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If Your Blog Doesn’t Have 3 Lives, Don’t Write It

By Sander Biehn | Jul 8, 2014

Does Your Content Only Have One Life?

 It is said that cats have nine lives. Unlike our feline friends, much of the content we read online is written for one life only. Most organizations write blogs to appear as a single blog posting. This single posting has a shelf life of about 6-months. Once the post is published, the clock starts to tick. Meanwhile, marketing managers scurry to create more content to keep readers coming back for more.

It is a race against time. Hurry up and published before your post is buried in the idea market graveyard.

Quantity Harms Quality (and Your Brand!)

No wonder many B2B marketing firms are outsourcing content creation. They are like hamsters on the wheel needing to churn out more and more content each week. I have heard seasoned professional bloggers worry out loud about writer’s block and how it can affect their brand.

Inevitably, quality suffers as real and imagined content quotas are built. And quality has a direct effect on reader engagement for social selling. In fact, it is the lynchpin. A tailspin in effectiveness and online popularity can follow.

Like the house cat, we need to take pause before we pounce.

Before you put pen to paper, figure out how your post can have at least 3 functions for your business. Can the post be expanded on to build a chapter in your eBook? Can you work it into a training manual for new hires? Can some of the ideas be repurposed into a case study or press release?

Here is a revolutionary idea. Perhaps, just maybe, if your killer idea for a new posting cannot be used in multiple places by your business, it is not worth writing. Shocking?  We should be glad that authors like Ayn Rand, and Ernest Hemingway did not use this rule of thumb, but most of our blogs are hardly destined to be part of the world literature opus…sorry, not even the best ones!

Consider what reusable content buys you.

First, it frees up time. And having ample time to create content virtually ensures that the posts are thoughtful and interesting.  What is a successful blog worth? Creating thought leadership has propelled my career for the last 3 years.  Successful blogging has opened many doors for me.  Besides, consider how much terrible content is produced each day. Does your business want to be part of the problem, or a thought-leader for your customers?

Second, using the same ideas again and again is not cheating, as long as it is done properly. Creating unity around your company’s ideas, creates brand awareness.  It spreads and reinforces the key ideas and differentiators your company wants to market. By having too many disparate ideas, it dilutes the overall message. Repurposing content can actually keep you on track and consistent.

Be aware that there is such a thing as overusing content.  I always look for a date whenever I begin to read a blog. I have been fooled into reading 4 year old articles that authors are tweeting and sharing as if they are new news. I think this reflects poorly on the authors, and often the content gets dated and stale.  By tweaking the content or fleshing it out for the other channels where you want to reuse the concepts, you can keep your ideas aligned and fresh for your readers.

Give your content multiple lives and liberate your mind to keep your ideas fresh and interesting.

Do you recycle content? Why or why not? Do you think about where you will post it before you write it? If so, are you thinking about multiple lives or are you trying to make it a star in just one life? How might the idea of 3 or more lives change your approach to content creation?


Thought Horizon is a B2B solutions company dedicated to helping corporations leverage social media and analytics to improve market efficiency. Our approach to social selling includes working closely with marketing and sales to create custom solutions that produce measureable results. Learn more at Thought

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