Refresh Older Blog Content

Search engines like optimized content that’s relevant and fresh.  The next time you have a slow blogging day and you aren’t truly committed to publishing a post on a new topic why not breathe some freshness into an older post?

© All Rights Reserved – Any content reblogged from one cool site must adhere to the terms of © Copyright

collageStart by selecting a post with timely high quality content that has received strong traffic but is now tapering off.

Or start by selecting a post you wish had drawn more traffic and then get ready to pump it up.

Do some research to see what’s trending on that topic and related topics first. Determine what the buzz is, where any controversy has arisen, what’s changed or what parallels with other related topics you can find. Then decide on how far you want to go based on the 5 steps below.

1.  Rejuvenating your older posts by repairing or replacing or any broken links can result in new life for a seemingly dead post. This ought to be scheduled and done on an ongoing basis because the last thing you want to do is create “404″ ”Page not found”  error pages. It’s a supreme disappointment to visitors, who may not choose to use the search box and explore your content to locate what they are looking for, or who click through a source or resource link and experience the same disappointment.

2.  Rewriting your introduction to make it stronger or rewriting your conclusion to make it more decisive and/or simply switching the two can create a fresh interest in a post once it’s re-indexed.

3.  Enhancing your earlier posts with fresh images and or video or audio content can provide a nice traffic boost. Locate maps, graphics, ebooks, manuals,  media files and other files you can embed to attach to your posts.  Be sure the ones you choose to use are relevant and that you as attribution is not permission comply with the terms of use. If you want to include any content you expect payment for please read Providing Additional Content for Blog Readers

For embedding image files and embedding with Scribd as well as uploading documents for downloading see WordPress.com Bloggers: Print it!

Here are some free sources:
More Sources of Free Images for Blogs and Websites
Free Images for Your Blog or Website 
20 Gov’t Sources of Free Images for Your Blog
Public Domain Images

Day 6: Zero to Hero Challenge – publish a post that includes a new element.  Note that the challenge post includes links to embed instructions for WordPress.com bloggers and other useful resource links.

4.  Editing to include new relevant content within the text of the post can draw enlivened search engine attention as well.

5.  Completely rewriting a post from a new angle is my my strongest recommendation as it includes 1 – 4 above and will enliven search engine attention, draw traffic and encourage others to backlink to it. That will in turn increase your authority in your niche and improve your blog’s pagerank.

Before you decide how to proceed ie: update the original post, post an announcement but link to the original and back again, post an announcement with a link to the original but still update the original or republish the post as a sticky post, read the references below.

References:
Do You Update Posts or Post Updates?
Repurposing Evergreen Content

Discussion

I update my posts on an ongoing basis a few at a time whenever I can. I will be updating all posts that appear on my Featured Content page where I change the posts being featured monthly by category.

If you are not a beginner who has yet to publish their first blog post: When was the last time you updated any posts? When was the last time you undated your static pages?

This is the slowest time of the year for backlinks, traffic and comments so why not do some work to enliven the flow?

Related posts:
Custom Menus: Featuring Older Content
6 Easy Ways to Feature Older Content

 

43 thoughts on “Refresh Older Blog Content

  1. I do this now too time by time.I write in English but I am German. I wouldn´t say that I am perfect now but I found out that my 2011 and 2012 articles are much worse. Looks like I learned a lot over the time. Always when I am bored, I take the time to improve older articles. It´s work but productive activity.

    1. Hi Dennis,
      I’m glad to read that you are investing time into updating and improving your older content. I wish I had more time to work on mine. I do a little whenever I can.

      1. I do it like you. Only if I find time and mostly when I do not have ideas for new content.Usually the moments when I think “Hmm what could I do now?” then I start to edit a chunk of older posts.

