So far this year I’ve hit the ground running with one major focus. It’s time to get serious about my work. In this post, I’m going to be looking at why you should tidy up your old blog posts. I’d heard of the whole ‘repurposing’ thing before but hadn’t actually got around to doing it. However, it’s a really important part of your freelance strategy, even if it can be easily forgotten about.
Tidying up your work is vital. As freelancers, it’s really easy to get swept up in the day-to-day details of your workload. Sourcing new clients, sending invoices, and chasing up potential leads is time-consuming. As a result, periodic quality control can easily slip through the net.
Making time to revisit your old content should be a regular priority. Without doing so, things can get a bit messy.
Why you should tidy up your old blog posts
Firstly, your old blog posts aren’t bad. You shouldn’t get hung up on the idea that you need to scrap all of your old writing. Far from it! However, I’d put a good wager on the fact that since you first started your blog or website, your understanding of content writing has improved drastically. It’s absolutely fine to put out whatever you want to (within reason). However, you may have come to a point in your blogging or writing journey where you want to step things up.
That’s great because one of the best ways you can do this is by tidying up some of your old blog posts. This isn’t a quick fix, but it will save you some effort in the longer term.
But why is it so important to do this?
Tidy up your old blog posts if you haven’t read them for a while
Or even at all since you wrote them. I’ve discovered how guilty I am of this over the last month or so. At the beginning of January, I sat down with my planner and made a list of priorities for the year ahead. One of them involved the improvement of my website. So ever since then, I’ve been re-reading through my back catalogue of blog posts and desperately trying not to cringe at some of them.
As I said above, this isn’t about shaming my early writing. It’s just that I now know a few things about that delicate balance between writing for yourself and writing for your audience.
This is something that can be all too easily forgotten, as I’ve discovered!
How to tidy up your old blog posts
It may be that you’ve found a few of your earliest posts and you can’t stand them. Maybe it’s the content, maybe it’s the way you wrote them; whatever it is, you hate these old posts. I totally get it, and it’s really tempting to just scrap them into the bin.
Now, this might be a bit controversial, but I think it’s totally fine to bin a few posts if you truly think they’re beyond rescue. There are some posts that may express opinions you no longer hold true, or that are too much of a personal overshare. You’re not committing any kind of blogging sin by binning posts you truly can’t stand anymore.
However, a smarter move is to repurpose them.
How do you repurpose old blog posts?
Repurposing is the art of editing your old work and turning it into something more useful or relevant. It can be hard work to go back and essentially redraft an original post. In the long run, though, it will save you time and more importantly, it’ll save you some SEO work.
For example, if you’ve written an old blog post about your daily routine, you could go back and edit it to make it more relevant to your reader. If you’re a freelancer, you could turn ‘My Daily Working Routine’ into ‘Five Ways To Structure Your Daily Routine As A Freelancer’. You can then use your original blog post to form the basis of a newer, more helpful one.
Doing this can be time-consuming, but eventually, you’ll have a much more impactful catalogue of posts that people will actually come and read! That’s the main reason for doing this, really. You want to be creating work that’s actually helpful or useful for your readers.
Make sure you think about the balance of your old blog posts
Before you dive in and start tidying up all of your old content, make sure you plan for a good mix. By this, I mean you want to identify a few key themes that you enjoy writing about or write about most often. Then, try to align your old blog posts up with those themes, to help you form a well-balanced mixture of articles on your blog.
If you don’t get the balance right, you’ll end up turning all of your old blogs into a big list of similarly-themed posts, which may end up looking and feeling a bit dull.
Make sure you balance your content themes for writing so that neither you nor your audience gets bored with what you have to offer!
Tools that can help you to tidy up your old blog posts
If you haven’t got one already, get some sort of editorial calendar or planner. There’s a WordPress plugin you can use if you’re a WordPress user, but a standard paper calendar will work too!
Use your calendar to plan out the posts you’re going to revisit and repurpose on certain days. I’d suggest you start with three or four of them and work backwards, from your more popular posts to your least. Keep to this schedule and you’ll soon have your old posts streamlined and useful again.
Remember, it’s perfectly fine to bin any of the content you really can’t stand, but if you can make new use of it, then do.
Look at your Google Analytics and Search Console data too, if you use those tools. They can help you learn what your readers enjoy about your blog, and what they don’t find that interesting. This information can really help you fine-tune your content mix!
Why you should tidy up your old blog posts – for growth
One of the main reasons I’ve been working on improving my old content is for growth. To ensure you’re making progress, it’s important to recognise when you should take time to revisit and edit your work.
For me, that time is now. I started out writing on this website at the back end of 2018. It’s a good eighteen months later, so the time has come to apply the knowledge I’ve gained since I started.
Hopefully, improving my old blog posts will encourage growth and further opportunities, because it’s time to treat my work more seriously.
What are your thoughts?
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve also been doing some work on your own content. Why do you think it’s important to tidy up old blog posts? Have you been through this process yourself? If so, drop your thoughts and advice in the comments below!
If you’ve found this post helpful, please give it a share if you think it might be useful for someone else. You might also like my Freelancer Tips board over on Pinterest.