The Content Graveyard: How To Avoid Killing Your Content Too Soon

So, you’ve got a ton of content in your archive, but it feels like you are on a spinning wheel of content that never ends? That sucks. I am right there with you, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at my archive and thought, “I wrote what, now?” Especially when it comes to my lifestyle blog, I can be a bit clueless when it comes to the content I’ve already produced.

Today, I wanted to spend some time chatting about the content graveyard. Many businesses don’t spend enough time optimizing their old content. They think that the secret to getting ahead is more. Well, I am a content creator, so I’m not going to say no to more content, but I think a balance of the two is more appropriate.

Look, content marketing helps your business stand out. There is an obvious benefit to content marketing and what it does to draw new and interested people into your business. The problem is that many companies spend far too much time on the content side and spend very few resources marketing their content. It’s a two-pronged approach that is so imperative to success as a company.

Related Reading: It Only Works If You Do: How To Utilize Freelance Content The Right Way

The Content Graveyard: How To Avoid Killing Your Content Too Soon | Is your new content dying a slow, horrible death too soon? Check out these tips for making content work for you so you can get off the content wheel and create content that lasts longer than .5 seconds. #ContentCreation #ContentPromotion #ContentMarketing #ContentWriting #Marketing

Understand That Old Content Usually Performs Better Than New Content

New content is terrific but rarely do businesses find success in content that is recently published. It doesn’t mean you should stop releasing new material or promoting any new content you post. Instead, I am telling you this because so many people spend a ton of time marketing new stuff and they don’t reach into their archive enough. Do you post new content, get excited about it for .5 seconds, and then immediately move on to the next thing? If that statement defines you, I want you to stop that.

I love taking over the content creation part of my client's life so that they can focus exclusively on the promotion side of content marketing. I am not going to lie to you and tell you that it’s easy to be on both sides of the fence. If you are doing everything on your own, it’s going to take a lot of effort, but it’s worth it when you see the results you'll get.

Spend Time Reflecting On The Role Your Content Will Play In Your Strategy

When you create any piece of content, it’s important to ask yourself, “what role will this piece play in my strategy?” Each piece doesn’t have to have some grand purpose, but it’s important to spend a bit of time coming up with a reason for the content. Let’s break down some potential reasons:

Is This A Pillar Piece?

Pillar content is the content that you can brag about. These are the pieces that are massive, juicy, and get at the core of your website. What do you stand for? What could you write multiple articles about? This pillar content has got to be some of your most grand work.

If you consider this piece a pillar piece, you’ll probably want to interlink it with other content often and show it off in a variety of ways. You might create videos around it, podcasts about it, and link it on Instagram often. It might even become one of the posts you spotlight on your blog.

Consider this the first piece of content that you’d want new blog visitors to see when they visit your website.

Do You Want To Produce More In-Depth Content Based On This Piece?

If you do a tips article like 30 Things To Post On Social Media As A Human Resources Technology Company, you might want to break down that article further. Hypothetically, you could create 30 more pieces of smaller content based on that post. You can use this post over and over as an interlinking opportunity, and you’d want to share an article like that often on social media.

Where Do You See This Piece Helping Your Customers Most?

Last, but not least, where do you see this piece helping your customers? Maybe you can write a stellar article that will help your customers a ton. For example, perhaps this piece should be included in the onboarding email you send to new customers? Maybe you want to create a piece centered around a question that your sales team gets asked a ton? You could also include a link to a helpful blog post in your FAQ section.

Create A Database With Old Content

Having all your content on your website backend is fantastic, but it can be hard to find content that way. Sometimes it’s better to have a separate database you can access in another tab as you are writing content. I am not talking about creating some elaborate database. You can use something as simple as Google Sheets to create this database. I highly encourage you to create this database in Google Sheets because it will help you use the document in collaboration with other people on your writing team.

