Ok… this post is a bit long (around 3000 words), but I believe you can get a lot of value out of it!
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you are pretty much sitting on top of a gold mine – your old blog posts.
Too often, you spend a lot of time on creating a post and then just abandoning it to your archives. However, this content could be used again to create more traffic and exposure to your blog, sometimes even bringing extra money to your bank account.
In this post, I have listed 15 ideas for blog posts (and other type of content) that take advantage of your old posts. I haven’t tested them all myself (not yet, at least), but I’ll try to point you to other bloggers who have done so.
1. Generate New Post Ideas
One of the easiest ways to take advantage of your old posts is to generate ideas for future posts.
You can use mind-mapping for idea generation, as follows:
- Take a piece of paper and write the title of the post on the center of the page. Circle the title.
- Read the post and mark new ideas down on your paper by drawing a line from the main topic circle to your new idea. Circle that new idea as well.
- Take a look at your newly generated idea and figure out if you can find another topic to write about based on the sub-idea.
If you want to do mind-mapping on your computer, install a piece of software like XMind.
Take a look at this example how mind-mapping works with XMind. I’m using an old blog post of mine, “8 Things That Dancing and Online Business Have in Common” to figure out future post titles (click the image to get a larger resolution image):
If you don’t want to take the mind-mapping route, one simple way to come up with post ideas is to figure out an alternative angle to the original one. There are also plenty of other types of posts you could write as well.
2. Write Guest Posts
In the same ways that you generate ideas for your own blog, you can use some of the ideas for writing guest posts for other blogs.
I feel that this especially suits the beginner blogger’s situation, since writing content for other, more well-known blogs ensures more views.
One thing that I just recently started doing was to generate new guest post ideas based on my latest blog post. I then write the post, submit it to another blog and link the guest post (with my keyword) to the latest post on my blog.
For instance, sometime ago I wrote a post called: “Accepting Guest Posts on Your Blog: Time Waste or a Blessing?” and the accompanying guest post was published on Basic Blog Tips called: “How Not to Get Your Guest Post Accepted (and 3 Steps to Take Instead)”.
3. Make a Slide Share Presentation
I’m actually just getting started with SlideShare and it’s content marketing possibilities, but it’s definitely one of those areas I’m looking forward to digging in deeper.
Rather than just copying your existing blog post into corresponding Slide Share presentation, try add something extra to your slides. Perhaps you have some additional insights or tips you want to share with anyone watching your presentation?
So how do you get started with Slide Share? Well, I want to point you to a comprehensive guest post by Gregory Ciotti. His post was published on Smart Passive Income and he shared how he was able to get a loads of new visitors to his site with a killer presentation.
In fact, he demonstrated a clever way to take advantage of guest posts in order to increase the views of his presentation. He also shares the whole process in this particular post.
4. Turn Them into an E-Book or an Amazon Kindle Book
Your old blog posts serve a great basis for entirely new types of formats. These formats could be e-books or Amazon Kindle books.
When you’re turning your old posts into these new formats, you have two ways to do this:
- Use the old content as is
- Expand the old content with
- Action Steps
- (your idea here)
Both ways work, although I’m a fan of expanding and adding more value to the existing content. Since this is the case, I’d definitely choose the latter option.
If you’d like to create an e-book, follow these steps:
- Find a topic for your book.
- Take a look at your old posts and figure out which ones could be included in your e-book.
- Compile your e-book.
- Create the table of contents.
- Proofread the text.
- Get the cover done through Fiverr (for instance, by using this designer)
- If you want to get fancy, you can hire a freelancer to create a good-looking interior for your e-book through Elance.
- Save everything as PDF files.
Once the e-book is done, you can then deliver it as:
- an extra gift for your e-mail subscribers.
- a lead-magnet and get people to join your list.
- a paid product.
- a bonus when promoting affiliate offers.
5. SEO-Optimize Them
You can do some tweaks to your old content for better visibility in search engines.
I have personally used a tool called ClickBump SEO (aff. link), which is a simple tool for making the SEO work easier. The way it works is that for every post, it gives an SEO score related to your main keyword. This way I’m able to visually see how well my SEO is taken care of (click the image to get a larger resolution image).
