Contrary to what many bloggers and online marketers believe, you don't have to continually produce new content in order to get the most traffic and page views. For people who are solopreneurs, this can lead to content fatigue and it can prove to be increasingly difficult trying to capture your audience’s attention and actually deliver on your readers’ expectations.
As you well know, the competition continues to heat up rapidly in today's marketing arena, and as a result, marketers need to get more creative and find content mediums that work better in targeting new customers.
One of the best ways of staying on top of the game is to use strategic repurposing of content.
So, this guide is for you if:
This strategy will make your content marketing a lot easier for you.
The way that most people go about their content marketing is to create a piece of content, publish it, then forget about it. That post will eventually go off into the archives and that will be the end of that. Whether or not it performs to their expectations (with regards to traffic) they simply never bother with that post again. It is done, and they are off onto their next post.
What those marketers don't realize is that by doing it this way, they are sacrificing a lot of their search engine optimization benefits as well as making blogging a lot harder for themselves than it needs to be. This puts artificial pressure on them to always come up with new ideas, new topics, and new posts to publish.
If that's how you've been doing things, now is the time to stop that and start doing things the right way.
You’ll never be able to reap the full benefits from any of the content you create unless you're willing to take the time to ensure that the piece of content is a major pillar post that will achieve high SEO positioning and high engagement. Those are the types of posts that bring the most traffic to your site.
** Note that this doesn’t mean that all the posts on your blog need to be pillar posts, but you do need to have a decent portion that you transform in order to bring in maximum traffic to your blog.
So, if you can't remember the last time you revisited a post that was published a while back to update and refresh it, use this article as your resource to find out how you can get started doing that right now. By the end of this guide, you will have the means to eliminate some of the content creation issues that may be holding you back from growing your online business, such as:
What Strategic Repurposing Is All About
Strategic repurposing is just a simpler way of thinking about your content creation. It has less to do with chronology and editorial calendars and more to do with creating pillar posts that bring in maximum benefits to your blog.
Simply put, you stand to benefit more from one really good piece of content than from 10 mediocre articles.
With fewer, higher quality posts, you will be able to bring in more qualified traffic which equates to more sales and higher revenue for your business. You will be able to blog less while making more money. So if that sounds good to you, here's how you can go about doing that in your own business.
Turn Your Blog Posts into Pillar Posts
A lot of bloggers mistakenly think that pillar posts are those epic, mega posts that you create to kickstart your blog when you first get started and that once they are done, they are done.
Well, that is a rather shortsighted view, and it couldn't be further from the truth.
A pillar post is actually a flagship post that covers a single topic in a very thorough way. It is a post that stands alone and one that pulls a lot of your blog's weight. With this type of post, you spend a lot more time promoting it than you do creating it. It's the type of post that you refer readers to over and over again for a long period of time.
So this guide isn't just about those long, in-depth types of posts that you create, it's also about how you treat the content over time.
Quality Content Creation + Effective Promotion = Massive SUCCESS!
In addition to coming back and revisiting the post periodically to update it and add more to it, you'll also be promoting that post constantly.
You will use it in your email by building it into your autoresponder for your future email subscribers, maybe you want to run ads to it, and you may even want to list that post prominently in your sidebar - the possibilities are endless.
The type of post we’re talking about here is designed to be insanely helpful and valuable to the right audience. It's a post where you lead with massive value and people walk away from that post greatly impressed with the amount of information that you provided. You want readers to feel like they need to bookmark the article for reference!
As you know, 80% of your results as an online marketer come from just 20% of your marketing efforts. With regards to your content marketing strategy, the types of posts we’re talking about here are the ones that will do most of the heavy lifting on your blog in terms of bringing in traffic and sales.
80% of your results as an online marketer come from just 20% of your marketing efforts
How to Choose Posts for Strategic Repurposing
If there are people in your niche who are looking for help in accomplishing something, then it'll be easy for you to find major topics that come up frequently with readers. Simply look for popular issues, major concerns, struggles, and questions that you see members of your audience asking all the time.
Go to other sites in your niche and look for guides that you have noticed got very popular. You can also look for content that has performed well on various social media platforms. There are simple and free tools that you can use for this.
For instance, a simple search on Buzzsumo will show you all the information you need. For me, here at SyWriters.com, there are some hot topics that come up frequently. Things like:
RELATED READING: How to Plan and Create Awesome Content
After you have determined that the specific topic (and its keywords) is hot in your niche, you can then decide to work on it. Once you find what the big topics for your market are, it’s time to start planning some blog posts around those topics (for those who are just getting started).
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you can choose from your older posts. Just make sure that you go with the ones that have performed well to give your pillar posts the best chance of success.
