Nine Ways to Get New Mileage From Worn Out Content

Nine Ways to Get New Mileage From Worn Out Content

By John Jantsch

Worn out content

People don’t have enough time to continue to create the amount of content they need to attract visitors and convert them into leads. I get it. Creating content can be challenging and time-consuming, and coming up with new material regularly can seem impossible.

I’m here to tell you it’s doable, and you don’t even have to start from scratch. You can gain tremendous value just from reusing old content. Derek Halpern of Social Triggers said it well: “You don’t have to create content day in and day out. You just have to work on getting the content you already have in the hands of more people.” Here’s how.

Re-optimize old content

A few years ago, HubSpot wrote a blog post titled, “The Blogging Tactic No One Is Talking About: Optimizing the Past” and it was a keeper. In a nutshell, this post discusses that the company tested updating and re-publishing old blog posts to see if they could get more leverage out of them. The results were hard to ignore. By simply re-optimizing old content, HubSpot was able to increase organic traffic by 106%. 

Reoptimize content

The best news? Theses results aren’t unique to HubSpot. Many businesses are taking this approach and are reaping the benefits of it. My friend Brian Dean, of Backlinko, is one of them. In fact, after testing this theory for just two weeks, Brian saw a 260.7% increase in organic search traffic. Not bad for just optimizing and re-publishing content he already had.

reuse content

Interested in taking advantage of this? There are just a few simple steps you need to follow:

1. Review your analytics and identify your underperforming content

It isn’t necessary to optimize all material from the past. If you have blog posts or other content that is performing well, let them be (or repurpose them as I’ll outline below). There are two key components you should consider when finding the right content to re-optimize:

  1. Find posts with high traffic but low conversion and figure out how to increase leads on those posts
  2. Find posts with low traffic but high conversion and figure out how to get more visits to those posts

2. Optimize and update that content

Once you determine which posts you’re going to re-optimize, consider updating the following:

  • Update old images and screenshots to ensure the visuals are still relevant
  • Update any dated content or hyperlinks within the posts with new information and recent URLs
  • Add relevant CTAs to the posts to increase conversion
  • Focus on adding relevant keywords to the content naturally
  • Consider a content upgrade that might make sense on those pages

3. Republish your content

Once the content is updated, republish it and promote to your network via email and social media channels.

Re-optimization works because Google rewards relevancy and freshness. New visits will come out of sharing content within your network, and those new promotions will lead to new inbound links, also boosting SEO.

Repurpose old content

Optimizing old content may be an excellent way to bring new life to underperforming content, but what can you do to get new mileage out of content that is performing well? You can re-purpose it. By repurposing content, you can continue to gain value from previous content without having to completely reinvent the wheel.

The content you repurpose needs to be high-quality content from your past that will always be relevant to your audience. It’s difficult to repurpose content around fads that may go away as quickly as they appeared.

The key to making this work going forward is to think about this concept ahead of time. What posts would make great presentations? What presentations would make great ebooks? What video would make for a series of blog posts?

It’s also important that you review your analytics to see which content is generating the most interest. The more popular the original content is, the more likely the repurposed content will be popular as well. Essentially, high-quality content can create even more high-quality content.

Once you’ve identified the content that you’d like to repurpose, it’s time to develop the new content. Keep in mind that the goal is to make the content fresh and appealing enough to expand your audience.

How to repurpose content

I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to repurpose content is to start with video and create new content by working backwards from there. It’s amazing how many blogs, infographics, or premium content can spin off from there. I realize, however, that not everybody has video content, so I’ve provided other ways to refresh the content below.

1. Create new blog posts

Turn points discussed in listicles or numbered summary posts into posts of their own. Do the opposite as well by combining a bunch of posts on the same topic and turning them into listicles or summary-based posts.

2. Design an infographic

Take your written content and transform it into a visual infographic. Infographics are a great way to break up data, or take difficult concepts and make them more digestible for the reader.

3. Implement an email series

Emails shouldn’t be long in order to keep your readers’ attention. Take pieces of your content and turn them into a an email campaign that is easy for your readers to consume. You can then promote this series on your blog as a lead conversion opportunity.

4. Develop premium content

Consider gathering related blog posts and turning them into a comprehensive ebook or white paper. You can then use that content as a conversion tool to increase your leads.

5. Create a podcast 

People have busy lives and it can be hard to find time to sit down and read an article. Listening to a podcast on their way to work, however, is much more manageable. By repurposing content into podcasts, you create a whole new way to connect with your audience.

6. Create a video series

People love video, and because of this, businesses want to produce as much video content as possible. Instead of brainstorming a new script for each video, use blog posts as the material for your script. This will allow you to produce new videos at a more rapid rate.

Every business should create a series of videos based on the most frequently asked questions.

The list above contains a few of the many ways you can reformat your content into another great piece that will attract your audience. By optimizing and repurposing content from the past, you’ll be able to boost your SEO, reach new audiences, and gain additional credibility and authority within your space. Who wouldn’t want that?

Bottom line, don’t let content just sit there when you can still receive a ton of value from it.

Have you been able to get new mileage from worn out content? If so, I’d love to hear about it!


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