I try to achieve at least a 50% score with my keyword.
There are free and paid tools for doing the SEO work. One of the most well-known ones is Google AdWords Keyword Planner. It’s a free tool and gives a good foundation to your SEO analysis.
Google’s tool is just a start, and many paid tools offer better user experiences. For now, I’m not recommending anything as I’m testing one particular tool and I’ll then see if it’s worth mentioning or not.
6. Write an Updated Piece (or a Change of Opinion)
It’s very much possible that your opinion on something has changed over time. If you wrote a blog post that expressed that opinion, it’s now time to take a look at the post again. Then figure out if it’s time to write a follow-up to your original post, linking these two together by telling how you feel now.
This is what happened to me some years ago: Before I started my blog, I used to hate my job. Then one day, my wife changed my perspective by explaining that thanks to my job, I’m able to buy the tools and the training related to building my online business.
I never thought about it this way, and I quickly changed my opinion of my day job. Sure, I wasn’t passionate about it, but it made me to appreciate my job much more.
I actually never wrote a post about hating my day job. However, this would have been a good example of how one’s opinion changes and why it would be a good idea to write another post on the topic.
By the way, if you want to read my post after changing my mind, here it is: “4 Reasons Why You Should Appreciate Your Day Job – Even If You Hate It”
7. Create Tips (and Other Content) for Your Email List
In many cases, your old blog posts have a lot of hidden gems in it: Tips that haven’t got that much attention, thoughts and ideas that could be elaborated further.
That’s why it’s a good idea to go through your old posts and figure out if you can extract those small pieces of information to bring additional value to your email subscribers.
In 2o11, I wrote a post called: “101 Ways for Becoming a Productivity Superstar”. I eventually wrote an additional 100+ tips, combined the old and the new tips together, and my current lead magnet: “222 Ways for Becoming a Productivity Superstar” was born.
Now, three times per month (on Fridays), I send an email to my subscribers which contains a one time management tip from my e-book (which is partially based on the blog post). However, that’s not all.
I also add steps on how to implement the tip in practice. If possible, I also try to offer something extra related to these tips so that they deliver as much value as possible. See this tip as an example:
8. Figure Out Questions for an Interview
Are you doing interviews on your blog? If not, you should because it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and experts in your industry!
There are basically three ways you can do an interview:
- by email
- by recording a podcast
- by recording a video interview
No matter what the format is, your old posts could still give you ideas for interview questions.
Once again, you need to go through your old posts to figure out the questions. Just jot down ideas, words, and sentences from your posts and see what you can come up with.
9. Use it as a Basis for Your Presentation
Let’s say that your blog is about online marketing and you have been asked to make a presentation at your local chamber of commerce or business school. If you have no idea how to get started with the presentation, take a look at Todd Giannattasio’s post on the topic.
Once you have created the presentation, you can repurpose it further:
- Have a webinar based on your slides, show it to your email subscribers
- Record the webinar presentation and upload it YouTube
- Extract the audio from your video and offer it as an additional resource for your subscribers
- Transcribe the audio into text, offering it to your subscribers
- Take your original PowerPoint or Keynote presentation and upload it to Slide Share
- Integrate the Slide Share presentation with your guest post (see item #3 on this list, thanks Gregory!)
10. Create an Infographic
Turning your old post into an infographic is a wonderful way to attract an audience. I haven’t taken advantage of this strategy yet, but perhaps I will. The fact is that if the infographic is done well, it has the potential of going viral.
But how do you create an infographic out of your old posts? Heck, what does a great infographic even look like?
Well, first there is this great article by Neil Patel. He gives you step-by-step instructions on how to create your infographics.
Once you have the infographic, offer it as an embeddable version to be used on other blogs. This way, you gain some additional visibility to your infographic and to your blog (see the CopyBlogger post as an example).
11. Create Short Videos Out of the Content
Maybe you have written an old list post ages ago and it’s just sitting on your archives gaining dust? You can turn that post into short videos, which you can then upload to YouTube (and even transcribe it for your audience)!
In this list post example, each one of the items on your list serves as a topic for your videos. Just take the core idea of the list item and tell it to the camera.
