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Recycle Old Blog PostWriting content is time-consuming. Even if you write at lightning speed, there’s only so much content you can create. And pretty soon, you’ll suffer from burnout.

At the same time, if you’ve been blogging for a significant period, then you have some meaty archives. You might get some traffic from Google, but probably these archives are mostly ignored.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Instead of always creating new content, what about recycling content that you’ve already created? Breathing new life into old things is a trend these days (think eBay, Craigslist, Freecycle), so why not do the same with your virtual creations?

Here are three ways you can dust off your old content and give it a new sparkle.

Repurpose Old Content

So you’d like to write an eBook? Well how about instead of sitting down to hammer out 20,000 words, you browse your archives and find 20 of your best ever articles? Put them together in a collection, write an introduction, think of a snazzy title, and Presto! You’ve got an eBook.

This can work in reverse, too. Stuck for ideas for your next blog post? How about taking a passage out of an eBook you’ve written? As well as giving you an easy time of writing, this promotes your eBook. That’s a double win!

Schedule Your Archives on Social Media

This one’s easy as pie and has two huge benefits. First, it boosts your traffic to your blog because you’ll be sharing more of your own content. Second, it means you’ll be more active on social media. The more you share, the more you show up in the feeds of your followers.

The WordPress Tweet Old Post plugin makes this super simple. You choose the categories of old content you want to tweet and the times you want to post. It handles the rest.

Shine New Light on Old Ideas

A blog is a work in progress. As you learn new things, you change, and your ideas change with you.

As such, it can be incredibly interesting to reflect on your old content.

Browse through your own posts to see what you used to think. Pay attention to your reactions. If you’re thinking, “Boy, I was stupid back then!”, that’s an opportunity for you to write a blog post.

In your blog post, explain how and why you’ve changed.

You can also feature your old posts that you believe still hold true. Some of what youv’e shared in the past is timeless, so point that out to your readers.

Over to You

How do you go about recycling content? Have you ever repurposed your old blog posts? How did that work out?

How to Write Emails

Have you ever been held up on a project because you’re waiting for someone to get back to you? Or sent out an email to make a new connection and heard nothing in reply? Frustrating, isn’t it?

Hold ups in communication can delay or even derail your work. They eat up your productivity. And they make you feel tiny. It feels horrible to be ignored.

Here’s the thing – and it will sound like a paradox – if you’re not getting responses to your emails:

  • It’s probably not your fault.
  • It probably is your fault.

How can both of these be true?

On the one hand, it’s not your fault because the delay isn’t an attack on you personally. There are a ton of reasons that emails get ignored, and none of them have to do with who you are as a person.

On the other hand, it is your fault, because chances are, you’ve made your email difficult to reply to.

Considering you’re reading an article on writing good emails, chances are you receive a lot of email. So think about the emails you like to receive. Chances are, the emails you like are one of the following:

  • Emails from close friends. These might be long and detailed or just a quick update. You like getting them because they reinforce your friendship, and you can spend your day thinking about how you will reply.
  • Emails you can delete or archive. When you don’t have to do anything, life’s easy. I love these emails.
  • Emails you can reply to in two minutes or less. Then you can be an email superhero, powering through email after email.

Now what about the emails you don’t like to receive? Chances are they are one of the following:

  • Emails from people you don’t know. Your first thought is probably, “Why is this person bothering me?” If you don’t know the person sending the email, he or she will have to work extra hard to get your attention.
  • Emails that will sit in your inbox for weeks. These usually happen because they require you to set aside a full afternoon to write a response. You’re busy, and you’ve got other stuff to get on with.
  • Emails that make big demands of you. They require you to do something before you respond. If these are from your boss, you can’t ignore them forever. But if they’re from anyone else, you will ignore them.
  • Emails that don’t make sense. For example, they ask someone to work on a project but they don’t assign the task. You feel like maybe you should step in, but you’ve got enough on your plate, so you wait for someone else to do it for you.

With that in mind, you now know how to write emails that get a response:

  • Write to people you know. If you need to reach out to someone new, get a mutual friend to make the connection for you. That way, you’re far more likely to get a reply.
  • Keep your emails short. Almost all of the time, you can say what needs to be said in under five sentences. Any longer than that, and you risk wasting the recipient’s time.
  • Ask closed questions. Ideally, the respondent should only have to say “yes” or “no” in the response. If there are a range of options, explain each option, and ask the recipient to choose between them. In other words, don’t use emails to palm off work.
  • Assign responsibility. When you want a task done, make sure you assign it to an individual. Don’t send it to a group and hope somebody replies.

