If you read my post about amateur blogging mistakes then you know I was guilty of most of the ones I mentioned. Most of this was discovered while doing a huge blog post update on A Geek Girl’s Guide. While this was a pretty large endeavor, I’m going to share the process of updating old posts I created to make it a smooth process.
Why Should You Update Old Content
Sure you haven’t looked at that post from 3 years ago since it published, but other people definitely have. Thanks to analytics, I know what posts are being seen when, and that there are definitely some older ones still getting seen thanks to SEO. It is good to go back to those older posts to update as necessary, whether those updates are for images, linking to other content, or updating what you wrote.
One example that I have done for updating old posts is on my Costumes vs. Cosplay post. This post gets picked up from searches often, and it is one of my earliest posts on A Geek Girl’s Guide. So it needed to be updated, mainly to link it to other related content.
I’ve also done a huge image update on featured images recently since I started having a very specific aesthetic to those images. So I went back and made new featured images in the new style for posts that were before that change. This one took a few days to complete but was worth it to me for the consistent branding.
Now Let’s Talk About How
Determine How Much Needs to Be Updated
I’ve done mass updates like the featured image update. And I have done small updates on only individual posts. Knowing how much you want to update helps determine other factors n this process like starting point and strategy.
Along the same lines, deciding the importance of the updates will help as well. If you see a certain older post getting a lot of traffic, go to that post and see what you can tweak. In comparison, my featured images update wasn’t necessarily important but was something I wanted to do. Making an update hierarchy can help you plan this whole process to be more efficient.
Pick A Starting Point
This is pretty much are you starting from current and going back to the beginning, or the opposite, and taking into account your hierarchy. You want to choose one and stick to it because doing a mass update can’t be done sporadically, especially if you’ve been making content for a while.
Plan A Strategy
What are you updating exactly? Make a checklist with everything you want to check, whether it’s updating images, linking to other content, or updating the body copy itself. If you know what you want to update before you start, it will become a much faster process. My main focus was updating images and linking to newer and related content. You may want to do more or fewer updates. It all depends on what your motivation is.
Break It Down
When I was updating A Geek Girl’s Guide, it took a few days. I went by month by month in a given year in my archives and would write down which page was my stopping point for the night so I could pick it up later. Updating doesn’t have to be a sprint, it can definitely take more time as needed. And the longer you’ve been writing, the more content you will need to update so it will surely take more time.
Have you updated old content before? What are your tips for doing updates? Share them below.