For those of us who have been blogging for a while we may have years' worth of great posts in our archives that have collected dust. Every now and then one of them may get a hit from Google or Bing, but for the most part those posts sit there collecting dust because no one is browsing back through the archives to read them. So what should we do with those old blog posts that we wrote before we learned the tricks of SEO and promotion?
Many of these posts may have been written before the invention of Pinterest, the popularity of Stumbleupon (now Mix), or even before Twitter hashtags became a great way to find and share relevant posts.
It doesn't have to be this way. You can bring new life to old posts with a few tricks. Here are 12 tips.
UPDATED: 2/2020 to update outdated info.
Make the Title More SEO friendly
Knowing what we know now about SEO and title placement, look through your old posts and see if there are titles that could be rearranged to be a bit more appealing. Also, titles longer than 70 characters will likely be truncated, so make sure that the titles are under 70 characters, or that the most important info is at the front of the title. You may be wondering… will this mess up the SEO on this post? No. In fact it may improve your SEO. This will not change the permalink on your post, only the title that shows up. And Google is constantly crawling, so it will pick up the new information very quickly.
I love using the Coschedule Headline Analyzer to help me revamp old titles to be more SEO friendly.
Create a Pinterest Image and Pin it
You may have many posts written before WordPress implemented the Featured Image. Or, the post may be been written before we learned the value of breaking up posts with pretty photos. Pinterest has become a great way for many bloggers to get traffic to their sites. In Creating Pinterest Worthy Content I gave you some tips on making sure that your blog posts will stand out on Pinterest. You do not have to apply these concepts to new posts only. Designate a little time each week to browse through some of your older posts. Which ones would do well on Pinterest? Fix them up, create a pin ready image using Canva, and pin them. If you belong to a pinning group, include a link to an older post on the daily list so that the post will be put into rotation again. It is also a great idea to create a board just for posts from your own blog.
Link to it in a New Post
Experts tell us that building internal links is important to SEO. So if you write a new post on the same subject, link to an older post of relevance.
Rewrite the Post with Relevant Updates and New Material
Trends, tools, and social networks change over time. You probably have an older post that you can rewrite to include new information relevant to today's trends, new tools, and new things that you have learned.
Turn it into an eBook
Many successful eBooks by bloggers started out as a blog posts. They may write a little bit on a subject, like branding, and then get asked a bunch of questions which leads to them sharing more. Instead of giving all of the goodies away for free consider turning your knowledge into a reasonably priced eBook. This works well with blogging knowledge, SEO tactics, social media tips, or even a great collection of recipes.
Host a Podcast or IGTV session Based on the Subject
Google Hangouts are a popular way to share knowledge or discuss subjects with fans or blogging peers. Consider hosting a Hangout based on a previous post where followers can ask you questions to learn more about what you know.
Update: Now Periscope is the way to go for hosting video.
Send Out a Newsletter
Hopefully you have a newsletter for your blog. Consider sending out a newsletter to your readers welcoming new members and highlighting some of your favorite or most popular posts.
Post a Popular Posts Roundup
In addition to creating a newsletter of old posts you might want to create a new blog post which links to your popular posts on a particular subject.
Share it with Your Social Media Networks
It is important to remember that at any given time there may be an entirely different group of people reading their streams on social media. This means that the same people who see your tweet go by at 12 noon may be an entirely different group that sees your post at 5pm. For this reason it is recommended that you share your post most than once at different times of the day. The same is true of old posts. You have probably gained a bunch of new followers since you wrote posts back in August of 2013. These people may have never seen your best posts from that time period. Put them back in rotation by sharing them on all of your networks. Space them out for better results.
Use the Revive Old Post Plugin
A great plugin for helping bloggers keep old posts in rotation is the Revive Old Post plugin. It goes through your blog and does just what the name implies. It tweets out old posts based on criteria that you set in the options. You can choose to include or exclude specific categories, include only posts older than a certain age, or even set the time between tweets. There are many other options to customize it to your liking.
Stumble Mix the Old Blog Post StumbleUpon Mix is not as talked about as it used to be. However, it is still a great tool for bringing traffic to a site. I don't use it as much as I should. But I definitely notice a few hits when I ask a friend to Stumble one of my posts.
Share it with Another Blog
If you own another blog, or you contribute to another blog, you may be able to reuse the post there. Many sites ask for original content only, so make sure that it is ok with the editor before doing this. You should NOT post the whole post word for word. Instead, post a short summary that ends with “Click here to read more on (your blog name)”. Or if you are writing a guest post you can create a post on the same subject and link to your post in your byline.
Hopefully this helps give you some ideas on how to bring your older posts back to the forefront. If you have other ideas I would love to hear them in the comments!