Make your very old content work for you

I was trolling through my analytics (as I often do when I have a spare moment) recently and noticed something funny.

Pages_-_Google_Analytics-4

Even though it’s been more than 6 years since I started this blog, very old posts are still getting traffic, still getting searched and found, like this post on how your music collection can protect your mind.

That post still works for me in a couple of ways, because one of the simplest things I’ve done over the years is create shortcodes in WordPress that are dynamic.

Take a look at the bottom of the post. Even though this post was written 5 years ago, it’s promoting my current newsletter and book. When I change out the short code’s contents in the future, all of my old posts will be updated retroactively, which means the post will continue to work for me, continue to promote current things, even if I never touch the content again.

Accomplishing this is simple: find a blogging plugin for your platform of choice that allows you to insert a shortcode at the end of your posts. If you don’t have one available, consider writing a simple HTML file that you drop on your web server and then include by any standard means of including external content. PHP folks will likely use the include() function. If you’re on WordPress, my recommendation is Shortcode Exec; you’ll find more details here.

Check your analytics for pages and content that go far back, and see if there are opportunities for you to make that content work for you again.


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Do you read this blog on Google Reader? Get the newsletter instead!

Chris Brogan & Penn #pcb6

As friend and fellow blogger Chris Brogan did, so am I: if you read this blog on Google Reader, it’s going away on July 1. How else can you get the blog? Well, you can bet that Feedburner is in the crosshairs for Google next, so don’t go there. Instead:

1. Subscribe to my newsletter. You’ll get a recap every week on Sunday night (or Monday) of what I’ve blogged, and as a bonus, it’s what I’ve blogged on multiple sites, not just this one.

2. Follow me on the social network(s) of your choice:

Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Google+

3. Share this idea by linking either Chris’ post or this one to your friends and doing a similar one on your blog. This post will be shared frequently, probably once a week, until the lights go out on Google Reader.

4. If all else fails, bookmark this site.


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Off for the holidays

Fire in the fireplace

Food for thought: it’s generally accepted that the business world will restart in about 11 days, on January 3rd. For reasons unknown to me, people around the office and online are not counting January 2nd. I suppose that’s so people can recover as well as dig out from their email.

If you wrote a lengthy blog post every day for the next 11 days of 1,000 words or more, you could assemble them all and have a new 11,000 word eBook ready to kick off the year with strong promotion on January 3rd. Or, let’s assume you work a bit for Christmas Eve and the 3 days after Christmas, plus New Year’s Eve and keep your inbox clean so January 2nd is productive. That gives you 5 days – 40 hours – to crank content when no one else cares. If you write a measly 500 words per hour, that would give you a 20,000 word full-size book by the time businesses spun up on January 3rd.

So consider doing what I’m doing. Take the week off publicly, but hammer away privately, and when everyone else is dusting off the cobwebs on January 2nd, you’ll hit the world hard. Keep the fires of your mind burning, but don’t rest unless you have to.

See you on the other side.


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