Freelance Blog + writing

7 Ways to Showcase Older Blog Posts

Once you've been blogging for awhile, you've probably accumulated some posts that you're really proud of. And it's a shame if those posts remain buried deep in your blog's archive.

The occasional reader might stumble on an old post or two after digging through your archives or doing a Google search for certain keywords, but most of those posts will lie dormant, gathering dust in the virtual equivalent of an attic. Unless, that is, you're savvy about showcasing those old gems.

Here are a few strategies to get you started:

1. Revisit the topic. Someone once asked me if I'd recommend reposting favorite posts so that new readers can discover it. No, but since writing the original post you've probably gained new insights on the topic, so you could link to the old post and discuss new developments or revelations. See #2 for an exception.

2. Sell or share a reprint of your old post. I sometimes sell reprints of posts that I originally published here to earn extra money. Some writers offer free reprints as a guest blog post on another site. I like this solution because it brings you and your blog added exposure without repeating content on your own site (if you have loyal readers, they will probably have an inkling that you're repeating yourself). And most of the people on the other site will be none the wiser because they probably aren't following your blog yet. But if you're selling or sharing a reprint, you MUST tell the other blogger or publisher so they can decide if they're comfortable having duplicate content.

3. Link within your posts. Lots of bloggers do this so that readers have a chance to explore related topics. You could include a list of related posts at the bottom (I believe WordPress has a Plugin for this), but I prefer to have those links integrated into the post. You'll notice that I do a little of this throughout this post.

4. Include it in a sticky post. I discussed the use of sticky posts earlier, and you could include links to a couple of older posts or rotate links depending on what's happening in the news or what readers are talking about.

5. Link to it in your blogroll. Admittedly, my list of "popular posts" is woefully out of date, but this is another area where you could play up the posts you're most proud of. And readers really do click on those links! At one point, I had deleted the "popular posts" section in an attempt to tighten up the blogroll, and a reader actually emailed me to complain that she couldn't find one of my "popular posts."

6. Plug it in your newsletter. I get a certain newsletter that includes a section called "From the Vault," which highlights an article from their archives. I think this is a smart strategy, because people who are interested in the article and didn't see it the first time are somewhat likely to click on the link. Those who've already read it will probably ignore the link, but there's plenty of new content in the newsletter, too.

7. Include it in a roundup post. Roundups are great because they're chock full of information and it's usually quicker for the blogger to put together a roundup post rather than writing something from scratch. For instance, at the end of 2008, I created a roundup of popular posts from the past year. It's a popular (and perhaps cliched) way for bloggers to mark the end of the year, but you could also create a roundup around a certain topic or theme.

Your turn! Are there other blogging strategies I've missed? How do you showcase posts from your achives?

Flickr photo courtesy of gadl

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