A lot of inbound marketers will tell you how important it is to keep blogging, to keep writing new things on a regular basis so you can add more indexed pages and build site rank. This is usually good advice.
But, what should you do about those blogs once you’ve written them? Once you’ve got a blog up on your site, you’re done with it, right?
What if I told you that you could take those dusty old blogs off the shelf, clean them up a bit, and repurpose them for a new audience?
Why Recycle Old Blogs?
One of the main reasons for writing a blog in the first place is that it’s supposed to be perennial content—something that lasts for a long time while passively helping to attract and convert visitors.
While true, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to revisit an old blog and spruce it up, including:
- Major Changes in Your Industry. Things change all the time. Advice and information that was good for a particular industry four years ago might not be relevant/accurate today. This happens all the time—especially when blogs involve legal or financial topics. Updating an old blog with new facts, figures, and advice is a good way to avoid accidentally giving out bad information.
- Because the Blog is Relevant for a New Offer. When you make a new content offer, it’s often a good idea to look at some of the existing blogs you have which are related to that offer’s topic and see if you could tweak them towards the new offer. Adding the offer’s CTA to the bottom of these posts can also be a good idea.
- To Clean Up Badly-Written Posts. Everyone makes mistakes now and then. Especially me. Don’t believe me? Then I dare you to read through all of your oldest blogs. Odds are that you’ll find yourself wondering if you really wrote them at all. With the benefit of some time and distance from the post, you’ll find yourself being more objective about the content, and can easily spot errors or bad pieces of writing that may have slipped your mind when you first wrote them.
That last bullet can be a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s better to fix problems with old blogs rather than ignore them.
How to Repurpose/Rewrite Old Blog Posts
Now that we know the whys, let’s talk about how to repurpose and older blog.
Step 1: Read the Thing!
Start by taking some time to reread the old blog and judge the content. Ask yourself the following:
- Is it relevant to the target audience?
- Is it helpful & informative?
- Is it accurate?
- Is it well-written?
- Could you phrase something better?
- Do you have other web pages on your site you could have links to in the post?
Answering these question can help you create a solid plan for improving/updating the blog—not to mention giving you an idea of how much work will be needed.
Step 2: Write a Quick Outline of Major Revisions
Pick out a few critical issues that need fixing and write a short outline of the changes needed to fix them.
Here, it can help to consider what your goal for your rewrite is, such as whether you just want to update information for accuracy, or if you want to rework the post for a specific offer.
Also, if you’re using facts and figures that are more than a few years old, do some research to see if you can find more recent data.
Step 3: Get Editing!
Once you know what needs fixing and have a little list, start reworking the post! How long this will take will vary from post to post—it could even take longer than starting from scratch!
Make sure you've addressed all of the major edits from your outline.
Step 4: Read it Again, with the Audience in Mind!
Now reread your work again and think about what’s most valuable to your target audience. Even if you’re rewriting the post to make it more relevant to a new offer, you still need to put the needs of your intended reader first.
In fact, have someone else take a look at it as well before you go and update the blog on the site. A fresh set of eyes could spot something that you may have missed.
Step 5: Optimize!
After fixing the text, review the other elements of the post, like its title, links, images, meta description, etc.
Make sure that:
- Your blog has one or more images
- Every image has alt text
- Links are set to open in a new tab/window
- Your title is optimized (has a keyword, is less than 70 characters long, etc.)
- Your blog’s URL is optimized
- Your meta description is short, sweet, and relevant
- The text on the page is well-formatted and easy to read with regular breaks and section headers
- You have a relevant Call-to-Action (CTA) in the post
Optimizing a blog can be long & tedious work, but it’s worth it to get it right.
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