Keep your database simple. Use headers like:

  • Title

  • URL

  • Category

  • Author

  • Published

  • Last Updated

You don’t want to make the database too complicated to use. Instead, focus on creating a database that is simple and easy to update within a few minutes. If it takes you or anyone else longer than five minutes to update the database, you probably won’t use it often enough to get any great use from it. Keep it simple!

Interlink 1-2 Old Pieces In Every Post You Make

One of the best things about having a database is that it makes interlinking content a breeze. I would strive to interlink at least 1-2 pieces throughout every piece of content you write. Try to create natural interlinking opportunities throughout your content, so it feels more natural. If you can’t naturally insert an interlink, don’t be afraid to note it by using words like “Related Reading.”

You should always experiment with your interlinking best practices, however. For some audiences, a naturally occurring interlink may work best, but some viewers might appreciate a button linking to your related reading or a “Related Reading” line more.

Whatever you do, create interlinking opportunities in your blog post. Even if you have a related reading section on the side of your posts or at the bottom of your post, interlink in the post too. Google needs interlinking content to be able to read your site better, and those interlinks in your sidebar or at the bottom of your posts do not count.

The Content Graveyard: How To Avoid Killing Your Content Too Soon | Is your new content dying a slow, horrible death too soon? Check out these tips for making content work for you so you can get off the content wheel and create content that lasts longer than .5 seconds. #ContentCreation #ContentPromotion #ContentMarketing #ContentWriting #Marketing

Make A Habit Of Refreshing Old Content Often

As your content ages, you need to make sure you keep it up to date and amazing. Even if your content begins to trend, you cannot become complacent. Do you know how easy it is to slip in Google rankings? A top spot requires that you keep your content helpful for your readers. If your content is broken or no longer serving the public, it will eventually get pushed out by a better piece of content.

Here are a few ways to refresh old content.

See What’s Trending/About To Trend

First, you can’t refresh it all at once. Refreshing old content needs to be done in batches. Otherwise, refreshing content can become very overwhelming quickly. So, focus on the most important pieces first. This means taking a look at what’s trending. If the topic is trending or you see an uptick in traffic leading to an old post, go through that piece fist. Observe it, understand what makes it tick, and see how you can improve it.

Dedicate A Few Days A Month To Refreshing Old Content

Refreshing old content should become a part of your routine. You should hire a freelance to fluff up old material or block out some of your time for it. Whether you hire this task out or do it yourself, come up with a few different activities that need to be done when a piece of content is refreshed. Those activities might be things like:

  • Editing the content for spelling/grammar.

  • Creating or adding new sharable images if the post doesn’t have good ones.

  • Checking for broken links.

  • Adding more interlinks throughout the content.

  • Creating a click to tweet or two throughout the post.

  • Fleshing out any parts of the content that seems sparse.

Give yourself a time limit for each piece or give yourself a content limit. Dedicate an hour to every content refresh or promise to refresh ten pieces each month. Make sure the goal is reasonable.

Create New Content For Your Older Pieces

On top of merely fleshing out old content, you may want to create new content altogether for your older pieces. You can do things like:

  • Adding new tips and sections to the articles.

  • Creating an infographic around the article.

  • Recording a quick podcast or video for the content.

  • Producing a lead magnet or content upgrade based on the content.

Overall, you want to take your piece to the next level. What can you add to this piece that will help you serve your audience better? What would make this free piece of content even more helpful?

Promote Old Content

Now, let’s chat about one of the most important steps that many entrepreneurs and businesses miss, content promotion. Creating a strategy for promoting old content is essential to making sure that you don’t send your posts to the content graveyard too soon. Your clients and customers won’t know about that excellent resource if you don’t tell them about it. Make it a habit of linking back to old stuff as well as new content.

Share Newly Refreshed Content With Your Email List

Did you add a ton of helpful advice or a new video to an old post? Now is the perfect time to share that piece with your audience. Share that with your audience via email and let them know how you updated it.

