How to spring clean your old blog posts
May 1, 2018 • angela
When I was in grade one, the teacher went around the class asking what we got up to on the school holidays.
I said, “I helped mum do the Spring cleaning.”
It wasn’t until she burst out laughing that I remembered it was Autumn. (Although in hindsight, perhaps she was laughing because my school holidays were so boring and pathetic). But apparently, I haven’t learned my lesson properly because… well, it’s Autumn here in Australia and once again, I’m talking about Spring cleaning.
No matter what the weather’s like outside, if you’ve been blogging for more than six months, your old blog posts have probably collected a nice layer of dust. Cobwebs, clutter and traces of last year’s goodness-knows-what. It happens to us all.
Old blog posts can be a source of embarrassment and confusion. What do we do with them anyway? Do we delete them? Hide them in shame? Maybe we should just pop a note at the top that says: “please don’t read… I was an idiot back then.”
Hold your horses! Don’t hit the delete button just yet.
Old blog posts are an asset
Even if they embarrass you a little, old blogs can be an asset to your business.
- They’re great for SEO
- They’re proof that you know what you’re talking about (and have for a while)
- They let people look back on your journey
- They build trust
- They educate your audience
- Sometimes they even generate leads
So don’t delete them!
But that doesn’t mean you should let them sit there all covered in dust.
A quick spring clean can turn your blogs into a better asset – one that generates more return for the time you invested in writing them. So, let’s take a closer look why your blog might need a little TLC and what might be involved.
Your blog is a Toyota Corolla
If a Facebook post is a translink ticket (good for about 2.5 hours), then a good blog post is a trusty Toyota Corolla. They’ll both get you places, but the Corolla (and blog) will potentially get you places for a good many years if you keep it well maintained.
My first car was an ancient Corolla. I miss it.
You can’t keep using a car without taking it in for a service every six months or so, or it doesn’t run as efficiently. People will start to look at you funny when you drive past with a squeaky fan belt and balding tires. The same sort of thing applies to blogs.
Even evergreen blogs need updating
An evergreen blog is content that stays relevant for a long period of time and contains information that doesn’t expire. For example, an interesting story, your own opinion or experience, a case study or facts that are unlikely to be disproven by new research or studies.
Evergreen blogs have a longer lifespan than almost any other content type because you can share them again and again on your social media, and email them to your list multiple times. You can let them sit there for search engines to crawl (good for SEO) and they’re available on your site for your audience to browse, 24/7.
When you publish an evergreen blog post, prospective clients will see it:
- The first time you share it and email it to your list
- When you reshare it on social media every few months
- When they browse your website archives
- When they stumble across it in Google
- On other blogs/websites that link to it
Some businesses find that their strongest blog posts continue to get search traffic and provide value to their audience for years, even compounding over time. This means that a well-written, useful evergreen blog post could provide a compounding return on investment for years to come.
But even the best evergreen blogs will start to turn an autumny shade of yellow if you don’t review and update them occasionally…
Bits that might need tweaking
Here are some things that might have changed since you posted your blog:
- Your website design and blog layout
- Your branding, fonts, colours or even your business name
- Your products, services, special offers or promotions
- Your calls to action
- SEO practices (if you were practicing SEO a few years ago, some of your techniques from back then could actually work against you today… for example, Glenn used to do Article Marketing awhile back, but SEO practices have since evolved)
- Your industry (terms, common practices, technology, news, advancements)
- Extra information you didn’t think to add earlier or have learned since
- Audience browsing habits and trends (faster load speeds, more multimedia, mobile-friendly)
But it’s really hard to stay constantly aware of all of these things. So I prepared a checklist to keep your blog in tip-top shape and ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed by the task.
To review and update your old blog posts, use the following checklist.
Aside from tweaking your copy/headline, most of these tasks can be outsourced or given to a team member who has basic technical skills. If they can do simple writing/editing tasks and update your website content, send them this checklist so they can take it from there.
Schedule it for sharing
Once you’ve updated your blogs, make sure you add them to your marketing mix again so that more people can find them. Schedule them on your:
- Facebook page/group
- Email newsletter
- … and any other platforms you use regularly
And then re-share them again every few months.
Hang on… won’t it bother my audience if I reshare my old blogs?
Nope. You can share your blogs again and again on social media and in your emails, as long as you don’t do it too often (as in… maybe leave it a few months between shares). Here’s why:
- Your new audience members won’t have seen your old content
- Your existing audience won’t remember your old content
- Some people will remember it but they’ll want a refresher and will re-read it
- A lot of people won’t see your post the first, second or third time… simply because of social media algorithms
- If you update the blogs with new and improved content, you can let your audience know – they’ll be more likely to click through
Think about your favourite brands… would it annoy you to see the same blog shared on their Facebook page a few months after you first read it? Probably not. Same goes for your audience.
The spring cleaning never ends…
So, pop another spring clean in your calendar for this time in 6-12 months, because by then your business and the world wide web will be a slightly different place, and you’ll need to revisit many of the points I listed in the checklist above.
Whatcha waiting for?
I can understand your hesitation. I’ve been in your shoes. But you just have to get started. Just like spring cleaning your house, tidying up your blog can be boring… but it produces a very satisfying result at the end.
There’s plenty of hidden potential in your old blog posts. Spring clean your blog, dust off the cobwebs and share your old content again and again!