Recycling Your Blog Content

Over the years, I have written hundreds of blog posts. Some of them are no longer relevant, but, frankly, most of them are. The problem is that these inevitably scroll into my blog archives. As a result, they all but disappear.

Business Man Holding a Blue Recycling Bin - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/michellegibson, Image #14239405

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/michellegibson

If you are a blogger, you know what I am talking about. You put a lot of work into those posts, and you hate to see them go to waste. The challenge is to make it more visible and more accessible.

Recently, I started using Twitter to remind my followers about older posts they may have missed. Naturally, you can overdo this, so I am limiting myself to one “re-post” tweet per day. For example, I might tweet,

Working more than 60 hours a week? You might want to read my “How to Shave Ten Hours Off Your Work.” Re-post: http://is.gd/l2vL

Note that I try to address a felt need, offer my post as a solution, and then provide a link to the post. I also want to be clear that this is a “re-post” not a “new post.”

Today, I actually took this one step further and scheduled the tweets using TweetLater.com. Here’s how you can do the same:

  1. Create a new text file. I use TextEdit on the Mac. If you are on the PC, you can use NotePad.
  2. Immediately, save your file. I called mine, “Scheduled Tweets for My Favorite Blog Posts.txt.” I saved it in a special Twitter folder that I use for all-things-Twitter.
  3. I went through my blog and identified my 60 favorite posts. (You don’t have to do this many. You can do 10, 20, 30, whatever.) This was pretty easy because I use ecto as my blogging client. I simply scrolled through my list of posts and picked my favorites.
  4. I wrote a tweet specifically for each post. Frankly, this took me a few hours, but I think it was worth it. Here is an excerpt of the file:

    screenshot of my text file in text edit

    Notice that I shortened the file name using a URL shortener. I like is.gd because it takes up the fewest characters. (With only 140 characters, every character counts!) Another good one is tr.im.

  5. Register for TweetLater.com. If you use the free version of the service, you will have to copy and paste each tweet into the New Tweet section of the program. (If you register for the Professional version of the program, you can upload the entire text file in one-step. However, it costs $29.97 per month. You can also make each post recurring, so that it shows up once a month forever or whatever frequency you choose.)
  6. Schedule the tweets one day apart. You can also specify the time you want the tweet to be posted. You can obviously tweet more frequently than this, but I think you risk annoying your followers.

That’s all there is to it. I have been testing this informally for the past few weeks and found that it has become a major source of new traffic to my blog.

Question: How else can you recycle your blog content? What other methods are you using?
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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://www.chattykelly.blogspot.com Kelly Combs

    Thanks for the idea! I also really liked the sample book proposal I found through one of your tweets. Enjoying you on twitter. Thanks!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      You're welcome, Kelly.

  • http://michaelspence.us Michael Spence

    Thank you! I have a few that, while I wouldn't call them "greatest hits" (probably because no one knows about 'em), still have information that might benefit others. Let's see how this technique helps.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I think it's worth a try. Twitter is now driving about half my blogs traffic.

  • http://www.rachelhauck.com Rachel Hauck

    Awesome idea, Mike. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.plasticpilot.net Vincent PlasticPilot

    Good idea… My main blog is almost 2 years and 650 posts old now, and I was thinking about publishing a monthly best of… of the previous year.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      With that much content, you will have a lot to draw upon!

  • http://www.kevinalanwells.com Kevin Alan Wells

    Hopefully, the better content incorporates into books and articles along the way, too. Also possible are reincarnations as newsletter copy, and as comments on other blogs (unless you're one of 'those' people who promo like car salesmen. That reminds me of a post I wrote a few months back on my own blog…)

  • http://www.creatormagazine.com Vern Sanders

    Thanks for the info. The TweetLater tool is useful, and I'm waiting to see how it helps. By setting the reposts to a schedule it should be easy to track traffic that results.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, if you select the right URL shortner, it will also help you track clicks.

  • http://www.paulpetersonlive.com paul

    Great idea Michael! Thanks!

  • http://mikalatos.blogspot.com Matt Mikalatos

    Scheduling tweets! That's what I wanted! Thanks!

