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How To Recycle Old Posts, and Why You Should

Ever have one of those killer ideas that turned into a great blog post, which led to a surge in traffic, which boosted your authority, which led to increased readership? Then, a week later, your great article has faded into the abyss of seldom-accessed archives? The internet is heavy-laden with countless millions of really great, but never to be read again articles such as your favorite one. Here’s a thought that’s good for the online environment – recycle!

First, the “why”…

  • It squeezes value out of your time investment.
  • It increases exposure and influence.
  • It connects ideas together from the past and the present.
  • It gives you ideas for the future.
  • It lets you see where you need to give future emphasis.
  • It lets you reach a whole new audience you might not have reached the first time around.

As a Pastor, I don’t recycle old sermons this way, so don’t apply this to preaching!! But when it comes to the written word, why not reap all the value you can out of a single moment of inspiration. Here are five ways to do it…

Post Old Articles via Social Networks

Do remember that in social media, it’s far more blessed to give than to receive, so don’t just share your own stuff all the time, but perhaps once or twice a day or so, re-post that old blog post to Twitter, Facebook, etc. It often renews discussion and can even go a little viral.

Lead Your Readers to Related Posts

Hand-selecting these could take way too much time. I share five related posts for each article (at the bottom) and in the rss feed (which leads people back to your site from their reader or inbox) using the simple tags plugin. And in case you don’t like that plugin, here are a few others you might want to try. (No apology for the WordPress bias)

And here’s a recipe for showing related posts without a plugin.


Use A Widget to Show Random Posts

Most blogging platforms and programming languages have ways to randomize a list of database query results. I’ve configured my sidebar (currently) to show a randomly generated list of some of my favorite posts by telling the sidebar to get all the posts tagged “myfavs” using some information from the WordPress Codex but you can also use a hack of your own, or a plugin, but remember to watch the number of plugins you’re using.

Write a New Post About the Discussion Resulting from an Old Post

I’ve never done this, but I’ve thought about it. You write something that spawns tremendous interest, discussion, or even debate. It might be a wise idea to revive the old post by writing about the ensuing conversation, especially when the conversation dies down.

Do A Review or Recap of Recent Posts

I just started doing this. Since my blog is titled Life Here And There and is all about life, here and there, I am planning on doing a once-per-month recap entitled “Life In the Rearview.” The advantage is that it gives subscribers a window into the past to articles they might have missed. It also may give someone a chance to help you promote two or three of your posts.

Anyone else had good experiences with this? Have a tip or link to share?

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  • http://blog.yellowdoggdesigns.com Mark

    I do a monthly roundup of my favorite posts to get them circulating again and expose those that may have not read them previously.

  • http://www.hiremarvinwilson.com Marvin Wilson

    Thank you very much for this insightful post. While I don’t have much content to recycle at this time, I’m sure this advice would come in handy for my clients or employers.