Tips on How to Update Your Blog
This post is the first of a series of four posts on how to update your blog for visibility, credibility, and profitability. Scroll to the bottom for links to the other three posts.
If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you have a back catalogue of posts. They’re still getting a bit of traffic and there’s a lot of good information hidden in those posts. Here are some beginning tips on how to update your blog.
Some of the material may be outdated, some links may be broken and your writing, formatting and image creation skills have come a long way since those early days. In other words, there’s a lot you can do to make these older posts better. I started blogging in 2006, so over all of these years my writing has improved, as well as my ability to choose topics of greater interest to my readers. My focus has shifted from that of just attempting to get a post written and published to being able to craft a post that will make a difference to those who look to me for guidance in growing their online business.
You put a lot of time and effort into your blog post. Why not make sure you get the most from them by going back from time to time reviving them? Instead of writing new content, schedule some time each week to revive an old post or two.
Of course I’m not suggestion you should stop writing new content. That’s always a good idea. All I’m saying is that you should also set aside a little time to revive old blog posts and turn them into traffic, subscriber and money generating machines. There are two different ways you can tackle this. You can work in batches, doing step one for a couple of blog posts, then move on to step two, etc. Or you can start with one old post and work on it from start to finish. Pick whichever method works best for you. Either way it won’t take you long to revive old blog posts.
This is the perfect thing to do when you know you have a busy day ahead of you, but blogging is on your schedule and you’re readers are expecting a post.
Look at Your Stats
Choose some posts that are getting a decent amount of traffic and work on those first. They will have the biggest impact the quickest.
To do that you want to look at your website stats. Do you have a tracking program installed? Chances are that your web host is running some default tracking for you, and while that’s better than nothing, you want to make sure you get good data.
If you haven’t already done so, install Google Analytics on your blog. It’s free, very powerful and super easy to add. Once you have Analytics up and running, wait a few days to collect some useful data and then come back to this. Now look at your stats and figure out what your most popular posts are. You can do this in Google Analytics by going to “Behavior => Site Content => All Pages”. That will give you a list of pages (or posts if it’s a blog) on your website ranked by how often they were visited.
Browse through these pages and make a list of five to ten older blog posts to use in the next step.
Pick Your Blog Posts
Grab that list of popular blog posts from step 1 and take a look at them. Does one of them stand out to you?
Maybe it’s a post that doesn’t need a lot of work. Maybe you are looking at a post and you’re already getting ideas for things you can do to improve it. Or maybe you have the perfect product to promote in one of the posts. How you choose the first post to work through is entirely up to you. Pick something that sounds interesting, fun or profitable. Got it? Great.
If you are feeling ambitious, go ahead and make a list of the posts you want to work on over the coming days and weeks. I find it helpful to have a list with the post title, the URL, and notes about what changes I need to make.
A spreadsheet works really well for this. If you’re not a spreadsheet person, then make a numbered and dated list of what and when certain things will happen. This is crucial when you decide to update your blog and will keep you from getting confused and overwhelmed in the process.
Over these first few steps we’ll update the content, work on formatting to make the posts easier to scan and read, pretty it up with some images, make sure it is easy to share via social media and of course, monetize it. These are the types of things you want to make notes on in your spreadsheet or notebook.
That’s about all the planning we need to do. Just make sure you can log into your website interface – most likely that will be your WordPress dashboard – and edit those posts.
Update The Content
We’ve done the planning and figured out what blog posts need updating. Now it’s time to get to work to actually update your blog. The first thing we’ll focus on is the content. Start by reading through your blog post. Is the content still valid? Have some things changed?
Make note of any major changes you need to make to what you’ve written in the past. I find it helpful to grab a notebook and pen or open a word document and jot down what changes I need to make.
Sometimes the content is pretty evergreen and not much needs to be fixed. Other times, there’s a lot of rewriting to do to update your blog posts. The key is to have a plan and then just sit down and rework the post.
Something else worth thinking about is if you have learned something new to share since you first wrote the post. If so, you can either just rewrite the post, or write an update section to the post. Depending on what makes the most sense, you can add it to the top or the bottom of the post.
Last but not least, take a look at the comments the post has gotten since you first published it. Are there any great tips or questions your readers have shared? If so, you may want to highlight them within the updated post.
Make your changes, do your re-writing and save your work. Go get something to drink, go for a walk, or work on something else for a little while. Then come back and read over your rewritten post. It’s time to do a little editing to make sure no spelling errors made their way in in and that everything makes sense and flows well. These are the beginning steps to take when you are ready to update your blog.
Be sure to read all four posts in this series:
And please leave a comment to share your thoughts and ideas and to connect with others who also have an interest in this topic.