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Businessman holding a touchpad pc, reading a newspaperOne of the reasons why many website owners struggle to produce regular content is because they cannot think of new ideas to write about. Every time they come up with an idea they remember they have already written about that subject before, so they cross it off their list.

The problem with this line of thinking is that it is focused on yourself as content producer and not on the audience. For a start, not everyone reads everything you publish on your website or blog. If you write about a topic once, there’s a good chance that many people may miss it. Furthermore, even if someone does see an item once, they often need it to be repeated in slightly different ways before they “get it”. In other words, writing about a subject more than once is a good idea, not a bad one. It brings recognition to the subject, where before it was invisible, plus it reminds people of things they had forgotten about. In the past two years, for instance, I have written four specific blog posts on the need for establishing an “internet routine”. Even then, 80% of my visitors have yet to read any of them…! And that means I have the chance to write the same information again.

Even if what you want to write about was once new and is no longer seen as “news” you can still make people think it is new.

This was seen in the past few days with quite wide coverage of a neuroscience study which showed that brain cells can die if mice are deprived of sleep. The media coverage followed the publication of the research paper in the latest edition of the Journal of Neuroscience. All very interesting, you might think. Except you can find a very similar study in the Journal of Physiology from 11 years ago…! True – one is talking about cell death in mice and the other is talking about reduction in cell proliferation in rats, but essentially it is much the same thing – sleep deprivation affects your brain cells. In other words, we have seen lots of media coverage for an item which is not really that new.

If you are a neuroscientist you might consider the latest research as confirmation of earlier work or an interesting twist on a well-worn subject. But to non neuroscientists this seems as though it is “brand new”. And even if you saw the “news” 11 years ago, the chances are you had forgotten it, so this seems new.

Something is “new” when we hear about it for the first time or don’t previously remember hearing about it.

For instance, I recently repainted my office. That is new information to you. But it is not new information to my family or my neighbours. New depends not on the information but on the audience.

That means you can write the same subjects time after time after time because each time you are appealing to a different audience, or members of an audience who can’t remember the last time they heard it.

So, don’t go saying you can’t come up with ideas for “new” content. Just look back through your old content and write about that.