Throughout January we will be running our 31 Day Blog Challenge: 31 days to clean up, grow and improve your blog. What better time than the start of a new year to get things sorted and ready to go for a brand new year of blogging?
We'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to get things in order and make blogging easier. This is Day 21.
Over the last few days we talked about using Google Analytics to dive into your stats and find out your top 10 posts of all time and then making sure they're Pinterest friendly so they can get even more internet love.
Today we're going to take it a step further and look at ways to make better use of one of your biggest assets as a blogger - your old content.
As a blogger, one of our biggest challenges is coming up with new, fresh content on a regular basis. It can be draining. And if you've been at this a long time, it can start to feel like you have nothing new to say.
But lets not forget - you are sitting on a wealth of content that you've already produced. For some of you it can be years worth of posts. And how much have you promoted them since you wrote them? For two or three days after they were published?
At the risk of dating myself here, how many of you remember when Ferris Bueller's Day Off came out in theatres? It was a classic film of my youth. And it included a classic song: Twist and Shout by the Beatles. After the movie came out, Twist and Shout found itself back on the pop charts, living a second life with a whole new generation.
The point here being, great songs, books, art and even great blog content are great for a reason and can have a renewed life with an audience who hasn't seen or read them before.
Now it's time to give them a second chance. You can use them to give yourself a breather when you're too busy to put together a quality post, when you decide to go on vacation for a few weeks or, if you just need a break to get reinspired.
Tips for Giving Your Blog Content a Second Life
The first thing you need to do is go through all your old blog posts and remind yourself of what's there - we bet you'll find a few gems you'd totally forgotten about. Make a list of 20-30 posts you think are quality posts that you could resurrect.
Here's a few ideas of what you can do with them:
Highlight Posts That Are Seasonal
Got 15 blueberry recipes already? When blueberry season rolls around promote a few of your old posts on social media. Create a section on your sidebar during blueberry season that links back to your blueberry post archives (you can do this with a tag in WordPress or a label in Blogger). You can do the same thing with Christmas recipes, Valentines, Halloween - you get the idea. Work those recipes!
Create a "Roundup" Post Of Your Own Content.
Create a post that's essentially a roundup of your own content. For instance "My Top 10 Cookie Recipes" or "My Favourite Cheap Eats in Montreal". You can use images from each post and simply link back to the recipes or restaurants already on your blog. Internal links are also an excellent way to boost your SEO.
Promote One Old Post Per Week On Social Media
Once a week promote an old post on your social media channels. We already have the #tbt hashtag in wide use. There's no reason you can't do a Throw Back Thursday post on Facebook, Twitter, IG etc. Try to choose something that fits with the season - you might not want to choose a heavy stew in the middle of July.
Link To An Old Post In Your Recent Posts
Internal links are SEO gold. And they encourage your readers, many of whom may be new, to browse your site. Every time you write a new post, try to work in an appropriate link to an old post. For instance, if you're reviewing a new restaurant in your city and the chef has another restaurant you've already reviewed, mention it and link back to it. Or, if you're writing a pie recipe, link back to your amazing pastry recipe.
Submit Old Posts to Roundups, Link Parties or Food Photo Sites
If you participate in recipe roundups or link parties, consider submitting older posts that fit the theme. Your posts get new life and you don't have to come up with something brand new just to participate.
Pin Old Posts
Add old posts to group boards on Pinterest to give them new life (make sure they have a nice pinnable image.). You can also create your own Pinterest board just for your own content and pin an old post to it once a week (don't overwhelm your followers with all your own content - Aimee from Simple Bites shared her magic ratio for pinning her own content.)
Use a Popular Posts or Related Posts Widget
Popular post and related posts widgets can be put in your sidebar or footer to encourage readers to check out older or related posts. If you can't use a widget, you can also do this manually with a little HTML, or by using a Blogger label or WordPress tag/category.
Create a "Featured Section" On Your Home Page
If you go look at the FBC Home Page, you'll see we have a Spotlight section. We use this section to feature posts and swap them out regularly. But there are a couple of posts that are always there. And that's because they're our most read posts of all time. We want to make sure people see them - and they still get tons of traffic - probably in part because they're front and centre!
Now, not all old posts will have a second life - some might have dated content or you may not be a big fan or your writing or photography skills way back when. But, we bet that you will, in fact, find a good 50-60% of your content could benefit from a second chance!
Those are just a few ideas to get you started. What are some ways you've found to breathe some new life into old posts?