Turning old & existing content into new links

You, your employer or your client likely has a set amount of money put aside to invest in strategy X or Y. No matter which way you cut it, getting content produced (words written, videos shot or stuff drawn) can quickly eat into the budget and in some cases, if the proper planning isn’t done in the first instance, you can end up with something shiny but zilcho funds to do anything with it. Not a great place to be.

How to solve this problem

You COULD carry on making shiny things, crossing your fingers and praying that everyone who says “build it and they will come” is a myth is in fact wrong. Alternatively you could become an “environmentally friendly” linkbuilder and start turning old and existing content that you already have at your disposal, into brand spanking new links. I am almost certain that many of you already do this to some extent but I felt it might be beneficial to highlight some of the things we look for at Skyrocket SEO – and perhaps we can compare notes?

Match existing content to broken links around the web

Garrett French recently launched the Broken Link Finder tool and it is pretty powerful. Gone are the days when broken link building was a tedious, labour-intensive process. This little tool enables you to source and sort through opportunities at a rate of knots.

Using this tool (or if you must, your own method of finding broken link opportunities) you can identify all sorts of juicy link opportunities that could be matched to your or your client’s existing content. Recently we have been doing some more targeted content creation to capitalise on broken link opportunities but the web is a big place and in a lot of niches you can find plenty of pages that are similar to your own that no longer work AND there are bound to be tens if not hundreds of high quality sites linking to it.

You can turn an existing piece of content into a link magnet with a moderate amount of outreach – broken link building is a high conversion outreach tactic IF you intelligently match the content to the opportunity and pick your site targets effectively.

Reuse old infographics

Finding infographics that your client has produced in the past can be a good thing for three reasons, firstly, it’s like finding a £10 note in your jeans (it feels like free money) but also it means you can get straight on with the job of promoting it picking up where the last person left off or taking it in the direction it should have gone in the first place. Finally, the kicker benefit to all this is that it can make you look really good in the eyes of your client, making something successful that your predecessor failed at is always a good way to kick off a new client engagement.

Be realistic though and completely honest with the client, there could be a very good reason why it flopped the first time.

How to turn this into new links

  1. Look at the links it naturally gained first time around – what can you learn from the types of sites that picked it up? Can you outreach to similar sites to increase the reach?
  2. Look at any social shares it got using Topsy.com and then categorise the type of individual and if they run a website what theme that site is. It could be that previous person didn’t go deep enough into that niche and you can scale up your efforts and conquer. I covered in detail how to successfully promote an infographic to score links here.
  3. You can also reclaim some links from sites that have used your infographic without attribution – here’s how
  4. To ensure your infographic looks fresh (‘selling’ the idea of embedding a stale infographic is not a fun challenge) and provided it won’t change the URL structure, you could always update the post or page where the infographic appears to a more recent date.

The beauty of promoting an old infographic is that you have the benefit of hindsight – you can see what worked and what didn’t the first time around.

Restructure, repurpose or consolidate existing content

You can take any existing content the client has and look at how you might

  • Restructure it
  • Repurpose it or
  • Consolidate it to maximise the link building opportunities.

For example, reworking a headline and refreshing a piece in even a minor way can turn a stale blog post into a solid piece of linkbait.

Something we did recently was to pull together a number of what I felt were weaker posts on ‘blogging’ and consolidated them to strengthen the value of our complete guide to blogging for your business which has now earned close to 250 links and gets approximately 5,000 views a month.

Dig deep within the organisation

You may be able to find content assets in the wealth of material that most businesses already have for example…

  • Old newsletters – very often a client’s email newsletter is a goldmine of useful content that is being hidden from the world. If it is an auto-responder series you might be able to resurrect the content as a mini-eBook or chunky blog post.
  • Sales presentations & Internal training presentations – imagine turning this kind of content into a post on “inside business X”, content that offers transparency is interesting, linkworthy and can be very attractive to buyers seeking to understand how an organisation works.
  • Intranet/employee knowledgebase – create a public glossary, common questions section or even turn some of the meatier responses into a series of “ask the expert” blog posts.
  • Old conference slide decks – get these on slideshare and put them to work, adding extra context to an existing blog post or even serving as a means for improving a guest post.

Rejuvenate with some paid media

Outbrain’s traffic acquisition service allows you to feed in (or manually add content) for promotion across the web. We buy outrageously cheap clicks through Outbrain from sites like CNN and Time. Your brand gets exposure to a top level audience and it gives your existing content a second lease of life in a link building sense. I’ve talked before about “the moment” and the importance of connecting with content creators at the point they are looking to link, well with Outbrain you can put your content next to a highly visible article and given the reader may well be in “information hunting mode”, there is a greatly increased chance that they’ll include a link to your article if it brings something useful to the table.

Another favourite tool for paid social media promotion is StumbleUpon’s paid discovery as out of all of the paid social media marketing we’ve done, StumbleUpon consistently drives the most organic activity off the back of it meaning you get way more for your money (in our experience at least).

And whilst you are here…

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