December 13


Content Recycling – Why And How?

By Fabian Pott

December 13, 2020

Content Recycling

How You Can Get More Traffic With Content Recycling!

There are many things you can do with content recycling. The idea behind it: Popular articles, posts, or videos shouldn’t disappear into the archives, but should be republished and repurposed. To ensure that this is successful, however, a fact-based procedure is required. In this article, you’ll learn when it makes sense to strategically recycle and republish your content and how you should do this.

What Is Content Recycling?

Content recycling means using already published articles intentionally for a more long-term purpose. Basically, this means that a piece of content is reused and repurposed. In the process, it can be placed in a different format on channels that were previously not used. There are almost limitless creative ways to redefine relevant content that already exists: They range from transforming a blog article into a podcast to merging several articles into a comprehensive e-book.

High-Quality Produced Content Doesn’t Stay Up-To-Date Forever

Both the search engine ranking and the interest of page visitors are closely connected to relevant and up-to-date content that guarantees an additional value. Users want to read news, information, or tips that meet their personal expectations, ideas, and questions. If you want to generate traffic and performance with content marketing, you must therefore continuously invest in content assets that effectively respond to the audience’s needs.

However, the continuous creation of fresh articles and posts is a huge investment of resources, both in terms of time and money. To make things even more difficult, content is naturally forced to age. This means that even the most in-depth blog article will eventually no longer be noticed by the audience and therefore will lose relevance – and with it, value!

Recycled Content as a High Impact Alternative with Many Benefits

Content recycling makes it possible to put hard-earned content into a new context and reuse it again. Content recycling offers a powerful opportunity to extend, fully leverage, and ideally increase the success of resources that have already been invested. The benefits of this are very clear:

  • with good, recycled content you can win new readers
  • re-distribution increases your audience reach
  • a consistent communication strengthens the branding
  • the use of new channels creates more reach and new visitors who aren’t active on the channels which were used before
  • established content provides relevant, fresh knowledge at the same time
  • the chances of success for a good search engine ranking will increase
  • compared to creating new content, content recycling is a cost-saving alternative
  • it allows you to get the most out of top content – and get new successful content!

Content Recycling, Republishing, and Remastering – what are the differences?

There are various similar strategies in content marketing for repurposing and reusing old content. Content recycling, therefore, represents only one possible option for converting existing content. To help you understand how the most common practices differ from each other, here is a brief overview.

Content Republishing

Republishing means republishing content without changing its structure. This method is used when a topic from the past becomes relevant again.

Content Remastering

This technique involves only a minor adjustment – for example, as part of a WDF*IDF optimization or as part of slight updates.

Content Recycling

This involves the transformation of content into new formats in order to enable new sets of content. This includes, for example, the split-up of long articles into fresh micro-content.

Content recycling is therefore not about reusing the content in its original version. Instead, it’s a content marketing strategy that specifically transforms existing content in order to make the most of resources that have already been spent.

New Content vs. Content Recycling – Think Twice!

There is no general rule on when content reuse is better than new content production. Making a wise choice for a content strategy must be based on a detailed analysis. This involves evaluating existing content in terms of its return on investment (ROI).

Meaningful key figures in this context are:

  • traffic
  • rankings
  • backlinks & shares
  • leads
  • sales

Finding Content That Should Be Recycled – Here’s How It Works

To identify content that offers recycling potential, a detailed analysis is necessary. Not all content is equally suitable for recycling. It is crucial that the content has a current relevance for the audience. This means: Only timeless content of high quality is suitable for meaningful reuse!

In this sense, long guides, information articles, for example, have the potential for content recycling. It is crucial that they provide a minimum of topical depth in order to create new content assets. A number of different methods help when searching for content that can be prepared in new formats.

