How to Recycle Old Blog Content

Last week I decided to go through my old blog posts, which had quite a negative impact on my general confidence about my content and I had a little meltdown on the blog. After receiving lots of good advice from the blogging community I decided to ignore my initial knee-jerk intention to delete hundreds of posts that I considered to be inferior and instead spend a bit of time recycling some of my earliest articles.

There were a number of reasons for this:

1. My blog is nearly four years old, and I have a much bigger audience than when these posts were originally published. I wanted to reach my newer audience who would not have seen them.

2. My writing style has changed and my earlier offerings aren’t consistent with the quality (at least, in my opinion) that I produce now.

3. My lifestyle has changed for the better. The negative tone of some of the posts are no longer relevant to my general mindset.

4. Some of the information in the posts was completely outdated and I wanted to create things that would be evergreen ie. consistently relevant and popular.

5. My technical knowledge of blogging, social media and promotion is far better than it was, and I wanted to see if I could use this knowledge to make the most out my older posts.

I realised that the perfect opportunity to start this would be on International Women’s Day. One of the very first posts that I wrote was 46 Reasons Why Women are Amazing, which did well when first published. However, in the maniacal rush that I created many of my posts at the time, the content was silly, vapid and conveyed completely the opposite message that I wished to portray, and when I re-read the post I physically cringed at some of the things that I had written. So, I decided to get other bloggers involved and ask them a question, including their responses in the post. I then created a pinnable image, tagged it effectively using keywords and then sent it out all across my social media.

The result? I had an evergreen post that I was felt more comfortable with, I had introduced the post to my newer audience and my views were four times higher in a single day than when it was first posted.

Want to recycle old content? Here are some hints and tips that may help:

  • While it may sound obvious, rewrite an article almost from scratch, correcting your grammar and making it better.
  • Update tags, categories and keywords.
  • For those of you on WordPress, reblog your older posts. WordPress .com has an easy reblog button – remember that this is useful for sharing your own posts again as well as those of others.
  • Update blogging advice posts with your new things that you learn in your blogging journey.
  • Similarly, with tip posts, how-to guides, tutorials and listicles, add in or change newly learned information to make sure that it remains up-to-date and relevant.
  • Ask other bloggers to contribute, or use an old post as a guest post on another site.
  • Create a summary post – linking in a selection of your favourite older posts that your newer audience may not have seen.
  • Remove time-specific dates and references.
  • Advertise your favourite older posts in your sidebar.
  • If you have written about a specific event or experience, create a response post to your original article (linking the old post in), with an update.
  • Update your images to make them suitable for your social media accounts – Canva offers options of different sizes for easy creation of effective and consistent images that can attract new readers to your posts.
  • Promote older posts regularly across social media. Pin, tweet, stumble, flip and share on your Facebook page. Put old posts in blog link-ups and in Facebook group promotion threads.
  • Repurpose content in the form of a beautiful image, or vlog, or infographic.

What about you guys? Do you recycle your old content?

 

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.

107 thoughts on “How to Recycle Old Blog Content

  1. Just started doing this. My older posts had horrible pictures, vague directions and need a general updating in how I do things now. Plus, it lets me revisit dishes my family doesn’t remember. I think it is a win-win. I get fresher content and good food! 🙂

  2. I don’t have enough content at this point to have old stuff, but it makes sense to recycle old posts. When you first start out you have to build up followers, so a lot of stuff goes unread. You always have great ideas. It’s as if you know what you’re doing or something. 😜

  3. I often link to an older blog, but have not yet re-blogged myself, nor done an updated or reworked post. It is a good idea, especially with a new audience, or new insight. Might even help with those times I just don’t know what to write.

  4. To deal with older, outdated posts, I created a new, private blog to which only I have access. Then I reblogged my old posts to that new private blog in order to save them. Then I trashed them on the original blog. That way, I still have access to the posts and can edit and reblog them back to my original blog again if I want to.

  5. I recently updated and renamed my blog and did something similar. My blog is five years old and was relevant at the time of writing even though it was about history (links to current news stories and trends, for example). I was also way too personal for modern-day comfort!

    Updates included taking out references to tv shows and news items and some new fabulous pictures. My website has changed a lot in these last five years with some great technical advances and I have utilised these.

    Oh yes. Plus the cringe factor!

  6. I don’t really recycle my old content. I usually do a best of at the end of the year but the things I’ve written go off into the great beyond. Occasionally someone will hit on something old, and I pop over to read it. Sometimes I cringe, but often it makes me laugh and I wonder how old a post has to be before it can have a second life…

  7. One of the advantages of a history blog is that the content is mostly evergreen. I’m more likely to want to update the accompanying pictures than the text. At some point, though, I shall probably have to go back and see if I still like the writing in my earlier posts. I’ll put that off a bit longer, I think.

