I am pretty sure many of us, especially veteran bloggers would have at some time of our blogging life, written great posts. Posts that your readers had enjoyed reading and had greatly appreciated the information within, and that new readers would benefit from it regardless of how many months later they see the post. These timeless gems (Evergreen content) are worthy of being read by as many people as it can reach right?
Unfortunately, the way our blogs are structured, once these old posts leave your Website home page, they leave your visitors’ radar too. That’s a pity isn’t it? But there’s something you can do about it. You can recycle these “old but gold” posts. And you know what? You can also apply these recycling techniques to other posts that may not be that popular but still a good read.
Why recycle old posts?
Still in doubt over why you should take the trouble to recycle old posts? Let me see if I can convince you to do so. Other than because some of them are your masterpieces, there are other reasons why you are recommended to edit old posts. One is to overcome writer’s block. On the days when you are having trouble coming up with a new article, than recycling earlier posts is a life saver. Who knows, the readers’ interaction you receive now may even inspire new ideas or new topics to write on.
Another reason is by recycling older posts, you would be able to expose your articles to more readers now (assuming your blog is comparatively more popular now) than to the handful of visitors you had when you posted it previously. You never know what it can do to that old post e.g. increase in Page Rank or traffic hike.
Lets see from user point of view, you have written a blog post 2 years back and it’s one of the top traffic post on your blog, though in last two years many new feature, updates must have happened related to that topic. Once you update old blog post, with latest information it increases the value of the post and you will notice better user behavior on those pages in analytics. Also, Google algorithm consider user engagement (Bounce rate, avg. time on page) and other factors to determine ranking. And if you are getting traffic on a page which is outdated,you might see slip in ranking by next Google algo change. The whole idea is to keep the old information updated and make it usable for readers. Also, in this process we will be promoting old blog posts to drive more traffic to it.
How can you recycle old posts for maximum benefit:
These techniques are tested by me and they work a lot. Though some of the tips like reposting stays on the edge of ethiques but I have my justification for republishing old blog posts, which I have explained below.
There are two reposting technique which you can consider using:
- Republish blog post
- Reshare on social media sites
Now, when I talk about republishing blog posts, I don’t suggest you to simply change the date and bring it on homepage. Instead, add more information to that post and update it with current data and stats. If it’s a tip post, add more tips which you have learned over the time and then change the date to push it to homepage. Make sure, you don’t change the date to some future date, as WordPress will republish the post with new permalink and old link will start giving 404 error.Now, social media promotion is something which I suggest you to keep doing for your old posts.
- Read: Why changing Post permalink after publishing is bad
It’s a good idea to promote old but evergreen content on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+. For WordPress you can use plugin like Tweet old post for Twitter or Bufferapp Twitter app. But, keep in mind that you need to update your post before you promote them, as no one like to reshare outdated content.
Link to A New Post:
Whenever it’s possible, do try to link your older posts to your new ones. Of course, you also need to make sure that it’s a related topic. Take for example, if you wish to recycle an old post on “How to use Facebook to Get Traffic to Your Blog”, then perhaps you could write a new post on “How to increase Facebook fans” and place a link to the initial post. This will help in lower down the bounce rate and exit rate from site will be low. More over, this will also help in turning those one time visitor into regular reader.
If you have too many posts (Thousand+ posts), I would suggest use plugin like SEO smart link plugin, which helps in auto internal linking of your WordPress site.
Use Related post below post:
One of the easiest way to promote old blog post is by adding a related post widget after post. In WordPress YARPP is one popular option to show related posts and for any other platform you can try 3rd party services like Linkwithin. Related post with thumbnail ensure better CTR. Though, before you use linkwithin or any other 3rd party widget to show related post, my suggestion would be try to use a plugin which is self-dependent. Saying that, what I meant is you should consider linking to old post directly and not via any 3rd party (in this case Link within). This pass on maximum SEO value to the link.
Similarly, if you have multi-author blog you can also consider adding more posts via author widget after post, which is again helpful to get more views on old posts.
Keep Them in View at the Sidebar
There are a couple of ways of doing this, one of which includes having a slideshow widget at the sidebar with some of your old posts. There are loads of free and easy to use sideshow applications like Flickr Slideshow. Include some of your old posts links especially those with images into them and you’ll immediately get an HTML code which you can copy and paste on your home page.
Another way is to highlight these posts under the heading “Most Read” or “Most Popular for 2012”. Remember to link them. Another widget which I would highly recommend is Random post widget, which is helpful in not only giving exposure but helps in deeper indexing of your site.
Write a Response Post
There are times when an old post no longer caries the correct facts or information. This may be due to changes in general or the availability of latest findings that contradict your old post. Does this mean that you have to delete the old post? Nope. Instead you could resuscitate it and write a response post. Start you new post with a summary of the old post and of course link it and then proceed to explain the current situation.
Though after panda update, my suggestion is to work on all outdated post and try to make them worth reading and convert into evergreen content.
Another strategy to keep promoting old content after a while is by doing a roundup posts. Harsh has already covered why roundup of posts is important but as Google not hates content farm, I would recommend to use noindex but dofollow meta tag for such roundup post. You can see one such example here at : 20 useful Blogging tips
Wouldn’t you say that this is a good idea to “green” the cyberspace up a little? After all, it is consistently filled with junk posts too. So if you have a great post, albeit old, why not recycle it. It’ll be a shame to let these posts be swept into the archive closet and forgotten when it can be revived, right?