What Should You Do With Old Blog Posts?
Everything in our world has its own expire date, our food, cars, computers and even our blog posts. Breathing new life into old things, refreshing them or just getting rid of them one of the most essential acts we can do to ensure that things in our lives are working as efficiently as possible.
The same applies for running our blogs. Whatever we write and whatever content we share gets out dated sooner or later. Maybe last year’s trends or practices have already been tossed out the window, yet they are still taking up space on your blog. Most of us have many old socks laying around in our wardrobes and a lot of old posts laying around in our blogs. We keep them around because we don’t want throw them to the trash. What if we need them? Or we might think that refreshing them, updating them, saving those socks might be a waste of time because they’re too old.
Managing our old blog posts is important for running an efficient and up to date blog, for a number of reasons. It will not only eliminate certain risks but double your return on the time and resources you invested in creating those posts in the first place. Not to mention that the pillars of your blog will be much clearer once you learn how to repurpose content and refresh it so you can use it again.
Why Is It Important To Manage Old Blog Posts?
As you create new content for your blog, old content gets pushed to the side and maybe forgotten forever. Maybe some of your best posts are already down the drain, which you devoted valuable resources and hours of your life into creating. In the best case scenario, they’re just lying there, ever forgotten. In a bad scenario, they could damage your blog’s overall image and other factors as well.
But breathing new life into them, updating and editing them can come with numerous benefits and would be a big boost for your blog. It is only natural that everyone is looking for the most up-to-date information in any topic.
You probably already thought about this and looked through the many great posts that were once on the home page of your blog but dealing with something else was always more urgent. Well, the sooner you do something with them the better, because there are some risks involved as well.
They Could Spoil Your Blog’s Image
If you’re using your blog as a part of your marketing strategy, they are the core of your social media activity and email newsletters. Your blog is there to be an authority in certain topics that are related to your industry.
When new viewers or potential customers come to visit your blog, you can make only one first impression. If there are any posts that show a 2014 date in 2017, they won’t communicate a good image. Having outdated information on your blog will deem it untrustworthy.
It’s Bad for Your SEO
Old, outdated posts pretty much qualify as low quality content. They offer outdated information unless you edit them and refresh anything important. Otherwise it’s just taking up space and doesn’t offer any value. Both users and search engines are picky and outdated content might cause a decrease in your rankings.
Should you Delete Old Posts?
While deleting your old posts might be the best solution in some cases, it’s best if you’re not too hasty with doing so. Old content might just as well be an asset that you’re not leveraging. These old but good posts might still drive a lot of traffic and they could drive even more if you refresh or update them.
So the simple answer is no, you shouldn’t necessarily delete them because they can offer renewed relevance and renewed value.
Some topics cycle over and over again, depending on what industry you’re operating in. Posts like this only require a bit of editing and can become a new appealing blog entry.
Simply updating and editing old content is also a lot easier and faster than writing new content. You can save a lot of time and money just by refreshing old entries. If you’re working with a timeless niche and topics that are “evergreen”, then this will be really beneficial.
But there are few cases when deleting an old post is the right decision. Of course, it depends on how good the post is, how relevant and how experienced you were when you wrote it. Based on these factors you should delete posts that are:
- Too short, maybe 500 words or less – longer content is better
- Might be misleading or have misinformation (because you had less experience back then)
- Doesn’t have a real thesis, just rambling
So, What Do You Do With Old Blog Posts?
Now that we’re done with reasoning and covered which posts are bad, it’s time to be more practical about it and see what you can actually do to put those wise old blog posts to work.
This is the part where we breathe new life into our old posts. If your post is old but still offers value and has a lot of good stuff in it, then it’s time to see what you can do to make it better.
First, you should make corrections and reformat your old writing. Rephrase certain things and check your grammar if necessary. You can also use the strikethrough formatting tool on certain parts of your texts and write new sentences after them. This will also send a message to your viewers, that you are indeed giving them up to date information. Adding info graphics, new photos, slideshows or even videos is also a great way to go about it.
Change the way you interpret certain topics and information, leverage that you have a different mindset now than when you wrote that specific post. Your opinion has probably changed as well and the post itself might not be valid anymore, so make the changes you see necessary.
You should also:
- Delete references that mention defunct companies or technologies
- Get rid of any time-based references that hint when the post was actually written
- Rewrite tenses where necessary (e.g. “will be”, “was”, “is”)
- Update your references to current trends, technologies or any other thing that might be relevant to your topic at the moment
Write a new post out of the same old topic. It’s fine to talk about the same things if they are important. Take a new approach on your old topics, apply your experience and expand the material you use, find some new information sources to add even more good stuff. Add new information and references that make it more relevant.
Add New Images and Graphics
Blog posts should have graphics or images. A picture can say a thousand words and an attractive graphic at the beginning of your post will increase the chance of the user actually reading through your post. It will give a positive impression and will hint that the blog post is new. It also makes your blog look more professional and it makes it clear that you’re providing a lot of care for your blog.
Boost the SEO
Keeping search engine optimization in mind is also a good way to ensure that your blog picks up organic search engine traffic over time. Google also displays the freshness of a piece of content, to help searchers determine how fresh a post is. Google just loves to have its dose of updated, fresh content.
Google determines how fresh content should be based on the user query. Thanks to this, you can analyze how fresh the content needs to be in order to get a boost in your SEO. Google follows how frequently webpages are being updated and gives them freshness scores accordingly.
Add new/relevant keywords or keyphrases. Do some keyword research and you might find that there are a number of new terms that are relevant to your content.
Update your on-page optimization and make your post’s URL’s more search engine friendly. Changing the URL to contain just the keyword when you’re targeting a specific keyword or keyphrase is the smartest move you can make. For example if you have a blog post about the best Italian recipes, then your target keyword is “the best Italian recipes” and your URL should look like cookingrecepies.com/the-best-italian-recipes.
Any pictures and videos should also include the target keyword in their titles. They should also include an alt tag and a filename as well. Also, remember to write a meta description for your post and it will further improve your SEO.
It also helps your SEO if you create a content taxonomy and organize it in a transparent way. Think through what kind of taxonomy would work best and stick to it. If you have it set up, you’ll have more opportunities for interlinking related content, not to mention that it will make your blog much easier to search.
Promote Your “New” Content
Once you’re done with refreshing your old posts, you can promote it along with the other new stuff. Republish it to your blog’s homepage and treat it like it was new. A major part of your audience will find it new. A lot of your audience hasn’t even seen the new version, so they’ll definitely like it.
See if you can interlink your updated old post in other blog posts. This will also boost your SEO and give more authority to your updated post.
Share it on your social media channels so it receives new visitors and gets more exposure. You should also send emails to your list and let them know about your new post.
From there on out, focus more on the most fundamental aspects of your subject matter. You can also return to them as they don’t change much as time goes by.
There you have it, a way to breathe new life into the old things in your blog’s archive. In the blogging game, what is old can be new again with a bit of care and editing. Maintaining your blog and refreshing old content is something that you must invest time and effort into.
I hope that you have realized the importance of old content, as they represent invested time and resources. They also play a key role in your SEO and overall marketing strategy, so you should always take advantage of them.
Once you have learnt what you can use again from an old post, it will also be much easier to write new ones in a way that makes them easy to update and use again. Focus on “evergreen” topics that are sure to stay relevant long term and this will make your blog a lot more solid.
Publish your updated post on your homepage and see as it gets swarmed by traffic. You can treat these posts as they were new ones so don’t be shy to promote them as much as possible. You’ll also be able to reach the audience you didn’t have the first time you wrote it.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading through this article and you now know how to handle any of that old stuff!