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?

3 Tips to Help You Write Content Quickly

Creating content isn't for the weak. It's so easy to get caught up when producing content for your brand. You may find yourself lingering on a sentence because you want it to sound perfect. Alternatively, you may be stuck on what to write to begin with. Today, we are going to cover three things you can do to write content quickly so that you can get to the best part of owning a business, connecting with amazing customers!

3 Tips to Help You Write Content Quickly | Do you have the content creation bug, but it takes you forever to get one post done? Check out this article for three tips that will help you produce content quickly so you can get back to serving your customers. #ContentCreation #ContentWriting #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

3 Tips to Help You Write Content Quickly | Do you have the content creation bug, but it takes you forever to get one post done? Check out this article for three tips that will help you produce content quickly so you can get back to serving your customers. #ContentCreation #ContentWriting #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

Brainstorm Often So You Always Have Something To Write About

It's so easy to be stuck on what to write. You may feel like there will never be another topic to talk about or you may feel like there is so much to talk about that you don't know where to start. Either of these issues can be daunting for someone trying to get a blog post finished.

I am not too fond of the idea of starting fresh every time you write. Instead, I am a big believer in brainstorming often. Stop spending valuable time looking at a blank screen for hours. Instead, brainstorm when you feel inspired or excited and keep that content for a rainy day.

It's easy to brainstorm content and then rush to produce it and get tapped out again. When I was in college it used to be hard for me to keep up during the semester, classes would get busy, and I would always falter on my blogging schedule. When classes let out, I was a blogging machine. In hindsight, I know that I should have done that differently. If I had worked when I was inspired and then scheduled out content appropriately, my audience would have been much better served.

On the flip side, don’t think you should only work when you are inspired. This kind of thinking is dangerous because we are often not inspired. Most of the time, we aren’t feeling it at all. Action brings feelings of inspiration if you are doing it right. Have you ever noticed how once you get into the flow of working, time passes by quickly, and it’s hard to put your pen down? Don’t think that you need inspiration to work. Instead, work to get inspiration.

Related Reading: Never Run Out Of Blog Topics Again: 11 Ways To Brainstorm Blog Post Ideas

Always Start With An Outline

I cannot work without an outline. I am a somewhat disjointed writer. Sometimes I write pieces from start to finish, but most of the time I jump around to the part of writing that excites me the most. It's impossible to jump around if you don't know where you are going.

So, I start all of my writing sessions by creating a simple to follow outline. I don't get too specific. I list my main points. If I can think of any significant subpoints, I'll list those out too. If a sentence strikes while I am writing my outline down, I will also fill that in under the appropriate point.

Creating an outline of my work helps me understand where I am going. Instead of rambling about who knows what, I always know exactly where I am and where I need to go.

An outline also helps me understand if a topic is feasible or not. Sometimes I will get an idea in my head that I want to write, but once I start outlining it, I may see that it's not that easy. I may need to make the topic more specific or broad. Sometimes I need to scrap a topic altogether. It's all apart of the writing process.

Before you put pen to paper officially, I encourage you to test the topic with an outline. It will save you so much time and energy through prequalifying your subject and keeping you on task while writing.

3 Tips to Help You Write Content Quickly | Do you have the content creation bug, but it takes you forever to get one post done? Check out this article for three tips that will help you produce content quickly so you can get back to serving your customers. #ContentCreation #ContentWriting #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

Stop Trying To Perfect Content

Last, but not least, stop trying to produce perfect content. One of my internet friends, who talks about video confidence on her site Hazel Haven, always says "done is better than perfect." I wholeheartedly agree with this statement.

We get so caught up in the nitty gritty of our content when most readers don't analyze our content like that. Unless you are writing content for editors, most people won't notice tiny mistakes in your content. You should not lie about facts and figures, but stop being so nitpicky when it comes to content creation.

When I produce content, I don’t overanalyze it. I write my content, read it a couple of times when I am working (which I am trying to get away from), and then I edit it more thoroughly with Grammarly. I am not one of those people who looks over every word with care. As long as my message is clear, I am clear.

You’ve got to learn to let it go at some point. It may be time to hire a freelancer if you can't imagine being able to write content without being a perfectionist. In the content marketing game, we aren't trying to be perfect. We are trying to relate to our audience.

Think about who you are trying to attract with your content: are they more concerned with the lessons they learn from your content or the spelling errors you might have? Chances are, they are there to learn, not nitpick. We are often our own worst critics so don’t fret if you have a few mistakes.

Conclusion

Creating content doesn't have to be a lengthy endeavor. You can create content quickly and easily, but it takes time and practice to get content creation down to a science. I hope that today's blog post helped you rethink what content creation means to you and your brand.

What are your best tips for creating content quicker?