How to Use This Strategy to Improve Your SEO
SEO, like all other elements of digital marketing, is forever changing. Today, it's more about engagement than anything else. In the olden days, SEO was about keywords, and while that is still relevant, there is now a need to focus more attention on optimizing the user experience and boosting engagement.
There are a lot of 'signals' you can use to measure the engagement on your content, including:
And the types of posts we're talking about here are the ones that are likely to meet ALL the criteria above in a positive way!
Pillar posts are typically long, and this increases the scroll depth as well as time spent on the page. Because they contain more valuable information, they tend to get shared more often, and this adds more backlinks naturally.
The strategic repurposing of such posts allows you to come back to them at your convenience and improve them over time. This gives you the mental bandwidth needed to focus on the anatomy of a perfect blog post and it allows you to hit every important point concerning blog post optimization.
Yet another factor that impacts your SEO is content freshness – something that Google absolutely loves. When Google sees all the signs of a killer blog post, it's made even better when your content is fresh. And a simple way of ensuring that is to continually revisit a blog post and make updates to it.
By revising old blog posts, then promoting them, you achieve the following:
As a result of all this, your post will rank much higher in the search engines and bring you better results than creating a bunch of new, smaller blog posts then simply leaving them to quietly slide into your the oblivion of your blog archives.
5 Steps to Strategically Updating a Blog Post
There are a couple of things that you need to do before you get started. First of all, make a list of all the important topics in your niche that warrant their own pillar post.
Next, visit your traffic stats to determine which posts on your blog are the most popular. Once you are armed with that information, you will be able to create a strategy to help you get started.
Begin with your most popular posts, and then later, if you need to, you can then create new posts to fill in any of the topics that you have not yet covered effectively.
Listed below are some of the things you can do to freshen up each post:
- Determine if the topic has changed, in which case bring the post up to date, making it more current and relevant.
- Include more resources and images, and add more detail.
- Use videos, infographics, and other forms of media to increase the time spent on-page.
- Add a related content upgrade to help you build your email list.
- Include more useful, relevant, high-quality images in your posts.
- Add more internal and external links to your content. You don't want your pillar post existing in a vacuum, so make sure it's linking out to many other resources on yours and other sites.
No matter what niche you're in, you've likely seen posts on other blogs that have impressed you.
You know, those posts that made you feel like you'd hit the mother load when you found them?
That's exactly how you want your readers to feel when they land on your pillar post. It should be exactly what they need and want. You want them to feel like there’s nothing else they need except that post to answer any and all questions they have regarding the topic.
And now, a few things to remember when strategically re-purposing your blog content:
Do Not Update the URL
While it's completely fine for you to update your post’s headline if you want to make it a bit more effective, make sure that you don't change the URL for the blog post. Doing so would take away the benefits of any previous backlinks, social shares, and SEO strength that the blog post had already amassed.
In the rare instance that you may choose to alter the URL anyway in order to better focus on primary keywords, make sure that you use a 301 redirect to route traffic to the new URL. A simple plug-in like Yoast SEO will detect any URL changes and automatically create a redirect.
Embed images and videos wherever appropriate
Using multiple forms of media on your blog posts increases their perceived value. It also greatly improves your chances of getting ranked high in the search engines. Make sure the images you include all have solid ALT tags so they can appear on image search to bring in even more traffic to your site. Also, use keywords in your image file names to help the post get indexed for search.
Videos that are hosted on YouTube can also help with your SEO. Furthermore, adding videos to your posts helps to increase the time spent on the page. And remember, the video that you embed on your blog posts doesn't always have to be one of yours. You can simply find relevant videos made by other people and embed them within your blog post.
Sometimes, the value of your pillar post lies in doing all the legwork for your readers and bringing them a ton of resources dispersed throughout the Internet in one convenient, mega guide.
There are plenty of successful online marketers who create major pillar posts by simply curating content as opposed to being its sole creator!
Add In-Page Navigation Links
One of the most important things to do when you're writing an in-depth, mega post is to include navigation links that serve as a ‘table of contents’ at the top of the page. Creating such a list allows readers to skip down to the sections of your post that they want to read, but it also accomplishes a few other things:
- It immediately communicates massive value to new visitors (after all, how many blog posts do you see that have navigation at the top?)
- When someone clicks a link, they skip down the post, which immediately increases the scroll depth, thereby reducing the bounce rate.
- When phrasing the links you're essentially making each link a sub-headline. This means that it will be more enticing to readers, making them want to see more of that section of your blog post. There are plenty of free plug-ins that you can use to add ‘table of contents’ links to your blog posts, including Table of Contents Plus plugin from WordPress.
