One of the many benefits of owning a somewhat aged blog is that you’re likely to have amassed quite a collection of posts. While many bloggers fail to take advantage of their archives, it’s actually surprisingly easy to keep old content, shiny and new. Here are ten simple tips for keeping the cobwebs out of your archives.
Revamp Your Categories
If you want to encourage visitors to read your old posts, effective categorisation is essential. Come up with as many descriptive categories as you can think of and assign each post to one or more categories. Include links to all categories along the side of your homepage. Avoid categorising your posts according to the date when they were written, your readers are unlikely to care.
Include an Effective Search Function
Regardless of how good of a writer you consider yourself to be, it’s important to accept that most visitors to your blog are looking for specific information. If you want them to actually find it, an effective search function is essential. Quality archives aren’t worth much if your readers can’t find the specific posts that they’re looking for.
Install a Popular Post Plug-in
If you’re going to direct traffic to your archives, the best posts to highlight are obviously going to be those that have proven the most popular in the past. This can be achieved pretty effortlessly by simply installing one of WordPresses many popular post plug-ins. Such plug-ins simply select your archives most popular posts and display links to them in your blogs sidebar.
Every time you write a new post, try to link to at least two old posts. Provided you spend most of your time blogging about the same topics, it shouldn’t be difficult to find relevant posts to link to. Use clearly marked textual links i.e. underlined text. Linking to old posts will not only ensure that more people read them, over time, it should greatly reduce your blogs bounce rate.
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Revamp the Titles
The title of a post is arguably its most important sentence. The title can make or break a post, and at times, it can even be the reason that a post goes viral. Coming up with excellent titles takes patience, it also takes a certain amount of creativity. Unfortunately, even the best bloggers aren’t creative twenty fours a day. Get into the habit of regularly brainstorming new title ideas for your old posts.
Remove/Update Inaccurate Information
Depending on your niche, chances are that as time passes, previously accurate information can become outdated and inaccurate. Take a look through your old post titles and try to determine where inaccuracies might have crept in. Updating old posts in this fashion doesn’t take long but it can make the difference between old content that’s valuable and old content that questions your credibility.
If you feel that your standard of writing has increased over time, take a look back through your old posts and try to improve them.
Break up big blocks of text.
Convert regular posts into lists.
Add sub headings and/or bullet points.
Find and correct any and all spelling mistakes/typos.
Most experts suggest including at least one photo in every post you publish. Photos make posts look more attractive, they can also greatly reduce bounce rates. If you’ve failed to include photos in your old posts, take the time to slowly incorporate them. Choose attention grabbing, stylish photos that are relevant to each posts subject matter.
Write “Best Of” Posts
If you frequently post about the same topics, writing a “Best Of” post can be an excellent way to direct traffic to your archives. For example, if you own a blog about cats, you might write a post titled “Five Best Posts About Kitten Training”. The idea is to simply group together your best posts about individual topics, thus making them easier to browse.
Write Follow Up Posts
Finally, if you really want to draw attention to an old post, the easiest way of doing so is to write a follow up. Use your blogs traffic statistics to determine which of your past posts were the most popular. Provided you feel that you can say more on the subject, writing a follow up can prove highly beneficial. After all, you’ll be giving your readers more of what they like.