Content creation: building posts off of previous posts
Often, the hardest part about blogging is coming up with good, original content. Here’s one idea that I’ve seen on plenty of sites and use myself: build new posts off of previous posts.
How is that original?
- You make sure you’re building on the previous content, not simply reposting.
- Remember that many visitors are first-timers so it’s new to them.
Pick and choose your favorite from this list of ten ways to do this:
- Check your site stats and make a list of your top three posts. Pick one and go. Or pick all three and find a unique way to tie them all together.
- Think about past posts and write down the ones that you had the most fun writing. Expand on those.
- Do you have a post that was barely brushing the surface of your topic? Grab that and get in deep with the details. (This is something I should really work on doing myself as I’m often a minimalist writer.)
- Take a stroll down memory lane, sharing a list of past posts and telling thoughts on what made them useful as well as why they’re still relevant.
- Share a past post that highlights one of your personal successes. Avoid bragging, but use it as a post where you can explain the steps you took to achieve what you did.
- Share a past post that highlights one of your failures. Writing about difficult challenges can be incredibly related posts because we’ve all dealt with struggles. Plus, it’s empowering to review experiences where you learned resiliency.
- Mash together two supposedly unrelated topics. Similar to #1, this one would be to choose two past posts that are on opposite topics and finding ways to relate them. For example: if you had a great how-to post, could you combine it with an entertainment post and come up with clever ways in which the latest Transformers movie taught you about organizing laundry? (Ha!)
- Have you read a recent book that reminded you of a past post? Review the book and link back to that post.
- Check what’s hot right now on Google Trends and find past posts that could relate.
- What’s the big box office hit out right now? Give yourself a date night and go see the movie, then grab part of the storyline and tie it into a previous post.
If you need something to do to procrastinate writing your next post (something I am excellent at), come like my Facebook page where I share some of the internets’ best gifs and short videos; they’re good for a laugh, or have an actual tie-in to writing.
These are some of my favorite posts I’ve read this week about what it takes to create great content.
The Nine Ingredients That Make Great Content. This comes from Kissmetrics Blog, which is a good resource in its entirety as well. What I like about this posts isn’t the nine tips (although they’re important and legit), but the examples they include at the end. For me, reading through a posts of how-to tips is nice but I learn way more when I consistently read good content. Go check out the examples and spend time reading through those sites as well.
7 Steps to Writing Your Best Blog Post Every Time. I like the last step here the most, where she mentions this tool, called Hemingway, which is like a digital English teacher. In fact, it reminds me of my high school English teacher whose favorite thing to do was to circle all of the adverbs. Hemingway will highlight the number of adverbs you’ve employed. Excessive use means you’re tending more towards telling your audience things rather than showing them your subject.
25 Content Marketing Tips Every Marketer Needs To Know. This Forbes article has an extensive list that includes a couple of gems, in my opinion: “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing”; “Repurpose old content in a new way to bring something fresh to users who may not have seen it”; and “keep track of the most popular topics and content types that are bringing in or driving traffic to your site.”