  8. I have been reposting many of mine from four years ago too.. Especially in the early days I might only get one or two views. And you are correct.. they do need a revamp but lovely to see them get much more attention today. Thanks Suzie.. great reminder and will put in the Blogger this evening. Sally

  9. I’m waaaaaaaaaayyyyyy on the other end of the blogging spectrum Suzie, slowly starting to grapple with social media integration and working on building up a loyal community of engaged readers, so these visits to your blog and your meaningful words of wisdom are uber helpful. Thank you!

    • Thanks so much Gabe – I’m really pleased that you’re finding it useful! I think something that I’ve learned is to revisit older posts and edit once a week rather than to leave it until months down the line…

      • hmmmm I’ll ave to give this a try. However, each of my posts requires so much effort (writing and painting) that it’s all I can do to keep posting more than once a week.
        I hope in the coming weeks/months to gain the proficiency to start incorporating more of the advice you’re sharing. I can see how rewarding and meaningful it is for you… which is uber inspiring!

  10. Because I have met you, when I read your blogs I can see you saying the things you have written. I like the way you are able to look back at your work and review it in a abstract way. Your advice is always useful. (Note to self, implement some of what I have read)

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  12. Really good tips! When my fatigue and/or brain fog is bad but I’ve not posted for more than four days, I’ll re-blog an old one. I’ll also link to them if it’s part of series such as reviewing beauty/veggie subscription boxes etc. Summary posts are such a good idea so I’ve started doing ‘My Lifestyle Lately’ posts and summing up the last month of what I’ve blogged and extra content. It never occurred to me to promote old posts on social media though, thanks!

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  15. I started doing this but editing has kind of got in the way, it’s a good idea and perhaps when I have more time I will look into it again. I like the idea of recycling old content. Thanks for the tips, Suzie.

  16. I’ve done a little bit of this but love your ideas and I have not promoted them much. It is sad that some of my best posts will not be read and you’ve inspired me to work on more of them and do more sharing. Some are cringe worthy, but they don’t have to stay that way!

  17. I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I never realized (until recently) that recycling was actually a thing! I’ve been a “work harder, not smarter” blogger for many years, but now I’m slowly figuring out ways to repurpose old posts. Certainly makes it easier to come up with four posts a week! Love your suggestions, and I’ll definitely be making use of them as well – thanks so much!

  18. I write fiction which (hopefully) has a timeless quality about it and seems like a candidate for reblogging in order to find new readers. I’ve never done this before but sounds like I should consider it.

  19. Very helpful post! I have often wondered what to do with my older posts. I have some that only have like 40 views on them but they are really great posts. They are just so old and hidden that no one can find them anyway. I have updated my graphics but I thin I will take your advice and clean them up!

  20. My reblog button disappeared quite a while ago. I think it now requires a premium subscription. Glad to know I’m not the only one who cringes at old posts. When I write them I think they’re brilliant, when I re-read them later it’s all What I thinking?

  21. I’ve never reblogged my stuff, but here’s a thing I have done – recorded audio versions of posts and put them up on Soundcloud. I’ve even written/recorded songs in GarageBand and sung poems from my blog over the top of them. Want something new? Try that! 🙂
    Kindness – Robert.

  22. After moving my blog to WordPress (two years ago now?) I went through all my content and had some of the same cringing reactions you describe. I like that WP allows you to make a post private, which is what I do when I want to update information or change a post entirely. I again combed through when I got my domain, and was nearly horrified at some of the posts that slipped through the cracks. But it was nice to look back, and like you said, realize I was in different mental place than I was even one year ago.

    I need to get more familiar with the reblog function – thank you for the reminder! Such a helpful post.

  23. Like you, I cringe at my earlier posts some I love but the grammar I definitely didn’t check it as much and the style has evolved shall we say…lol…But I think I should do it more regularly and as you say it gives you some more material…The travel posts I will be using on my new blog when it is up and running and that keeps the travel and cooking separate which is what I want. Good advice Suzie 🙂

  24. It’s like you peeked inside my head, Suzie! My blog is also 4 years old and I have been doing the EXACT same things you mention (going back and revising/rewriting where warranted, updating images with SM-ready ones from Canva, and then repromoting) since early in the summer. Nice to learn I’m not the only one at this point and that someone else is also doing the same things! And I did NOT know about the Reblog button – will have to look for that, so thanks for that awesome tip!

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