It’s Sunday night. We’re almost ready for bed, but first we have to cart the garbage cans to the end of the driveway along with that little red box. Well, mine is red. I don’t know what color yours is, but if you live in the suburban United States, you probably have one.
If it’s like mine, it’s full of empty water bottles, soda bottles, pizza boxes, and other recyclable packaging. And if you’re like me, you’re probably the first generation of your family to put forth a serious effort to to slow the bloat of your local landfill.
It feels good, though, right? You get a some satisfaction out of knowing that someone somewhere will get more use out of those bottles and cans and all that paper.
Now, because I’m a digital marker (albeit one with a conscience) and not an environmentalist, let’s consider your website. (Did you like that? You see what I did there? Slick, huh?)
Think about all those articles that you created and published once upon a time. Wouldn’t it be great to get some more mileage out of those babies? Well you can, and I’ll show you how. Here are some Secrets for Recycling Website Content.
The first thing I recommend when recycling website content is to categorize it. You may have already done this if you placed your posts in categories when you wrote them. If you haven’t, it’s a great place to start.
Placing your posts in categories will help you see how they might fit together in a compilation like a report or an ebook. Reports and ebooks work well as Easy Intro Offers for a sales funnel, Free rewards for joining your mailing list, or material for an Auto Responder Series.
If you’ve already categorized your content, start pulling up your posts by searching your blog by category. This will show you how much material you have in a given category. Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll know whether you need to combine small related categories into larger ones.
It could also be that you have an abundance of material in one category that needs to be divided into smaller ones. In either case, you won’t know without organizing first.
OK, so Editorize is just a word I made up. You might as well get used to it, because I do that a lot in this post. Let’s you and me just start using it all the time and see if we can fool the world into buying it.
Anyway, what I mean by editorize is to read over your posts and make any necessary changes. Is the information up to date or have things changed since you published it last? Have you learned or experienced more since the post was published, and now have more to say? As you read it, do you see an opportunity to separate it into a series of posts?
Something else to consider when you are editorizing is social media. Could you break those Top Ten Articles into a series of tweets, Facebook posts, or turn them into YouTube videos? What about those Skill Critique Articles? Could you screencast any of them into videos or podcasts? Would the images you used, share well in Pinterest, or Instagram?
Editorizing your content causes you to look at it from a different perspective. It’s like shopping at Ikea where everything is modular. It’s all about repurposing all that hard work to give you more traffic, more subscribers and ultimately more sales.
Once you have finished editorizing your existing content, it’s time to schedulize it. This is where a utility like Hoot Suite comes in handy. I love this little helper, because I can use it to schedulize all my posts across multiple social media sites. It handles Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn, and Foursquare in one place. There’s also an app for iOS, so you can use it on the go.
If you don’t use a schedulizer like Hoot Suite, you’ll probably want to make a spread sheet or create a special calendar so that you can see all of your social media activity in one place. This will help you discover even more possibilities for recycling your epic stuff.
Central schedulizing allows you the opportunity to coordinate your posts across social media sites. This way you can run a series of Facebook posts while running a series of Twitter tweets about the same thing. Then you can use both profiles to drive traffic to your YouTube video on the same subject.
Another suggestion is to alternate the posting of your recycled material so that the same things aren’t showing up on all your social media at the same time. You can run one series of posts on Facebook while running another series of tweets on Twitter and promote a video on YouTube about something totally different at the same time. Then just rotate the content cycling it through each of your profiles.
20 Useful Things You Can Make Out of Old Blog Posts
1) Facebook Posts
2) Twitter Tweets
3) Google + Posts
4) LinkedIn Postts
5) YouTube Videos
8) Online Courses
9) Guides (The Beginners Guide, The Advanced Guide, The complete Guide)
10) Web 2.0 Posts (Squidoo, eHow, Tumblr, Wikipedia)
11) Pinterest Posts
12) Instagram Posts
13) Flickr Albums
14) Articles for Curation Sites (Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious)
15) Screencast Videos
17) Auto-Responder Email Series
18) Case Studies
20) Best Of series for when you’re on Vacation
I could go on, but we’ll save that for when we recycle this one. The point is that there are countless ways that you can get extra use out of work you’ve already done. This is key, since content creation is the most challenging aspect of managing your website.
Another cool thing will begin to happen over time. You’ll start to see the recycling possibilities when you write new content. You’ll get an idea and then immediately think of a dozen ways to recycle it. That’s when content creation becomes fun.
Now, I need to say something before we wrap up. You’ll notice I didn’t mention ways to recycle curated content. That’s because you can’t – not without looking really lazy.
Any of you who have read very many of my articles know that I’m not a fan of curating, and if you want to know why, read 10 Reasons Why You Should Create (Not Curate) Your Website Content. In addition to all of the reasons I’ve mentioned in past articles, I’m down on curating, because you don’t get the incredible benefit of recycling it.
So there you go. Hopefully I’ve given you some ideas that you didn’t have before and helped you begin to see the power of recycling your website content. Together we can save the content landfills of the internet from unnecessary bloat. We can also save some serious time and money.
How do you recycle your website content? Has recycling website content saved you time or money? Share a comment and let’s talk about it.