When you first started posting content, you had some awesome stuff that only generated a few unique visitors per month. Now that you’re site is taking off, you’d like to turn those old posts into something that you can use for your visitors who are craving new content.
There are a number of strategies that can breathe new life into those older, but still valuable, posts that you have. I am going to share eleven of these strategies that most pro bloggers live by.
#1. Add new images to your older content.
One of the easiest ways you can add some life to this older content is to add new images to them.
Here are a few types of images that you can add to an older post to make it more significant and shareable.
- Twitter Embedded Tweets with Images – All you need to do is to perform a search on Twitter, and you will be able to choose from some of the most viral images on the web. These images are completely free. They look better than stock images, and they can be retweeted directly from your post.
- Statistics and Charts – Sometimes a single visual display of a statistic and lead to thousands of social shares. Go through your post and identify the key topics that are covered. Then head over to Google Images and do a search for statistics on that topic. I also advise that you write a couple of sentences explaining the key stat and linking back to the source. By linking back to the original post where the statistic came from, you will be adding extra authority to your post in the eyes of Google.
- End of the Post Infographic – The difference between a post ranking number 20 or number 1 on Google can come down to a matter of people spending just a few more seconds on your post before the return to Google. This is called average time on page, and it is one of the top 5 factors of the Google Ranking Algorithm. Adding a related infographic to the end of the post, can easily add an additional 30 seconds to your average time on page.
The best way to get started is to go through the posts that bring you the most traffic. Update the older posts on that list and wait to see results. You might be impressed at how many clicks you’re able to get.
#2. Include older posts in your current marketing efforts.
You might have written that post in 2008, but it’s evergreen content. This makes it still important and useful for readers. Instead of letting it sit there by itself, include that content in your marketing efforts. After all, you are the one who is in control of what gets shared to your marketing lists or your lead generation opportunities.
Here are a few ways to incorporate old posts into your new marketing tactics.
- Use older posts as part of your initial sign-up process. Including a link to an older post as part of your autoresponder setup can help your conversion rates and improve traffic. That’s a win/win.
- Send it out to your email list. Whenever I am strapped for time, I email out one of my older posts that performed well in the past. Just like musicians, your greatest hits will be loved over and over again.
- Put it out on social media. You can share an old link at any time and make it feel like it is new to a new follower.
I recommend to identify five of your top performing posts that cover topics that are still relevant today. If you sent them out to your list, then you will see they are just as powerful today as they were a few years ago.
#3. Give your site a deep tissue massage.
Older posts will often briefly mention subject materials that you later decided to create in-depth content about. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to create a link between the two posts. You can also use your older posts as a way to link to new sources of information that support your perspectives, creating two-way link traffic that is very much loved by search engines today.
It also adds value to your site because your visitors are able to quickly access more information that they’re interested in having. This keeps them on your site longer and search engines love the concept of value as well. You might see an increase in your site traffic, your search rankings, and even in your sales conversions just by adding related posts and deep linking.
Although every older post can benefit from this process, you may wish to start with your top-ranked older posts and update them in descending order for best results.
#4. A fresh title changes everything.
Titles have always been an important part of maximizing site performance levels, but it hasn’t been as important in the past as it is today.
The title of a post is going to play the largest role in whether your post will get ranked in Google or shared in social media. If your title is bad, then no one will ever read the post. I suggest using my perfect title formula as often as possible.
(Odd Number) + (Superlative) + (Exact Keyword Phrase)
21 Great SEO Tips for Bloggers
I have doubled and tripled many of my client’s blog traffic by going back and optimizing all of their titles. Once the new title gets indexed by Google, then people start clicking more and your post shoots up in the rankings.
#5. Fine Tune the User Experience of Your Blog
Sometimes the best strategy for turning old posts into top performers is to improve the navigational process needed to take a visitor to that content. In the past, you might have included some menu options to specific searches or a list of your most popular posts.
That’s good, but it’s not good enough for modern UX. It’s time to take things to the next level.
You can do this by adding specificity to your navigational profile. Instead of a generic list of top articles, offer visitors a chance to see your best list articles. Just make sure you’re using proven content to promote a better UX. If no one shared your post the first time around, then they probably will not do it this time around.
