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One Activity You Should Do On Your Blog Every Day

Every DayWhat’s the one thing that you should do on your blog every day (or at least regularly)?

“Create new content!”

Good answer! Without regular new content your blog isn’t really a blog is it?

Another Great Daily Exercise for Your Blog

But other than creating new content – what else should you be paying attention to every day?

I want to suggest a simple activity that I think can be almost as important as creating new content for your blog.

It’s still content related but it’s about paying some attention to OLD posts.

Lately, I’ve been paying as much attention to my archives as I have to writing new content. And it’s paying off driving more traffic to old posts, finding new readers and importantly, improving the quality of content on the blog as a whole.

Here’s what I do:

1. Select a Post

I choose a post each day that is at least a year old. I usually choose one that is 2-3 years old and one that could do with some attention.

My criteria for selection is that it is a post with one or more of the following criteria:

  • It has performed well in the past, in terms of traffic or comment numbers
  • It has dated and needs updating to make it relevant for today
  • It was a good post but for one reason or another didn’t perform to its potential

I usually am looking for a ‘tutorial’ rather than a ‘news’ or ‘review’ type post – because I find these posts don’t date as fast.

2. Update It

By updating the post I mean numerous things, depending upon the post itself. These might include:

Update Content

This can be anything from a proof read through to a larger ‘rewrite’ of the post (or sections of it). I might add updates to make the post relevant to today or even add images/diagrams etc. Ultimately, it is about improving the content to make it more useful for readers.

Search Engine Optimisation

I don’t spend a heap of time on SEO but as I read back through the post, I will tweak it to better optimise for search engines. I use Yoast’s plugin for this and it helps by suggesting areas the post can be improved (heading, titles, alt tags, meta descriptions etc).

I also add links to other relevant posts on the blog. This is not only good for SEO, it’s good for readers too.

Social Optimisation

Posts published 3 or more years ago were published into a very different internet. Since then we’ve seen people sharing different types of content through new social media sites like Pinterest and G+.

One update I like to make is to make posts more shareable. For example adding a good visual or a collage of images can make a post more shareable on Pinterest. Also adding calls to action to share can be beneficial.

Calls to Action

In the same way that the web has changed over the last 3 years, so too have my own blogging goals and monetisation model. As a result, I take a critical look at old posts and what ‘calls to action‘ I’m giving to readers.

For example, 3 years ago I didn’t have any eBooks to sell, today on dPS we have 14. If a post I’m updating is relevant to one of these eBooks I’ll add a call to action to buy it. Other new calls to action might be to share a post on social media, to subscribe to our newsletter, to read another post, to join our forum etc.

3. Share and/or Republish

With the post updated, I then consider how it might be appropriate to give it some more exposure.

Again – there are a range of options available here including:

Republish

I don’t republish every updated post but 1-2 times per week, I will. I usually choose posts that have a proven track record of being well received and the type of content that has been shared in the past on social.

These posts go up on the blog as new posts simply by changing the publishing date to a recent one (note: on dPS I can do this easily as our link structure does not have dates in it).

Social

I also share every updated post on social media, in some way or another. I will tweet links to it but also add it into our Facebook and Pinterest sharing schedule.

Newsletter

At times I’ll also link to these updated posts in our weekly newsletter. I don’t do this for every post but often will add them with a note saying that they’re a hot post in the archives.

New/Followup Posts

The last thing I occasionally do with updated posts is to write new followup posts. This usually happens when I’m doing an update of an old post and realise that there is now scope to extend the idea considerably with a second part to the series. This new post will link back to the old – driving traffic back into the archives.

The Benefits of Paying Attention to Your Archives

The archives of your blog are in many ways just as important as the new posts on your blog.

On dPS we have over 4000 posts in the archives and it’s on these posts that the majority of our readers land thanks to search engine referrals. Updating those posts, in the way I’ve described above, not only helps their search rankings but makes the posts more useful , which means you’re more likely to see the posts shared by readers and more likely to create a good first impression on the readers who find them.

The result is more traffic, more subscribers and followers and hopefully more revenue as a consequence.

Do you update old posts on your blog? What other ‘updates’ would you add to my list above?

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. I have been told that my writing as morphed as I have blogged faithfully, so I love this idea. I do already spend time in my Archives, updating and catching edits that I was oblivious to the few years ago I actually started blogging. Recently I have been taking my first posts for this blog, editing them and then sharing in our local Patch (local newsblog/paper). A friend shared that the website had put a shout out for “Faith Bloggers”, she shared that with info me- and I went forward with a two a week schedule on their site of my archived posts, many of which were read by few since at that time I had a handful of followers! I am not a big blog at this point but getting more mileage out of some of the posts has been a great exercise for this writer, blogger and hopeful, someday published author.

