How to Drive Traffic to Old Posts

Old ContentIf you’re writing a blog you likely know that you need to constantly be adding new content in order to keep people coming back to your site.  In addition, without a fresh supply of content to your site, the search engines will quickly start dropping your ranking in many cases.  So, bloggers keep adding new and useful content to their site, which makes it more and more useful.  The problem, however, is that as you post content, the older stuff seems to keep getting pushed further and further out of the public eye.

That great post you wrote last year is likely still extremely valuable, and could help many readers, but people aren’t likely to find it way back in the archives.  Occasionally people will find it with search engines, or a dedicated visitor might make their way back to the old content eventually, but the fact is, most posts get the vast majority of their views within the first days or weeks of being published.  That is just the nature of blogging, but it doesn’t have to mean that older content gets completely neglected.

The following tips will help breathe new life into your old posts, and help ensure the new posts you’re making will still be read long into the future.

Link to Older Posts on New Posts that are Related

This one is pretty obvious, but it is very often overlooked.  If you’re writing a new post, you should take a few minutes to think back on all your old work.  If you’ve got something that is similar in nature, make sure you link to it.  You can either make it obvious by saying something like, “Don’t forget that I wrote about how this works in my post titled, ‘How This Works’.”  Or you can just have the links exist in the text without anything additional being said.  However you choose to do it, make sure you’re giving readers the opportunity to read older posts.  It will keep them around longer, and help them by providing them with additional high quality information.

Create an All Posts Page

One great option to give readers is an “All Posts” page, where all your posts are automatically listed.  Rather than listing them in order by the date they are published, you can list them in alphabetical order, or even by category.  When people visit the all posts page, they will be more likely to click on older posts.  These pages are also great because it lets visitors see all your work in one place so they can choose to read on specific subjects that they are most interested in.

Syndicate Your Old Content

If you’ve got posts that are a few months old and have stopped getting much traffic, consider offering them to other sites in your niche as a syndicated piece.  Another site may be happy to post the information on their site, and they’ll give you a link back to your page too.  This will not only be beneficial for the other site owner, but it will also help you bring in brand new visitors.  The link will also be from a related niche site, which is very valuable for SEO.

Share Old Content on Social Media Pages

You can pull a link from an old post, and share it on your social media pages.  In many cases, your social media accounts will have a whole new set of visitors which haven’t seen your old work yet.  Maybe set up a “throwback Thursday” system where each Thursday you post a link to one older blog post for everyone to enjoy.  This is a great way to provide good information to your social media followers, without having to do too much extra work!

Add a “Hidden Gems” Section to your Sidebar

You can add a small section to your sidebar that has links to a few of your older posts.  It may even be possible to have the links change to display five random links that are six months or older.  This is an excellent way to keep older posts in front of your visitors so they can take advantage of all the content you’ve ever published.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you found it useful. I'd love to hear what you thought about it in the comments below. If you're interested in publishing this, or any of my content, on your site I'd love to hear from you. Just contact me using my syndication request form HERE.

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  1. Lina Bouc says

    Excellent advice! The beauty of blogging is providing evergreen content, and “reviving” the archived content can truly be useful.

  2. says

    Great tips Michael! My fav is linking posts to related posts. Of course a plugin would make that super easy to do. Another way to reuse an older post is by changing it’s format. It can be turned into an MP3 file that you share on a podcast or your own website, and you could create slide shows.

    All good tips.
    Cynthia Dixon recently posted…What is it about FontsMy Profile

  3. says

    These are all very great ideas and I actually didn’t think of doing two of them. I will have to search for an “All Posts” plugin to see what I can implement on the blog. Love this idea, thanks!

    I also like the “gems” on the sidebar — another fantastic idea! Great read, Michael. 🙂
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…How to Create a Web Button with GimpMy Profile

  4. says

    Great ideas here. I have a couple of ideas that have worked great for me. In fact, now on average, every new visitor to my site views at least 2 articles – some more. If you use WordPress, take advantage of a couple of really good plugins they have:

    Most Commented Widget – I have this in my sidebar, and it lists the six posts with the highest number of comments. I have renamed mine Popular Posts. Just seeing that 54 people have left comments encourages people to have a look what all the fuss is about.

    NextScripts: Social Network Auto-Poster – This not only posts your new posts to social media, it regularly goes through your old posts and pulls ones to be reposted to your social media network.

    Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – This sits at the bottom of every single post and lists posts with similar tags/categories or by the same author.
    Rebecca Byfield recently posted…Savannah says what?My Profile

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