Last week, we talked about driving traffic to your blog’s archives, and some of you left helpful tips for promoting…
Last week, we talked about driving traffic to your blog’s archives, and some of you left helpful tips for promoting your older posts in the comments (from asking your readers to choose their favorite posts to using anchor text to related posts).
To further this discussion, what about repurposing your most timeless content? Think of a post you published in the past that might fit into this “evergreen” category. If published tomorrow, could it be as fresh and relevant as it was when you first posted it?
Consider these kinds of posts:
- Your suggested itinerary and backpacking tips for trekking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
- Your photo essay of daily life on the streets in Havana, Cuba.
- A longform piece of memoir on the birth of your first child.
- Your crafty DIY gingerbread house how-to.
- A Photoshop tutorial on cropping and straightening.
These posts cover very different topics, but they’re all examples of evergreen content: posts that your blog visitors, especially new ones, will find useful and relevant, regardless of when you wrote them. Perhaps you published the gingerbread house how-to five years ago, but because the holidays come around every year, it’s got seasonal appeal. You should use this to your advantage.
But repurposing content doesn’t necessarily mean copying and pasting an old post into a new one and hitting “publish.” How can you refresh your original idea? Can you replace the photographs with new ones? Can you offer a new angle or updated information? Maybe you revisited Spain last summer and stopped along the pilgrimage route you once conquered, took photos, and noticed details you hadn’t before. Or perhaps you’ve got a new set of crooked landscape shots on your camera that would work great for a tutorial on creating a level horizon.
Revisit ideas and use your old posts as fodder and inspiration. Put a twist on them to create something new.
More ideas for repurposing content — and using your posts as material
- Create an annual habit: In a comment in last week’s archives post, Andrea Badgley mentioned referencing older content on Facebook with the status: “A Year Ago Today.” This is a nice way to call attention to older posts, but you can also reshape this idea to revisit something — a moment, an event, an emotion — and commenting on what has changed. After all, memoir and personal musings are richer with perspective, so go ahead: reveal your new self. Infuse an older piece with a fresher voice. This approach works for other genres of writing, too.
- Expand on lists or collections: Did you write a “50 Things You May Not Know About Me” post in 2008? How about adding fifty more and publishing a redux “100 Things You May Not Know About Me” edition? Or maybe you once published a cool photo gallery of street art in Paris, and after your recent vacation to Montreal now have graffiti snapshots you could add to create a bigger, two-city set?
- Compile the best from a series: Many of you have established a series on your blog: Tuesdays for guest posts, Wednesdays for book reviews, Fridays for our photo challenges, and so on. Consider curating a collection of the best from these installments: A roundup of the best fiction you’ve read in 2013? A gallery of all your Weekly Photo Challenge submissions in one post?
- Create a post based on material in comments: Refer to ideas and thoughts from your commenters (which I’ve done in this list). Or, look back at your responses to your readers — did you expand on your original ideas? Could you use material to publish something new? Longer yet focused comments often become great blog posts.
- Use a sticky post: But what about repurposing your older content as is? In last week’s archives post, Timethief encouraged highlighting older posts that don’t require updates by simply tagging the posts as “sticky.” It’s much better practice than just copying an older post verbatim and passing it off as new.
What other tips do you have for revisiting and reshaping your own content?