With the official start of spring on Sunday, warmer weather, sunshine and longer days are finally upon us.
Another interesting thing that happens this time of year? Many of us tend to feel the pull to clean, declutter, purge and organize. It’s spring cleaning time!
Apply that same spring cleaning principle to your content! Set some time aside this month to take a look at your current content strategy and consider how you might improve it moving into the spring and summer months.
Ready to spring clean your content? Try these six ideas.
1. Conduct a content audit.A content audit sounds like a scary undertaking and while the process can be a bit long and daunting, it’s an important tactic to ensure that your content is actually working for you. A content audit essentially means taking a 10,000-foot overview of all of your content and making decisions about what to do with individual content pieces to ensure your current strategy is actually helping you achieve your goals.
This comprehensive Moz piece details the exact steps you should take to conduct an effective content audit. Moz recommends breaking your content into four major categories: leave as-is, improve, consolidate and remove. Yep, remove! Conducting a content audit sometimes means coming face to face with the idea that you may actually need to delete some posts to make it easier for folks on your site to find the content that actually matters.
2. Edit and update archived posts. You likely have a ton of great content on your blog or website, written months, or maybe even years ago. Those pieces of content probably aren’t getting the attention or traffic they deserve, even though they may still feature relevant and useful information for your audience. The first step here is to go back and re-read those pieces. Consider editing and updating some pieces to ensure the information is still correct and up-to-date and add a new call to action (like an invitation to join your email list or receive a PDF of some kind) and then prepare to bring new life to these posts by re-sharing them.
The only way people are going to find your older content is if YOU take the time to send traffic their way; add them to your Facebook scheduler and draft and schedule a couple of new tweets for the next few weeks. I’m a big fan of saving my tweets in an Excel spreadsheet, so that I can sit down once a week and copy and paste tweets into my Hootsuite scheduler. Also, take another look at the graphics you’re using within posts and consider creating a new and more “pinnable” graphic for the post to pin on Pinterest.
3. Turn archived posts into a content roundup. Another great way to bring new life to archived posts is to create a content roundup. For example, say you’ve written a ton of posts about social media- create a post that links back to your best pieces about social media. Then, promote the heck out of the roundup post! This sends traffic to your post and entices people to click around the post, leading back to your older, yet still highly useful content.
Keep in mind that you can create multiple content roundups around the same topic. Going back to our social media example, if you’ve written enough content, you could create multiple roundups based on different social media sites. Brainstorm all the different ways you might organize your content to introduce your work to new readers.
4. Create a content upgrade. A content upgrade (offering bonus content to those currently on your site) is a great way to get people to stay on your page longer and to grow your email list.
To figure out what you should create a content upgrade about, take a look at your Google Analytics and figure out which pieces of your content receive the most traffic. The result may surprise you! For me, the most highly-trafficked post on my blog is something I wrote THREE years ago.
If your most popular post is something that’s still relevant to your audience and business goals, consider creating a content upgrade around that same topic. You could turn that topic into a Slideshare presentation, a video, a checklist, a guide or even an infographic. Then offer that content upgrade within the post as a way to capture email addresses and grow your list.
5. Reconsider what social networks you’re spending time on. Perhaps years ago someone told you that you needed to be on Google+ and dutifully, every time you publish a new blog post, you share that post to Google+ without much success. Why not just…stop posting on Google+?
It may sound a bit crazy to eliminate social media sites (especially when experts and those around you tell you it’s important) but ultimately, you need to look at where your traffic is coming from and decide if the time you’re spending on social media is worth the work you put in.
Figure out which social media sites work best for you and your content and choose to focus your efforts there rather than spreading yourself thin and spending time trying to be everywhere.
6. Scrub your email list. Similarly scary to dumping a social media site, my next piece of unpopular advice is to scrub your email list. Well, maybe not the *whole* list, but definitely those who aren’t opening your emails. As you likely know, depending on your email provider and the size of your list, you pay based on the number of people on your email list, no matter if they actually open your emails or not.
Make room on your email list for those who are actually opening and engaging with your content. Before removing dead emails from your list, consider a re-engagement campaign to give those who haven’t opened your emails in a while one last chance to stay on board.
Spring cleaning is all about getting rid of old clutter and creating space for new opportunities and possibilities. It’s never easy to eliminate comfortable strategies that may have once worked for your marketing, but just like it’s time to finally throw away that dress you haven’t worn in years, now’s the time to start fresh when it comes to your content, too.
Happy spring (content) cleaning!
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