5 Tips to Bring Old Content to Life
Written by Regular Contributor, Callie Gisler
We put a lot of emphasis on churning out new content for our brands – blog posts, videos, freebies. And there’s good reason for it.
Your content quickly becomes your brand!
But I’m going to ask you to stop thinking about your next great blog post idea for a moment. Instead, I want you to think about all the great blog posts you’ve already written.
Take a few minutes and scroll through that blog archive. Click back to the very first blog post you ever published. When was the last time you thought about this content, and more importantly, how it’s supporting the business you’re running today?
Chances are, your brand has evolved a little since you published your first blog post. You’ve sharpened your expertise, published new posts and resources, and maybe even changed the look and feel of your brand. Your more recent blog posts probably reflect the very best version of your business.
But now I’m going to challenge you to make sure your old content does the same—because that old blog post might be a potential client’s or customer’s first introduction to your brand.
Here are five easy ways to make sure your old content is doing its job:
01: Get Link Happy
Adding links into a blog post probably might be second nature already. And if it isn’t, this is a great time to get into the practice. You can create links to other relevant posts you’ve written, a relevant article outside of your website, a product or service you want to highlight, and so on.
Internal and external links connect your readers to new resources, add value to your content, and boost your chances of popping up in a potential reader’s Google search.
There’s also a chance old posts might contain broken or outdated links — whether it’s an expired URL or deleted news article. Here are a few linking tasks to add to your content to-do list:
- Consider your most recent content and how they compliment old posts. Update any past posts with a link to newer material on your site.
- Click through the links you embedded in past content to make sure they are still active and relevant.
- Set external links to open in a new window — because the internet is a black hole and that reader might never make it back to your website.
02: Touch Up Your Visuals
New logo or colors? Or maybe you’ve changed the name of your business entirely? As said, your brand has probably evolved a little since you creates your first blog post images.
Fixing up current blog or website images is another way to freshen up old content and make sure you are putting your best self forward in each post. Here are some top-priority graphic tasks to add to your list:
- Get picky about the visuals that just don’t meet your design standards and fix them up. Even a stretched out feature image can be updated.
- Make sure your current visuals are consistent. Any images left over from before your rebrand? Update them to match the new look and feel!
- Repin and share as needed. Repinning your updated feature images to Pinterest is a great way to get extra mileage out of your content.
03: Get Out The Red Pen
I’ll be the first to admit it. In the earliest days of blogging (when I was managing a personal style blog), I was so focused on the quantity of blog posts I was putting out that editing was the last thing on my mind as I hit “publish.”
But proper spelling, grammar and punctuation count big time… especially if you are a business owner or blogger working with clients, customers and brands. You might be guilty of this too—and that’s entirely okay. Here are some essential editing tasks for your list:
- Check old posts for basic grammar, spelling and punctuation. The more you write, the more these things will come naturally. Try installing a tool like Grammarly.
- Read old posts aloud. Do the words flow? Does it sound conversational? And more importantly, does it sound like you?
- Enlist a friend (or invest in a copy editor, if budget allows) to comb through old content for you. It’s amazing what a second set of eyes can find.
04: Share Your Wisdom
You are probably more of an expert in your niche today than when you started. It’s only natural that we learn and grow our skills over time. Even new industry trends and tools can change the way we’re doing things.
That experience is something you can be sharing with your audience — even through old content. Like I said, an old piece of content might be the first introduction someone gets to the work you do. If you want to reposition or solidify your expertise, add these items to your content to-do list:
- Rewrite a post’s introduction and conclusion to reposition the topic or introduce it from a place you better understand.
- Beef up the body of a post with new tips and tricks you’ve learned along the way. Or interview a blogging or business friend who is a particular expert in that area.
- Plug newly discovered resources, tools and articles into an old blog post. Direct your readers to the tools that helped you learn.
05: Add Even More Value
These days, a blog post is so much more than just written copy. We’ve all heard about the power of content upgrades and freebies. Yes, they can help grow your mailing list, but these downloads can also add massive value to the content you’re creating.
Whether you’re creating your first content upgrade or need to update outdated ones already living on your website, here are a few tasks to put on the list:
- Update your blog’s feature image to highlight the newly added freebie. This is the perfect excuse to repin to Pinterest or share across Facebook.
- Brainstorm potential content upgrades for some of your most popular posts — or even your lower performing posts. How can you add extra value?
- Create a resource library for website visitors on a separate page, linking to your updates posts and new downloadable resources. Yay for more internal linking!
It’s true that updating old content takes time.
And if you have years of archived content the idea of upgrading each blog post can seem super tedious. But remember, it doesn’t have to be done all at once.
Commit to tackling a set number of blog posts each month, or try batching your work by focusing on one specific update at a time. Happy editing!
Callie Gisler is a public relations strategist who helps female business owners tell their brand stories through bold and authentic communications strategies. You can usually find me with a cup of coffee in hand.