We all have them. At least if you’ve been writing your business blog for awhile now. And no, I’m not referring to a cell phone or crumbs in the corners of our cars. I’m referring to old blog posts.
I actually feel bad for the things. As bloggers and marketers, we pour so much heart and soul into one piece of writing. We brainstorm, research, write and then market each post. And then we hit the publish button.
And, usually, our audience greets us with a raging round of applause. At least for a couple of minutes. Over 4 million blog posts are published on the Internet every day. That’s a lot of writing going on.
It’s not actually the creation of all of this blog content that worries me. It’s what happens afterwards. All of that work might pay off for the first couple of weeks after you hit publish. But after that, your blog post loses steam. It may or may not continue to be read. And it may or may not continue to make you money.
Most likely your blog post goes into the attic to collect dust. You just spent hours of writing time and, possibly, hundreds of dollars writing a new blog post. Just to pack it away into storage.
Why you Need to Repurpose your Old Blog Posts?
Would you just throw away a few hours here and there without thought? No. Time is money. Which means that the time spent writing all of those blog posts is extremely valuable.
So, why do you let all of our hard work go to waste? Probably because you don’t know any better.
When visitors (or potential customers) stop on your blog to read your article, if given the chance, they probably want to stay awhile. Visitors from my shop want to sip a cup of coffee, take their shoes off and find ideas for their child’s next birthday party. They certainly aren’t looking to dash.
By taking the time to bring your old blog posts back to life, you make it easier for your visitors to browse. Chances are if they’re interested in one of your blog posts, they’re probably interested in lots of them.
It’s your job as a content marketer to help them find all of your great writing. There’s so much value in these old blog posts. The old blog posts on my shop’s site are full of free printables, creative ideas, resources and lots of other fun stuff.
And this content drives traffic to my site – new and old. When I view my traffic stats from the last year, most of my visitors spend time at my old blog posts. This is because they’ve been shared so many times over the years. There are more backlinks to them and they attract a lot of organic traffic.
But these old blog posts need to be up to speed or visitors will not be impressed. And first impressions are everything when you are trying to woo a new customer or create a new follower.
Here are some strategies to bring back to life your old blog posts.
Update your Links
When someone lands on one of your old blog posts, what do they find?
I recently received an email from a potential customer in Switzerland. Her son was a huge fan of the United States and she wanted to use our free printable patriotic water bottle labels for his party. Except that they weren’t in the post. They couldn’t be found anywhere.
The link to the download was broken. It made me start to wonder how many other links to our free printables weren’t working. Upon my initial assessment, I discovered broken links to free downloads, affiliates and products to our old shop.
How is my shop ever going to grow if potential customers are frustrated when they visit?
Take some time each month to update your internal links. Make sure the links on your old blog posts work.
If you are publishing often, take the time to add links to related articles that you might have published since writing that blog post. This makes it easier for readers to click on other blog posts.
You can also add links to new affiliate programs that you’ve joined. If you have your own creative shop, add links to your new products that your blog post readers might be interested in.
Updating the links on your old blog posts will encourage readers to spend more time on your blog (improving your bounce rate). It also gives you a chance to convert a casual visitor into a fan.
Rework your SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is literally a collection of the search terms that people are currently looking up on the Internet.
Like everything else in life, these search terms are constantly changing. The terms that were popular to search one month can shift a few months later.
Review your old blog post for good SEO. Make sure that the terms that you’re trying to rank for are ones that are currently being searched. You can check using free SEO tools such as Ubersuggest or Google Keyword Tool.
If not, update your SEO for your blog post. Having current search terms makes it more likely that someone will find your post in a search engine query. This organic traffic will help grow your shop and increase sales.
Create New Pins
This is one of my favorite ways to bring back to life old blogs posts. Creating a new pin for an old blog post gives you new content to share on your Pinterest boards, Tailwind tribes and encourage readers to share with others.
I recently updated my blog post on how to make cow print mason jars. I wrote this blog post a number of years ago to help promote our new farm animal and tractor party designs.
Since then, the blog post had been cast aside. Until recently, when I decided to bring it back to life again with a new pin. Following the current pin design recommendations, I created a new pin to promote the post and added it to my Tailwind Tribes. Ever since, the blog post’s traffic has skyrocketed. (I know it’s hard to imagine that many people are searching for cow print mason jars, but they are popular around farm party season.)
Review your old blog posts and create new pins for them. Add your new pins directly onto Pinterest, share on your Facebook Groups and add to Tailwind Tribes. You’ll be surprised how this simple graphic design addition can increase an old blog post’s traffic.
Post on Medium
Medium is a community blogging platform where you can syndicate your blog posts. It’s a platform that celebrates creative storytelling, making it stand apart from the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.
If you have old blog posts that need a new life, consider posting them on Medium. With over 60 million monthly readers, it’s a great place for your writing to get more exposure and find a broader audience.
Publishing on Medium is easy too. You can download the WordPress plugin for Medium. This allows you to easily cross-post your blog posts between the two mediums and syndicate your content.
And if you’re trying to diversify your income streams and make a little money from your writing, Medium does pay it’s writers a little based on the claps that they receive each month. Lots of wins here.