        Most annoying is that I used German sentence case grammar in my old articles. It´s a pain to change all the words but must be done as it must be unreadable for English speakers to read so much capitalization. :D

  2. Thanks for this. I am going to incorporate your suggestions into my next sock monkey page. For some reason sock monkeys get more traffic than anything. I must add, I get a lot from reading what your commenters say too, particularly when they ask questions. :-D

    1. My commenters are so precious. I always feel torn when I answer support questions instead of immediately responding to comments here on my blog. The way I figure it is that those posting comments aren’t as needy as those who are posting to the support forums so I serve them first. Typing that here was scary because maybe my commenters don’t feel the same way. I’m pretty sure they are magnanimous but we shall see.

      I tweeted this link http://gentlestitches.com/2014/01/08/australian-version-of-hatsune-miku-and-furoshiki/ because I loved the post. Where oh where is the link to your sock monkey page please?

      Also know that I sent a new blogger username easygoingmama with this blog http://linkingloops.wordpress.com/ to your blog as you are both into crochet.

        1. I felt moved to comment again on this most important topic of refreshing older blog content.
          I make myself laugh because I thought it was “cheating?” somehow to alter content
          in an old post. Hilarious! Do I think I am plagiarizing myself? Is that possible. LOL!!!
          I really am at the stage where I would like to organize some free advice on beginner knitting and crochet
          and make it easy to obtain. Obviously revamping old notes from teaching days and posts would save me hours of time.
          You are a fair dinkum Godsend in the blogging world.
          I can’t thank you for your generosity too much.!!!
          I love the way you manage to cut through the confusion of quite difficult concepts and put them
          in easy and possible to understand terms. Now THAT is a teacher. :-)

          1. The cheatin huh error message is a legitimate one. You did not click through tha pages in the expected manner. lol :D

            Thanks so much for much for the kind words. The truth is that I’m suffering from extreme fatigue. I completed my contracted work late due to the power outage, and and now I’m just limping along until I can regain momentum again after the weekend.

          2. you do more with you illness than a lot of people do with excellent health. Plus you help people which has a ripple effect. I am helping a friend set up a blog now because of you.
            I hope you feel much better soon.

          3. The good news is I’m not ill right now. I’m just tired but tonight we gain an hour due to Daylight Savings time, and I intend to go to bed an hour early so I ought to feel renewed tomorrow.

  3. I haven’t yet updated older blog post –that it is if you count backlinks from newer related posts. My about page has been updated in a tiny way.

        1. When I answer comments on my blogs I click into the blogs of those who left comments. Then I read at least 3 posts and click the”like” button if I appreciate the work that went into a post. Lastly, I tweet the links to the posts I “liked” to my Twitter followers as well. I have two Twitter accounts. One is under timethief and is for blogging and writing related blogs. The other is under thistimespace and is for blogs in all other niches. It’s associated with my personal blog at http://thistimethisspace.com When I answer support forum questions I also do the same thing I outlined above.

          Your recipes are good ones. Blogging is a competitive pursuit and there is no such thing as “blog it and they will come” so don’t go into dreamland on this. Getting traffic is very hard work. It takes months to develop a base of followers so here are some tips for increasing traffic. The worst thing any new blogger can do is fail to:
          1. publish unique high quality content frequently and make it available via an excerpt on the front page of the blog;
          2. comment meaningfully and frequently on blogs with similar content.

          See these for Staff tips:
          http://en.support.wordpress.com/getting-more-views-and-traffic/
          http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/how-to-get-more-traffic/
          http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/traffic-dos-and-donts-a-checklist/

          If you want to increase traffic then don’t listen to anyone who professes there are passive ways of doing that. If you want your blog to rank well in search engine results then that begins with creating and publishing original content ie. unique content that cannot be found anywhere else on the internet. Then immediately after publishing you go to the social media sites and blogs where your targeted audience is and comment so you get traffic – you don’t sit back and wait for it to come because it won’t.

