7 Ways To Lengthen The Blog Post Lifespan

For most blogs, the life cycle of a blog post is pretty short. Unless you do a pretty good job with post SEO and it brings you long-term search traffic, your post which you worked so hard on will simply fall into the archives of your blog - never to be seen again. What a waste! Because, I don't know about you, but I have a lot of good stuff back in the archives of my blogs. And it is a real shame when they don't serve me longer. Well, there ARE things you can do in order to lengthen the life cycle of a blog post.

For most blogs, the life cycle of a blog post is pretty short. Unless you do a pretty good job with post SEO and it brings you long-term search traffic, your post which you worked so hard on will simply fall into the archives of your blog – never to be seen again.

What a waste! Because, I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of good stuff back in the archives of my blogs. And it is a real shame when they don’t serve me longer.

Well, there ARE things you can do in order to lengthen the life cycle of a blog post.

So, let’s discuss it.

#1 – Use A Related Posts Plug-in

You’ve seen them. You get to the bottom of a post and it recommends several others which you might also like. Nice and simple.

There are a ton of plug-ins out there which do related posts, in varying degrees of coolness. For what its worth, the one I’m using is Yet Another Related Posts Plug-in.

#2 – Remove Dates From Your Blog

Blogs are chronological, by nature. But, that doesn’t mean you have to be forced to accept that fact.

Psychologically, when we see an old post date on a blog post, we automatically dismiss the post. We say, “This post is old, so it probably isn’t relevant anymore.”. And we say this even if every word of that post is just as relevant today as it was when it was written.

You could have AWESOME stuff in your archives, but people will write it off automatically if they see an old post date on it.

The solution: Remove dates.

In so many niches, the dates aren’t important anyway. Honestly, unless your niche is very time-driven (i.e. news), you probably don’t need dates on your posts.

Now, I bet you’re asking, “OK, Dave. But, how?”

Well, some themes have the option built-in. If not, you’ll need to hack it. Look in your single.php file of your template and search for instances of the_date(). See this page for more information. When you find it, simply remove it from your theme. To remove from post listings, you’ll need to do the same in index.php, category.php, archive.php (if your theme has these files).

#3 – Inter-Linking

When you write a post, be sure to link relevant keyword phrases in your post to previously published articles, where appropriate.

Not only does this help with search engine optimization, but it can also lead your readers back into your archives.

#4 – Do Themed Guides Or Resource Pages

You can set up resource pages on your blog which do nothing but link back to relevant blog posts, all centered around a particular topic.

For example, if you look at the membership sites guide on this site, you’ll see that it is a page which links to blog posts I’ve written about the subject of membership sites. You can set up these pages as landing pages, target the HELL out of them with SEO, and it can work wonders for blog traffic.

#5 – Create a “Getting Started” Page

This makes sense from a couple perspectives:

  1. You can link back to past posts.
  2. You’re solving the “what do I do now?” question that often happens with new arrivals to your site. When people ask themselves that question and they don’t see an answer, they’ll often merely bounce off the site. Hello, bounce rates.

You can see the page I have for this purpose: Getting Started With Making Money Blogging. It guides them through several things, including getting on my email list, reading some of my posts, a word on mindset (so I don’t attract the “get rich quick” seekers), and connecting socially.

#6 – Repurposing

You can re-use blog posts in a variety of ways, including:

  • Spinning and re-distributing in article directories.
  • Re-stating the same information in a different form of content (i.e. a video, podcast, etc.)
  • Compiling old posts into an ebook
  • Doing a webinar on the same topic.

#7 – Integrate Into Your Autoresponder Sequence

Using your autoresponder sequence to build a solid relationship with each email subscriber is a SUPER good idea. Obviously. ūüôā

Well, a great way to do this is by pointing them into some of your best stuff on your blog. You can either tease them a bit then link them to the post itself, or you can simply swipe the post and essentially email it to them (so the email itself is valuable).

Essentially, then, you can turn your list into a form of “drip feed” of your best stuff to all new subscribers. Aweber is, by far, the best tool to set this up with.

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So, anything I’m forgetting?

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Responses

  1. Hi David,
    This post has a lot of good ideas! When you use the auto responder, how frequently would you send the emails to new subscribers?

  2. Well, in some cases you can choose blogging about themes that never get old. For example, society-problems or history-related posts will never “expire”.

    However, everything connected to “News” always gets more attention, but articles do have their own “life span”. In these cases, you gotta use smart ways to remind about them. My most preferred is Related and Popular Posts. Doesn’t take too much space, does it’s job well ūüėÄ

  3. great tips you have mentioned and shared. But if you are constantly updating your content then that’s another good idea to include. Inter linking can also trigger user confusion sometimes especially for beginners and random visitors in your site. But never the less it will have a sort of good impact of traffic.

  4. great tips you have mentioned and shared. But if you are constantly updating your content then that’s another good idea to include. Inter linking can also trigger user confusion sometimes especially for beginners and random visitors in your site. But never the less it will have a sort of good impact of traffic.

  5. I found this post really helpful David. When repurposing, do you remove the old posts from your blog? And if so, how does that effect SEO, if at all?

  6. Nice tips. It’s true that nice crafted blogs are buried down under. And your tips is all it takes to resurrect them back to life. thanks for the info

  7. There are some blog posts that are worth putting on a separate page as a PDF download – one of mine is the 20 Top Grammar Mistakes and How to Fix Them. I only do this for posts I think readers would think were worth printing out.

  8. Great tips and I especially like the idea of creating the resource pages. I never though about adding the posts to part of an auto responder message. The drip feed is excellent. Thanks David

  9. Love the tips, some of them I have been using with great success for some time now. Repurposing is probably the best way you can use to extend a lifetime of a post for like…ever, lol

  10. Those are all great ideas.  I use a plug in called  Old Post Dates that removes the dates from posts. 
    I am here to tell you that if a post gains traction in the search engines, it can bring you traffic for a long time.  Comments from readers seem to help a lot.  One of my very oldest posts is my biggest traffic generator. 

    1. Absolutely. I have a tutorial on building a PC over on my tech blog. Written close to 5 years ago (or more?). Yet, it continues to be my biggest traffic draw to the site.

  11. I’m a big fan of¬†re-purposing¬†content. Like you, a lot of my best, most helpful stuff was buried in the archives. In the past month, I used old content on my two blogs to make two ebooks (one I’m now selling and one that has increased opt-in rates for my newsletter), a couple of niche blogs and a handful of articles for the article directories.¬†

  12. Thanks for the tips, helpful as always David, I have a question related to “Related Posts”, do you know if they are as valuable as interlinking using text in the post or more so?

    Also if I use text in the post to link to another post and it also shows in Related Posts, am I penalized in the search engines for that?

    1. (1) I think inter-linking it going to be more effective. Related posts sometimes get dismissed because they’re always there, in the same place. Plus, people pay more attention to stuff IN the content.

      You may have noticed that I’m not using the related posts thing here on DR anymore. I am, though, using it over on my tech site.¬†

      (2) No, you won’t be penalized for that.

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