We’re back with another reader question sent in via social media – on Google+ this time. The question is:
Chateau le Muse: I’m always worried if I post a good blog before anyone see’s it…will people go back and read older ones or do they remain forever unseen? Would you just re-post an older blog or is that a big no no? I enjoy sharing and would’t want anyone to miss something they would enjoy.
My quick answer was this:
Always link back to your older posts from your newer posts, or from your sidebar or from your social media profiles.
Let’s now look at this in more detail as it is an interesting question and important one for bloggers to get right. The natural progression of a blog would be to start from nothing and by creating great content and doing some social media promotion slowly build a larger and larger audience over a certain period of time. So let’s say you are at 0 visitors on day 1 but at 500 visitors a day on day 365. The posts you published in early days, no matter how good they are, will most probably get less attention than posts you publish at a stage where you have a larger audience waiting to consume your content. So what can you do to get some eyeballs on some of those older posts?
9 Ways To Attract Eyeballs To Your Old Content
Related posts at bottom of your articles are a great and simple choice. Usually it is just about activating a simple WordPress plugin and the job is done. All your articles now feature links to related posts from your archives at the bottom of the posts. Plugin I use currently is the one that shows thumbnails of the articles alongside headlines and the plugin is named Related Posts Thumbnails.
Internal links within your articles is another natural way of linking to your older content. Always keep this in mind when writing new posts and link back to an older post when it is relevant and adds value and more information to the current post you are writing. Try and have at least one or two internal links in each and every post you publish.
Widgets in the sidebar are an option as well. You quiet often see “Popular Posts” in sidebar where top 10 posts are listed. You can also manually create some other links in your sidebar. For example list some of your best guides there, or list the main topics you write about.
Links in the navigation menu. This is not used very often but could be a good opportunity. If you have a very important post you could list it in your navigation. That gives it a large prominence and could send it some extra views daily.
Promote archived articles in social media. Just because your article was posted 3 months ago doesn’t mean that all your Facebook fans have seen it. Make sure to promote some of your older articles through your social media channels. It is a good way of introducing your fan base to some of your best work.
Repurpose the old content in a new format. This is something that is very interesting for many bloggers. Your old text based blog post can be republished in a new format. For example you could create a podcast show out of that text post, or you could do a video about the topic or what about putting it all in a nice infographic?
Revisit the post, update it and repost. Most of your posts can be revisited, updated with the latest data or new learnings and then reposted. This is not something that should be done all the time with all your posts, but for some certain posts it makes sense to do it. For example some seasonal posts or posts about different occasions can easily be reposted and hopefully attract attention of a new audience.
All of the above works if you write timeless posts. Timeless posts are those posts that are still relevant and current a week, a month or a year after they have been published. Try and write these kinds of posts quiet often, and maybe focus less on writing “news” based posts that can easily be outdated within few hours of being published.
If you do all of the above it is also worth considering removing the time stamp from your post byline. Most blogs show the “published on date” very prominently and this is probably not the best idea when trying to get people consume your older articles. So it is worth considering either removing the published on date from the top of your posts and from your home page, or maybe moving it to a less prominent position.
Following the tips above will insure that your old but great blog posts don’t get lost forever. Good luck blogging!