Blogging

Blog tips: How to Increase Traffic by Updating Old Blog Posts

Increase Traffic by Updating Old Blog Posts

Increase Traffic by Updating Old Blog Posts

Blog tips: How to Increase Traffic by Updating Old Blog Posts

What if you could increase your organic traffic, by using what you already have: old blog posts.

Well, you can.

If you’re a relatively new blogger with only a handful of blog posts, and you don’t get a whole lot of organic traffic, then these points won’t apply to you. If, on the other hand, you’ve been blogging for a few years and have published several hundred of posts, then you can easily increase traffic by updating old blog posts.

Before you begin updating your posts, you need to decide what you want to focus on first. I think that the answer to this is pretty straightforward: focus on your most popular content. I try to update my posts on regular basis, and it only makes sense to focus on the content that’s already getting some attention.

Think about it: updating old blog posts takes time. Sometimes updating a single post takes as much time as writing a new one. It’s a lot of work.

Identify some of your top-performing posts. What are some older blog posts that are getting a lot of shares on social media? Which blog posts are still getting inbound links?

HOW TO INCREASE TRAFFIC BY UPDATING OLD BLOG POSTS

Increase Traffic by Updating Old Blog Posts

ADD RELEVANT LINKS + POSTS

Link to newer content, whenever relevant. Some of the most popular content that I’ve published is really old. Like, several years old. There is a handful of posts that bring in tens of thousands of visits a month, each. One of the ways to increase traffic by updating old blog posts is by linking to newer content, within the older one.

By going through your post and adding some relevant links, you not only create a better user experience, but you also help your new visitor stick around for a bit longer. Go through your old blog posts, see what you talked about; is there anything that you mentioned briefly, but later on ended up writing an entire post on the subject? Link to that post!

UPDATE YOUR FORMAT

Blocks of text are difficult to focus on. It also used to be my favorite way to write. Just huge, long, boring blocks of text.

Big mistake. But guess what?

One of the best things about blogging is that you constantly learn new things. Now that I know posts that are easily scannable are easier to read, it’s something I always keep in mind when editing my posts. The good news is, readability is one of the easiest things to improve. Doing things like sectioning your text, adding subheadings, emphasizing some of the most important points will improve user-experience, big time.

KEYWORDS

Chances are, you now know a lot more about blogging than you did back when you started. This includes SEO. One of the first that I did, once I installed YOAST, was to go through some of my most-loved posts, and check my SEO score. If your post is outdated, but getting a lot of inbound links, you can change the title to something more creative (keeping your keywords) but I’d suggest keeping your URL the same.

Your keyword should be mentioned in your blog posts several times. You should also try working it into your title and at least one subheading. Add alt tags to your images, containing your keywords. Here’s a little Pinterest tip: in WordPress, if you add your list of keywords in the image description, before adding it to your post, Pinterest will automatically pull that description up when displaying your image. With the new smart algorithm, this can help you increase your traffic, too.

MISTAKES + ACCURACY

Check your old blog posts for broken links. When updating your blog posts, run a spellcheck. See if there is any information that is outdated, is there anything that is no longer accurate? Remove any content or information that is no longer relevant or useful. For the last few months, I’ve been using Grammarly and not only has it made me a better writer, but it also makes it easy to spot any mistakes. It’s one of my favorite blogging tools that helps out a lot when it comes to updating old blog posts. You can also just run a regular spellcheck. It’s something that should be done before publishing any posts, but I always get surprised at how many small mistakes appear in some of my older posts.

Instant Grammar Checker - Correct all grammar errors and enhance your writing.

ADD VALUE

Over the years, I’ve learned that longer, more involved posts generally do better. Of course, this isn’t necessarily true for every niche out there. I do think, however, that when you expect people to find your blog posts helpful, in some way, you should provide some sort of value. Sometimes, we publish blog posts in a rush. We’re too excited to get our content out for the world to see, we don’t always say everything we want to say. Or, we simply don’t put as much effort into creating content, as we’d like.

Well, one of the ways to increase traffic by updating old blog posts is to thicken them up a bit. Add more value. Have you learned anything new since publishing your post? Add that value to your existing posts. Your writing style has probably changed over the years too. Think about it: if someone comes across one of your popular, older posts, you want them to see what to expect from you as a blogger now, not the blogger you were two years ago.

Want to launch your own WordPress blog and start earning money? Check out my step-by-step guide to starting a blog right here + a list of all my blog resources, including my favorite affiliate marketing programs, right here

UPDATE YOUR IMAGES

If you’re a regular around here, then you probably know what I’m going to say next: make your images Pinterest-friendly! Add vertical images to your posts when updating them. Make sure to include one image that contains text and your blog title or a call-to-action.

