3 Clever Things To Do With Old Blog Posts

woman-using-computer
In internet years, I’m practically a dinosaur.  Yes and Yes has been around since 2008 and I’ve got 2,300+ posts in the archives. Crazy, right?  Now, it seems a pity and a waste to let all that writing sit there and gather dust so I’ve been brainstorming other things to do with them.  Want to try some yourself?

1. SEO-ify it, pretty-ify it, and re-promote it
When I started blogging, I’m not sure that SEO was even A Thing and if it was, I surely didn’t know about it.  While my content was good, my titles were too quirky and mysterious to inspire much click through and all my photos were saved as “008138ejplorb.jpg.”  This was also the age when people used any old photo they found – regardless of copyright and I wasn’t any different.

Here’s what you should do to make your old posts more awesome
* Find the best ones. Hint: they’re probably tutorials or how-tos
* Find a good, legal image for them. I like Flickr Creative Commons (sorted by ‘most interesting’) or Unsplash for beautiful, legal images
* Rename the photo as something SEO-friendly –  “woman-using-computer” not “9109282joli.jpg.”
* Put the title of the post on top of the image. This will make it more Pinterest and Twitter feed friendly.  I use Picmonkey for all my photo editing needs.
* Add spaces, bolding, or headings to make your post more readable.
* If you named your post something ‘clever’ the first time around (like song lyrics), rename it something obvious and Googleable
* Schedule out a few tweets to re-promote your newly awesome old blog post

Offer it as a guest post
Do you have internet friends? Of course you do.  Do they ever go on vacation or need a break? Dur. When that happens, offer up the best of your archives to fill that time while they’re off drinking margaritas on the beach.

Or you can rework the best of your archives and offer them as guest posts to any of the websites that syndicate content. Thought Catalog! Mind Body Green! Daily Love! Etc.

Put it in a different format
Some people like to read blog posts.  Other people want to listen to podcasts as they drive or watch Youtube videos during lunch. There’s absolutely no reason you can’t repurpose your old content in new forms.  I can take all of my most popular travel blog posts and turn each of them into a video.  I can turn old posts from this small business blog into infographics.  I turned my Real Life Style Icon interviews into a newsletter opt-in ebook that netted me 1,000+ new subscribers.  Please feel free to copy all of these ideas and use them yourself!

What are you doing with the posts in your archive?  Share your best tips in the comments!

P.S. Does all this advice ring true?  But maybe you need a little bit of extra help with your blog or a loving push in the right direction?  I can help!  For less than you’d think!

photo by ray from la // cc

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16 Comments

Moi

Very helpful as usual, Sarah!
Can’t wait for my blog to have 2,000+ posts.
Currently on post No. 32 but working on it!

XXX Moi

Tara

Thank you for this post Sarah – I love that your posts are so practical. I am slowly going through old posts now that my blog has evolved into a part of my work rather than just ‘fun sharing’, but am finding that a lot of them are, to put it kindly, not very interesting or useful.

Do you have any advice about deleting old posts en masse? Is it a bad idea in terms of SEO or links etc? Or is it better to be ruthless and only keep what is relevant to what your blog is about right now? I want to keep some of my old posts as I began my blog to track my own progress, but am not sure now whether it’s necessary or even a good idea to keep the silly/irrelevant ones.

sarahvon

Hi Tara!

Hmmm, if those old blog posts don’t have a lot of incoming links (like, no currently active blogs linked to them last year) and you’re a bit embarrassed about the content – go ahead and delete them! Yesandyes is on Blogspot, so if I wanted to delete a bunch of posts I’d just go to the ‘published posts’ page, click the boxes next to the blog posts I didn’t like and then click the trash icon.

Tara

Thanks Sarah, that’s a good point about links. I can safely say I’m pretty sure none of them have been linked to! It’s more a personal thing – whether I can let them go when they’re part of how I got to where I am now. But it’s good to know the practical side – thanks for the advice, I appreciate it. :)

NZ Muse

Last time I cleaned up my blog I deleted tons of old crap from the archives. As for some I was iffy about – wanted to keep it for records/posterity but not publicly – I made private and password protected them.

Stacey (FreshStitches)

Hey Sarah- What a great post! I’ve been updating my old posts (I’m *almost* as much of a dinosaur as you ;) )

I have a question: do you have an opinion about changing the published date? For example, is it kosher to re-write most of it, and then change the date to current? My thinking is that it would be seen by new readers, but also keep the previous Pinterest/likes/etc links (if the permalink is the same)

sarahvon

Hmmm, I think it’s a bit unkosher to change the published date and I’m not sure about the specifics but I thiiiink doing that somehow messes with the SEO and Google picks up on it. But I’m not 100% sure!

Andi

Great advice! I just recently updated a DIY post from two years ago and submitted it to craftgawker. That little bit of time translated into a bunch of traffic. I think I may start reworking old posts regularly. Especially now that my following has grown. P.S. Unsplash is amazing! Thanks for sharing the site!!

Sharon

Great practical advice! Thanks for sharing this. My good friend has become quite the pro blogger and she has been bugging me about giving my blog a facelift. This is definitely one way of going about it.

Thanks for sharing this!

Hilary

Thank you! I was in bed last night, thinking “I should take some of my oldest posts that I wrote before I “found my voice” and revamp them and repost. I wasn’t sure if that was cool but I woke up to this post and I’m doing it for sure!
Thank you!

Hilary x thehealthycollective.com

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