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How to Repurpose Your Old Blog Content (or Not)

 The Sun Sets to Rise Again -- as can your WordPress website content.

If you've had your blog for any length of time, you have a bunch of articles. You get an idea and start writing and add a new post. Rinse and repeat.

Over time, however, it is pretty common to find repetitive, very similar articles or just not applicable any longer. But, then, there are those articles that are evergreen. Evergreen means they are timeless and still on point.

When I write a good post, it tends to be around 800-1,000 words. Quite often 1500-2000. On my other blogs, which are more resource tip oriented, 300-500 words. Add it all up, and that's a lot of words — and effort.

The longer posts take a couple of days to a week to complete. I usually start with a rough framework and write out all my thoughts and do a little refining.

A couple of days later, I get in and write some more and refine some more. And, in many cases, delete entire sentences or paragraphs that are just fluff.

Writing and Repurposing Articles is Time Consuming Hard Work

To do well, that is.

Have you ever landed at a website or blog to only discover a shallow article of no value or that is outdated? What about those articles that have no personality as if they were generated by software?

Bet you don't bookmark or go back to those sites. If creating posts crafted to engage site visitors and offer value were so easy, everyone would be doing it.

Based on my experience, writing quality posts (aff) is something many site owners struggle with. But then the thought of repurposing or rewriting them is right up there with cleaning the gutters.

But everyone wants a blog. So that is one of the most asked for services that I offer, from setting up to best practices, and yes, critiquing content.

Want a successful blog? Then you have to offer compelling content. Not just any content — great content! And keep that content coming and up to snuff.

Some outsource to ghostwriters. But that rarely reflects the personality, passion, and actual knowledge the site owner wants to portray or is offering.

The good news is you already know how to write. You have to work at honing your skills.

If I add up all the hours I write for my various blogs (and GoDaddy), I can't help but wonder how I get anything else done. Then add more time to update and repurpose. With all that time and effort spent on writing, who doesn't want to get maximum ROI!

That's why, sometimes, it is challenging to ditch what may have at one time been good content. Or content that your stats are showing still surprisingly receives some traffic. That's where content updating and repurposing come in.

Keep in mind that not all content is worth recycling. Content that is outdated but still getting traffic most likely is not converting anyway and does not bode well for the overall impression of your website.

When to Repurpose or Ditch Your Blog Content

  • It just is no longer viable. Information or current events have changed enough for the information to no longer be of any value. Even a little value is not worth keeping around.
  • It needs to be updated. The post is still basically valid but needs a solid refresh—new data, mentions of current events or criteria, trends that contributed to the update. On my posts, I also show the Last Updated date to give site visitors a visual that the post has been updated.
  • Stats show absolutely no interest from site visitors. Heck, we all miss the mark from time to time. Having content for the sake of having content can do more harm than good.

If the content is not worth keeping, reviving, or gets little to no traffic, it is best to let it go. When a post serves no value for you or your site visitors, there is no harm in deleting it. But…

Before you delete…

Before just deleting willy-nilly, ask yourself a couple of questions first.

  • Do you have similar, more up-to-date content on your site?
  • Do you plan on creating a new article on the same topic soon?

If you answered Yes to either question, you want to get a 301 redirect in place. A 301 redirect tells your server to permanently redirect one URL (the old, outdated article) to a similar or new article on that topic.

When you do have a similar article that is more current or that falls in line with the article being retired, here is where a 301 redirect can do its thing. And, yes, there's a plugin for that! I use the free Redirection plugin.

If you plan to create a new, utterly fresh article to replace that outdated one, keep the old URL in place until you make the new website live. Then, create a 301 redirect.

When you redirect, you don't want to redirect folks to an article that doesn't correlate with the deleted article topic just for the sake of redirecting. Think about what the old article's original purpose served. We don't want to create a frustrating user experience.

When you have nothing worth redirecting to after you delete that article, your site visitors will receive a 404 — Page Not Found error — or page. So having a custom 404 page to capture and guide your site visitors when what they are seeking is no longer available is something to get in place.

Giving Content a New Life

Let's say you have a bunch of older content on your site, and your statistical data reflects that a decent level of interest is still being generated. There are a bunch of ways to recycle your older content to make it keep producing for you.

  • Make a video on the topic
  • Consider creating a podcast (aff).
  • Create a member's only course.
  • Accumulate all your info into an eBook.
  • Create a special email series on the topic to subscribe to.
  • Design an infographic that visitors can download for their sites.
  • Offer your article as a PDF download to mailing list subscribers.
  • Can the information correlate to developing a checklist/cheat sheet?
  • Write an article with your Top 10 or “Best of” to bring established content back to the forefront.

Can you now see the potential and possibilities? Great content can continue to produce for you in other formats. You might even find that going in the direction of courses, memberships (aff), downloads, and eBooks will create an entirely new revenue stream. You'll never know if you don't try.

Now get rewriting, repurposing, and redirecting!

At your service,

Judith: WordPress Consultant and Business Coach