Writers know that sometimes you write a piece of content for one website and it just doesn’t get published. Even if you spoke with an editor and made sure you were writing the perfect piece for that website, you can still wind up with that content in the end because something went wrong along the way. A few reasons this might happen include:
- The editor revised it and revised it and just decided it wouldn’t work.
- The blog did publish your content, but when you went back to check a few months (or even a few years) later the site has been deleted or penalized.
- You sent it to a website and then never heard back from the publisher.
- The editor wanted to change your content so much that you decided not to give your piece to that website.
Whatever the reason, finding yourself with content without a “home” can be stressful. You spent all of that time writing something specifically for one website, so it’s tough to find other websites that will accept your piece; especially since they were your second choice. Fortunately, that content and all of the time it took to write it doesn’t have to go to waste.
Tips for Re-Using Blog Content
The first thing you have to consider when trying to re-use a piece of content is whether or not that content is evergreen or timely. This will make a big difference when it comes to reusing something. In case you’re unfamiliar with the terms:
- Evergreen content. This is content that is timeless, meaning it will still be accurate and relevant for years to come. Even if you have an outdated statistic or quote, it might still pass as evergreen as long as the overall message is still relevant.
- Timely content. This is content that is only relevant for a certain period of time. News stories are the best example of timely content.
If you have timely content that you need to re-use, it of course depends upon the window you have where the content is relevant. If you have a little bit of time, you’ll need to send the content somewhere else quickly. In these cases, I oftentimes recommend publishing the content on your blog just to make sure it gets used in a timely fashion. If none of this is possible, you’ll have to do some serious editing to make the content more relevant.
Below are some tips for trying to send your content to another website if your first choice didn’t pan-out:
- Don’t tell editors that your content is “old.” There is no reason that the person you’re trying to work with has to know that you tried to send the content somewhere else first. This will only put up red flags and hurt your case, not to mention ruin potential future opportunities with that website.
- It has to be relevant. It has to make sense that your content would be placed on that site. In other words, don’t send an article about PPC marketing to a website devoted to social media strategies. Being in the same realm isn’t good enough. This doesn’t help you or the website, and it can actually come off as offensive.
- Pay attention to the title you used to save the article. If you’re sending an article to an editor, chances are you’re attaching the article to the email (it’s already written after all). Make sure that you didn’t save this article under that first website’s name. That would be embarrassing.
- Always check to make sure it hasn’t been used. Always double check that the article hasn’t been used. You can do this by copying and pasting a chunk of the text into Google search. One person might have told you it wasn’t used, but someone else could have hit “publish.” Communication errors happen all the time, so always double check.
Of course, if you are guest posting you have to make sure that you are still thinking of users as opposed to links. The biggest mistake you can make is to get frustrated and just publish the content the first chance you can. You have to make sure you’re sending it to a site that is quality, otherwise you could see a drop in rankings because it will look like you’re guest posting for the sake of links.
Do you reuse your old content that never gets published? What are your tips, and have you ever run into problems with this practice? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below.
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Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for HigherVisibility.com, one of the leading SEO firms in the United States.