  • http://www.marlataviano.com Marla Taviano

    Brilliant.

  • http://chillingwithjeff.com Jeff Rebarcak

    I can't wait to put the kids to bed tonight so I can try this! Just kiddin…we'll have fun today but you can be sure that your info is really helpful! Thanks Michael

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JimMartin JimMartin

    Mike, this is such a great idea! I have often thought about all of the posts that I have written the last five years. This is very helpful.

  • http://truth4thejourney.blogspot.com Sonya Lee

    What a great tip! CEO, Dad, Husband, and you still have time to help 22,000+ tweeters with great advice. Inspiring.

  • http://photonaturalist.net Steve Berardi

    Great tip! One other idea that I haven't tried yet, but plan on trying soon is periodically writing a blog post that lists some of your best older articles that are still relevant, but haven't gotten much traffic recently (i.e. "8 of our articles you may have missed").

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      This is a good idea, too. I used to do it. I'm not sure why I stopped!

  • Jeremy

    Consider the alternative though…. with lots of re-posts, be careful not to de-value (and lose the genuine feel of) your tweet feed by spamming followers.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I agree. You CAN definitely overdue it. That's why I try to limit myself to one per day.

  • http://churchethos.com ChurchETHOS

    Great idea. I never thought about doing this before. Good tip.

  • http://www.thewritingroad.blogspot.com Scoti Domeij

    Thanks so much for sharing how to schedule tweets. This is a great way to maximize my writing time. I started tweeting some of my earlier blog posts, too. Whenever something triggers an idea for a blog post, I sit down write it, then schedule it. Right now, I'm a couple of months ahead. Now I can schedule the corresponding tweets too. WaaHoo!

  • http://wordvessel.blogspot.com Cathy Bryant

    What an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!

  • Ann

    I was just looking into Tweet Later and I like the idea for older posts that are good but don't make it to the most popular list.

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  • http://your-dailyword.blogspot.com Mikes

    probably through having a "BEST OF" post where you gather all the best posts from the past and encourage the readers to visit them

  • James

    A new way to annoy people on Twitter!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I hope not, but if it is, you can just unfollow!

  • http://www.feedblitz.com Phil Hollows

    FeedBlitz emails will stetch content out by adding daily recaps to emails, and FeedBlitz's RSS service has a weekly "Top Posts" auto-poster too (see http://blog.feedblitz.com/2009/04/autopost-your-t

    • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I need to switch back to Feedblitz. I used it on my old blog and it was 100 times better than Feedburner. (By the way, your link is bad. It just goes to an empty page.)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Jeremy_Nelms Jeremy_Nelms

    Brilliant use of Tweet Later. Thanks, Michael! As I go through your blog entries, one by one, I am literally thanking God for blessing me with learning about you 1 short week ago!

  • http://twitter.com/Overberg @Overberg

    very good idea of Recycling Blogposts- i will link this from my german page this evening…

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  • http://www.loveromancepassion.com/ Keira

    If you're a WordPress blogger there's a new plugin entitled Old Post Promoter – if your permalinks include dates however you will have to change that and use redirects to make the plugin effective, but it's easy enough to do.

    http://www.blogtrafficexchange.com/old-post-promo

  • http://www.frenchhillcountry.com dawnaurora

    thank you so much for this post. I have that problem where I don't want my posts to go to waste. great ideas for recycling those posts.

  • http://familysynergy.wordpress.com JD Eddins

    This is great advice, and not simply for the mechanics of sharing a re-post with your followers. It has also encouraged me to rethink the way I share my post on Twitter. At the moment I use a plugin that will automatically post the title of the post and a link to my Twitter account, but I don’t seem to be generating as much traffic through this as I do with Facebook with shares an image, link and the first paragraph so that people can get an idea of what its about before clicking on the link.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I used to use a plugin, too. However, I have found that I get better results when I carefully craft the Twitter and Facebook posts to do more than just repeat my blog headline. I often use a question, for example, to create interest. Thanks.

