaging 404 Not Found error page that redirects people to another part of your site.
- Merge several small articles into one longer blog
If you do have lots of thin content, you might want to consider merging several small articles into one longer blog. You can then apply a 301 Redirect channelling all of the traffic to the old URLs to a new URL.
- Create a ‘Best of’ article that features links to your most popular posts
One way to recycle your old content and bring new traffic to it is to create a ‘Best of’ style article. For example, in December you could publish a blog rounding up your ten most popular articles of that year with links to all of the relevant content.
- Try using different titles to promote the same articles
Another effective strategy to recycle your content is to try promoting it using different headlines or introductory copy. You may find that some of your clients prefer headlines that are questions, while other prefer ‘How to’ headlines. By varying the headline you promote on social media, you can attract different people to the same content.
Once you’ve put in all this hard work to repurpose, refresh and recycle your content, your next task is to promote it.
- Promote more than once
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make with their content creation is to only promote it once or, worse, to fail to promote it altogether. As individuals, many people worry about over-promoting something and being seen as pushy. In reality, social media channels are fast-moving. For most people, their newsfeeds are so busy that content posted in the morning may be hundreds of posts down the page by the afternoon. This means that when you post a link to your content, many of your followers may never see it.
By re-posting the link several times during the week – especially on different days and at different times in the day – you can help to ensure that the greatest number of people possible see the article.
- Post links to older content on all of your social media platforms
It is also beneficial to post links to older articles on all of your social media platforms. Someone who started following your brand recently may be glad to read an article that you posted last year.
- Send out links to old content in your latest newsletter
If you send out a regular newsletter, you could always include links to some of your older articles in the newsletter. Try including a ‘From the archive’ or ‘#Throwback Thursday’ heading near the footer of your newsletter featuring links to past articles that you think your customers may love to read.
- Promote an article on new social media channels
Have you recently started using a new social media channel? Instagram, for example, is going from the strength to strength, and maybe somewhere you’ve only recently started placing your attention. If so, you may not have promoted some of your older content on this new platform.
- Share in Facebook and LinkedIn groups
Similarly, you may have joined certain Facebook or LinkedIn groups recently. Many groups have days of the week when you can post promotions or links to your blog, presenting a great opportunity to re-promote existing content to a new audience.
So, there you have my 39 favourite ways of getting more mileage out of existing content. Do you reuse your content once you create it? If so, what are your favourite methods for repurposing, refreshing, recycling or re-promoting? If you currently neglect your old content, are there any methods from the list above that you’re keen to try?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the Comments below.
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