One of the blessings of writing a blog for a lot of years is that you prove your dedication to your craft. It also gives you a lot of content that you can share or rewrite or use to boost your newer posts via internal linking; not enough people remember that.
One of the two curses of having a blog for so long is that sometimes you have no clue what time has done to an article. I’m not talking about articles written on topics or items that no longer exist; I’m talking about things you might have put into an article that you’re not a part of any longer. This is another part of blog maintenance you need to consider.
The other curse; finding out you wrote a different blog post a year earlier with almost the exact same title! That’s what I discovered after the face, as I wrote this post a year earlier; ugh! Same title and topic, but different perspectives; I dare you to top that! 🙂
Anyway, early on when I created this blog, I signed up for a bunch of different affiliate programs, only one of which I’m still a member of. What I used to do was write an article about a topic, then either link to a product or add a product at the bottom of the article. The hope was if someone liked what I’d written about they might click on the link or the “buy” button and I might make a small chunk of change.
Unfortunately, it didn’t happen all that often, but I kept trying; I’m not a quitter until I’ve exhausted all avenues. However, once I quit and moved on, I’d forgotten that I had a lot of products set up on articles that have residual garbage. In essence, what’s left are either words, words with a buy button or just a buy button.
The articles with buttons are actual dead links, and dead links will bring your blog or website down if you have too many of them; no one wants that. But when you have nearly 1,450 articles, and the majority of them are older… that’s a lot of time putting into maintenance.
The lucky thing is that the links throughout the article itself were all removed by a plugin called Broken Link Checker. The unlucky thing is that if a link was embedded in an image or within a HTML table the plugin wasn’t 100%. As you can see in the examples I’ve shown, I have lots of things like this I still have to address.
Of course if it was only affiliate links, I’d know I only have to visit older blog posts. Life doesn’t work like that, however; I have a secondary issue that I’m sharing pictures of.
I used to use a plugin called Compfight to bring images over from Flickr to this blog and all my other blogs. It made sure it only brought over articles that were allowed by the creator via Creative Commons, which means it saved a lot of time because I didn’t have to go to the website and search for images.
At some point the Compfight people decided (or were forced) to discontinue the plugin… without notice. I figured it out on my own and that’s when I started using more of my own pictures. These days it’s a mix between mine and some from Pixabay. Pixabay allows you to download the image and upload it to your blog or website; all they ask for is attribution (and an occasional donation) to the photographer if you’re up to it. I’ve done that here and there.
The download part is important because that’s not how it worked with Compfight. When they shut it down, some of the images that were on my articles totally disappeared. I only found out about that part last year at some point, and I’ve been trying to put something new in.
That’s not the only issue with Compfight though. If you see the image that’s long, you’ll notice it added the words “Creative Commons License”, thus distorting part of the article. For whatever reason, the dissolution of the plugin caused a change in the original code for some of the images; this is a more voluminous issue than the first one. It’s a quicker fix though; all I have to do is go into the post and remove a little bit of added code.
In a way I’m lucky in that I’m always going back to look at older articles for some goofy reason. Without doing that, I’d have had no idea how bad some of this detritus makes my articles look; ugh!
If you’ve been writing your blog for at least 3 years and have ever added affiliate links, images that weren’t yours, or links to outside sources, you need to check on those articles from time to time to see if those things are still active and legitimate. I’ve spent a lot of time correcting links and fixing images and I still have a long way to go. It’s something to consider doing to protect your investment, be it your blog or website.