Dynamic content—typically referred to as “blogging”—is essential to any productive content marketing strategy. Unfortunately, blogs quickly become dated and less authoritative to your readers the older they get.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with completely new topics, it is possible to revisit blogs you’ve already published. Some content stays relevant over time regardless of the day it was published.
Stay away from republishing the exact same blog or just changing the date to yesterday. No matter how timeless your old blog post looks, those tricks can result in confusing your readers or a duplicate content penalty from Google. Instead, reuse the same information from your old blog post in a new way. You can even rejuvenate tired out subjects by:
- Finding a new medium (infographic, video, etc.)
- Illustrating your point with a new story
Working Backwards: Revenge of the Paperback
When the internet was acknowledged by all as a useful entity, the inevitable discussion of “Is this the end of books?!” began. Those pessimists who believed books had become obsolete were only partially correct. Yes, the last few years have shown that Amazon and other online shops have made major bookstores go out of business. However, books as a medium remain relevant.
By “medium” I mean “materials or methods used by an artist.” The storytelling artist has many mediums at their disposal in this day and age and very few of them are useless in the way people believed books would be. This phenomenon exists because each medium forces the artist to adapt in a unique and engaging way.
So why are the most modern creators of our time falling back on paper publication? Because books have potential that YouTube can’t provide.
Cutting Edge Artists Go Old-School
YouTubers who rely on sound effects, facial expressions, and intonation have to approach their subjects differently when relying on the written word. They had to use different kinds of stories to engage a different audience (the kind willing to pay $15+ for a book) about the same subject they discussed on their blog. So while books may seem passé in some circles, they continue on because they provide a unique way of explaining their subject matter expertise.
While you may not have the time or resources to publish and market your own paperback, it’s important to never disregard mediums at your disposal when you want to recycle old, useful content.
Finding the Best Way to Show, Tell, & Surprise Your Audience
It’s good to know what your best at, but it pays to get out of your comfort zone when recycling old content. I guarantee that many of the YouTubers with a book contract in the mix had some adapting to do.
Playing to each medium’s strength individually ensures that your content doesn’t feel stale or repetitive. Some of the most common online mediums for content include:
- White Papers
Remember: while there are plenty of options at your disposal, not all mediums are for all subjects. One of the YouTube sensations-turned-authors is Hannah Hart, whose channel “MyHarto” features a cooking show, Q&A advice sessions, travel videos, and a smorgasbord of other subjects. However, her book My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut only adapts her cooking show. This focus on cooking disregards her other passions because they don’t translate as well to the medium of books.
Choose a medium that rejuvenates your subject, not one that feels forced. Does your old blog have lots of powerful supportive statistics? Then you should consider an infographic over a white paper. Could your old blog benefit from a demonstration or experiment? Do a video!
Different Stories Resonate with Different People
Is taking a step out of your comfort zone too intimidating? Luckily, you can recycle old content without steering your ship towards a completely new medium. Sometimes, all it takes is using a new story to illustrate the same point.
Grace Helbig summed up this concept during the live YouTube launch of her book Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-Up. She explains that self-help books like hers “regurgitate the same information in different ways. I felt the only way people would take me seriously about the advice I do sincerely think is helpful is telling my story about how I’ve come to this conclusion.”
This technique is a not a scam to sell more books. Rather, telling different stories works because they will resonate with some people and fall flat with others. Even Abraham Lincoln understood this, as he frequently gave anecdotes or told jokes to better explain his beliefs (If you don’t believe me, check out Abe Lincoln Laughing: Humorous Anecdotes from Original Sources by and About Abraham Lincoln. That was the last book recommendation, I swear). People are more likely to remember lessons they learn from stories as opposed to straight-up facts.
From a brand perspective, the better the connection, the better the customer. So don’t be afraid to share a relevant story that will help them understand an old piece of content.