Maximize value; your 5-step guide to recycle and republish content

When to use AI, and not to make the most common content mistake

Ever felt trapped in the constant need for new content? And you lack the resources and budget… No problem, I got your back with this easy, very effective, and efficient tip. 

Honestly, even if you're lucky and do have the team and funding, you should do this to maximize the value of what you already have. 


Most common mistake in content: avoiding repetition

  • First, you think everyone has seen your content the first time you published it on social or in your email marketing.
  • Second, you don’t realize you should repeat yourself like a parrot 5 to 7 times before your message sticks. Even if they’ve seen your content the first time you published, never presume they remembered.


The power of recycling and republishing content: a 5-step guide

That said, recycling and republishing your content sounds like a no-brainer, right? Leverage your content for greater impact.  You’ll get so much more value for your content than just using it once, and you save your budget by reusing what you already have.

How it works: recycling your thought leadership or help content is all about your distribution channels. In the example below, I explain how it works: I recycle the content on my .com, and republish it on social.

  1. Audit and analyze: use data to guide your recycling efforts
  2. Revitalize your content: dust and update (you do the work, not AI)
  3. Use AI for proofreading and engaging headlines
  4. Refresh your visual for renewed engagement
  5. Optimize for mobile; design your content that sells


Bonus tip 1. The same process for additional edits
you can use this same process to make a second, different edit of content. Just repeat it with a different storyline, and there you go; it looks and reads like brand-new content. Check out step 2 in ‘Master the rule of 5 to 7: make your content stick’  for the details.


Bonus tip 2. Only hack marketers fully rely on AI
Only the hack marketers fully rely on AI to completely rewrite the content. There’s no such thing as prompt-and-go for impactful content. It still is and always is; think first, write second (with a little help of AI).


Disclaimer. Thought leadership content only
This recycling and republishing is for your leadership content, your help, and hub content. Where you publish on your .com and distribution relies on SEO, social, and email marketing.  For your big, sexy, fancy marketing campaigns and loud hero content, you can use the learnings however you start fresh and from scratch. 


Let’s dive into the 5 easy-step process to nail it again and again.


1. Audit and analyze: use data to guide your recycling efforts

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-off 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.

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.

In the first image below, you see that I have a few pages that have the most unique visitors. In the second image, you can see the continuous stream of visitors for one of the most popular pages. 

And that’s about how simple my stats are that I use. No need to go fancy if simplicity does the job very well. 


presspage stats

presspage stats details


2. Revitalize your content: dust and update (you do the work, not AI)

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.

Small note: it's you who does the work. Don't go to ChatGPT and ask to rewrite or update the copy. This step is about strategic thinking, the ‘what’s new or worth to add.' 


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?


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.


Time between your repetitions

Make sure you have some time in between the publications, no matter if it’s republishing or repurposing. Rule of thumb for republishing: I would say about three months for repurposing; if the difference is significant enough, it takes about two to three weeks if you publish frequently and have some new content in between.


3. Use AI for proofreading and engaging headlines

Absolutely great for proofreading and editing. Honestly, I used to prefer to do this myself until I had ChatGPT-4 and its updates and new features, especially with the Custom Instructions, which are a huge game changer.  Now I have upgraded to the new and updated paid version ChatGPT-4; its proofreading really improves the structure and writing in the tiniest details. It's worth the effort. 

Headlines matter. They are the first thing people read after checking out the visual. A great headline provokes curiosity, sets the tone, and manages expectations. And it’s one of the hardest things to write. Just like headlines, writing an engaging social caption can also be challenging. That's why you can use this step-by-step for both.  I got +10% traffic in just one week.

Trust this process. First, you list your keywords, key takeaway, and the objective of what you want your reader to do. Then you write 10 headlines: even if you think you already got it. Followed by 15 or more, even if you think you’re there. Next, you cross out 15 and select your favorite 5.

Now, you go to Headline Studio and play with your top 5. What’s the ranking and score? How can you improve your scoring?

In the last step, you check your headline with your visual. Does it make sense and look sexy? If not, go back to the process.


headline studio tool


4. Refresh your visual for renewed engagement

Maybe the most important thing is the first impression—the visual. Always check and adjust whether it’s republished or reposted. Nothing looks as new as a new visual. It’s not only the men who think visually; we all do. 

If you want to stand out, you have to dare to be different. As the old saying goes, ‘sex sells,’ and I prefer this kind of image myself; I choose the sexier stuff. You can almost feel the excitement, the tension of something fun that’s going to happen.I also go for something edgy. A bit rough and raw. Different, unlike others. 

You do you, me do me. 

There’s no golden rule, except for the rule of thumb: choose a style that fits your (brand) personality and that you like. That makes it a lot easier to find the right visual.

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


5. Optimize for mobile; design your content that sells

Nowadays, about ~80% of your audiences see your content on mobile. For social, it’s close to 100%. I always write for mobile

In general, the width of the lines on a mobile screen is -30%, which means the length of your paragraph is +30%. And no one likes big, chunky, heavy-looking blocks of text. Therefore, you need to play with the whitespace to make it look airy and sexy. Shorten your paragraphs and group them by using sub-headers, bullets, or lists.

That means I write, upload, and check it on my laptop, toggle the mobile view in the browser, and hit publish to be able to see the content live. Then I grab my phone, open the page, and with the phone in my hand, I start editing, tuning, and tweaking it to be mobile-first


visual design of copy for mobile


Example; my keep-it-very-simple process

Leading by example, I have a few content items I update monthly and other pages I recycle frequently.

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. 

Next, I check the copy. As I write about content and AI, there’s always something new and updated. I adjust the text accordingly, maybe add some new insights or delete some outdated stuff.

Then, I open ChatGPT-4 with my custom-built GPT to check the structure and clarity of my content. I cherry-pick the suggestions and update my content. Rinse and repeat 2 or 3 times to make it even better.

Followed by using Headlines.coschedule.com to check the stickiness and SEO of my headline. Notice, I don’t use AI to write my headline; I use AI to improve what I’ve written. Personally, I don’t like the AI-written headlines; they’re not me and obviously AI-generated, no matter how much you incorporate your tone of voice in the prompts. Using this tool, I vamped up my website traffic by +10%.

Lastly, I update the visual. Nothing looks as new as a new visual. And this visual still is the first point of contact with your audience.


Wrapping it up: maximize content value

If you’re short on budget and resources to create content, the most obvious is to recycle and republish what you already have. Actually, this should be your first strategy, even if you do have the money and people. Getting more value out of your content is never a bad idea.

A little disclaimer: this is all about the distribution of your content; while you update your pages on the .com, it’s the republishing on social or in your email marketing that creates the added value.

The 5 easy steps

  1. Audit and analyze: use data to guide your recycling efforts
  2. Revitalize your content: dust and update (you do the work, not AI)
  3. Use AI for proofreading and engaging headlines
  4. Refresh your visual for renewed engagement
  5. Optimize for mobile; design your content that sells


And if you need any help setting up this new process and getting your team started while hitting the ground running, don’t hesitate to drop me a DM on LinkedIn.