As a veteran content strategist, it’s always refreshing to come across new content inspiration that can get you thinking differently about content. When shuffling through The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I was surprised to find my newest source of content inspiration: tidying up.
While I love things to be organized, I really take zero joy in domestic spring cleaning. I see it as a necessary annual burden that has to be suffered through. Reading through the pages on tidying up your closet, I immediately started thinking of content.
When it comes to clothing, the book pitches a principle that serves as sort of a bottom line litmus test for every piece of clothing. The idea is that your clothing should inspire joy. Most of my clothing would fail that test. Clothing is just clothing to me. Content, now that’s a different ball game.
When looking at my content game, I’m thinking, “Which of these pieces inspired joy.” Which piece, even after years of it sitting around after I was first excited about it, still inspires joy. So while obviously you might not delete old content like you would discard an item of clothing, the pieces of content that gave you joy are points on a map that guide you to what you’re really passionate about. Is there a running theme in what speaks to you the most? What did the process for putting that piece together look like? What made it so enjoyable and how would you love to revisit that?
You might find that the act of collaborating sparked the most joy. Or perhaps you prefer creative or more technical pieces. Just like with clothing, it’s up to the individual, but either way you should start seeing a pattern in where you’re finding joy
On the other hand, as you’re going through content, you could very well delete old content. There’s a very good reason why you might want to do that. As your content game has grown, you’ll find that your voice has changed along with your caliber as a writer or a content team. Some pieces just might not fit anymore. So you can either discard them and move on with the content that does appeal to you and reflect who are you as a brand.
A third option is updating pieces. You may hate a jacket but might love to see that jacket turned into a vest; so you alter it. Same goes for your content. You might have been on the right track with a piece of content, but the work you put into it isn’t up to par with who are now. Instead of just deleting it, you could edit it. If you do take that route, be sure to indicate that the item has been edited. I would say that you’ve already put so much time and effort into a piece and at some point that mattered to you – and it will still matter to someone else. Rather than just deleting it, just breath some new life into it so that it’s still reflective of you and your brand, and still repurposed enough for someone else to benefit from it. With the average content piece taking about 4-6 hours, it would be a shame to just throw it away as if it didn’t have any more value.