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Interlink Your Old Blog Posts [Day 8 31DBBB]

This post is an excerpt from the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook

Today I’m presenting you with a task that is perhaps a little less involved than some of the days so far. I wanted to give you something that would both help improve your blog but that wouldn’t take too long to either learn or implement (although it is something that you could dedicate a lot of time to if you have time on your hands).

Your task today is to spend 10 minutes interlinking previously written posts in your archives.

Why is Interlinking Posts Powerful?

There are three main reasons why I regularly dedicate time to go back over old posts on my blog and find ways to update those posts with links to other posts on my blog.

1. Usefulness to Readers – my primary motivation for interlinking posts is to provide a better experience for those people who are reading those posts and to make my blog more useful. If a reader comes to my blog and finds a post that not only answers a question that they have but that also provides further reading and suggestions on where they can explore related topics – they’re more likely to go away from my site satisfied. A satisfied reader is what I’m aiming for – they are more likely to return (it makes your blog ‘sticky‘) and tell their network about their experience.

2. SEO – another great reason to interlink the posts on your blog is that search engines look at the links within a blog to both find content to index but also to work out how to index and rank content. Links from other blogs to your blog are the ultimate way to start ranking highly in Google – but internal links also count.

3. Increase Page Views – inserting links into old posts increases the chances of a visitor to your blog viewing more than just the one page. This has a couple of benefits – the first being that it can help you earn more from that visitor if you’re running some kind of CPM (cost per impression) advertising. The second reason is that you’re creating a bigger impression upon the person visiting your blog. I find that when someone views more than a single page on your blog that they’re more likely to remember it, subscribe to it, comment upon it and become a regular and loyal reader.

While these three benefits all seem fairly small when you think about the benefits that a single link might bring – if you start building the interlinking of posts into your daily blogging experience the accumulative impact that it can have on your blog will be significant.

How to Add Links to Old Posts

There are a variety of methods of interlinking posts from your archives. Here are three main ones that I use:

1. In post links – I find that this is the most natural way to add links to an old post. All it involves is making a keyword (or words) in your post into a link that points to another post on the topic of that keyword.

2. Updates – sometimes post in your archives become ‘dated’ and are in need of an update. There are a variety of ways to update an old post but one simple one is to write a new post on the same topic and then leave a link in your old one to the new post.

For example: One popular post here at ProBlogger is How to Market Your Blog in 2007. While the post still contains useful information on marketing a blog it was obviously written over two years ago. As a result I’ve added a link at this top of this post to a page on How to Find Readers for Your Blog that points people to a variety of resources on that topic.

3. Further Reading - many blogs have a ‘further reading’ section that appears at the bottom of each post. In most cases this is a list of ‘related’ posts that are automatically generated using a plugin. While this can sometimes provide readers with relevant results I find that adding manually chosen links for further reading can produce a more relevant experience. You can add these suggested links both at the end of the post and throughout the post itself.

Quick Tip: When linking between posts always try to make the words that you use in the link relevant keywords to the article you’re linking to. This will maximize the SEO benefits of the link and help you rank higher for those words in Google.

Make Interlinking Posts a Regular Task

While I’m suggesting that you set aside some time today to interlink some of your old posts – I’d also highly recommend that you build this practice into your blogging on a regular basis. I personally spend 10-15 minutes a week hunting for opportunities to do this but also find myself doing it in my daily blogging rhythm as I’m writing new posts.

As you write a new post train yourself to be thinking about what you’re written previously that relates to your new post. As you identify related content start to interlink your posts (you can add links in your new post to old content and/or add links in your old ones to your new content). If you force yourself to do this you’ll start to find that it becomes a more natural part of your daily posting.

Go Do It!

Take 10 minutes now to start identifying old posts that relate to one another and get going on adding a few links between them.

Update – Share your thoughts and progress with others over at the forum: Day 8 – Interlink Posts

Want More?

This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.

Join over 14,000 other bloggers and Get your Copy Today.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. niceguyted says:

    This is a total cop-out on my part, but what the heck, that’s what I get for burning it at both ends. “There is no candle” as we like to say: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2009/04/13/interlink-your-old-blog-posts/

  2. niceguyted says:

    This is a total cop-out on my part, but what the heck, that’s what I get for burning it at both ends. “There is no candle” as we like to say: http://www.quixoticjedi.com/2009/04/14/day-8-31dbbb/

  3. Darren

    How about continuing the remainder of the 30 day challenge
    leaving one or two CATCH UP days in between each ‘challenge’ day??

    For many of us this is not the only project going on in our lives
    and IT SURE WOULD BE MORE FUN to actually have toe time to

  4. Darren, first thing I do today is interlinking.

    Quite surprising first activity of the day.

