Thursday, June 27, 2013

6 Ways to Breath New Life Into Old Blog Posts

When I publish a blog post, the large majority of the traffic comes on the day of publication, mostly because that’s the day it’s fresh, and there is a lot of sharing across social platforms, as well as fresh delivery via email and RSS feed. But every once in awhile I’ll have a post that has a longer shelf life, or even more interestingly get’s a second life, well after it’s “freshness” date. It doesn’t mean that the post is no longer relevant, just that it’s “old news,” at least to my regular audience. Don’t give up on your old content. Yes, you should always be creating new content on your blog, but just because a post is old, doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant. After all, that’s the body of work that is your best friend when it comes to SEO; it provides the kind of content that keeps Google happy. But beyond that, sometimes your old content will surprise you, and sometimes there will be opportunities to resurrect that old content. Here are a few scenarios and tips: 


1) Monitor your analytics regularly

  Just the other day I noticed a real-time uptick in traffic for a post on finding images online that was a few months old. I’m not the type of person who just looks at that and is pleased. I want to know WHY that is happening. I noticed that there were more than a dozen people, all from Wisconsin, all on the same post at the same time. Clearly something was up. I clicked through on the inbound link, and ended up at an internal Moodle network for staff and students at a school district in Wisconsin. Turns out my post was required reading for students to make sure they weren’t stealing images from the Internet that were protected by copyright. Someone had found the post, shared it, and gave it new life. Plus I then was able to talk about it and reshare the post across my social networks, thereby spurring on more traffic. If you check your analytics and find an old post resurfacing, find out why, and see if there are opportunities for getting even more traffic. 


2) Monitor the news regularly 

  Sometimes watching what is going on in the world, or in your industry, will give you ideas as well. Last week Facebook announced that they were adding support for the use of hashtags on the platform. Again, I noticed an uptick in traffic. The reason? A post I wrote earlier this year about the many uses of hashtags. People were apparently curious about hashtags and were searching for info, driving quite a few to my website. I realized that while my post didn’t really talk about Facebook, the principles still applied, so I started sharing it across platforms, positioning it in light of Facebook’s announcement. No matter what business or industry you’re in, you probably have older blog posts and content that can be reshared in light of current news events. Take the opportunity to give people the information if it is relevant to what is going on. 


3) Monitor what your customers are saying 

  When I meet with clients and potential clients, they have lots of questions for me. People will also send me messages on Facebook and Twitter asking questions about some aspect of social media or marketing. In some cases, when it’s not a paying client, I’m hesitant to give them too much for free, but more often than not, I’ve already answered the question in the form of a blog post. I can share the link with them as a way of answering their question. With actual clients, I’ll answer the question, and then leave them with the relevant post(s) to look over for more information. If you’re creating content that your customers want, this should be happening. Some businesses will even PDF some of their posts as on site handouts for customers to answer those questions when they happen face to face. Not only are you providing them with the information they need, but you’re letting them know that that information, and more, exists on a blog that they can access regularly from home. 


4) Link back to old posts 

  As you create new content, you are probably referring to other things that relate to old content you’ve written. I make it a policy to always use my blog posts to link back to older posts which illustrate certain points. If someone is reading your new post and doesn’t understand something, a link back to an older post might help them. Additionally, for someone who has never read your blog before, it gives them added reason to nose around a little and spend more time familiarizing themselves with you and your business. Linking back to your own posts also has the added bonus of providing a nice bread crumb trail for the search engines, while also helping you find those who might be scraping your content illegally. 


5) Automate the sharing of old posts 

  I suggest doing this sparingly, but I use a plug in called “Tweet Old Posts” that randomly tweets out some of my older posts. This isn’t done willy-nilly, however. I have very specific time parameters set, and I also exclude certain posts so that a post with very dated content doesn’t go out and confuse people. A Christmas post in March might seem a little odd. Some people don’t like this sort of thing, but I figure that my audience on Twitter is always growing. I have new followers all the time who might not be familiar with my older work. So I’ll occasionally send out that old content to draw them in. And it works. Often one of those older posts will gain some social traction and bring more people to my site. 


6) Repurpose old content 

  Not sure what to write about? Go back and look at some of your more popular posts from the past and see if you can find a way to freshen it up, update it, and republish it. Or some of that content might work well as the impetus for an ebook, white paper, powerpoint, or slideshare presentation. Once you have a strong body of work, you’ll find that a lot of your older can be used in a variety of ways. How are you finding ways to use your older blog content? Have you tried any of these methods, or use any other methods?
*Note TrulyShare has reblogged this content from a 3rd party*
Please see the original source here
 Original  author and post date:    06.26.2013

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