It’s amazing how much there is to maintaining one’s blog, especially after blogging on one site a lot of years. You can imagine how many times I come into this blog and my business blog and start tinkering with things. Some of them are minor; some are hard. Some are just time consuming.
I’ve written a few times on the premise of blog maintenance. I started in 2012 talking about broken links maintenance, which is relatively easy if you use a plugin to do the work for you. In 2016 I gave 6 blog maintenance tips to help people take care of a few more things, while mentioning broken links again (it had been 4 years after all). In January of this year I gave you 4 more blog maintenance ideas, while linking back to the other two articles. You’d think 10 maintenance ideas would be enough, wouldn’t you? You’d be surprised.
As you can see by the title, this time I’m talking about the maintenance of old blog posts. This is something every blogger should consider doing; whether you do it or not depends on the type of blogging you do and how much you actually enjoyed an older post.
For instance, I talked in my last article about the concept of repurposing posts in multiple ways. One of those recommendations was to find posts you liked that were on your topic, rewrite themm add a bit more meat to them and then republish them as new content. If you have a lot of articles this is a smart thing to do, and it’s a good way to help maintain your blog’s SEO performance.
The next thing to do is go through your blog to see if there are things you wrote about that are no longer pertinent. For instance, years ago I wrote on the WordPress 2.7 update, which got on my nerve, and now we’re up to 4.9.8. This means that old article isn’t valid anymore, and there’s nothing I could do to update it.
What I do with articles like these is go into Edit and make them private. No sense sending them to trash (although I could) because it takes away from your article count… which I’m still proud of. To this point, out of 1,804 articles (this is 1,804), I’ve made 281 of them private. I’ve still got a long way to go but I’ll tell you more on why it’s important to do.
Heck, I might as well tell you that now. Almost all of us have a plugin that creates what’s called a sitemap. It’s a file that’s created so search engines can easily see the content on your site and hopefully get some of your articles ranked properly.
The problem comes when you have either outdated content or content that’s not pertinent to any other content on your site. Those articles pull your prominence down, which might be unfair, but why fight the powers that be on everything? I have a lot of outdated content, some that was good and some that wasn’t, including special sales offers I used to have from time to time. As I go through older posts to see what could be rewritten and republished, I come across a lot of things that need to be dismissed.
I did mention pertinent, didn’t I? Well… this is a tough subject for me. I’ve written 77 articles under the topic of Entertainment, and I was big on doing those types of posts for a long while. The thing is I love going back to look at some of those, and I’ll also pop them out on Twitter or Facebook every once in a while. A few of those posts include my 19 favorite classical music pieces, my top 10 fictional characters, and my top 20 sports movies of all time. Two of those took a long time to put together, and I’m constantly going back to change the videos when a YouTube site shuts down. It may seem frivolous and they’re not pertinent to what I mainly do now, but I love them!
Another thing I’m constantly doing is going into posts that I might not be doing anything with except removing old affiliate links. Right now the only thing I’m marketing besides my own products is Mailwasher over there in the right sidebar. I still swear by this product, even paying for the permanent upgrade just a few months ago. In any case I got rid of everyone else, which means sometimes when I see an older post there’s a link to a product that officially no longer exists. It’s pretty much a broken link so it’s got to go.
Most of you will be lucky to not have to go through so many posts. If I know my buddy Rummuser, he’ll probably say that his 2,800+ posts were all good when he put them together and that’s good enough for him. 🙂 Your old posts might be good enough for you, but if you have a different purpose to your blog then it might help to take a look to see what you can improve or what needs to be eliminated.