If you’re new to Jennie Lyon Digital Marketing & Virtual Assistant Services, you might not know this about me: I’m a big believer in recycling.
Wait, did I say “believer?” I meant fanatic! For years, I’ve had a sister company called Sweet Greens, all about taking care of the planet. One of my favorite things to do is walk over to the beach with my son and pick up the bottles and other garbage that accumulates down there. And, as you can imagine, when you embrace clean, environmentally-friendly living, it can impact every other aspect of your life. And that includes content!
I think one of the best resources that I offer people, both current and potential clients alike, is my humongous back catalog of blogs. I have years’ worth in my archive, all available to everyone for free. The trick, of course, is that things are constantly moving in the digital marketing and virtual assistant business. New tools are being created all the time, meaning that I have to work hard to keep up to date. A blog about Facebook that I wrote in, say, 2010 would have very little relevance to those who are looking for current information today. So is this wasted content? Not if you recycle it! Recycling your old content, including blogs, opt-ins, and webinars, is the perfect way to keep your online presence alive and thriving!
Of course, one of the best ways to make sure that old content doesn’t age poorly is to future-proof it.
This isn’t possible with all topics or industries. Some move so fast that a blog you wrote last year is likely to be hopelessly out of date just a few months later. But that only means that you need to intersperse your usual topics with reliable, evergreen content. What does evergreen content mean? It simply means blogs and opt-ins that never really go out of date. Holiday-related content can be an excellent example of this.
For example, let’s look at the winter holiday time. There are certain things that you can do around this time to connect with your clients that has very little to do with the digital sphere. This can include sending out holiday cards, hosting a holiday party, or sending thank you gifts. If I wrote a blog about this a few years ago (which I did), I wouldn’t have to worry about it becoming stale. That kind of content is future-proofed, meaning that piece of content will have a very long shelf life. If I wanted to, I could post that blog every single December (mind you, I wouldn’t, because I’m continually churning out new content for my clients and me!)
To make a piece of evergreen content, there are a few guidelines you want to follow. Avoid pop culture references or other things that could instantly date your blog. This can include anything about politics or current events. For example, if someone sees a mention of Obama currently being the president of the United States in a blog, they are going to dismiss the content as old and out of date. Instead, keep everything timeless!
But What About My Old, Dated Blogs and Opt-Ins?
That said, not all blogs can be evergreen types of content.
If I wrote a blog about the latest features coming to Instagram back in 2015, it’s old news by now. That would have been excellent content back then, but not useful now. So, what can be done? Well, let’s look at that blog.
First, the opening and closing paragraphs. The opening paragraph of a blog is an introduction to the theme, sort of a thesis statement. The closing paragraph sums everything up that the reader just absorbed. So, for that blog about new features to Instagram, chances are that the opening and closing paragraphs would still be applicable, not referencing any “new” features. All you have to do here is delete the middle sections (the 2015 content about new features) and replace them with new features from the current year. Yes, you will still have to write fresh material for the middle, but the opening and closing are two big chunks of copy that you don’t have to worry about! Just replace the old copy and post the “new” version on your website and social media channels as up-to-date content!
How Much Time Will This Take?
That all depends on the size of your back catalog of blogs.
Let’s say that you have written a blog a month, every month for the past six years. That’s 72 blogs; not a bad amount of content! You’d need to take the time to go through all of these blogs, figure out which ones are out of date and which ones you can easily update and recycle. Time-consuming, but not prohibitively so. However, if you’re like me and you’ve written a blog every week for the last 10 or so years (OMG!?), then you’re dealing with over 500 blogs to read! Either way, it’s going to eat up your time.
But just look at the time you would save on writing new content on a regular schedule. If you’re not an experienced copywriter, coming up with a fresh blog every week can take hours and hours. If you were to recycle your old content, you might be able to get that number down to an hour or two, tops. That can amount to a considerable time-savings in the long run.
There is another option, of course. You could hire me to go through your entire blog archive and flag any blogs that could potentially be recycled and used as “new” material. I can even go through and update them all so you have a gigantic pile of recycled blogs that you can post at your leisure.
Some people, however, prefer to have completely new content every week. If that’s the case, then hiring me to write your blog can save you even more time doing the research, writing, and posting. We only need to talk about possible topics, come up with an editorial calendar, and you will soon have a brand-new blog ready to schedule each week. Easy!
One bit of caution: to effectively recycle your old content, you need to know the structure of how a blog is put together. You don’t want to take out “load bearing” paragraphs by accident that will weaken the end product. If you’d like to learn more about how to write a top-notch blog, you can download my free workbook here!
Recycling is a way of life, and that goes for more than just the environment! By learning to recycle your old content and updating it for the current year, you can save yourself time and money. Even better, you aren’t letting the time and money you spent on that content years ago go to waste! If you’d like to talk about how I can help you recycle your old content and opt-ins (or write completely new ones), I invite you to contact me today!