Who cares about your stories when there’s already too much content?

If there’s already “too much content,” why even bother to write anything new?

It turns out, the average lifespan of a blog post or a news article is just about three days. Older than that, and your audience has already moved on to something that feels fresher. If you’re remarkable about getting traffic to your site from sources beyond social media, you could hope to stretch your content’s usefulness out to about two years.

In fact, American pop culture’s obsessed with reboots right now. If you count comic book movies alone, we’re on our second X-Men cast in the past two decades, and our third Spider-Man. Ben Affleck’s our ninth Batman.

That’s a phenomenon that’s tied to our very recent ability to record everything, forever.

Think about it this way: If we couldn’t revisit our same texts, thoughts, or ideas, we’d have stopped performing Hamlet shortly after it debuted on the stage in 1607.

But we didn’t.

If we had, Thomas Betteron wouldn’t have built a fifty-year career on the role. Sarah Siddons wouldn’t have pushed the envelope by playing both Hamlet and Ophelia.

For a long time, this was the problem I described when I first worked as a radio producer who didn’t quite understand his job. These artists would keep showing up at my station so I could record rough, acoustic versions of songs they had just spent months recording in studios under ideal conditions. During those first few years, I learned what I teach clients today: the work evolves and changes over time. We can love the “album version,” while still exploring the evolution of the same music and lyrics under a different arrangement. By the time we get to other artists’ cover versions of a song, we’re into transformative territory.

This brings me back to the concept I try to get across about “content” on business websites. It’s never really done, and it’s always evolving. And if you’re blocked for ideas about what to put into your blog or onto social media, don’t worry about reinventing the wheel. Start from a familiar idea that you want to explore with a fresh perspective. Share where you’re at right now.

You might not have the resource to update your site with fresh content every three days, but you can certainly get yourself on a cycle where you revisit your strongest posts and articles every two years. Extend them, expand them, or even argue with them based on what’s chage. What’s important is that you keep yourself in the conversation.


Joe Taylor Jr. has produced stories about media, technology, entertainment, and personal finance for over 25 years. His work has been featured on NPR, CNBC, Financial Times Television, and ABC News. After launching one of public radio's first successful digital platforms, Joe helped dozens of client companies launch or migrate their online content libraries. Today, Joe serves as a user experience consultant for a variety of Fortune 500 and Inc. 5000 businesses. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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