It strikes me as odd that bloggers, site owners, and marketers all seem to have a mindset that content marketing is about fresh content.
Without a doubt – adding fresh content to the site can pick up those search listings (especially if it’s playing into a trend or shift in the industry) but think about this for a second …
… what about all those old posts?
Surely you put a lot of effort into the creation of those. You poured your time and knowledge into crafting great works.
… so then why do so many people neglect these old posts?
An Old Post Dilemma
Say you spent 10 hours working on what became one of your most popular posts. That’s great! It did its job in helping you gain momentum in your niche. BUT, with each passing year, it starts to become dated.
Information changes but the concepts remain the same.
Here’s that post becoming dated in information but it’s still doing wonders for your traffic because it remains so popular. When people land on the piece and it contains outdated information you have to really wonder if it’s solely relying on past popularity (and links).
Wouldn’t it be better if you updated some of those old pieces so that they’re relevant (today) and earn you some additional affiliate income?
The concepts, as I’ve said, are most likely the same in most cases. All that’s really needed are new resources and some tweaks to info. A one or two hour task updating some of these popular, old posts could create some serious return on investment in the form of commissions (or driving individuals to new, valuable resources and helping those get ranked).
Finding the Oldies
This is an easy one:
- Take a look at your popular posts widget on the blog (if you have one)
- Look through Google analytics to see what content pulls the highest traffic
- Scan and note how many times a piece has been shared on social
These three data sources should give you a list of 10 or more old posts you can work with.
From there it’s a matter of rereading them and bringing them up to speed. If you want a real set of fresh eyes hand it over to someone in your network that may never have read it. Get their opinion.
Note: Do this, too, for your freebies and other items shared in your email lists, forums, marketplaces, and other platforms that may have become neglected.
What you can do about Fixing ‘Em Up
There are a lot of different ways to go about this but I’ll keep it to five that you can accomplish in a relatively short amount of time:
- Editor’s Note. One of the easiest methods to inject new life (while keeping things just about the same) is to create a call-out which works like an editor’s note. Here you can leave a few sentences about what has changed since you’ve talked about a particular topic.
- New Offer. Verify that the offer originally planted in the content has gone stale and then begin looking for something updated. It’s likely you won’t need to rework a lot of the sales pitch and call-to-actions if it falls within the same scope of the previous offer. Otherwise, rewrite whole sections if need be to fit in exciting, hot offers you find on the marketplaces (or your own!).
- Alternate Resources. Not in the sense of offers. These can be updated with links to relevant articles you’ve found helpful on your site or others. Linking your own stuff will leverage the popularity of the old posts to drive new eyeballs to newer stuff whereas linking out can provide equal value if someone has covered a topic in great detail.
- Strikeout & Rework. It may be worthwhile to keep the section in the content but use the strikeout (strikethrough) formatting option so people can see that information is no longer relevant. Underneath this can be a complete update to the item.
- Multi-Media. Perhaps someone made a video, podcast, or infographic explaining the concepts you had in the old posts. Include that in there, now, as an extra way for people to understand the concepts. If you can’t seem to find any then take the time to make them which will drive in new forms of traffic for each of those items but also lets you bolster the old stuff.
What would you add to an older post to make it relevant, today?
Making this Part of the Content Schedule
I want you to now think of how often information changes in your industry.
Then, apply those changes to your content marketing.
Instead of placing 100% of your effort into doing only fresh content – take a portion of your efforts (even just 10%) toward making regular updates to the content that’s working.
Set a schedule:
- Will I update this piece in six weeks?
- Will I update it in six months?
- When can the old posts be “retired” (completely outdated)
Think of it like regular maintenance you’d give to your car. If you do it on a schedule the life of it will go well beyond just having it sit and neglected.
So do this now – make a note of whatever you use for your content schedule to write in a few times when you can update the older posts. Doesn’t have to be right now. Hell, do it during one of your off hours when you’ve got nothing better to do.
There’s Still Gold in those Old Posts!
Updating old posts is well worth the effort considering they’re still relevant and driving traffic.
It just so happens that they may not be converting as they were when they first hit the Web.
An hour or two to make updates with relevant information, resources, and offers can turn that waning piece of content into a new champion in the industry.