Darren’s post 101 Ways to Run Out of Things to Blog About got me thinking about the dangers (or not) of running out of things to blog about.
‘I spent days putting together this great list. I wanted it to be big as a way of bringing new readers in and to show how much I comprehended of the topic…’
‘the results were amazing. I got on the front page of Digg and high on Reddit and Delicious…’
‘I had close to 30,000 visitors in 48 hours!.’
‘the next day I sat down to write my next post and realised that every topic I thought of to write about was covered in my mega list…’
Sure we’ve all been there. I mean, how many times have we blogged about content on Performancing? How can I possibly write another post about that!?
I think regurgitating content — with a new spin and/or flavor — is a good thing, for several reasons.
- New readers haven’t necessarily read your old stuff. If you’ve been blogging for 2 years, probably half or more of your readers have only been reading for one year or less. Why not introduce them to some of your older posts? (Or put a new spin on the old post, and introduce them to the concepts therein…)
- It can be helpful to old readers and the blogger alike to take a stroll down memory lane. Football usually comes down to the basics (block and tackle; don’t turn the ball over). So does pretty much any subject. Investing: Buy low, sell high. Amazing how often people forget that one.
- Revisit and expand: Did you REALLY cover everything you know in your 101 list? I bet you didn’t. Each of the 101 points had a sentence or two explanation. I’ll bet my [valuable appendage here] that you could write an ENTIRE POST on each point. Five posts a week, that’s 20 weeks worth of content you can write!
Bottom line, I knew I wouldn’t like that post when there was a complaint about getting 30k visitors (and probably a ton of secondary links) from a good ol’ link bait. Repeat after me: link bait, then regurgitate!! (That has to be the most disgusting slogan ever!)
That’s a really nice tight structure used. I wish I had more control over my blog after reading that!
The good old ‘related articles’ box is still the easiest way to go.
Recently I stumbled upon some nice articles about ‘take care of your footer property’ and added a mini-navigation to my footer which contains one column for home, archive, section, categories and one column for the five most recent articles. This way the most valuable readers which make it to the bottom of a page get some nice inspiration 🙂
The full article structure is now:
Build up a topic pyramid: with interconnecting links. Layers of partially overlapping content coupled with deep-linking builds up your SERPs profile, and makes it easier for your readers to be exposed to older nuggets of content.
I think I’ll do a revisit on some of my posts, see what could be doing with an updating. I didn’t even consider this, but then there’s plenty of stuff I haven’t yet covered with my 101 list.
expanding from Allen’s view, I would say that adding value to the new post will help you to expose the old one.
Now the question is, since I have already wrote a post about the same topic, how could I add value to the new one?
There are various lateral thinking tools available (Edward De Bono who coined this term and wrote a book about it – good read), and the one that I could suggest is to try the idea behind http://www.oneword.com.
This is a simple website which shows you a random word and will ask you to write about it in 1 minute.
Use the same idea for your post.
I know that this is not 100% organic, but gives you a jumpstart to let your creative juices flowing.
Even better, note down the brainstormed words in your scratch book and take a break. Do something different. And when you come back to write about the new post, your mind is fresh and gives you better associations.
Any other creative ideas?
Make sure to start a new post when you do this – don’t update the old post except to add a link to the new post!