How to Bring New Eyes On Old Blog Posts

By Alexis Rodrigo | Blogging

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Aug 17

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The problem with blogs is old posts get buried, forgotten and never read again.

If you’ve been blogging regularly for a year or longer, you’ll be looking wistfully at your old posts. The ones you crafted with so much care, prepared for with hours of research, and edited to near-perfection.

New visitors to your blog may never discover them, no matter how great they are. I mean, how many people really look through blog archives? Do you?

But don’t worry, because all is not lost. There’s life in your old blog posts yet.

Don Crowther, a social media marketing expert, has an excellent blog post with wonderful tips to get old blog posts read again.

Give Old Blog Posts Some Love

Don provides 7 tips to bring new traffic to old blog posts. Some are new ideas (new to me at least), such as creating a “best of” post and adding a video to blog posts that are oldies but goodies. A “best of” post is also a life saver when you’ve run out of ideas for post topics (you didn’t make a blog editorial calendar again? tsk, tsk).

Another tip from Don is something you ought to be doing routinely anyways. That is to link to old posts from inside new posts.

I do this two ways. First, I link to old posts through text links throughout the new post. Second, I use a plugin like LinkWithin to automagically display related posts at the bottom of each post. Another plugin that does this is the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin, but LinkWithin is prettier because it displays thumbnails from the related posts.

More Ideas

Don’s article also helped me think of other ways to bring fresh eyes on older posts, such as:

  • Create different landing pages for different types of readers. For example, for my freelancing blog, I could make a landing page for beginner freelancers and another for veteran freelancers. On my parenting blog, I could have separate landing pages for readers, depending on their children’s ages. One of my clients made a “Start Here” page with links to the must-read posts on her blog, and that page became one of the most-visited pages on her site.
  • Link to old but highly relevant posts when posting in social media. This is related to, but different from, one of Don’s tips. Here, you link to your old posts when commenting on other people’s blogs, answering questions in forums, responding to Facebook updates or page posts, etc. The key thing is to make sure the post you’re linking to is relevant to the topic, or else you’ll be seen as a spammer.

Important: Don’t Date Your Posts!

Of course, these tips will work best only if you don’t display the publication date on your blog posts, which is the default in WordPress. Doing so will make your posts look stale, even if they’re really “evergreen.” If you’ve been writing pillar posts, most likely they’ll provide useful, relevant information for years to come.

Therefore: turn off the date on your posts. If you use themes like Thesis and Headway, you can do this through the theme settings. If your theme doesn’t let you do this, try Don’s ultra-simple workaround, which he demonstrates in this video. (Note: I tried this on one of my older blogs and it didn’t work. Even editing the php file did not work. I gave up trying before I blew something up – again.)

Over To You

What did this post inspire you to do? How are you going to bring readers to your old blog posts?

And do you have other ideas for doing this?

I’d love to hear your action steps and suggestions below.

Lexi Rodrigo

Creative Commons License photo credit: olga.palma

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About the Author

Lexi Rodrigo is passionate about creating web content that helps extraordinary businesses to attract more prospects, create community, and make more sales.

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