Keeping things fresh for our blog readers is always a challenge - maximizing your blog archives can help ease the burden of coming up with new content.
One of the biggest challenges we have as food bloggers, is coming up with fresh content on a regular basis to keep our readers engaged.
It can start to feel like a lot of pressure to churn out new material! Sometimes life gets in the way, or you feel uninspired, or you'd just like to go on vacation for a few weeks - there's dozens of reasons why creating new blog content may not be possible or a priority.
But that doesn't mean you have to be completely absent from the blogosphere or that you need to churn out 10 new recipes every year for Valentine's Day. And that's because, if you're been blogging for six months or longer you already have a very valuable content resource - your blog archives!
Most of us do not make use of our blog archives as much as we should. But why not? We've put a lot of effort into all those posts - it's a shame for them to have the spotlight for a week only to slip into oblivion when the next post comes out.
So let's put those archived posts to work!
5 Tips For Maximizing Your Blog Archives
1. Make Your Post Pinnable
One of the easiest ways to make the most of your old posts is to get your readers to do the work for you! Make sure your posts are easy to pin - we've got lots of of easy to implement tips for you on how to do this! If your readers are pinning your posts you'll get a nice reliable stream of traffic from Pinterest on an ongoing basis. It's amazing the new life that can be breathed into an old posts when a popular Pinner finds it and pins it!
2. Share Old Posts on Social Media
Posting something new to your blog every day or multiple times a week is just not feasible for many of us. But just because you don't have new content doesn't mean you have to be silent on social media. Not only can you (and should!) share other people's content that you find valuable, but on the days you don't have new content, go through your recipes and pull out an old post to promote. It's Easter? Share an Easter post from last year - or the year before!
Even when it's not a holiday, you can easily share appropriate seasonal material - comfort food works well in winter and salads and smoothies are great for January and the summer. The possibilities are many!
3. Have A Easily Searchable Recipe Index
Most food bloggers do have recipe indexes now and these are one of the best ways to make the most of your archives. But, you can make them even more useful if they're easily browsable and easily searchable. A recipe index that can be divided by the type of cuisine or dish is great. One that has thumbnail images so readers can see what it looks like before clicking through is even better. And best of all? A recipe index where your reader can search by cuisine, season and even ingredient.
All of these require varying amounts of customization and, in some cases, coding. But there are a lot more easy to implement options out there now than there were even a year ago!
4. Make Use of Your Sidebar
Sidebars in blogs are prime real estate and are often crammed with items that take people away from your site. But they are the perfect spot to promote your old content.
You can use one of the many popular posts plug-ins that are available - your blog theme may even come with one! You can also try a plug-in like WordPress's Pretty Sidebar Categories that lets you feature images based on category or tag. That way you can rotate out what you feature in your sidebar based on the season, a theme that you're featuring or perhaps tutorials that you offer.
These are just a few of the ideas for you to make the most of your blog archives. For even more ideas take a look at this post from our archives on resurrecting old blog posts.
5. Have a Good Stable of Evergreen Content
Evergreen content refers to posts or content that stay relevant over months and even years. These posts can live forever and if Google likes them, you can get a steady stream of traffic to your blog even when you take a lengthy break from posting. We'll be back in a few weeks with a new article on how to create evergreen content for your blog.
Maximizing your blog's archives is an easy way to make the most of all that great content you've worked so hard over the months and years to produce and keep a steady stream of traffic coming to your site. It's definitely worth going back through your old posts and making sure that they're optimized for SEO, pinnable, categorized and tagged properly and have images that have their alt and title tags filled in. It will pay off in spades!