          See How to Identify Your Blog’s Target Audience http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2013/09/01/how-to-identify-your-blogs-target-audience/

          These 5 videos introduce how Google discovers, crawls, indexes your site’s pages, and how Google displays them in search results. It also touches lightly upon challenges webmasters and search engines face, such as duplicate content http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/03/22/5google-webmasters-video-tutorials/

          If you are using a WordPress.com theme good SEO is a given. However, going beyond the theme what the blogger has done within that structure is worth evaluating. Whether you write informative, persuasive or controversial content learning how search engines work, and how to apply basic SEO to you content will benefit your blog as it will increase traffic from targeted readers. http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2011/10/21/two-seo-videos-for-bloggers/

          6 Ways to Make Google Your Blog’s Best Friend > http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2012/10/08/6-ways-to-make-google-your-blogs-best-friend/

          Here are 25 basic steps to take to increase traffic to your blog:
          http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2009/01/15/twenty-five-steps-to-increase-blog-traffic/

          Here`s another helpful post 7 Common Sense Social Networking Tips http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2013/12/07/7-common-sense-social-networking-tips/

  4. Great advice, tt, your posts such as this help us all to get better and help us recognize how to do just such a thing. Thanks for sharing this …

    1. I think it’s important to set up a schedule early on when you start a blog so you create time spots to do this type of work in. That’s because I did not do that when I started and I’m living with the consequences now when I have so little time to do updating.

  5. As a former editor, I’m always aware of the possibility (however unlikely these days) that others might have quoted and/or linked to my material, and therefore I shouldn’t change the original. However, occasionally I can and do add new material to old posts, either as updates at the beginning or as notes at the end. I also repair or replace any broken links I find, typos, etc. If there’s a lot of new material, I’ll just write a new post and include a link to the old material.

    I make a point of choosing themes that include the post date right at the top and ignore themes that put the date in any other location. Readers should be able to determine quickly and easily — before spending their valuable time reading the post — whether it is timely enough for their needs. The date tells them exactly how old the information is and relieves me of the responsibility of updating old posts.

    1. Hey there,
      Unsurprisingly we are on the same page. :) The second after I enter a self hosted WordPress.ORG blog that has had all the date stamps from the posts I click out never to return again.

  6. Great tip. Thank you. :-) I usually only update an occasional post out of need. There are others that I’ve considered updating. Perhaps your article will give me some motivation for that.

  7. So, is it better to update old posts or reblog but with updates? What happens to the old post when you do the latter? Specifically, will the old post still show up in the SEO? Either way, I think it’s a great idea to revisit old posts. Thanks for the tip, timethief! XOXO

    1. Hell there,
      Yes you can use the 55 word reblog to announce an updated post. The SEO is not going to be a factor as the reblog is not going to have as much value as the original post does.

      1. Oh my! Thank you so very, very much for the lovely compliment. I will have to admit I was pretty pleased with the way that one turned out.

  8. Wow, these are such good suggestions. I have almost never updated content, except for my “About” page when we have moved–say from Haiti to the US, or from the US to Ecuador.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy,
      It’s an ongoing job that can take a lot of time when you have lots of content and both of us do, so get on it! lol :D

      P.S. I love the theme change to Untitled. You made a great decision ie. having only one sidebar ie’ a 2 column theme. Clutter distracts and can send cause people to click right out rather than looking for and reading content. That’s the down side of 3 column themes.

      P.S. I just discovered an older post on your blog that made me LOL http://reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/call-me-the-shit-whisperer/

  9. There are many of my posts, particularly early on that have had no visitors or hardly any so every now and again I’ve been doing just that, I would have put a lot of work into the original but have been feeling guilty every time I redo or repost and feeling that I’m cheating my audience somehow, but of course often there was no audience, so more guilt, thanks TT. :)

  10. Great questions timethief, I updated my about page just a few days ago. :) After a year of the same old information it was time for a facelift and new images for illustration.

    1. Thanks so much for patiently waiting for my response. I have been very busy and it’s great to be able to be here in this blog and answer questions that have racked up waiting for me.

      I took a close look at my About pages, Commenting and Copyright pages on both blogs and decided not to change anything on them. As for my other Pages like Basic Blogging, Featured Content and Popular Posts on this blog I update them on a continual basis. On most mature blogs keeping posts updated is a continual job or shall I say struggle?

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