How to revamp old blog posts has become a must in my current blogging arsenal. I had good ideas back at the beginning of my blogging career, but I had no idea how to present them. Some of biggest traffic driving posts have come from posts that I have reworked. Today I want to give you the tools for breathing new life into old posts.
When I started out in blogging I knew nothing. Nothing. I did not read any blogs. I was unaware of the number of blogs out there. My main familiarity with the blogging world was the movie “Julie and Julia.” Blogging began for me because I had a goal. I wanted to revamp my parenting. Thriving in this tough role instead of just surviving was the vision. I wanted to accomplish my “I really should…” thoughts about raising children and be a fun and engaged mom. I gave myself this challenge: Blog every day for 365 days. I would do one parenting tip, one lesson working on character development and one post that featured a craft or activity. Are you doing the math? That is 3 posts a day for 365 days. That is a total of 1095 posts. Insane! I made it, but the quality of those early posts left something to be desired.
Above shows my current top 6 posts. Do you notice that 3 out of the 6 are revamped? My Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe got legs on Pinterest and now is one of the number one recipes that will show up when you type in “buttercream frosting” in the Pinterest search engine. My post about removing vomit smell is the number one search result on Google – before wikihow, how to clean stuff and ehow or any other result. “How to Stop the Whining and Crying” has really taken off on Facebook and Pinterest. Revamping these posts is what has driven them to constantly remain in my own top 10 as well as become top results when searched. So, how did I do it?
How to Revamp Old Posts
Below I am going to outline the top things to consider when reworking your old content. Taking these steps will breathe new life into something that died. I am going to give you the main points, and then I’m going to actually revamp one of my old posts right before your eyes.
- Add or Improve Pictures – People are visual and are most often drawn into a post based on the picture that accompanies it. You want to draw on people’s emotions. You will want to create a question in their head or find a connecting point through images. You will want to have at least one Pinterest friendly picture. Pinterest pictures should be vertical in composition. You will also want to have at least one picture that is Facebook ready. Ideal Facebook picture size is 560×292. However, square pictures and horizontal pictures work great too. If you have multiple Facebook pictures you can share a number of times without it feeling like the same post.
- Improve SEO – SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is essentially a way for the Google eyes to find your post. You will want to have key words throughout your post that support your title, tags and first paragraph. Having a SEO plugin will significantly help your success in this area. You will want to use bolding, bullet points, and headings to aide in your presence on the blog post topic.
- Reformat Your Text – I used to write posts that were text heavy. There were big blocks of a lot of words, which you want to avoid. Visually breaking up text with pictures, headings, and new paragraphs is important. Bullet points and numbered lists are also great for both SEO purposes and visual appeal. People are busy. They are often scanning for the information they need. They will get a quick visual overview to know if they want to take the time to read on your blog further. Huge blocks of text are overwhelming and a huge turn off, so make sure you make posts more inviting visually.
- Link Back to Other Related Posts – Chances are you have more content on your site that relates to what you are speaking about in the post you are reworking. Make sure you link to other content so that interested readers are drawn to more on your blog. You want to become a relevant voice for a topic. They are on your site because they are interested in the topic at hand. If you can prove to them you have more to offer, they will more likely become a true fan rather than just a casual passerby. You can add links within paragraphs as seen here or have related posts at the bottom of you content as seen here.
- Add Affiliate Links – Another way to revamp old posts and make money doing it is to add in affiliate links. You are redoing your old content because you believe it can get legs. If it does, you will want to have ways to make money sewn into the content. You can find out how to effectively use Amazon links and use that new information to work these affiliate links into your content. You can also check out one of our favorite affiliate programs, Affiliate Window (see more info here)
- Promote Again on Social Media – Now that you have breathed new life into the content of your post, it is time to re-promote on all your social media sites. It will look new to your readers, so you do not need to worry about being repetitive or spammy. You not only want to re-promote on your social media, but you can add your content on fellow bloggers link parties or Facebook page share days. Make blogging friends, and commit to sharing each others content. Don’t just sit around and hope that your new post is magically found. Work hard to get it seen.
- Do I Change Title? URL? Date? – I have different answers for this. If my past post is a complete dead end, I would say yes. I want to change the title to make it more search friendly. I want the URL and pictures to be SEO friendly. I want to post again on my site to make it look like current content so it can be found easier for my new readers. It will feel like completely new post, so don’t worry about that. That said, if the post I’m revamping already has shares on Pinterest or Facebook, I would not want the url to change. I might change the title, but I will not change the url. Do not, at that point, change the date either because that will change the url. You only want to change everything if you know that the post is dead. It basically becomes a brand new post at that time.
My Own Journey at Revamping a Post
Above you see pictured an old post of mine. It is a good topic. The title of this post was “Day #29 Tip – Make Clean-Up Fun.” This post is dead. It has no Facebook shares. It had no picture, so it will never been seen on Pinterest. There is no reason for me to keep the title, url or date. I’m changing it all.
How to Change the Title, URL and Date in WordPress – The problem with the title is that I added “Day #29 Tip” to the front. That is what Google sees as it is searching. I was trying to document my days as I was going through the 365 days of the year parenting challenge, but that kills my post for SEO, so it needs to go. Google and people love “how to” posts and numbers at the front, so I’m going to change the post title to “10 Ways to Make Clean-Up Fun for Kids.” Another option could be “How to Make Cleaning Fun for Kids.”
I changed my title. Then, I went to the permalink box an deleted what was there. If you delete and then press OK, the new url will automatically update for you. Change the date to the date you want to publish and the permalink date will change automatically.
How I Changed My Pictures
Above you’ll see my feature picture I made for the post. I purchased my picture from Deposit Photos. I then added a title to capture the reader. I added my logo or a watermark on the picture to claim it for my blog. Make sure you save your image with a SEO friendly title. People do an image search often, and you want your picture to show up in those searches. Too many bloggers save their images at image_12345, and that is not a good practice. Beyond my Pinterest-friendly feature picture, you can also visit the post to see the Facebook images I included.
After I changed the title and added pictures, I went through the post to do the steps listed above. I reworked the text, improved my SEO, linked back to other related texts, added affiliate links, and will promote again on social media. You can see my revamped post here. Notice the relevant keywords are highlighted in bold? See the new structure rather than a big block of text? See the trail created to my other content? Check out those affiliate links! You can see the growth that has happened in the last three years and imagine the reach that this post could potentially get. Would the previous post have been found or shared? Not at all.
I hope you are inspired to go back and rework some of your content. You probably have great ideas in there that just need to be repackaged a bit to be seen by the masses.
Jodi Durr is the creator of Meaningful Mama, a popular mom blog focusing on crafts, activities, character development, parenting tips, recipes, parties and more. Parenting her 3 children has stretched her more than she imagined. She has dug in her heals and is determined to make this journey fun, intentional and creative. Find Jodi on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.