Take the Time to Revisit Old Content on Your Site
January 14, 2014 by
Are you one of those bloggers who simply produces content but then never goes back to update the archive? You might want to rethink that strategy. By allowing your content to become stale, you could be giving up a big opportunity. You are also missing potential readers, and in some cases, you will be alienating those coming to your blog for information that is now outdated.
Not only does updating content ensure that your blog is always relevant to your audience, but you can also make sure that time-sensitive content does not clutter your blog. For example, if you run regular contests, it is probably safe to remove contest content that is over a few months old.
It can be difficult to know what should stay, what should go, and what you should update. Here are some tips to help you maintain your blog’s archive.
How often should I update content?
Updating content can be time consuming, so it is important to schedule time on your calendar to perform this task on a routine basis. This will depend on how often you post. If you post daily, you might want to take time to update things on a biweekly basis. If you post only weekly, updating once a month should suffice.
One good way to organize your content updating tasks, especially if you have not kept up with them, is to update everything that posted that week (or month) in the previous years. If you have a lot of content in your archives, it will take some time. You may want to schedule a little extra time now to catch up with your review of old posts.
What should I delete?
After enough time passes, there may be content on your website that is no longer applicable. A promotion you ran last year that is long since over? That can also probably go – if there is no other information attached to it.
In the future, when running contests or promotions, rather than dedicating an entire post to the contest, it might be useful to create an informative post with the contest added at the bottom. This is a tactic many top blogs (Pioneer Woman, MakeUseOf, etc.) use. This way, you have evergreen content paired with time-sensitive content.
Also, delete content that is no longer applicable. For instance, if you created an eBook that is no longer available, it makes no sense to keep the thirty posts directly promoting that eBook unless they contain information other than “buy this book” or “sign up for my email updates to receive this book.”
What should I update?
Update anything that is still relevant that has typos or grammar errors. If you can update with new information about a topic, or just update the wording in some sections (remember that the more you write, the better writer you become), you can keep evergreen content fresh.
When should I create a new post based upon an old post?
If you come across a post where more than a paragraph is needed to update the content (i.e. a new software version has come out since the software review, new research contradicts the post, etc.), then it would be good to create a new post. Any time you decide a new post should be created based upon a previous post, make sure to include a link to the original information. Likewise, update the old post to include a link to the newly created item once it is published.
Should I post my updated content to social networks again?
You can repost anything evergreen at regular intervals. Post as you update, or save a slot for a social media post that revisits old content – perhaps something with the phrasing “A year ago today:” or “One of our readers’ favorites.”
When should I close comments?
For most posts, the answer is “never.” You never know when someone might happen upon an older post, and allowing that person to comment makes your blog friendlier to others. However, when it comes to time-sensitive posts, you might want to close comments when you update the content (if you choose not to delete the older post).
Make sure that when you are revisiting old blog posts that you take time to respond to any comments that had not previously received a response (ideally, you should respond to comments as soon as you can).
Updating old blog content on a regular basis is as important as coming up with novel posts. By revisiting your old content, you can be sure that any reader who happens upon your page will find the information they need – clutter free.
Do you update and freshen up your old blog posts? How often and how do you perform maintenance? Share your tips in our comments!