Doing a Content Audit (and deleting blog posts)

Last week, I did a combination Lab Workshop + Office Hours session for my Lab members. Usually these are separate things, but since Thanksgiving was this week and we’re not doing any live sessions in The Lab, I did a combo session.

Anyhoo… I took a lot of questions. And one of them was simple:

How many blog posts have I published at the Blog Marketing Academy?

The question made sense in context, since the whole point of that workshop was How To Develop A Cohesive Content Strategy That Won’t Drive You Insane. So, we were talking content. BTW, yes that workshop recording is members-only, so you’ll need to be a Lab member to access it.

So, here’s the answer at the time…

1,448.

Yes, there were 1,448 published blog posts in the archives of the Blog Marketing Academy.

But, I was super quick to clarify one important point for her…

Don’t get excited, since a good chunk of those posts suck, are outdated, and get no traffic whatsoever.

The reason I have so many posts is because I’ve been at this a long time. This site began as a different name, but it started in 2008. So, that’s 10 years. A freakin’ decade. Really hard to believe for me. But, 10 year ago, the world of blogging was pretty different. And certainly, my approach to it was quite different. At the time, I was doing the exact opposite of the Redwood Strategy.

Like my own blog, most blogs comply with the Pareto principle (aka the 80/20 rule). In other words, about 20% of your blog posts will be responsible for about 80% of the traffic you get. In my experience, it is even more pronounced. More like 95/5.

So, I’ve got a lot of garbage back there in the archives. Stuff that I look at today and think it is outdated, poorly written, and not useful for anybody.

So, what’s the answer?

A content audit.

This means that you’re going through your archives, fixing a bunch of stuff, deleting a bunch of stuff, and really firming up all your content.

This is a project that I have begun here internally. And to that end, I am going to be doing a new series here in The Daily on the various components of doing a content audit.

If you do it, I have little doubt you’re going to see a traffic increase. I follow others who have done this and I’ve read some great results. Some sites have almost doubled their traffic by DELETING blog posts! Imagine that!

But, it’s also about optimizing and tweaking the content you have… as well as setting up some strategic URL redirects.

So, next week, we’ll be talking about this process. Actually DOING it might take more time, especially if your archives are huge like mine. This is a project, but I think it’ll be worth it.

I’ll see ya next week. 🙂

– David