To all my lifestyle and beauty bloggers: you can increase traffic by updating old blog posts, but especially your blog photos. Here’s the thing: beginnings aren’t always pretty, and this includes blogging. Let’s take a look at my beginnings, shall we?

TT circa 2013

Okay, so a “favorites” post isn’t one I’d waste time updating, but you get the point: I actually learned how to use my DSLR. That alone has made a huge difference in my blog traffic. Truth is, we love looking at pretty things- and that includes visually pleasing images. Pretty images will often get picked up by other websites, you get some inbound links, pretty images will get more shares, and so on. These days, good pictures are a must. I often see widely mediocre, poorly written content getting a lot of recognition and traffic, simply because it features a stunning image.

And here you are, working tirelessly, night and day, writing your post and featuring an off color-balance image, that doesn’t have a perfectly white background or at least one gray marble colored trinket hidden in the corner. How dare you!

I mean, is that fair? Not up to me to judge (is anything, in life?). I still believe that content is king, but updating your images is a good practice. Sometimes, you will have to resize your images to ensure that they fit the width of your blog post. That alone makes a big difference.

Your blog images say a lot about you and your blog. Not every person, who comes across one of those old posts, will take their time to see how your photography has improved over the years. By updating your old images, you might make those visitors stick around for a bit longer. Again, if you want to increase traffic by updating old blog posts, focus on those popular posts.

Increase Traffic by Updating Old Blog Posts

REPUBLISH + UPDATE + SHARE

When you want to increase traffic by updating old blog posts, you have two choices: republish the content or update it. When you update it, the post remains in the same place, with new information added. Google doesn’t love duplicate content, so copying and pasting an old blog post, and then hitting publish, is a mistake. One, I myself, have made in the past. What you can do instead, is this:

a) republish your post with a new date- simply change the *publish* date on the post you’ve updated, and it will appear as a “fresh” post on your homepage, keeping your comments and giving it new life, earning new shares.

b) simply hit *update* after making your changes, and this will update the existing post, which you can then share on your social media channels.

Republishing also makes a lot of sense when you have some content you’re particularly proud of, or if you know your post has a lot of value, but never got the attention you think it deserves.

Something to remember when republishing your posts (by changing the publish date): make sure that your permalink structure doesn’t include dates. You can see how to change your permalink structure right here.

Related reading:

+The Ultimate List of Resources for Bloggers
+Blogging: Tips for Beginners
+226 Ideas for a Blog Post
+How to Start a Lifestyle Blog

If you have published a lot of blog posts, updating them all can seem overwhelming. I mean, things change so quickly, that I sometimes find myself updating posts from as early as 6 months ago. Focus on those articles that already get some decent organic traffic. You can try updating one, two posts a week, for a start. Don’t feel like writing? Feeling uninspired? You can still do something productive, by updating those older posts.

If this seems like a lot of work, it’s… well.. because it is a lot of work. But you also put a lot of work into the content you publish, don’t you? I think that it only makes sense that you want it to be seen by as many people as you can.

This content uses referral links. Read my disclosure policy for more info.


71 Comments

  • Reply
    Linda Libra Loca
    July 8, 2017 at 9:24 am

    I started going through older blog posts recently, I noticed that a few got much traffic still and was shocked when I looked at them and saw the old layout. Not to mention the pictures. I will try and update a few over time, but never thought of republishing them.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 11, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      Republishing has worked nicely for me! Updating photos can sometimes give an old post an entire new life, too!

  • Reply
    Leah | A Relaxed Gal
    July 8, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Over the last year I went through all my old posts to edit and update them with more info, better formatting and more attractive images and graphics. I recently started using Grammarly and love it! I can’t believe how many mistakes were in my old posts.

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 11, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      Awesome! It’s oddly satisfying, giving those older posts a little face-lift :) Happy to hear you love Grammarly, too and same here haha! So many mistakes in some of my older posts. x

  • Reply
    Emma @ Seeking the South
    July 8, 2017 at 11:23 am

    I’ve started doing this slowly but surely, it definitely takes time! But I know it will definitely pay off in the long run. Thanks for an amazing post!

    Emma | Seeking the South

  • Reply
    Jaynie Shannon
    July 8, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I really need to do this! I need to take a couple days just to go through them all. I deleted a lot of them instead of updating which was silly! I still need to work on my SEO, I get confused by it all!

