When Google changed their algorithm to put more value on content and less emphasis on links, they turned the industry on its ear. Suddenly the flood gates opened and everyone rushed to generate content. The changes brought both bad and good news.
The Bad News
Creating content takes more time then simply creating a list of links. As a result, there has been an explosion of mediocre content–blog posts and images that are here today and forgotten tomorrow. When you think about the cost of creating and managing all this content, it’s an incredible waste of resources to create something for only one use.
The Good News
If you spend the time to create high-quality content with a plan for the future, you will have something that will live on beyond the day it is first published. In the long run, focusing on the afterlife of your content will save you time.
How do you prolong the life of your content?
- Start with an original blog post. Don’t just re-purpose something you find elsewhere, produce something only you can write. 400 – 600 words on a topic is enough to give you something to work with down the line.
- Write an interesting excerpt. Don’t just rely on the first sentence to do the work for you. This short teaser should be about 120 characters. It’s what will appear when you share the link on Facebook and LinkedIn. It will also serve as the simple meta description which will help Google index the content appropriately.
- Build a series. If a post is successful, it will continue to attract traffic after the original posting date. When you notice this is occurring, consider developing a series building on the first post. Remember to cross link between related posts. This will guide interested readers to more content they find valuable.
- Include it in a newsletter. Whether you do a roundup of your most popular posts or a collection on the same theme, use your newsletter to introduce a wider audience to the content.
- Publish an ebook. Finally, if you find yourself returning to a topic again and again, bundle the posts into an ebook. With short introductions to link the content, it becomes a great standalone piece. You can use it as an offer to encourage people to subscribe to your mailing list or as a part of your proposal package to demonstrate your expertise in a particular subject.
This is just a short list of things you can do to extend the life of your content. What would you add to the list?