Learn how to update old blog posts on a regular basis and see your blog traffic jump!
Some of the best blogging tips I received in the past were the key ways to update your old blog posts to grow blog traffic and more engagement.
I see the questions other bloggers ask:
- How do I get past my blogging slump?
- My traffic has plateaued. How do I get past it?
- I can’t seem to grow my blog traffic, how do others do it?
Instead of constantly creating new content from scratch, it’s very worthwhile looking back at what you created before.
Old blog posts are “low hanging fruit” – pre-existing content that needs tweaks to make them awesome again.
But how do you fix old blog posts to make them traffic growers?
I’m sharing my approach to how to bring back old posts from the “dead”.
No more zombie posts!
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Before You Get Started Updating Old Blog Content
Not every old blog post is worthy of being updated.
Some can just remain as they are, with perhaps just an update to keep with your new blog post format (if you have one) and some tweaks to keywords for better ranking.
Some of your posts may need to be deleted. Just remember to do a redirect.
In their place, you’ll need to come up with fresh blog post ideas.
The content may be specific to a time and isn’t “evergreen”. These can be things like event coverage, a write-up of a time you went on vacation, etc.
These types of posts aren’t worth updating.
Evergreen posts are those that never go out of date. They usually answer questions that are always on readers’ minds.
Focus on updating these types of posts!
For example, this blog post is an “Evergreen post”. The topic is one that readers will have a year from now, and onwards. So I’m going to revisit this post every once in a while to ensure my tips are up-to-date.
Make A Shortlist Of Evergreen Posts To Update
The first step to updating your old blog posts is to make a shortlist of your existing and potential evergreen posts.
I did my list in Excel and keep track of which ones I’ve updated, and which ones still need work.
Get organized and the process will run smoother, and you won’t miss updating any posts on your “must-update” list.
How To Update Old Blog Posts – The Step-By-Step Guide
With each blog post, I look at updating specific things in each post to MAXIMIZE its chances of achieving blog traffic.
I start with updating keywords because so many of the other updating activities stem from that initial action.
1. Update Keywords
One of the most successful ways I increased my blog traffic was to update keywords in my older blog posts.
In many of my old posts, I didn’t consider including keywords or keyword phrases.
Updating keywords means:
- Researching what your target audience is using as keywords and keyword phrases (long tail keywords) to search for any given content. I use a blend of Google to find what phrases people are using, as well as SEO tools such as Keywords Everywhere
- Finding keywords that are more competitive than those you are currently using.
- Following the best practices with on-page SEO to include them in the title, headings and elsewhere.
This is also a great time to update your blog post title and make it more catchy.
A/B testing your blog post titles helps you figure out what resonates best with your potential readers.
| Related: Blog SEO Tips For Beginners – How To Get Google To Rank Your Posts High
2. Update Images And Image SEO
When I look back at some of my old blog posts on my Suburban Tourist blog, they had some awful-looking images.
Poorly edited, they made my blog look unprofessional.
One of the best ways to update your old blog posts is to update images and ensure that the alt-text is added.
With more attractive images – especially feature images (the first one you see in my post) – I’ve had more clicks when I post them to Facebook and Twitter.
The result is that visitors view my post as attractive and balanced with informative text. They want to stick around longer when they see I’ve taken the time to make my post look professional.
When the average time spent on your site is longer, it’s a signal to Google and other search engines that your site has worthwhile information.
| Read More: Free Online Image And Photo Editing Tools Perfect For Bloggers
When your blog posts are full of broken links, your site visitors will spend less time on your site. They get frustrated and leave when you aren’t offering them the information they’re seeking.
As a result, Google sees little time spent on your site as an indicator that your content isn’t worthy of ranking.
So, it’s so important to make sure your links work.
There’s a fantastic tool called Broken Link Checker that’ll tell you which links are broken and need to be updated or replaced. The plugin is free.
PRO TIP: I use Broken Link Checker once every two weeks to see which links are broken. When I’m done, I deactivate and DELETE the plugin. It’s a hog when it comes to speed. I upload and activate it again when I need to do another link check.
| Related: How To Generate Backlinks For Your Blog To Boost Your Domain Authority
4. Beef Up Your Content
Another smart way to update old blog posts is to beef up your content.
It’s a great way to increase blog traffic by offering useful, informative content that has your readers interested in sticking around to read it, and to share it with others.
BINGO! Instantly more traffic.
If your blog posts are “thin” on content, it’s time to add more useful information.
On my 10-year-old Suburban Tourist blog, I had many old posts with less than 500 words (“thin content”.
After deciding whether to keep the post or to update it, I often ended up taking the post and combining it with others on the same topic to make it into one much longer blog post.
The result? A blog post that’s over 1000 words (ideally over 1,500 words), on one key topic with much more useful information.
Here’s one that I created from a number of smaller blog posts with thin content: Five Fall Drives From Toronto.
So with thin content:
- Look to combine two or more blog posts into one bigger one with over 1000 words.
- Take a short blog post and expand on it with more information – additional tips, infographics, a deeper dive into a specific aspect of the topic, and other “did you know? or “Interesting Facts” sections.