Pareto rule (80/20)

You can use the so-called Pareto approach as an example. The method, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 80% of the success can be expected from 20% of the resources used. Transferred to the context of content marketing, this means:

20% of the content causes about 80% of the traffic on a page. This is the top content on your site, which is very popular to users. You can determine this effective 20% of your content by checking the performance of your content. Tools like Google Analytics can help. They show you, for example, which content leads to a high number of page visits over a longer period of time.
In this context, the following key figures are helpful:

  • Impressions
  • Time spent on the site
  • Bounce rate

Articles with a high impression and a high average retention time as well as a low bounce rate offer ideal recycling potential. Therefore, look for content with a high conversion rate.

Low hanging fruits

It is worth taking a look at the specific keyword ranking of each content page. Here you can check which keywords rank with which posts on the 10th to 20th positions. Those content assets are called “low hanging fruits” among SEOs. They are suitable for content recycling, as there is literally room for improvement in terms of ranking.

By the way: A content relaunch is also a good tactic to effectively boost the reach and traffic of a page. This method aims at the strategic revision of articles whose ranking and bounce rate require optimization.

Content Recycling with Strategy – Here’s How

You have many options to make existing content shine in a new light:


The content, for example a post from your blog, is divided into smaller, easy to grasp pieces.


Individual pieces of content are combined to form a comprehensive content asset. This is the case, for example, when individual articles create a comprehensive e-book.


This refers to the preparation of content for new channels. For example, a published blog post can be republished as a video.

The amount of possibilities to recycle content is up to your creativity. For example, if you want to reuse text from your blog, the following ideas will give you some inspiration:

  • create new list posts from your most popular blog articles – titles like “the 5 best tips for….” or “10 ways to use …” are great for this
  • increase the added value of blog posts with infographics and images
  • you can also share the infographic or image from your blog post on social media like Facebook
  • shorten popular articles from your blog to a catchy summary and make it available as a download
  • you can combine thematically related blog posts into a multi-chapter e-book
  • expand on old blog articles and repurpose them as crisp, understandable presentations
  • handy quotes or headlines in blog posts are not only well-received on your blog – share these lines on social media like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest as well!

Recycled Content – 4 Tips To Make It Work

Content maintenance is an integral part of the recycling process. Therefore, take the opportunity to prepare, optimize, and update your content in a channel-specific way.

  1. Clever tools help you with text optimization
    When optimizing your content, use SEO tools and the WDF*IDF method. At the same time, it is also worth taking a look at W-question tools such as Hypersuggest. In addition, the tool plays you helpful Google search queries.
  2. Nice new graphics
    Include any used graphics in the recycling process. Here you can adjust alt tags and replace outdated information in the description with new keywords.

  3. Optimize internal links
    When revising existing posts, also check for opportunities to add new internal links.

  4. Think strategically

Ensure the success of your efforts. It makes sense to categorize content according to function and length, and to recycle content based on that.

This example shows you how to bring system into the recycling of your content:

The starting point is short term content formats such as blog articles. These short content assets can be optimally supplemented with long-form content that goes deeper into the topic presented. This includes white papers or e-books. You can use this recycled content as a basis for transforming it into other, recurring formats. There are no limits to your ideas. Try your hand at podcasts, videos or social media posts.

You start by expanding existing content and then dividing it into smaller chunks. In doing so, you’ll take full advantage of the contingent of possible content formats and offer your users a variety of ways to interact with your brand or message.

Be careful when updating old blog articles!

Expanding the content of blog articles is an ideal way to create evergreen content that will drive additional traffic to your site. However, you should not change the URL of the article under any circumstances, otherwise the post will go nowhere. Also, work with transparency – tell your readers that you have changed the article.

Final Thoughs On Content Recyling

Content recycling presents a powerful opportunity to maximize the potential of content that works. Especially companies with limited time and budget benefit from this strategy – there is already content that can be transformed into a second usage cycle. Used correctly, this practice gives you access to previously untapped target groups.

Are you interested in content recycling and would like us to take a look at your content? Contact us – we will be happy to help you!

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