Toward the end of the year I went through all the posts we published in 2012. I discovered there are so many old blog posts that are still very much relevant, but lost to many deep somewhere on the blog. Sounds familiar?
When we re-categorized posts on this blog, I, a historian, enjoyed going back through all the posts that have been published on Zemanta blog since 2007. I discovered very quickly that there are many posts that are still very much relevant, but are lost somewhere around page 52.
I mean, how many readers do you know who go through all the pages to find useful posts? We don’t even move beyond page 2 on Google.
Business blogs in particular, if done well and if popular, are an incredible information repository of eternal truths and tips. Most posts, in my opinion, are not relevant just for a day or two. And there’s so much content, even quality content that you surely can miss daily.
In addition, if your blog develops and improves over time, you will surely get new readers, most of whom aren’t likely to browse the history of your blog and read posts you may have written months or even years ago.
Last week, when we sent a year-end newsletter to more than 25,000 subscribers with links to 12 most popular posts of the year, I noticed that many of those top 12 posts of 2012 attracted new readers and were shared on social media or commented on after more than half a year after they had been published.
Therefore, reviving old posts is important to your blog’s success. Your blog has to give a sense of depth and credibility. When new visitors find that old but still relevant content, they might just click around to read more recent content and could become loyal visitors.
So, here are my 5 simple tips how to make sure your old blog posts don’t become lost somewhere deep on your blog:
1. Schedule sharing on social media well ahead
This is what Deana Goldasich of Well Planned Web does so well, I think. I noticed her tweets about a particular post are tweeted many times during a long period of time. She understands how we consume information on Twitter well. I see Twitter as a 24-hour news medium. The majority of Twitter users don’t follow Twitter 24/7. So you have to make sure that you reach as many people as possible by repeating a message not just during one day but let people know about it or remind them about it many times in the longer period of time (not just a week, or month, even a year later if it makes sense). I think the same applies to LinkedIn; Facebook seems to be different though.
2. Take advantage of a renewed interest
When looking at Google Analytics or following mentions on Google Alerts or Twitter, did you notice that someone just read an old post and thought it was still relevant enough to share it even if many months have passed since its publication? Take advantage of this renewed interest and share the post on social media again to reach new readers.
3. Include them in newsletters
If your newsletter is popular (or even if it’s not), it is perfect for letting your followers know about great old, but still relevant content. New subscribers, especially, will be grateful for letting them know about content they might have otherwise missed.
4. Publish a book
Compile your best and still relevant posts into an e-book available to readers of your blog, or business partners. If your blog is well planned ahead, you may even be able to write a book out of it. I think this should be done at the end of every year. There are even tools such as Blog Booker that automatically make a pdf out of your blog in just a few minutes, although it doesn’t give you an option to choose what posts to include.
5. Publish a white paper
Get posts on a particular topic together into a how-to-do white paper. Make it easy to your readers to download it (You can expect our first white paper in the next two weeks!).
The point is to leverage your content as much as possible for as long as it’s relevant. This is good for you, your business and very nice to your regular readers and great to gain new loyal readers/customers.