If you have a welcome email sequence, be sure to throw in a few older resources into that sequence too. Create a day in your email sequence related to sharing some of your favorite/most viewed blog posts.

Use Social Media To Bring New Life To Old Content

Social media is one of your best tools for promoting old content. If you use a tool like MeetEdgar or SmarterQueue, you can easily reach into your archive and post old content consistently. If using a paid tool doesn’t make your heart sing, that’s acceptable. Even if you schedule content by hand, using your content database will help you schedule older material often.

Create Short Links For Old Content So You Can Easily Mention It On Podcasts Or Video Interviews

Do members of your team go on many podcasts or do various video interviews? If so, create short links based on your website that they can easily refer to in an interview if they are asked a question that relates to a post you’ve written. This may seem difficult to do, but if you know you are being interviewed about Instagram marketing, write down all the short links and information you have on posts about Instagram marketing. Often when you are doing interviews, you may have a bit of knowledge about the questions beforehand, this gives you plenty of time to look at your archive for applicable content to share beforehand.

On the flip side, if you have a podcast or video series, write down these short links so that you can easily reference them as you record audio and video for your audience.

Guest Post On Industry Blogs And Link Back To Old Content

Backlinks are amazing for SEO, and they can also send tons of traffic back to old content you’ve already written. If your team likes to guest post or do sponsored posts often, make sure you are taking full advantage of any backlinking opportunities you might have. Many sites will have a limit on backlinks, and you don’t want to seem like you are guest posting just for backlinks. You should get as many backlinks as the sites you post on will allow. Don’t leave prime linking opportunities on the table.

Link To Relevant Articles In Forums And Groups Where Your Ideal Clients Hang Out

Last, but not least, if your team participates actively in forums and groups, don’t be afraid to link to any relevant resources you might have. Forums like Reddit and Quora as well as Facebook groups can be a great source of traffic for your blog. No, you won’t get avalanches of traffic participating in reciprocation threads. Instead, you want to focus on being helpful, answering questions from people in your niche, and adding a link or two when relevant to the user’s issues.

Conclusion

No one wants to see content they’ve spent hours on dying too soon in the content graveyard. It can feel like you are always on the wheel of content creation with few results, but it doesn’t have to be this way. With some discipline and thought to your content marketing strategy, you can stretch your content and make it work for you longer.

How To Make Extra Time For Content Creation Without Extending Your Work Week

Creating consistent content for your brand is a fantastic goal to strive toward, but it can be challenging to execute. Today, we are going to chat about some ways to make extra time for content creation without extending your work week. You can fit in content creation time, and I am going to show you how!

How To Make Extra Time For Content Creation Without Extending Your Work Week | Regular content creation isn’t easy, but it can be done. Check out the content creation tips that will help you make extra time for content creation without extending your work week! #ContentCreation #ContentTips #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

Get Serious About What Is Possible

Let's get real for a second. We all have unrealistic expectations for what is possible in our day-to-day life. We'll start the day with a laundry list of ideas, but at the end of the day, we still have a ton of things to check off our to-do list. After our defeat, things have to be moved over, pushed back, and sometimes thrown away entirely. That's no way to live!

You’ve got to adjust your expectations. As much as I would love to say that I can do everything, I can’t. I have to know what’s possible at the end of the day. Are you expecting too much of yourself? Probably so! Adjust your thinking and get serious about what you can do in a day.

  • Do you have that much alone time to focus on writing that blog post today?

  • How long does it take you to brainstorm ideas?

  • Is that something you need to do today, or can it wait?

The act of finishing a to-do list you set for yourself is freeing. Don’t set yourself up for failure!

Find Your Productivity Trifecta

We all have something that makes us our most productive selves. Once you find what makes you most productive, you can do that thing consistently, so you get work done. Don't avoid the things that make you most productive. If you are avoiding those things, you have to come to terms with the fact that you don't honestly want to be as productive as you can be.

