If you've been blogging for quite some time now, you probably experience moments where you feel like you're running out of ideas.
This game we play is full of its ebbs and flows.
When you're just starting out, you are firing off articles at the speed of light. You are tapped into the cosmic writer-sphere (if that's not a word…I'm creating it…) and your drive cannot be stopped.
Time passes, however…
And before you know it, you're months into this scanning the confines of your idea-box for any scrap of something that resonates.
But nothing comes to fruition…
But what if you haven't considered a practice that most Top Bloggers employ when the idea well begins to run dry — a practice that is just simply advantageous regardless?
Instead of going forward, what if you went backwards?
Republishing Your Old Posts
Instead of struggling to come up with brand new ideas, look at the ones you’ve already had.
Are there posts buried in your archives that new readers would find helpful?
This is a great opportunity to update and republish your posts to get them in front of a fresh audience (or remind long-term readers they still exist).
I’m going to take you through the hows and whys of republishing old posts.
But before we get too far, you might be asking yourself this question:
“Will readers complain if I republish an old post?”
No. In fact, they may well thank you. New readers probably haven’t dug into your archives and found some of your best posts. And old readers may have forgotten them.
Even readers who keep returning a favorite post over and over again will be thrilled you’ve updated it (I even had a friend of mine, Joren van Schaik, recommend that I republish an old post of mine a few weeks ago):
So what do you think I did with this advice?
You better bet your ass that I republished the post and got a better reception for its publishing than I did the first time!
So let's get into this advantage of republishing…
How to Decide Which Posts to Update and Republish
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you might have dozens — even hundreds — of posts in your archives.
How do you figure out which ones are worth updating and republishing?
There’s no right answer to this question.
But a good place to start is with posts that brought the most positive response when you published them the first time, especially if they’re relatively old.
They could probably do with updating (so first-time readers get the best possible impression). And chances are they’re about popular topics, so republishing them will help your existing readers.
The updates could include making sure the content us up-to-date considering certain regulatory factors (if you write about marketing for instance — has the introduction of GDPR changed the article's content at all?).
Any Top Blogger worth her salt knows that you shouldn't fix what isn't broken. There's no use in banking on a post that didn't get much reception in the past transform itself into an ultra-viral post with this republish…
Republish the content that showed signs of strength when it first went live.
How Much Should You Change When Republishing a Post?
Again, no steadfast rules here.
Do as Bruce Lee did and,
"Be like water…"
Be able to take what once was and make it fit for today.
When you’re preparing a post for republication, you should:
Read it carefully. Did you miss any typos the first time round? Are there any factual errors? Do you need to tweak any clumsy or confusing sentences?
Update the post to fit with what’s happening today (Like stated above — particularly if you write about software, social media, or any other area that changes rapidly). For instance, if you posted about setting up a Medium page, you might need to take new screenshots and make sure your step-by-step instructions are still accurate.
Consider adding more detail. Are any areas of your original post a bit sparse? Flesh them out. This is your chance to take your first crack at something that was good and make it great.
Check all links. Even if a link is working, you may need to point it to a more recent resource.
Link to some of your (recent) posts. If you wrote your post two years ago, you’ve almost certainly written something since that relates to it. Add a link at an appropriate point.
Spend the time to make it more attractive. One of the great things about republishing is you save a lot of writing time, which means you can put extra effort into sourcing images, laying out your post, and so on.
Case Study: The Viral Writing Playbook
Although it wasn't called that at first. My first crack at the ebook was "Zero to One Million In Three Months" and in my second attempt I mustered up a shoddy, "Take What's Yours."
Both of these titles were confusing and vague. They didn't offer a glimpse into the value that was present with the actual content.
Even though the product was selling, I knew I could republish the product with increased value and content — which I did, 2 full times.
So much of the added value came from content that I had published in the past couple of years of writing articles!
Even if you don’t have a similar series to use, you might want to think about how you could recycle old posts into new formats. For instance:
You could record yourself reading a blog post and use it as a podcast episode.
You could take excerpts from a long blog post and use them in your newsletter.
You could collate dozens of your best blog posts, add some extra supporting material, and turn them into an ebook or even an ecourse.
There really is no limit to what can be created when you republish your work…
So really dig deep into the archives of what you've created.
Don't be scared that people might recognize that you've already published that piece — if you've taken notes from what I outlined, the republished work will already be valuable and should contain a bit of extra value.
Consistently pushing out valuable content will help put you in front of the eyes of the people looking for your work.
Republishing will help do it quicker…
👋🏻Hey there — I’m Jon
I’m a thinker, freelance ghostwriter and wine lover who writes articles about personal growth and psychological optimization. I also preach about monetizing your writing. Join over 1,200 readers getting my FREE Personal 6 day “Entre-Blogging” Course and my ongoing newsletters (You’ll also get a FREE Copy of “How To Write The Ultimate Blog Post”):