Close
Close

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.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. I have been think of using my old blogs, updating and adding to them, and creating an eBook. I never thought of recycling them on my blog. Thanks for this post. It will really help.

    • Oops! I mean’t:

      have been thinking of using my old blogs, updating and adding to them, and creating an eBook. I never thought of recycling them on my blog. Thanks for this post. It will really help.

  2. Awesome suggestions. I find that as I do this many of my older posts get more traction than they did the first time. I hadn’t thought of republishing. Thanks.

    Recently I did a massive cleanup of posts. I even deleted some that no longer represented me well — my voice and focus have changed. As I did this I also did a massive cleanup of categories too. The site is now getting a lot more comments and activity.

  3. Great advice and tips Darren, makes complete sense, only starting out but will get into this habit of early on.. thanks, have a great weekend!

  4. Great idea. If you republish a post and someone has pinned your OLD post, does it mess up that Pin (or bookmark?)

    Lindsey

  5. tuhinkhan says:

    Bd2Planet | The Ultimate Path of Photoshop tutorials and so many others tutorials site – world largest Photoshop, eBook, pdf design tutorial blog site and online community. Technology blog news, technology blog, graphic design, seo consultant, best benefit from this site. People can want to know how can get seo skill and how can do marketing in online. Can know about also technology news.

  6. I used to think that refurbishing old contents was wrong, until now.

    What I did on my site was to create a separate category called ‘old blog’ and filed them there. Sometimes I link to a few, but I’d never thought of working on them.

    But I want to ask, is it right to tweak your headline too?

    Thanks for this, Darren.

  7. My blog is an infant (launched Oct 2013), but I’m already paying attention to past blog posts — editing, polishing, interlinking, re-using parts of them in different format, etc.

    Glad I see we agree on this. :)

  8. Superb suggetions. Lovely and informative post. Thanks for sharing such nice and helpful post

  9. Nancy says:

    I just republished a previous post for a different purpose after I made a few changes. I have a blogger blog and it’s strange that it appears on the opening page of my blog but doesn’t show up as new in other blogs that have my blog in a blog list.

    Another reason to update a post is because there are new readers who probably don’t have time to search through the archives of the blogs they read. They may come into contact with the post only because they searched on google. If the post covers new information it could be something they wouldn’t think to search for. Updating old posts just makes good sense.

    Thanks for all the suggestions about which posts, how, etc.

  10. Spela says:

    Hi Darren!
    I’m new in blogging so I find your posts very useful, however I have one question: you mentioned Yoast plugin. I checked their webpage and it’s supposed to be for WordPress blogs…can you recommend me a similar plugin for Blogger? Thanks

  11. Javed Khatri says:

    Never even thought of these ideas… Will try to implement it on my blog. We need to be up to date.
    Thanks for these tips!

  12. John Smith says:

    Hi Darren,
    It is good practice to review our old blog post as it also give us idea about what type of improvement we have done in our writing during that span of time and how can we improve our old work, in other way it always makes us realize that what type of improvement we should need to get better and some times there is also some good habit we practice while writing old blog but in present time we are not using that so it also makes us use that so indirectly our old work always works for us.

  13. This is genius.

    It doesn’t sound crazy when you really think about it and it’s why as bloggers we want to try and create as much evergreen content as we can but this was some amazing advice.

    I definitely will be keeping it in mind when I finally get to that point of having content of 1 year + !

    Awesome post!

  14. Gokhan says:

    Updating old posts will pin back and can still be more alive than before. It’s something like refreshing.
    I had made a mistake in the past by redirecting one of my old blogs to the new one that I had created. I thought the traffic I got in the old one would be same as in the new one. But it didn’t work well. I lost one fourth of my traffic which was terrible. Later I moved redirecting. I had to leave it as it was before and from time to time only update my posts. And just add a banner or link in the sidebar as advertising my new blog site.

    Thanks for this nice post.

  15. Andy M. says:

    Fabulous tips, Darren. And apt timing! One of our more popular posts is a bit older. I was just thinking that, as it continues to bring in traffic, we should continue to make revisions and updates.

    It makes the post more useful for visitors, creates a good first impression, and squeezes more value out of articles that’ve already been published.

    From a user’s perspective, I also like when authors tweak old posts to add new information or point visitors towards a more up-to-date version.

  16. Paul says:

    I will defiantly be refreshing my old posts when they get to that point. Thanks Darren

  17. Kris Jolls says:

    What a great read. Only a couple post into my blog and I’m going back and editing and can see how this will help for the lifetime of the blog itself.
    I regularly read old blogs looking for gems of information and I think updating images is a good idea. I could see where old graphics or photos could turn some readers away.

  18. nordie says:

    I’ve been going through loads of old posts recently, mainly as I’ve changed the way I write my posts and I want to bring them into line with my new style and in particular add additional context and information.

    Plus it gives me the chance to review external links – in particular I’m slowly removing my links to Goodreads as I want to reduce my links to there to a minimum as it no longer reflects where I want to be

  19. Lipe Kurpiel says:

    A lot of great ideas on this article. My blog is not that old but I can see how this tactic can bring some good results in the long run.
    I thing the best part of this article is about adding a call to action on old post. This can do wonders.
    Great sharing.

  20. Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  21. Sujit says:

    For a while, my blog was inactive and went down on traffic. Now I thinks its good idea to update the posts of 2007-2008. Hoping for good results in search again.\
    thanks for the article

  22. Serge says:

    Kind of innovative for me.

    2 key points I have realized, according to this article: post mostly educational content – it doesn’t lose (or the loss is minimal) popularity even throughout years; bear in mind, that your old posts – your potential new posts.

    Thank you!

  23. Hey Darren: Nice way to stretch the vitality of your prior work product. How do you determine whether it should be a republish or a new post updating the old one? Is it a matter of the amount of changes?
    Also, if you make a new post of the old topic with Google consider the same subject matter and somehow penalize you?
    In any event, your post offers a solid way to enhance what you already have. Thanks for the insights and strategies.

  24. Alexa says:

    I like the idea of using old successful blog posts. It really sounds reasonable.

  25. Enoch says:

    Very insightful post. I do share my old blog posts once in a while but I have never considered reposting old blog posts as new. That’s truly helpful. I suppose one can also give a new title to the old post under consideration. I have also done a few things. I compiled all my facebook posts into an ebook. Shared it on my blog for free download. After sometime, I took the ebook off my blo and started sharing the content as fresh posts. Its been helpful as it gives me fresh content to share. Thanks for your insights.

  26. Hello Darren.

    Thanks for the post, Darren. I think I am the worst blogger that never checked my old posts.
    I just want to add an opinion. It would be better to open old posts and link them to other posts (building link) on my blog posts. I should learn more about blogging here.

    Thanks Darren.

  27. JR John says:

    How would I be able to get my previous post back up the top of the blogroll again?

    Do you have a tutorial on that for themes other than your own?

    Thanks!
    JR John