My productivity trifecta is a mixture of having a plan, utilizing the Pomodoro technique, and listening to music on a site called Brian.FM. When I do all of those things at once, I am an unstoppable force of productivity.

Create an environment that helps you perform at your best. What enables you to tune out the world so you can focus on what matters most?

Adjust Your Schedule

Working from home has its advantages for me. I am the controller of my schedule. I can create blocks of time, sit down, and accomplish as much as I would like. Most people working in a traditional 9-5 don't have that luxury, unfortunately.

Take a good look at your schedule. Are there ways for you to adjust it in any way? Do you need five meetings with your team each week? Can you cut that down or convince your boss to cut it down? What are your time sucks every week?

Sit down each day for a week straight and plot out your day. At the end of the week, determine things you can rotate, change, or get rid of altogether. Here are some more things to consider:

  • Can you move all your meetings to one day or a few days a week?

  • Are there ways for you to cut down on any task switching that you do throughout the day?

  • When you do sit down to write content, are you as focused as you could be? If not, are you writing at the right time of day?

Stop Trying To Find Big, Beautiful Chunks Of Time

I love time blocking, but sometimes, it’s just not possible. As much as big, beautiful chunks of time seem in theory, they are not always possible in practice. You’ve got to work with what you have. Do it when you can, don’t try to find those big chunks of time to devote to this.

Find all the shortcuts to content creation that you can:

When you stop searching for big chunks of time, you can focus on using the time that you have. We only have so many hours in a day. We don't have time to wait to search for the perfect moment.

Don’t Be Afraid To Hire Things Out

You can’t do it all on your own. Whether you are at a small startup or a multi-million dollar company, you’re going to need some help eventually. I know that hiring a freelancer or a team of people can be scary, but you’ll thank yourself when you have more time to focus on other aspects of running your business.

Don’t know where to start? Here are a few resources from my blog.

Conclusion

Making time for content creation doesn't have to be scary. It's simple to make time for content creation when you take the time to understand what makes you productive, get serious about what's possible, and stop waiting for the perfect moment. Stop reading this article right now and focus on your content creation plan for the week. This is the perfect time to start!

How do you make time for content creation during the week?

5 Quick Hacks To Boost Your Blog Engagement

No one wants to produce content that makes you feel like you are talking to yourself. The purpose of creating blog content is to draw your ideal audience to your website and get them to connect with you. Many people struggle with getting engagement on their site, but it's all in how you approach it. Today, we going to break down a few quick hacks that will help you boost your blog engagement.

5 Quick Hacks To Boost Your Blog Engagement5 Quick Hacks To Boost Your Blog Engagement | Do you want to boost engagement on your blog? Read this post for five things you can do right now to boost the engagement you see on every post. #BusinessBlog #BloggingAdvice #BlogAdvice

Figure Out What Kind Of Engagement You Want To See From Your Blog

First things first, we need to figure out what kind of engagement makes the most sense for your brand. Engagement takes shape in a variety of ways. You may get so caught up in generating comments, that you forget that you'd rather strive for social shares or email list signups. So, sit down right now and ask yourself what kind of engagement would make sense for your brand. It won't always be the most obvious kinds of engagement, and that's okay!

Each post you produce can and should have a different kind of engagement that you want. Start answering the question of what engagement you'd like before you hit schedule or publish on each blog post. Do you have the proper steps in place to get those engagements?

1. Cut Down On How Much Is Happening On Your Blog

Have you ever gone to a blog that was doing a lot? You know, the blogs with a million pop-ups, slides you have to click through, or every picture known to man on one page? Those blogs don't get engagement. Instead, they get a frustrated audience who wants to click off. Those slideshow blogs may get page views, but they don't get real engagement. Those popups probably annoy your audience. I could go on and on debunking those annoying pages and why they don't get true engagement.

You may have seen a popup on Amanda Cross Co. for my email list. I am very particular about the type of popups I allow. I have one popup that leads you to my mailing list, and it’s an exit intent popup. That means the popup only shows up when people who view my page show signs of leaving.