Clearly State the Post Is Updated
It's important that you make it very clear to the people who land on your blog post that it's been updated. You want anyone who sees your post to know that you are maintaining it. The two best ways of doing this are:
1. To modify the headline of the blog post to reflect that it has been updated
2. To actually display the date that the post was last updated
You can add words to your headlines, such as Updated, New and Improved, 2020 Edition, Now with More, Revised, and so on.
Such additions will immediately show your readers that your blog post has been updated. These are the types of things you can add to your headline without risking any of your existing SEO.
Simply displaying the dates that the post was updated last allows you to reflect that your maintaining the post without having to alter the ‘published’ date. Modifying the published date kicks the post back to the top of your archives, but there may be instances where you don't want to do that.
For example, if you just want to add a few updates to your post for Google's sake without kicking it up to the top of your blog again, then this is the best way to do it. In such a case, you can use the WordPress plug-in called WP Last Modified Info which will automatically display the date you last updated any of your blog posts. It even inserts the date inside the post schema that is fed to Google.
After Each Update, Re-distribute the Post
Every time you update your pillar post, you need to treat it as if it's a new post. You need to decide whether you think the scale of the update is enough to justify republishing of the post. If so, simply edit the published date on your blog post to the current one and then save.
This will send the post straight to the top of your blog archives. But whether you do that or not, you still need to redistribute that post across all your channels. This includes:
Keep in mind that the whole point of creating a pillar post is to build a strong asset, not just writing a bit of text to fill the spot on your content the calendar.
For this reason, it's definitely worth taking the time to ensure that you promote it as effectively as possible over and over again. These types of posts also make excellent material when it comes to paid ads, particularly on Facebook. Just ensure that each of your pillar posts has good CTAs built within it and it'll work effectively to build your list as well as to get people into the top of your sales funnel.
How to Integrate This Strategy in Your Blogging
My purpose with SyWriters is to help businesses simplify content marketing and generate more sales. I focus on helping them turn their blogs into engaging and converting lead-generation machines.
However, in order to be able to build up a successful business blog, there is just no way you’ll be able to do so if you spend all your time blogging!
Once you understand that the simple act of writing a blog post isn't the most valuable thing you can do for your blog, then you can start focusing more on the tasks that bring in massive results. Just think about it, if you spend the majority of your time creating new blog content, how will you find time to work on building your list, developing assets, and growing your business?
Once you've put the practice of blogging into its proper context, you'll find that it's not as time-consuming as you may have allowed it to be up until now...
With this strategy, you will be able to get better results from your blogging efforts while accomplishing a lot more time freedom. So use this guide as your resource to help you revisit all the posts, update them, and then put out better, more useful, and more valuable content that both your old and new readers will absolutely love.
To make things even easier for you, here’s a list of potential ways of updating and expanding your blog posts into true pillar posts.
20 Effective Ways to Add to Pillar Posts
- Fix all re-branded or broken links.
- Add complementary content upgrades or lead magnets that are specific to that particular blog post.
- Include relevant images and screenshots showing examples of the steps or procedures your post is talking about.
- Include your own videos discussing the same information covered in the blog post.
- Embed YouTube videos of other people showing examples of stuff that you discuss in your content.
- Add links and discussions of any relevant resources and tools that can help your audience accomplish what you are discussing in the post.
- Also, consider embedding how-to videos to show them the best way to use certain tools.
- Determine sections of your post where some people might get confused and then expand them to be really helpful.
- Find opportunities to link to other blogs within your archives.
- Find opportunities for linking externally to various outside resources.
- If the post you’re updating is a curated post for resources, tips, information, etc. from different places, consider adding even more. For instance, if you have a post about ‘10 ways to boost blog traffic’, you might consider making it into ‘21 ways to boost blog traffic’, and so on.
- Look for ways to provide more perspective or offer an alternative means of doing things. This doesn't have to be from you, you can link to other articles from other bloggers then provide your own twist on the subject.
- Find stats, figures, and case studies that you can add to your blog posts to help you illustrate (or to back up) what you're saying.
- Create graphical or infographic versions of various procedures that you discuss in your blog post.
- Find any opportunities to include numbered or bulleted lists.
- Incorporate infographics, charts, etc. that you find on other websites in your niche and link them with credit.
- Consider using offset quotes.
- Include lots of Tweetables in your lengthy blog posts to make it easy for readers to share on social media.
- Create a simple slide deck to embed in your blog post to make your content easier to consume
- Hit up a few leaders in your industry for tips and advice that they might want to add to your blog post, and include the information with linkbacks.
Here Are Some Tools You May Find Useful:
Piktochart.com - to help you make professional-looking infographics
Gifmaker.me - to create animated GIFs online for free
Slideshare.net - for uploading slides and embedding them on your blog post
Beacon.by - for turning your blog posts into a content upgrade quickly and easily
Canva.com - to create attractive images for anyone with no skills in graphic editing
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