    Jaynie Shannon*

    Xx

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 11, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      If you’re on WordPress, YOAST is a great plugin that basically tells you exactly what you need to change to improve your SEO. x

  • Reply
    LuxeStyle
    July 8, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    This is something I’ve really been trying to do the last few days and it takes so long but it’s so worth it! I have so many posts that don’t look great since I changed from Blogger to WordPress and the SEO is bad etc. It’s so rewarding seeing how much better they look when they’ve been updated! x

    LuxeStyle

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 11, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      Right on! Yes, it does feel very rewarding, doesn’t it? I love seeing how small changes here and there and an updated images can transform an old post! :)

  • Reply
    Jenn
    July 8, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    This is something I’ve been working on and trying to figure out how to do properly, and now you’ve posted the perfect checklist! Photography is the number one I work on, since I’m constantly evolving on that front (and my old photos are just terrible). Thank you for this!! xoxo

    Jenn │ Beauty by Jelly Bean

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 11, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      Girl, I bet you your photos got nothing on some of my old images haha! I used to post recipes too, and some of the food just looked so… unappetizing haha ;) Evolving and constant change and learning, is one of those things I love most about blogging, for sure :)

  • Reply
    Kiri Yanchenko
    July 8, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    What a great post.
    I haven’t been blogging on this current blog for a long time. HOWEVER.
    Making my images really lovely is something I have been trying to do in my new posts.
    I also would love to start video.
    Because a blog is all about engagement right?
    Keywords are a big thing for me on Set to Glow.
    I have tried to write each article with keywords that I have searched for!
    Great tips!
    Kiri
    Set to Glow
    http://www.settoglow.com.au

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 11, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      Thank you so much Kiri! Videos are so fun to work on, although they’re quite time-consuming as well. I’d love to see you put video content on your blog!

  • Reply
    Megan McCormick
    July 8, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Thanks for some really helpful tips. I’ve been feeling a little blocked with new content, but this is a great way to refresh what I already have.

    Megan | http://www.masteringhealth.co |

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 11, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      Definitely! It gives you something to do when you feel unproductive on the blogging front, and it can also be a great way to give some of those old posts a new life :)

  • Reply
    Becky
    July 9, 2017 at 3:00 am

    This is really helpful-thank you!! I’ve definitely got some images needing an update!
    Beekeyper – Latest: Beauty Pie Superstrobing Drops – gimmick or gimme?

  • Reply
    Lisa Autumn
    July 9, 2017 at 6:31 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your tips hun! You are really one of my fave bloggers :)

    xx Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • Reply
    kate / 35mminstyle
    July 9, 2017 at 8:16 am

    super useful – especially for people who didn’t have yoast in the past and instead they have it now!! I find it fundamental now on wordpress but before I had no idea of how much I could improve my blog! Thank you Paula!

    xx from italy
    Cate ღ 35mm in Style

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 11, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Yes! I honestly don’t remember blog life before Yoast haha :) You’re very welcome Cate, thank you SO much for stopping by.

      • Reply
        kate / 35mminstyle
        July 13, 2017 at 2:34 am

        I feel the same XDD no problem, I truly appreciate your blog (:

  • Reply
    Holly
    July 9, 2017 at 11:28 am

    This is a really interesting post, I have never thought of updating my old blog posts but it actually makes real sense. Brilliant tips, thanks!

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 11, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Thank you so much Holly! Let me know if you get a change to put some of these tips to use on your blog! :)

  • Reply
    Danielle Alexa
    July 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    It is such a task but one that is worth it. After I finished it, I noticed such a difference!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

  • Reply
    Ana
    July 9, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for these tips! I think they can really work well for my blog xxx
    http://fallingforablog.blogspot.com.es/2017/07/3-easy-steps-to-get-perfect-lips.html

  • Reply
    nadiah izzaty
    July 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Thanks for the tips . It is really helpful <3

  • Reply
    Natalie Redman
    July 9, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Great post and fab tips!

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Reply
    DIANA
    July 9, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    These are great ideas, having a successful blog relates to not only what you will do, but also what you have done. Helps that we can edit these posts ;)

    https://thedianaedition.com

  • Reply
    Juanfer Labbe
    July 9, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Great advice! I can’t wait to have more content so I can put it into practice.

  • Reply
    Aleksandra // bunniesaremagic
    July 10, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Good old blog photos on the carpets, it reminds me of my first blog I started when I was… 10? that was filled in with shiny, sparkling gifs ;) I mean, carpet photos >>> sparkling gifs, but the sentiment is quite similar!

