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Are you struggling to come up with new, high-quality content? Do you have writer’s block? Guess what? You already have content on your blog just begging for your attention. Today’s post is all about showing some love to our old blog posts by revitalizing them.
I don’t know about you, but old posts seem to still get some hits on my blog. That got me to thinking – what if that content is outdated? What if my writing wasn’t that good? What can I do to improve them? I think it’s easy for us as bloggers to forget about our old blog posts because we want to continue to pump out new content. One forgotten blogging strategy is to keep content updated.
Reasons why you should start doing this TODAY:
You’ve learned new things
I’ve been blogging since 2015, and I’m pretty sure that I knew how to write well back then, but that’s about all I could do. I didn’t understand how to include keywords for SEO, proper placement of affiliate links, or including links to other content to keep readers on my site much longer than a few seconds. I can definitely tell you it’s frustrating to spend a lot of time perfecting a blog post to not get many views or shares.
The good thing about blogging is this: The more you do it, the better you get at it. I’m sure I have plenty of old posts that were good ideas, but were terribly written. It’s time to update them! And, not only will I update these posts because I care about the content on my blog, but I will also share them again. Who knows, maybe they will go viral! Learning as you go is good for new posts, but this education can definitely apply to the oldies on your site as well!
You have more followers
We all probably don’t have the same number of followers we did 2 years ago – at least I hope not! Hopefully, your following has continued to grow. If it’s not, then you aren’t really succeeding as a blogger.
New followers usually read your most recent content, and probably don’t have your site’s archives memorized like you do. So, you need to continue to direct them to these older posts by linking within newer posts and by setting up a sharing schedule on social media (I use Hootsuite). Chances are, your original followers fell head over heels for your old stuff – so, let your new followers experience the same thing!
You’ve experienced more
If you started blogging 5 years ago, chances are you’ve traveled to new places, met new people, learned new things, and made more memories. If you wrote a post about traveling to London years ago and you went again a few weeks ago, why not update the original post to include the new experiences you learned from your most recent trip? By doing this, you are showing your followers not only do you care about your older content, but you continue to travel and learn new things.
When you experience more, you have more to say. Find opportunities with your old blog posts to update the information you originally shared and add new content that your readers are sure to love!
Keep your readers engaged
Updating old blog posts brings back memories of the first time a reader reads a memorable post. If you bring up new perspectives, ideas, links, and suggestions, you’ll keep your readers interested in what you have to say next. Revitalizing old blog posts is a great way to put a new spin on an old topic to draw readers back in to your site. It doesn’t matter how old the post is – 100 years or 100 days – do it to all of them!
Ready to get started? Here’s how to do it!
Make a list of all the posts you want to update
The first place to start is by scouring your blog for those posts that you want to update. This may take a few hours up to a few days, even weeks, but is worth it! It all depends on how many posts you have made, and how many are worthy to be updated.
Do you have posts that fit within the current season? For example, if I wrote a piece about Black Friday, which I did, chances are I’ll get more shares if I update it right before the holidays start.
Focus on posts with high views
If you use WordPress like I do, you have a nifty feature that tells you exactly which posts have had the highest number of views. Focus on these! The reason they got high views is because you gave your readers something they were interested in.
One of my most-viewed blog posts is 100 Blog Post Ideas. Chances are, I can update this post to 500 Blog Post Ideas! Surely I’ve come up with more interesting ideas since I originally wrote this post. It’s a useful post for bloggers to read to PROVIDE VALUE to them. Updating this post only makes sense!
Clean up the post
Go back through your post – word for word. You are looking for grammar errors and sentence structure. Shorten paragraphs that exceed five sentences and eliminate repetitive phrases. I like to use the newer version of Microsoft Word for this. It searches for repetitive phrases and suggests a better way to say them. It also keys you in on those phrases and teaches you to modify your craft. I tend to say “all of” a lot. I would have never picked up on that had I not closely monitored my grammar and sentence structure.
Verify links still work
Chances are you probably have a few broken links within your blog. Broken links are a good way to prevent traffic from staying on your site. If your readers don’t find what they are looking for, or the content is missing, they’ll move on to the next site. Don’t be that victim!
I recommend a site called: Brokenlinkcheck.com to review all of your links. It may scare you to do this, but YOU NEED TO KNOW! Fix these links immediately, or delete them! I ran my site through it today and I had 143 broken links! I couldn’t believe it, but now I have a list to go through to clean them up!