Your Call

What are your top tips for writing emails that get noticed? What’s your response rate like?

Social Media Success

For we social marketers to play the whole field when it comes to social media, our co-workers must work with us as a team. The clue’s in the name, after all. It’s close to impossible to be social all by yourself.

Trouble arises when not all your team are on board with social media. It’s even worse when co-workers actively or sub-consciously sabotage your social success. This sabotage can be blatant or subtle. Either way, you need to know how to spot it, so you can nip it in the bud.

Here are the ways your co-workers can undermine all your social media efforts:

Wasting Time on Facebook and Twitter

This is a really subtle way of undermining your social strategy. It’s especially pernicious, as it causes so much damage.

When your co-workers use social media as a procrastination tool, they’re doing their utmost to show your boss that social media is bad for business. These co-workers are creating a negative image of social media than will undermine your efforts to create a powerful social strategy.

The solution: Be clear with your team that when in the workplace, social media is about creating great content, not about consuming content. They can do all the consuming they like in their own time.

“You’re Wasting Your Time”

This is similar to the previous point, except instead of wasting time their own on social media, your co-workers accuse you of wasting time every time you log into a social network.

People with this mindset may have an even more aggressive approach: “Nothing good will come of it,” or they may be more subtle, expressing their criticism as concern: “Are you sure you’re doing it right?”

Telling you that you’re wasting your time is a clear challenge to your vision and strategy. In effect, those who do this are questioning the value of your work.

The solution: Be open about sharing your strategy, the results you expect to see, and why you’re doing things a certain way. Asking for input from others is one of the best ways to get your co-workers on board with your vision.

Refusing to Try New Technology

The landscape of social is constantly changing. New social networks rise and old ones fall with every passing year.

To those who are afraid of change, this constant influx of new technology can be intimidating. They’d prefer to stick to the old ways – “How we’ve always done things here.”

Yes, there are some dinosaurs you’ll never convince to post a tweet, no matter how hard you try. But for the most part, you should recognize this strategy for what it is. Those who refuse to try new things are burying their heads in the sand. Technology will continue to develop at an ever-faster pace. These ostriches need to man-up and realize that the world has moved on; otherwise they risk dragging you all down to their level.

The solution: Offer training to those at risk of falling behind with social media. Integrate social tools into the daily workflow of your company, so no one has an excuse for ignoring them.

They Rarely Take Initiative or Learn Things for Themselves

There was a time (many, many decades ago) when jobs were for life. You spent your youth learning the skills you needed for your chosen profession.

You might have learned a few new things on the job, but mostly work was the same every day.

These days, most people change jobs every four years. That means having at least ten jobs within a career. We’re all constantly learning new things. That’s why Google comes in so handy. Anything you’re stuck with, you can find a solution, fast.

Yet some people haven’t yet realized the help Google can offer, or they refuse to seek help from a computer. They prefer to stay stuck or to cry for help from colleagues. While it’s fine to ask for help sometimes, if your co-workers can’t take the initiative and work things out for themselves on social media, you’ll find that you’re constantly firefighting instead of doing your real work.

The solution: Give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ll feed him for life. Teach your team that Google is their friend and that it’s okay to take the initiative.

Bad-Mouthing Customers

Sadly, this happens all too often in businesses with a negative culture. If it happens on your team, you need to turn that around.

Social media is all about engaging positively with your customers and listening to what they need. If your team sees customers as a problem to be dealt with rather than the lifeblood of your business, then they’ll struggle to get the point of social media.

The solution: Make it clear to all your team that your customers ultimately pay their salaries. No customers, no jobs. Then lead by example. Take a positive attitude to customer enquiries, and teach others to do the same.

Thinking They Know Best

Just because anyone can set up a Facebook account doesn’t mean anyone knows how to engage effectively on social media. It’s a great idea to empower your team to be involved in your social strategy. However, you’ll need to steer them carefully so they know what makes good marketing and what will alienate your fans and followers. You’re the one who will have to clean up if they mess things up on social.

The solution: Make sure all your team know about social media best practices. When someone’s still learning, have him or her ride with training wheels, so you check their updates and comments before they post them.

Refusing to Pitch In

The best social strategies involve your whole team. You want everyone to pitch in to make things happen and contribute their unique perspectives.

People who say, “Social media is your job because you’re the social media manager” are sabotaging your company’s social success.

The solution: Explain the value of everyone being involved, and be vulnerable enough to admit that you can’t go it alone.