  • Reply
    Emma Bought What
    July 10, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    This is really helpful – I’d never thought of updating old blog posts before! x

    https://emmaboughtwhat.blogspot.co.uk

  • Reply
    Veronica Bizzarri
    July 10, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    ooo I found this post super interesting, defo something I will think about doing in the future

    Ronnie
    http://www.veronicabizzarri.com
    xx

  • Reply
    Kaylee K
    July 10, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    These are all awesome points!! I love updating old posts (mostly because when I read old posts they make me cringe haha), but I feel super productive when I update!
    Thanks for sharing!

    XX -KK
    http://www.KayleeKarcher.com
    #ObsessedWithEverything

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 11, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      Updating old posts is so satisfying, yes! Haha oh, I’ve done my share of cringing when updating a few of mine haha :)

  • Reply
    Naya // partyparrotblog.com
    July 11, 2017 at 3:26 am

    Great tips Paula! I always try to fit in my older posts whenever possible. Of course if they have something to do with what I am currently discussing; some of my old posts get more attention than new ones, which is funny, especially since the quality of my posts today is so much better (better camera, better writing).

  • Reply
    elizabeth
    July 11, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Aw such a great post! I never thought of updating my images before, I know I’ve got a few embarrassing old posts but I think it is just the photos I don’t like haha xD definitely bookmarking this! xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
    (lets follow each other on bloglovin or instagram)

  • Reply
    Gabija Barkute
    July 15, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    I’ve never thought about doing this before, but will definitely be giving it a go as a lot of my old posts could do with an update!

    Gabija | everylittlethingblog.weebly.com

  • Reply
    Josie Arana
    July 15, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    I haven’t been blogging very long but I feel like this is a tool that I will be using from now on! Its like glam recycling for blog posts! This is super interesting and such a great read Paula!

    http://www.josiearana.com

  • Reply
    Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
    July 17, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Thank you Lisa, so glad you enjoyed this post!

  • Reply
    BlonDee
    July 20, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I’ve been meaning to do this for the longest time, but wasn’t sure how to go about doing so. This is super helpful! xx

    http://www.blondeesbeauty.com

  • Reply
    Kate Ford
    July 21, 2017 at 8:39 am

    I have just been bingeing your whole site, thanks for all this valuable content. I have just started a travel blog and your ideas are so useful!

  • Reply
    Kate Ford
    July 21, 2017 at 8:42 am

    I have just been bingeing your whole site! Thank you for providing such valuable content, I have just started a travel blog and your ideas are so useful

  • Reply
    Kate Ford
    July 21, 2017 at 8:45 am

    I have just been bingeing your whole site! Thank you for providing such valuable content, I have just started a travel blog and your ideas are so useful – this is such a new world for me.

    http://am-to-pm.com/

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      August 11, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      You’re so very welcome, so happy you like the content! Best of luck with your blog- you’re in for a fun ride :)

  • Reply
    Caroline
    July 23, 2017 at 9:51 am

    This is something I’ve recently done on a few posts, but I definitely need to sit and have a good trawl through those that I can definitely update. It’s such a good idea.

    Caroline.x
    http://www.carolineelgeywhite.com

  • Reply
    Heidi B
    July 23, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Came across this as I have your blog on my faves page..funny, as I had been thinking about doing this but wandering if IG was plausible. Your fab post has made convinced me to get some old (and well written) posts back out there.
    Thanks hon!
    H x

  • Reply
    Brooke El'Louise
    August 3, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    This might sound silly, but do you write up your blog posts directly in wordpress or is there another way you do it?

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      August 11, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      I like to write mine directly in WordPress using Grammarly, but I sometimes write them in Word, too, then just copy and paste.

  • Reply
    James Linton
    September 5, 2017 at 5:12 am

    Your suggestion is very useful. Of course, it’s not easy to increase traffic by updating old blogs. I need a good plan with your tips.

    http://www.mergemp3.net

  • Reply
    pinoyathletics.info
    October 6, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Great recommendations. I went and downloaded Grammily after reading it.

  • Reply
    Mishtifnb
    January 18, 2018 at 3:17 am

    i want to thanks your admin keep posting nice article

  • Reply
    Joey Rojas Jr.
    February 5, 2018 at 2:31 am

    Thank you for this post! This is definitely something I need to be more intentional about and make sure I do on a consistent basis! Especially as I get busier and now that I’m about to start a day job, so my blog will become a part-time thing. I testing with my blog: https://www.if-review.com

  • Reply
    Anthony Smith
    March 22, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Thanks!
    There’s frequently a lot of opportunities to update existing content to help drive organic traffic growth, which we’ll walk through in this post.

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