  5. The problem with getting these updates and challenges, is that I am like 8 hours behind. Here in SA, while I am sleeping you guys in AUS are awake. But one consolation is that we did win the ODI series.

    Anyway enough of that, I knew that internal linking was helpful in many ways, but never thought that I should go back to previous blog posts and put in some internal links.

    I have been doing a series on CSS. This is a prime candidate for internal links, as I have built up about 6 posts so far, with many more to come. I can go back and links to reference the other posts as well.

    The benefit of this is that it puts the other posts into perspective and context.

    Great reminder Darren

    BTW if any one is interested the first CSS tutorial is at http://www.integralwebsolutions.co.za/Blog/EntryId/137/Cascading-Style-Sheets-CSS-I-The-Basics.aspx

    To find the rest just do a search on the blog for “Cascading Style Sheets”, and a list will be presented. The search is on the left on the blog home page at http://www.integralwebsolutions.co.za/Blog.aspx

    Thanks

  6. I’ve done my 10 minutes interlinking. The strategy I followed was to identify my post popular posts (WP Plugin: Popularity) and add a few links to posts at the end of the article.

    When I have my next interlinking moments, I’ll do some in-text links as well.

    Great course! It’s hard to keep on top but I’m loving it :-)

  7. Josh Moore says:

    Thanks Darren.

    I did this a few weeks a go with my ‘Wealth Pillar Series’. As a fairly new blogger one thing I have been doing is analysing the way that other bloggers have built their sites, and linking to other posts was something prominent I picked up on.

    As I continue to increase the number of posts I write, I will continue to focus on linking posts to and from each other.

    I also read a point recently on a friend’s blog where he stated that having a list of your recent posts in the sidebar is also a good idea, as a new reader may not access your blog through the home page. A good thought that I am planning to implement.

    All the best to all the bloggers here!

    JM

  8. Paula Eder says:

    Thanks – this was a great exercise. I regularly do a monthly retrospective of the 5 top posts for the previous month (all interlinked) – but doing this more frequently helps. I am glad to know that it also hs an impact on SEO! Here’s what I wrote today (also links to another blog – per your advie!): http://thetimefinder.com/find-time-to-clarify-your-time-priorities-by-clarifying-what-you-value/

  9. Very interesting post , I never think about this fact , I am confident that it will help to make loyal readers

  10. gabybali says:

    I just updated 3 posts of mine with the related post links on the bottom of each post, but seems like I have to deactivate the “related post’ plugins so that it’s not conflicted with this update, because I can’t seem to control which post should be related to the new post.

    If you have time, please read these posts :

    - This never happened before :
    http://www.beeamazing.com/this-never-happened-before/
    - Add me on your Facebook,please! :
    http://www.beeamazing.com/add-me-on-your-facebookpls/
    - Nyepi Day – Like & Dislike :
    http://www.beeamazing.com/nyepi-day-like-dislike/

    some other posts have already been using this method. And I will write a new post with internal links today.

    Terima kasih, Darren!

  11. Rakesh Kumar says:

    This is very useful tip for me as my blog is very young. I must keep this tip in my mind and should be able to spend few hours every week to achieve interlinking technique for myself.

    Thanks Darren. I am learning everyday new and amazing techniques.

  12. Dean Saliba says:

    I’ve started interlinking and I find it means that older posts are getting more exposure now.

    I’m really enjoying this. Even if I am finding some of the posts a little hard to follow. :)

  13. roguepuppet says:

    Interlinking is an old habit of mine and one I always appreciate when other folks take time to do. I tend to do this not as a “topic summary” across many topics, but just referencing older posts to keep from repeating myself. This way, regular readers can skip the link, they already read it, and new readers can get caught up on the history of my thinking. In my post this morning about pervasive social networks, (http://roguepuppet.blogspot.com/2009/04/breathing-in-social-networks.html) I had a chance to do this and to link to some external blogs. Thanks for the continuing series..

  14. Thanks for such a nice and useful post

  15. Ryan Bickett says:

    Like a few others, I do not have too many posts. So, at this point I don’t have a lot to interlink to. However, I do see the value in this. Actually, I find this very useful in some of the blogs that I visit on a regular basis.

    So, I gave it a shot on a recent post I wrote about a tutorial website. Here’s the post ~ http://www.ryanbickett.com/tutorials/a-great-tutorial-site-for-learning-photoshop-photography-blogging-more/

    Thanks for another great article!

  16. Robin says:

    I thought my internal linking was better than it actually was. I checked my analytics for most frequent exit pages & found 3 articles, to add internal links in. One of them, was one of my more popular pages with the search engines & had a pretty high bounce rate. Hopefully, this will help plug some of the traffic bleed.