    • Sarah Bauer says:

      Dawn,

      Isn’t it cool to be able to track your writing skills and watch the process of growing and getting better? I learn so much from going back through my old posts – it becomes an exercise in self improvement, first!

      Cheers,
      Sarah Bauer
      Navigator Multimedia

  2. You are exactly right! There is no hidden secret to increasing traffic or ranking highly with search results. It all comes down to creating great, focused content on a consistent basis. For those who love blogging, this is not a big deal. However, I have found for the people who are just getting started or who are using a blog to enhance their business website, this is very difficult and overwhelming for them.

  3. dojo says:

    This really makes a lot of sense. As time passes we have good content in the ‘backseat’ and it’s a pity to get lost. By getting it back into the focus we can re-use some ideas or just promote something useful once again.

  4. Cameron says:

    Thank you for the advice. Previously, I had never really paid any attention to my previous posts, but now I think I will take some time and look at them. Thank you for the help!

  5. Darren,

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I updated some of the most searched posts but to republish after a significant time has passed didn’t occur to me. I fall into the just getting started (blogging for about ten months), so these tips are really helpful. Take care.

  6. Edson Hale says:

    Wonderful idea to put new life in an old post; apart from updating its contents and removing obsolete information from it we can also put a few new internal links of our posts that deserve projection.

  7. Yasmina says:

    As far as links are concerned, I suggest linking to newer content as this content might be of interest to readers of od posts.

  8. Thanks Darren, Brilliant post and really useful advice to re-open and re-fresh those archives!
    Re-optimising posts for Pinterest and Instagram (if you use it as channel) can be time consuming but can reap so many rewards.x

  9. Chris says:

    Darren, since I’m new…I dont have so many posts so that I can update them. I’m still fighting with creating good and original content to increase my traffic. Thanks for this. It will be good for me in the future.

  10. Mary Corbet says:

    I’ve recently started doing this, but on a weekly basis. At first, I tried doing it daily, but I was spending more time on old content than on creating new and I always felt like I was falling behind. So I set a goal of one old post per week.

    Besides adding fresh images and tweaking the text to optimize it with search-engine-friendly terminology and interlinking to newer content, I make sure that obsolete links are removed (I guess that’s a given), and I also link out to other resources online. Even doing this just once a week for a couple months, I noticed a fairly sudden influx of increased ad revenue and a boost in traffic. I don’t republish the posts with today’s date, but I so usually mention in current posts that I’ve recently updated this or that article, or I link back to the recently updated article within the context of the new content.

    It works! And another bonus – going back through old articles always gives me ideas for new content.

  11. se7en says:

    This is such a great tip… Thank you!!!

  12. I share links to two posts every day on Facebook (it helps to know that almost all of my content is evergreen). If I’ve published a new post that day, that’s obviously one of them. But for the second –

    First off, I use Post Planner — a FB app that lets me schedule my posts out in advance (with a free account, you can schedule 30 in advance).

    Second, I keep a spreadsheet listing all my posts (it’s helpful to have the title as links) and then a column for “last date on FB” (a MAX function) and other columns where I enter the date as I schedule. Sorting the spreadsheet on the “last on FB” column will put the ones that haven’t been shared for the longest time on top.

    Third: I pick one that seems appropriate (some are seasonally shared or never, and they’ll collect at the top) and then click the link and GO READ THE POST. I edit as appropriate and click on all the links to make sure they work and that nothing has changed (nothing like stating the price of an item is $10 and then discovering it’s now $25!). I’ll add links to later posts I’ve written on the topic, etc.

    Fourth: Most of my old posts have a 250×250 image as the thumbnail/featured image. Since FB now will show a 560×292 one if it’s available, I re-do the featured image if possible.

    Fifth: I write up the intro and schedule it on Post Planner (finally!).

    Yes, it takes time but it ensures that my evergreen posts are kept up and slowly gets the new size image onto them all, so that if a readers shares it on FB, it will attract attention.

  13. I doing this kind of optimization using a plugin called ‘tweet old post’ that is a handy and free plugin that can control the update automatically in a certain time interval and based on some criteria.

    Thanks for this tips Darren.

  14. E. Sheppard says:

    I love this idea. I will be revisiting my older posts and updating very soon. Thanks!!

  15. Budi Wahyono says:

    Thanks so much Darren, this tips very useful for me as a beginner blogger.

  16. As I’ve been posting daily for more than four years, I sincerely appreciate the note about posts older than three years having been published in a very different internet climate. Thank you for the idea to revamp the old. Always something enlightening and helpful here. Cheers!

