Blog tips: How to Drive Traffic to Old Blog Posts
Some blog posts take me 30 minutes to write, some take days. When it comes to those articles that are a bit or ones I’m particularly proud of, it only makes sense that I’d want them to be seen by as many people as possible.
Over the last couple of years of blogging, I went through a lot of trial and error in order to find my own style (both in terms of writing and photography) and I absolutely loved the entire process. It’s undeniable that with so many blog posts and articles already published, a lot of them get buried under fresh content. I’m constantly in the process of updating and sprucing up some of those archived posts, keeping them fresh.
There quite a few things you can do in order to bring some traffic to old blog posts- some are less time-consuming than others. I know that that with over 1,000 posts written so far, it’s impossible for me to update everything at once. It’s a process- I like taking a few hours out of my week to do some deep-linking, pinning and/or image updating to my posts.
UPDATING OLD IMAGES
This is a big one. Despite already having great photography equipment (thanks to my husband who dabbled in photography a little) I knew nothing about photography. I only knew what I wanted my pictures to look like, but I didn’t know how to make that happen. I definitely came a long way since the beginning of my blogging days, but that also means that the photography in my older posts, doesn’t live up to my current standards.
Aesthetically-pleasing images will get shared on Pinterest, they also are much more likely to get a re-tweet on Twitter, a Facebook share or a re-post on Instagram- all of which can potentially lead to driving more traffic to your blog. Updating images on some of those old posts can definitely be time-consuming, and you won’t be able to do it all at once. It’s also something productive to do for your blog on days when you don’t feel like writing. In addition to adding new images, make sure to include a description to each of them before inserting them into your posts (that way when someone shares that image on Pinterest, the description will include your keywords. Remember to also make sure that your images have good alt attributes– this will also improve your SEO.
This is what my pictures looked like a few years ago:
This is what they look like today:
IMPROVE YOUR SEO
Back in 2012, I had no idea what SEO even meant. Going back to your old posts and adding keywords, making your posts search-engine friendly is an easy way to freshen up that content. It will also help those posts get discovered, read and shared. Add alt tags to your images, create meta description and use an SEO-plugin like Yoast SEO. Sometimes, in order to improve your SEO, you might also have to change the URL- if that’s the case, I recommend using a plugin like Redirection. That way, if there are any links linking to the “pre-improved” post, they will automatically redirect to the new one.
REPUBLISH OLD CONTENT
Chances are, a lot of people who are reading your blog right now, weren’t reading it since the beginning. Maybe there are some posts that you are particularly proud of, but haven’t received much attention because when you published them you didn’t have much of an audience? You can update those posts, edit them, improve them, along with images, revamp them a little bit and republish. I’ve done this with a few of my posts in the past- I’m actually doing it with this post- and had a lot of success with it (like my re-published posts getting picked up by Bloglovin’s the Edit, earning a lot of Facebook and Pinterest shares, etc.).
DO A ROUNDUP
This is another great idea for bringing traffic to those older and often forgotten posts, and it’s also something that I see a lot of successful bloggers do. Do a post rounding and linking up your best content, like your best breakfast recipes, your top outfit posts, your favorite DIY posts- this will, of course, depend on the type of content you’re creating. You can also use those posts to create a free printable, a short email course or an e-book and give them away as a content upgrade, to help grow your email list.
SHARE ARCHIVED CONTENT
I love using a plugin like Revive Old Post that sends out automatic tweets linking to and promoting your posts. You can include certain categories, you can set up how often you want the tweets to go out, etc. Pinterest is also my secret weapon for this. I recently re-pinned this post that I’ve published a while ago, to a few of my group boards. Within a few days, that old post started getting over a thousand views a day, and that number is still growing. As soon I started noticing that post get some attention I updated it once again and placed a few links to newer content.
ADD A POPULAR WIDGET
Some of the most popular posts on Thirteen Thoughts were published years ago. Adding a popular posts widget to your blog will let new visitors know what kind of content they can expect from you and it can also bring new traffic to those posts. You can use a plugin for this, set it up manually if your theme has that option, or you can display related content below your posts. Another good way to do this is to display “related” posts is to end your posts with: “PS if you liked this post, you’ll also love…..”
LINK TO OLDER CONTENT
This one is a bit, well, obvious, but it also brings results. When writing new content, try to link to your archived posts whenever you can, but always make sure that it’s relevant to what you’re writing. I also like going through my old blog posts and add links to new content, doing some really deep linking. This is something you should also take advantage of if you notice one of your posts get more attention than usual.
When it comes to growing your blog and bringing more traffic, over the years I’ve learned that there isn’t just one particular area that you should work on. There’s promoting your content on social media, SEO, frequency, and quality of your posts, networking with other bloggers, etc. Driving traffic to your archived content is just one of the ways to bring traffic to your blog, but it plays a big role. Most of my traffic comes to my archived posts, so I have to update them frequently and I definitely recommend you do the same.