  17. Megan says:

    I wrote a book review (Under the Table: Saucy Tales from Culinary School) for today and ended up linking to some old posts in it.

    http://megan-deliciousdishings.blogspot.com/2009/04/book-review-under-table.html

    I actually interlink my posts pretty regularly already, but I think after reading this, I might start adding a further reading section at the bottom and hand-selecting posts. My automated related posts widget stopped working a while ago!

  18. I was doing this anyway, but I went through all my posts and found some opportunities to interlink that I’d missed. And I added some further info to some of my posts.

    So, another great task Darren – thanks.

  19. something I do is use the cross-linker wordpress plugin to interlink blog posts automatically on specific keywords give it a go

  20. Donna Hull says:

    Whenever I write a new post, I plan ways to link back to older ones if at all possible. My goal is to make the experience as valuable to my reader as I can. I do that with deep content, one blog that links to another and another, drilling down the information. Here’s a post that I wrote about yesterday on what to wear on a safari. It links back to reviews of both safari lodges where I stayed, an overall post on what to expect from a safari and another post on safari preparations that we made before leaving home.

    http://myitchytravelfeet.com/2009/04/14/dressing-for-safari/

    On Saturday’s I post a photo with a brief comment. It’s meant to make you want to go there. You can bet that I’ve already written a post about the place, allowing me to link text in the comment back to a meatier post.

  21. orv curry says:

    Just a quick note to say how much fun this entire exercise has been!!! I am a very new blogger and these lessons have really helped me understand how this all can work. Thanks!!!

  22. Carolyn says:

    This is the single, most important thing I’ve done on my blog to date. As soon as I learned of interlinking within posts a while back, on Problogger, I’ve been doing just that. And, of course, I’ve noticed that visitors are staying much longer on my blog. Thanks, Darren! I can’t thank you enough for this series. Great job!

  23. I do this all the time, as new articles seem to hit old stuff tangentially. For example, I link this humor post about the Minnesota sentate race – http://www.observingcasually.com/minnesotas-plan-to-cut-government-spending/ – whenever I write about actual news on that debacle :) Also, I write about baseball quite a bit (including this Manny Ramirez humor bit – http://www.observingcasually.com/manny-ramirez-signs-with-tigers/ ), and the articles hit on common themes a fair amount.

    I use the “ralated websites” plugin (which also shows related posts on other people’s blogs, in addition to your own), but I’ll have to check out some of the other plug-ins, esp since my friday fiction writing will likely spawn a few series.

    Good stuff, Darren.

  24. Liz Hatchett says:

    This tip seems so obvious, but as a new blogger I don’t think the thought of interlinking would have occured to me. I don’t have a lot of posts up yet, but some of them do interrelate. This is should be a fun challenge and a good thing to keep in mind as I continue writing more posts.

  25. Jerry Okorie says:

    Couldn’t be any simplier. Very interesting post , I never think about this fact , I am confident that it will help to make loyal readers and improve my rankings as well.

  26. Brian says:

    I didn’t realize how many of my posts were related, I went through my blog, but in the end I decided to use a plugin to relate the posts and add it to the bottom, but I also have to go through and update my catergories to make sure that the related posts are relevant to each other.

  27. Val Nelson says:

    As a web optimization specialist, I’m always thinking about more ways to link. I agree that they are very valuable for readers and search engines.

    I have found an easy way to do this with “Microkid’s Related Posts” plugin for WordPress. I tried other “related posts” plugins but this one surpasses them all. More info:
    http://www.microkid.net/wordpress/related-posts/

    Thanks

  28. This assignment inspired me to install a “Most Popular Posts” widget (on my Joomla platform) and the results were fascinating. The top 2 of the last 60 days both had the word “Recession” in it (go figure, we’re a personal finance blog).

    Here’s my post: DailyWorth Round Up: Recession! Recession. Is There a Recession?

    P.s. This 31 days to a better blog challenge is rocking my world. I can’t wait to get the next assignment every night and fall asleep thinking about how I will approach it.

  29. Kris says:

    I at least succeeded in putting labels on all old posts – yep, I true newbie. I like the idea I saw on Miss Britt where she constantly provides a link to a related post. Hopefully, within the next week my whole blog will be interlinked. Some already are…but not all.

  30. Brigitte says:

    This was great for me because I had some posts that were about accessories that related to one main post. Now the series makes more sense…thanks!

    Top 10 Accessories for a DIY Computer to LCD TV Connection
    http://www.diysanctuary.com/2009/04/top-10-accessories-for-diy-computer-to.html

  31. Chris Somers says:

    The interlinking strategies make a lot of sense. I learned a lot during this task. The whole challenge is awesome as we are learning something every day.