If you want to use slideshows, popups, or any pictures to illustrate your points, be careful. People want their information, and they don't want to jump through hoops to get it. If you are trying to build an audience who is excited about what you post, keep it simple.

2. Install A Share Bar To Convince People To Share Your Content

Most websites don't make it easy to share your content. You can have all the Pinterest ready pictures, optimized social cards, et cetera. It doesn't matter if your audience doesn't know how to share your content. I like having a share bar on my website that gets people to share my content.

I use a service called AddThis to create my share bar. It's completely free and easy to set up. You can customize it to match the colors of your website so that it blends into your site. Look at an example of this in the picture below or look at the side of my site for an example of how it works. Once your audience is ready to share, it's as simple as clicking one of the buttons.

3. Create A Lead Magnet So People Can Opt-In

If you'd like to see more email signups, you need a fantastic lead magnet that will get people excited to sign up for your email list. For a lead magnet on Amanda Cross Co., I made an eBook called "The Seven Pillars To Content Marketing Success As An HR Technology Company." This eBook is a perfect lead magnet due to my niche.

You need to create a lead magnet that attracts your ideal audience. If you could tempt anyone to your email list, who would it be? Who are your ideal customers?

When creating a lead magnet, you want to do something simple. Don’t pick something that will take your weeks to complete. Your lead magnet should be complete within a week.

You could do something like a(n):

  • Checklist

  • eBook

  • Email Course

  • Cheat Sheet

  • Audio Podcast

  • Video/Masterclass

  • Webinar Replay

  • Demo Of Your Product

  • Template

  • Planner/Calendar

Whatever you offer as a lead magnet, you want to make sure that it's useful for your readers. There is no reason to subscribe to your list and download your content if it doesn't help your audience.

Related Reading: 69 Highly Effective Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Email List (Updated) by Optin Monster

4. End All Your Content With A Call To Action

When you end every article, you should end it with a single call-to-action. What is the next step for readers who finish your content? Do you want them to comment on your blog, check out your product, subscribe to your email list, et cetera? End your content with one main takeaway. You don’t want your audience to be confused about their next step.

When your audience is confused about the next step, they will often take a different direction that you would hope. Instead of subscribing to your email list, they may visit Pinterest or go to lunch with a colleague.

Your call-to-action gives your audience the opportunity to get the next step from you. What do you want them to do? It only takes a few minutes to wrap up your content with a call-to-action so take steps to do it.

5. Commenting On Your Blog Shouldn’t Be An Olympic Sport

Have you ever been excited to comment on someone's blog, only to be hit with a Captcha that you can't quite figure out? Are these letters even a human language? What am I supposed to type here? I can't tell if this tile counts as having a vehicle because only half a car is in this tile! Captchas can be nauseating and unhelpful for the true, human commenters on your blog.

In my opinion, you should use behind the scenes methods to cut down on spam instead of making your audience do it. So, here's what I do: let everyone comment whatever they want, and I make blog comments moderated, meaning I have to approve them before they get posted to my website. This puts the onus on me to weed out spam comments. I like this method a lot more because it stops true commenters from having to jump through a million hoops to comment.

The truth is, I don't want to stop genuine comments from being on my site. I also don't want to give spammers a chance to comment on my blog to talk about who knows what. So, I make sure that I moderate my comments myself. I post the good comments that aren't spam and add to the conversation. I trash the bad comments that are spammy or weird. This takes work on my end to moderate my comments, but I'd rather do the work than make my audience do it.

Conclusion

Blog engagement is not a one size fits all type of thing. What you consider engaged, a business in the same industry may not. You have to work with your team to realize what engagement means to you. Once you understand what engagement looks like, give that information to your content team whether you have an in-house team or you hire a freelancer like me.

Comment Below: What’s your best tip for increasing blog engagement?