There’s an exciting feeling that every blogger shares when publishing a post. You’ve got something new to share with your readers, and you can’t wait to see their reactions! You get all your posts up on social media, the comments start coming in, and for a few days, your post is living it. But after that brief period of fame, its pageviews fall to the single digits, and it’s like you never made the post in the first place. What gives? ?
Unfortunately, a blog post is kind of like a campfire. It starts off blazing, but if you don’t keep feeding it more wood, everyone eventually forgets about it until it’s gone.
Adding wood to a fire is pretty easy, but that simplicity doesn’t totally transfer over to the blogging world. I mean, it was hard enough to gain an audience that reads your posts when you first publish them, and now we’re trying to get them to look at year old content! But if your content was good enough to grab someone’s attention a year ago, why wouldn’t it succeed now?
That’s exactly the idea I based my strategies off of, and I discovered some great success. One of my top performing posts was published within my first few months of blogging, and continues to bring in hundreds of views a day. I recently implemented a few more strategies, and I’ve already seen a difference in my daily pageview distribution! So today, I want to share with you the best ways to keep your old posts alive:
1. Create An Archive Page For Each Of Your Categories
If you’ve been blogging for a while, your archive has probably become an unorganized and endless list of posts. Depending on it to bring in pageviews is pretty hopeless.
Category pages are the next best thing…kind of. The problem is, if you’re using the built-in version that simply shows you a blog feed restricted to a specific category, you might as well have sent your reader back to your regular blog feed, because they’re still going to have to navigate through tons of posts. ?
My solution to this was to create my own archive that shows a condensed list of all my posts, split up into categories. That way visitors can binge-read or find specific posts in seconds!
I’ve seen a few other great implementations of this strategy, like creating a grid of posts along with their featured image (Elle And Company has a great example of this!). Once I figure out how to code that up, I’ll probably switch to that method! If you prefer the more traditional route of showing a restricted feed though, another option would be condensing each post in that feed down to just an excerpt so you can show more posts on one page. Melyssa at The Nectar Collective implemented this really well and it definitely makes navigation easier!
2. Share Old Posts On Social Media Every Day
Easier said than done if you have hundreds of posts to choose from, but it’s worth the effort! What we’re trying to do is get old links out there to new followers that may not have seen your posts when they were first published. To them, this is all new content! There are two ways to do this: manually posting, or using a web app/plugin.
If you want a lot of control over which posts you promote, manually posting is a great option. To make the process easier on you, create a schedule and keep track of which posts you’ve shared. You can also use apps like Buffer and set up all your posts at the beginning of the day. The main goal here is to minimize the amount of time spent creating and sharing this content, so coming up with post templates for each social media platform and pre-scheduling posts will make your life a lot easier! ?
There are also several options for automating this process, and although I haven’t used any of them, I’ve read a lot of great success stories! Automatically scheduling your posts can take just a couple of hours each week, and you’ll never have to think about it again. Melyssa has a great list of programs to use for the most popular platforms, so I definitely suggest checking those out if this sounds like the option for you!
3. Add Old Posts To Your Home Page
Devoting some prime space on your blog to old posts can easily boost their traffic. This is especially easy to implement if you have a WordPress blog, because you can create a widget space specifically for promoting old posts! One of my favorite examples of this is The Blog Market, whose gorgeous design has two main areas devoted to sharing old content. Unlike a category feed, where new content will constantly be added and change up the look of the page, these widgets can contain posts picked by you. That means if you recently updated an old post and want some eyes on it, you can add it to your home page and simply switch it out when you want to promote something else. Talk about efficiency!
To make things simpler, there are several plugins out there that will let you display featured content in a widget. Most of them require some extra customization to perfect their look though, so if you’re wanting something quick and simple, a basic text widget can still do the job! Just add in an image for your post, and link it to the right page.
4. Create a “Best Posts” Page To Feature Your Favorite Content
Out of all the posts you’ve written, you probably have a few that you love just a bit more than the others. Creating a “Best Posts” page allows you to show off your best content and hook readers in.
Another way to implement this would be creating a “New Reader” page, where you could feature a few posts and include a sort of introduction to your blog. Not only are you promoting old content, but hopefully catching some new eye’s and creating long-time followers!