How many posts have you published? 100? 200? More?
If you’ve been blogging for as long as I have, you’ve probably published hundreds of posts.
(For example, this blog has over 500 published posts.)
You may be wondering what to do (if anything) with your old posts. In this post I answer that question. I’ll go over five ways you can recycle your old content.
You have five choices for recycling old content. Here’s the list of what you can do with your old content:
All these choices have to do with evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that never goes out of date.
Before you can recycle content you need to make sure it is still valid. If you mostly publish dated material on your website (such as announcements and news stories), you may not be able to recycle your content.
If you’re like me, though, and you’ve focused on timeless content, you have a lot of options. Let’s take a more detailed look at each option.
This is the easiest way to recycle the existing content on your blog. Find an evergreen post, and reshare it through your social media channels.
While you don’t have to do anything to a post to reshare it, I recommend reviewing old posts for the following:
- Relevance. As you read the post, ask yourself whether the topic is still of interest to your readers. Remember, your social shares become part of your brand.
- Errors. As you review your post, you may notice minor punctuation errors, grammar errors, or typos. It’s a good idea to fix these before you reshare.
- Broken links. While you’re reviewing the post, click the links to see if they are still valid. Remove or replace any broken links.
Resharing high quality old content can be a big source of new traffic to your blog. And if several years have passed since you first wrote the post, it will be new to many of your readers.
You may want to write a completely new post based on a popular older post. This is especially appropriate if:
- There have been new developments. You may have learned more about the topic since you originally wrote about it. Or, technology may have changed.
- You’ve changed your thinking on the topic. It happens. You wrote a good post about one side of an issue, and over time you come to see the other side.
- You want to address a different angle. Do this by shifting to a slightly different audience or covering a related step in a process.
If you write a new post that’s inspired by an older post on your blog, it’s a good idea to link to the original post in the new post.
A somewhat controversial strategy that many bloggers use is to republish an older post as though it is a new post. I can always tell when this happens because the comments on the “new” post are several years old.
Hubspot‘s Pamela Vaughan has a good article on the topic, The Complete Guide to Updating and Republishing Outdated Blog Content.
Some additions that I would make concern guest posts:
- If you change or republish a post on your blog that was written by someone else, it’s common courtesy to inform the original author. This is true even if you own the rights to the post.
- If you’re not sure who owns the rights to the post and you can’t contact the original author, you may be better off leaving the post alone.
- I especially don’t like the trend of removing the original author’s name from a republished post and replacing it with your own.
You may be able to submit your old evergreen articles to other publications. Print publications, such as local newspapers, are often happy to republish articles if they fit with their target demographic.
As a bonus, you’ll likely get a byline in the print publication. Your blog may even get a shout out… something like “this article first appeared on XYZ blog on January 10, 2013.”
Always tell the editor where you submit the post that it was previously published on your blog.
Finally, you may be tempted to delete old content from your site. However, many experts caution against this.
Carelessly deleting existing content could possibly hurt your search engine rankings since it creates a broken link for any incoming links to that page.
Some believe that your blog should be a record of everything that you’ve done, and are against deleting blog posts for that reason.
Do you recycle your old content? What do you do? Share your answers in the comments.