While regularly adding new content to your blog is very important, you can give old blog posts new search engine life with just a little effort. Here are a few ways to get new traffic from online content you thought had seen its day.
Update Posts. With the advent of Google's new Penguin update, fresh, quality website content is more important than ever, so a little freshening of old posts can really help improve your search rankings. It may be as simple as correcting your typos, adding links to related blog posts or adding a few keywords. Or you may want to add new information or a new opinion you've gained since writing the post originally. If you change the post significantly, consider promoting your update on social media.
Use Tweetily. If you have a WordPress blog, consider adding the Tweetily plugin (formerly Tweet Old Posts.) It automatically schedules random tweets of previously published blog posts. I have several friends who use this and rave about the new traffic they are getting on old posts.
Re-purpose Posts. Google's Panda update penalized sites that merely post duplicate content from other sites, so this should be done with care. However, with a brief introduction and a link to the original post, re-posting articles from other sites can bring new traffic to you. I like to post 1/3 to 1/2 of the original post with a link to the source of the original so that people go there to read the rest. You can do this with posts you've published on other sites or with posts published by others.
Timely Sharing. Say someone likes the link you just tweeted for an article about a new conference format and you wrote an article about a similar format you used last year. Why not respond to the person by sending him the link to the old post written by you, saying something like, "You might like this as well"? Or say you just "Liked" the Facebook business page for a company whose CEO recently spoke at a conference you organized. You might want to post a link to the blog interview you did of that CEO on the company's Facebook wall.
Links in New Posts. When you write a new post, add a section at the bottom of it that says something like, "For more information relating to this topic, check out:" and then list a couple of links to relevant blog posts you've written. Or insert links within your post to old posts that are relevant to the topic.
Mention in Relevant Online Conversations. Say you are on a Twitter chat or talking to someone about icebreakers and your conference used a fun icebreaker that you wrote about on your event blog. Make sure to provide a link to that blog post. Remember, you never know who is watching. I've found that links I post in conversations often receive the most clicks. Let the public aspect of social media work for you.
Put Together an eBook. If you've been writing for a while, you may have enough content on a particular topic to put together in an ebook which you might give away in exchange for e-mail addresses for your database. Or you may want to create an ebook that you can sell on your site as a revenue stream.
There are many ways to breathe new life into old posts. The key is to remember that once you publish your posts, they live long after they stop being shared on social media. No matter how much traffic your posts are getting, it's likely there are many who have not yet been exposed to them. So don't let your content die forever - bring old posts back and put them to work attracting new readers to your blog.
For more social media tips, read 7 Tips for Using Photos in Event Blog Posts and Social Media: 6 Ways to Keep Yourself Safe and Secure.
(Photo by lydia shiningbrightly)