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How to Make Your Old Content New

How to Make Your Old Content New

Are you feeling stuck trying to come up with new blog topics? Why not update some of your old ones? Updating already published blogs does several things for you:

  1. Creates a “new” post without any new ideas.
  2. Gives you SEO juice without too much effort.
  3. Makes you look informed, up to date, and on top of things.

But My Content Is Evergreen!

I know, at some point, I wrote a blog about keeping content “evergreen” – relevant no matter the date of publishing or the date of reading. As I think I wrote if for someone else (read, I can’t find it), I cannot link to it. (Future blog idea!)

Evergreen Forest

The problem is that rarely is evergreen content truly evergreen. Technology changes, terms change, understanding around a topic changes. Additionally, you change. Your knowledge increases, your opinions on issues may change or become more specific, or you may just come up with a better way to say things.

So, unless your topic is around the fact that gravity happens without any explanation as to why, it is likely that your older material could use some freshening up – even if it’s just an updated chart or image. (Side note, gravity happens, like it or not. The why of it is what changes.) If you’re interested in an extremely technical but thorough article about how to keep your content evergreen, check out Ahrefs’ blog on doing just that.

Content Facelift

So, what do you want to update? Obviously, anything with dated information is a good target. Similarly, opinion pieces when you have revised or refined your opinion on the topic. Another type of post ideal for updating is one you can add to when more information becomes available.

For example, one of Tora Writing’s first blogs, Writing Powerfully, talks about Word’s grammar check. I published that blog before I ever used Grammarly, so didn’t mention it. Updating the post to include a Grammarly reference, as well as implementing some SEO points I didn’t know at the time, will give that old post some new on-line life.

Benefits of Updated Content

As I said, sometimes updating an existing blog is easier than thinking up a new one. As I’m a fan of the path of least resistance, that is reason enough like the idea.

But Wait! There’s More! (Yes, I am that old.)

Remember, the younger bigger gorilla gets the most attention. Updating a blog is sort of like restarting the clock on a post. While the original post date doesn’t disappear, search engines see an updated post as more relevant because it has a new “touched on” date.

Finally, your readers will appreciate you more. When I see an article with an update date on it, I know that the author thought enough of the reader to add and/or clarify the original post – I like that thought.

How your website publishes/updates your posts is probably different from mine, so I suggest you play around with a “junk” post that you can delete to figure out how posts are dated and if you want to add an “Updated on” line, or lines.

Now, this is not to advocate just updating previously published blogs – some are best left alone and there is nothing like brand new content. However, remember:

“Recycling. It’s Good for the Bottle. It’s Good for the Can.” And it’s good for the blog!

-Lorrie Nicoles