Do you ever run out of ideas for new blog posts?
I haven’t, and I’ve been blogging for almost three years.
After all, why would I continually need new ideas?
If I run out, I could just revive old posts.
I repeatedly tried to get new traffic to old posts.
However, it wasn’t until I received proper instructions for doing so that my post received, and is still receiving, a remarkable reception.
This article will explain those instructions to you.
By the end of this post, you will not only be able to write updated posts that receive high page views, social shares, and comments, but they will have an increased chance of getting skyrocketed organic traffic coming over from search engines.
What do I mean by “revive old posts?”
You should offer blog post updates. Update and add new information to the information you offered in the original article.
Do not revive old posts this way
What not to do:
- Simply make the updated post longer
In October of 2015, I published 30 Tools You Need to Create a Successful Blog.
I thought I knew how to revive old posts. I thought all I needed to do was make them longer.
Therefore, in April of 2016, I added 59 blogging tools to the list and published 89 of the Best Free Blogging Tools That Will Save You Time Blogging.
Don’t get me wrong. The reaction to the post was definitely favorable. Social shares were unusually high, especially for Twitter.
However, the article did not finish in the Top 5 of my best performing posts of the year, and I promoted it everywhere.
In late February of this year, I had a conversation with a friend who is an SEO Expert, Ahfaz Ahmed. I expressed frustration over slow search engine traffic.
His response was simple: “Write an update post.”
How to Update a Blog Post:
These are the instructions Ahfaz gave me. This is what you should do to revive old posts:
His tips were actually extremely simple. Don’t you find that sometimes the simplest tips are the most effective?
- Put the word “Update” in the headline. (I told you these tips were easy to follow.) Ahfaz explained that Google loves updates. Google becomes so impressed that you are updating the information, the powerful search engine will give your updated post increased visibility. The Writer’s Door Facebook Group actually has a special share thread just for updated posts.
- Remove any broken links that are in the original post.
- Update the information. For example, in my original posts, I recommended a site called “Topsy.” That site no longer exists, so I removed it when I updated the information.
- Make the updated post longer. How long? According to Ahfaz and other SEO experts whose articles I’ve read, your updated post should be at least 2,000 words long. If this is a challenge for you, there are easy ways to write long-form content. Blogger Melyssa Griffin agrees with this practice. “Google loves long posts.”
In early May, I published 123 of the Best Free Blogging Tools that Will Save You Time Blogging (2017 Update). Do you see how I put the word “Update” in the headline? At the beginning of the post, I also mentioned the post was an “update.”
Additional actions I took:
- I included the names of influencers in the post and linked to their website. Then, I sent them the post on Twitter and asked them to retweet it.
- I linked to the tool makers in the post. Then, I sent the tool makers the post on Twitter and asked them to retweet it. Most of the 123 companies shared my article with their Twitter followers resulting in widespread exposure for me.
- I shared the post all around. In addition to social media sites, these places included linky parties, Viral Content Bee, Just Retweet, Triberr, and Niume.
- I Googled my competitors. No one came close to publishing an article offering 123 free blogging tools. Interestingly, two other influencers in my niche came out with tools posts that week but none with a list as long as mine and the tools I offered are free.
- I put the post in the Big Up Your Blog Social Media Share on Facebook. Suzanne Elliott holds this event on Saturday. Since it’s a social media sharing event, people shared the article on their social media resulting in even more widespread exposure for me.
- I optimized the post for SEO. I put the keyword, blogging tools, in the URL of the post. The first times I wrote about blogging tools, I put the entire headline in the URL. Melyssa Griffin recommends making your updated post “SEO friendly.”
- I put the year in the headline. When you include the year, page views rise. The psychology is the same as an update. People want to see what’s trendy, new.
The results have been overwhelming:
- Social shares are already 75% as high as the 89 blogging tools post which came out about 14 months ago. The 123 blogging tools post, the updated post, came out two weeks ago. Social shares are unusually high at all social media sites, especially Twitter and Pinterest. People bookmarked the post to return and read the tools later. Within hours of publication, I started receiving traffic from Pinterest to the post.
- People have reblogged the post. This resulted in the page views and the social shares rising even higher. For example, author Debby Geis reblogged it. Others saw it and shared the post on their social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
- On Flipboard, the post received triple-digit shares (flips) within hours of publication.
- Page views on the post are so high, the article has almost three times as many page views as my second-highest performing post in the last month. The post is my third-best performing post so far this year. Plus, the post is still picking up page views now, weeks later.
- Engagement is unusually high. At the time of this writing, there are over 70 comments on the post.
- The post was published by a news blog! Receiving this link from a new blogging domain helps my SEO.
Consider these comments from readers in response to the article:
Wow, this is such a comprehensive list, thank you! I’ve never seen anything like this before, must have taken you ages. From Mica
Thank you so much for taking the time to research and compile this information! Very helpful! From Sarah Harris.
Such a great source of information…. loved your article… it almost took whole day to go through all these blogging tools… Can you tell how much time you took to write this article? Anyway, keep sharing such useful information…!
Thanks!! From Arvind
One of Debby’s readers commented: This is an incredible post. I can only imagine the time involved in drafting it, much less in gathering all the information.
My response: The post is an update, so it doesn’t take as much time to write as long-form content. However, it looks like it would take great time and effort to write due to the length. In reality, all I did was add to an already alphabetized tools list. Easy!
You see the stats on the post the day of publication, May 7. The post continued to pick up page views in the coming days primarily coming over from Flipboard and still does.
How do you know which posts to pick to update?
- ProBlogger‘s Darren Rowse offers advice regarding which post to pick to update. If the post is continually receiving traffic, there’s interest in the topic. Then, that’s the article to update.
- Buffer’s Kevan Lee recommends the content of the post you choose to be “evergreen“– timely all year round.
Concerns Over Updating Old Posts
- Since the original content is in the old post, Google might see your updated post as having duplicate content as the original. Google likes fresh content. Not to worry. I changed, added, and replaced so much information, my new post would not be viewed as duplicate content.
- What if you are updating and the year has no relevance? Should you still put the year in the headline? No, you should not. SEO expert Clay also publishes updated blog posts. He puts the word “Latest” in his headline.
In conclusion, people have asked how long it took to write an article describing 123 tools, so I wrote this article explaining the steps involved in the publication and the outcome so you can achieve the same results.
I received direct traffic, I got links to my site, I got the promise of search engine traffic, I gained widespread exposure on Twitter, and I got the promise of more Pinterest traffic since people bookmarked the post there.
In addition, reviving old posts helps my readers. The original posts were written some time ago. My newer readers never had a chance to read the information published in my posts before they signed up for my blog. Updating an older post helps my reader as well as me.
Readers, please share, so other bloggers know how to revive blog post content.
Have you ever repurposed an old post in order to get new eyes on the information? What was the result?
I look forward to your views in the comments section.