But keep in mind when you syndicate your content, you are watering your SEO down a little since your content will be published in two places. So, choose the articles you decide to post on Medium carefully.
Write an E-Book
Having a lot of old blog posts isn’t a bad thing. It’s all about how you organize them.
Once your blog has a larger volume of blog posts, you could put similar posts together into an e-book. Blog readers love e-books. There’s a delight in having all of your wonderful, theme specific content in one location and easily accessible.
To write your e-book, choose the blog post content that you want to include. See if there are any gaps in the content. If necessary, write some extra chapters to work the content together better. You don’t want an e-book filled with loosely connected chapters.
You can find more ideas for publishing your first e-book here. It’s a great way to repurpose your blog content and make it profitable again.
Add to your Newsletter
Another way I use my shop’s old blog posts is by transforming them into newsletter pieces. Many of the blog posts that I’ve written over the years were not read by my current newsletter subscribers. So, they are the perfect place to find content for my current newsletters.
Use the content from your old blog posts and work it into your newsletter.
I write a lot of newsletters to my customers focused on different themed celebration ideas. For example, during National Strawberry Week I wrote a newsletter filled with ideas on how to celebrate. I used many of my strawberry themed blog posts for the body of the newsletter. Then, I linked to the different blog posts, so readers could find free printables and more information. It was a great way to connect my new readers back to my old blog posts.
If you have a newsletter topic that you plan to write, find ways to connect your old blog posts into your writing. You can repurpose your blog post writing as the body of your newsletter or include links to your old blog post content. These links encourage your email readers to click back to the original blog post and you will organically drive new traffic to the post.
Reshare on Social Media
One effective marketing strategy for growing your social media following is sharing content constantly. But, if you aren’t writing a high volume of blog posts, you might start wondering where you should be getting all of this wonderful content from.
If you need content to share on social media, go no further than your old blog posts. Social media is the perfect place to share your old blog posts. A lot.
Create a social media sharing schedule that mixes in sharing your new blog posts and your old ones. You can use a manual spreadsheet method or try a social media sharing tool that will help keep your progress for you.
When choosing which old blog posts to share, I look at how my old blog posts relate to themes in the current time of year.
For example, last week was National Ice Cream Day. I shared posts on Facebook about our free printable ice cream stickers and ice cream party favor ideas. This was a great time to reuse these old blog posts since my customers were focused on ice cream.
Although the posts were a couple of years old, new Facebook users got to enjoy it and old customers were able to rediscover it.
Even though you might have published a blog post awhile back, don’t assume that your audience already knows about it. Share the old blog post on your social media outlets. And then share it again. You’ll be amazed how many users missed it the first couple of times.
Write a Round Up Post
One way to share content from old blog posts is to write a round up post for your blog. Choose a blog post theme that can include a variety of your old blog content. You also might want to have links to other people’s blog posts to make it a varied collection.
Before including photos from other bloggers websites, check with them that you have permission to use them. You want to be careful to follow copyright laws and not steal other people’s work. Even though you might be sharing, using their photos might be against their terms and conditions. Check the disclaimers on their websites and, if you can’t find the information, email them. You can never be too careful.
When writing the new round up blog post, include photos and links to your old blog posts. If you’ve included work by other bloggers, send them an email to let them know that they were featured in the blog post. This is a great way to meet new bloggers and get your work (new and old) shared to their followings.
Reimagine into a New Format
Most likely, you published your old blog posts in a written format. You know the classic storytelling and information blog post. Which is perfectly fine in the blogosphere and has been an acceptable way to write blog posts since the beginning.
But these days, there’s lots of different blog formats to try. Instead of casting aside your old blog posts, why not reimagine them into a new format?
Could you turn your old content into a video? Maybe make it an infographic or a checklist?
Think about different ways you can transform your content into something new and fresh. Writing for your shop’s blog isn’t always about creating something completely original. Reworking something that you’ve already written works too (and saves time).
Create a Resources Section
Do you create a lot of content that you want your blog readers and shop visitors to find again? Easily?
One of my favorite ways to reuse old blog posts is to put them into a resources library. It’s a place that you keep tools for your readers. And maybe a couple of extra blog posts.
Your resource library is a great place to add more value for your readers. Your audience will love having one place to stop and find everything that they need.
It’s also a great way to build your email list. You can create your resource library and keep it under lock and key. Well, not really. But you can ask your blog readers to sign up for your email list in exchange for the key.
Subscribers also have a reason to continuously return to your website to find more information and access the tools. The more your potential customers interact with your brand, the more likely they will be turned into buying customers.
If you run a business blog, a lot of work goes into writing blog posts. But, many times, just a few weeks after hitting publish, the blog posts popularity fizzles and it is no longer working hard to grow your business.
Don’t let this happen. Spend some of your marketing time bringing your old blog posts back to life. Add new internal links, free printables, infographics and other incentives to keep readers coming back. Continuously share your old blog posts on social media and in your newsletter. You can even gather them to write an e-book or create a resource section.
Most importantly, unless it’s not the best blog post, don’t let your writing gather dust. The value in using your business blog as a marketing tool lies in your published content. But that content needs to impress. So, keep them up to date and amazing. Your visitors are more likely to share and your business will grow.