If possible, remember to add something extra in your videos, like a new insight or an actionable idea that your audience can implement right away.
12. Extract into Tweets or Facebook Updates
Your old content will most likely include valuable thoughts that are shareable through Twitter or on Facebook.
All it takes is to go through your archives with a magnifying glass and pick them to a separate document. Then, tweak the ideas so that they are suitable for various social media channels.
Facebook allows longer updates, whereas in Twitter you have to fit everything into 140 characters. Now, even though Facebook allows longer updates, it doesn’t mean you should overdo it; just keep things simple and short.
When the Twitter is the concern, you really have to squeeze your ideas into a compact format. For instance, if I took an old post of mine and turn it into Tweets, here’s what I’d do:
- Find out the old post you want to extract your tweets from
- Write down the sentences/ideas for actual tweets
- Squeeze them into 140 characters
Let’s do this with an actual post:
Name of the post: What Is Your Fallback Strategy And Why Do You Need One?
- If Plan A becomes obsolete, there is always a Plan B in place.
- Block the time in your calendar and possibly “isolate” yourself into a location where you can do your thinking without distraction.
- The better focus you have, the better chances you have to create a plan which actually works in real life.
- Instead, understand what went wrong and learn from the experience. Just analyze the situation and move on.
- Always have a backup plan in place
- Go to a location where you can do the planning without distraction
- The better focus you have, the more successful the plan is going to be
- If your plan fails, analyse it and learn from the experience
Obviously, you could tweak the sentences even further and add things like hashtags, your Twitter ID, and a shortened URL to get people back to your article. For instance, you could post something like this:
- Always have a backup plan in place: http://bit.ly/14kkRP5 via @productivesd #timemanagement #productivity (Click to Tweet)
13. Turn it into Another Language
This next tip is for those who are running a blog in one language and considering if it’s worth translating the original post to other languages.
For instance, I could start a time management blog in Finnish and turn my latest posts, written in English, into my native language. That way, I could leverage the content that I have already created.
By the way, if you are wondering what “big G” thinks about turning the content into different languages and whether it’s considered duplicate content (the short answer: no), take a look at this video by Matt Cutts:
14. Create a Case Study
Let me be honest here: I haven’t created a case study (yet), but what I have learned is that they are a great way to demonstrate how well a product or a service works (or, in some cases, doesn’t).
How does this tie into your old blog content? Let’s say that you have briefly mentioned a certain product name in your posts. You then decide to purchase the product and see if it’s valuable or not.
You could create a case study out of your experiences where you not only tell what the product is all about, but also if it was able to deliver the results it promised.
If your case study shows that the product was a great buy, it’s so much easier to recommend it to your readers and subscribers.
Sure, it takes some extra work to create a case study, but it’s well worth it.
15. Know What to Write Next
Sure, you can turn your old post into a presentation and to a webinar (item #9), but do you know what to write next and what your audience wants? Well, you do that by tracking your old post’s social performance.
I originally got this nugget from Neil Patel’s post, and I figured that this could be used with blog posts as well; write more of the stuff that people share across different social networks.
I have been using a free WordPress plugin called Social Metrics and it shows the social sharing stats of my old posts in a nice format (click the image to get a larger resolution image):
There is also a Pro version of it (non-aff. link), but I haven’t tested it yet, so I can’t say what extra it adds to the free version.
Some Additional Reading
This is just a start. You can create other types of content from your old posts if you want.
Take a look at these posts which teach you how to leverage your existing content even further:
- 11 Ways to Reuse Killer Blog Posts to Generate Traffic and Income [AIB] (Steve Scott)
- 10 Ways to Bring New Life to Old Blog Posts (Smart Passive Income)
- 12 Ways to Turn Your Old, Dusty Blog Archive into Cold, Hard Cash (CopyBlogger)
- 12 Reasons Why You Won’t Look at List Posts the Same Way Again (AffHelper)
If you have been writing blog posts for some time, you are sitting on top of a content goldmine!
There are so many ways to leverage your old content, and all you have to do now is to take action. Pick one item on the list at a time and turn your content into another format, or even a paid product.
Let me know your favorite ways to repurpose content! I’m more than interested to learn how you take advantage of it.
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