You need to do a content audit

You need to do a content audit

One of the first projects our Chief Strategist, Ian, completed as a young marketer was a how-to guide for MySpace. It was a PowerPoint. And he printed it to show his team. (I think this is where the kids say something like, “Ok, boomer.”) 

The simple reality is that we’ve been at this digital marketing game for a long time. 

And over the last 15 years, we’ve created a LOT of content. 

Blogs, infographics, social media, web pages, articles, thought leadership…if you’re anything like us, you’re sitting on a treasure trove of great material that you have already created. 

Yet our impulse is still to create something new. To come up with the next great idea. To start over. And start over. And start over again. 


Why do more work when you can, instead, do more efficient work? And why reinvent the wheel when you have a perfect circle within arm’s reach?

The reality is that most of your audience doesn’t remember your content. 

Sad, but true. 

And if your audience is growing (we’d love to help you do this, btw), then the new people on your email list weren’t around to receive that awesome message three years ago. They didn’t see it at all.

At every conference we’ve ever been to, the “experts” tell us one thing, over and over: Create engaging content. We always laugh at that because, duh, but also, they’re right. Good content is marketing magic—it’s why we built a storytelling agency. But we’d like to add to their advice: Create engaging content. And keep using the content you’ve created.

If you’re looking for easy, accessible content to share, chances are you already have it.

So how do you make use of the amazingness at your fingertips?

You need to do a content audit.

Spend time evaluating the material you already have, and start answering these questions:

  1. What is still working for you? These are the pages that are still getting lots of traffic and the pieces that are still getting used, so make sure the data and stories presented are accurate! Also, make sure these pages and pieces have logical next steps—where does a donor or prospect go after reading it? 
  2. What ISN’T working? In the wise words of Marie Kondo, if a piece of content isn’t bringing you joy anymore, it might be time to let it go. Or rewrite it. Or start over. 
  3. What could be working better? This is our favorite question! What are the stories in your arsenal that are interesting but unread? What blogs still work, especially if you were to spend five minutes updating them? What long-form articles could be parsed into a full month of social content? What can you re-share, re-post, or re-work? 

As you approach that last question, here are a few easy ways to get started: 

  1. Throwback Thursday. Post an old story in its entirety—no extra work required! 
  2. Repost your long-form. With well-researched long-form content, take the time to edit and update the information presented. Then repost the blog or article with an “updated” date—voila: new content. The SEO crawlers will love you. 
  3. Parse a blog into social. A full blog might not be super relevant anymore, but chances are high that you could find one or two sound bites that might be great social posts! As we always tell young writers, plagiarize yourself! If you’ve done the work, you can reuse it across channels! 
  4. Milk a piece for all its worth. Did you write a great impact report? Awesome. Now post it online. Pull five social posts out of the content. Turn it into a listicle. Independently share the infographics. Work smarter, not harder. You have so much existing content available to you! 

You can breathe life into old content—and Swell+Good is here to help. We conduct content audits for many of our clients, helping them identify what’s working, what’s not, and what could be. Then we help them turn the materials they have into a robust content calendar that is bursting with powerful stories. 

Want to learn more? Shoot us an email, we would love to talk to you!

A secret photo-editing weapon and 4 other things you need to read this week

A secret photo-editing weapon and 4 other things you need to read this week

1. A secret photo-editing 📷 weapon.

If you’re a Photoshop user, you know what a pain it can be to cut around a person in an image to remove the background. Doable, of course, but very time consuming and particular. Enter — an artificial intelligence app that does it for you. Your photo cropping just got WAY easier.

Remove image backgrounds with ease. [via]

2. You need a monthly giving program. 📅

Conceptually, we all know that monthly giving is a good idea. But all too often, it falls down the priority list in favor of major giving or other “critical” initiatives. But here’s the deal: “one-time donors renew, on average, at a rate of 45%. Monthly donors renew, on average, at a rate of nearly 90%.” Moral of the story: It’s time to ramp up your monthly giving program.

Why (and how) to cultivate monthly donors. [via Clarification]

3. Some of the best blog 🗒️ advice we’ve ever read.

When smart, talented writers reflect on their processes and lessons learned, we listen. This insight from CXL blogger Derek Gleeson hit so many nails on the head: from not wasting time on things that are good enough, to building in time to think, to updating old content because people are still reading it. (Yes, yes, and yes.) If you’re writing on the internet, this is worth the read.

How to make your blog better. [via CXL]

4. How to create variable ✍️ fonts.

Design nerds, raise your hands. This one is for you. Check out this helpful video tutorial and article about variable web fonts and learn how you can modify axes on a single font file (we told you this was for the design nerds…). Upside for everyone: fewer uploads, more readable websites, and less work. Wins all around.

A free tutorial on web fonts. [via Envato Tuts+]

5. Let’s talk about 🤯 burnout.

In a conversation with a friend recently, one of our team members put words to how we’re all feeling (whether we acknowledge it or not), noting that “right now, we are all in a constant and perpetually fragile emotional state.” Welcome to life in a pandemic! What this also means is that we’re all at risk of burnout. Luckily, one of our favorite thinkers, Adam Grant, has some insights on the scary (and very real) feeling of work being just too much. (Once you listen to this episode, check out all of the WorkLife podcast. We’re big fans.)

How to cope with burnout. [via The WorkLife Podcast from TED]