This is the kick off to our annual January Blog Challenge: 31 Days To Clean Up Your Blog. What better time than January to sit down and review your blog? Over the 31 days we'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to deal with all those pesky maintenance tasks, take steps to grow in the new year 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 easily shareable 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 (also known as Evergreen Content). Restaurant bloggers, before you click away, this posts applies to you to! We'll have a link at the bottom with some tips just for you!
As bloggers, one of our biggest challenges is coming up with new, fresh content on a regular basis. It can be draining. If you've been at this a long time, it can start to feel like you have nothing new to say. How many variations does the world need of your noodle bowl?
But lets not forget - you're 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 from my mom's youth: 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.
Have all your readers been with you since day 1? No!
So that means they haven't seen all your content - they probably haven't even seen a fraction of it!
Now it's time to give them a second chance. Use your evergreen content 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 inspired.
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 or a newsletter 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 Old Posts Regularly On Social Media
There are many tools out there that allow you to recycle and schedule old content on social media. Use them to get more use out of your content. 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.
Can you create some videos for those old posts? Videos is highly consumable and it's easy to edit it into multiple formats for different platforms - your blog, YouTube, Facebook, IGTV etc. You may be able to get a lot of new uses out of an old post by adding video!
Keep Pinning Old Posts
Create new pins for all those seasonal posts once a year and repin them. Pinterest digs new content (and by new content we mean new pins - not new blog posts!). Need help making new pins? Check out our guide to creating pinnable images.
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, on desktop, you'll see we have multiple sections where we can highlight different content as we choose. A lot of WordPress templates or designs can do this now and it's a great way to bring old content to the front of your blog during different seasons or promotions.
What About Content That's Not Reusable?
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. Some of that content might be due for a refresh - some updated photos, some SEO work, updating any out of date information, etc.
If a post isn't salvageable, it might be time for it to go. You may want to No Index it or delete it with a redirect. This can also help your SEO.
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?
- Evergreen Content Ideas For Food Bloggers
- 5 Evergreen Content Ideas for Restaurant Bloggers
- 25 Email Newsletter Content Ideas For Food Bloggers