Friday, April 1, 2016

Happy Belated Birthday, Blog (and What I've Learned About My Piles of Content)

If you happened to have been born on March 23 (or any day from then until now), then a belated happy birthday to you! Otherwise, I'm celebrating the fact that this blog has stuck around for just over a full 365 days. I thought about writing some April Fool's related article, but realized I was over a week late in getting this one out instead.

I've already done a Year In Review post, and going forward, I will likely stick to the calendar year for my report card on what got done in a given year, but I thought it worthwhile to talk about the blog itself and some strategic (and tactical) (and just happenstance) changes I've made over the last twelve months.

The Noble Goal

The original goal here was to write every day. Well, every business day at least. Actually, to be more honest, my original goal was posting every day. I fully intended from the beginning to pre-write and schedule out posts.

See, in my head, I envisioned a world where I had created all of this brilliant content that went out on auto-pilot for months in advance, while I sat back and watched clicks and shares and the like fly up through the roof, blowing the top off of my Google Analytics trackers.

As it turned out, to get content out every day meant I had to produce content at an even faster than daily rate, and after some time, that became untenable for me. So, I started spacing the content out until I landed on one post a week as a happy medium.

I think most of the subscribers preferred that frequency as well, so I did not flood their inbox with multiple emails a week. If you're not a subscriber, you should be - you can sign up here.

Cleaning The Content

One side effect of my attempts at being prolific with the prose was that I created a bunch of articles that were relatively thin content.

Some parts of series or subtopics that I wrote honestly just need to be rewritten or packaged up in a bigger article. Some could be reformulated to read a little better. Some could be beefed up with a few more links and resources.

And then a few holiday and other non-posts hide in there that I could honestly just delete, since they are not really adding value as content to the site.

I (as always) have grand plans of scrubbing this content. We will see how much of that happens. But I am no longer concerned with a race to create 250 articles or whatever. Instead, I want to make sure that I am adding good content.

Even meta articles like this may end up getting scrapped in a future review.


As I browsed the last year's worth of content, a lack of consistency in formatting stood out among several posts before I got to a somewhat standard set of headlines, fonts and the like.

Along with the text, links to tweet content and share have been a bit inconsistent as well. Standardizing these create a unified experience and a feeling of "I know how this works, I have seen it here before" across the content.

Republishing and Broadcasting

As I go about cleaning up content, an opportunity presents itself to republish that out. The danger in that strategy lies in boring people who read the original content. So, I've put a little thought into the strategy for it.

If you are subscribed to the email list, I'd love to say that you will only get new articles. This should be the case most of the time. However, if I end up rewriting something so substantially that it basically warrants a new post, then I will likely post it here as a new article, so you might get a tiny bit of rehash, but it will hopefully have enough new content that you won't notice.

For the most part, though, my intent is to clean up those evergreen posts from way back when and distribute two additional ways. First, through Medium, which I am experimenting with a bit as a republishing platform for getting writing out there. And then there's Twitter, where I occasionally share older articles as "From the Archives" or something like that. I will likely note these differently as "Updated" in some fashion, though I haven't figured out my exact verbiage yet.

Takeaways for You

So if you are still reading, you may think to yourself, "Thanks for the updates on your blog, Cameron, but what does this have to do with me?" 

You can take what I am doing (yup, straight up steal these ideas) and go apply them to your own content marketing. Scrub your old articles, repurpose stale content, and find new channels to share your brand with new audiences.

Thanks for sticking with me so far, I'll try to keep it coming.

If you want more articles from me, subscribe to the email list and you'll get them delivered straight to your inbox (and you can reply right back to me). I'd love to continue the conversations with you (and take your suggestions as well).