As a writer, we are in the business of sharing ideas and perspective.
We constantly work on ideas, and turn them into blog posts.
Later promote them on our social media channels, and share it across in hopes of generating traffic.
Marketers work their butts off to keep readers engaged and keep them coming back for more.
But while we are busy working on new ideas, we often forget about the treasure trove already buried deep in our archives.
The older the blog is, the deeper it’s archive will be.
We somehow end up abandoning those old blog posts that we once wrote with all our heart. That once generated a lot of traffic for our websites.
That once helped in increasing our subscribers list.
When I started blogging 7 years ago, I was no different.
I did the same thing. I used to post 3-7 times every week.
And the more I used to write, the more gems got buried in my archive.
It’s not so long ago when I realized what I have been missing out on.
A few months ago, my site crashed and much to my surprise, it was due to traffic.
I was happy, surprised and panicked.
Shared the news with few of my close friends and spent the whole day fixing the problem.
But the real surprise was that one of my old blog posts was the reason behind the crash.
That blog post has more than 400,000 views and has helped me get more than 1000+ new subscribers.
This made me reconsider my old blog posts.
Having so many questions about old blog posts, I did my research. And here’s what I learned.
Why you shouldn’t abandon your old blog posts?
It’s easy to abandon blog posts that you wrote last year, a month or even a week ago.
It was a great blog post and it has had its day.
You would rather spend time writing about a new idea than promoting an old blog post.
Not maintaining and managing your old content may cost you ROI and conversions. You are not only abandoning your old blog posts, you are also missing out on your potential to reach a wider audience with the help of those blog posts.
Here are few reasons why shouldn’t abandon your old blog posts:
It affects your brand image
Internet users have become very impatient over the years.
And why shouldn’t they!
They have millions of options to choose from. If you don’t impress them in 2-3 seconds, they would jump to other websites. It’s easy you know.
And you would lose a potential customer.
Not maintaining your website blog can have a profound impact on your brand.
Would you like to read a blog post that was written and published 3 or 4 years ago? Of course not!
The fact is if a blog post was published 5 years ago but still ranks higher on Google SERP, you would rather avoid clicking on it. This is because you would want to read the latest information published recently even if the idea is old.
Here is a screenshot of Google search results page.
Wouldn’t you rather prefer clicking on a blog that was published just a few months ago than the one marked in red?
“Keeping a fresh blog: what to do with your old blog posts” was published 3 years ago. Even the idea is evergreen, a user would not prefer reading it.
But does it mean this blog post is useless?
The only problem is that it’s outdated. Having outdated information on your blog may represent your website as an untrustworthy source.
An old blog like this that appears on the first page of the Google has a lot of potential provided you know how to make the most of it.
Your following has grown
Ever since you have started blogging, you are slowly growing your following. And you didn’t have the number of followers you have today. This means your new followers haven’t read your old blog posts or may never be able to read them as they are buried in your archive. Promoting your old blog posts allow your new followers and subscribers to read them. This will increase your credibility and views.
SEO has changed
SEO has seen a paradigm shift. The techniques that worked 10 years ago may not work today. Moreover, Google changes its algorithm every other day. This makes it difficult for your older blog posts to rank higher or stay on the first page of the Google.
What you should do with your old blog posts?
Rehashing old blog posts
When your car gets old and requires a paint job, do you sell it to a junkyard and buy a new one?
I think not. You get it fixed and keep driving it.
Similarly, you can fix your old blog post and reuse them.
According to Foetube, old blog posts are like golden magnets that are extremely valuable and can drive tons of traffic.
But how can you do that?
Simply by keeping them alive!
You can update an old post and publish it again. Or you can simply change its title and date of publication to drive more traffic. Making such small tweaks can help you keep those old gems alive and generate more traffic.
You can also take a single idea from your old blog post and create a new blog post on that. This way you can link both the posts and also get to drive traffic to your old post. Voila!
Kill two birds with one stone!
Internal linking is the way to go
Internal linking is one of the absolute basics of digital marketing.
It helps in improving search rankings and generating traffic to other blog posts.
You can use internal linking to drive your new audience to your older blog posts.
This way you are giving your audience the freedom to click or not click on a link. It makes for a great user experience as well.
Don’t ever leave a chance to inter-link your blog posts.
And remember you can generate traffic to your old blog posts by linking them to your recent posts.
Let your masterpieces make the first good impression
No matter how many blogs you have written till date, you are bound to have some favorites. We all have few content pieces that we love more than others.
Michelangelo had “David” and DaVinci had his “Mona Lisa”. Similarly, you might also have some pieces that stand out from the rest.
You should put these masterpieces in front, so that they are easily accessible by new visitors.
After all, you want your masterpieces to make first good impression.
See how SmartBlogger has featured its popular blog posts in the right section:
Another example is Fizzle, which also features its popular posts on the homepage.
Similarly, you can create a section on your homepage dedicated to showcasing your masterpieces.
Never stop promoting your old blog posts
Let’s face it – you wouldn’t want to invest lots of hours or hundreds of dollars on creating a blog post which dies quickly after rolling off Google’s first page.
Instead, you want to invest your time and money in creating a blog post that can generate traffic for many years to come.
We get so busy in promoting our new ideas that we take our old content for granted. Or should I say we consider them useless and choose to ignore them.
But that’s not true!
Your old posts have a lot of potential to generate traffic provided you put it out there.
If it’s not accessible by your audience, how can you expect it to be useful?
You can promote it on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Remember it’s new and fresh for your new followers and will draw their attention.
You can even use email marketing to generate traffic on your masterpieces.
Email marketing is a great way to get the attention of your subscribers and followers.
You can target old and new readers by sending emails and attaching a link to one of your old posts.
Present your old blog post in a new format
Did you know 81% of individuals only skim through the content they read online? Today, people prefer visual content – images, videos, infographics, memes, and even GIFs.
This allows you to represent your old posts in a new format and drive traffic.
You no longer have to stick with plain text. Be creative and innovative.
Create an infographic of your old posts and share it across.
You’ll be shocked to see the conversion rate!
I created videos out of my old blog posts and published them on YouTube. I also embedded those videos in my blog and generated tons of traffic.
The bottom line
Imagine if you had never watched classic American TV shows like Friends, I love Lucy, or Big Bang Theory merely because you were not born at that time?
It would suck, right?
They are classics and they are as great today as they were ten, twenty or thirty years ago. They are old but it doesn’t make them any less valuable.
And it’s the same for your blogs.
Many content pieces you wrote years ago still haven’t lost their MOJO, so you need to pay attention to them. Rehash, update and re-post them. Do whatever it takes to bring them up, don’t let them disappear in the dark.
After all, it’s your hard work in the end.