Does Your Blog Content Wither and Die? Revive It!

Recycle ContentIf you’re one of the many smart bloggers who also build their email lists and deliver a blog newsletter, I bet you put a lot of effort into creating high-quality content.

Often, that valuable content is timeless, but only appears on the most-viewed part of your blog – the homepage – for a short time. Other posts push it off into your homepage and into oblivion.

This is frustrating – after all, other subscribers could benefit from this content, right? Even if they sign up days, weeks, months or years after you first published it?

Fortunately, with a simple email marketing tactic, you can resurrect your content from the depths of your blog and keep it in front of your ever-growing, ever-changing audience.

Turn Your Blog’s Best Content Into an Automated Email Newsletter

There’s no reason to put all that hard work into creating great content, then get just one round of clicks, comments and other actions from it. Why be satisfied with that?

Much of your blog’s content isn’t only relevant at one particular time. And to borrow from an old NBC slogan, if subscribers haven’t seen an old post, it’s new to them.

Get that old content out to them and make it fresh again!

Create an Autoresponder Campaign For Your Blog in 3 Easy Steps

1. Identify Your Best Content

Go through your old blog posts and figure out which ones are the truly high-quality ones that all subscribers need to see, even if they’re years old.

2. Turn Each Post or Group of Posts Into an Email

There are a handful of ways to go about this:

3. Add Your Emails To Your Follow Up Series

Once you have your emails together, create them as follow up messages.

As you create each one, think about how much time you want to pass between those messages and schedule accordingly.

Remember, new subscribers will also be getting your new posts (right?), so spacing the emails too close together could be overkill, especially if a subscriber gets your new posts and your old posts on the same day.

As you create more quality posts, you can either continue adding emails to your follow up series or edit your existing ones to work those posts into the emails you’ve already created.

Examples of Email Campaigns That Do This

  1. Darren Rowse shares how he did this for his site digital-photography-school.com.
  2. In our recent video interview with Ramit Sethi, he talks about doing this for his site iwillteachyoutoberich.com

  3. At AWeber, we do this in some of our own email campaigns.

    For example, if you join AWeber and subscribe to our customer training series/newsletter, you’ll see some emails that take posts from this blog and rework them into email messages designed to expose you to educational content that you might not have ever seen otherwise.

Do You Revive Your Blog’s “Oldies But Goodies?”

What results have you seen from doing this? Any tips on this for the rest of your fellow readers?

Share your thoughts below!

Update: I happened across a recent post from AWeber customer Lynn Terry with some good thoughts on this topic.

By:
Justin Premick is the former Director of Educational Products at AWeber.

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25 Comments

  1. I never thought about using blog post as email messages. I usually just direct them to the blog post in one of my messages.

    I do like the idea of just taking excerpt from the article and adding a link to my email so they are directed to the full post. I am also going to try and send emails on certain days. Sounds like it makes things easier and subscribers will always know which days they’ll be getting mail

    8/27/2009 10:54 am
  2. That’s a great idea about using the old blog posts. I have in fact by chance just done that in my newsletter because it happened to be relevant to what I was writing about in my weekly newsletter.

    I directed my subscribers to a new blog post on one of my blogs and also to another old blog post on a second blog.

    I will see if I can’t do that more often.

    8/27/2009 2:49 pm
  3. Hi Justin

    I know the perfect software program you can use to do both things (almost) automated! Nowadays I write my blog posts in ScreenSteps Desktop (http://www.bluemangolearning.com/screensteps/) and export it to one of my blogs. I can also turn the content into a stand alone PDF or combine it with other content already written in ScreenSteps and turn it into a ‘manual’ or training guide.

    I’ve also designed a custom template (using one of AWeber’s templates) and can export the exact same content of my individual blog posts as html file (all I need to do then is copy the page source and past it into the html box of my next follow up message.

    That’s what I call the ultimate in "creating content once, publishing it again and again and again" ;-)

    8/28/2009 5:02 am
  4. Jim

    When I use this strategy I only put an enticing excerpt in the email and point to the full article with a link. This way I can encourage more comments on my blog.

    More comments = more content = more search engine love.

    8/28/2009 9:45 am
  5. J

    Yes, if you have a targetted blog on a specific niche, this is a great way to communicate with your readers and users.

    Some content is going to be ‘evergreen,’ useful for a long time, but even if you are posting on topical items in the news, you can still have them revolve around a basic idea or principle that is essential to the niche, and re-purpose it.

    Successful email marketing is all about REGULAR contact with your users, with great content. Just because it is free does not mean it should be cheap or valueless.

    If you are particularly proud of a post, by all means bring it to the users attention through a follow up email (like how to use this site, or must read articles) or a broadcast email, ‘in case you missed this’.

    8/28/2009 2:56 pm
  6. Great tips! I’ve been doing this for a little while now but I do need to go back through my older posts and use them in my autoresponders. I also take the same blog posts and submit them to ezinearticles.com too – that way they do at least triple duty. Sometimes they can also be turned into reports, audios, maybe even a presentation to upload to slideshare.com.

    I almost never do all of that with one article but I am planning on going back through the tons of content I’ve created over the years and see what I can do to get them out to all these channels.

    I also like the idea on just using an exerpt to pull people over to your blog. :)

    8/28/2009 10:33 pm
  7. Great way to repurpose content. I use a modified Aweber template for my newsletters and I use a section in the bottom to direct readers to older blog posts that are relevant or interesting. But actually taking part of the old post and putting it into the newsletter sounds good too. I’ll have to try that.

    8/30/2009 4:57 pm
  8. This is pretty similar to a post I made a few weeks ago, about reusing blog posts for newsletters.

    I think making "theme" newsletters centered around groups of old posts is a great way to go.