  17. Fernando says:

    Great tips and something I will be starting with my personal blog. Re[publishing after tweaking should be a great methods as it makes the posts relevant to the current SEO Standards as well.

  18. This works great for websites, too, I’ve found. I’ve been going back to old articles and doing all the things you’ve mentioned in this post and my earnings have jumped.

  19. Excellent tip, so happy to see it on your blog, Darren! I update older posts on a regular basis: images, adding links, writing it a bit differently, adding more tags, fixing categories, and SEO improvements.

    I usually do this when I get a comment on an old post :)

    One exercise I do periodically is that I look at the stats and reshare on Twitter and sometimes on Facebook posts that were really helpful or that I’ve updated. I tend to have lots of tutorials so it’s a must to continue to have credibility and make sure my posts aren’t outdated.

  20. Mary Green says:

    You know, I’ve looked at old content on my site to come up with ideas on how to re-use it. I like the idea to go back and fix it up, for today’s internet. I’ve got a couple of ideas, too, in how to get even more from the update.

    When I go back to update, I look for places to link to newer content on my site. And, if you tweak the URL and date you can resubmit it to Triberr to get more shares on the piece.

  21. webly says:

    This post is really timely. I’ve been looking for inspiration and dug up an old blog that I had on the free wordpress platform. I was then blogging just for fun and had pretty good results with some of the blogs. They are about 3 years old. I am definitely going to search for the best performing ones and revive them.

  22. Can’t get Yoast on WP.com, right? I’m working on the .org migration, but it seems quite frightening.

  23. Thanks Darren for the friendly reminding nudge!

  24. Brilliant! I usually post twice a week-as a work-from-home mom of a very active ttoddler I could not imagine producing quality content daily. There are weeks when even twice a week is a stretch. Updating old posts is somewhat more manageable than creating entirely new content. I have done this to a small extent in the past but now am inspired to revisit this.

  25. Thanks for sharing this great article.
    I love your articles, because the way you describe, its easy to understand.

  26. Adam Bean says:

    How about updating the headline? Given that the headline is the hook that we use to get people to read a piece of content. Writing great headlines (like all aspects of blogging) is a continual learning process. The more you do the better you get. Off to test it and see what happens.

    Cheers Beanie

    • Darren Rowse says:

      Adam – I know some bloggers do update headlines regularly. I don’t do it as much, but that’s because I choose headlines pretty carefully the first time.

  27. I’ve been hesitant to repost. Not any more. Thanks Darren. Right after reading your problogger repost post I saw the same thing on blogherald. You’re ahead of the curve, and so are your readers. Feels good.

    Reposting on wordpress means changing the ‘published on’ date on the post edit page?

  28. Derek says:

    OMG, this was on my to-do-list for a few weeks and I never started to do it. Reading this blog post going to make me work on this 2 or 3 days a week now for maybe a half hour. You know at least update 1 blog post. Heck, some of the links could be dead/broken links and updating that blog post with submitting it back to the social media world could help out traffic for sure.

    The only thing is, I allow guest blog posts so I really don’t want to edit there posts but will stick to mine. I know I have a few poor quality blog posts from a few years ago when I first started the blog that I can update and share. Thanks Darren for the good tip once again.

  29. Thomas says:

    On republishing an old post, I wondered about this and worried that Google would penalise for duplicate content. Here is why:

    In July 2011 a blogger copied a whole page (not a post) from my website and created a post on their website. (Ironically some months later I liked their page on Facebook, but did not see my content on their blog.) In August 2012, I saw they posted a link on FB to a new post they had written (or so I thought) a few days earlier. As it was on a subject I had on my website, I read it. The first sentence sounded familiar, the second, the third, until it registered they had copied my page. But, and here is the issue re republishing, when I did a Google search to see if their post or my page came up first, my page came up first, but it was then followed by two SERPs from this rogue blog, one dated to July 2011 and the second August 2012. But as they did what you suggested above (republished by altering the date – they, like on your dPS, did not have date in the url), there was only one blog post – but Google saw and served up two. Wouldn’t that count as duplicate content, and result in a penalty? Would be interested in your thoughts.

    • Darren Rowse says:

      Thomas – when I republish a post I don’t ever do a duplicate post. I simply change the date of my post to the updated date which means the URL stays the same.

    • Russ Francis says:

      Unfortunately, I have to agree with Thomas. Google doesn’t just look at the date, but it looks at the text.
      It’s a good idea, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s just smarter to write fresh content.

      This is directly quoted from Google:

      Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.

      In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the ranking of the site may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.

  30. Troy Spro says:

    Good stuff Darren and thanks.

