So while watching some TV this weekend I came across a couple of very interesting stories. One of them was that they found new mummies. Yeah, they found them in Egypt buried somewhere, and I guess they were priests or something. They weren’t famous like Cleopatra or anything like that, but it was still pretty cool.

Whats old is new again. Christopher Columbus boat

The other thing I saw, while watching 60 Minutes, was a story about counterfeit letters from Christopher Columbus. He hand wrote letters while he was on his trip back to Spain from America, and they were eventually reproduced and printed back in the 1400’s. It was like a best-selling book! These were artifacts that have been sold and put into historical libraries for years. Somebody actually discovered that the Vatican had a counterfeit Christopher Columbus letter, which is just amazing. They found it in the US Library of Congress, and returned it to the Vatican.

What’s Old Is New

Whats old is new again. A man thinking

The real story here is about giving old content a new lease on life. What I want to talk about today is what’s old is new, and don’t mummify your content.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been doing content for quite a while. Blogging for over 10 years, and podcasting for five. I know, in my back catalogs, there is a ton of great content, but I’m constantly looking for new ideas to talk about or explore the latest and greatest things or techniques in online marketing. But occasionally I go back and read some of the old stuff, and you know what? It’s pretty good. It just needs a little bit of polish and it can be used again. Because as much as things change, a lot of things are principles that remain constant.

When I wrote my book back in 2014, I mentioned tools that I was using back then that are no longer in existence. I used to have a show on Blab, which isn’t around anymore. However, some tools are still relevant today, but there are other things that constantly change or just go away.

By adding a little polish to it, what’s old is new again. Don’t just discard or disregard it – it could have relevance today. Let me show you five easy steps that I use that can help you breathe new life into your old content.

Read It

The first thing you have to do is read it. Just go back and look at some of the titles that you have. Whether it’s an article or a video or a podcast, spend some time digging into your old content and reading it. Chances are you’re a better writer today than you were back then, or an even better podcaster. Maybe you could take it and twist or shake it up a little bit by giving it a fresh set of eyes and perspective.

Copy It

The next thing you want to do is figure out how to copy it. You need to transpose it into whatever format you can edit in. Maybe it’s a blog post that you make a new post from in WordPress, or you put it in a word doc, or maybe it’s a video you import into your new video editing software and add some new parts. Get it into a format where you can work with it again.

Edit It

The next thing you want to do is edit it. Now, when I say edit it, what I’m suggesting you do is take a look at the opening paragraph and the closing paragraph. Or opening and closing parts of your audio or video. You could easily go in and do a new intro and a new outro and leave the guts of it pretty much the same, except fix any errors or change anything that’s outdated. By putting in a new intro and new outro, you give your audience a fresh perspective on that particular piece.

By starting out with fresh content, it doesn’t look like you’re reusing the same post from years ago. Google may even index it differently, especially if you change the title. So you’ll want to figure out where you add a little spice, and then reheat it. Then reread it! Read the old one, read the new one. See if it still makes sense.

Polish It

The next thing that you want to do is put on a fresh coat of paint. By that I mean update the graphics and update the look and feel. Sometimes I go in and actually create new graphics. It could be a bar graph, pie chart, or something along those lines that helps bring the point home. Maybe it’s a new perspective you didn’t have when you originally created it. Sometimes, by adding new graphics, you can give the same old post a brand new meaning. You need to make sure that the way you are delivering that message today aligns with the visuals and are concurrent with the new tone of the message that you’re trying to get across.

You have to make sure that your visual images and your text are married to the way that you present that same information today, which is probably different than how you may have delivered it five years ago.

Use It

Finally, the last thing that you want to do is use it. Right? Get some traction with your blog or a podcast by posting it to the right audience on the right social media or video platform. There are probably some new platforms or technologies that you could distribute on that didn’t exist when you originally shared that post. Chances are, you’ve changed the delivery platforms you’re currently focusing on and using.

Social Media Is Changing Daily

Whats old is new again. A word map for web contentFor example, say you didn’t use Instagram often a couple of years ago. That becomes a new platform to use and explore to spread the influence of your messages.

Another biggie is LinkedIn. I used to post articles inside of LinkedIn when it had Pulse. Pulse was this article marketing tool that LinkedIn bought, where you could post articles and they would get traction and ranked based on the category. If they were featured, tons and tons of people saw them. Then Pulse went away, and now people generally don’t open articles as much as they open other content in their newsfeed.

One of the things that I’ve learned recently is that LinkedIn articles are now indexed outside of LinkedIn. Most social media platforms need you to log in to see the content there. Hence why you have to have an account and be an active user to post a blog or a podcast to get engagement. Most social media platforms will degrade your visibility when you post something that will get someone to click on it and be taken away from their ads and revenue. Posting LinkedIn articles keeps people inside of their platform, but now it’s being indexed outside of the LinkedIn platform by Google. It gives your products, your ideas, your thoughts, and your concepts new life.

Reuse & Repurpose

Whats old is new again.So what other ways can you take this content and use it with new tools or new platforms? One final tip on all of this is about repurposing. What if you went back to some of your old blogs or podcasts or videos and turned them into a series, or an eBook, or a training course?

With a little bit of polish, you can bring new life to old content. Maybe you take an old blog post and turn it into a video that makes sense today that didn’t make sense a year, or even three years ago? Or, maybe you take a blog post and turn it into a podcast? Maybe you take a series of blog posts and create an eBook that people can download, so you can get more people on your email list? What new ways can you take your old content and breathe new life into it? How can you do that in a way that’s going to be relevant to your audience today that maybe was not so available to you or relevant when you originally created it?

Final Thoughts

Whats old is new again. A man holding a piggy bankI like to think of content as assets. How can you take content that you’ve already produced and use it as a brand new asset that can help you produce new business? Like I said, what’s old is new again. That’s the key. Look at everything you’ve done before and see if it still has a shelf life. If so, do those five things: read it, copy it, edit it, put a fresh coat of paint on it, and finally, use it in new ways.

It’s really interesting when they find and open a sarcophagus. Who were those mummies in there? Although they’re now just historical artifacts, they were once people with a story to tell. Don’t leave your stories buried. Dig them up again and share them with the world anew!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?