How to Turn Old Posts into Successful Long-Form Content

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By Boris Dzhingarov

Long-form content is said to be better than shorter content for a couple of reasons. One, longer content can perform better on search engines. Two, long-form content can lead to better engagement. It can attract more links and shares and visitors are likely to spend more time on the website. Three, longer content can boost conversion rates. Four, to the readers, longer content can be a sign of expertise. If you have covered something comprehensively, it’s a clear indication that you are an expert in it. These benefits are some of the key reasons why turning an old post into long-form content is a good strategy for giving new life to existing content. If you aren’t sure how to go about this, consider the following tips

Start by Evaluating the Performance of Your Posts

The first thing you should do is to make a list of the posts you would like to turn into long-form content and highlight their performance. Check the traffic sources, number of page views, social shares, conversion rates, and backlinks. Knowing the performance can give you some direction when creating long-form content.

Purpose of the Long-Form Content

Next, think about the purpose the long-form content should serve. You shouldn’t convert a post unless doing so adds some value to your website and business. The purpose can be to boost engagement, increase conversion rates, improve the search engine rankings, and offer more value to your website visitors. Think about this before you start rewriting and adding new content to your older posts.

Identify New Keywords

Since you are writing longer posts, you can add some more keywords. Remember, the more the keywords you have, the better your chances of ranking more. A free way to find new keywords is to make use of Google. When you search a certain keyword or phrase on Google and scroll to the bottom of the search results, you will see a couple of related phrases. You can use this as your starting point for finding new keywords. However, since these results won’t give you metrics such as the search volume and keyword ranking difficulty, you will have to take your research further using keyword research tools. 

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Identify New Content to Add

How many words do you need to add to the old content and what subtopics should you focus on? The new keywords can help you in identifying the content you need to add to make long-form posts. Also, you can still make use of Google to find additional content ideas. On the search results page, as you scroll down, you will see some questions titled ‘people also ask’. Use these questions to find content ideas that will be useful to your audience.

If you have a number of short blog posts on the same topic, you can choose to merge them to form long-form content. This is an approach that is very helpful, especially in cases where you have one piece that is doing so well and other similar topics that aren’t doing so well. Depending on the content of each, you can retain one of the old topics or create a new one. After merging two or more posts, don’t forget to take care of the URLs, especially if the posts have already been indexed by the search engines.

Create an Outline

You should have two outlines. One, have a plan indicating when and how you intend to work on each blog post. Two, for every blog post, provide an outline of its content. Create your outline before you start writing to ensure the content has a good flow and that it makes sense. Without plan one, it can be easy to procrastinate or take too much time on one post. Without plan two, you could end up with content that is confusing to your readers and that bears no positive fruits. Therefore, have the two outlines before you get to work.

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Hire a Freelancer

If you don’t have the time or the skills to turn your short blogs into long-form content, hire a freelancer to do it for you. You could also work with a freelancer for the keyword research and the additional content suggestions. When hiring a freelancer, first, ask for their samples to see if they have a good command of English or the language you are using. Next, give them a short sample on a similar subject to write before assigning them a big project. Don’t forget to talk about the rates and payment terms before you hire them. You may have to create a budget before hiring a freelancer to ensure you hire someone you can afford to pay.

Have a Promotion Strategy

Whether you are creating a long-form content as a blog for your website or as an e-book for sale or free download, it’s important to have a promotion strategy. Know how you will get the content to the reader. You could do this via email marketing, social media posts, paid ads and sponsored posts among other strategies.

While long-form content has the potential to perform well, it needs to be of high quality for you to get the benefits. Don’t fill your pages with fluff just so you can get to 1000+ words. Every sentence should include meaningful content that readers will love. For the sake of the search engine rankings, do your keyword research thoroughly and don’t stuff in keywords when writing.

Remember two things when creating long-form content; you need to write for your audience and optimize for the search engines. Don’t focus on one and ignore the other if you want to succeed.

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Also, take into account other factors that may affect the performance of your content. For instance, if your website loads slowly, people will leave before they read your new content. Also, too many ads or call to action buttons on the page can entice the reader to leave before they finish reading. Thus, work on your website’s elements too.