Everyone starts out somewhere in blogging. Cliche? Maybe, but it's very true. You don't start out blogging as a professional and surely you've improved greatly by now. Look back at some of your older blog posts; I'm sure you had some awesome ideas that may have flopped or didn't get as much exposure as you had hoped they would. Maybe they were boring, poorly written by today's standards, contain out of date information or maybe they contain some (gasp) errors. Whatever the case may be - you should give these posts a second chance.
"Why should I update my old posts?" Recycling content actually saves you time and may help you when you're fresh out of ideas. (Don't tell me that you don't have idea block and writer's block! That's a lie!) It also allows these old, unfortunate posts to get new life and to even be seen by new eyes. It gives these posts a chance to get the visibility that you had hoped it would get back at the time it was written.
"Who will even see my old posts if they're buried deep in the depths of my archives?" Two words -- Search Engines. While your old posts may be buried deep in the depths of your archives, search engines may still list your post for specific searches. What first impression will your blog (or business) make if your post is poorly written or contains out of date information? Chances are, the reader will just close the window and not even bother reading your more recent posts.
Ok, you've convinced me. But how the heck do I do that? Start by choosing a specific blog post to focus on. Pick a post, any post!
I suggest to first look at your analytics because this will give you a lot of insight into which posts are/were the most popular on your blog. Start with posts that have the most views because chances are, they're still being read more frequently than the others. These are the posts that you want to edit, beef up and make more appealing to the readers.
Make sure your old posts have a specific and a strong idea. You want your idea and topic of your post to stand out and be understood as soon as the reader clicks on that link. As I said, your blog post may be the first impression that someone gets about your blog and business, and you want it to be a good one.
Make sure your structure, grammar and spelling are correct. Remember, that post may have been written when your blog was first started and your writing has probably gotten much better. Make sure your post has:
- A strong & magnetic title - Your post title is probably the first thing the reader sees when they are searching in the search engines. You want it to catch their attention and drag them in to read your blog. Your post title is the reason people click on your link; if your post title is strong and creative, they know your blog will be too!
- A great introduction - There's nothing worse than an amazing post title but a lame or weak introduction. Your introduction should be just as good, if not better, than your post title. Make it fun and catchy to get their attention, be unique and express yourself. A great introduction will keep the reader's attention and keep them reading as well.
- A strong body/content - If you're writing to entertain then keep the writer entertained! Use your magnetic personality and charm to write fun and witty content for your post. If you're writing to inform, make sure your information is strong, accurate (Fact checking time!) and unique. Use your personality to add a bit of you to your writing, after all you are your blog's voice! Check to make sure that your grammar and spelling are correct and then check again. (You cannot check this too many times! You want to make absolutely sure you aren't making any trivial errors!)
- (If Applicable) Great subheadings and bullet points - Sure you can just group everything into one body of text but that wouldn't stand out too well. I feel that subheadings and bullet points are absolutely great ways to break up your text and highlight what you want to stand out to your reader.
- A strong closing and call to action - Your closing should restate some important facts that you've included in the body of your text and should also include a call to action. Now you may be thinking, "But I don't have a business blog, why would I need a call to action?" You may not need one, but it wouldn't hurt to include one. For non business blogs you could use a call to action for your reader to subscribe to your RSS feed or mailing list or you could even use a call to action for your reader to follow you on your Social Media pages.
For businesses, I strongly suggest you use a call to action directing your readers to contact you for further information on what you may offer or a call to action for your mailing list. Think of a creative way to close your post as well as getting your reader to become a potential lead for you.
Make sure your post is correctly optimized - You may not have known much about optimization for search engines or keywords when you wrote some of your earlier blog posts, but I bet you know a thing or two now! I cannot stress enough how important SEO is for your website, blog and blog posts. Optimizing your posts correctly is what gets you found and what gets you readers. If your post is correctly optimized, great! However, if it's not optimized or even optimized to today's standards, make sure you do that as soon as humanly possible. You don't want any missed opportunities because your amazing post can't be found.
Do you have pictures? What about good pictures? Visual content is almost as important as your written content on your blog and blog posts. This is because the brain processes visual content faster than written content and visual content is extremely appealing to most people. An eye catching image will draw them into your blog and make them a lot more interested than if your post just had a bunch of text.
- 60% of people are visual learners
- Research shows that posts with images get 94% more views than posts without images.
So make sure that your post includes at least one eye catching and mind blowing image!
Do you have newer posts that are relevant to what you are writing? You may have a newer post that you can link into the older post that you are editing. This is where you can keep the reader on your blog by incorporating some new content into your old content! For example:
If you are talking about social media tips and you have a newer post that you have recently written about ways to use Twitter effectively, link that into the post that you're editing! It's relevant and will offer the reader more information and encourage them to stay reading within your blog.
Ok, so I've edited my posts and gave them a second chance at life. Now what do I do? You have two options here. You can either save and publish the post straight away or you can change the publish date to the current date in order for your post to show up as a new post. Once you choose what method that you wish to use, the next thing you need to do is PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE! Share your newly edited blog post on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc... Make sure potential readers are aware that you have a new blog post to share with them!
So now you know all of my secrets to giving your older blog posts new life so go ahead and get to gettin'! Keep these tips in mind whenever you're in a jam and can't think of anything to blog about or if you just want to update some older posts with newer content.