If you do – you’re not alone.
Many bloggers hit a dry patch 6 to 12 months into their blog when they feel they’ve already covered almost every aspect of their niche and that they’re content is getting ‘thin’.
Unfortunately a large number of bloggers hitting this dry patch give up on their blog when they feel they’ve ‘covered everything’ and as a result could be missing out on the benefits of their previous months or years of hard work.
My theory is that most bloggers see their archives as a list of items on a ‘to do list’ that they’ve ticked off. Once they’ve ticked them off they’re over and done with – never to be returned to.
I think this is flawed thinking
Rather than thinking this way I see a blog’s archives as a treasure trove of ideas for future posts
Bouncing off previous posts that I’ve written is one of the techniques that I regularly use on my blogs to build momentum and go deeper into the topic that my blogs cover.
The problem with seeing your archives as a list of static topics that you’ve ticked off is twofold:
1. You can always go deeper on a topic – Take ProBlogging for instance – while there are constantly new developments happening in the niche (to provide me with ‘newsy’ content, I’m also always learning how to be a ProBlogger better myself. As a result my strategy for ProBlogging is different today from what it was a year or two ago. For this reason some of what you’ll find in my archives is somewhat dated. It does reflect what I previously thought about the topic but there is plenty of room to legitimately address the topics there again as I’ve grown (as has the niche itself).
2. Never assume current readers have read everything you’ve written – Blogs have a natural turnover of readers over time. No matter how good you are as a blogger people will naturally come and go from your regular reader list. While it’s sad to lose a reader (there are many reason they might leave – often outside of your control) this turnover can actually bring life to your blog as new readers find you and bring new perspectives, questions and energy. Keep in mind though that most of your new readers will not have read your early posts. Some might have crawled through your archives but most will not and will often appreciate you addressing an older topic.
As a result of these two factors you should see your archives of old posts not only as a collection of your previous thoughts but as a springboard for new ones.
I regularly scan through old posts for ideas for future ones. I particularly look for posts that I either disagree with (due to a change of perspective) or posts that I think I could go deeper with. Sometimes I link back to my old posts to show the progression of thinking but on many occasions I simply write them as standalone new content.
I often talk about how blogging is conversational in the way it lends itself to interactions between blogger and readers (as well as between bloggers).
Talk to Yourself
In a sense, when you treat your archives as a living part of your blog that can be revisited over time you actually take the conversation into a new realm, talking to yourself.
While ‘talking to yourself’ might sound a little strange (my mum always said it was the first sign of madness) I think it actually is one of the first signs of a maturing blogger who is taking their blog to a new level by refining their thoughts on a topic. It’s through this refining process that real wisdom and expertise surfaces.
Without revisiting your previous thoughts or ideas you run the risk of becoming stagnant and limit your own growth in your chosen field.
Take a surf back through your archives today to see what might inspire your next post.
- What do you see there that is out of date?
- What old posts do you disagree with?
- Where could you go deeper?
- What older posts might your newer readers have never seen?