Let’s rewind for a moment.
It’s 2008 and blogging is 'the thing to do' in business marketing. Helping to generate website traffic, improve SEO and promote your business, the concept slowly, yet gradually, starts to gain traction.
With little competition (at least back then), it was highly effective. Simply adding pages to your site while demonstrating a sound understanding of a subject and its keywords was enough to rank.
That was of course, before the activity evolved into what we know today. And the complexities and competition in blogging now make it far harder to rank by blogging alone.As online content continues to evolve, we need to take a wider stance with how we approach it, which is why brands are now strongly advised to adopt the mindset of a 'media publisher'.
But what about all of those old blogs you've accumulated over the years? That's a lot of content. And much of those blogs could be high-performing, core pieces within your site. It would certainly be a shame to leave them to collect dust in the archives.
We’ve talked about republishing old posts before, and while this is extremely effective and valuable for SEO, there are a few other techniques you can try to revive those older posts...
When you first wrote those blog posts all those years ago, you might’ve briefly mentioned a topic which you’ve now written about at length. That signals a lost opportunity for some deep linking to bolster your site architecture and help you build on your topic clusters.
By spending some time linking to newer posts and vice versa, you will find that you significantly improve SEO by strengthening the structure of your site, which makes it a lot easier for search engine algorithms to ascertain your area of expertise, subject matter and trustworthiness.
What's more, you can provide more helpful content to your readers by directing them towards older pieces they might not have read.
Throughout your blogging history, it’s likely you’ve tried a variety of post formats. How-tos, interviews, listicles, research-led, etc, etc. The value in those posts lies in their ability to be reformatted into new media.
Case studies can be reformatted into eBooks, how-tos can become videos, interviews can become podcasts (if you can get the original interviewee back), and research-led articles can become easily digestible infographics.
By experimenting with new media, you’ll open your content up to whole new audiences and improve the accessibility and inclusivity of your blog posts. For example, videos that are subtitled can now be understood by those with hearing difficulties or visual impairments.
By delving back into your old high-performing posts you can inform new ideas and topics.
For example, if an old post explored ‘5 ways to…’, perhaps one of those ‘ways’ warrants a whole new post of its own, or perhaps a video or podcast?
While some of these points might not provide enough substance for an entire post, they might trigger news ideas after brainstorming or researching around the topic. Also, we often use rhetorical questions when trying to demonstrate a point, could you now go back and answer that question in a newer post? (See what I did there...)
Is there more you want to say about a high-performing topic?
Perhaps you expand and improve the quality of the post by elaborating and going into more detail.
Plus, after years of blog writing, it's inevitable your prose will have improved. Even a check back over grammar, cadence and general style can hugely improve the quality and readability of those posts, and republishing them will put them in front of the eyes of new audiences and subscribers. Plus, longer form, editorial pieces are said to be the next evolution of blogging.
If there’s a topic in your backlog you feel you could write about more widely, rather than producing almost duplicate content, now would be a great time to dig it up, dust it off and polish it to perfection.
Rewrite as a guest post
If a particular post or subject is performing well on your site, the chances are it will generate traffic elsewhere. Are there any big names in your space or relevant websites with high authority that could offer you some space on their platform? This gets you in front of new, yet relevant audiences, is a great opportunity for backlinking and will give your brand and your writing added exposure.
Bear in mind there’s a balance to be had here between sharing a similar audience with the host while avoiding competitors.
Consult blog comments
Often the blog comments section isn't used to its full advantage. This is where regular or new readers come to discuss, comment, and share ideas pertaining to your work.
Why not run a quick analysis of those blog comments sections on older blogs and see if any reoccurring themes emerge?
Don’t let historic posts lay in the archives collecting dust. Revive and reformat them, use them to inform new content, experiment with new media, and elevate your marketing strategy.