    8/30/2009 8:05 pm
  9. I do that all the time! I usually link to the full post as it also trains my subscribers to click-through.

    For those who’re looking to increase your click-thru rate, now you know how it’s done!

    8/31/2009 12:21 am
  10. I like the idea of re-purposing old posts – especially information-packed ones.

    I suspect many bloggers, like me, have found they are constantly asked the same questions by new subscribers.

    That’s why I decided last October to collate 1-year’s worth of my best posts and contributions from other bloggers (you may recall you kindly gave permission for one of your posts to be included, Justin) into a published book.

    My subscribers also get the PDF version with live links to the gifts and downloads I’d included over the year and that has proved popular.

    The advantage of publishing and making a book available through (for example) Amazon is you reach people who haven’t yet found your blog website.

    9/1/2009 7:24 am
  11. I agree to send a snippet of the article with a "read more" link to take them to your site for a couple of reasons:

    1) You’re not overwhelming them with a large article that could turn them off. If they like the headline and first paragraph, they can click the link. If not, they can delete it.

    2) By sending them to your website, they’ll be able to look at the other resources you provide out of a natural sense of curiosity instead of you pushing them to. This can create stickiness if they find value in your content.

    3) Smaller emails are less offensive than large emails requiring a lot of time to read…and you accomplish staying top of mind with them, even if they don’t read the email.

    9/1/2009 9:27 am
  12. Hi,
    Great ideas. thank you. i will start this process this week.
    I can also plug in my ezine articles too.
    Its endless.
    Also appreciate the little formula
    More comments = more content = more search engine love – thank you for that little diddy

    9/1/2009 9:56 am
  13. Am?lcar

    This is a very good idea, and I intent to use it. I have a question about its implementation.

    Here is the scenario: One is sending to his readers both new posts (via blog broadcast) and follow up messages. As per your suggestion, the most popular/relevant posts could be latter added to the follow up sequence, and my doubt is at this point.

    Lets say I have 10 follow up messages written already. Some of my subscribers received them all, others didn?t. I publish a pretty good blog post and send it via blog broadcast. Now, to make sure the future subscribers read it too, I will add the content to the follow up sequence. What happens then is answered here http://www.aweber.com/faq/questions/272/What+Happens+When+I+Add+a+New+Follow+Up+Message%3F

    If I add the the new content as follow up message 2, wont this mess up with the previous subscribers? If I get this right, many folks will receive duplicated messages in this case (as per http://www.aweber.com/faq/questions/105/How+Do+I+Reorder+My+Messages%3F ), and this means that the new content must be necessarily added as the last message of the sequence.

    Am I right or am I missing something? Do you see a way to make this kind of content available earlier in the follow up sequence to the new subscribers without the problem described above?

    Thanks for your attention and keep up the good work.

    9/2/2009 9:23 am
  14. What a great idea. I spend much of my day with my blogs and this has paided off well for me, but using my autoresponder and blog content together, well, that’s brilliant.

    9/2/2009 3:17 pm
  15. @ Am?lcar
    The only way to prevent existing subscribers – who received the blog broadcast – receiving the new follow-up (containing the content of that blog broadcast really) is to manually "upgrade" the message number they are on.

    9/3/2009 2:56 am
  16. Am?lcar,

    As Karin suggested, in that scenario you’d want to edit your subscribers’ message number.

    How to do so.

    If you have a lot of subscribers (say, a couple hundred or more) to do this for, contact us – we can do it for you.

    9/3/2009 8:38 am | Follow me on Twitter
  17. I began adding a list of blog posts archived from e-newsleter to e-newsletter very soon after using Aweber. It is a little time consuming, so I leave out anything that is not content rich. However, I get the most click throughs from this list part of my e-newsletter.

    9/3/2009 3:55 pm
  18. Great article. I’m always forgetting to repurpose my content and I waste hours writing my newsletters when I’m sure my readers would love the content I’ve already written.

    I’m putting this on a big sticky to remind myself to work smarter not harder :)

    9/3/2009 9:34 pm
  19. Am?lcar

    @Karin H. and @Justin Premick

    Thanks a lot for this tip.

    I signed up to aweber a month ago, and until now I am just attending to the webinars and studying what others are doing (while I do this, feedburner email service is delivering my blog content).

    I must say your support is amazing. Everytime I had a question, it has been answered by people who really understand the inner works of the system.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work.

    P.S: I hope in the future you add support to other languages characters set. http://www.aweber.com/faq/questions/229/Is+AWeber+Available+in+Other+Languages%3F

    As you can see from this comment, my name does not show properly, and I cant use the "name" custom field in my lists because of this limitation.

    9/4/2009 9:21 am
  20. I have been reusing blog content on my newsletters for a long time and it works great. There is no reason not to reuse your content this way as long as the users find it of value.

    9/6/2009 8:25 am
  21. T

    These are great ideas about how to deal with the old posts. I’ve always been thinking about repackaging old posts into an ebook and offer it in exchange for subscribing for my feed.

    The problem with this idea is that you don’t help the click-through at your blog although it could be helpful in viral marketing. I like this idea and will use it at my blog to have targeted traffic I want.

    9/12/2009 2:07 pm
  22. E

    I have 2 sites and I’ve applied this strategy since the beginning of the blog.

    This is a strategy my coach Yaro has suggested.

    It’s a bit of work, but since I take so much time on writing the content on the site, it made sense to actually expose new readers to the content.

    10/4/2009 9:17 am
  23. Raj

    Yes, I do blog broadcast regularly and in each of the broadcast, I include links to some of the earlier well-liked posts.

    This has helped my blog’s old posts being visited more often.

    But, I am still experimenting with this as my blog is pretty new.

    1/12/2011 8:59 am