    I was only yesterday looking through some posts that are coming through the ranks and getting some volume now and I thought to myself, what am I going to do with these or should I revisit these as some are well written and some are middle of the road and short.

    I wondered what others do and in one post you have covered it.

    Thanks again.

  31. Novi says:

    I’m doing this too. Once updated, I share it on social media

  32. Rhonda Lane says:

    Thank you for this reminder to leverage our archives. I have a question, though. I have certain posts that answer specific questions for readers (I know – great!), but I don’t want to dilute any SEO traction that original post might have acquired. I’ve seen that happen with separate update posts. Am I worried about nothing? Maybe I don’t understand SEO as well as I first thought.

  33. Justin says:

    Thanks for the great tips. I should post links to my blog on Pinterest more.

  34. Varshan says:

    Great way to revive the older posts, I would also make a note of all the posts that I have updated as per your suggestion and put it as new post with Title “10 Posts Revived For You”

  35. Jack says:

    Hi Darren.

    What do you do with the old comments when you change a post date in order to republish it?

    If you change only the post date , the comments will be older than the post. Will Google like it?

    • Darren Rowse says:

      yep – I leave the old comments up. I don’t think Google would have a problem with it.

      Having said that – on dPS we don’t have a publishing date on our posts.

  36. Hi Darren. Great article! To promote our latest blog posts, we’ve been using social bookmarking sites like Delicious and Stumbleupon. Spending just a few seconds to add your posts to each site with targeted keywords and descriptions can drive tons of new traffic to your blog.

  37. You make a great point here – in fact, I believe editing old posts is equally valuable or perhaps even more valuable than creating/editing newer ones.

    Why? Your old articles are the ones that end up getting found in Google, rather than being read by repeat visitors or from social media shares. Visitors from search engines are the ones you need to impress, as they are the ones that end up turning into repeat visitors. It’s important to make a great first impression if you want them to come back.

    Just my thoughts.

  38. Hamza Sheikh says:

    This sounds amazing! I have used similar mechanism in the past with the integration of some wordpress tool, it automatically detects your posts that didn’t well in the terms of traffic and social reach. It updates their dates, and bring them on front page, and as well as in RSS feeds.

  39. May says:

    A great tip for republishing old posts on the blog as new posts simply by changing the publishing date to a recent one!

  40. I have a list of posts I need to go through and update, but I’d never thought about focusing on just one post/day. I tend to think in chunks of time – and then I never get around to doing it because I can never seem to find a big enough chunk of time to work on it. Thanks for the encouragement!

  41. Great advice! I enjoyed this post and found it very informative…thanks!

  42. Alexandra says:

    Thanks for sharing these great tips. I never thought about re purposing my old blog post which really do makes sense because Google constantly change their stuff so I’m getting to work on that.

  43. Aassif says:

    Thanks Darren Rowse
    This is such a great idea. I love thus tips. Thanks for share

  44. Alex Nartey says:

    Good idea and thanks for sharing this great idea

  45. Rene says:

    Great post dude. Obvious but often overlooked advice.

  46. Chris Flees says:

    Darren’s first comment seems simple enough doesn’t it? Well the truth is most blog operators do not blog but 1 or 2 times a month let alone once a day. Unfortunately it was not that long ago that I resembled my second comment. One thing I have noticed is my search traffic has increased when I started blogging daily. Not just 5 or 10 additional hits a week but several hundred and in one case nearly 1000 additional visitors in a week. It all depends on content. At any rate great article, thanks for sharing it.

  47. Salman says:

    Truly amazing tips…

    I used to follow this strategy on my old tech blog as it had many articles that required an update (price, availability..etc etc)

  48. Darren, I like to idea of republishing posts by changing the date to a current date. That is an interesting take on encouraging more readers. Thanks for sharing this!

  49. Wade says:

    Editing content on old blog posts is a great thing to do when you are having writers block. I’m not knocking it, I’ve done it, but for the most part, wouldn’t you consider coming up with new material instead of the same old ideas that people have read over and over?

    This reminds me of a post the Glen Allsop did on Viperchill called “The New SEO” where people basically republished content to make it viable for the search engine to see again. Since you’ve republished and edited, and perhaps changed the date, you’ve just written a brand new post according to Google.

    It’s a good idea I guess, but not one I practice myself. I’m more of a pioneer writer, coming up with newer ideas that no one has read yet.

  50. nice post, but what a concidence, just today i was going through my blog archieve, doing some update. My strategy is to pick up two post per week or 2 week and promote. To be sincere, i have never thought the idea of change a post date and republishing it. I love that idea and will definitely implement it. Thanks