Add additional information that will make the post even better.
PRO TIP: If you can transform a topic that’s no longer relevant into something that’s “Evergreen”, this is even better. So for example, a post on an event you went to for a product launch can be transformed into a product review.
5. Add Pinterest Pins To Posts That Are Missing Them
How to update old blog posts and HUGE traffic? I’ll tell you the secret to my AMAZING jump in blog traffic in 2020.
I took some of my seasonal blog posts on travel destinations in Ontario and added Pinterest pins to each and every one of them.
Pinning them to Pinterest, I promoted them about two to three months before the summer travel season started.
I knew that once lockdowns would be lifted that Ontarians would be very eager to do day trips close to Toronto and other places in Southern Ontario. So I actively pushed my pins on Pinterest.
The result: a 300%+ increase in blog traffic from my travel posts!
Once you’ve updated the keywords, images and content on your posts, ADD PINS!
Make sure they are easily shareable with a good social sharing plugin (I recommend the free Grow by Mediavine).
So take a look at your posts that don’t have Pinterest pins and start creating them. You can also get my free Pinterest pin templates here.
| RELATED: How To Create Clickable Pinterest Pins That Drive Traffic
6. Create And Leverage Media Content
Just like with adding extra text to a blog post, creating a video or podcast for your blog posts can help you increase blog traffic.
As you can share links on podcast pages, video posts on YouTube and on Facebook for Facebook live posts, it’s just another way to invite people to check out your blog posts.
The trick is to give them enough of a valuable information nugget to get them wanting to learn more about your blog post. So always include a call-to-action in your media content that drives viewers to your blog.
This is a more intensive way to update old blog posts, but it does create more “link juice” for your blog posts.
8. Change Your Tone Of Voice
One of the best ways to update your old blog posts is to look at how you’re writing now compared to when you started.
If you’re finding your old posts are devoid of your personality, it’s time to update your old blog posts to keep consistent with your new tone of voice.
Blog posts that have readers feeling like they’re connecting with YOU the person tend to do better than those that are strictly just about the facts.
After all, if you are the person with the blog, people want to know you as well.
You and your blog are essentially a brand. Each brand has a tone of voice that signifies to people what they can expect.
For example, I had old blog posts on Suburban Tourist that were pretty much just facts, written as if it was a travel brochure. I didn’t use my words to exude my personality.
I should have been adding a bit of my love of wanderlust in each post, and sharing a bit more of my personal side.
Changing the tone of voice is as simple as:
- Adding a quote that resonates with you
- Including a joke
- A personal anecdote
- Words that you use on a regular basis
- Colloquial phrases
- Pauses and short sentences.
There. That’s the list!
Simple, right? <=== See what I did here? That’s my last point. You can almost hear me saying these words
The trick is to balance the useful information with a boost of YOU.
PRO TIP: Use your brand personality and tone of voice in your opt-in copy to generate a new follower to your community. Yet another avenue for blog traffic!
| READ MORE: How To Find Your Brand Voice And Use It In Your Blog Content
9. Update Your Old Blog Posts With Consistent Formatting
One of the other useful ways to update your blog posts is to fix the formatting to be consistent with all your new posts.
If you have a consistent blog format style that is working well for you, update your old posts to be consistent.
Blog post formatting includes:
- Your use of white space in your text and images
- How you place your images in your posts
- Your use of headings
- Breaking up paragraphs into two to three sentences for easy reading
- Using bullet lists
- Always adding a call to action at the end
- Using dividers where relevant
Why is blog formatting important?
- It makes it easier for site visitors to read your content, so they’re staying on your site longer.
- Aesthetically-pleasing sites are nicer to visit (would you want to revisit one that looks like crap?)
- They tell the visitor about you and how much you want to make their experience awesome.
10. Re-publish And Promote It!
Now that you’ve completed updating an old blog post, it’s time to re-publish it and promote it.
If you’re using WordPress, you can change it in the main Document section by changing the date and re-publishing it that way.
You won’t lose old comments, but you will have it appear on your blog as a fresh post.
What To Do After You Update Your Blog Post
The next step, after you finish making all tweaks and “re-publish” your post is to submit it to Google Search Console for re-indexing.
Head over to your Google Search Console, and do the following:
Take the URL of your newly updated blog post and add it to the Inspect any URL search bar up at the top.
Once you hit enter it will load a screen that looks like this:
Press “Request Indexing”.
This will force Google to crawl the page.
You’ll see it improve in ranking if you’ve done things right with interlinks and updates to keywords.
PRO TIP: You can add a brief note at the top or at the end of your post that says it was previously published and updated to include new information. This is especially important if it’s a post that includes
The next step is to start promoting it again!
Get fresh eyeballs on it by trying these 15+ blog promotion strategies.
Finally – if you want to do a deep dive into investing in your blog, check out this list of the best blogging tools that helped me grow my blog business.
QUESTION: Have you started to update old blog posts? Tell me what you’ve done that helps you generate fresh blog traffic.
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