3 Ways to Keep Old Content Fresh

make old new againThe longer you blog, the more old content you have sitting in your archives – are you putting those archives to good use? The truth is, all the posts filed in your already-blogged-that folder are a goldmine of opportunity. Here are three ways to turn them into powerful, traffic-building machines!

1. Update High-Traffic Posts

The first key to keeping old content fresh is making sure it’s still relevant. Going back through all your old content manually to find those appropriate posts is hard – but you can always go back to edit the posts that receive the most traffic. For example, let’s say a three-year-old post of yours starts getting attention on Pinterest. Now hundreds or thousands of new views are coming to your site, directly to that three-year-old post. Check to see if all the information in the post is still timely and relevant. Ask yourself if adding links or details will increase the value. Look for ways to link that post to other content within your site.

How to know which archived posts receive the most traffic:  Set up Google Analytics for your site, if you haven’t already. After it’s been tracking data for a little while, log into your dashboard and click the “Content” button on the left sidebar. Then click the “Overview” button below that. In the drilldown of content that appears at the center of your screen, posts receiving the most traffic are listed. Go through the top 10 and update them as needed.

2. Add a “Related Posts” Plugin

Draw your readers deeper into your site by offering related-content links at the bottom of every post. This way, no matter what post a reader visits, he or she receives fresh content suggestions. This increases pageviews and builds more connections with readers.

Here are a few WordPress plugins and/or widgets that generate related-post links:

  • LinkWithin: With the LinkWithin widget, you show related posts via thumbnails at the bottom of each blog post. The widget is free, has no advertising, and takes only a few minutes to get up and running on your site. You choose whether to display three, four, or five links beneath each post, usually dependent upon the width of your posts.
  • nrelate Related Content: nrelate is a WordPress plugin that allows you to display related content in either thumbnails or text. Using patent-pending technology to determine what content relates to each post, it also includes options for various styles, as well as advertising.
  • Yet Another Related Posts Plugin: The Yet Another Related Posts Plugin displays a list of related entries based on a unique algorithm. What’s more, the plugin now has built-in thumbnail support as well.

3. Highlight Past Content on Blogs & Social Media

Thanks to the nature of social media and blogging, you have many opportunities to get old content in front of new eyes. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Tweet Old Post: With this handy WordPress plugin, you set your blog to automatically tweet old posts at regular intervals. You control the language of the tweet, the time between tweets, and which categories of posts to include. All your Twitter followers will have your old content brought before their eyes regularly, sending them to your past posts.
  • Facebook Posts: Similar to Tweet Old Post, regularly sharing archived posts on your Facebook fan page brings good material back to life. While this requires an extra manual step, it takes only moments to do, and you can schedule as many as you want in advance.
  • Pinterest Pins: Likewise, regularly pinning archived content draws attention. Focus on content that has either never been pinned on your boards or hasn’t been pinned in several months.
  • Roundups: Every once in a while, post a roundup of related content and include some of your old posts. If you’re a food blogger, share 12 of your favorite dinner recipes. If you’re a B2B blogger, highlight 5 of your most popular articles. The idea is to gather together past content in a fresh way that draws readers to click through!

Looking at the three ideas in this post, are you doing all you can to highlight past content? What other strategies have you tried?

If you’re looking for yet another idea or two to increase website traffic, take a look at past Content Equal Money posts “37 Ways to Get Traffic to Your Website” and How to Repurpose Old Content Effectively.   

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Shanna Mallon is a writer for Straight North, an Internet marketing agency providing SEO, Web development, blog marketing strategy and other online marketing services, with headquarters in Chicago. Follow StraightNorth on Twitter and Facebook.

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