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  • http://www.steveperky.com Steve Perky

    Great post. I have also found that Tweets I write get more traffic than auto-generated Tweets from the plug-in. I have been testing MarketMeSuite.com for a couple of weeks. It is still beta, but it is promising.

    In recycling a post, have you had better results by putting the word “Re-post” at the very beginning of the Tweet or toward the end?

    Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I put it at the end. I try to lead with a question or some other headline.

      I agree on auto-genertated tweets. I have found that the manual ones work better, as do manually entered Facebook shares.

  • http://twitter.com/dbonleadership Dan

    Great idea. One of my top posts was done almost 7 months ago. I plan on re-posting through Twitter more.

  • http://frankjkenny.com Frank J. Kenny

    Nice work Michael. I have been using the words, “In case you missed it” in my recycled blog post tweets and it works.

    I have been working on my blog SEO too but struggling there a bit. Yours seems to be excellent.

    Frank

  • http://www.facebook.com/SarahIsaac97 Sarah Isaac

    Great to read this topicI .Thanx for sharing.
    http://bit.ly/fkgNOb alpcorecycling.

  • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

    Michael, I saw your comment about this post on the March posts and commenters post, and I decided to start doing this on Saturday. I’ve already seen extra traffic to my blog.

    • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

      Question, though… do you do this for Facebook as well? If so, what program do you use to do this? Will the TweetLater program work for Facebook as well? I haven’t found a program where you can schedule your Facebook statuses that will recur–I use Hootsuite to do one-time scheduling for Facebook, but not for recurring shares.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I use SocialOomph.com to bulk schedule Twitter and Facebook posts.

  • http://www.kryddjohan.se Kryddjohan kryddor

    This was a good post.
    I also have alot of old but good blogposts.
    Im going to get them running again in the way you are showing.

    Thanx for this info.

  • Ericka Moore

     lols.. i thought this was all about managing your trash by doing recycling.  Anyways,  guys Louisville Recycling  is a company which dedicates itself to help and protect the environment by providing solutions on how to manage your office wastes. Please check the website as it may help you! thanks!

  • Anonymous

    A tool that I use for scheduling tweets, posts to facebook, auto-feed new posts to those, and other social media activities: Hootsuite. I can’t say enough about it. Great analytics and reporting. Simple, easy, and multi-account possibilities. You can even have a team of folks working on feeds and posting. http://ow.ly/3BL9Z

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yep, that’s what I use, too. However, I use SocialOomph.com for scheduling tweets 90 days in advance. It is easier to use that HootSuite for this. Thanks.

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  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com womenlivingwell

    How do you feel about actually reposting old posts from the archives?  I’m SO tempted to do that – especially with the posts I wrote back when I had 150 followers lol!…they are still my writing and my voice but have had a small readership…but for those who have dug back through and have read my archives – I don’t want to bore them?  Do you ever repost from your archives?
    Courtney

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think that you can do it judicially.

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  • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

    I have seen tremendous traffic increase on my blog by reposting. What is interesting is how they are retweeted by people reading them for the very first time. There’s just so much information out there, none of us can catch it all the first time.

    I’ve also just started using Hootsuite and I find it to be a great tool for better engagement with my followers.

    Thanks for continued great content and insights Michael. I feel like I’m drafting behind Lance Armstrong!

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  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/about Ryan Hanley

    Michael,

    You can also use the plugin “Tweet Old Post” for wordpress that I find works very well for recycling old blog content.

    Thanks!!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I will have to have a look at that. Thanks.

  • Connie Almony

    That’s just genius!

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  • http://www.it-green.co.uk/hard%20drive%20recycling.html Data Destruction

    Great idea, I’ve implemented a process of recycling a number of older posts and it really does work.  Seen a 10 percent rise in traffic over the past 2 weeks.  (assume it’s not the Google revamp that just took place)

  • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

    In the first day I used the Tweet Old Post plug-in, I had a comment on a post I originally wrote four months ago. This stuff really works. I’ll probably end up doing this with old podcast episodes every now and then as I build my library. I’ll also have to give SocialOomph a try. I use HootSuite and Buffer a lot, but SocialOomph does seem to have some extra features.