- 53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority (HubSpot)
- 65% of marketers plan to increase their use of blogging (Social Media Examiner)
- Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts. (HubSpot)
If you have been blogging for several years, you may be wondering what do you do with your old blog posts? Old blog posts rarely reflect the higher quality standards developed over time or are no longer relevant. So, what should you do?
Do you delete them? Do you take time to update and improve them? Or do you just let them linger, hoping no one stumbles upon a low-quality post from the early days? Let’s explore each option.
Should You Keep Old Blog Posts?
Obviously, the easiest option is to do nothing. To be honest, this is what most businesses do. There are several issues with this strategy, however:
- Lower Quality: All content creators get better with practice. This means your old content probably doesn’t reflect the great content you are now producing. You don’t want someone's first impression to be a terrible blog post you wrote five years ago. Do you?
- Broken Links: The internet changes over time. Many of the links you used in the past might no longer be relevant. Not only is this a bad user experience; it also hurts your ability to rank on search engines. Again, this is a quality control issue. Over time, your blog content deteriorates and could benefit from some attention.
- Not SEO Friendly: Search engines like Google routinely crawl websites and rank the content based on quality. These means your older, lower quality content may be dragging down your newer, high-quality content.
We could keep going on and on about other issues old blog posts cause, but let’s talk about actions you can take instead.
Should You Delete Old Blog Posts?
Now that we are on the same page that those old blog posts need to be addressed, let’s discuss the next easiest option: deleting them altogether. In some cases, you should delete old blog posts, such as:
- They are time sensitive and no longer relevant: Your goal should be to write evergreen blog content. This is content that is not time sensitive and can be consumed long after it is written. Unfortunately, not all content can stand the test of time. For example, if Twitter’s maximum character count doubled, a blog post discussing how to craft the perfect 140 character tweet wouldn’t age well. It is important to audit your existing posts to find time-sensitive content that either needs an update or to be deleted.
- They don’t reflect your current strategy: Over time any business evolves. Maybe you made a complete pivot. Maybe you just decided to pursue a different target audience. Whatever the case is, you want to be careful that the old content you have isn’t hurting your new strategic goals.
- They have received little traffic: Your website analytics will help you identify low performing content. If you notice content that has been receiving little or no traffic, you may want to consider deleting it. While there are some scenarios where keeping this content makes sense, don’t overthink it. No traffic is a solid indicator that the topic is no longer relevant.
Deleting old blog posts should be part of your overall blog strategy. Doing so allows you to maintain a higher level of quality and will help you identify the blog posts that need a little love. While a long term content management strategy should include a mix of all three options discussed in this post, rewriting old content has the chance to make the most profound effect. While you are identifying which posts to delete, keep an eye out for posts that could get new life with a minor re-write. These posts have massive potential for value!
Should You Rewrite Old Blog Posts?
Now that you have a list of blog posts that have the potential to be great, it is time to improve them through a rewrite. Before spending hours rewriting content, hop over to Google’s handy Keyword Planner to ensure the topics selected are still receiving solid search volume. Since the goal of long-term blog topics is to drive search traffic, it is worth spending half an hour ensuring the topics you plan to improve upon are still relevant.
Start simply by looking at the content through the lens of your current content standards. Chances are you will be surprised how much better you can make the blog post simply by updating the grammar, narrowing the topic, and improving the formatting/visuals included. Again, over time all content creators learn new tricks and these new tricks help us create far better content.
Not all blog posts can be brought back to life simply by making minor tweaks. Some require us to do a complete update; either inserting more up to date examples or expanding on the original topic to make the post stronger.
So how do you strengthen an old blog post? Below is a checklist to help you make the most out of your old content:
- Update any outdated facts
- Replace broken links
- Add better visual elements
- Create a video to support the topic
Should You Promote Old Blog Posts?
After you audit your old content and decide what to keep as-is, delete, and update/rewrite, you will be armed with plenty of new content to share with the world. These auditing and improving processes take time and without promotion, much of your efforts will go to waste. Promoting this content will also help you figure out what topics still resonate with your audience.
This brings us to the final step of the process, repurposing. Once you start to identify the topics that are still popular, you should consider repurposing this content in different forms. These other forms include:
- Case study
Creating content is time-consuming. Researching and outlining can oftentimes take longer than actually writing the blog post. Don’t let all this hard work go to waste. Leverage these efforts to repurpose your content in many different forms. Some people prefer video. Others prefer podcasts on their way to work. Old content can get a fresh start simply by changing the medium in which you present it to your audience.