In 4 easy steps, audit and identify the content you can republish

How to expand the lifetime of your content by recycling and reusing

Do you want to maximize the impact of your content? Recycling is the easiest and cheapest trick; good content makes an impact every time. Recycling your content is the way to maximize value and expand the lifetime,  your brand and audience can benefit longer after initial publication. 

In other words, you're missing out if you don’t recycle. Just make sure you balance new and recycled content. 


The importance of recycling

Get more value for money and expand the lifetime of your content. Please realize that you don’t always need new content; look at what you already have and recycle what’s successful.

We know creating good content is f*cking expensive, so why not reuse what you already have?


The 4-step recycling workflow

Let’s dive deeper into this four-step workflow to make your life easier.

  1. Audit and identify
  2. Refresh and update
  3. Republish 
  4. Schedule the next cycle


Before we dive into the details, it's good to know what not to do. 


What not to do

Don’t be arrogant and presume everyone has seen what you published. Generally, 12 to 15% see your LinkedIn post, and SEO needs 6 to 12 months time before creating significant traffic. And realize that there is nothing wrong with repeating what is good. I hardly remember what I read yesterday, let alone last week or a month ago.

  • Think you always need new content
  • Presume everyone has seen your content the first time you published
  • Go big. Instead, start small with a top five or ten content pieces to refresh and republish
  • Republish without refreshing
  • Create a new page. Instead, reuse and optimize from the existing SEO ranking


Let's go!


Step 1. Audit and identify

There are five easy things to do in the first step.

  • First, you do an audit based on data. Check your Google Analytics over the past 12 months.
  • Next, you check how often people visit the page. Was the content a one of success due to a social posting, or does the content continuously pull in traffic via SEO?
  • Does this content spark your joy? Do you still like it, and is it representative for your brand? If you don’t like it, why the h*ll would they?
  • Is it still relevant and applicable to your audience? Or is the content too outdated to republish? Or is it really linked to a season or specific time of the year?
  • What was the initial date of publication? Before you recycle and repost, I advise you to have a minimum of three months in between.


Prioritize, focus on your top 5

Now you create a top five or ten and focus on this. There’s no need to do everything at once, and it’s perfectly fine to keep some for the next recycling round.


My tip is to keep it simple

Leading by example, I have a few content items I update monthly and other pages I recycle frequently. I'll leave the monthly updates out of scope for now. 

To find the pages I want to recycle, I go to the data. Notice that I keep this super simple, and my data is the bare basics. Nothing too complicated with click paths, bounces, and click-outs. 

First, I make an export of the most visited pages over the last twelve months. Then, for the top ten, I crosscheck on the unique visitors and repeat visitors. Next, I check if these visitors are spread out over time or clustered in a specific week or month. 

I narrow down the top ten to the top five; only the pages that are older than three months and have high visitors spread out over time. And if the page is still relevant and if I like it.  

This is my list to update and refresh. 



Step 2. Refresh and update

Now that you have your 5 or 10 content pages you want to recycle, it’s time to update and refresh the content. Simply republishing without changes will not do the job and will make you look lazy.


Update the content

Read, check, and update the content. Adjust and rewrite where needed. Address current trends, events, or innovations in your industry. As the world changes, so should your content.

Or add and expand the content with a new paragraph to make it even more relevant. Small changes can make a major difference.

Check the links. Are the existing links still active and relevant? And is there new content you can link to?

Was there any user feedback or questions you can address in your updated version?

Sometimes, I also rewrite the headline to make it feel fresh and relevant again.


Refresh the visual

Adding a new header visual and updating the visuals in the content is the fastest way to make your content look new. 

I always do this also to make it timely again. Most of the content I republish is from roughly six months ago. Now is a different time of the year, and needs an updated visual. In the spring, my visuals are lighter, whiter, and crispier than in the fall.


Don’t duplicate

This one is especially important for SEO and analytics. Don’t create a new page; use the existing content page and refresh that. Having two pages that are quite similar doesn’t favor your site’s search ranking; besides, it makes you look stupid to have the same content twice.

If I do an update, I usually have a disclaimer in the last paragraph to prevent my audience from feeling misled. I state that it’s updated content, refreshed, repolished, and republished. And why I updated it, especially when it’s about AI and ChatGPT, as that sh*t is outdated the moment you publish.

Sometimes, I put ‘updated’ in the header when it’s relevant to signal that there’s new content on this topic.


Step 3. Republish 

This is when you actually hit the ‘publish’ button to update the publication date. As stated above, use the original page and url to optimize SEO. A page that already ranks well and has a history will always outperform a new page with the updated content.

Using the same page also helps to analyze and audit for your next recycling round.


Repost on social

If you repost on social, guaranteed you’ll reach new and or different audiences. Never presume that all of your followers have seen your post the first time. If you reach them for a second time, there’s nothing wrong with that.


Add a disclaimer if needed

If do this, please be upfront and mention that it’s updated content. You don’t want to mislead your audience and present something new while it’s updated content. While most of us don’t remember what content we read last week, some do, or it will ring a vague bell and provoke a feeling of being misled.


Step 4. Schedule the next cycle

Set a reminder of periodic content audits. You can do this quarterly or bi-annually to identify recycling options continuously. The rule of thumb is to have at least three months in between reposting content; that’s also why I recommend you to have a top 5 or top 10 per round and not to do everything in one go.

Consistency is key, also in recycling. 


My tip for consistency

Plan this in your calendar. Sounds stupid, yet it works. Plan a meeting or reminder in your calendar every three months to check the data and create a new content recycle list. Good change you're human and you'll skip once in a while, so you'll end up recycling content every six months. 


1. Audit and identifyAudit content based on data (Google Analytics, page visits, brand alignment, relevance, and initial publication date). Prioritize and focus on the top 5. Keep data analysis simple.
2. Refresh and updateUpdate and rewrite content to address current trends and feedback. Refresh visuals to match the current time. Avoid duplicating content; update the existing page. Add disclaimers for updates.
3. RepublishRepublish using the original page and URL to optimize SEO. Repost updated content on social media, clearly indicating its updated nature.
4. Schedule the next cycleI'd like to set reminders for periodic audits, ideally every three months. Plan consistent recycling, incorporating it into your regular calendar.


Recap: the 4-step recycling workflow

These are the four steps in the workflow to recycle content.

  1. Audit and prioritize
  2. Update and refresh
  3. Republish and repost
  4. Repeat


What not to do

  • Think you always need new content
  • Presume everyone has seen your content the first time you published
  • Go big. Instead, start small with a top five or ten content pieces to refresh and republish
  • Republish without refreshing
  • Create a new page. Instead, reuse and optimize from the existing SEO ranking


While recycling content can expand the lifetime of your content, don’t forget to create new content. And, again, avoid overdoing this recycling. Be upfront if you recycle and balance it with fresh and new content.


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