20 Things To Do With Your Old Blog Posts
Business is going well. You’ve been in the game for awhile. Your social media accounts are growing. You’re sticking to your blogging strategy, posting a few times per week. Everything looks great. Finally.
“Is it time to relax yet?” Sure, relax. But when you do that, engagement decreases rapidly.
Not sure why? The answer’s simple: People want to see original content. If you’re off your game and not coming up with new, unique content, your blog is going to suffer. Coming up with an effective blogging strategy is no easy task. You have to find blog posts that both resonate with your readers and keep them coming back for more.
One thing we often forget about is our old blog posts. Instead of letting them sit in the abyss of the internet, use them to your advantage. They can be just as useful as new blog posts, and can help automate things to give you a little extra time on your hands.
Here are 20 ways you can take those old blog posts up a notch:
If you have some great content in a blog post that resonates with readers, it may be time for a refresher. If you’re going to keep the blog posts as is, and simply share them, you can:
1. Lengthen the post.
In general, an informative blog post should be about 1,600 words (7 minutes to read). If you’re twiddling the fine line of a short blog post and a long Facebook post, it may be a good time to add some more meat to your article. Make sure to edit the posts for accurate data and statistics while you’re at it. You can also add a new call to action at the end–especially if there was no engagement previously–to get readers involved. While research has been done on the best blog length, though, it’s still good to add blog posts of different lengths to keep the blog fresh and exciting. If one post doesn’t need as much detail as another but you are trying to hit the expected word count, you may have more filler content, which definitely isn’t going to keep your readers around.
2. Edit to be more SEO-friendly.
Generally, a blog post should include at least 1 keyword. If you have too many keywords, your ranking on Google could suffer. It’s better to let each article maximize the SEO on a given keyword. If you need assistance, Hubspot is a top SEO resource. They provide this checklist on their website to optimize your blog.
3. Add shareable images and graphics.
People love images. Smart Blogger has a great blog post on how to make graphics if you aren’t satisfied with stock photos alone. Just remember: unless an image is public-access, you HAVE to give them credit for it. Simply put their business name or website in the caption beneath the photo. If you would rather use stock photos for now, Pixabay and Unsplash provide high-quality images that are free to download. Furthermore, to beef up the article, you can add screenshots if they are relevant to the topic.
4. Update the description.
When writing the description, it’s helpful to include keywords for SEO purposes. It also is used to convey your voice and brand image. Since it will appear below your link when the post is shared on social media and other sites, you want it to be catchy so people click on it. If you’re blogging on WordPress, click the “SEO” button at the bottom of your dashboard. Then, go to “Home” where you can update your blog description and meta description. (This is a paid feature, but it may be worth signing up for if you’re focused on increasing traffic!)
With blog post updates come new responsibilities. Are you sure that blog post still belongs in xx category? Are the tags correct? Now is a good time to update that if needed.
6. Shorten the URL.
Do you really need those crazy numbers in the URL? Consider actually shortening the URL or simply using a free website shortener such as Google Shortener before you repost the articles online.
7. Link it in new posts.
Before someone reads a new post, do they need some background knowledge from an old post? Link it inside the new article!
8. Respond to comments.
If you’re anything like me, you probably have some old comments on blog posts you’ve never responded to. Take some time to answer them, and build those relationships.
9. Add to your email signature.
If you would like to be known for a certain topic and your blog post portrays that well, you can include it in your email signature. Whenever people email you, they’ll see the blog post link. That is sure to generate some clicks and get some more content rolling.
10. Use them to brainstorm more posts.
Having trouble coming up with new blog ideas? Read through the old posts for some inspiration.
11. Link them on a “Helpful Resources” page.
If you want to provide more useful content for readers, create a special page (such as “Helpful Resources”) with how-to’s in order to guide them around your site or to teach them a skill. You can include the older blog posts links on this page to give readers a starting place.
12. Share on social media.
Once you’ve revamped the posts and ran them by a proofreader for grammar/spelling, you can share the revised editions on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest (to name a few). Sharing on social media really shouldn’t be optional. It’s a quick and effective way for content to be shared among a large audience. According to Zero Gravity Marketing, 90% of Millennials now use social media. If that’s the demographic your article is written for, you can’t afford NOT to repost on social media.
If the topic isn’t relevant to your readers anymore or has outdated information, consider getting rid of the blog post completely. If you choose to do this, you can:
13. Review Google Analytics.
Before you delete it, take a peek at Google Analytics to see how individual blog posts performed. If they were popular among readers and engagement dropped off after awhile, think about why that might have been before you delete the post. You may find that a nice revamp is what you need, and you may not need to convert into something else completely. On another note, maybe you’ll decide to keep it, revamp it, and convert it into another format such as what you’ll find below. Dun dun dun.
14. Save it as a PDF and add to your portfolio.
Trying to be well-known for a given topic in your industry? Can the blog post, save it as a PDF, and add it to your portfolio of blog posts you’ve written to show your expertise. Your future employer and/or clients will love this! Not only does it show you are well-researched, it shows you have additional skills that they could use to their advantage.
15. Convert into an infographic.
There’s nothing a little Gimp, Fotoflexer, and stock photos can’t fix. If the blog post isn’t cutting it anymore as is but still has some good meat inside, consider turning it into an infographic. If it’s easier for readers to look at the image and understand the concept of your blog post rather than reading it, this is a great choice.
16. Make a webinar.
This one may not be the easiest, but if you are determined and have the equipment, why not? Google+ Hangouts is also an effective free option if you are trying to save money.
17. Do a video.
There’s no need for expensive camera gear. A well-lit room and a smartphone will do just fine. Talk about your blog post content on a video, and let it resonate with readers. Then, you can upload it on YouTube and be one of the 4,950,000,000 videos viewed every day.
18. Turn them into an e-book.
Createspace is a free tool to create paperbacks and e-books online. Once written, edited, and published, you can offer the e-book for free in exchange for newsletter subscribers.
19. Complete a podcast on the topic.
If you have a long commute to work in the morning, you probably know how nice a good podcast or audiobook is. Sometimes music just doesn’t cut it, so it’s good to break it up with some interesting, educational content every so often.
20. Make a printable worksheet.
Is your blog post more of a checklist? Consider turning it into a printable worksheet that people can fill out. Include your business name, logo, and contact information on it somewhere for easy brand recognition and free publicity. You can even use the worksheet as a lead magnet to get people to sign up for your newsletter.
Tell us, what do you like to do with your old blog posts?