How to Update & Repurpose Old Blog Posts
Raise your hand if you've been blogging long enough to have amassed quite an epic catalog of blog content. (I'm waving my hand in the air. Six years at Sweet Tea & Saving Grace, y'all!)
We bloggers spend a lot of time creating content, and over time, that content gets buried underneath newer content, even if the older content was awesome. There's absolutely nothing wrong with creating new content - that's what bloggers do. But that doesn't mean we have to completely ignore our older content.
Updating and repurposing your older blog content is a great way to breathe new life into older posts, so don't let your posts go stale! (By the way, be sure to grab the free checklist to quickly & easily apply all the tips in this post to your content!)
The truth of the matter is, we've learned a lot about blogging since we started blogging, so now it's time to go back and apply that knowledge and those mad skillz to your older content and make it fabulous!
I'm going to be completely honest with you. A lot of my earlier blog posts were complete crap. There. I said it.
I had no idea what I was doing, no real direction for my blog, and no skills whatsoever, but I posted anyway. And that's fine, because with every new post, I improved. But I've long since deleted quite a few of my really old, really crappy blog posts.
But then there are others that are solid content, but don't look so pretty. They just need a little facelift! We've all got some of those lurking on our blog, so let's start updating!
12 WAYS TO UPDATE OLD BLOG POSTS
#1 - Choose which posts are the most relevant and timely to update first
This is the same mindset I use when deciding which older posts will get content upgrades. For example, it's currently May, and while I might have a cute Christmas post from several years ago that I'd like to update, I'd be wiser to spend my time, right now, working on my older summer posts instead.
Make a plan of attack rather than starting at Blog Post #1. I recommend tackling a couple older blog posts each week until you've got them all updated.
#2 - Add or update your vertical Pinterest image
A lot of us have been blogging since before Pinterest was even a thing. (Shocking, I know, but we really did plan posts pre-Pinterest. It was the Stone Age of blogging.)
That probably means that a lot of your older posts may not have a vertical image suitable for Pinterest. One of my original blog posts that still garners quite a bit of traffic is a ribbon wreath, and there was not a vertical image in the post that I could use for Pinterest. Instead, I created a vertical collage and added the post title and my watermark to it.
Voila! Instant Pinterest image!
#3 - Add calls-to-action
Calls-to-action can be anything from a click-to-tweet to a "Hey! Like this? Pin it!", or even a question to your readers encouraging them to comment. If you're doing all this updating, you want readers to engage with it so make it actionable!
#4 - Check image sizes & editing
I've had several blog themes over the years, and even moved from Blogger to Wordpress a few years into my blogging journey. My image sizes for things like my featured image have changed over the years, too. Not to mention the fact that my photo taking and editing skills were less than good back in the day.
Sometimes it might be possible to retake some of your blog images, but if not, try to re-edit the existing images to brighten them up a bit and make them prettier. If you've switched themes and your featured image is wonky, fix that, too, while you're at it.
#5 - Update branding & watermarks
While we're on the subject of blog images, be sure that you have a current watermark on your images, if you use one, and all of your images are branded. I know several bloggers, myself included, who rebranded at some point, changing our blog name, so older posts have the older URL or watermark on them and need to be updated to represent my existing brand.
#6 - Add email sign-up forms and/or content upgrades
You didn't think I'd write a post without some mention of email marketing, did you? Of course not!
If you use Wordpress and have your sign-up form embedded in your post footer, you're probably good to go, but you can go a step further and use Tip #3 - actually tell readers to sign up for your email list!
Got an awesome value-packed post? Create a content upgrade to generate new subscribers.
#7 - Link to related posts
Chances are, you've written newer content related to your older content, so add text and/or image links throughout your older posts linking to the newer stuff! Don't simply rely on the related posts plug-in, either. It does a decent job, but go the extra step and add those links directly into your post to help readers continue clicking around.
#8 - Check your SEO
Again, in the Stone Age of blogging, a lot of us knew nothing about keywords, meta descriptions, alt text...Yoast wasn't a thing. Check all of those things.
BEWARE: If you change the title of your blog post, be sure you don't also change the URL, especially if that post has been pinned or shared. Readers could get a 404 page missing error.
#9 - Check & update text & image links
Sometimes we link to other blogger's content, or some of our own content, that no longer exists. Or perhaps you've shared a link to a product that is no longer relevant.
Check all of the links within your post to be sure they actually go where they should, then update or remove them as necessary.
#10 - Add or update affiliate links
In the same vain, if you've used any affiliate links, be sure they are still active links. If you didn't have any affiliate links when you originally published your post, see if it's possible to add some now. Earn that money, honey!
Remember to disclose them!!!
#11 - Schedule social media shares
Include these older posts in your social media rotation and pin them again. Old content isn't old to new readers, so a lot of folks will be seeing these posts for the first time.
Bonus Tip: Use the #tbt hashtag to share older blog posts on Throwback Thursday!
#12 - Add or update information
Have you learned more about the original topic? Or has some of the information become outdated? Update and add content to the original post to make it current and relevant.
Now that you've made all of those older posts beautiful and functional again, it's time to start repurposing some of them. Get creative!
9 WAYS TO REPURPOSE OLD BLOG POSTS
#1 - Create a round-up post
We have blog categories for a reason, right? Pull several of your older blog posts that are related and write a round-up post to highlight them. I did that not too long ago to showcase some of my spring projects on Sweet Tea & Saving Grace.
#2 - Write a follow-up post
If you've shared a home decor before & after project, give readers a peek at what that space looks like a couple years later. Share details of any updates or changes you've made, things that maybe didn't hold up as well as you initially expected, or any other information that might be relevant to the post.
This could even be tongue-in-cheek. Maybe you shared a heartfelt post about some goals or changes you wanted to make in your life, but you never quite implemented those changes. Give readers a real-life glimpse into your #momfail or anything else to poke fun at yourself. You might be surprised how well readers react to your vulnerability.
#3 - Write a guest post
Take a slightly different approach to the same topic and guest post for another blogger. You'll get in front of new readers without having to create a blog post completely from scratch.
#4 - Create an ebook
Think about combining some of your older blog posts into an ebook. This is similar to creating a round-up post, but instead, you're putting all of that information into a printable product you can either give away for free or sell.
*Content upgrade idea!*
#5 - Create a course
Educate your readers on a skill you've developed, like painting furniture, crocheting, or hand-lettering, with an educational course.
*Content upgrade idea!*
#6 - Host a webinar
If you can teach it or talk about it, you can share it in a webinar. Webinars are excellent ways to grow your email list and showcase your authority on a subject, so think about your older content and what you're really good at, then invite readers to join you for a live webinar. (You could even call it a live workshop if you're giving them action items!)
#7 - Host a podcast
Again, if you can teach it or talk about it, you can share it, but this time on a podcast. Consider turning some of your older content into informational podcast episodes, and maybe interview other bloggers in your niche, too.
#8 - Create a thank-you page
When someone subscribes to your email list, you can redirect them to a thank-you page, a landing page on your blog that allows you to share anything you want with them as soon as they sign up.
This is a great way to introduce new readers to old content and get them clicking around your site.
#9 - Deliver a welcome series
A welcome series is a series of emails that are set up to be sent at regular intervals to email subscribers. Each email in the series introduces them to different aspects of your blog or business. If you've got 5 categories of posts, create 5 emails in the series, one for each category, then highlight the best posts in each category.
YOUR TURN: Are the wheels turning? How will you update & repurpose some of your older blog posts? Let me know in the comments below!