Content marketing for your blog or website requires lots of material. Like house cleaning, you’re barely finished with it when you have to start all over again. And since most marketers struggle to find enough subject matter, it makes sense that at some point you have to re-use your ideas.
That’s actually OK—repurposing content is a legitimate strategy, as long as you’re careful not to duplicate. Particularly if you’re outsourcing your content production, this is a good money-saving strategy because you can probably do the repurposing yourself.
If you’ve been doing content marketing for a year or more, the readers you have now are likely not the same ones you had back when you began. You’ve gained and lost readers over time, and even if there are a few die-hards that are still around, there’s a good possibility they’ve forgotten what you wrote in November 2011! Heck, you’ve probably forgotten what you wrote back then. The problem is, nobody is going back in your archives to that date to read your old stuff, so for anyone who missed it then, it’s lost completely. Unless you re-use it, of course.
Rewriting your old posts might sound like an easy solution to this content marketing challenge, but to escape the eagle eye of Google’s algorithm you need to introduce reasonably significant changes. You don’t want to delete your old post, because they serve to cement your credibility and still have SEO value, and you can’t post on the same topic even if you change the words around. Forget the idea of using spinning software, which just revises and re-orders the words—Google’s wise to that one and it delivers terrible results, anyway. No, when you rewrite a post, do it this way:
- Ignore the title, it will plant an idea in your mind that’s difficult to get rid of.
- Read the whole post and pick out a single point to make the focus of your new post.
- Type your focus idea into Google and select “Search Tools/Past Month.” This ensures that the results you get are up-to-date.
- Use the results you get to write a new post on the focus idea and use some of the information from your original post to inform the topic.
- Link to your old post using relevant anchor text.
- Run your new post through a dupe checker like Copyscape to make sure you haven’t used the same language extensively.
As long as you don’t use more than 10 percent of the original wording, you should be OK—even if you mostly make the same points you made in the first post.
If writing isn’t in your particular skill set, content curation is an alternative option. And you don’t need anyone’s permission to curate your own content. Post a reworded title and blurb, and hyperlink the Read More to your old post. That gives you the chance to introduce updated commentary in the blurb, keeps all the traffic activity on your own website and re-uses the post in its original form. It also preserves any social media stats such as the number of likes and tweets, if you’re using counting widgets on posts. This method enables you to use your content marketing material several times over without having to rewrite anything.
Finding content to feed your social media marketing is just as challenging a task. Social media has no rules about using old posts, however, so you can publish links to the same content as often as you like. As long as you allow for a respectable amount of time in between so your followers don’t spot it obviously, you can repost all your blogs from the beginning of time over and over again. Ideally, use them at least six months apart, so if you’re publishing a weekly post then after that period of time you can start adding links to your early posts along with links to your new posts. This enables you to step up your social media activity from one update per week to two, while still writing only a single weekly blog post.