    We wrote a blog post about this task:

    http://activerain.com/blogsview/1033352/Are-you-utilizing-interlinking-strategies-in-your-blog

  32. Peter says:

    This is something I do pretty regularly on my guitar blog, especially if I notice I’m getting a spike in readers. If they’ve come to my site because of a particular hot story, I use a ‘Stuff You May Have Missed’ post to show them some other items and hopefully convert them into regular readers. Here’s the latest example:

    http://iheartguitar.blogspot.com/2009/03/stuff-you-may-have-missed-on-i-heart.html

  33. venkat says:

    After going to your post, I write an article linking to old posts ,but my doubt is how many links to old articles is suffice .
    here is my article interlinking to old articles
    http://computersservicing.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-to-reset-internet-explorers.html

  34. I think that the important thing to do is linking old articles to new ones, so that the reader not only “travels” to the past, but can go forward too.

    But how much is too much? I generally go check my old articles when I know I can link some words of them to some new article I just wrote, but is there some limit not to cross?

    For french-reading people, here are my thoughts about this 31DBBB task: http://nathaliehamidi.com/2009/04/15/31dbbb-interlink-your-old-blog-posts/

  35. So simple and yet so brilliant! I started already and want to follow the advice to dedicate 15 mins a day to improve interlinking.

    Awesome task.

  36. Ten says:

    I do this always I can. But I don’t know it is very important.

    Thank you.

  37. Kristin says:

    I didn’t realize all the benefits to doing this, but I’ve been doing it for about a week now! I have a daily picture post of the Crimson Year, a year long self-portrait project, and I’ve interlinked every post.

    The latest of these posts:
    http://mymeanbean.com/Blog/?p=2269

    I will be going through my posts and interlinking more as they are relevant to each other.

    Again, thank you and great timing, these assignments really do seem to just flow into each other!

  38. Stephanie says:

    This is a great idea. I do this but not very consistently, but it makes sense to start it up again. I’m playing catchup today, got behind on the challenge yet again.

  39. Patricia C says:

    I found it! Now I can keep going.

    PCVS

  40. This is a great example of something that should be common sense, because it makes so much sense!, but unless someone points it out to you, you will never realize what you have been missing out on. So, thank you for pointing this invaluable tip out to us!
    I have certainly made use of interlinking related subjects on my blog. If anyone would like to check it out and leave feedback, I would of course appreciate it!
    http://moniquenelson.wordpress.com
    Thanks! @MoniqueNelson

  41. Patricia C says:

    Actually? I was planning on deleting all my old posts. Or most of them anyway. Have to rethink that.

  42. Naomi Trower says:

    I really like the tip on making the link word a keyword that will rank you higher in Google. I have been linking to my other posts but not really paying attention to make sure it is a keyword. I also find it exciting that my fat loss blog is now getting found by a lot of keywords via google.

  43. Elle Kay says:

    mwahahaha, I am one step ahead of you, Darren, one step ahead!

    I included some interlinks to old posts in my Day #7 Link post. Ch-ch-ch-check it out:

    http://thenewmckechnie.blogspot.com/2009/04/31dbbb-day-7-show-some-link-love.html

  44. I finally got around to interlinking my old blog posts when publishing a new post on 2009 Film Festivals that are going in during this week of April. It is actually part of a blog series that I have been doing on Wednesdays, so I found ways to make it work with this interlinking assignment for the 31DBBB.

    While following the task of interlinking old posts that were relevant to the new posts, I was able to link 5 old posts to the new one.

    Here is the post:

    Film Festivals 2009: Now Playing this Week in April

  45. deeba says:

    I found out too late. may I still join? Thank you

  46. janflora says:

    I have been linking back to old posts when possible lately for the simple reason that noone was reading them back then, so I want to make sure my readers see some other stuff I have done/said. And I recently went through old posts to check links and add Tags which were not on WordPress when i started. So far so good. I had to dedicate some time to this , but it was good to read my own work again and see where I have changed and/or improved. I realized I had not been posting much on one topic I had committed to when I began the blog.
    Question: Do you keep pingbacks to your own posts in Comments section? I used to delete them till i realized they may encourage ppl to check out the pinged post.

    Here is a recent post w/ examples:

    http://janflora.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/amazon-fail-let-the-people-read/

  47. Meikah Delid says:

    I’m learning a lot from this, Darren. Good idea! Here’s my Day #8 Task. :)

    http://workbyremote.subersibo.net/2009/04/5-ways-to-evaluate-your-projects/

  48. titan says:

    i always do that and i know thats important. :)

  49. Finally, a task that takes less then 30 minutes ;-)
    Done!

  50. Veriance says:

    Done! I went back through my blog and linked things up whenever possible.

    http://veriance.blogspot.com/