I've often described blogs as filing cabinets for social content. But once you've invested the energy into creating the great content, don't neglect to categorize it properly so that it can be reused it at a later date.
Any blogger who's been at it a while knows that old popular posts can be a great traffic source for a blog. When someone shares a three-year-old post on Twitter that is still relevant, then it's obvious that it still has value for them.
Social content that has value beyond the date you post is called "evergreen," because it stays fresh for years. Not all content can be labeled this way, obviously, because things in PR and social media can change dramatically over time.
So how do you keep track of this "evergreen" social content so that it continues to benefit your blog long after it's been written? There are several ways I've recommended to clients that have worked. It all depends on how organized you are and how you prefer to access your content. Then, once you access it, there are several ways to re-propagate it.
Ways to keep track of content:
- Spreadsheet or Google Document: Keep a spreadsheet with the post title, subject, link and date published. It's searchable, and a handy way to keep track of how many times you've posted on a particular subject.
- Word document: How many of us have written an entire brilliant post and had it go missing before it was published? Write it first on a word document and then copy and paste it into a blog post. Then you'll have an ongoing, seachable diary of all your posts, and a backup in case something goes wrong while it's being written.
- Categories and keywords: If you're religious about properly categorizing your posts with multiple subjects and keywords, use the blog's category sort feature to keep organized.
- Google it!: Sometimes, when I need to find an old post, I simply google the subject and the name of my blog and can usually find what I am looking for.
Ways to recycle content:
- Create a sharing schedule on Hootsuite or another content planning/management site: Once you publish an evergreen blog post, plug it in to re-promote in another few weeks out, and then again a few months in the future. Who knows? People who may never have noticed the post before may find it useful.
- Recycle in comments of other people's blogs: When you read a blog post dealing with the subject - and your content could be seen as helpful - post the link to the applicable evergreen content. Who knows? You might find a new reader.
- Tweet/Facebook in response to queries you see online: A long time ago, I wrote a post about how to use social media to complain about bad service. I have shared that post many times on friends' Facebook and Twitter feeds when they need the information. So, I'm helping them while recycling my content. Win-Win.
- Offer old posts as guest blog posts. When someone gives you permission to guest post on their blog, use your old posts to get ideas. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes to update your post a little.
Think of your blog as a filing cabinet full of brilliant ideas - just waiting to be shared with your readers. On days when you're experiencing writer's block, all that content will come in handy.