Writers are familiar with the idea of a backlist. These are the books that have been in print for a year or longer, in contrast with your newest, frontlist books.
Authors tend to start seeing more security and a better living when they have a strong backlist for support. The same is true with your blog. With a few tweaks, bloggers can better use their blog backlist to increase traffic, engagement, and audience. I’m going to give you simple ways to update old blog posts in order to create a strong blog backlist.
So how do you create a strong blog backlist? You should always be creating good content—always. But as you grow, you pick up skills, knowledge, equipment and abilities that you may not have had six months or a year ago. Dive into your archives to find those strong posts in your backlist so that you can make them even stronger.
5 Easy Ways to Update Your Blog Backlist
1. Add Internal links. Are you linking to your own content within your posts? You should be. More than once. Many times. Find other posts that relate. You should do this both in a textual way, but also with images in the post for other great posts.
2. Add External links. Great posts provide great value. What better way to provide great value you to your readers than by linking to other people’s great content! Find and use relevant links from other people in your field. Blogging about food? Link to another food blogger. Blogging about being a mom? Link to another mom writing similar content. Sometimes those other bloggers will see the trackback and check out your content, which is great for relationships. But even if not, you are still providing great value to your readers and establishing good blogging mojo.
3. Polish Your Images. One thing that makes me nuts is keeping up with all the image sizes. A few years ago, Pinterest wasn’t around with its love of vertical, gorgeous images. Don’t get me started on the sizing for Facebook and how what works best keeps changing. Or perhaps your own photography has improved and you need to reshoot that Dr. Pepper cake for a more drool-worthy photo. Whatever the case, find those posts with the great content and create or update your images.
4. Make Posts Evergreen. When I first moved to this new blog, I had old posts I wanted to take with me because I liked the writing or people seemed to interact well with the content. Some of them were too dated with their own content, so I took out things that made them dated or stuck them in a specific point in time to create more evergreen (i.e., relevant anytime) content. Some of your older posts might be fantastic evergreen posts with a little tweaking. As you read through your old content, ask if you can make things more pertinent NOW.
5. Find New Ways to Engage. Recently I had a post really blow up on Facebook. Before it really got huge, I started to see women commenting like crazy and thanking me for writing it. (You can check it out here: Why I Don’t Get Up Before My Kids.) I had this sense that there was a need for connection among these women and so I created a Facebook group. A week later and what I imagined to be a small, ten-person group is over 150 women and it’s amazing. Think outside the box for a call to action. Embed a Pinterest board, create a separate email segment for people interested in a certain topic, plan a Google Hangout, make a short video—consider how you can best engage your audience. Don’t just do what everyone else is doing. Try different things.
Your blogging backlist can be your greatest asset and help you connect with your audience, increase traffic, and establish your authority as a content creator in this online space. Spend some time updating your blog backlist and you might be surprised by how much good content can become GREAT content with a little tweaking. And don’t forget to PROMOTE your old posts!