Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Why Rehashing Old Blog Topics Makes Smart Marketing Sense

A couple of months ago I inadvertently destroyed my blog database, sending hundreds of articles into the ether, or wherever they go in such situations. I've been going back and forth over whether to re-post the original articles from my archives or just keep plowing forward with fresh new content. But just how fresh and new would the content really be? Without plowing through all the old posts I've written over the years, how can I know whether or not I'm simply repeating myself? 

Then reality hit me: Of course I'm going to repeat myself. I do it all the time. So do the vast majority of bloggers. And that's okay -- in fact, it's smart.

Wait, what?

Yes, I'm serious. Coming at the same topics over and over again is actually an intelligent marketing strategy, for several reasons:

1. The same old subjects will develop new twists and turns. For instance, say you posted something about gas prices back when the late 90s, when blogging was a brand-new thing. How relevant would that information be for this week's readers? That's an extreme example, but you get what I mean. Times change, and so do the critical issues of a given topic. So of course you'll revisit that topic again and again -- you have to, if you want to keep feeding fresh, helpful information to your readers. 

2. There's always "one more thing." Columbo knew it, and so did Steve Jobs. There's no way you can possibly exhaust every enticing angle of a particular subject. Take, I don't know, any specific medical condition. You'll find that there's far, far more ground to cover than the usual tiresome roll call of symptoms, causes, treatments, et cetera. What about all the success stories of different patients who have fought their condition? What about the many different coping methods for maintaining a high quality of life? What about alternative health practices versus traditional medical protocols? You could beat the subject to death -- to the great benefit of your target audience who may suffer from the condition. And we're talking about just one ailment here!

3. New readers may not read old posts. If you're blogging regularly and promoting your brand online, you may be gaining new readers all the time. But how many of those readers will have the time or desire to click through every single article you've ever written, no matter how relevant those blasts from the past might be to them? You're better off re-introducing the subject matter in an all-new post so the next generation of your adoring throng can experience it from the most current possible perspective. 

Heck, for all I know I've written this very article before. But you know what? It feels fresh and new to me.