If you have old blog posts with evergreen content, you can make them relevant again by giving them an upgrade.
In my last post, I mentioned that one way to overcome blogger burnout is to re-read your old posts. What I should have also told you is that while you might be amazed at how far you’ve come since those early days, you might also feel a sense of dread at how outdated all that old content looks.
But, fear not! There are things you can do to breathe new life into your old blog posts, and it’s a pretty painless exercise. You can even outsource it if you want to.
As I’m going through all my old posts, I’m finding there are three main areas where you can upgrade and update your old blog posts. Here they are…
- Your Content Itself is Dated
- Your Content is full of broken links
- Your Content doesn’t match your current branding
Let’s look at each of these and what you can do about them.
Problem #1 – Your Content is Dated
It happens. Everything you write is not going to be evergreen content. At some point you’ll have blogged about something that happened that day, or based your content around a holiday theme. When you go back and look at it, you can tell how old it is just by the events or actual dates mentioned in the post.
There are two ways to update outdated content that you want to make evergreen. The first is to go through and edit out the parts that identify how old the post is. Sometimes that’s an easy edit, but other times you might have to rewrite whole sections of the post. At that point, you might want to consider whether it’s even worth keeping.
Don’t be afraid to hit the delete button, if you really don’t want to keep old content around. Just make sure you have a redirect in place for that URL so you don’t lose any traffic that page was getting.
The second way to update outdated content is to take the date off it. This works well if your content is reasonably evergreen to begin with, the information is still relevant, and you want to get fresh eyes on it. This helps when new readers come to your blog because they won’t think that all you have is old, outdated content.
Problem #2 – Your Content is full of broken links
Broken links are something that every blogger has to deal with even on new content. People take down content all the time, so articles and products you might have linked to a couple of years ago are no longer there. The other reason you might have broken links is because you have changed your business model. You might have old links to products you’ve retired, or services you no longer provide and those links also make your blog look stale and outdated.
You can keep on top of broken links by using a WordPress plugin that checks all your links on a schedule and emails you a report. You can then go in and manually decide whether to update the link, or unlink it completely.
Another way you can alleviate the broken links problem is to use a link redirect tool. If you use a redirect for all your links, then you don’t ever have to actually change the links in your posts. All you do in that case, is change where the redirect points to. If you use a really good link tracker it will also give you stats so that you know if the links in your old posts are still driving traffic for you.
Problem #3 – Your Content doesn’t match your current branding
This is the biggest issue you will have with old content. You may have changed the theme of your blog and so the header, sidebar and footers will all match your new branding, but if you didn’t update your post graphics and layout, to match your new style your content will look outdated even if it’s not.
When you’re upgrading your content, make sure you take time to upgrade all the graphics as well. Make sure your header graphics and in-post images are the right sizes to be easily shareable on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
If you’ve changed your writing style over the years, your post layout will most likely also have to be updated. Check your headers and sub-headers to make sure they match your current branding. You’ll also want to consider adding some if you were in the habit of just writing long posts with no visual breaks in your early blogging days.
Upgrading your old blog posts isn’t hard to do. It’s a little time consuming but this is one of those tasks that could easily be outsourced to a VA. The other thing to keep in mind is you don’t have to do it all at once. Set the posts you want to upgrade back to ‘draft’ status, and work on them as you get time. Not only will you feel better about your blog when all your content has the same look and feel, you’ll also have several posts you can share that older readers may have forgotten about and newer readers will never have seen.
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