Use Yoast SEO
I’ve used Yoast ever since I started blogging. Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that helps you optimize every aspect of your posts to position it to be as SEO-friendly as possible. It’s a free plugin (with optional premium features). If you aren’t using it today, why not? Take every advantage to update old posts to fit the mold of the rest of your site.
Update the content
Did you write a recipe post 5 years ago? Did you modify it a month ago to make it better? Update the original post with the new content and indicate at the top of your post the date that you updated it. Show your readers you are continually trying to improve what you’ve already written. There’s no better way than to update the content to match your new knowledge.
Recreate the post in a different medium
Most of us write posts only as a regular post seen on our blog, but how many times have we thought about creating it again in a different medium? What do I mean by this? Take my post, How to Make A Spectacular Media Kit. It’s a GREAT candidate to convert to PowerPoint! Did you know that you can move your blog posts into a PowerPoint format and share on SlideShare?
Not only can you recreate your posts into PowerPoint, but you can also make one giant eBook of all of your blog posts. I’m doing that right now with all of the posts I’ve written about blogging. Creating an eBook is a fantastic way to share your content as well as offer an incentive for readers to sign up for your mailing list.
Another medium many bloggers forget about is infographics. Does your post contain a lot of stats or steps? Create a free infographic to go along with the original post.
Remove bad posts
As much as we would hate to admit it, we have all probably created posts in the past that we hate. Why leave them on the site? If you can’t figure out a way to revitalize and repurpose them, it’s time to hit the delete button. My suggestion is to copy/paste the post into Word in case you want to revisit the post later down the road. If you are in WordPress, you can always revert the post back to a draft status.
Optimize images for Pinterest
Make sure that every image on your site is optimized for Pinterest. Remove images of low quality. Pin these images to the many group boards you have joined (I hope you have! Pinterest is awesome for traffic!) Research shows images with red colors do better than any other color. I really don’t know why (maybe this is a good topic for a future post!).
I love Pinterest because not only does it provide valuable content to me personally, but it’s such a great platform for sharing blog posts. I have created my own Pinterest Board for all of my blog posts. It’s a great way to share content even more.
Link to your other posts
There’s no better way to keep readers interested and engaged on your blog than to link to your other posts. Chances are, you’ve written similar or relevant posts that would be perfect links in your old content. I’ve linked to my older content in this very post. Did you notice?
Increase word count
It has been proven that search engines love to find web pages that are rich in detail. If you have any posts that are less than 1,000 words, consider reworking those posts to increase the word count. While it may not be possible in all situations, making sure the word count works in your favor is a great way to keep the post rising up in the search results.
Share it again
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I use Hootsuite to auto-schedule my already-published posts. Make sure you are doing this regularly. Don’t let the fact that your posts are years old detract you from sharing them again. If readers found them useful back then, and you’ve followed my steps in this post, the age really won’t matter. I focus on the major social media networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram. Another good idea is to write a new list post sharing the newly updated posts with your readers.
Ask your readers for feedback
What better way to find posts that need updated than to survey your readers? Share a post to your email list and invite feedback on how the post can be improved? Your readers know what they are looking for, so use that to your advantage. Make it clear that you welcome positive or negative feedback. Oh, and make sure you SHARE the updated post and give credit to the readers that provided the suggestions!
Insert affiliate links
By now, I hope you have joined some of the great affiliate programs out there to help you earn extra income as a blogger. Most bloggers just focus on the new posts and find ways to insert affiliate links whenever appropriate. You would be surprised how many of your old posts can give you that very same opportunity. Scour your old blog posts and find ways to incorporate the affiliate links.
If you aren’t participating in affiliate marketing today, why not? I highly recommend ShareASale. I actually wrote a recent review of ShareASale so check it out today if you are interested in joining. Joining is FREE and there are thousands of merchants to choose from when deciding which brands to promote.
Be careful which merchants you choose to work with if you do go the route of affiliate programs. Some of them have very strict rules about how they want you to promote their products.
Lather, rinse, repeat
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post (and other posts on my blog for that matter!). No matter how old your blog is, never stop updating your content. It’s a process that’ll continue for the life of your blog. Trust me, you will reap the benefits of a well-maintained site.
It’s time for ME to live up to the advice I’ve given you today to go update my old posts. Stay tuned for a grand list of everything I updated. I look forward to seeing what YOU have done in the past with your old posts. Share in the comments!