In my top posts section, I promote my pillar posts that have a proven track record. These posts have a high average time on page, large volumes of social shares, and are optimized to convert the reader to a buyer.
The post that I place in the number one position is…
It is a post that is a collection of my top performing tactics, and the the title compels everyone to click on it.
#6. Add new content to the older posts.
This is one reason why you should embrace the idea of list-based content even if you hate it. When you create lists, you’re creating an easy way to update the article later on when your expertise has evolved. Instead of having to restructure the entire article, all I need to do is add a few extra tips to a list post to make it fresh.
When you go back into your older content, you can also remove outdated material which may be hampering the value proposition you’re trying to offer. Over time things change, and outdated material can be holding back some of your old posts.
While you are editing an old post, take a moment to remove any references to a specific time period. Most people that read a post do not pay attention to the date stamp at the top of the page. However, if they read a statement that mentions the year 2011, then they are going to move their mouse directly to the back button.
#7. Throw the spam out of your comments pantry.
Spam might be a beloved food in some homes, but it detracts from your credibility when it’s on your website. Filters that automatically remove spam are a great thing to have, but they might miss some of your older posts. No one likes seeing 60 spam comments on a blog post they found to be interesting. Instead of getting to engage with the community, they’re presented with 60 different links to ways that you can save money, lose weight, become an affiliate, participate in a one-day sunglasses sale – whatever.
Delete this stuff if it is there. Even if it hasn’t harmed your credibility, removing spam will improve the aesthetics of your site. I highly recommend that you use a comment plugin like Disqus or Facebook comments as opposed to using the default WordPress comments. This will eliminate 95% of the comment spam problem.
#8. Consider giving your older posts an edit or two.
Even the best writers have grammatical errors, typos, and other mistakes that creep into their content. Those mistakes can even creep into your content after you and all of your best friends have given it a thorough proofreading.
If your older posts are still incredibly valuable, you can still turn it into a top performer by giving it a good edit. Search engines think in value terms, which means the best content will typically get the best ranking. If there are errors in that content, then that can be holding that piece of content back.
Here are some ways that you can make sure all of the mistakes are out of your older content.
- Read your content out loud. By processing the words into speech, you’ll be able to evaluate the tone of your content and it will become easier to spot subtle mistakes that might get missed.
- Print out your content instead of reading your content on the screen. This will allow you to mark specific changes you may wish to make.
- Use online tools, such as grammar and spelling checkers, so you can fix errors you might not realize are there.
Once a visitor notices an error, they’ll become skeptical of the value your site provides. Limit them in your older posts and you’ll remove that skepticism, improve traffic, and maybe even improve your reputation.
#9. Change the formatting of your content.
Readability is very different today than it was 10-15 years ago. Content tends to be more acceptable if it is broken into smaller chunks. Think 2-3 sentence paragraphs instead of 8 sentence paragraphs that are 150 words in length.
People also skim online content today for key points that they can use immediately, which is a habit that wasn’t around a decade ago. Older posts may benefit from including bullet points and subheadings that weren’t always necessary in the past.
You’ll often find that these older posts become top performers because the content is amazing, but it was too difficult for the visitor to read. They decided to skip it.
The best part about this strategy is that you can refresh lengthy posts with only a couple minutes of work. Just look for large blocks of text that may be intimidating and break them up in some way.
#10. Republish it.
Sometimes all you need to do is republish the old post. You get a new post to promote and new readers get content they haven’t seen before. If you are concerned about your readers seeing something they saw two years ago, then I would not worry to much about this.
People love good content. If it is good, then they will be happy to read it again. I have read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” every year for two decades. It never gets old because it is filled with value.
#11. Optimize All of Your Past Posts for Pinterest
After I knew my Pinterest growth hack was a game changer, I went back and pinned three entire categories of old posts. These posts went all the way back to three years ago. I came up with a plan, strategically created clickable pins, and posted them one at a time. I did around ten per day for 90 days, and it only took me about 40 minutes a day.
That 40 minute per day investment ended up paying out huge dividends. Today, I get over 200,000 visitors to my blog every month from Pinterest, which is 190,000 more than what I was getting before I applied my Pinterest growth hack.
I break down the entire Pinterest growth hack in the third video of my free three part mini course. You can get instant access to my free mini course by signing up to the wait list for my main course.