Follow these steps on how to bring new traffic to an old blog post to revive your old content and bring loads of new traffic to your site!
Psst! You want to know a secret? You know your old blog posts that never got much traffic? The ones that didn't really gain that many views after you put in all that work to publish it? Guess what- those posts are GOLD!
But if you're like me...
the majority of my content hardly has views & shares
Womp. That's a tough pill to swallow! After working on this blog for a few years now, with over 75 blog posts written, photographed and researched, I came to this realization. Most of my work has hardly been seen.
This was actually a great realization for me because for about a year, I was in the process of renovating a house and moving, so finding the means to generate brand new content was very difficult. I knew I couldn't let my blog just sit, so I decided to revive some of my old posts in order to keep my blog fresh while I couldn't make new content.
I've taken a lot of blogging courses and it has been said that you'll probably always have a small handful of blog posts that made it big, and those are the ones that bring the majority of traffic to your website.
I've never given it that much thought because I thought that's just how things were. I'm very proud of the 5-6 posts that generate hundreds of page views for me everyday. It challenges me to create better content every time I post a new recipe.
But, What do i do with my old blog posts?
Yes, what about them? Do they just sit and collect virtual dust?!
Absolutely NOT! Your old posts can totally bring you new, significant traffic!
I'll be walking you through some tips and tricks that I did took my one post from 400 shares to 5,000 shares in a matter of days.
Back in February, I had made a post on Soft Butter Cookies. I was really proud of it and I thought it came out really great.
When I launched this post, I created a pin, shared it on Pinterest and my Tailwind Tribes as I normally do. Within a matter of time I got about 400 shares, and I then moved onto some other things. Here we are in June, and I had noticed that this post never gained any further traction. It seemed stuck at 400 shares.
With a few small steps, I was able to transform this post and it had over 5,000 shares within a matter of DAYS.
Here's a snapshot (from Jetpack, a site management plugin) of the page view growth:
Here are the specific page view counts for that post, day by day. My page views increased by 5,900% from June 10th!! Furthermore, look at all the days where I had no page views at all. By the 16th, I got nearly 500 page views.
So what changed?
Sure, I edited the copy of the post a bit, researched some better keywords and edited my photos a little, but that's not what drove this kind of traffic.
The driver of growth was introducing two new pin designs for my post.
Let me step back for a second; if you're a blogger and you're not creating pins and using Pinterest to bring traffic to your site, you are missing out! If you're not currently doing this, be sure to first read my articles on why you need tools like PicMonkey & Tailwind to make your blog a success and on How to Design the Perfect Pin.
Back to it.
So, the first pin in the group below, to the left, was the original pin I made when I published my post. I don't think its a terrible pin, but I don't think that it vibed well with my audience.
I get it. At the time, I was trying something new with the design. To be honest, I never loved that pin but it's what my creativity came up with at the time so I went for it. That's the pin that got me 400 shares when I published the recipe so it wasn't for nothing!
HOWEVER...the other two in the row were new ones that I had made and shared on Pinterest the week of June 10th, about 4 months after my original post. Within a week, my traffic and shares for this post EXPLODED.
What did i change?
- I edited the photos slightly.
- I changed the font colors & styles.
- I added a transparent bar at the bottom to include my website and logo.
Those are not HUGE differences, but those 3 changes are why I now have over 5,000 shares on my recipe.
You have to remember that different styles appeal to different people in your audience. The last pin in the row is my top performer, even though I actually prefer the one in the middle the most. Within a week, it had 150k impressions on Pinterest. Now, it's over 365k impressions. This is the most I've ever had for one pin on one board!
This post is on track to become my top performing post. My current top performing post has been #1 for nearly 2 years.
This is why you should really create multiple pins for one blog post. I didn't take my own advice at the time and that's why my original counts suffered. But on the bright side, I had some new excitement in the last week with these pin results, so I'm still happy!
It is worth experimenting to see what works and doesn’t work. This is proof that you can revive an old post simply. All it might take is a font & color change in the pin.
In addition to changing the pin design...
Some secondary changes that I made were editing the copy in my post. Here are some things I always look out for:
- Removing unnecessary sentences or punctuation:
- Sometimes, things sound good when you’re in the process of writing but it’s always a smart idea to go back and reread your posts to see if they do make sense. I’m always finding sentences to change or remove after taking a break for a few days from the post.
I also changed up my keywords where needed. For example…
In my brownie post I had, “BEST. EVER. Brownies”. While it might look cute and the punctuation certainly emphasizes BEST EVER, nobody types it that way into a search engine. I changed it to, “The Best Ever Brownies” and added more keywords that I knew people were searching for.
Here are some other tips:
- Make sure your paragraphs are not too long; break up your text into 4-5 lines MAX.
- Try changing some of the headings in your post to include targeted keywords (click here to read about how I find these), numbers (i.e. bake these cookies in 5 easy steps) or call to action.
- Be sure to also review your meta description to include these as well!
- Change up your introduction paragraph.
- Apply the suggested SEO guidelines from Yoast (if you don't have this plugin yet, go download it ASAP).
- Add common questions to your blog article using Answerthepublic.com. Read more on how I do this.
- Edit your photos (I use Adobe Lightroom), retake photos and change your featured image.
- Check that all of your images are optimized (I use this free image compressor) and run your page through a Google Speed test to see if it is taking too long to load.
- Republish your post with a newer date.
- Google prefers new content. For your old posts, you can try to republish the post with a newer date (edit the publish settings in the post, do not copy and paste the text into a new post). I’ve done this several times and always saw a boost in traffic.
Things NOT to do:
Never change your slug (the URL for your post). If the post you’re editing is shared anywhere else on your website or the internet (which, of course it is!), then changing your slug/URL is a very bad idea. You’ll have a lot of ‘page cannot be found’ situations and you’ll lose all authority that your link has already built. It’s better to keep the same link and simply edit the content.
Same goes for your old pins- do not delete them off of Pinterest! Trust me, there are a bunch of pins that I've made in the past that I would love to get rid of because my design style is vastly different than what it was. But deleting these pins could hurt your authority and rankings; simply add new pins to refresh your visibility.
I hope this was helpful! Let me know creating new pins helped your traffic, I'd love to hear about it!